Friday, May 25, 2018

Pangolins, VHS Player, Cheshire and the Pennines, Ultra Sound,

On Wednesday night we watched a Nature film all about Pangolins. I knew what they were, but didn't know much about them. What horrified me was the pictures of thousands of them dead and being shipped to the East where they use the Pangolins' shells for medicinal purposes (the shells are made of the same thing as our fingernails so, of course, have absolutely NO medical benefit). They are the most endangered animal in the world, more so
than elephants and rhinos, they are also eaten in Asian countries and are considered a delicacy. From the documentary we learned that they are very friendly little animals and basically live solitary lives. The sacks in the picture are of their scales which are removed and then shipped in bulk and fetch more money than ivory. There are 8 types of Pangolins, four of which live in African countries and 4 in Asian countries, the
Asian ones have been absolutely decimated  so now the smugglers are starting on the African ones. There are places which are now working hard to effect preservation of these animals before they completely disappear. One of the top film stars in China has made a documentary in aid of Pangolin preservation and hopefully, because she is such a celebrity, it will have some effect. I guess you will realise I was very affected by this programme and their nearness to extinction. If you ever get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it.

Bowling today, not bad, not great. Then when we came home the guy came to pick up our VHS player to see if he can fix it. Dummy me, I had disconnected it and of course we lost the signal but I couldn't, for the life of me remember what I had to do to fix that. Screw the cables into the box of course. Duuuh.

I came across a couple of pictures taken a few years ago when we visited a friend in Marple, Cheshire, England, which is where I was born and which I knew nothing about. I had never realised it wasn't flat country before, not sure why I thought it was mind you.

That could be snow covered hills or mountains in the background. No idea which.My geography isn't too hot I'm afraid. There is a ridge of mountains running up the middle of England - the Pennines - and looking at the maps, I think I am pretty safe to assume those snowy ridges in the distance are, in fact, the Pennines.

I am ashamed of what I don't know about the country of my birth. Matt used to cycle all over the country so was much better informed than I.
Being Friday, I have an appointment for an ultra-sound and X-ray on my legs this morning. Let's hope this will help find out something worthwhile.

This salad is one of my favourites. Not made it this year yet, but I can assure you I will soon.

Asparagus and Endive Salad

1 lb fresh asparagus , trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 Tbs Juice, orange, fresh
2 Tbs seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs small shallots , minced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp black pepper
8 oz Belgian endive, fresh, head , cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips (2 heads)

1. Place 1/2 inch of water at the bottom of a 12 inch pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add in asparagus and cook until tender yet crisp, about 2 minutes. Place in strainer, rinse under cold water, drain, and pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange peel, orange juice, vinegar, oil, shallots, sugar, salt, mustard, and pepper until well combined.

3. Add the asparagus and endive to the bowl with the dressing. Mix well to evenly coat and serve.

Servings: 4

Source: dLife

Author Notes
Light and elegant salad combining asparagus and endive in a homemade orange Dijon vinaigrette.

Try using a sugar substitute instead of regular sugar.

Have a great day
 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Accident, Bowling, Thor: Ragnarok

Our cleaner arrived this morning visibly upset. Turned out that she had had very little sleep and that her daughter had run into the back of another car, totalling the cleaner's car. She was driving a rental this morning. I didn't realise at first, daughter is a learner and mother was along for the practice. Not sure how that works in Canada never been a learner over here. Apparently the police took their own sweet time coming, nobody hurt, so they had to sit there with cars almost swiping them for a couple of hours. She finally called them again and said how dangerous it was where they were. Then they came. An accident is bad enough without extra hassle.

Bowling today, didn't bowl too badly - nor did Matt. However, we were against a team with several top notch players, talk about loaded, so we didn't win a single point.

I just watched a DVD of Thor, Ragnarok. What a long movie, I was getting a tad tired of it in some places. Seemed to go on forever. I did enjoy it though but think they could have shortened it somewhat. I don't think I will be watching it again before I return it to the library.

Being flush with asparagus at the moment, I have been looking at recipes. I must say, I had completely forgotten this one. I do agree with the comment at the end about using asparagus as much as possible while it is in season.

Asparagus and Shrimp Paté

2 lb (1 kg) shrimp, shelled
½ cup (125 mL) chopped green onions
3 Tbs (45 mL) seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbs (15 mL) chopped garlic
1 Tbs (15 mL) chopped fresh tarragon
2 Tbs (25 mL) chopped parsley
1 egg
1 egg white
½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb (500 g) medium-size asparagus spears, blanched
Garnish
Fresh tarragon
Lemon slices, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

2. Combine shrimp, green onions, vinegar, garlic, tarragon and parsley in a food processor. Process until mixture is just combined. While machine is running, add egg, egg white and cream. Stop machine immediately. Mixture should have a little bit of texture left. Season well with salt and pepper.

3. Lay a third of shrimp mixture into a buttered loaf pan. Add a layer of asparagus trimmed to fit pan. If asparagus is too short then add a second piece as well. Add second layer of shrimp mixture and another layer of asparagus. Finish with remaining shrimp mixture.

4. Place loaf pan into a second slightly bigger pan. Fill larger pan with boiling water halfway up loaf pan. Cover loaf pan with a piece of buttered parchment paper and cover tightly with foil.

5. Bake for 55 minutes or until white juices begin to rise and pâté is cooked through in the middle. Cool in pan and pour off any liquid that has gathered. Turn out on to a rectangular plate and decorate with fresh tarragon and lemon slices, if desired.

Servings: 10

Tips
Asparagus, when in season, deserves to be used as much as possible. Combining it with a shrimp purée makes an outstanding pate. To blanch asparagus, toss into a pot of boiling water, bring back to the boil, drain well, and run under cold water.

Author: Lucy Waverman
Source: Food and Drink

Have a great day