Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thoughts to Ponder Over

A couple of days ago heard something interesting.  The question was:  "If a tree falls in the forest, and there is nothing there to hear it, does it make any sound"?   Believe it or not, no-one really knows, for 'sound' is dependent on its being able to be heard.  Only living creatures hear sound, and then not always.  Living creatures 'hear' noises, but only when our ears are able to gather the sound as it comes across the 'air-waves'.  A battery operated radio can pick up several different stations transmitted on different frequencies, and these sounds are already in the air around us, but we don't have the right 'aerial' in our heads to do hear them ourselves.  If we could hear everything being transmitted, we would be surrounded by so much noise that it would drive us mad. 

Then, I hear that light is actually invisible.  In that we only see it when it is reflected off something else.  An example was shown (on TV).  A laser beam sent through a box to hit the other side.  We saw the thin green light, pointed at and shining through the box with the dot of green as it hit the end.  The same light was shone through another box, but this time there was no air in the box (a vacuum), and we saw no light at all other than at the start (in front of the box), then only the tiny green spot as it hit the end.
No sound, no light?  It makes you think?   It is said that we are one of the few creatures that see colour.  Colour itself is something to do with reflected light.  I've often wondered why so many creatures of the deep sea that are always in the dark then show up as multi-coloured (and often very beautiful because of this) when light is shone on them.  Nature truly is wonderful, and to less intelligent mortals (like wot I am), there is still much to learn about it.

Perhaps had better stick to writing about something I hope I know more about. 
Regarding your query Les, in the recent programmes about the Amish, it does seem that there are now different 'levels' of this religion, and that electricity and telephones are now used by some (but still frowned on by others), and - on rare occasions - even cars and tractors allowed!  Don't think the Amish have yet taken to using mobile phones and computers, but I could be wrong.

Regarding the 'extra' work (TV) Cheesepare.  Nothing yet has happened other than my Beloved and daughter on the 'extra' list, and a date been given for a 'fitting' (clothes c.1960).  Filming to start towards the end of February.  If I get to hear more about when/where it will be filmed, will let you know, for you might then like to pop over and have a look-see.  Whether it will be indoors or out depends upon the scenes filmed I suppose.

See no reason why the different sauces (as given a few days ago), would not work using yogurt as a base in the Bechamel, but have no idea whether it would then be able to be frozen. 
If wishing to find a recipe for Brussels pate, perhaps worth taking a look on the Internet?

You made some good sales on eBay Sairy, you might find that a local 'boutique' (or similar shop) may display your scarves, if you offer them 'sale or return'.  You would then give the shop owner a percentage of the selling price.

As late starting (due to Gill's Sunday phone call) will give only a couple of recipes today.  The first is a 'supper dish', and one where we could use alternative ingredients (canned salmon, or different fresh fish; cauliflower instead of broccoli; canned instead of fresh potatoes; a different (but still finely grated) hard cheese. A different mustard. And/or Greek yogurt instead of creme fraiche?  By now you know the way my mind works...."use what you have"!!!
Salmon, Broccoli and Potato Bake: serves 4
1lb 10oz (750g) potatoes, cut into wedges
1 head broccoli, broken into florets
1 x 200ml tub creme fraiche
2 tblsp wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper
2 large (or 4 small) salmon fillets, cut into chunks
Boil the potatoes until almost tender, then add the broccoli and cook for a further 3 minutes or until the florets are also 'just' tender.  Strain and set aside.
Mix the creme fraiche with the mustard and seasoning to taste.  Put the potatoes and broccoli in a shallow heat-proof dish, and tuck the pieces of salmon between them. Spoon the creme fraiche mixture over the top, and sprinkle with the cheese. 
Place under a pre-heated grill and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce is bubbling, and the tips of the potatoes are crisping up, and the salmon is just cooked.
Remove, cool slightly in the dish, then serve.

Final recipe today is one that makes us of surplus hard cheese, and although only Cheddar is mentioned, it could be a blend of several (add Red Leicester and/or, Double Gloucester, Lancashire, Cheshire etc...).  The original recipe 'expected' this mixture to be served as 'balls', these rolled in the fresh herbs, but the basic 'potted cheese' could be served in pots (with or without added herbs) to spread on toast as maybe a 'starter' for a dinner party, or for a lunch or supper dish.
The suggested herbs to use are: parsley, thyme, chives, and tarragon.
This can be made well in advance and kept chilled in the fridge for several days.
Potted Cheese with Herbs: serves 6
8 oz (225g) Cheddar cheese, finely grated
2 oz (50g) soft margarine
2 tblsp sherry or white wine
2 tsp dried mace (or grating of fresh nutmeg)
2 tblsp finely chopped fresh mixed herbs (see above)
Mix together the cheese and margarine, then stir in the sherry (or wine) and mace (or nutmeg) until well combined.  Cover and chill.  When firm, shape into small balls and coat with the chopped herbs. Serve chilled,  each speared with a cocktail stick.  Or - once the mixture has been made it could then be potted up into the serving container/s.  Herbs could be sprinkled on top (opt), then  covered and chilled.

Very windy day today, with occasional spattering of raindrops on the window.  At least sight of blue sky here and there.  Certainly not as cold as it has been the past week or so.  The Big Thaw over the country I believe, just let's hope this doesn't cause too much flooding. 

Yesterday bake a big Bakewell Tart for B to eat hot (with cream) or cold.  He already seems to have worked his way through one quarter.  Found an unopened tub of cream in the fridge past its 'use-by' date, but - given the 'sniff and taste' test - it still seemed as 'fresh' as the day it was packed, so emptied it into a small pan, heated it up to simmering (but not boiling), removed it from heat, added a tablsp of caster sugar and two (broken) packs of 'cooking' chocolate (one plain, one milk), and stirred the lot together until all the chocolate had dissolved.  This 'ganache' is now in the fridge chilling, and can be used (when beaten) for a cake filling (or covering) or made into 'truffles' (both will freeze).

This morning will be making some fork biscuits.  The thinner ones sandwiched together with some of the 'ganache'.  Also planning to make a trifle as have a few trifle sponges, plenty of jelly, some custard and a bit more cream that needs using up.  With the Bakewell, that should keep B in desserts and snacks for a few days.

Not sure what supper will be tonight.  B is at a 'working party' at the club this morning and will be fed 'bacon butties' at lunchtime, then this afternoon he will be going to a club member's house (who lives a few doors away), to meet up with other neighbours for an hour or two this afternoon.  I've been invited but not sure yet whether I'll be going or not.  They have a Jack Russell, and I am absolutely terrified of these little monsters (having had bad memories with one in the past).  At least I can send biscuits as a 'thank you' for the invitation., and blame my bad back on not being able to attend.

Suddenly it has begun to hail.  Well, that's British weather for you. In the time it has taken me to write this blog we have had glorious sunshine, an almost all-blue sky, light rain, high winds, thin cloud, more sunshine, more rain, now heavy clouds with hail, and see more blue sky appearing on the horizon.  Then, possibly more sun.  What's next?  Snow or a heatwave?  Hopefully a drought. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and let all of us start the coming week with a smile on our faces and joy in our hearts because we are still surviving whatever the government (and fuel companies) throw at us.  Do their worst! That's what I say.  We'll show 'em we can't be beaten.    TTFN.