Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Physiotherapist, Lunching Out, Artichokes,

Matt's legs seem to have degenerated this week and when the therapist came this afternoon, he found Matt's legs were painful but not as they were. After lots of examination and discussion, I mentioned the pills he had been given three/four weeks ago. He looked them up on his phone/tablet and read out the possible effects. Turns out that shakiness, weakness and pain were part of the adverse reactions which could be experienced. Between us we decided I should ask the doctor about it. However, I phoned and couldn't get to speak with the doc. although I have a call booked for Thursday afternoon. I then tried the pharmacist who grudgingly agreed maybe I should stop them. Not someone I know at our pharmacy, he kindly pointed out that the physiotherapist was NOT a doctor. Fancy that!! Matt's legs have degenerated in the last 3 days, that I have noticed, and after reading the reactions, I have definitely decided to stop the pills again. They are an anti-depressant and Yung said there were other pills that  didn't have the same side effects. I still believe they make him a bit more confused too.

Kathy picked up our groceries this morning and stopped for a coffee. She is off camping tomorrow. In tents. Never done that and sure couldn't do it these days, not unless we had camp beds as well. I tried to arrange we all went out to lunch - ladydog too -  but in the end ladydog decided we would be too close to each other. Pity, I would like them to meet. She also suggested I ask Red Lobster about Matt not wearing a mask. The staff there said they thought they had to accept someone without a mask for medical reasons. However, they said the manager was away for a day or two and they wanted to check with him to be absolutely certain. Mind you, right now, I don't think he could walk into the restaurant anyway.

Oh yes, Hilary, I am getting some artichokes tomorrow. They ordered them for me and said to call and check this evening so I did. They guy checked his list and said yes, he had a box of 30 artichokes. I said I didn't think I could eat that many. He assured me I didn't have to LOL. Anyway, I am going in tomorrow to get them. Whoopee. I figure it is about 18 months or thereabouts since I last had any. Figure I can do the bank as well.

I really need to try this, sounds delicious.

Peanut Butter Pork Tenderloin

1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs peanut butter
1/4 tso ground red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pineapple preserves

1. Preheat oven to 375°F

2. Trim fat from tenderloin.

3. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper to taste.

4. Line a baking dish with parchment paper or aluminium foil.

5. Mix the soy sauce, peanut butter, red pepper and minced garlic together.

6. Spread mixture over pork loin.

7. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

8. Remove from oven.

9. Carefully spread pineapple preserves on top of pork loin.

10. Bake another 10 minutes or until meat reaches 150°F

11. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Servings: 4

Source: Genius Kitchen

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Apps, Restaurants, Physiotherapist,

What a nuisance, I have received our annual cheque from the electric company in NC which, of course, is US dollars and my phone app will not allow me to post different currencies so I have to go to the bank. Not far in fact, but it means a long walk to the car. I spoke to a young man at the banking site who using a lot of verbiage and trying to be oh so very pleasant, kept falling over himself, but assured me, after enquiry, that I could use the phone app. Oh well. These days, unless I actually know the name of the person I want to speak to at my bank, I can't get through to anyone actually there. I have a couple of names, but I have a feeling they have moved on since I met these people.

I just read that Mr. Ford, Ontario's PM, says restaurants can open with a max of 50 from Friday. Not buffet style - so that cuts out Mandarin still - but should be able to do Red Lobster. It will be such a treat to go out to eat, you have no idea. I just double checked with Red Lobster and they are opening on Friday, so maybe we can go to lunch next week with ladydog and possibly with Kathy. Not sure how that works from the social distance point of view. Just phoned them again, they can put 6 people at a table but the tables are 6 ft. apart. Wonder what we are supposed to do, have a bite and then mask up again LOL. I wonder when they will allow buffets to open again. Two of our friends can't stand fish or the fishy smell of RL. Yes, there are other restaurants we could try I guess.

Forgot to mention, the physiotherapist comes Tuesday aft. I am a little concerned about weakness in Matt's legs. His exercises are helping, but he has trouble supporting his body when he stands up.

I doubt I would ever make this, only two of us after all, but I could do damage to a slice of it right now, looks delicious.

Baked Rigatoni with Zucchini and Mozzarella

If you’re in the mood for a cheesy lasagna but want something a little less labor-intensive, try this
Baked Rigatoni. Fresh mozzarella, which is sold in water, has a short shelf life and should be used within a few days of purchase for the best flavor. If you can’t find ciliegini, you can tear a standard-size ball of fresh mozzarella into small pieces. Give this baked pasta an impressive look by using a springform pan.

1 lb rigatoni pasta
1 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups zucchini, cut into half-moons (from 1 [8 oz.] zucchini)
5 oz baby spinach
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 large egg
16 oz small fresh mozzarella cheese balls, divided
2 oz grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
Fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook rigatoni pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

2. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Stir in baby spinach; cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with black pepper and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Transfer to bowl with pasta.

3. Whisk together sour cream, plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, egg, and 3/4 tsp. kosher salt in a medium bowl until well incorporated.

4. Stir sour cream mixture into pasta mixture until well coated. Add 12 oz. small fresh mozzarella cheese balls and 1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese to pasta mixture; toss to combine. Gently stir in drained, diced tomatoes.

5. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9-inch springform pan, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until set, about 30 minutes. Top with remaining 4 oz. small fresh mozzarella cheese balls and remaining 1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese, and return to oven. Bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and let stand 15 minutes. Release side of springform pan, and cut into 8 pieces. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.

Servings: 8


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Weather, PSW, Reminiscing, Masks, Strawberries,

Having had dangerously hot weather for days we finally had a pretty violent storm on Friday with lots of rain. Only trouble when the ground is so dry, rain that comes down that fast doesn't usually do any good because it runs off rather than sink in. We got more rain Saturday and Sunday was pretty cloudy, but so far, no rain. I am delighted to get rid of that really, really hot weather it is horrid if you have to go outside in it and as, these days, you have to queue everywhere before you can go into a store, unless you are lucky, which is unsafe, for oldies like me in particular, and for anyone who has to stand around or even work in it. I hope it doesn't come back. I had our balcony windows open today and at one point it got quite chilly.

Our PSW at the weekend was the same guy twice and he tells us he will be here most of next week too. He seems particularly good although I miss George and my Spanish practice. Reminds me, he went to get Matt to shave and the damned shaver seems to have quit. I only bought it last November. It should last longer than 9 months surely? Only trouble was, I couldn't seem to find a place on Amazon to report it. I have a number to call Philips which I will do tomorrow (today for you). However, I bought another one, a not very expensive Remington, which will arrive tomorrow.  Amazon is so good that way. Not that you can really see Matt's beard it is so white. ladydog's husband has grown a beard whilst in lockdown apparently. She likes it. Not into beards myself.

For some reason today I got into musing about what I remember of the war years and later. I always tell me they gave me WWII for my first birthday present, so I really don't recall a lot. Isn't that what all old people do, start remembering the "old" days, Matt, of course, no longer remembers those years which is odd because dementia usually removes your recent memories and not your old ones, but he seems to have forgotten a lot of it. A friend with a husband who has dementia, came up with a clever comment, "dementia is a thief".

 A third woman told me her partner wouldn't wear a mask either,  but in his case, not dementia. So, some of it is male stubbornness. When I went into VSM on Friday they were all wearing masks and seemed quite happy to do so. Someone else told me her husband had to wear a mask at work so it wasn't a problem.

I bought some strawberries at VSM and didn't realise they were imported. They really were not very good, bit like bullets and lacking in sweetness. However, when I had hulled and washed them, I showered them with sugar and then served them with cream and a meringue and they were pretty good. Pity to not buy local when they are available though. My regular grocery store has local fruit at the moment - even if they don't have artichokes, grrrr.

Another recipe I meant to try and didn't.

Salmon Carpaccio with Lemon Aioli and Pork Rind Crumble

After Paul Qui won the Top Chef Season 9 title, F&W decided to throw him one more challenge: Create a dish based on four ingredients, including salmon and pork rinds. Turns out, Qui loves pork rinds. “My grandmother cooked everything in pork fat,” he says. “If I was lucky, I got to snack on the

rinds she made.” The Top Chef winner used them to make a brilliant crumble for salmon carpaccio (raw fish is a specialty at Uchiko, the Japanese-accented Austin restaurant where he is executive chef). To finish the dish, Qui made a lemon aioli and served it with broccoli rabe.

3 Tbs finely crushed pork rinds
3 Tbs finely crushed toasted rye-bread crumbs
Kosher salt
2 large egg yolks
1 small garlic clove
3/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbs finely chopped dill
4 oz broccoli rabe, trimmed
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/2 lb sushi-grade, skinless salmon fillet, preferably wild, thinly sliced at a slight angle

1. In a small bowl, toss the crushed pork rinds with the toasted bread crumbs and season with salt.

2. In a blender, combine the egg yolks with the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and puree until smooth. With the blender on, drizzle in the canola oil and puree until thickened. Scrape the aioli into a bowl and stir in the chopped dill; season with salt.

3. In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli rabe to a bowl of ice water to chill. Drain well, pat dry and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a bowl and toss with the 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season with salt.

4. Spread a little lemon aioli on each of 4 plates and top with the broccoli rabe. Arrange the sliced salmon over the broccoli rabe and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle each serving with some of the pork rind crumble. Serve right away, passing the remaining lemon aioli and pork rind crumble alongside.

Servings: 4
Yield: 4 first-course servings

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Artichokes, Shopping, Masks,

Maybe I am becoming, or already am, a crotchety old woman. Hilary said I should remember that a
lot of these youngsters in the stores, haven't had our European background, or, come to that, travelled very far anyway. Turns out they don't have my artichokes after all although the young man yesterday assured me they did and he would save me some!!! Now they are going to try and order them for me for next week on my shopping day. It's gotta be 18 months since I last had one. I was really looking forward to getting some today, boo hoo. Not only that, I just ate my penultimate fresh asparagus. I remember when I visited a French family in my teens and they had artichokes for a meal, don't remember which, probably dinner, and I didn't like them. In hindsight, they were some of the best I had ever seen and would love to go back to that table again. Not sure when I started to like them. In England we were only getting puny chokes as it wasn't long after WWII. The staff in PC Express probably don't know what they are anyway. That department was so good before Covid, then they employed extra staff who don't seem to know their rear ends from their elbows.

This afternoon I went to the grocery store and picked up the items they had forgotten. I also got some individual meringue nests so I will try dessert with them. If they don't work, I can always break them up and make some Eton Mess. They were given to me "on the house". I then decided to go to Victoria St. Market. Only trouble is they have started working on the road and it took forever with one lane closed on either side. Shouldn't have gone, I was only going to check for strawberries. Not only do they sell very expensive bananas, their strawberries are very expensive. too. I bought a Sirloin steak which was quite large as well as a box of Cevapcici (Yugoslavian, to me anyway). I looked at their asparagus out of interest, they were selling a bunch for the same price as I pay for 2.5 lbs. at Barrie's, of course, they aren't selling any more this year.

It is now mandatory in our town to wear masks in public places which, of course, includes inside apartment buildings. So, from Monday on, we have to wear masks in the halls, the laundry rooms, the lobby, the garbage room, etc. etc. I joked with my new cleaner who lives next door that she would need a mask to get from her door to mine. Of course the PSWs all wear masks but I had to ensure that Kathy would wear one when she comes. ladydog always does although Zoey does not. Of course Matt won't wear a mask for love nor money, but I phoned the Community Response and Behaviour Social Worker and she said that that was a good question and she would check what the law was regarding dementia patients. Turns out that the hubbies of two other women also will not wear a mask. Both dementia patients. Not sure if it's stubborn men or the dementia. I see a notice downstairs someone selling masks.

When ladydog was here yesterday she mentioned a potato salad she had made recently and how delicious it was. Needless to say, I asked for the recipe.

Herbed Potato Salad
  • Author: Cookie and Kate Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 5 mins Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 side servings
This healthy potato salad recipe is full of fresh flavor. It’s mayo-free, easy to make, and sure to be a hit at your potluck! This salad is vegan, egg free and gluten free.

  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus about 2 tablespoons more for garnish
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped green onions, plus about 2 tablespoons thinly sliced for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine sliced potatoes and salt. Cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes are easily pierced by a paring knife and pulled out with little resistance, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain. Transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, ⅓ cup parsley, ⅓ cup green onions, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Process until the herbs and garlic have been chopped into little pieces. Then, while running the food processor, pour in the reserved cooking water and process just until blended. (If you don’t have a food processor or blender, just finely chop the parsley and onions and whisk the dressing together until the oil is fully incorporated.)
  4. Drizzle the potatoes with the herbed olive oil mixture and gently mix to combine. (It will look like you’ve poured in too much dressing, but don’t worry, the potatoes will soak it up!) Let the potatoes rest for ten minutes, gently tossing every few minutes.
  5. Add the celery to the bowl, along with a couple tablespoons each of additional chopped parsley and green onions. Toss again. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. This salad is best served within a few hours, but will keep in the refrigerator for about three days.
Recipe roughly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook and The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Cars, Zoom, Confetti, Farm Shops, Grocery,

Had an enjoyable visit with ladydog today. I guess Matt enjoyed his visit with Zoey. As has been mentioned, our weather is disastrously hot at the moment and ladydog cannot leave the car running to keep Zoey cool without leaving the door unlocked, so she cannot stop anywhere to pick up a bit of shopping or something. After she had gone, Charles, who delivers our medications, came and mentioned that he had bought himself a keyless entry gadget so he didn't have to shut off his engine every time he made a delivery. I let ladydog know about this so maybe it will be of use to her. I notice when Zoey is here she usually ends up lying on the kitchen floor which is lino and presumably cooler for her. Ladydog wasn't sure this gadget would work for her vehicle but is going to check it out. I don't have these kind of problems with our old car, I'd have to put the crown jewels in it before anyone would steal it.

I was delighted to received an email from our host at the Alzheimer Society, someone has been found to replace her this summer so we can continue to have our spouse meetings for a while. Don't know if she will be doing it permanently, but certainly for a while.

Ladydog did a rehearsal on Zoom yesterday too apparently. It is turning out to be a very useful programme. Amazing where we have travelled in a few short years. I remember when we didn't have personal computers and I was told that I would never use a computer because I was lousy at math. So much for that. I remember at my first wedding that one of the guests threw computer tape remnants at us for confetti. Not only that, she got into our car and luggage and loaded us up with the stuff. Somebody betrayed us. I think, in fact, she was the best man's wife. I remember us staying in a place, not exactly a hotel, and carrying everything to the bathroom to try and flush it away in bathwater. What a mess. I bet we were real popular with the staff when they saw it. We found remnants of the stuff still sticking to belongings years later.

Chatting to ladydog about Mennonite farms and farm shops, I began thinking about it later. Our car needs to be used more often, especially at the moment, so maybe I will start going to Barrie's (asparagus) and getting berries and anything else I might want from them. They sell all kinds of fruit and veg through the year but I normally don't go there once asparagus has finished.

That reminds me, I am feeling a bit miffed. I phoned the grocery store about the Pavlovas they used to sell. Don't seem to be able to get them any more. Whilst at it, I decided to talk to the Produce Dept. about my inability to buy artichokes. I was told they had some in the store right now. They are saving me some. Ladydog has a theory that the staff in the PC Express department can't always be bothered. I think they don't always know what the heck things are. On Wed. I phoned and asked the girl to add prosciutto. She said "is that some kind of meat? Where is it, in the deli, is it in a flat pack" I did get it OK, but they seem to need teaching a bit more.

Yet another recipe I never got round to trying. I really need to do just that.

Quick Chocolate Fudge Pie

1 cup (250 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter
2 egg yolks
2 oz (55 g) melted unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup (80 ml) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup (250 ml) coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, or whole peanuts
2 egg whites, beaten until stiff

1. Cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg yolks and chocolate. Add the flour, vanilla, and nuts, mixing to

2. combine thoroughly. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour into a well greased 8- to 9-inch (20 - 23 cm) pie pan and bake in a preheated 325F (165C) oven for 30 minutes.

Servings: 8
Yield: Makes 1 pie to serve 6 to 8.

Source: WW Recipes

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Bit of a Frustrating Day,

I phoned the pharmacist saying a) I was short a pill out of Matt's blister pack and b) I still had not received some pills for Matt that have to come apart from the blister pack. They told me they had faxed the doctor but had no response. So, I phoned the doctor's office and the receptionist assured me they had had a fax on June 25 (I think). I then phoned the pharmacy who said they hadn't received it so phoned the doctor's  back and asked them to send it again.

Meanwhile, I was washing sheets and a couple of shirts that Matt and I had splattered at supper. So I was running back and forth to the laundry room. I was expecting George, the Columbian at 10 and planned to be showered and dressed before he arrived. Joke with phone calls and laundry together.

The phone went and George just said "I'm here", just as well I knew it was him. I told him off for not saying "Estoy aqui". He took Matt off and I decided to jump in the shower whilst he was showering Matt. Of course they do Matt's exercises on my bed as it is higher, so I had to wait to get dressed didn't I? Eventually George left and by this time it was lunch making time. I got a call from the grocery saying my order was ready except for this and that. Sorted that out and got on with lunch..

After lunch, the phone went and it was the family doc. who was supposed to call me for a consult tomorrow. Threw me for a loop, thought I was on the wrong day. Had a long chat with him about a pill I wanted to change as I am having trouble swallowing pills lately (old age). Plus discussing the ops I am supposed to have. I mentioned the prescription for Matt too so we had a long chat about well, he is fairly new at the clinic and didn't know about Matt's TIAs some years ago.

I phoned Kathy at some point to tell her my groceries were ready and then had to leave a message so got a tad agitated but eventually got a message saying she was already at the store. Then there was a phone call from the pharmacy saying no fax yet. The phone rang and it was the delivery guy, I had ordered some booze to be delivered, partly my free delivery they owed and partly, it is too hot to line up outside the liquor store (34°C). They didn't have the size of Matt's gin, sorted that. Shortly after he phoned again, he couldn't find my bubbly, he did whilst we spoke.   Eventually it rang and it was Kathy so I opened the door. I put away the frozen stuff and then we sat down to have a coffee. The phone went, it was Charles who delivers our drugs, he was bringing me the one missing pill. Then the phone went and it was the delivery guy with the booze. Finally, we sat and chatted.

I don't remember if I have ever mentioned Matt's fixation on three pine trees outside our window which he watches to see if they are moving in the wind or not. Kathy is certainly aware of it. It ended up with the two of them discussing the movement of the damned trees and discussing it and figuring out the weather and then watching them some more. They were driving me bonkers the pair of them. I nearly had to ask her to leave!!! I am doing some proofing for her, I have done the first one although I want to check it again. She had remembered to bring the van so she took our Sjoelbak board that we had bought many years ago and never use any more. She had a small one and was delighted to get the full size board. I was almost sorry to see it go, but it is ridiculous just having it sit in the cupboard and never being used. It is a fun game, Google describe it as Dutch shuffleboard.

When Kathy left I began to put away the shopping. Guess what, I only have 8 bananas!!! Every week my order says I want 14 but I guess they don't read it or something.

We got one more phone call, the PSW for tomorrow telling me she was coming at 10.

I tried out a new chicken dish in my Instant Pot, it was pretty good. I have cans of all kinds of soup but not mushroom so I ended up using celery soup and it worked fine. I also cooked 8 chicken thighs and we had 2 each for supper.

Instant Pot 4-ingredient Chicken and Gravy

An almost embarrassingly easy recipe for a good old fashioned dinner. Serve the chicken and gravy
over mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, toast or biscuits.

1 cup chicken broth or water
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat*
1 (1.25 oz) packet onion soup mix
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup

1. Add water or broth into the Instant Pot. Add in the chicken. Sprinkle the onion soup mix on top of chicken. Dump cream of mushroom soup on top of chicken. Do not stir.

2. Cover and make sure the valve is on “sealing.” Set the timer on manual (high pressure) for 15 minutes. When the timer beeps let the pressure release naturally for 5-10 minutes and then release the rest of the pressure by moving the valve to “venting.” Remove the lid.

3. Use a spoon to break up the chicken. Serve chicken and gravy over potatoes, noodles, toast, biscuits or rice

Yield: 4-6

*I used chicken thighs for this recipe because I prefer the dark meat. However, I believe you could make this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I would cook for 12 minutes with chicken breasts.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Plague, Confusion? Physiotherapist, Water, PSW,

Just to be cheerful, I have read a report of a new case of Bubonic Plague, in China. Their last cases of this were in 2009. Just what we need at the moment. Our city has passed a by-law that it is now mandatory  to wear a mask anywhere in town although exceptions can be made due to medical conditions, I wonder if Dementia counts. Matt would certainly not wear one, but as he generally never goes anywhere I guess it won't affect him.

I don't know w hat's going on, but earlier I received a call from the Vascular Lab confirming my appointment tomorrow for an ultrasound. What appointment? I said I had an ultrasound a few weeks back and then went for a CT scan. They seem to feel I need another. I then decided to call the surgeon's office and they agreed I have no outstanding ultrasounds. They are cancelling the appointment. As though I haven't got enough to contend with.

The physiotherapist came this afternoon and was very pleased with Matt's progress. His pain has lessened considerably. He put him through some exercises (in his chair, stubborn bugger wouldn't get up) then he got him to stand and walk around with his walker insisting that he stand straight whilst he did so and didn't push the walker so far ahead. Guess who has been telling him to do that for months? Not sure if that's just a man thing or a dementia thing. I just hope now Yung has told him this he will take notice. More crossed fingers please.

I have a load of sheets to wash and was going to do them today and then discovered the water was off. I also discovered there was a notice up near the elevators but I didn't leave the apartment so never saw it. Hopefully I can get them washed tomorrow.

Had a phone call this evening, George, my Colombian friend, will be back tomorrow to be Matt's PSW. I think he is coming twice this week although I would prefer him to come more often. The one today was from what used to be Yugoslavia. That is the second guy from there.

Turmeric Pork Chops with Green Onion Rice

Turmeric is the trending seasoning of the year. Its subtle flavor notes bring out the best in this simple pork chop recipe. We love that the side dish recipe allows you to dress up precooked brown rice by adding fresh lime juice and cilantro. You'll love the pork chop, but it may be the rice side dish that you make again and again, as it pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes, ranging from Spanish to Asian.
Opt for bone-in pork chops for this recipe to get the full depth of flavor the recipe promises.

4 (6-oz.) bone-in pork chops
1 large garlic clove, halved
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 Tbs fish sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp tomato paste
1 bunch green onions
2 (8.8-oz.) packages precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high. Rub pork with cut sides of garlic; discard garlic. Sprinkle pork with turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine 2 tablespoons oil, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and tomato paste. Brush both sides of pork with half of oil mixture. Add pork to pan; grill 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate; brush both sides of pork with remaining oil mixture. Keep warm.

2. Add onions to grill pan over medium-high; grill 2 minutes. Coarsely chop onions.

3. Heat rice according to package directions. Combine green onions, rice, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve rice with pork. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with lime wedges.

Servings: 4

Author: Adam Hickman
Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Driver's Test, Nuisances, Proofing, PSWs,Il Volo,

Because I'm an old fogey (don't you dare agree) I am supposed to take a senior's driving/education course this year (every 2 years) around the time of my birthday. I just looked it all up and discovered that because of Covid they are extending people's licenses until further notice. When they do decide to run the courses it will take forever to catch up I imagine. Oh well, not  my problem. Well not exactly anyway.

Later I had a call from the cardiologist's office saying Dr. Johnston would not be available on the 8th and would therefore call me on the 18th. Damn. I wanted to get registered with a new cardiologist. Then I got a message that the Social Worker who has been dealing with me and a group of other spouses has now accepted a job elsewhere and will be quitting the Alzheimer Society. At the moment she doesn't know who will replace her if anyone does. We didn't have our Colombian friend to attend to Matt this morning although we did get someone, at 10, so my new cleaner did the other end of the apartment first  so Matt would have privacy for his ablutions. She is very good I might say and does a lot more things in the time.

I now have a bunch of writing by Cathy, the woman who picks up my groceries. She needs them proofing and editing. I am not really an editor but will do what I can for her. It is some small thank you for her picking up the shopping for me.

Grrrr. I got a call from a PSW who said she would be here at 11:15 tomorrow. I said don't bother. I then phoned the company. I know they are short of PSWs, but do you shower and dress at that hour of the day, we certainly don't. Eventually I got a call back, have a new guy coming at 8. Much better. Honestly, 11:15 we are talking lunchtime almost. I'm sorry, you are going to get a lot of griping about PSWs. Are you surprised?

Funny, I got up this morning and though "I didn't send in my grocery order". In fact, I can stop worrying because things have eased up and now it is not so difficult to get the time slot I want. Phew.

Matt is watching, and I am listening, to Il Volo again, didn't see the end the other night. They are absolutely wonderful to listen to and though they started as virtual kids, to me anyway, their voices which were good then, have matured and are even better to listen to. Mostly, of course, their songs are fairly classical, but they do sing some more popular things occasionally. Mind you they start this concert with Nessun Dorme which is one of the world's favourite arias.

This is a yummy recipe.

Apricot Glazed Bacon Wrapped Cajun Pork Tenderloin

A moist and juicy cajun seasoned pork tenderloin wrapped in crispy bacon and glazed in an apricot dijon sauce! Sweet and salty pork perfection!

1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
1 Tbs cajun seasoning
2 Tbs brown sugar
6 strips bacon
3 Tbs apricot preserves
1 Tbs grainy dijon mustard

1. Rub the pork tenderloin with the mixture of the cajun seasoning and brown sugar and wrap it up in the bacon.

2. Heat an oven safe skillet over medium heat, add the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin and cook until it is browned on all sides, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Transfer the pan to a preheated 400F/200C oven, roast until the pork reaches 140F, about 10-15 minutes, brushing on the mixture of the apricot preserves and mustard near the end before setting aside it to rest, covered, for 5 minutes.

Servings: 4

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Kitchen

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Monday, July 6, 2020

4th July, Ingredient Duplication, TV, PSWs, Cleaner,

My apologies, I forgot to say Happy 4th to all my American readers. Too much on my mind I guess. We watched the concert celebrating the 4th of July and the firework display which hadn't finished before the programme did. What a heck of a lot of fireworks. But what fascinated me, someone was letting off fireworks outside as well, didn't anyone tell them it's an American celebration?

Sunday I decided to make Brisket again and discovered I hadn't got an ingredient. Barbecue Sauce. I Googled and found most of the ingredients I was already adding into the sauce for the brisket. How silly, but it's not the first time I have been missing an ingredient and found that to make it I would be using ingredients which I was already using in the recipe. I am somewhat puzzled about this. I basically ended up using ingredients from the recipe and leaving out a couple of others. For instance, I don't consider one needs brown sugar and honey, so I just used honey, brown sugar is only white sugar coloured with molasses anyway. It turned out to be delicious as it was last time.

I/we have been watching Lucy Worsley in Royal Myths and Secrets - I'm not sure Matt is very interested, but I find it fascinating. Things we believed about royals of the past which turns out to have been false. Tonight was about the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette. What a lot of nonsense I was taught in school. This was the third episode we watched and I am fascinated about what people have been taught and what really happened. Also watched Grantchester which I have never watched before and quite enjoyed it.

Re the PSWs, I thought George was going to be a regular, he was here Saturday, he didn't work Sunday, guess the guy has to have some time off, but he is not coming tomorrow either. It's all very well sending different people to help Matt but it means I have to go and show them what exercises he has to do which rather ruins the whole point of the exercise. This morning the woman came in at 11 and of course Matt was already dressed. I got her to take him through the exercises, with me in attendance of course, then got her to make the beds and take out the recycling. A help, but not what it was all about.

Monday, of course, my new cleaner should be back. Heard nothing to the contrary so she will be here in the morning. Will have to get her to do one end of the apartment first before the PSW comes. I am really looking forward to seeing her.

I have been so busy using my Instant Pot that I have been missing out on some recipes I thought sounded good.

Tandoori Chicken II

A paste made from a combination of spices and dried peppers is the secret to this spicy grilled chicken recipe. No long marinating time is required; the chicken can be prepared in the time it takes

to get the coals hot

1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 Tbs water
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1. Preheat grill for high heat.

2. In a medium bowl, mix curry powder, red pepper flakes, salt, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, and turmeric with water to form a smooth paste. Rub paste into chicken breasts, and place them on a plate. Cover, and allow to marinate for 20 minutes.

3. Brush grate with oil. Place chicken on the grill, and cook 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

Servings: 4

Source: AllRecipes

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Hand Held, PSW, Food,

At the suggestion of a PSW I ordered a hand held attachment for Matt's shower. It came on Thursday and on Friday I asked the PSW to put it on. Unfortunately he couldn't get the shower head off so I had to ask the superintendent for help. He came up and did it in a few seconds, mind you he did have the right tool to remove the current shower head. I am now wondering whether to get one for my shower, will see how Matt's works.

I've done it again, thought of things I should write about and then not written it down. Duuh. I have been practising my Spanish wth Jorge (or George) the PSW. Seems like he is going to be a regular which is good. I don't then have to supervise what's going on, especially when it comes to exercise. Mind you Matt is getting showered ever day, me I don't always have time.

Having mentioned my humungous mushrooms, hungos in Spanish Geore tells me (silent h) it seems we are not the only piggies to eat them like we did. I have added more to our order for next week. However, we have run out of strawberries until next week too. I don't seem to be able to get the Pavlova shells any more, need to phone the bakery, I really loved those for strawberries or raspberries and cream. There are several things I miss because I don't go into the store, mentioned this before, that I haven't had artichokes in 18 months. Dunno if they are doing pavlovas, etc. etc. I guess I will have to hobble into the store and see what I can find. I guess that means a mask, I normally never have to wear one 'cos I don't go anywhere much.

Saturday is, of course, laundry day so I will be staggering along the corridor with our dirty things. I am teed off, I emptied the recycling bags yesterday and they are full again today.

Having eaten salmon baked in foil for supper I thought another fish recipe would be interesting.

Baked Parmesan Tilapia

Parmesan and panko give this quick-and-easy tilapia a deliciously crispy crust

4 5 oz tilapia fillets
Scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup panko
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
Olive oil to drizzle

1. Preheat the broiler to 425°, and position a rack about 6 inches from the heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, panko, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and thyme leaves.

3. Rinse the tilapia under cold running water. Shake off the excess water and then dip both sides of the fish in the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese mixture. Arrange the tilapia on the prepared baking sheet. Spoon any remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top of the tilapia and press it onto the fish with your fingertips. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over each fillet.

4. Broil for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the tilapia is crispy and cooked through.

Servings: 4

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Friday, July 3, 2020

PSW, Visit, Theatre, Booze, Supper, Wrist,

Well today started off with a different PSW because my Colombian friend insists on having a day off. Meanwhile the hand held shower he suggested arrive and when he phone to confirm tomorrow, I told him he had to set it up. Shouldn't be that difficult for someone without problems.

The rest of the morning was fairly boring until ladydog arrive at lunchtime with our Subs. She and I had a long chat over lunch and Matt, meanwhile, shoved dog biscuits down Zoey's throat. Mind you, ladydog makes them small especially. He never pauses so he can enjoy Zoey's attention a bit longer. ladydog had her hair tied back, she looked like a different person to me. We talked theatre a bit as she is doing stage managing for a local amateur company. I used to do that many years ago, but I was out front acting my little heart off. I always wanted to go on the stage, but my parents gave me what they said was a test and said I was no good so that was that.

Then I decided as it was 30°C, or more, out there I was not going to go stand in line for the liquor store so I ended up getting the delivery company to do it. This ended up in a big argument. Their web site talks about Interac but what they mean is a debit card purchase. We had a big hoo ha about it and then I ended up emailing the company and complaining bitterly. Eventually they called me and gave me a free delivery next time.

For supper I cooked Matt and I are humungous Portabella mushrooms. ladydog saw them and said she couldn't eat one that big. We two pigs didn't have any trouble. They were delicious. We had our store bought strawberries for dessert. Not a bad supper. They weren't cheap those mushrooms but boy were they good.

Most of the day, except when someone was here, Matt has been asleep, but I seem to have been on the go all day, one way or another. However, I think I have finally got Matt to agree to a respite stay whilst I am in hospital. So long as it sinks in and stays there.

Now I have done something to my left wrist. I have no idea what but it hurts like hell when I move it. OK when it is still. I have it in a wrist brace (the one I use for bowling) but I  think it is going to restrict me somewhat.

Lettuce Wraps

Flavorful as a taco truck, but healthy enough to become part of your regular rotation. We keep calories in check by blending a mixture of higher calorie (but oh-so-flavorful) Mexican-style chorizo with leaner ground pork for the meat filling. And then we keep it light by tucking the filling into sweet, fresh butter lettuce leaves—like a cross between a taco and a lettuce wrap. The quick-pickled carrots and jalapeños add authentic taco-truck flavor. Be sure to use fresh Mexican-style chorizo

sausage (found near other refrigerated bulk sausages) instead of dry-cured Spanish-style chorizo.

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
4 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
8 oz loose fresh Mexican chorizo
4 oz ground pork
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
8 butter lettuce or Bibb lettuce leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup Mexican crema (Mexican sour cream)

1. Combine vinegar, 1 cup water, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high, whisking until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Place carrots, garlic, and jalapeño slices in a medium bowl; pour hot vinegar mixture over carrot mixture. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Combine chorizo, pork, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a medium bowl; stir until well incorporated. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add chorizo mixture to pan; cook, stirring to crumble, until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; drain drippings from the skillet.

3. Place lettuce leaves on a large serving platter. Divide chorizo mixture evenly among lettuce leaves; sprinkle servings evenly with cilantro and onion.

4. Drain liquid from carrots and jalapeños; discard garlic. Top each wrap evenly with carrot mixture; drizzle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons crema. Serve immediately.

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

New Canadian $10 Bill, Barrie's, A/C, Fireworks,

I was just handed a new $10 bill, the picture is of Viola Desmond. In the first place the bill is vertical which I had never seen before and in the second I had never heard of Viola Desmond. Turns out she was a black Canadian in the Maritime Provinces. She was a business woman and had founded her own cosmetic school for black women. Her car broke down and whilst it was being repaired, she went to the movies. The rest is history.

As I said, I decided to go to Barrie's for one more lot of asparagus. So, we set off at about 2 and it was a beautiful day, 30°C, so thank goodness for A/C. A nice drive with a lot of trees in their nice fresh greenery. Especially the last bit where the farm is. They had some nice local strawberries too so I got some. We ate them for supper, they were delicious. Tomorrow night I am planning to cook the two huge Portabellas they sent from the grocery store. I said 4 small or 2 large and boy did I ever get large. Biggest I have seen in years. Ladydog is coming at lunchtime so we will be eating Subs and I figured we could therefore have the mushrooms at supper as well as the store strawberries which will not be nearly as good as those we have had the last two days.

Talking about A/C in the car, reminds me of when we first went down to the States for a  trip. Many years ago, the temps were up in the 30°s and at that time we didn't have air conditioning. I remember stopping at one rest stop where they had cantaloupe in a cooler. Delicious and refreshing. I think that was the same year we ended up driving through New Jersey on the turnpike and it was a choice between keeping the windows closed and sweltering or opening them and smelling all fumes from the trucks surrounding us.

Right now, whilst I am writing this, there are fireworks going off all around. I guess there are no big organised fireworks today so people have been doing their best at home. Fireworks cost a lot of money and I think a fair amount of money has been going up in smoke during the last half hour or so. There are some which are really pretty. Like a sparkler but in the air. There are, of course, lots of loud bangs.

I posted this a couple of years ago and still haven't tried it. Looks so good too.

Bread Bowl Lazy Quiche

1 8-9 inch  round sourdough boule, top sliced off and hollowed out, leaving about 1/2 inch of bread.
6 eggs
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups filling (I like chopped spinach, onion and cubed ham)
Salt and pepper
8 oz of cheese slices (I use smoked gouda, Havarti, or muenster because they mould well and don’t crack)

1. Heat your oven to 375°F. Place your round of hollowed bread on a cooking sheet. Line the bread bowl with the slices of cheese, overlapping slightly. I do the sides first by draping the cheese down the side and onto the bottom, and then cover the bottom to seal the whole thing in.

2. Sprinkle your fillings evenly over the bottom. Mix the milk, half and half and eggs well, seasoning with salt and pepper to your taste. If your fillings or cheese are salty, go lighter on the salt. Pour the seasoned custard over the fillings then bake 30-40 minutes until the top is browned, and there is just the barest jiggle in the middle when you tap the baking sheet.

3. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

 Source: Extra Crispy

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Canada Day, Taxation, Spanish, Shopping, Berries,

Happy Canada day to all my Canadian friends.

Well, it appears I was right in my surmise that the money from the government would be taxable. I would rather not have it in that case. Wonder if you can send it back?

Busy morning today, first the PSW came and then a bit later the physiotherapist. I must admit I had forgotten he was coming. The two of them got talking and turned out to be a league of nations with Vietnam, Colombia and Great Britain represented. They physio talked to the PSW in Spanish and they understood one another!!! Mind you, I understood them too. Later when the PSW phoned to say he would be coming again tomorrow, I used some Spanish and he did understand me. I think yesterday it was more because he wasn't expecting me to speak his language (I hope).

Later in the day, Kathy came with the shopping. She was somewhat later than usual as she had been on a longish trip to Aylmer, I think, to get fresh strawberries straight from a farm she knows well. She brought me a punnet which we ate later. I was astounded, they were delicious. I haven't had such naturally sweet berries in years. Didn't need to use sugar at all which mostly we do. I see why she bothers to drive so far, mind you, she buys a whole flat for herself and freezes them. 

Luckily I unloaded some of the shopping whilst she was still here and discovered that they had sent me something like 20 bananas. I had called earlier to ensure that they sent me enough as they didn't last week. I ended up giving about half a dozen to Kathy. Turned out that being an idiot, as I frequently assure you I am, I had also ordered Diet Tonic instead of the regular stuff. They will not take stuff back at the moment so I ended up emptying it down the sink. Only cost me $1 a bottle, thank goodness, but Matt can't stand the stuff. They had also emailed me and said they didn't have strawberries but when I unpacked they had sent me some anyway. Not as good as the ones Kathy brought though. We finished off the stuffed peppers and ate the strawberries for dessert.

ladydog was supposed to be playing in her band this evening, Oh Canada, for the celebration tomorrow. They were playing in various parks. Last I heard she said rain was forecast. Not round here, so hopefully they got away with it.

This struck me as a good thing for dessert on Canada Day.

Mango and Lime Crepe Cake with Lime Caramel

Aside from its deliciousness, the beauty of this cake is that it gets better in the fridge for up to 2 days, meaning you might have forgotten about making all the crepes by the time you sit down to enjoy a 
slice. If making crepes isn’t your thing, the easy lime caramel and chopped macadamias are great over tropical-flavoured ice cream, too.

½ cup (125 mL) sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) water
½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream
4 tsp (20 mL) lime juice
? tsp (0.5 mL) salt
2 Tbs (30 mL) butter

2 cups (500 mL) milk
4 eggs
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
5 Tbs (75 mL) melted butter, divided
1 ¾ cups (425 ml) all-purpose flour
½ cup (125 mL) sugar
2 Tbs (30 mL) finely grated lime zest
? cup (80 mL) water
2 large, ripe mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup (125 mL) chopped salted macadamia nuts

1. For the lime caramel, combine sugar and ¼ cup (60 mL) water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until syrup is amber-coloured. Remove from heat, slowly add cream (mixture will sputter) and stir until syrup is dissolved. Stir in lime juice, salt and butter. Allow to cool briefly before covering; refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. (Caramel keeps for 5 days in the refrigerator).

2. For the crepes, combine milk, eggs, salt and 3 tbsp (45 mL) melted butter in a blender; pulse to combine. Add flour and blend thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

3. Heat an 8-inch (20-cm) nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush with a small amount of the remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) melted butter. Pour ¼ cup (60 mL) batter in pan and swirl to evenly coat bottom with batter. Cook for about 1 minute, or until top of crepe appears set and bottom is golden.

4. Gently lift crepe with a spatula and flip over. Cook 30 to 45 seconds longer, or until firm and bottom is golden in spots. Remove to a plastic-wrap-lined plate. Repeat with remaining batter to make 16 crepes, brushing pan with a small amount of butter between crepes. Stack crepes on top of each other with a layer of plastic-wrap between each.

5. In a small bowl, combine sugar, lime zest and 1/3 cup (80 mL) water; stir to dissolve sugar.

6. Place 1 crepe in the centre of a 10-inch (25-cm) serving plate. Brush crepe with lime zest syrup, and top with another crepe. Once again, brush with syrup. Continue until you have 4 layers of crepe and syrup. Cover fourth crepe with a single layer of thinly sliced mango and top with another crepe. Brush with syrup and repeat process until you have 4 layers of crepe containing 4 crepes each, and 3 layers of mango. Cover and refrigerate until crepes have softened and cake is completely chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. (Cake will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator).

7. If serving entire cake at once, drizzle caramel over the whole cake and sprinkle top with macadamias. (Otherwise slice into 8 slices, dress individual slices with a tablespoon of caramel and a spoonful of macadamias; return remaining slices to refrigerator until ready to dress and serve).

Servings: 8

Source: LCBO

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.