Quote of the Day
Are Brussels sprouts different here? — Mr. HP
I was eating amazing mixed veggie dish #2 in Halifax. First amazing dish was veggie curry at the Monkey. Second amazing dish was veggie curry at Jane’s on the Common. Both dishes included Brussels sprouts, which Mr. HP and I usually avoid; however, these sprouts were amazing–possibly the best part of each dish. I raved at the Halifax Brussels sprouts phenomenon while eating the sprouts at Jane’s, and Mr. HP begrudgingly had a taste, which prompted the Quote of the Day.
- If you live in Halifax, eat your Brussels sprouts!
- If you, like me, think you’re not a Brussels sprouts person, give them another shot! Try roasting them for a simple, tasty intro to the world of enjoying this strange little cabbage.
Three days in Siem Reap. So many things to see; how to decide where to go and what to do? The most important decision we made was hiring Mono to be our driver. He had been recommended by a friend, so I emailed him several weeks out to get on his calendar. He picked us up at the airport when we arrived in Siem Reap and delivered us to our hotel while quizzing us on our sightseeing goals. We had general ideas about what we wanted to do but needed guidance, and Mono came up with a suggested itinerary of morning and afternoon activities for our three days. When we opted to chill out at the pool one afternoon instead of visiting a temple, he reprioritized and shuffled the schedule for us, no problem.
Mono suggesting a temple-visiting plan
Here’s what we ended up with:
Morning: Angkor Wat
Afternoon: Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom
Morning: Banteay Srei, stopping to shoot machine guns on the way back to town
Afternoon: relax at hotel
Morning: Tonle Sap boat trip
Mono introducing us to Khmer food
[If you’re interested, Ta Prohm was our favorite temple complex, and we were blown away by the Tonle Sap boat trip.] Mono was unfailingly cheerful, amazingly knowledgeable about the history of the temples, enthusiastic about local Khmer customs, crafts, and food, and very importantly: speaks English well. His rates are extremely reasonable. I highly recommend hiring Mono if you are planning a trip to Siem Reap and the Angkor region. Contact him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Here’s a second opinion, similar to mine: http://www.worldwinder.com/2011/08/02/siem-reap-tour-guide-mono-man/]
As the proud new owner of quail eggs, I was excited to try them out. How do they compare to chicken eggs? At the risk of overwhelming the eggs’ flavor, I scrambled 3 eggs to mix in with my regular egg-and-roasted veggie breakfast. Getting the eggs out of their shells was no easy feat. I wish I could have taken pictures of that process! I tried cracking Egg 1 like a chicken egg, but the shell smashed and splintered while the membrane stayed intact, and I ended up squeezing the innards out through a small hole. Egg 2 I opened with a combination of banging to crack the shell, and poking with a fork–still very messy. But by Egg 3 I was a pro. Here is my advice: hold the egg in one hand and a dinner knife in the other, and in one quick motion, cut the egg in half with the knife. The clean cut doesn’t pulverize the shell, and the knife breaks the membrane easily. The quail eggs were lighter in flavor and color than chicken eggs. Perhaps in a dish that highlights eggs more than my breakfast slop I would have appreciated them more, but for this meal, it’s a lot easier to use a single chicken egg than three quail eggs. Even if I do know how to open a quail egg now.
Today’s hint is courtesy of State Farm. I don’t usually read the little magazines they mail customers to remind you that they care, but for some reason I read the most recent issue, and was pleased to see “A Greener Green: Eight time-saving penny-pinching, eco-friendly ways to get the lawn you want.”
Suggestion #1 jumped out at me as I have been reading about this problem on farms. As do farmers on their fields, homeowners often overuse fertilizers and pesticides on their lawns, and the overage runs off into waterways. The chemicals can be toxic to fish, and the fertilizers promote algae growth, crowding out fish and sucking up the oxygen from the water. Instead, homeowners (and farmers!) should use natural fertilizers and pesticides which won’t contribute chemicals to the rivers and oceans.
See related posts here and here.
If you plan to hit a salad bar for lunch, and aren’t sure if the meat is humanely raised, take your own hard boiled egg. I boil 5 eggs on Sunday and keep them at work, just in case.
Today’s eggs were purchased from Relay Foods!
No-fail cooking technique from Cook’s Country magazine: fill a pot with water, drop in some eggs, bring the water to a boil, then remove the pot from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Transfer the eggs to an ice water bath to cool, and refrigerate. Two other tips from my experience: boiling eggs that are a couple weeks old will produce hard boiled eggs that are easier to peel, as oxygen has worked its way beneath the shell and separated the shell from the inner membrane; and if there’s a “power boil” setting on your stove, don’t use that for boiling eggs as the faster heating could cause them to crack.