Saturday, May 30, 2020

PSW, Phone Calls, Visitors, Asparagus, Celtic Thunder,

I ended up arising at 6 this morning, not really sure why, knew the PSW (Personal Service Worker) was coming at 9, plenty of time, however... So he arrived and I introduced him to Matt and asked Matt to go into the bathroom for a shower. He flatly refused. So the PSW suggested he could give Matt a sponge bath, that was a no as well. However, as requested I got a bowl, facecloth, soap, towel and he offered to wash Matt's face. That was another no, however I explained that the PSW was there to help him so he gave in and said he would have his face washed. I went into the computer room. The next suggestion was he should wash Matt's hands for him, I guess he accepted, then how about arm pits, that was OK and so on and so on. He ended up with a full sponge bath at least. Then we got him to the bedroom and the PSW helped him to dress, supervised his teeth and shave. I asked if he could take the recycling down and he said yes so did that whilst the shaving was going on. Oh, and he also helped me get down the pan from the storage closet that I want for canning. Turned out to be a successful visit after all. 

The phone has been ringing off the hook most of the day - why does it always happen at once. Of course one call was to tell me I had won a trip to Disney World, naturally I got all excited. We have one phone which doesn't show callers.  Mind you, some of the numbers from the assistance callers are not shown - often it says Private Caller. They should have a way to at least show who's calling, I wouldn't normally answer Private Caller or some of the cell phone numbers unless I knew who was calling which, at the moment, I mostly do. 

We had a quick visit from our bowling friend who brought us donuts, coffee for me, and a bag of Lindt truffles. Really much appreciated as I am not going to buy chocolate bars any more, I am fed up with cleaning chocolate off carpets and clothing. Also Kathy picked up some booze for me which was so very nice of her, I just hadn't had time other than yesterday when the line up was so very long. I was almost out of fizz. That will never do.

Managed to eat some asparagus today but haven't much left. Now I have my pan, I want to do some canning/pickling so need to go to the farm. I have my orders for other people so I might go on Sunday. I have Sarah coming tomorrow (Saturday) to do some cleaning for me.

Running late tonight as we watched Celtic Thunder on TV. It was an amalgam of  some of the shows over the years and they were offering concert tickets for Shea Stadium in Buffalo. I would love to have seen the original group, but there are only two of them left sadly, so even if I had been able to go etc. I wouldn't have gone. I'll continue to watch DVDs and TV.

Yesterday I got some chicken breasts out but was too damned tired to do much so I ended up doing frozen Potstickers for supper. So, tonight I decided to do the Air Fryer chicken recipe which came with the air fryer. I could not find the recipe anywhere, not even in my recipe programme. In the end I hunted for it in my blogs and found it so printed it and entered it in my recipe programme as well. I don't know what has happened to the air fryer book, I am usually very careful with them because of calling for service or something. Will have to do some more hunting. Anyway, this recipe is easy peasy and although I have posted it before, I thought you might like to see it again. This time I used butter. It is incredibly tasty for such a simple recipe.

Air Fryer Basic Chicken

2 - 4 chicken breasts
2 Tbs all purpose flour (I used that much for only 2 breasts)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
melted butter or cooking oil (I used olive oil) butter might have tasted pretty good, but no time to melt it)

Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl (I used a plastic bag). Lightly brush the chicken with the melted butter or cooking oil and roll in the mixture of flour and spices. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes, turn them over and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.

 Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Friday, May 29, 2020

CT Scan, Timmie's, Birds, Bathway,

I was picked up pretty promptly at 11:30 Thursday morning. I had been told to wear a mask so I did,
normally I don't bother. Much to my surprised this driver had no mask and nothing between him and me (recent trip he had a plastic/perspex screen up) he showed me he was carrying wipes and disinfectant though. Got to the hospital good and early, my appointment being 12:30. There were several women dressed in yellow gowns, with head covers, they made me wash my hands with disinfectant then took my temperature and made read a notice and answer yes or no. The thermometer was something I had never seen before, takes the reading from the forehead and doesn't even need to touch. Totally new one on me I must admit. So easy. Didn't know temperature was a sign of C-19. Mind you I was coughing like a good 'un this morning and I had a sore throat. That, I hate to admit, is because my mouth falls open at night and I get as dry as possible. Doesn't happen every night, but sometimes!! Anyway went in for the scan and the next thing I know they want to put an IV in. I had to have an injection. There again something new, Can't find a picture, but they had a small plastic square with a pin attached (or a needle I guess) they just put it on a vein just below my inner elbow area. All she did was press it into the vein. everything was attached. Easiest thing I have ever seen. Much easier than the way they do it at Grand River. I have been in Guelph General several times and they are always very efficient and up to date. I then had my scans, three, followed by waiting in the chair to see I hadn't had a reaction.Took out my IV and I was out by 12:25!!! 5 minutes before my appointment was due!

By this time, having been told I couldn't eat prior to the scan (didn't tell me that til this morning) I went to Tim Horton's and got a couple of sandwiches, some donuts and some chips. I then called the cab company and came home. As I guessed, Matt hadn't made himself a sandwich or anything for lunch. In fact the sandwich I brought him was huge, we've wrapped half for tomorrow. I thought I had grabbed two the same. I ate mine in the lobby waiting for the taxi 'cos I was hungry. I tried out my brand new Visa and the bloody thing wouldn't work, lucky thing I have Matt's still. Of course I phoned and they are still trying to tell me I have a secondary card rather than a co-sign card. I will have to go into the back to sort that out. It's getting ridiculous.

Forgot to mention that waiting for the cab to come sitting outside at the front door, I was watching some American Robins and I heard a beautiful birdsong coming from the trees. David Gascoigne thinks it might have been a Baltimore Oriole. I am thinking I should sit on my wheelie (walker) with a pair of binoculars and see if I can spot it/them.

Got home and happened to see the Building Manager just getting into his truck.so I dashed out to ask him about cutting the bath so Matt could get into it. I kind of convinced him because he agreed it was a) for health reasons and b) there is a second bath in this apartment.

Do you know something dreadful, I haven't had any asparagus today. 

I am a great admirer of Kevin Lynch's recipes and this is one which appeared today and had me drooling.

Asparagus, Baby Artichoke, Pesto and Goat Cheese Quiche with Quinoa Crust

A quiche with a quinoa crust that is filled with spring asparagus, artichokes, basil pesto and goat
cheese.

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 egg
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated (optional)
4 baby artichokes, quartered or chopped
1/2 lb asparagus, cut into small pieces
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
1/3 cup pesto
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, reduce the heat, simmer, covered, until tender and most of the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes, remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, peel the leaves from the artichokes until you get to the paler tender inner leaves, cut the top third off and discard, quarter the artichoke hearts and set aside in lemon water.

3. Mix the quinoa, egg and parmesan and press into the bottom of a pie plate.

4. Bake in a preheated 375°F/190°C oven until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, saute or steam the artichoke hearts and asparagus until just tender and set aside.

6. Mix the artichokes, asparagus, eggs, milk, pesto and goat cheese and pour into quinoa crust.

7. Bake in a preheated 375°F/190°C oven until golden brown and set in the center, about 30-35 minutes.

Servings: 4

Note: A toothpick will come out cleanly when pushed into the center of the quiche when it is ready.

 Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

New Blogger, Bathway, PSW, Taxi,

I am trying out the new blogger. Not sure I am going to like it as I am so used to using the previous format. I have no idea what half the symbols mean. I suppose I will find out eventually. 

I had been thinking about Matt finding it difficult to get into the shower and about the cutaway done by Bathway.- of course, being a renter I just can't go ahead and do it although I did think about the saying it is easier to apologise than ask for permission. I checked out the price this morning and it would cost me best part of $1,000. Unlikely the landlord would pay. If they will let me do it. I think if I did get permission I might go to Go Fund Me, it is for a good cause after all. I put in a call to our Building Manager, see what he says. It would surely add value, a lot of renters would appreciate such an addition I would think.

Kathy, who collects my groceries, suggested that our Insurance might pay some or all of the bill for the bath, if I get permission.

Things are looking up, I am finally getting a PSW (Personal Service Worker) for Tuesdays and Fridays. I specified morning because I know Matt won't undress to take a shower once he has already dressed for the day. I am so relieved. 

As you know, I have to go for a CT scan tomorrow (Thursday) and one of the girls I was talking to yesterday, on the phone, is an Intensive Geriatric Social Worker, and when she heard I couldn't get a ride from CSC she has ordered a taxi for me to go to Guelph General and then to pick me up and return me home. I am thrilled to bits because it is so helpful and takes a load off my mind. Only trouble now is Matt, when I said he would have to wear a mask he immediately said he didn't want to go.

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

4 Tbs (60 mL) oil, divided
8 salmon fillets (about
2 lbs/ 1 kg)
2 lbs (1 kg) asparagus, trimmed
1 package Knorr® Hollandaise Classic Sauce Mix

1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets each with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil.

2. Arrange salmon on 1 prepared pan and asparagus on the other. Drizzle asparagus with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and toss to coat; brush salmon with remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and season, if desired, with salt and black pepper.

3. Roast 12 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork and asparagus are crisp-tender.

4. Meanwhile, prepare Knorr® Hollandaise Classic Sauce Mix according to package directions.

5. To serve, arrange asparagus on platter; top with salmon and drizzle with sauce.

Servings: 8

TIP: For a zesty twist to your Hollandaise Sauce, stir in 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Dijon or whole grain mustard.

TIP: The salmon and asparagus are also delicious grilled instead of roasted

Source: Knorr

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Telephone Calls, CT Scan, Stuffed Peppers, World Racism,

Well, got my telephone call. They were part of the Geriatric Doctor's team (I assume you know what I mean). They are going to push the various agencies on my behalf, but I don't think they are going to get a lot further than I did. ladydog told me to tell them I was thinking of jumping off the balcony wall or pushing Matt off. I forgot. Mind you as it is only 5 floors up I don't think I would do more than hurt myself and that I certainly wouldn't like. Not only that Matt tells me I wouldn't be able to climb over the balcony wall. He's right. A lot of the problem is this Covid virus as nobody wants to do anything - hell I am more at risk than they are at my age and state of health.

I also just got a call from my vascular surgeon's office, they wanted me in for my CT scan tomorrow (Wed.) lunchtime. No can do so she said Thursday which I guess I can do but will have to be sure to have an early lunch. Thought of getting a driver from Community Support but the hospital in question is in a neighbouring town, Guelph, which makes it out of region. They are not doing out of region rides. The big problem here is Matt of course. I guess I will leave him at home and keep phoning him.. That usually works. It will have to.

Finally, got round to making stuffed peppers. They were quite large so I could only cook 2 at once I steamed some asparagus for my lunch, no time to do yesterday's spicy recipe. We ate peppers for supper and they were good.

It's fricking hot again today, 32°C was the highest as far as I know. Glad I didn't have to be outside.

I just watched a documentary on "hate", blaming the Jews primarily for everything possible. I didn't realise this antisemitism was so widespread. We appear to be breeding Hitlers all over the Western world. I have never understood antisemitism, or racism of any kind, but watching this documentary frightened me because I can see World War III in the making. What did the Jews ever do to the rest of mankind? No it is NOT because of Christ, there was antisemitism way before his existence. Apart from anything else Christ was a Jew wasn't he?

Sautéed Asparagus and Peas

Asparagus and peas prove the old adage: what grows together, goes together. This is the perfect side

dish for spring!

2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 bunch thin asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces on a diagonal
1 cup thawed frozen peas
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp honey

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 4-5 minutes.

2. Add the asparagus, ¼ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring frequently so the shallots don't burn, for about 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Add the peas and honey and cook about one minute more until the peas are warmed through. Add more salt and pepper to taste (I usually add about 1/8 teaspoon more salt and a few twists of pepper) and serve.

Author: Jennifer Segal
Source: Once Upon a Chef


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Medical, Email, Asparagus, Weather, Shopping,

Thanks for the good wishes, ladydog phoned me and cheered me up somewhat and bullied me into making waves when I talk to the medical people tomorrow. I might end up with some help. I am not 100% sure who or what is calling tomorrow (Tuesday) something to do with the doctor I spoke to last week. Ve shall see. One thing I am learning, I made a big mistake years ago "passing by" a woman who's husband, I was told, had Alzheimer's. Just having someone to chat to is a big help. I have reached out to a few people since this all started, but wish I had done so more in the past. I am constantly on the edge of tears so ladydog says I should cry at them tomorrow!! She makes me laugh when she bullies me.

Got an email from the Post Office saying my parcel had been delivered, so having thought I decided to check the mail boxes downstairs, nothing. So then I checked the email again and did some tracking, came back to the original and realised it was dated May 15. Duuh. Why the devil are they sending it to me now?

Having done my tests on cooking asparagus this weekend, I cooked more in the Instant Pot today. I might do it occasionally in the air fryer, but having to wash the oily basket etc. is a nuisance, much easier to wash the IP.

I can't believe this month we had snow and frost and yesterday I started putting the air on. It was 30°C in the living room, same again today and I believe if is 31° outside. Hope the asparagus doesn't find that too hot. I need to start getting ready to can/pickle some for the rest of the year. Last year I did 5 large jars and it worked very well. Have to get out a large pan from the storage closet. There again, ladydog suggested I ask Cathy, who shops for me, to help. She is good and tall so she should be able to help me.

It appears that people have stopped using PC Express so much. I don't really know why, for most of this month it was difficult to get a spot for pick up without booking it over a week ahead. This morning I checked and I could have got a spot this afternoon had I wanted. I am so glad, it was making it difficult to say the least.

I have not tried this, I really should do so. It sounds delicious.

Asparagus with Indian Spices 

Long green spears of asparagus are not the usual Indian vegetable but with the right spices it really does work.
Hari says
Asparagus is a beautiful vegetable that only has a very short season, but when it is fresh, it’s perfect. Asparagus starts to appear in May until about July and I know it's a vegetable that needs very little to be done to it. The more simply it's cooked, the more tasty it is. That being said I like to experiment and try new things and although this was a tricky one to put with some spices, by using the lovely aromas of fennel seeds I found that it really worked. I decided that keeping it simple with a couple of flavours worked well…so here you have my Asparagus with Indian spices - make the most of it while it’s in season. If you can’t get hold of amchoor, just use a little squeeze of lemon instead.

2 garlic cloves
3 cm piece ginger
500 g Asparagus, chopped
3 tsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 onion, sliced
1 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
½ tsp amchoor powder (dried mango powder) (or a squeeze of lemon juice)
3 tomatoes, chopped finely
Salt to taste

1. Crush the ginger and garlic in a pestle and mortar to a paste.

2. Heat the oil in pan and on a medium heat add the cumin and fennel seeds.

3. Once sizzling and fragrant add sliced onions with the chopped green chilies and crushed ginger and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the chopped asparagus and sprinkle in the salt, red chili powder and amchoor.

5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Servings: 4

Author: Hari Ghotra


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Asparagus

So Saturday I tried asparagus in my air fryer. Tossed it in olive oil, salted and peppered it and put it in the basket. However, the recipe I found said 7 minutes which seemed too long so I gave it 5 minutes and it was deliciious. Sunday I am going to try cooking it in the Instant Pot. So, I did, and cooked it for 1 minute. The asparagus sat on the trivet with water underneath and turned out very well. I have therefore decided the Instant Pot is going to be my go to method although I quite like the air fryer but there was more washing up with that version.

Other than that, I have had a pretty rotten weekend so I am sorry, this is your 'oppin pot today.

Chicken and Asparagus with Melted Gruyère

8 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1-1 1/4 pounds), trimmed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs canola oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 Tbs chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tsp lemon juice
2/3 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

1. Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, add 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and steam for 3 minutes. Uncover, remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Whisk broth and 2 teaspoons flour in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.

3. Place the remaining 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour, shaking off any excess.

4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side, adjusting heat as needed to prevent scorching. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

5. Add shallot, wine and the reserved broth mixture to the pan; cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in sour cream, tarragon, lemon juice and the reserved asparagus until combined. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top of each piece of chicken, cover and continue cooking until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

Servings: 4

Source: Eating Well


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Femme Fatale, Asparagus, Car Insurance, Jonathan Antoine, Saturday Recipe.

David Gascoigne - this is probably the nearest I ever got to femme fatale and that was a year or two ago LOL In those days I wore all the makeup. Guess I was in my 30s. Wish someone would find the Fountain of Youth I could use it about now.

I finally got some fresh asparagus today so I am now a very happy camper. I might even be able to can some of it. Have to get the pot out of storage and I am not sure I can do that even if I can get Matt to help. I just might have to Wait until I can find someone to help me. 

Got our insurance statement today, I had been meaning to ask if there being only one driver made a difference so I phoned and guess what, I am saving $101. Not only that, I applied on line for reduction in premium  because I don't do much mileage and she said this had not yet been applied so I could get another reduction.

They had a repeat tonight of Jonathan Antoine's concert "Going the Distance". The DVD is still not available for the general public and I even thought of becoming a member just to get it but I couldn't find that either. Oh well, one day. I didn't realise this concert had taken place in Toronto. He has such a marvellous voice. When he sang Empty Chairs and Empty Tables from Les Miserable, I was in tears. Matt can't get enough of him so I really wish I could get hold of the DVD.
I didn't know what chile crisp was so Googled and have linked it for you to look at. I can't remember if I have any ground pork, if so I  must get some as I would like to try this combination.

Pork and Asparagus Stir-Fry

A Sichuan-inspired stir-fry of blistered yet snappy asparagus and crispy pork in an aromatic sauce
from Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman. We jump on asparagus the second we see it at the market this time of year, but green beans, snap peas, or any other crisp green spring vegetable would also be great here. Don’t forget a side of chile crisp.

3 tsp peanut or vegetable oil, divided
2 lb asparagus, trimmed, cut on a diagonal into 1"–2" pieces
8 oz ground pork
6 scallions, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 2" piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
2 Tbs Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or medium-dry sherry
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1. Heat 1 tsp. peanut oil in a large skillet over high. Once pan is hot (oil will be lightly smoking), add half of asparagus and a couple pinches of salt and cook, tossing only once or twice so the pieces have a chance to blister, until crisp-tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a plate. Add 1 tsp. peanut oil to skillet (no need to wipe it out) and repeat process with remaining asparagus.

2. Reduce heat to medium-high; add remaining 1 tsp. peanut oil to skillet, then add pork, spreading out into an even layer. Season with a couple pinches of salt and cook, undisturbed, until meat begins to brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Break up meat with a wooden spoon and add scallions, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring, until pork is crisp and mixture is very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add wine and soy sauce and return asparagus to skillet. Cook, turning to coat with pork mixture, until heated through, about 1 minute.

3. Transfer stir-fry to a platter or large shallow bowl and drizzle with sesame oil. Serve with rice and chili crisp.

Servings: 4

 Author: Deb Perelman
Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great weekend, stay well, stay safe.
 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Phone Consultation, Shopping, Nail Polish, Mail,

Well, I had a long talk with the geriatric doctor this morning although it wasn't 90 minutes by any manner of means. I think she may be able to arrange a little help for me, but of course the the C-19 business, not much will happen at the moment anyway. She has decided to try Matt on an anti depressant to see how that works for him, although, by the end of the day, no prescription had arrived. I will phone her team tomorrow morning. Apparently the girl who is phoning me on Tuesday morning is some kind of therapist, I am not quite clear, but she too may be able to arrange to help Matt. We will see what happens. Ladydog suggested I should make notes before I talked to the doctor, good idea, it was useful

Then, it was lunchtime so I threw a sandwich together for Matt and some noodles for me as I knew I had to go out and I was expecting a couple of deliveries later on, Avon and blister packs. I headed out to the liquor store, I realised I had forgotten about the bird droppings on the car so, as I had a coupon for the car wash, I went and got the car all nice and shiny again. I was heading for the bakery where I get my 7 grain buns and passed near where my pharmacy had moved to so decided to go visit them. On the way out, I picked up some nail polish and some disposable masks which I can carry in my purse if I need them at any time.

Haven't worn nail polish in a while, but I have been  taking Biotene for maybe 18 months and it seems to be finally paying off. I actually had to cut my nails a week or so ago, I haven't had to do that in a long time so I decided it was time to paint them again.

I then went to get my buns and headed back home with all my goodies. Later my Avon lady delivered my lipsticks (ordered them a while back) and I forgot to take keys for the mail box, duuh, I am awaiting two important things, a new Visa for me and a permanent parking accessibility plate for Matt, he has a temporary one at the moment. We don't need it because I have one, but if we need to travel with someone else, it is useful.

Tomorrow I plan to go to the asparagus farm in the afternoon, I believe they have some available although I gather not that much. One meal would be good.

Asparagus and Jalapeños Cornbread Muffins

3 Tbs coconut oil
1/3 cup apple sauce or reduced/cooked peaches
1 large egg
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup gf flour (Bobs Red Mill)
1/2 tsp baking soda
Sea salt and pepper
1 red chili/ jalapeños, diced
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped BUT save tops for garnish.

Preheat oven to 350°F and coat muffin tin with coconut oil. Mix all wet ingredients together with peppers and asparagus. Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly and slowly incorporate into wet batter. Pour into muffin tins approx. 1/4 full. Finish with aspara-tops. Bake for 15/20 minutes until golden.

Author Notes
Good for up to 4 days fresh OR freeze for a couple weeks. Great with a fried egg, with preserves or what we did at home is use for sloppy Joe’s using Walter All Natural, Craft Caesar Mix.


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Eagles, Ramadan, Doctor,

David Gascoigne of Travels with Birds mentioned in his blog that Bald Eagles are becoming more common in this area and I know I saw a nest a couple of years or so ago at a friend's house. Tonight we saw a marvellous documentary on Nova (PBS) called Eagle Power. Even Matt thought it was a wonderful programme, it was all about eagles and their remarkable abilities. Part of the show concerned an Englishman who has a Golden Eagle called Tilly (she has been with him for 20 years) and some experiments they were doing to test her abilities. A programme worth seeing, in fact I have purchased the DVD as Matt enjoyed it so much. He said he could see it over and over again, not sure he really could, but...

Today was shopping day and Kathy picked up the goodies for me as usual. Today she came for a visit and had a coffee with us and we spent a delightful time with her. One thing she reminded me of, it is Ramadan this weekend which is an important Muslim celebration so that  the woman who has been helping with cleaning is unlikely to be able to come this Saturday. I never realised it. I mostly don't know when our holidays are these days, let alone those of other religions.

Tomorrow I have my 90 minute phone call with the doctor from the Geriatric Clinic. I must get a move on in the morning to be sure I am ready. Pity we can't do it online, much easier than holding a phone to your ear. The phone in my computer room does have a speaker on it, but not sure if that would be good enough for me to understand what the doctor is saying.

I never have tried this one although it does look good. I wonder where I could buy this kind of beef, maybe Victoria Street Market. I will have to ask them. Which reminds me, I still haven't checked the Thai restaurant about delivery or pick up.

Asparagus Beef Rolls

8 asparagus spears
1 lb shabu-shabu style thinly sliced beef
4 Tbs regular soy sauce
1/2 cup sake
2 Tbs mirin
2 Tbs sugar
Water for blanching
2 Tbs canola oil
Japanese hot mustard (karashi), optional condiment

1. Combine marinade ingredients (soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar) in a medium bowl and stir until mixed. Add thinly sliced beef and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, trim bottom of asparagus, then slice asparagus spears vertically in half or quarters, depending on the thickness of the spear. Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from pot and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

3. Take 2 to 3 pieces of beef and gently spread it out on a plate or cutting board. Lay 2 or 3 asparagus pieces across one edge of the sliced beef. Gently roll-up the asparagus in the beef, tucking the end under the bottom of the roll. Repeat until all the beef and asparagus have been used to make several rolls.

4. In a large pan, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add beef and asparagus rolls to the pan and sear the beef until all sides are lightly and evenly browned. Add any remaining marinade into the pan and simmer the beef and asparagus rolls together for 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Slice each beef and asparagus roll into thirds or fourths, plate, then serve with Japanese hot mustard (karashi). The rolls can also be served as is, without any hot mustard.

Servings: 4

Tips
For this recipe, either shaved beef, shabu-shabu or sukiyaki style beef may be used. It is easier to work with the sukiyaki style beef, as it does not tear as easily as the shabu-shabu style beef when wrapping the meat and vegetable rolls. I prefer the thinner shabu-shabu cut of beef for a thinner and more delicate roll, however, for a slightly heartier version I recommend using sukiyaki style beef.

Author: Judy Ung
Source: About Food


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Spam Comments. Alzheimer Group, Movie, Weather,

Sorry everyone, but it looks like I have to go back to Comment Moderation and stay there. I got even more Spam after I had put the Moderation back on. What do these idiots gain from this?

Had a good long chat with the Alzheimer Spouses group today. None of my original Alz. friends were there, I need to contact them to see if things are OK.

We, well I, just watched a movie called Sister Kenney with Rosalind Russell. It was absolutely fascinating. A true story about Sister Elizabeth Kenney who was an Australian Nurse and who, almost accidentally discovered how to treat Infant Paralysis or Polio as it was later known. Originally she was a "bush" nurse, i.e. working very much on her own in places without medical services. She was called to a child in severe pain, she cabled a doctor who said they knew little about it and told her to use her judgement. She did and ended up helping 6 children to become mobile once more. One doctor believed her, however, the head orthopedic doctor said the children hadn't had Polio. It eventually took her 35 years to convince the Australians, the English and the North Americans that her treatment was valid. Basically, they had to believe her because of all the children who were walking without braces or any kind of supports. Wonderful story. Wonderful woman.

Hopefully I will be able to get a few asparagus spears at the end of the week. The weather is slightly warmer and the little trees (see the picture above) outside my bedroom window are finally blossoming.

I finally got round to getting out the lamb's kidneys that I had in the freezer. Discovered I had enough for two meals in fact. I have been putting it off because I hate having to cut them in half and then remove the core. It is such a fiddly job. However, I did today and we both thoroughly enjoyed our Devilled Kidneys.

Devilled Kidneys

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs prepared English mustard (Coleman's or Keen's in Canada)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs tomato purée
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbs butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 lamb's kidneys, skinned, halved and cored
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley to garnish

1. Mix the first 6 ingredients together (including salt and pepper) to make a sauce.

2. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the chopped shallot and cook stirring occasionally, until it is softened but not coloured.

3. Stir the kidney halves into the shallots in the pan and cook  over medium high heat for about 3 mins on each side.

4. Pour the sauce over the kidneys and quickly stir so that they become evenly coated. Serve immediately sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Servings: 4

Note: To remove the cores from the kidneys use sharp kitchen scissors rather than a knife. Much easier.

Source: The Ultimate Hot and Spicy Cookbook

Author Notes
"Devilled" dishes are always hot and spicy. If you have time, mix the spicy ingredients together in advance to give the flavours time to mingle.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Weather, Thai Food, Appointments,

For a holiday, today was dull and rainy. I guess there are a lot of people not working anyway so it won't really matter, but like everyone else I am getting tired of this miserable weather we are having. What a rotten May. Snow and ice and now just dull grey days. I even know how to say that in Spanish LOL.

Complaining about the lack of spiciness in our food last night, Alex mentioned Thai restaurants. I hadn't thought of that. There is a Viet/Thai restaurant just down the road from us but I am not sure if they are doing take out and delivery. I need to check it out. They food is pretty good.

Tomorrow starts a series of appointments for me, including a Zoom session in the morning with the Alzheimer Group. Later in the week I have a 90 minute session on the phone with the doctor at the Geriatric Dept. in our local hospital. I can't imagine being on the phone for 90 minutes without interruption. Of course I have a friend bringing shopping, she is going to stop for a coffee this week. Easy enough to keep our social distance in this apartment. Then more appointments next week. Wish I had an appointment with a hairdresser LOL

Tonight I am being lazy again, we are having Cornish Pasties and Cole Slaw with Triple Hot Dressing. I just noticed today that I am running out of buns too so will have to go buy some more. The bakery is only just down the road from us.

For those of you who have an Instant Pot, I figured I should share the delicious brisket recipe I cooked last week. This recipe is for a 6 qt. and I only have a 3 qt of course. I posted a Beef Brisket recipe a while back but I chose this one instead.

Instant Pot Beef Brisket

Get ready to make the juiciest, most delicious Beef Brisket in your Instant Pot! In a fraction of the
time, you can enjoy this mouthwatering Beef Brisket with an incredible garlic barbecue sauce! 

4 lb beef brisket
2 Tbs olive oil
Dry Rub
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin ground
1 tsp black pepper ground
2 tsp salt
BBQ Sauce
1 cup BBQ sauce store bought
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar packed
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth low sodium

1. In a small bowl combine all the dry rub ingredients together and whisk well. Rub the dry rub spice mixture all over the brisket.

2. In a medium size bowl combine all the sauce ingredients together and whisk well.

3. Turn the Instant Pot to the high sauté setting. Add the oil and once your instant pot reaches the desired temperature (the timer will start to count down) add the beef brisket.

4. Sear the beef on all sides. Should take about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

5. Pour the prepared sauce over the meat. There should be enough sauce to cover the entire brisket, then close the lid. Set the Instant Pot to the Manual/High Pressure setting and set the timer to 75 minutes.

6. Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is complete, should take about 15 minutes. Remove the brisket carefully with tongs and set aside. Cover the meat with aluminum foil and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing into it.

7. Switch the instant pot to the sauté setting again and simmer the leftover sauce until reduced by half, should take about 15 minutes. At the same time you can use a ladle to skim some of the fat that’s rising to the top. At this time, taste the sauce and season with more salt if needed.

8. Slice the brisket and serve with the BBQ sauce.

Tips
Storage: Brisket will keep fresh for 3 – 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. To freeze just wrap the meat in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing for 2 months. Just be sure to thaw overnight in the fridge before warming in the oven.


Author: Joanna Cismaru
Source: Jo Cooks

Author Notes
This is for 6 qt. pot

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Sleepless but not in Seattle, Delivery, Hair, Fireworks, Chinese,

I don't understand why some nights one just cannot get to sleep. Happened to me Saturday night and I was still tossing around at 3 a.m. with the result that I was really tired on Sunday. Luckily I had already arranged for Chinese food to be delivered for supper on Sunday so I could relax a bit. I used the same restaurant as our gift came from a couple of weeks or so ago. I am really looking forward to the day Mandarin opens again.

Talking of opening, I am now worrying about our hairdresser, I wonder if she will be able to re-open when this is all over. Hers is a fairly small and also fairly new business. Just the sort of business that is going under right now. I have managed to cut my hair reasonably well, well I ain't going nowhere!! Matt, however, will NOT let me cut his, I don't know why, he never would let me cut it, so it's not something new.

Of course, tomorrow, Monday, is Victoria Day (Queen Victoria) so some people were letting off fireworks on Saturday night. Not sure if they were doing so in Victoria Park which is where they often have big displays, but we could certainly hear the local ones. Didn't hear any fireworks Sunday night, mind you it has been dull and cloudy all day.

I ordered a Chinese meal for us from the same restaurant as our gift meal was sent. It was very enjoyable and I have a few noodles left for lunch. I have one complaint, I ordered spicy and what I got had a touch, but only a touch, of spicy but didn't qualify for that designation.

This is a new recipe from Kevin Lynch. He lives in Toronto, I wonder where he is buying his asparagus?

Orange Sesame Roast Asparagus

1 lb asparagus, trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs oil
1/4 cup orange sesame ginger vinaigrette
1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

1. Toss the asparagus in the oil, salt and pepper, lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 400F/200C oven until they start to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes, mixing half way through.

2. Toss the asparagus in the dressing and sesame seeds and enjoy!

Servings: 4

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Exercises, Movie, Asparagus.

I just spoke to the kinesiologist on Zoom about joining the online exercise classes. Turns out they are on at 10:00 every weekday, well not next Monday as it is a holiday here (Victoria Day). Only trouble for me is that all those phone calls I was getting yesterday mean that I am mostly booked up next week in the mornings. I kinda groused about the time - as I said, it's not that I'm not up but not always dressed, she said I was quite welcome to join in my PJs!! Anyway, I think I can join them on Wed. next week. I've gotta do something. I move around a lot but not enough of me moves with purpose. For instance, I didn't know that waving your arms around above your head was good for your heart. I learned that a few months ago.

Just watched the original movie of Ransom with Glenn Ford and Donna Reed. What a great movie. I had wanted to see the more modern version when it came out but didn't get to watch it. I thought Glenn Ford was brilliant in this version.

Oh why, oh why, doesn't the weather warm up. All these asparagus recipes are making me hungry for those luscious spears. Apparently Barrie's Asparagus farm was on TV because they have lost their first crop. I was told they were planting more. People don't understand that asparagus grows from crowns. You can't just plant seeds, they have to be planted at least a couple of years ahead and then they produce asparagus in the spring for a number of years until they need to be given a rest.

Tuscan Roast Asparagus

Asparagus and tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted to perfection with a topping of

melted Parmesan cheese.

1 1/2 lbs asparagus, trimmed
1 Tbs oil
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp oregano (or Italian seasoning)
1 large tomato, sliced thinly
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan), grated

Toss the asparagus and tomatoes in the oil, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, place the asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer with the slices of tomato on top, sprinkle on the Parmesan and roast in a preheated 400°F/200°C oven until they start to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes, mixing half way through.

Servings: 4

Author: Kevin
Source: Closet Cooking

Author Notes
Option: Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or toss in balsamic vinaigrette.


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Phone.Cardiologist, Breakfast Foods, Brisket,

We have an expression in England "sod's law" which is a bit like Murphy's Law but not exactly. I would be hard put to explain the difference, but there is one. Today I left the two electronic phones in place thinking that there was nothing doing and nobody would be phoning. We have the phone that I bought for Matt which has faces on so he knows who to call and how, but there is no seat by it. Three times in the last 24 hours I have had unexpected calls where I needed to be able to sit and talk a lot or a little. Admittedly by the third call I had one of the other phones right by me. I still do and I can be almost certain I will get no more calls. Mind you another thing happens, I go into the computer room and then decide I want to make a call at which time I realise I have left the phone in the other room.

One of the phone calls was from the cardiologist's office cancelling my echo cardiogram. Which was not unexpected. I am now on a waiting list, I wonder how long that is?

I just saw something about cooking bacon perfectly in the oven every time - how do they know what everyone calls perfect? I love my bacon crisp, others don't. In my case, I use a paper plate, a double layer of paper towel, 3 slices of bacon spread out, another double paper towel and give it 3 minutes in the microwave. For me, perfect. Nice and crispy. Matt would like his less cooked than that but as he rarely eats it, I have never tried other times. I often scramble an egg in a small fry pan to go with that. I had some coconut milk left over so I used that one time, not bad. I used to have a friend, ladydog knew her, who lived in the East for a number of years and developed the habit of having very spicy things for breakfast. When I first knew her, I thought she was nuts, now I often eat spicy stuff for breakfast. Love it. I make burritos sometimes with hot sauce or gochugang which is sweet and spicy, and then cheese or ham or something, some lettuce maybe, but definitely spicy. Oh and Habañero cheese of course.

I cooked some brisket in my Instant Pot this evening. It was delicious. I am so please with it, I was a tad scared to cook it.

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

4 Tbs (60 mL) oil, divided
8 salmon fillets (about
2 lbs/ 1 kg)
2 lbs (1 kg) asparagus, trimmed
1 package Knorr® Hollandaise Classic Sauce Mix

1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets each with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil.

2. Arrange salmon on 1 prepared pan and asparagus on the other. Drizzle asparagus with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and toss to coat; brush salmon with remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and season, if desired, with salt and black pepper.

3. Roast 12 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork and asparagus are crisp-tender.

4. Meanwhile, prepare Knorr® Hollandaise Classic Sauce Mix according to package directions.

5. To serve, arrange asparagus on platter; top with salmon and drizzle with sauce.

Servings: 8

Tips
TIP: For a zesty twist to your Hollandaise Sauce, stir in 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Dijon or whole grain mustard.

TIP: The salmon and asparagus are also delicious grilled instead of roasted

Source: Knorr


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Fire Drill, Ear Ad, Covid-19, Hair, Geriatric Dept.

Today, Wednesday, we are supposed to have a fire drill at 1. I phoned down and said we couldn't take part because we couldn't use our walkers. Officially in a fire drill the elevators are locked down. If there really was a fire, we would both have to use canes and I have no idea what would happen because we neither of us could stand for long and I don't think we could sit on the ground unless we fell which could happen of course. If there were a fire, I guess we would go onto our balcony being the safest place for us. Mind you this is the first time we have had a fire drill in the 20 years we have lived here. Periodically they come in to test the fire alarms with the result that they ring off and on  all day which is enough to drive you batty. Couple of times something went wrong and  they started ringing and people were starting to evacuate, well a few were, so I phoned the super and was told the things had a glitch and they were trying to turn them off. Bearing in mind at least once that was in the middle of the night, we weren't too happy.

The drill has now started half an hour early and the alarm is ringing and it is already driving me nuts. I don't know how long they intend to keep it going. Turned out to be for about 15 minutes of brr brr, brr brr, etc. If you hear I have turned into a gibbering idiot you will know why. I wonder how many people actually took part in the fire drill.

I just did my Spanish lesson for the evening. There is an ad floating around, I have seen it in several places including my lesson just now, to do with cleaning one's ears. I do think it is rather revolting to see, if only in passing, and I wish they wouldn't post it. Yuk.

Just had a good chat with ladydog which was nice. We are both feeling the effects of not being able to socialise. She figures we will always have to wear masks in stores and such from now on. I do hope she is wrong. I just watched a programme on TV about Covid-10 and they were talking about a vaccine they have developed which has to be frozen and cannot be transported in a regular cooler. How frustrating. I do hope they figure it out soon. Of course POTUS says we will have a vaccine at the end of the year, I do hope, for once, he is right.

I forgot to mention I chopped a load of hair off my head this morning, think I have to do a bit more chopping as there are still some very long bits. Trouble is standing at the sink is not easy for me to do any more. Once, I used to cut my own hair all the time. A long time ago mind you. So, at least I won't feel I have to wear a hijab.

Got a call from the Geriatric Dept. of the local hospital today too. They thought I might benefit from talking to the resident doctor of that department. Apparently it is going  to be a 90 minute call. The woman who called me today said maybe the doctor could get me some help. I do hope so but I am not all that hopeful I must admit.

This is one of my favourite asparagus recipes. If only I could get the asparagus. Please weather get good and warm. I am missing out.

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries

1 lb asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan), grated
salt and pepper to taste
Alternatively used chopped almonds instead of Parmesan

1. Dredge the asparagus in the flour, dip them in the egg and then into a mixture of the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

2. Place the asparagus on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425°F oven until golden brown, about 7-13 minutes.

Servings: 2

Source: Closet Cooking

Author Notes
Asparagus coated in panko bread crumbs and parmesan and baked until golden brown and crispy.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Computers, Visitors, Asparagus,

Bloody computers. Sorry about the language but.... I have a phone system which I have had for years and used regularly. Last week, I think, it stopped working. It wouldn't dial the numbers any more. Decided to download a newer version and that wiped out all the phone numbers I had saved. In fact I have the numbers in some form or another, but I can't get them into the programme for some reason. Then I realised I hadn't got Windows phone dialer any more so I opened that but I still can't get it to dial. Not only that, all the numbers are hidden from me at the moment. Luckily I have quite a few numbers on my house phones.  I can't decide whether it is worth calling the guy who fixes my computers or to just soldier on in the hopes I can get it to work myself. It really is a nuisance, I have the files backed up off line, also copies on my Dropbox. The only place they aren't is in the phone system itself.

This morning we had a nice surprise, a bowling friend dropped in with a coffee for me (Matt doesn't drink it) a donut each and a back full of Lindt truffles. I put on a pound just looking at them. He stopped for a bit of a chat. They are saying it is OK to visit people so long as you practice social distancing.

After lunch Kathy brought my groceries and then she and I had a long visit talking about all kinds of  things ending up swapping names of authors. I had to email ladydog as I couldn't remember a series she and I had read which we both enjoyed. I mentioned that I proof read books for one or two authors and she asked if I would proof stuff she had written. Only too delighted after all she is doing for me.

Of course, I am posting all these recipes for asparagus and I can't get any yet because of the stupid weather. The farmer told me it was going to be frosty tonight again. It's May for goodness sake. I spend all year looking forward to asparagus season and look what's happening.

Spring Pizza

Asparagus, chives and Fontina cheese top this easy pizza recipe. Serve with baby greens tossed with

vinaigrette and pecans.

3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound)
½ cup snipped fresh chives (from 1 bunch), divided
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 lb whole-wheat pizza dough
1 cup shredded fontina or mozzarella cheese

1. Position rack in lower third of oven, place a pizza stone or large pizza pan on the rack and preheat oven to 450°F for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons oil and garlic in a small bowl; set aside. Trim asparagus spears to about 6 inches long; slice any thicker stalks in half lengthwise. Toss in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ cup chives, salt and pepper. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about a 14-inch circle. Carefully remove the pizza stone or pan from the oven and set on a heatproof surface, such as your stovetop. Place the dough on the stone or pan and brush with the reserved garlic-oil mixture. Arrange the asparagus in a circular pattern on the dough with the tips facing out. Top with cheese and the remaining chives. Carefully return the stone or pan to the oven and bake the pizza on the lower rack until crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Servings: 5

Source: EatingWell


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Snow, Car, Shopping, Traffic Lights,



We got pretty heavy snow Sunday night and it was still snowing at 7 a.m. however, it has now all gone, surprising but it is supposed to be spring.

I have a car - whoopee. I went to Home Hardware to get some chandelier bulbs which are difficult to find because they have very small screw connections. We love our chandelier though - it was one of the original fittings in the building and I think we are one of the few apartments who still have one. Then I went to Victoria Street Market, principally because I didn't have any sausages. They insisted I wore a mask, er, I didn't have mine with me, (I have a pretty one made by David Gascoigne's wife) not used to going out these days. So they sold me one for $1. Also sprayed my hands. Of course the first thing that happened was my glasses steamed up and I had to fiddle around until I got it right!!! I went to the meat counter and horrors, only one sausage. However, the young man went and got a tray full. Phew.

I learnt something new today, I was sitting at the lights waiting to exit the street by VSM and I was sitting, and sitting and sitting but the lights didn't change. The drive behind me said if I didn't pull right up to the white line the sensor wouldn't see me and change. I did, and it did. That was a new one on me, I thought traffic lights worked on timers, or is it only a few that have sensors? I felt a bit of a nit wit I can tell you. Speaking to Bob at Meineke later, he assured me I was right, most lights are on a timer, but a rarely used light like the one near VSM, had a sensor. I had never heard about that before.

So then I got home and phoned Matt to come down with his walker to collect my shopping. I knew I couldn't walk with it across the garage, with a cane. I completely forgot about taking a walker so then I parked the car out front, went up to the apartment, sat for a bit, then took Matt's walker (easier to put in the trunk) and went to park the car. I could NOT have walked from our parking spot to the door with just a cane.

Hey, for my American friends, does POTUS die his hair? I see he won't wear a mask. Prince Charles and the British PM got Covid-19, but I guess he considers himself exempt. I can't believe it but Matt said he wouldn't know what he looked like!!

Poutine has never appealed to me, I do not like soggy fries for a start, but this might well be a delicious version. Mind you, I have no idea when asparagus is going to be available because of the dreadful spring weather, spring, huh!!!

Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Poutine.

1 cup beef broth, chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 lb asparagus, trimmed
8 oz mushrooms, quartered
1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs butter
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 Tbs flour (gluten-free for gluten-free)
1 tsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz cheese curds or diced mozzarella

1. Bring the broth and mushroom to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit until the mushrooms are tender, about 15-20 minutes, before straining the mushrooms, reserving the broth, and chopping the mushrooms.

2. Meanwhile, toss the asparagus and mushrooms in the oil, salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F/200C oven until they start to caramelize, about 20 minutes, mixing half way through.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they start to caramelize, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the shallot, garlic and thyme and cook for a minute.

5. Mix int the flour and cook for another minute before mixing in the broth and soy sauce, seasoning with salt and pepper and simmering until it thickens, about 5 minutes.

6. Plate the roasted asparagus and mushrooms, top with cheese curds and hot gravy and enjoy!

Servings: 2

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.
 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Weather, Wildlife,

Are we sure spring is here? We had quite a bit of snow Friday night and everywhere was white, not just slightly, and then it snowed during the day. It was very odd weather in fact, it was sunny for a bit then thickish frog (melting snow) then the fog disappeared and it snowed a bit, etc. etc. Not only that it is pretty cold. Asparagus, of course, does not like this weather. Nor do I. I messaged the farmer that I would never doubt him again when he predicted the weather. I thought he was talking out of the back of his head when he said it would snow Friday night. Of course I couldn't go get any asparagus yet, if there was any, without a car. Please cross your fingers for me that I get it back today.

Reading David Gascoigne's blog today, I didn't realise we got Bald Eagles here on a regular basis although a friend did have one nesting in a tree in her back yard a year or two back, maybe there more often, but I saw it at that time. I do so miss the birds we used to see regularly at our feeders in our  back yard in North Carolina. We tried something similar on our balcony but were told it was not permitted. So now I consider myself lucky if I happen to see one fly past. We do see lots of squirrels around here though and I spotted a fox one night. I suspect if I sat outside at night I would see more of foxes as they are supposed to be making their homes in our urban areas.

Of course, not only is asparagus in season right now, but so is rhubarb. Matt can't stand the stuff so I usually buy enough for me now and again.

Roasted halibut with rhubarb-bacon jam

Roasted asparagus and a savoury rhubarb sauce make dinner a quick, healthy and colourful ode to
spring.

500 g halibut , in 4 pieces
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp hot-red-chili-flakes
1/4 tsp salt
500 g asparagus , trimmed, about 1 bunch
1 tsp olive oil
fresh pepper
4 slices bacon , finely chopped
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs red-wine vinegar
1 Tbs butter

1. PREHEAT oven to 450°F. Spray a large baking sheet with oil. Pat halibut dry with paper towels. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with hot-red-chili flakes and salt. Arrange skin-side down on 1 side of prepared sheet. Toss a bunch trimmed asparagus with olive oil on other side of baking sheet. Season with fresh pepper. Roast in centre of oven until a knife tip inserted into thickest part of fish and  held for 10 sec feels warm, about 10 min.

2. COOK bacon slices in a medium frying pan over medium-high, until crisp, about 5 min. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Drain and discard fat. Return pan to medium. Add chopped fresh rhubarb, brown sugar and red-wine vinegar. Cook until rhubarb starts to break down and sugar dissolves, about  3 min. Stir in butter and bacon and gently boil until sauce is thickened, about 8 min. Drizzle sauce over halibut.

Yield: 4

Source Chatelaine

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.