First off, thanks to Kathors for your helpful suggestions, recipes and spelling of goulasch. Can’t wait to try them – will get back to you on my results for Hungarian goulasch (the friend’s recipe) in a few days. I really like the idea of stirring in crème fraiche at the end. Right up my decadent cream-loving alley!
Now to weird combos….yesterday was my day off with Steve. So we went kayaking. The weather right now is amazing – another hit of summer – so we spent all day on the water. Got back later than we thought – I was tired and my eyes were a little googly – I get that from sunny days on the water – and I really didn’t feel like cooking. But being the kitchen dominatrix I am, I really hate the idea of Steve rummaging through my fridge trying to figure something out. I keep odd ends and bits of things in there that on their own aren’t meal-worthy, but I keep them filed in the back of my brain for some kind of wonderful creation. Like this:
Looks pretty good yes? Well, it’s the leftover turkey gravy, meat and stuffing bits (from the EAT Christmas photo shoot last week) with about a cup of homemade tomato sauce that wash stashed in the freezer. Saturday night was my friend Ingrid’s birthday and we had a curry feast – so the few mouthfuls of chicken curry that were leftover were added to the mix. (Steve came home from work and polished off most of the chicken curry leaving the oily sauce and 2 lonely chunks of meat! He suffers the classic syndrome of never wanting to eat the last jellybean-in-the-bowl type of thing!) Plus a small bowl of extreme green parsley pure. Herb purees are my new favourite thing to have hanging out in the fridge – I add them to mayo for sandwiches, sauces, soups and in this case a crazy mixed up pasta.
Not bad at all and now my fridge is cleaned out too. Happiness.
I’ve come into the new age and finally figured out my iPOD – it makes my feet go faster when I walk to work or take a jog. I’ve downloaded super old groovy tunes – and right now the Bee Gees are my fave – Jive Talking in particular. So when I make my morning coffee I put it on and do my own java talking…… I know……… my humour in the morning tends to be corny.
Anyways, coffee has been on my mind lately. We make and sell Illy coffee at Ottavio. Often, customers will ask if they can use espresso beans to make “regular” coffee. Good question.
I’ve come up with this:
Espresso beans can only be used for making espresso.
A true espresso is a small shot of pressure-brewed coffee. Its distinct feature is the “crema” – a layer of rich velvety cream that rests on the surface. Espresso beans are simply coffee beans brewed in a specific way – any type of bean will work, although arabica beans – a mild bean from plants grown at high altitudes – arguably make the best espresso. You can use espresso beans to make any style of coffee – just make sure you have the correct grind to suit your coffee maker.
Looking at this makes me a touch seasick but here you have the architect’s rendering for Eve’s Tower, a 20-storey structure (scheduled for completion in 2010) that’s part of the five-building Hydra Towers Project in Dubai’s Business Bay area.
I’m actually not sure which one of the five is Eve’s. The one that’s perched a little higher? One hopes.
Anyhow, the nifty thing is: Only women will be allowed to own office space in the building (though guys can work there).
“We have conceptualized the building as a tribute to the nurturing spirit of womanhood, world over,” says Sulaiman Al Fahim, chief executive of the Abu Dhabi-headquartered Hydra Properties. “I’m confident that the tower will lead to a new awakening and unleash the latent entrepreneurial talent of UAE women and contribute to the overall growth of the nation and region.”
I mourn today the death of Malalai Kakar, Afghani police commander and head of Kandahar’s department of crimes against women.
I remember this amazing portrait of a burka-clad Kakar taken by Canadian photographer Lana Slezic for her book Forsaken, a collection of images about Afghanistan. (Chatelaine excerpted stunning photos from this book not long ago.)
Kakar, a mother of six, whose father and brother were also police officers, was shot and killed by Taliban gunmen as her teenaged son prepared to drive her to work.
As a new parent, I am learning as I go. Tempra, meconium, MMR — these are all new terms in my vocabulary. What I do know now, four months into the job, is that what I once feared most about my child’s health is no longer, for me, an issue.
I no longer fear vaccines.
Next week, in fact, Alex will get his second round of immunization and the only thing that makes me queasy is thinking about the baby’s piercing wail when the needle goes in.
But the tears last seconds. The immunization keeps my child safe for life.
My parents’ generation never had a moment’s hesitation to immunize. Why did I? Why, in our peer group, are vaccines so maligned?
In a riveting new book, Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure, Dr. Paul A. Offit, the internationally regarded chief of pediatric infection diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, details the rise of the modern-day anti-vaccine movement from its birth in 1998. That’s when a charismatic British researcher named Andrew Wakefield announced that he had discovered a link between autism and the shot for MMR (measles-mumps-rubella). Parents in the U.K. hailed Wakefield as a people’s hero and began refusing the MMR needle for their kids. (A rise in measles outbreaks followed.)
In 2000, Wakefield’s findings were detailed in a U.S. congressional hearing and the issue gripped the media, leading to a bigger boom in anti-vaccine thinking. By 2001, when the mercury-based compound thimerisol was removed from vaccines, the public’s suspicion piqued: Was there a cover up? Never mind that thimerisol was never conclusively linked to autism.
Fast forward a few years to an internet-fuelled epidemic that bleeds with dubious science, anecdotal “proof” and mass hysteria, not to mention death threats being left at the doorsteps of vocal immunologists. Dr. Offit received a letter that read: “I will hang you by you neck until you are dead.”
I am, at this point in the blog, bracing for letters, too. Maybe not threats but surely outrage from caring parents, believing they have found an explanation for their children’s autism.
I believe we should be just as concerned by the reappearance in diseases that vaccines can prevent. The U.S. Centre for Disease Control is all but freaking out over a record increase in measles, a serious, life-endangering disease.
Refusing to immunize one’s child and depending on herd immunity (the belief that “if other kids are vaccinated, the chain of infection is broken”) does not work.
Read Offit’s book, look into the evidence and judge for yourselves.