Monday, July 13, 2020

Weather, PSW, Reminiscing, Masks, Strawberries,

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

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

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

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

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

Another recipe I meant to try and didn't.

Salmon Carpaccio with Lemon Aioli and Pork Rind Crumble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Servings: 4
Yield: 4 first-course servings

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.


  1. Sorry about the strawberries and the shaver.

    1. Not a major problem Ivy, thank goodness. Were you up late or very early?

    2. All over. One morning I was up at 5:30 and outside writing by 6AM. Another night I was up until 2AM. Just all over right now.

    3. Just make sure you get enough sleep Ivy.

    4. I sleep a bunch. I am very into getting enough sleep, taking care of my body and NOT going out. But when the dog gets me up to pee, sometimes I'm wide awake so I start work. Love it. But sleep is major important.

    5. It is important Ivy so I am glad you sleep a bunch.

  2. Dementia is a thief is a pretty good description. A thief who can never be caught sadly.
    Sigh at the strawberries. Ours come from another state rather than country but they are frequently bullet like and tasteless. Which infuriates me.
    We have had gentle (but chilly rain) most of the day. We are so often drought stricken that rain is always welcome but I agree, torrential rain does nothing helpful.

    1. I thought so Sue. Never thought about not being caught.
      I sure won't buy berries from VSM again.
      Nice gentle rain is just what we need. Looks like it could rain today.

  3. Hi Jo - glad the PSW is likely to be the same this week. If the local greengrocer doesn't have artichokes it's because they're not ready yet - as they're doing local and not importing fruit and veg. Take care and glad the hot weather broke ... looks like we'll get rain later on this week - it's been avoiding us. Take care - Hilary

    1. I think our artichokes come from way down south Hilary, don't think they grow in Ontario, I could be wrong, I should Google it.
      Yes, much better out there now, a bit more rain would be good though.

  4. I think we were all anxious for the rain, Jo, and finally we did receive a couple of spells of gentle rain that really soaked into the ground. The weeds at the front of the house shot up in a hurry! Today is the last day of my daughter's visit and she will be heading home to Ottawa. It has been good to have a visit. As for shaving - how about shaving cream and a safety razor? Inexpensive it and works every time!

    1. I am not sure we got the gentle stuff David. The grass in the park still looks brown. Sorry about the weeds though. Glad you have enjoyed her visit. I doubt very much that Matt could use a razor and shaving cream any more.

  5. We are super hot here although rain this morning cooled it off some.

    My father served in the Navy during WWII and I wish I'd been able to ask him more about it.

    1. It has been dreadfully hot here Diane. Worse than I remember in NC.

      Yes, it is a pity we didn't take advantage of our parent's memories.

  6. We must all wear masks in Michigan starting today, inside stores and even outside if there are many people. I bought 50 disposable masks way back, but my DIL bought me a nice cotton one from Etsy which is much easier to breathe in. In the grocery yesterday, every person had one on.

    1. Yes, our by-law comes into effect today. I bought some disposable masks a while back plus David's wife made me one. Lots of people were wearing masks anyway. VSM insisted on it right from the get go.

  7. Masks are now mandatory here and I noticed, even last Friday, about half the people were not wearing masks. This heat is disgusting and our A/C went on the weekend. We came back from Toronto after getting my infusion and noticed the place seemed warm. I contacted a place that came out and it was the motor. Thankfully, they replaced it yesterday. This cost and our doggie last week-had a tumour removed plus tons of meds for that and his ears and bad hip, made me cry into my purse. The good news is that I don't feel like I am walking on glass shards and the pain has lessened so I have more energy. The constant pain is still there but less which is great. My mom's memory was weird. If I brought up something from long ago she would remember but still ask questions about where the people are or what happened to the house. Rarely remembered recent memory except knowing that her grandaughter worked at the Bulk Barn...strange

  8. You can't really blame people in this heat Birgit. Luckily I haven't had to be outside in the heat with a mask on. A chapter of disasters with the dog and your A/C but I am delighted your infusion has made things better. Similar to when I had a blood transfusion, my legs felt a whole heap better for a while. Memory plays weird tricks doesn't it.