Monthly Archives: December 2015

Food and recipes

I recently purchased a subscription to Next Issue, so I’m currently getting as many magazines as a person could possibly read in a lifetime, let alone a week! I’ve been concentrating of the food magazines – well I’m a foodie! In addition to All Recipes, I’ve discovered “Ricardo” where I’ve found some really interesting (and fairly easy) baking recipes. I brought some biscotti to the family Hanukah party and they were a hit, especially for my Uncle Leon. They didn’t turn out looking all that great, but taste was fantastic.
Here’s a recipe for:
Rainbow Veggie Pancakes with Cottage Cheese
Ingredients Original recipe yields 16 servings
• 1 small sweet potato, shredded
• 1 small Yukon Gold potato, shredded
• 1 small zucchini, shredded
• 1 large carrot, shredded
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 1 cup Nordica 2% or 4% Cottage Cheese
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 2 tablespoons Gay Lea Spreadables, or as needed
• Gay Lea Sour Cream (optional)
• Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F (100 degrees C). Toss sweet and Yukon Gold potatoes with zucchini, carrot and green onion. Stir cottage cheese with flour, eggs, salt and pepper until well blended; pour over vegetables and stir to combine.
2. Melt a little Spreadables in a large, nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Scoop 1/4 cup (50 mL) portions of vegetable mixture into skillet; flatten using back of measure. Cook for 5 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through. Transfer pancakes to a baking sheet in oven to hold warm. Repeat with remaining vegetable mixture, adding additional Spreadables to the skillet as needed. Serve pancakes with sour cream and cheese (if using).
Footnotes Tips:
• Use a box grater or a food processor to shred the vegetables.
• Leave the skin on all the vegetables for added fiber and nutrients.
• Freeze extra patties on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to warm gently in a skillet or the oven for a quick lunch or side dish.
• Whole wheat flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour.

I forget which publication I found this in, but it really is good stuff. I used the Gay Lea products because they were readily available in the supermarket I go to.

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Some Books worth reading

I am still trying to figure out how this blog business works, but I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it.
At any rate, here are two books that I’ve read recently that I think are worth passing on to you.
Jillian Cantor’s “The Hours Count” is a novel about the fictional Millie Stein, a neighbor and friend of Ethel Rosenberg who was executed for espionage in 1953. The setting is Knickerbocker Village in New York City and the action takes place between 1946 and 1953 with the epilogue taking place in 1978 on the 25th anniversary of the execution. While Millie is the central character, the historical Ethel is of unique interest. The themes are friendship, motherhood and truth. Were Julius and Ethel innocent? Were the set up? History seems to tell us that they were innocent, but Millie is never sure of who is telling the truth and who isn’t. There are mysteries from beginning to end that keep the readers’ interest. Highly recommended reading.
The second book is Colum McCann’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking”, a novella and three short stories. The novella features the death of J. Mendelsohn from which the mystery ensure. The prose is almost lyrical and the story holds the interest to the very end. The short stories are similarly powerful, set in Afghanistan, Galway and London. A recurrent theme is man’s search for meaning and hope.

I’ve been reading a lot as usual.  People ask where do I get the time.  Well, if you awoke at between 3 and 4 a.m. every morning, you too would have time to read.  Alas (oh, I am old fashioned) I would rather be sleeping than reading, but it just doesn’t work that way.

Much of what I’ve read in the last month or so is really not worth describing.  However, one little book does stand out.  A Wild Swan and other tales by Michael Cunningham is a series of short stories in which Cunningham updates various fairy tales and other folk tales that are familiar to us.  For instance, we learn that the real Rumpelstiltskin was not such a bad guy after all.  We learn that he was just a very lonely dwarf who wanted a child.  There’s also a take on The Monkey’s Paw which gives us a rather different view of the events in that story.  Some of the tales are hilarious, some ironic and all are interesting.  The chapters are short (there are 13 in a book of less than 200 pages!) and well worth reading.

I did read Louise Penney’s latest thriller set in the bucolic town of Three Pines, and enjoyed it more than her previous novel.  This one is rather darker than previous writing, but the setting is great and I do love the fact that they are always eating and drinking coffee.  How do I get inside that story?  LOL.

I signed up for Next Issue – there was a special on and it was cheap.  It came with a free subscription to “Shomi” and so I’ve watched a couple of programs.  Of main interest was “The Twilight Zone” which is re-produced by Shomi in its entirety from 1959 onwards.  The programs really have stood the test of time well.  But of even greater interest is some of the actors who starred in series.  There was one wonderful production starring Ida Lupino as a fading actress (in 1959, no less) and other actors – Ed Wynn, Burgess Meredith, Nehemiah Persoff, to name just a few.

If you read this blog, I hope you’ll get back to me so that we can have a discussion.

Donald Trump and racism

I’m still learning how to blog.  It’s taking a great deal of time, but I hope at some stage that I’ll get the knack.  Learning is getting harder as I grow older.

I am reeling from The Donald’s announcements on Muslim immigration, but even more so from the responses that I’ve read online from many people (Canadians amongst them) who support his notions.  I wrote the following to The Star letter page a couple of days ago.  Not sure that it’ll get published, so I’m publishing it on my blog page:

Donald Trump is often dismissed as a buffoon, but there is a historical precedent.  Adolf Hitler was similarly dismissed, his silly mustache often derided just as is Trump’s bouffant hair-do.  But anyone reading the responses online will see that Trump’s declarations regarding Muslims is striking a powerful chord amongst many, Americans and Canadians alike.  I fear the likes of Trump and his followers more than I do Muslim immigrants to this country.  In fact I fear the former about as much as I fear ISIS!  For The Donald’s followers, I paraphrase the Pastor Martin Niemoeller, a German anti-Nazi leader.  First they came for the Muslims, and I did nothing because I am not a Muslim . . .  finally they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.  It was Franklin Roosevelt who said “we have nothing to fear but fear itself”.  Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.  We live in a sad world.
The fact that so many people believe and trust what Trump says really is the most frightening of the situation.
On a more pleasant note, out Syrian family will be arriving this week or early next.  I may not get to meet them, certainly not right away, but I am happy that they at least are finding some refuge.