Archive for September, 2012

Corn Cakes and Salsa

I had to go to the dentist today to replace one of the crowns on the top just in from the wisdom tooth.  Not sure why I put a crown on it 8 years ago because no one sees the tooth, but I did. Lets face it I liked my dentist at the time.  

Again not sure why it needed replacement as I had no problem but possibly my dentist needed $800.  So I follow the old belief that if a guy with the first name Doctor, says something you follow his advice and if you try to question he will whip out Xrays with faint shadows and point at it and look at you as if you are an idiot until you say “Yes Doctor”

So I had my mouth frozen this morning.  Pat planned a meal plan that she thought would be easy on my mouth.  I had the procedure at 8:30 am  so by the afternoon there was no problem but the plans for the meal had gone so far that we were obligated.

A fancy name for the meal but it was basically pancakes with ground up corn kernals and full kernals served with Salsa and Sour Cream.  Now I am a full believer that Salsa and Sour Cream can go on anything but who would have thought on pancakes.  Actually it was pretty good. 

I BBQd a couple of Bratwursts on the side because I have not yet abandoned the carnivore diet, but it was still an interesting meal.  I know you are saying that the term “interesting” is the death term for a compliment.  It was very nice but again I feel you could put salsa and sour cream on old mashed potatoes and cooked spinich and it would come out OK 

Life in the fast lane……..

Popular Mechanics update

I will now receive 2 years of Popular Mechanics magazine.  But there is a bonus

Pat and I were at the CIBC today and the staff had set up a White Elephant display (think of a mini garage sale) in the lobby.  Someone had donated the last month’s edition of Popular Mechanics and Pat purchased it for me for 50 cents.  I started to read it  as we were waiting and then held it next to my chest, saying “I want to savour it”

Tomorrow morning I am at the fitness club.  I spend 30 minutes on a cross trainer where I read a magazine (everyone around me listens to music on Ipods or chats with their neighbour)  I am noted as the guy that reads while working out. 

Normally I read the latest issue of Macleans.  Try to keep up to date with news and views. 

But tomorrow I will read about hovering helicopter wind driven power plants and new developments in cutting edge mechanical technology, maybe a bicycle that you can ride backwards, who knows.  In any event it has to be more interesting than long articles about why the NDP under Mulcair is beating Harper in the polls (I really do not want to read that)

So tomorrow I will cycle away with a heart beat of 120 – 130 filled with mechanical innovation dreams.  Nirvana

Sunday Night Indian dinner

It is nights like this that I miss my phone calls to Mother.  I would describe the complicated meal that we were preparing and she would wonder where I evolved from.  Then she would finish with the standard ‘no wonder you are so fat’   awww I miss her

We were at the farmers market and bought a lovely butternut squash.  No real plan for a squash meal but it was just sitting there saying “eat me”   On saturday I read an article in the paper about a simple Coconut Rice recipe.  Then the plan came together.

So tonight we are having an Indian meal.  Pat is making an Indian Subzi with the squash.  Apparently they do not have butternut squash in India so we are substituting Butternut  for the weird squash they use.  Lets face it you add spices and all squashs will taste the same. 

I am making my family famous Shakuti (chicken and onions in a curry sauce).  We have coconut rice and papadams to go with it and our crabapple sauce as a chutney.  All we are missing is the Pakuras as an appetizer.  Regretfully I have no yogurt so I cannot make a Mango Lassi for Pat but we will have to get by with wine. 

These are great meals but they were even better when we had kids at home to eat it all up.  Impossible to make this many courses for 2 people so we will be having leftovers through the week.  Needless to say this is one of those meals where we dirty lots of dishes in the preparation.  Not to worry though as I have staff to clean up. 

I will work out even harder tomorrow morning at the gym.

Popular Mechanics Magazine

One of my favourite magazines of all time is Popular Mechanics.  I have read them in libraries since I was a teenager.  I could never afford to subscribe but as every Library I have belonged to had a subscription, I could read them there. If I have time to spare I stop at the Library and pull the back issues and read them with the relaxing enjoyment.  Flying cars,  the cut-a-way drawings of the space shuttle, cross section of the Abrams Tank, great tools…. it has everything. 

Unfortunately there are thieves in the world.  So often the issues are stolen from the library so I expect at best I could read 6 issues a year.  But I have been doing this since I was 16.  When I was taking Mechanical Engineering 45 years ago, our class would discuss the latest issue of the time. 

Aww memories.  Over the years a subscription was beyond our means.  Lets face it, this was a subscription for me and Pat would not read them unlike our cooking magazines.  (Granted I do have a subscription to Home Workshop which I suspect Pat does not read)

Anyway a deal came to me (I suspect this offer is  due to the trend in the world these days where no on reads the printed word, preferring tweets) to get a 2 year subscription for Popular Mechanics for $28.  This is less than the cost of a lunch out for us.  I wanted to jump all over it but Pat says ” is it in our budget?”  I put my foot down and said, well I will pay for it from my tool purchase budget. (no I won’t)

So I will now have 2 years (22 issues) of a fabulous magazine.  I will save them and pass them on to the family.

White Pants

It is September 19, and I wore white pants today. 

You may remember my earlier rant that Fall should officially start after Labour Day.  (if you did not read it stop now and go back into the library or otherwise this blog will not make sense)

The old adage is that men should not wear white pants after Labour Day.   However the powers-that-be consider September 21 as the last day of summer so why should I be forced to give up white pants before summer is over? 

Granted we are enjoying record warm temperatures (28 C yesterday) with lots of sunshine.  Sort of a transfer of a miserable June for a glorious September. 

So if the authorities insist that Summer ends September 21, I am going to wear white pants and to hell with the consequences.  I may even wear white them tomorrow and then I will follow the rules and move them to the deep closet in anticipation of WINTER. 

I am a rebel.

Difficult Internet Searchs

I would have titled this particular blog Pati Behr, but I have come to realize that Google searches would have hit on this blog as a source of information about her when it is only a note to my fans. 

Whenever I want to know a bit of detail, I often go to the internet to do a search.  I used to go to my memory but it has become so full that the in the brain search engine does not always work as well as it did in the  past.  But I have also come to the realization that Google and other search engines can be full of crap.

Some background…. Pat and I are sitting on the patio enjoying dinner watching the golfers going by and listening to easy music.  Ravel’s Bolero comes on.   This was a minor single orchestral movement originally written for a ballet that no one had heard of.  Gained later fame for couples ice skating, but lets face it, mostly for the love scene in the movie 10.  Which, of course  is the particular memory that came to me (I am not a big fan of couples Ice Skating) 

So with time on my hand I decided to look up Bo Derek and see what was happening with her life. 

As some of you might know, Bo was married to a much older man John Derek who, in his time , was a very handsome actor.  You may remember him as Joshua in the movie Ten Commandments.  No question a great looking guy that aged well





But this is a story for the guys,  John’s second wife was Ursala Andress.  Not bad for a second wife.






Then he left her for Linda Evans. 






To the great disappointment of Linda, John left her for a young 16 year old named Mary Collins and fled to Europe to avoid child rape laws.  At 18 they married and she became Bo Derek.






John was 46 and Bo was 18 when they married and this one worked out.  They were married until his death 26 years later.  He was still good looking at the age of 60 but had to make movies featuring his gorgeous young wife, normally naked, to pay the bills.  (we guys thank him for that)

Now I realize that most of my female readers are now convinced that this entire blog was to glorify guys with gorgeous wives, but that is wrong.  What started this was an internet search for John Derek’s first wife Pati Behr. 

She had what most people would consider an interesting life.  A descendant of Leo Tolstoy she came to America from Russia as a Ballerina.  Married John and had a couple of minor roles in movies and then got dropped for Ursala. 

But if you search for her in Google or any other site all you get are pictures of  Bo or Linda or Ursala.  Can you imagine being defined in your life by the ladies your husband divorced you for????  

Makes you think about searches on Google for information.  How much is true and how much is the popular opinion of the truth. 

The pictures of the women are only there to make my point and not the purpose of this blog (although I might get better hits)


Sunday and our guests have left to drive home.  We had some marvelous meals but now we are back to cooking for two.  I bought a big T bone steak for us to share,  grilled some fingerling  potatoes with onions, Pat made a nice salad with pear.  And I wanted to do a special side dish.

We have had the most marvelous cherry tomato plants growing in our side  garden this summer.   Almost every day for the last month we have been able to harvest 20 – 30 sweet cherry tomatoes.   Granted when Andra and the kids were visiting it was not that great because she does not like fresh tomatoes.  Can you imagine that?  I remember her as a kid hating them but I thought maturity would cure the problem.  The freshly picked cherry tomatoes are like candy, so sweet and lovely. 

Andra has apparently transferred her dislike to fresh tomatoes to her kids so we compromised by making Bruschetta and sauces and got by. 

Then Lois visited and we enjoyed the little tomatoes in many dishes.  This last week Mary-Ellen and Pat’s mother came to stay and they glorified the fresh cherry tomatoes with lunch and dinner.  Used them as a snack and in many of the meals like the quiche and the pizza. 

Now cherry tomatoes are wonderful, but after a month I was looking for another way to serve them.  In one of our cooking magazines (Fine Cooking) they featured a simple recipe where you make a salad of cherry tomatoes and grilled corn.  So today we went off to pick up the end of season fresh corn from the valley.  I grilled the corn cobs and cut the succulent kernels off.  I personally picked 25 ripe cherry tomatoes and sliced them up.  Mixed cherry tomatoes and the corn with a little melted butter and lemon juice AND ADDED ONE TABLESPOON OF DRIED TARRAGON.   Now the recipe in the magazine called for 1 tbsp of fresh tarragon.  We did not have it and I used dried.  My Bad.

Pat tells me that you should cut the quantity to a quarter when you deal with dried herbs versus fresh.  Never bothered me with Basil or Oregano but never do that with Tarragon.   Apparently Tarragon is powerful. 

The salad looks great but the flavour of the tarragon is overpowering and I do not like it.   Pat says it is very nice but I suspect this is her Catholic martyrdom complex kicking in.   Fortunately she has agreed to eat the rest of the salad (which could take a week) and I can be comforted that the rest of the meal (the grilled fingerling potatoes with onions and the T Bone and her salad) was wonderful. 

As my regular readers realize, this diatribe about the warning about too much Tarragon is a delay while Pat polices the kitchen and loads the dish washer.  Does not minimize my warning about Tarragon.  Nice in small quantities, but too powerful for a sophisticated palate.

First day of Fall

This (September 1) is officially the first day of spring in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. 

Unlike the rest of the world that dictates the seasons by the solar equinox, the Southern Hemisphere decided to pick the date that they consider the end of winter. 

We in North America emotionally realize that the Labour Day weekend is the end of summer, but we adhere to techy dweebs that demand we follow a ritual that  goes back to the Mayans and the ancient Egyptians.

Lets go back to our childhood.  September 1 was the end of the summer holidays and we were back to school.  For grownups it is the end of the vacation period and time to get back to business.  Historically it was the last day a man could wear white shoes or white pants in public (granted that is a bit outdated)

The weather may still be lovely but we only had Thanksgiving and Christmas for which to look forward.  (I would actually have written that last sentence with the ending “to look forward to”  but that would be a dangling participle.  If ever I am going to get rich by my blog, I have to improve my grammar. 

So we now enjoy the period of mild weather that leads to autumn colours (granted not here in Paradise Vancouver Island where we seem to skip fall) but for the rest of Canada, it is the next season.   Vacations are ended and the new programs are now being featured on TV.

We really should pick Sept 1 as the first day of fall.  I mean what is Sept 22 in the scheme of things?  This year it is a Saturday but what are you going to do that is special that day.

I think Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are right.  Sept 1 is the proper date for the change of season.

Reply to my blog as the start of a petition.  I figure if I get 896,000 signatures we could correct this historical mistake.