26 February 2014, 20:57
It has been a long time, almost 2 years.
Happy 12th Birthday Emily!!!
16 June 2012, 09:21
These are 2 cheeses I have in the fridge right now. No blue, shame, shame.
Limburger is a cheese that originated during the 19th century in the historical Duchy of Limburg, which is now divided among modern-day Belgium, Germany, and Netherlands. The cheese is especially known for its pungent odor commonly compared to body odor.
In its first month, the cheese is firmer and more crumbly, similar to the texture of feta cheese. After about six weeks, the cheese becomes softer along the edges but is still firm on the inside and can be described as salty and chalky. After two months of its life, it is mostly creamy and much smoother. Once it reaches three months, the cheese produces its notorious smell because the bacterium used to ferment Limburger cheese and many other smear-ripened cheeses is Brevibacterium linens, the same one found on human skin that is partially responsible for body odor and particularly foot odor.
A washed-rind cheese from Quebec that I am liking a bit. Washed-rind cheeses are, during production, repeatedly wiped or brushed with, or dunked in a liquid such as saltwater, brine, or an alcohol (including beer or brandy). This process helps to limit which bacteria will grow on the cheese and to produce a firm, flavourful rind around the cheese. The process requires regular “washings”, particularly in the early stages of production, making it quite labour intensive compared to other methods of cheese production.
Some washed-rind cheeses are also smear-ripened with solution of bacteria or fungi, (most commonly Brevibacterium linens, Debaryomyces hansenii, and/or Geotrichum candidum) which usually gives them a stronger flavor as the cheese matures. In some cases, older cheeses are smeared on young cheeses to transfer the microorganisms. Many, but not all, of these have a distinctive pinkish or orange colouring to the exterior of the cheese. Unlike other washed-rind cheeses, the washing is done to ensure uniform growth of desired bacteria or fungus and to prevent the growth of undesired molds. Notable examples of smear-ripened cheeses include Munster and Port du Salut.
7 July 2010, 13:30
This is really interesting or not, no images.
- The roots of the words “Deutsch” and “Dutch”
Both “Deutsch” and “Dutch” are of the same origin. The oldest common
root is the Germanic noun “Thiot” (= nation, people), a term the
members of the various German tribes used already before the birth of
Christ to distinguish themselves from neighboring peoples, such as
Celts or Romans. “Thiot” was also the provenience of the Latin word
“Teutoni”, which the Romans first used for a single German tribe and
later together with “Germani” for the entire people.
The Franks, a German tribe who had conquered large parts of the former
Roman province Gaul in the 5th-6th century, developed from “Thiot” the
adjective “theudisk”, which meant “belonging to our own tribe, our
people”. The opposite was “walhisk” which was most commonly used for
the non-Germanic subjects of the Frankish conquerors, the descendants
of the Roman population and the Romanized Gauls.
Under Charlemagne, Frankish king and Emperor (742-814), a Latinized
form of “theudisk” can first be found in written sources:
“theodiscus”, which referred to the language. “Theodisca lingua” meant
the Germanic language of the common Frankish people to draw a
distinction to the clerics’ Latin and, from the early 9th century,
also to the “rustica lingua romana”, the oldest from of French with
its Latin roots.
In the eastern part of the Frankish Empire, roughly what is Germany
and the Netherlands today, “theudisk” and “theodiscus” slowly shifted
to the Old High German word “diutisc”, as generic term for all German
tribal dialects spoken in the Eastern Frankish Realm. “Diutisc” is the
direct predecessor of both “Deutsch” and “Dutch”. From the late 11th
century, “diutisc” was used not only in a linguistic sense but also to
charcacterize the common nationality of the speakers of the various
forms of German.
- The connection between Holland and the word “Dutch”
Since the inhabitants of the Netherlands are not Germans in a modern
sense, it might indeed seem surprising that in the English-speaking
world they are called “Dutch”, which can be very easily recognized as
a form of “Deutsch”, German. However, today’s Netherlanders have not
always been a nation as today. In fact, they have the same Germanic
roots as the modern Northern Germans. Their language was Low German,
which was, in several variants, in use between the mouth of the Rhine
Rhine and the Baltic Sea.
The Netherlanders lived in the Frankish Realm and later in the
Roman-German Empire and were, though the Middle Ages, never regarded
something else than Germans, even by themselves. This relationship can
still be noticed today: Talking to a Dutchman is not at all a problem
for a Northern German who still speaks “Plattdeutsch”, the old Low
When, in medieval times, Englishmen met Netherlanders, they in fact
met people who spoke “Deutsch” and called themselves the same. So when
the English called the Netherlanders “Dutch”, it was absolutely
correct, from both sides.
- How Netherlanders became “Dutch” and Deutsche “Germans”
In the second half of the 16th century and in the first half of the
17th century, the Netherlands fought for their liberation from
bone-crushing Spanish rule. The country at the North Sea was part of
the Roman-German Empire, but this Empire was not monolithic but rather
a federation of many kingdoms, dukedoms, free cities, clerical realms,
etc. The Netherlands had come into the possession of the Habsburg
dynasty, and when this dynasty was split into the Spanish and the
Austrian lines, the Spanish Habsburgs got the Netherlands. It was an
unlucky relationship from the first day. The northern part of the
Netherlands had converted to Calvinist Protestantism, which made them
heretics in the eyes of the strictly Catholic Spanish. But then,
Spanish rule was bone-crushing in all parts of the country, even in
the regions that remained Catholic. The war for liberty lasted nearly
a century, a time span during which the Netherlanders developed the
awareness of being a nation of their own. The idea of being “Deutsch”
slowly vanished and was replaced by the new concept of being
“Netherlandish”. This was a direct result of their common struggle.
Finally, the Spanish were to exhausted for continuing to fight thir
rebellous subjects. In 1609, peace was made. The southern, still
Catholic provinces remained with Spain. The northern regions gained
independance from Spanish rule as a republic. The newly formed
“General States” of the united Netherlandish provinces still remained
part of the Roman-German Empire, but this was only a legal formality.
In reality, they were no subjects of the German Emperor anymore.
Later, after the 30 Years War, they even gained full independance and
left the Empire in 1648, as part of the peace treaty of Osnabrück,
which ended the long war.
So the inhabitants of the “General States” were a new nation. But the
English did continue calling them “Dutch”. Over centuries, the
Englishmen had had more contacts to Netherlanders than to other
Germans. “Dutch” had become a synonyme for those people, so they did
not invent a new name for the new nation, while the Germans got the
name they still have today in the English language.
It was not completely wrong: The Dutch did not have a name for their
national language then (which by the way started shifting away from
Low German after the seperation from the Empire). Still in the 19th
century, the Netherlanders called their own language “Duits”, which is
today only used for the German language and nationality. And even in
the modern Dutch National Anthem, there is a line referring to the
first leader of the rebellion against the Spanish: “Wilhelmus van
Nassouwe ben ik van Duitsen bloed” – “I am William of Nassau, of
German blood”. Which does not mean he was German in a modern sense,
but a native of the Netherland, not a Spaniard. So it was not a real
fauxpas for Englishmen to use “Dutch” in connection with
“Dutch” became a proper term in the English language, both as an
adjective and as a noun. And it came to America with the English
settlers (who met the Dutch as war enemies and colonial rivals in
So the Netherlanders kept the old term the English had used for them,
because the connections to them were older and tighter than
to other German peoples. But that did not make the “other” Germans
nameless: The ancient Latin term “Germanii” for the Germanic peoples
had never been completely forgotten. It had in the Middle Ages been
used by scholars and map-makers who used Latin for their works instead
of English. So the ancient “Germanii” became the new word for the
community of German peoples, individuals, etc.
5 December 2009, 11:36
Greek is not my favourite ethnic food, but there seems to be a big community here in Halifax. In early July there is the Greek Fest down the road from us at the Greek Orthodox Church. I have not been there, but I do go to a Greek corner store to get my kalamata olives & Greek olive oil. Yesterday we were in a different part of town and decided to go to Cousins Restaurant. I decided to have the Greek combo plate, because I couldn’t make up my mind whether to have the moussaka or the souvlaki, so have both with a stuffed green pepper & salad … um good.
Cousins Restaurant, corner of Robie & Lady Hammond, Halifax, NS
I am including a Greek dish that I have main many times and is very good. It may be a bit late in the season to get big zucchini, but hey, keep it in mind for next year … when your neighbour gives you those huge courgettes.
The ingredients are ;
- 4 pounds medium to large zucchini
- 1 1/4 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped (or use canned)
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup parsley, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 3 cups cooked brown rice – (i always use white basmati)
- ½ cup grated cheese – (your choice)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp currants or sultanas, or not if you don’t like them
- 3/4 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Wash zucchini thoroughly and cut in half lengthwise. Then, using an instrument such as an apple corer, empty the pulp of each zucchini into a saucepan, being sure to keep outer shells intact. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, 1 cup of oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer until only a little liquid remains, then add rice and simmer until all the water has evaporated.
- When cool, add cheese, currants, almonds, and pine nuts. Stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Stuff zucchini shells carefully with mixture.
- Preheat oven to 425F. Place stuffed zucchini shells in an ovenproof container. Pour the rest of the oil over them and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook 1 hour in preheated oven.
- May be served hot or cold.
15 March 2009, 08:21
I will use the title from a Terry Pratchett novel I just finished reading. I have had some interesting things happen in the last couple of weeks.
Emily decided to have a Hannah Montana themed birthday party, and have it in our small house. The Friday before I baked the requested chocolate cake and prepared the loot bags. It turned out to be a great time, considering that by Friday we had only heard from a few parents confirming that their girls would be attending. By Saturday morning, we had an extra girl and one who on Friday couldn’t come, show up at the door. That meant we had 7 of 8 invited girls show up and scream, laugh and run around. Pizza was given along with the cake & ice cream … they left happily everafter.
The happy girls and a devil-angel Hannah Montana birthday party
The week following the birthday party, I had moved my office downstairs. I had been trying to set up a small home / office network, so we, C & I, could work more efficiently together. No way could I get Windows7 to recognize C’s Mac, homegroup sounds great as long as all other computers are running Windows7. The other advantage to moving my ‘office’ downstairs was that we could actually talk instead of emailing each other in the same house. The communication method of our age, talk face-to-face, no too old-school. What to do ?
I then remembered someone who said their husband worked for Apple. After send an email, receiving one back, looking at the one iMac he had for sale, phoning to see if he was home, getting the cash, driving to their house, talking for a couple of hours, doing the deal, putting it in my car, driving home, finishing the jobs I had to do in Windows, setting it up, removing the PC … here I am doing my first post from my new iMac.
The new computer, 2nd screen off to the left
Know for the most major change, I can bring my doggie here from NB. So a week ago this past Saturday, Emily & I drive to Moncton. We spend a few hours, helping my Mother do some computer stuff on her iMac, going to the Moncton Farmers Market and getting my dog ready to drive to Halifax. So after 10 hours, Feydrahn is now living with us in Halifax.
Feydrahn out for a walk/run on the trail in the woods behind our house
We are still going through adjustment period, especially C’s 2 cats. G-cat has been hiding out in the basement, while B-cat has come upstairs to go out and has ventured around the house a little, but with trepidation. The sardines yesterday helped a little, we wait … we wait.
G-cat doing her “damn dog” face
So another week, March-break here so Emily is off school. Life continues …
TAG … back to you!!!
30 January 2009, 11:30
So, a couple of weeks ago I went searching for San Marzano tomatoes to use to make my pizza sauce with. First off I tried, ‘European Gourmet Cash & Carry’, Kempt road, Halifax. I don’t think they have a website, so HERE is a link to an Article in ‘The Coast‘, our own free weekly paper. Sorry, not here … but lots of stuff, I ended up buying some jaggery & frozen paneer, that’s for another day.
Think, Randy, think … oh yes, The Italian Market, down near the corner of Young and Kempt. e voilà! … yes, two brands … yikes $5.99. Well now, OK, one of each, and while I am here, why not some squid ink linguine. I guess this needs a good Italian wine. I eventually make it back home, not spending too much on supper and once I figured it out, cheaper than eating out.
This is the label from one of the cans.
The San Marzano tomato is Italy’s most famous plum tomato, grown in Campania, the home of pizza — since the middle ages. The tomato is prized for its tart flavor, firm pulp, red color, low seed-count and easily removed skin. It is widely used in both pizza and pasta, though recently it has become famous around the world as the base for Vera Pizza Napoletana. It’s interesting to note that Naples lays claim not only as the home of pizza, but also tomato-based pasta dishes — both enjoyed by local royalty in the 17th century.
The San Marzano tomato is now protected by tight rules, like many wines, cheeses and even Pizza Napoletana, obtaining the DOP (Denominazione d’ Origine Protetta) label in 1996 from the European Union for the processed product. Watch out for domestic imitators using the San Marzano name — it’s like calling jug wine “burgundy” or bulk sparkling wine “champagne.”
These great tomatoes are the perfect start to the perfect pizza. The harvest of the San Marzano usually begins in August and continues until the end of September and sometimes later. It is a delicate crop and mechanization is not used. The labor required to train the vines, and the hand picked harvest (the true San Marzano is harvested multiple times, only when the fruit is completely ripe, not all at once) are two elements that lead to an increase in production costs.
Still, I think it’s worth it. Take a796ml / 28oz can of imported San Marzano tomatoes, hit it with a potato masher, and you have the perfect pizza sauce.
A nice nobbly plum tomato
You can use canned San Marzano tomatoes (Pomodori Pellati) to create a wonderful, and simple pizza tomato base. Use a potato masher to get a good sauce consistency. Don’t use a food processor or hand mixer, as those will break the seeds and give your sauce a bitter flavor. If you are using a brick oven, you should not cook the sauce. The hot oven will cook the sauce perfectly. If you are using a pizza stone in your oven, you might want to try cooking the sauce first. Try it both ways to see what you like.
- 1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 2 tablespoons of fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil – don’t forget to swirl on your pizza right before you put it in the oven.
Time to eat
All this info comes from Forno Bravo, supplier of the finest Italian wood-fired pizza ovens for the house and garden, caterers, bakeries and restaurants.
21 January 2009, 07:56
So I have been using Windows7 for about a week, as my primary OS and it has been very stable and fast. It took about this long to get used to the new taskbar & Start menu … which I am really liking and am finally not missing my trusty ‘Quick Launch’ taskbar.
Improved taskbar and full-screen previews
The taskbar at the bottom of your screen is what you use to switch between the applications you’ve got open. In Windows 7 you can set the order in which the icons appear and they’ll stay put. They’re easier to see, too. Click once on the new large icons or bigger preview thumbnails and you’re ready to go. You can even see a full screen preview before switching to the window.
See what’s open with previews and easily control your Windows experience with the new Taskbar.
With Windows 7, we focused on keeping the things you use most right in front of you. One example: The new Jump List feature. It’s a handy way to quickly reach the files you’ve been working with. To see the files you’ve used recently, just right click on the icon on your taskbar. So right-clicking on the Word icon will show your most recent Word documents. Plus, if there are other files you want to keep handy, you can just pin them to the Jump List.
A leap in efficiency: Jump Lists provide quick access to common tasks.
New ways to work with Windows
Windows 7 simplifies how you work with the windows on your desktop. You’ll have more intuitive ways to open, close, resize, and arrange them. You can drag open windows to screen borders, so you’ll no longer have to click on tiny objects in the corner of a window to make it do what you want.
Maximize a window by dragging its border to the top of the screen, and return the window to its original size by dragging it away from the top of the screen. Drag the bottom border of a window to expand it vertically.
It’s easy to copy files or compare the contents of two windows by dragging the windows to opposite sides of the screen. As your cursor touches the edge, the window will resize to fill that half of the screen.
To see all your desktop gadgets, just drag your mouse to the lower right corner of your desktop. That’ll make all the open Windows transparent—making your desktop, and the gadgets on it, immediately visible. Want to minimize all your windows? One click and it’s done.
Now you see them.
Now you don’t: See through to the desktop with invisible windows.
If you use it … Tag You’re It!