03 August, 2010

Finally! A new post!

So it is now Tuesday, August 3, 2010 and I am just posting to this blog again. There is no real reason for my absence other than I just didn't feel like posting anything. Sometimes I just can't think of anything that others might find interesting. With that in mind something I do want to talk about is cooking.

I have been seriously neglectful of my cooking duties for some time now and I don't really know why other than to say that I just get tired of my own cooking all the time. Eating out is nice but it really gets very expensive after awhile so it's back to the kitchen for me. This leads me to the area of food I want to get into. French cooking.

Yes indeed. Now I could say that watching the movie, "Julie and Julia" inspired me but that wouldn't be the whole truth. I did enjoy the movie and loved learning about Julia Child's life in France which guided her into the French chef that she became. I also admire Julie's accomplishment with her book etc, but I have little thanks for her in regard to French cooking. I have however long admired Julia Child's style and thoroughness and the sheer joy she always seemed to exude when cooking her beloved French dishes. Not to mention the fact that the food is positively heavenly.

It is with those thoughts in mind that my husband bought me both volumes I and II of Julia Child's "Mastering the art of french cooking". Volume I was co-authored by Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. Volume II was only Julia Child and Simone Beck. From what I understand Julia tested all, or at least most all the recipes herself to make sure they came out as they should. Now that's dedication to a love of great food.

Anyway, I plan to choose a few recipes and have a go myself. I'm not going to set up a counter or try to make a recipe everyday but I will make a real effort to post a note on what I cook and how it comes out. There is such a wealth of information to go through first - all the areas that are so crucial to good cooking. Learning to do things the right way with the proper equipment. Those are areas I'll be tackling first. Hopefully that will help me learn a bit more patience since normally I have little.

I have cooked only one real French recipe that I've had for years but don't make very often. Scallops with wine and cream. I did make this dish some time back and Pete loved it. And this is someone that doesn't even like scallops that much. Well, he likes scallops but they certainly aren't his favorite seafood dish. So it made me feel great to know they came out so delicious that someone that would ordinarily pass on the scallops loved them and even wanted me to make the dish again. Ahh yes!

I made this dish early last year but I'll tell you what I recall about it. So, what you have are big ocean scallops. I suppose you could use bay scallops but the small ones just don't cut for me with this dish. The large ocean scallops are perfect plus since their so big you can count on three or maybe four scallops per shell.

Incidentally, I use clean genuine scallop shells to cook and serve these in. They look great and make the dish so appetizing when served with a seafood meal. Actually no matter what you serve these with the shells sure make the scallops stand out!

I used a slightly dry white wine which I thought was nice. Of course I didn't really experiment with any other wine so there may be others that would work well. I used garlic, shallots and a small amount of celery. The sauce began with some lovely fresh cream and the whole thing was topped with a nice crunchy topping of panko, potato buds along with a few choice seasonings and some Kerrygold butter which is positively heavenly and browns so nicely under the grill. It gave the dish a toasty, buttery, crunchy contrast to the succulent just-done scallops in their creamy wine sauce.

That's such an important element too - don't over cook the scallops or you're done for! It just totally ruins not only the taste but the texture as well. And the butter.

I guess people will think I'm a snob but I don't care. Taste is everything when you want the flavor of butter actually in your dish and to me, what we normally get here in the USA just doesn't cut it. I'm afraid I was spoiled on English and Irish butter when I was in the UK. The difference is such that even a slice of toast for breakfast with a little smear of butter is a real treat because the taste is so much better. Maybe they have happier cows over there but whatever it is, it shows in the taste every time.

Since this post is a bit longer than I'd planned I'll end it here. Hopefully I'll have cooked something nice to talk about next time. Fingers crossed.

22 March, 2008

Elections 2008

Let's all hope that we have a decent new president this fall. I am looking forward to adding my vote into the political hat.

Many years ago Alice Paul (not to mention Susan B. Anthony and so many others before Miss Paul.) and many other women fought for women's rights.

Many of Miss Paul's friends as well as Alice herself went to jail so that the women of today could have a voice in their own government.

I fully intend to take advantage of my hard earned right to cast my vote.

Let's hope for a brighter future for this country since if left as it is now, the place will fall to rack and ruin much more than it is now.

26 January, 2008

Posting here.

It seems that I don't post on this blog as often as blogexplosion would like me to.

I post if and when I feel like it. Not according to some place that lists fuck sites left and right and all other means of common trashy crap.

My posts are normally interting and I don't appreciate being told to "post more often then maybe we'll add you".

Ummm, no thanks! I'll post my stuff elsewhere.

You people let me know of any better blogging spots to list blogs.

Thank you sooo much.

24 January, 2008

Natural Disasters

Floods, volcanoes, heavy snowfalls and avalanches.

Read Relief Webs statistics charts on Latest Natural Disasters.

08 December, 2007

Ebola Outbreak in Uganda

According to ReliefWeb there has been an outbreak of Ebola a deadly hemorrhagic fever in the African country of Uganda.

As of December 7, 2007, the strain has affected 104 people of which, 23 have died so far. At least some of the deaths are near the lake Victoria area as well as the Kenyan area and eastern region of the country.

There are several strains of this disease, Marburg which originated at a primate holding facility in Marburg Germany, is also a filovirus and in the same class as Ebola.

There is Ebola Sudan discovered in 1976 and EbolaZaire which is the deadliest strain of the disease with the highest mortality rate. Ebola Tai (Ivory Coast) and Ebola Bundibugyo

Yet another strain of the disease which is most likely unknown to many Americans, Ebola Reston which was discovered by employees from USAMRIID at a primate holding facility in Reston, Virginia.

However the Reston strain doesn't seem to be the slate wiper that the other strains are. The only person I know of that was affected by the Reston strain fully recovered.

This is undoubtedly one of the most terrifying diseases on earth. It begins with flu-like symptoms that continue to get worse very quickly until the patient crashes and "bleeds out", meaning that the victim bleeds from every orifice until death.

We are all of this earth. That being said my heart and prayers are with the people of Uganda that they and their families will be released quickly from this horrible plague that has once again stricken that area of the world.

30 November, 2007

Muhammad was his name

Most of us know that we should learn at least the basics about a country's culture, customs and most importantly, laws before travelling to that country.

That being said, I simply cannot believe all the bullshit that has gone on over the teddy bear incident in Sudan.

Now first of all, I understand that Muslims are sensitive in regard to their religion which is their right. However, having read that she was expected to receive 40 lashes and possibly a 45 day jail sentence was just totally unbelievable!

Since she was a visitor in their country she should have exercised far more tact and caution in her use of the name Muhammad. I think this sort of thing happens quite often.

Foreign visitors don't see a problem with what they say or possibly how they dress when it so obviously offends the customs of the people around them.

I am a strong believer of learning local laws and in particular those in regard to things that locals might find offensive before hand. I simply cannot stress that enough.

I hope that the British government can intervene and at least get something reasonable worked out. Any jail time would be bad enough but to whip a woman is barbaric and extremely backward to say the very least.

Read the full story on BBC News.

16 November, 2007

Bangladesh cyclone kills hundreds

Go to BBC News for the complete story and latest news on Cyclone Sidr that hit Bangladesh. The category IV storm hit Thursday, November 15 having originated in the Bay of Bengal.

The story is like many others, at least 600 (BBC News listed this number) dead - and there will probably be more as areas destroyed are cleared.

Now, according to ReliefWeb, 1,100 people have died and 3.2 million are affected by the cyclone.

UNICEF among others will supply water, medicine and food to those affected.

Bangladesh has an early storm warning system but how long do people actually have to reach safety? The answer is often sad and very frightening in regard to time.

If you can afford to donate then please do so. Even small donations add up.