Saturday, March 14, 2020

Family, Visitors, VSM, Supper, Final Jeopardy, Celtic Thunder

Friday afternoon we heard that Matt has a new great granddaughter, Cassandra Serenity (Cassie for short) who, according to her granddad, was a chunky monkey at 8 lbs. Wish we were there (the UK). Matt, of course, doesn't really register the news. Her grandparents are on their way to see the baby and have promised pictures.

Today Zoey and ladydog brought subs for lunch and Matt had a great time spoiling the dog. She is such a beautiful animal and looks great after her recent beauty treatment. ladydog was about ready to leave and double checked with me about shopping at Victoria St. Market and I suddenly remembered I had ordered some kippers which should be in today. They were, so I went with her and found the kippers to be as expensive as the bananas were. Got some huge Argentinian shrimp, amongst other things and then I forgot to get some ostrich thighs. Not urgent, but as I was there!!

I opened the shrimp and used some of them for supper with the Butter Chicken sauce. Forgot to mention I tried some of that sauce in my scrambled egg this morning, it was good. With the shrimp I did some snow peas in a recipe I found on the back of the packet. Basically you put the snow peas in a foil packet, add 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms, some chopped up green onions (I used chopped sweet onion) 2 tbs butter, some dill, (I used tarragon) and some salt. Wrap them up and put on a cookie tray in a 450°F oven for 5 - 10 minutes. I chose 8 minutes and found them a bit too crispy. Tasted good though but I will definitely cook a bit longer next time.

Forgot to mention, I was patting myself on the back tonight because the Final Jeopardy question was about waterbirds. Black-footed and black-browed are 2 species of this seabird whose name was influenced by the Latin word for “white”. The answer was Albatross. And I didn't even go to see David Gascoigne's talk about water birds LOL.

Now I've got to share a poem I wrote many years ago and which was published by The International Library of Poetry in a book called Dances in Moonlight. 2,000.

The Albatross

With wings outstretched
You sail the skies
And, so they say
When a sailor dies
His soul departs
And enters you
To guard o'er ships.
If this be true
Then when you soar
On thermals fine
I pray you guard
This ship of mine.

Later in the evening, found Celtic Thunder was on PBS so we watched that. They finished at 9:30 and Celtic Woman followed. Not so keen so came and did Spanish and this blog. Matt turned them off at 10 anyway. The Celtic Thunder was a compilation of songs from all their DVDs I think, from watching it, might buy it just the same. have it. It was called Ireland. Matt would sit and watch them for hours I think.

I was looking at soups and saw a small picture at the side of this cake, looked pretty good to me so here it is.

Carrot and Orange Cake with Sour Cream Glaze

There’s something extremely delightful in peeling an orange to reveal the sweet and sour flesh hidden inside the fruit. It begins with the intensely aromatic essential oils that form a little cloud of scent around you. Then there’s the tingling sensation that erupts on your lips when you taste your first slice of fruit. This sensation is called chemesthesis; it plays a big part in the flavor experience of eating.

We deal with the phenomenon of chemesthesis daily: in how we encounter the heat hidden inside a
green or red chile, the warmth of a stick of cinnamon, the cooling sensation evoked by mint and green cardamom. When the nerve endings lining the surface of your mouth and lips come into contact with certain chemicals present inside these ingredients, they get irritated and send signals to the brain, which then tells you what’s happening and how to respond, all in a fraction of a second. Over time our brains evolved to interpret this irritation as a pleasurable experience, compelling us to cook with spices, herbs, and ingredients such as oranges and lemons.

My Carrot-and-Orange Cake with Sour Cream Glaze celebrates the way oranges trigger our senses. Pay attention and notice your own responses as you scrape the zest from the orange. Rub a piece of zest across your lips and feel your nerves dance in response. The feast for the senses doesn’t end there, of course: the bright sweetness of the juicy oranges marries with the rich orange pigment carotene in the sweet spring carrots. Chopped pieces of dried apricots and candied orange peels give each slice of cake of spot of unexpected fruit sweetness, while the pistachios add texture to the soft cake. Serve it with a cup of warm tea or coffee to complete the experience.

Baking spray
1 lb carrots, peeled and finely grated (about 4 cups)
3 oz dried apricots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 oz candied orange peels, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
2 oz raw pistachios, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups grapeseed oil or other neutral-tasting oil
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 Tbs grated orange zest plus
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground green cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 Tbs grated orange zest plus
3 Tbs fresh orange juice, plus more orange zest, for garnish

 Make the cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a tube or Bundt cake pan with a generous amount of baking spray. Combine carrots, candied apricots, orange peels, and pistachios in a large bowl. Combine oil, brown sugar, eggs, and orange zest and juice in a high-speed blender or the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on high speed until mixture is emulsified (about 10 pulses). Fold oil mixture into carrot mixture in bowl.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cardamom, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; add carrot mixture, and fold to incorporate until there are no visible flecks of flour left behind. Spoon mixture into prepared pan; shake pan lightly to even out the batter and release any air bubbles.

Bake in preheated oven 55 minutes to 1 hour, rotating pan on rack halfway through baking time. (The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean when inserted in center of cake and top of cake is firm to the touch and golden brown.) Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack. Let cake cool completely.

 Make the glaze

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, and add 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Add sour cream and orange zest and juice, and beat on low speed 1 minute. Add remaining 3/4 cup powdered sugar, and beat on low speed until sugar is completely incorporated, about 45 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl, and increase speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is well combined. Drizzle glaze on cooled cake; garnish with orange zest.

Yield: Makes 1 (9-inch) cake

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day


  1. Cassandra Serenity is a lovely name. I outchunked her - being born weighing over 10 pounds.
    Seeing albatrosses soaring through the air in Antarctica is a treasured memory.

    1. I like the word outchunked!! 10 lbs is quite a big baby Sue. I don't remember what I was.

      They are a fantastic sight aren't they

  2. I weighed 9lb 2oz. My sister was 10lb 1oz. They say having large babies is a sign of diabetes. Well, my mother did become diabetic. But I had a son who was 9 1/5 pounds and no diabetes. Shows you how much the doctors know.

    1. Doctors or Old Wives Tales Denise? My mother had a Baby Book for me, I have no idea what ever happened to it but it contained my weight information.

  3. Kudos to you on identifying the albatross, Jo. All that Latin is school wasn't wasted was it? Sorry to be a little late getting to your blog but we have just returned from a weekend in Algonquin Provincial Park. We were eleven people together - perhaps not the wisest decision given the CORVID-19 situation.

    1. Thanks David. I must admit I am wondering if I should continue bowling. I got a note that Mandarin is closing it's doors although they will still deliver and provide take oout.

  4. Congratulations on the new grandbaby!

    That is beautiful poem and this comes from a gal who isn't much into poetry. I don't know much about poetry. I only know if I like it or not. I'd read a book of yours.

    1. Thanks and thanks Liz. I am not much into poetry myself these days, I don't like this modern stuff. You already did!!!