Thursday, August 27, 2020

Super Sniffers, Visit, Doctor, TV,

Now that's a new one on me, in India they have been training dogs to sniff out illegal wildlife trade items. The dogs are trained to identify all kinds of scents "So far, 74 wildlife sniffer dog squads have been trained. They can detect tiger and leopard bone and skin, elephant tusk, bear bile, deer antlers and plant products like Red Sanders and Caterpillar Fungus. Thanks to this team of super sniffers there have been 350+ reported seizures of illegal wildlife parts" Although. the trade brings in so much money it is difficult to stamp out. Seems like a good idea.

Had a visit from a friend, this afternoon, whom I hadn't seen for quite a long time. She just lost her husband to cancer although he was suffering from dementia which must have made things very difficult. She came loaded with Depends which will be very useful.

I decided I was going to get some ground beef out to make stuffed peppers tomorrow and then I realised I was going to the doctor's tomorrow. Oh well, Friday. Being a walk in clinic, I am not sure how long I will be sitting there. Could be hours or I could be seen quickly. Fingers crossed its quickly.

I am totally fed up that for the last week and a half, probably longer, my local PBS station has "Convention" stuff scheduled. Considering there are a lot of Canadian customers, I think they should take us into account. I believe they have at least as many Canadians as US viewers. Not being interested in American politics, I have no idea how long this is going to go on. I don't remember it happening last time there was an election in the States. Covid-19 perhaps? I have no idea.

This recipe is for those of you who don't mind buying asparagus out of season although I am informed that in South America they have two asparagus seasons. I should move perhaps!

Creamy Asparagus and Pancetta Penne

This vibrantly colorful dish is chock full of amazing veggies. In taking advantage of produce that is

in season, this pasta dish truly shines.

2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 tsp olive oil
2 oz chopped pancetta
1 (8-ounce) package sliced cremini mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine or
2 Tbs each lemon juice and water
1 tsp salt, divided
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
3 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
12 oz uncooked whole-wheat penne (such as Barilla)
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen green peas
12 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp grated lemon rind
3/4 tsp black pepper

1. Combine flour and butter in a bowl until a paste forms.

2. Place a large high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pancetta; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until browned and liquid evaporates. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer mixture to a plate.

3. Add stock, 2 cups milk, penne, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas, asparagus, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1 cup milk, and thyme; cook 2 minutes. Add butter-flour paste, in pieces, stirring constantly to combine and thicken. Remove from heat; stir in mushroom mixture, parsley, rind, and black pepper.

Servings: 6

Author: Maureen Callahan
Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.


  1. We are seeing quite a lot of American politics here too. As if our home grown variety wasn't enough. That said, I know who I don't want to win the US election.
    Good luck at the doctors tomorrow.

  2. Hi Jo - how lovely to see a friend - she must have been going through so much during her husband's illness, as you are. Good luck with the doctor today ... take care and all the best - Hilary

    1. Yes it was Hilary. Not only that she brought me a stack of Depends which are not cheap.


  3. I don't think I've watched a convention on TV since 1960. But I did watch the clip of some crazy woman screaming to an empty room. Oh, right. That was Trump Jr's girlfriend. I couldn't stop laughing. If I recall, they used to be on the network channels, not PBS.
    Did you see that the elephant poacher got thirty years in jail. Said he killed over 500 elephants.

    1. Well maybe some of your countrymen do watch Conventions, but it shouldn't be inflicted on Canadians.

      No I didn't Denise. They should have pulled his teeth out one by one, without deadening his gums. 500 is just horrific.

  4. We make a delicious vegetarian stuffed pepper. I should make a point of going to the market on Saturday to buy a basket of peppers now that they are fresh from the farm and relatively reasonably priced. In terms of what is on television I highly recommend the off switch and a good book. Works for me every time.

    1. So, share the recipe David. OK for you, unfortunately Matt doesn't read. He doesn't watch a lot on TV but Wednesdays there is usually a Nature programme which he seems to enjoy. As for me, I devour books.