Friday, May 19, 2017

Mango Cup Dessert

A drizzle of honey is added next
Ron created a heritage dessert for us last night.

He cut through the girth of a mango, then twisted each side in a different direction, and the equivalent of a mango cup appeared in one hand.

He put that down and cut the pit out of the other half.

Now there were 2 mango cups.  He drizzled honey on the flat surface of both, filled the cup with whipping cream and added a dash of cinnamon.
Add D Dutchman cherry cheesecake ice cream as a side.
Look for the sprinkle of cinammon on top of the cream.
All that was left to do was plate the fruit and add some ice-cream on the side for anyone who thought that they wanted ice-cream besides.

I am a big fan of fruit and cream.  That would be whipping cream if possible.  Just try to get it right:  whipping cream and strawberries, or raspberries, or bananas.

And now add mangos, especially as a fruit cup.

A lovely event.


A Retuirn to Der Rosenkavalier

Sophie (Erin Morley) trying to escape 
the grasp of Baron Ochs (Günther Groissböck) 
in Robert Carsen’s production of “Der Rosenkavalier” at the Met. 
Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
I can think of more reasons to stay home and work than to go out to the opera when it is piped in live from the Metropolitan in New York.

What keeps me going back is the recurring, though fleeting memory, of living in another century when all that was possible was opera on the radio.

I went alone and arrived early enough to purchase my reserved seat, and to walk over to Chapters and buy a book I am looking forward to reading: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.

I have been wondering why I am not seeing any of my friends at the opera, since I think that I and they will have like minded interests.

Saturday I hit the jackpot. I saw Ursula Benedict before the show started and we decided to have our chat at one of the intermissions.

I saw Marlys Chevrefils at the first intermission.

I have known Marlys for a long time for we both worked at the University Library.  The first time we met at a big event she came to sit by me, and said to the man sitting next to me, “Do you mind moving over so that I can sit by my friend. He did. As soon as she got settled, I leaned over her, touched the man and said, “Marlys, I would like to introduce you to my husband.” She wanted to exchanged seats back, but he would have none of it.

As I was walking of the theatre on Saturday a childhood friend, Madeline Aldridge, stopped me, and asked me if it really was me. We exchanged email addresses and telephone numbers.

Now how could the opera be more fun that that!

Three friends and 4 ½ hours of pure Mozart bliss.



Already plated up:
saag, makki, salad
 ...Salad: cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions ...
... my first look at the saag ....
 ... a good thing I took seconds ...
... there were not many leftovers ...
I ate a traditional Punjab meal tonight with the Singh’s and their guests.

Saag is chopped mustard greens and spinach with some cumin seed, a few chile peppers, some garlic and maybe some turmeric.

In this case the greens had been grown in Manvir’s garden and transported out to B.C. so that we could have a traditional meal, one that can’t be found in any restaurant.

Ron Singh showed me how to take the cornmeal roti, break off a piece of it, and then squeeze its sides that I had a small cup or scoop with which I could pick up the saag.

Having just had my hands in Ethiopian food last week, it was easy to dig right in and make a few mistakes.

I did notice that I chased the saag right across my plate to its edge and had to bring it back to the centre to try again.

I won't have a problem with practising technique if they keep making this food for me.

After a while I tried to say the word “saag” and they explained that the 2 a’s can be drawn out as long or kept as short as I would wish.

I intend to keep the “a’s” long.

Labour intensive meal?


And a big yes to delicious, something I didn’t ever think I would say about mustard greens and spinach.

“Why do you think everyone would try to invade India?”, one of them asked me. “It was not for the gold but for the food.”


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Makki de roti

The makki has been cooked on the first side.

Bring a pan to leave behind.
Teach me how to make the bread to use the pan
What a great gift.  
Manvir was making makki de roti for supper, a corn flour roti, and more than one for everyone. I could feel my fingers itching to take the dough and try putting it on the griddle. She show me how to make a nice edge on the dough as she patted it from a round circle to a flat circle, and then she put it on the heat.

The part I loved with the grate that was over a second burner where more heat was applied and the dough puffed up and apart. “This is the bread my dad really likes. He even likes left overs if my mom served him makki roti.” That made me laugh. I like Indian food left overs with our without fresh bread.

The makki is ready to be served.
Add butter if you can take the calories.
Manvir had another trick I will try.

She took roti she had purchased at the store and put it on the same griddle, just long enough to have it soften on one side and then the other.

She did this for the children who aren’t used to the cornflour makki.

I shall just do it when I would like a piece of flour roti with anything.


Early Morning Fishing

Glen writes to me the following:
I saw a man and two young boys fishing off the dock this morning.

I should have taken a picture and had Wyona paint it.

She could have called it “man and two young boys” or “early morning fishing”

My view of the dock is obstructed by trees.
Others have to report "dock happenings" to me.
Arta again:

And I think to myself, have I lived here so long that I have forgotten the thrill of fishing off of the dock and catching a pike.

That is what they did.

Catch and release.

In the meantime Kerri Singh is up making delicious Indian food for breakfast.

The day is beginning right for me.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Making bowls from thimbleberry bushes!

making a cup from a thimbleberry leaf
I had one of the best Saturdays ever!

I got to join in class taught by Tsawout UVic professor Nick Claxton, with his uncle Earl Claxton Jr.

It was about language and land, and we spent the full day on PKOLS (also known by some as Mount Doug).

We learned how to introduce ourselves properly (I am still practicing), we walked around and heard stories and info re plants, and trees, we had a potluck, and walked up the mountain.  What a day!

Along the way, we learned about 4 uses for plants: as food, as medicine, as tools, and as indicators (ie. telling you when the timing is right for certain activities)

One of the great moments for me was our time by the thimbleberry! (which i used to mistakenly call Salmonberries when growing up...)

I learned how to take a leaf, and turn it into a cup.  Basically, you turn it into a cone shape, overlapping two veins, then use the stem (which would still be sticking out the bottom) as a kind of needle, poking in and and out through the leave, to 'stitch it together'.  Then, you have a little cup in one hand to collect the berries you are eating!

Thanks Earl Claxton, Jr!   And thanks Nick Claxton for allowing us to join his class.

This is a technique I will be using this summer!   Yum!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Crazy Good Beef and Broccoli

Crazy good Beef and Broccoli

Yield: 2 servings

. 1 pound flank steak, sliced into 1/4 inch thick strips
   3 cups small broccoli florets
   1/2 cup beef stock
   5 cloves garlic, minced
   2 tablespoons corn starch
   1 tablespoon canola oil
   For the sauce:
   1/2 cup soy sauce
   1/4 cup brown sugar
   2 teaspoons corn starch

1  Toss sliced beef in a large bowl with corn starch.
2. Heat canola oil in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes. Add sliced beef and cook until it browns, a few minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3.Add broccoli and garlic to the pan, and stir. Add beef broth. Let simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. While waiting for the broccoli to cook, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
5. Add the reserved beef and sauce to the pan, and stir. Let simmer for 5 minutes so the sauce thickens a bit.

   Serve beef and broccoli over cooked white rice.