Friday, July 31, 2020

Shopping, Gout, Lunch, Cooking.

After I had approved the bed making this morning, LOL, I phoned the grocery store to discover the artichokes had come in last night. I decided to shoot down and get some (if shooting is any longer possible) I had also called Victoria St. Market as, for some reason, the grocery store has no tonic water. They had some smallish bottles so figured I would go there too. I parked round the back of the  grocery store as I figured it was easier for me, walking with a cane, than the other side. I was lucky and picked up a shopping cart near where I parked. I then saw a young man bringing in carts and disinfecting them so asked him to disinfect mine. All set so I went in and found the artichokes. I also picked up a couple of white flesh peaches, these are the only ones which fit the freestone description. They are not very ripe yet but they should be OK later. I picked up a few other things like raspberries and Portobellas,then back to the car. Went to VSM and picked up the bottles of tonic, ended up with two lots just in case. They had more fresh corn so I decided to get some. Saw some home made looking butter tarts which I thought Matt would enjoy. I had one later in the day, not bad. Don't think I will eat any more though, not good for my sylph like (I wish) figure.

Getting home, my feet were killing me. Did I tell you I have gout in my big toes. I am a tad embarrassed - not sure why except, to me, gout is something old men who sank a bottle of port every day, suffered from. I remember one saw pictures of them with a foot up on a stool with the foot being swathed in bandages. It's something which comes and goes and right now it is raging in both feet. I take medication but it doesn't seem to be doing anything at the moment.

By this time, of course, it was lunchtime so I made lunch for both of us and, at the same time, popped a couple of artichokes in the Instant Pot. Didn't really mean to, but couldn't resist them once they were cooked so finished off my lunch that way.

Finished my book and started the Alex Trebek book which I got from ladydog. Didn't get very far when I couldn't keep my eyes open. Not the book's fault, I was just tired.

I had taken shrimp out of the freezer for supper and I suddenly thought of the Jambalaya recipe I have been making for years and yet not for a number of years. It used to be a big favourite of a friend in NC who had a shrimp boat and would give me a pile of shrimp so I would make it and bring it to a party. He would then eat it for breakfast and for any meal he had enough left for. I don't really know why I haven't made it for so long. Anyway, I realised I had some rice from last night so off I went. I had to improvise a bit mind you. I used a red pepper, sweet onions as I had no green onions and I used grape tomatoes which worked fine. Of course I had to cook the shrimp but chilled them in the freezer for a while. Not that long although I then left the whole dish in the fridge until I was ready to serve and got complaints that it was too cold. I thought it was fine myself. The recipe came from the Cambridge Times (think that's what it was called) many a long year ago. I also cooked the corn beforehand and much to my surprise, Matt ate his.


2-1/2 cup water
1 cup converted rice
1 tsp salt
3 tsp red pepper sce (hot)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 lb cooked shrimp (I usually use more)
1 cup diced ham
1/2 med green pepper cut in 1 x 1/4 in strips
4 green onions, with tops, sliced
2 med tomatoes, roughly chopped

1. Bring water to boil, add rice, 1 tsp salt and red pepper sauce. Simmer 20 mins. covered. Remove from heat, let stand approximately five mins til liquid has disappeared. Put in a large bowl. Combine garlic, oil, remaining salt with rice. Add rest of ingredients except tomatoes. Chill a minimum of 3 hours. Stir in tomatoes to serve

Servings: 4

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Charities, Blanket Repair, Foot Nurse, Artichokes, End of July,

Just went and cleared out our mailbox, not sure when I last went down, but it was very full. Amongst other things, we received an appeal from World Wildlife Fund and Canadian Parks and Wildlife Service mostly suggestion maybe I could leave something in my will. Unfortunately I have nothing to give now and probably nothing to leave in my will either. I would support them financially as much as I could if I had the money. Especially WWF which has been my charity of choice for a number of years.

Ladydog came with Zoey and brought lunch again. Afterwards we chatted for a while and then she produced her crochet hook and some wool and we went into Matt's bedroom and she hooked the hole in his blanket so it is in one piece again. It didn't take her very long at all, I really should learn how to crochet again, a very useful talent.

After she had gone we waited a while and then our Foot Nurse arrived. Now our feet are all pretty again. This time I paid her electronically which is so much easier than a cheque. She did cut one of my toes and put a bandaid on it. Insisted I call her if anything went wrong. Hopefully it won't.

Absolutely nothing scheduled tomorrow although they are supposed to be getting some more artichokes at the grocery store, I hope. Fingers crossed.

I just did the schedule for this blog, the end of July. This year seems to be racing past to me. Monday is Civic Holiday so everyone will be at home, well, most people except those who work in 24 hour places. People often talk about nurses, police, firemen, but you never hear them say prison officers but they too cover 24 hours a day and in a pretty dangerous job too. I know, Matt was one once upon a time.

I made this recipe for supper tonight. It really was quite delicious. I think next time though I will make it with chicken thighs instead of breasts. As there was quite a lot of chicken, I cooked that in a frying pan first and then tipped it into the pot once it was ready. I was quite pleased I used up two chicken breasts which were not skinned and boned. I did that myself, pain in the you know what. I also used my last skinned and boned one too so now have no chicken breasts left.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup tomato sauce
2 Tbs canola oil
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs grated ginger
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs rice wine
4 cloves garlic minced
1 orange zested
2 Tbs fresh chopped parsley

1. Chop your chicken breast into small cubes.

2. Pour oil into your Instant Pot and press “Sauté”.

3. Add chicken cubes and cook for 5 minutes, until they brown. Stir constantly to make them brown on each side.

4. Add orange juice, tomato sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, rice wine, garlic and orange zest and stir.

5. Close the lid and cook at high pressure for about 5 minutes.

6. Once done, do a quick pressure release.

7. Open the lid and press “Sauté” again.

8. Add cornstarch to thicken the sauce and stir. If the chicken has dried too much, add some more orange juice.

9. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the sauce has reached the desired texture with no lumps.

10. Add the Chicken to a serving bowl, sprinkle with fresh parsley on top and serve with rice.

Servings: 6

Source: Corrie Cooks

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Blogger, Bowling, Nap, Quick Trip, Visitors,

How very odd, I just received a notice from Blogger that I was infringing copyright and they had taken down my blog and it had been reverted to draft status. From July 2014 if you please!!! I would have thought if anyone was going to complain, they would have done so before now. I have taken out all the pix and republished. Not that anyone but me is going to read it and I already have a copy of the original in my files.

I ended up not going to bowling this afternoon, firstly I wasn't really up to it and secondly, Matt wasn't too well and I didn't want to leave him. I have made moves to get respite time for Monday afternoons in the winter. The new leagues start in September so I said I would like respite hours on Mondays starting at that time.

So, I spent a lot of the afternoon asleep. I can't seem to catch up with out disturbed sleep from the other night. Guess I will eventually.

After my long nap, I nipped down to the store to get a replacement for the peppers I bought yesterday, two of which were rotten. The ones I got today were nice and fresh. Being out and about I felt there was more I should do but couldn't think what so I came tamely home. Even Matt was somewhat surprised I was home so quickly. Mind you it was a case of having left stuff in the car after shopping, I needed to go get it, so that was the main point of the exercise.

Tomorrow, Thursday, ladydog and Zoey will be visiting. I missed my visit from Kathy yesterday, she is always fun to talk to so it will be nice to see ladydog.

Another Giada recipe.

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

For the lemon oil
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested

For the pasta
1 lb(s) linguine pasta
2 Tbs olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz frozen shrimp
¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 lemon, zested
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 oz arugula (about 3 packed cups)
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

For the lemon oil

Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl and reserve.

For the pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked linguine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Turn off the heat and add the arugula. Using a mesh sieve, strain the lemon zest out of the reserved lemon olive oil and add the oil to the pasta. The zest can be discarded. Add some of the cooking water to desired consistency. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 - 6

Author: Giada De Laurentiis

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Hospital, PSWs, Zoom Meeting, Shopping, Supper,TIA,

I hadn't thought about it before I read Denise's comment yesterday, but yes, it was a bit irresponsible of the hospital to expect a senior to drive in the middle of the night. I know they didn't know me, but they must have realised that Matt's wife would be no youngster. Maybe I should complain!!

I was delighted to see his PSW this morning. Ladydog had suggested that the PSWs should take Matt's blood pressure. I mentioned it to the young man this morning and he said I would have to talk to Paramed about it. So I called Paramed who said I had to talk to the LHIN. Amy, who is our care coordinator said she would investigate and call me back. She did so, turns out that PSWs cannot take blood pressure readings!! Dunno why. Although I am perfectly capable of doing it myself, I cannot remember to take my own, let alone Matt's.

This morning was our meeting of Alzheimer spouses through Zoom when one of our discussions included how very difficult it is to ask for help. Ladydog has always accused me of using my British stiff upper lip, but one of the spouses said she was using the German hubris. Whichever, it is very difficult to ask for help. When I came away from the meeting, slightly early to make lunch, I found Matt all upset because he said he hadn't seen me all morning, I had been in the meeting for an hour and 15 mins but he figured he hadn't seen me at all. He was in tears and all upset about it. We eventually got over it and had lunch.

After lunch we went out and the first thing we did was go to the car wash. The car was covered in dust through sitting in the underground parking lot. Matt was amazed at the car wash - he has used this car wash many times but appears to have completely forgotten it. I then checked the liquor store and nipped in to get some more bubbly. Then went to get the shopping. Not sure why, but it took for ever for them to bring it out. I even had to phone them and ask where they had got to. Matt was getting antsy. Came home and managed to most of our shopping in our walker baskets although there are still a few things left in the trunk, nothing which will hurt of course.

Once we got home I worked on preparing supper and did a few other things. We then had our 5 o'clock drink and I got another display of tears - can't quite remember what that one was about. However, once I put his supper down in front of him he managed to eat it and forget it.

I forgot to mention, Matt also had some of the early symptoms of a TIA again today, twice, neither occasion developed into anything serious, but it is a bit worrying, Not much anyone can do at this stage, should perhaps talk to the doc about it.

Another recipe I had forgotten, I love meringue although have never been very successful at making it, mind always went brown rather than staying a pure white.

Ambrosia Pavlova

Pineapple Curd
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbs distilled white vinegar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups sugar
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup very finely ground pistachios, toasted and cooled

1/4 cup sugar
Grated zest of 2 oranges
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 orange, peeled of its pith and cut into segments
1 grapefruit, peeled of its pith and cut into segments
1/2 cup candied cherries in syrup, such as Amarena Fabbri
Large dried coconut shavings, julienned lime zest and chopped pistachios, for serving

1. MAKE THE PINEAPPLE CURD In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt, lemon zest, and egg yolk until smooth. Add the pineapple juice and butter and stir until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it begins to simmer, continue to cook and stir the curd until it is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. MAKE THE MERINGUE Heat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, vinegar, vanilla, and salt until a thick paste forms. Put the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Add the cornstarch paste to the beating egg whites and continue to beat until very stiff and glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the pistachios and, using a rubber spatula, very gently fold until evenly incorporated.

3. Trace a 9-inch circle onto a sheet of parchment paper. Flip the sheet over and transfer it to a baking sheet; spray lightly with baking spray. Pile the meringue in the center of the circle and, using an offset spatula or small rubber spatula, form it into a 9-inch disk, smoothing the top and sides. Transfer to the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 215°. Bake until the meringue is dried on the outside and looks set, about 1 1/2 hours. Without opening the door, turn the oven off and let the meringue sit inside until completely cooled, at least 4 hours. (The cooling process allows the meringue to dry and cool slowly enough so that it doesn’t collapse on itself.) Once cooled, gently tip the meringue onto its side and peel away the parchment paper. Carefully place the meringue on a flat cake stand or serving platter.

4. WHEN READY TO SERVE, MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM In a food processor, combine the sugar, orange zest, salt, and coconut milk in a food processor and process until the sugar is dissolved and the zest heavily perfumes the coconut milk. Pour into a large bowl, add the cream, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Pile the whipped cream onto the center of the meringue and gently nudge it to the edge of the meringue, leaving about a 1 1/2-inch border.

5. Arrange the orange and grapefruit segments on the cream and then drizzle with some of the pineapple curd. Dot the top with cherries, coconut, lime zest, and more chopped pistachios and serve immediately.

Servings: 8

Author: Ben Mims
Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe

Picking Matt Up, PSWs, Shopping,

I had been mulling over how the hell I was going to go to the hospital to pick up Matt and take both walkers. As I have moaned before, our car is furthest from the entry so we both need walkers to cover the distance. I was asleep when they called me and maybe my brain was sorting it out whilst I slumbered. Anyway, having been told hospital transport would cost me $100 and they didn't think it safe to send him by cab because of his dementia, I came up with the idea of moving the basket from Matt's walker (you have to anyway, to fold them up), and then propping it up on my walker. It worked very well. I left my walker in the garage and put his in the trunk. At 3 in the morning I think I was being brilliant!!!

I apologise to the PSWs in absentia, I thought they weren't benefiting me much, I have just had to help Matt wash and dress. I cancelled the PSW for this morning when they took him to hospital last night. Just as well as we would both have had to climb out of our pits very early. But I missed him very much. I figure I got 5 hours sleep all told. Matt about the same. So we both conked out this afternoon.

Before I disappeared into the clouds of sleep, I nipped up to Victoria St. Market and got a couple of things we needed. I am quite proud of myself, I did NOT buy anything (no, I lie, bought two ears of fresh corn) but that was the only extra. I then dashed down to the bakers and picked up a load of buns I had ordered. Tomorrow, have to pick up my own groceries as Kathy is out of town. I also HAVE to get the car washed, it is covered in dust. Driving in the dark was made more difficult by the dust smears on the windshield. Yes, I washed it a few times.

Well, as I am falling asleep all over the place, I think I will post this and go to bed.

Amazing how people/companies, etc. get hold of one's emails. I got a new one today from Dairy Farmers of Ontario with this recipe which I thought sounded good. They sent me a couple of coupons too.

Avocado Pesto Bruschetta with Tre Stelle® Bocconcini

Think of this as guacamole Italian-style!

1 fresh baguette, cut into 12 1/2” slices
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
2 avocados, roughly chopped
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp each  salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup  cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup  olive oil
3 Tbs  cilantro, chopped
1 tub Tre Stelle® Bocconcini Medallions Cheese
cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to broil.Brush each side of bread slices with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.Broil until golden brown approximately 2 minutes per side.Remove from oven and rub with garlic clove halves.In a medium bowl mash avocados with lime juice; season with salt and pepper.In a separate medium bowl combine tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and cilantro.Spread avocado mixture onto each slice of toasted bread slices, top with a slice of Bocconcini Cheese and tomato mixture.

Yield: Makes 12 pieces

Source: Tre Stella

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Matt, Cast Iron, A/C, Supper, Bowling,

Around 10 Sunday night Matt overbalanced and I couldn't help him stand up so I called the ambulance. They were concerned about his blood pressure being very low so they took him to the hospital. Don't think he has hurt himself in any way but they are being safe rather than sorry. The only trouble is, of course, I can't go with him and I think that is going to be a problem.

Saturday morning I received some sad news from a friend, her husband, who also had Alzheimer's and had developed cancer, had died that morning. sad news, Luckily she has a couple of daughters and a number of grandkids in the area. At least some of them should be able to help her.

I have been seeing a lot of stuff written about how to take care of cast iron pans and things saying you should never wash it. Admittedly, I only have one cast iron frying pan which I have had for years and not having been told any different originally, I always wash it when I use it and then dry it by heating it up on the stove. Simple, easy, never given me any problems. Maybe I'm wrong but it works for me.

You know, I am sick of this very hot weather and presumably, with global warming, it is going to get worse. I turn off the A/C when we get up in the morning and open the window because it is nice to have fresh air, but if I am not careful, by the afternoon, the temps have shot up and I have to put the A/C on again. Of course we only have A/C in the living/dining area, but, with a fan, it does manage to cool the bedrooms a bit which is why I have ordered a portable A/C for the bedroom. Ladydog tells me she too has trouble sleeping in a hot bedroom.

Not much happening this weekend. I just tried cooking the egg rolls I bought from the grocery store. I cooked them in the air fryer and they came out very well. They were actually only cocktail size, but we managed to finish them for our supper. The dipping sauce was OK but nothing spectacular. I could probably knock up something better.

I have arranged to go bowling on Wednesday with a friend. He is bringing along a couple of friends too. The max per lane at the moment is 5 apparently and, of course, we have to wear masks. I am planning to pull mine down off my face when I actually go up to bowl as I find them pretty claustrophobic as it is. Almost wish I had a health reason for not wearing one.

Of course, this morning, Sunday, I was in the bathroom doing my ablutions and I came out to see Matt eating his breakfast, fully dressed. The PSW doesn't come til 9. However, when he came he took Matt up to the bathroom and at least gave him a sponge bath I gather. I leave them to it these days.

One of my favourite foods is Hot and Sour Soup and yet I have never tried to make it myself. It is the first thing I go for at Mandarin who make a really good one.

Hot and Sour Soup

This silky version of the classic Chinese soup includes traditional ingredients like earthy tree ear
fungus, tender bamboo shoots and lily buds.

12 dried lily buds
1/2 oz dried tree ear fungus (1/4 cup)
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbs distilled white vinegar, plus more for seasoning
2 Tbs medium-dark soy sauce, plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 large eggs
1/2 cup shredded bamboo shoots
1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken, pork or ham
3 1/2 oz shredded spiced thick dry tofu (1 cup)
1 1/2 tsp finely ground white pepper
1 Tbs sesame oil
Chopped scallions and cilantro, for serving

1. In a small bowl, cover the lily buds with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Cut off and discard the tough tips. In another small bowl, cover the dried tree ear fungus with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse and coarsely chop.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add the vinegar, soy sauce and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water, then add the mixture to the boiling broth, stirring constantly. Let the broth return to a simmer and cook until soup thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. Bring the soup to a full rolling boil, and using a circular motion, pour the beaten eggs into the soup. Wait 5 seconds, then turn off the heat and stir the pot to distribute the eggs throughout the soup.

4. Add the lily buds, tree ear fungus, bamboo shoots, chicken, tofu and white pepper. Simmer over medium heat until the flavors meld, about 2 minutes. Season with soy sauce, vinegar and salt.

5. Divide the soup among 4 bowls. Drizzle each with sesame oil and garnish with scallion and cilantro.

Servings: 4

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Coffee Pot, Exercises, VSM,

Serve a slice of summer with a tomato and cucumber salad. The vinaigrette is made with salty soy Sesame, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad Recipe | MyRecipessauce, but before serving, sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt to add texture to the fresh tomatoes.

Well, that's never happened before. When I got up this morning, I made a pot of coffee. I had been meaning to clean the coffee maker for a few days so once the potful was made, I started the cleaning routine. I added 6 cups of vinegar mixed with water as directed. Set it going and nothing happened. The machine kept making explosive noises but no liquid came through. Eventually I topped it up with more vinegar and let it sit for a bit, I then turned it back on and the same thing happened. I kept on like this for a while letting it sit and then turning it back on. Sometimes the explosive noises were a bit scary. I started this at around 8:30 this morning. It finally ran right through, I then ran another mix of water an vinegar through it and now, at almost 3 in the afternoon, I am running clean water through the system. I guess it was thoroughly clogged, but I have never known a coffee pot to do that before. Especially as it had made a pot of coffee earlier. I will make sure to clean it sooner next time. I was beginning to worry it wouldn't clean at all at one point. Mind you, coffee pots get a lot of use round here. Matt doesn't drink coffee but I drink nothing else during the day. Decaf of course otherwise I guess I would be totally wired!!

Can't remember if I mentioned it, but I typed a list of the exercises and now I am not called to come and help any more. Makes a difference, I can get on with stuff whilst the PSWs are with Matt. Including trying to clean the coffee pot. Of course I have to do the exercises at night, Matt doesn't remember what to do and would always skip them anyway.

I want to go to Victoria St. Market but don't want to deal with the road works. Guess I will have to brave it as I am out of Italian sausages and flank steak. The sausages, in particular, I use for a favourite Instant Pot dish. I try not to cook them too often, but I do enjoy them. Matt wouldn't know how often I feed him with them luckily. Reminds me, have to print the recipe again as I gave the other one away.

I love tomatoes and I thought this salad would be delicious.

Sesame, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad Recipe | MyRecipesSesame, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

1 lb tomatoes, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
2 medium scallions, dark green parts only, thinly sliced
1 medium serrano or jalapeno chile, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
1/4 tsp black pepper

Arrange tomato and cucumber slices on a platter. Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, olive oil, and sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing over tomatoes and cucumbers, and top with scallions, chile, and sesame seeds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with remaining dressing.

Servings: 6


Have a great weekend, stay well, stay safe.