The Silent Witness Memorial near Gander, Newfoundland, was erected to commemorate the deaths of 256 people in the Arrow Air crash of December 12, 1985. Victims included 248 U.S. troops returning from a peacekeeping mission in the Middle East, and eight crew members. The flight had stopped in Gander for refuelling before leaving for its final destination in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. When the plane took off again, it struggled to gain altitude and eventually crashed about 3000 feet from the runway, killing everyone aboard.
The crash occurred in the dark hours of the early morning. The site this memorial was built on, a rocky, wooded area, was the Silent Witness to the tragic crash.
With prayers for the family and friends of the victims of Flight 4U9525, on March 24, 2015.
If you're like me, sometimes you like spending time preparing a thoughtful dinner. And sometimes life is such a whirlwind, you're challenged to get anything on the table before everyone gives up and eats cheese and crackers.
This recipe is so simple, it's barely a recipe at all. When I say you can have dinner on the table in fifteen minutes, I mean it - start the countdown when you put the pasta water on the boil. If you don't have leftover cooked chicken in the fridge, it'll take a little longer, but if you cut the breasts in quarters and cook them while the pasta is cooking, it won't be much longer. And you can save the cheese and crackers for another occasion.
Fusilli with chicken, pesto and sun-dried
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked
1 1/2 cups dry fusilli (if you’re using a
larger pasta, you’ll need more)
Start with two people who love to travel. (Pictured above: my mom and dad on their honeymoon, in New York State.)
Add a three year old about to take her first big trip. My Aunt Lois gave me a nifty suitcase/umbrella combo for Christmas that year. Not only did I feel like a big girl on the airplane, I played with the suitcase for years.
Be lucky enough to have relatives who live in California. And when you and your mom fly there for your cousin's baptism, you get to visit Disneyland.
True story: when I was two-and-a-half, and my sister was six weeks old, my parents took us camping. The campground was only twenty miles from home. What could possibly go wrong?
Some time after we reached the campground, the car keys went missing. My parents searched the campsite but eventually realized they were irretrievably lost. So my dad hitchhiked back to the farm and got a spare set from my grandfather, while my mom waited with the toddler and the newborn at the campground.
You'd think after an experience like that, they'd give travelling a miss for a while. But they didn't, and we kept travelling every summer. To the best of my knowledge, we never lost the car keys again. (Although they probably started taking a spare set.)
And if that isn't enough to keep you from taking a trip every year, you just might end up with a family that loves to travel.
"last night before
I fell asleep
I put the book
on the floor
I see its spine
with the golden
of the old
poet who might
already be dead
somehow he used
we don't need anymore
to place inside
me that perfect
- from "Aubergine", by Matthew Zapruder
This is a lovely dish, regardless of whether you call the vegetable "eggplant" or "aubergine". Fearnley-Whittingstall suggests two ways of serving it - with a dollop of yogurt and shredded mint, or with a bit of pesto. It's great both ways.
4 – 6 Tbsp plain, full-fat yogurt and 8
mint leaves, shredded
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut eggplants
in half lengthways. Using a small, sharp knife, make a series of deep slashes
diagonally across the flesh, going about two-thirds of the way into the flesh
but not right through to the skin. You want to end up with 6 – 10 slashes,
depending on the size of your eggplants.
Mix the garlic and red pepper flakes with 3
Tbsp of the olive oil. Hold one eggplant half in your hand and squeeze it from
side to side so the slashes open up a little. Spoon some of the garlic- and red-pepper-oil
over the top with a teaspoon, using the back of the spoon to work the oil down
into the slashes. Repeat with the other halves.
Put the eggplant halves, flesh side up, in
a roasting dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then trickle over a little more
olive oil – there should be little or no unoiled flesh showing. Roast in the
oven for about 50 minutes or until a deep golden brown.
Let eggplants cool slightly. Serve hot or
warm, either smeared with a little pesto, or dabbed with yogurt and sprinkled
with mint and a little more salt.
Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d say:
“I should make this Brussels sprouts recipe – I’ve got all the ingredients I
need in my fridge.”
In my old life, I thought I hated Brussels
sprouts. I didn’t grow up eating them, and had never even tried them until I
started to date Andrew. His mother was a wonderful cook: she had a way with
shepherd’s pie and Christmas trifle that only someone born and raised in Great
Britain could have. But she had an inexplicable weakness for Brussels sprouts.I was dubious from the moment I smelled them
boiling, wasn’t reassured when I saw the gray-green lumps on my plate, and
definitely didn’t relish the overpowering flavour. I compensated by eating them
first so I could mask their taste with everything else on my plate. In retrospect,
I realize she may have thought I ate them first because I liked them.
But that’s in the past. My recent sprouts awakening meant that I bought more last week, looking for an excuse to
make them again. So when I came across this recipe – and had all the
ingredients on hand – I knew I had to try it. Guess what? I like this recipe
even better than the one that precipitated my conversion.
I can’t over-emphasize how easy and how
delicious these sprouts are. And in case you’re wondering, I have a bag of
Brussels sprouts sitting in my fridge right now. I know what I’m making for
12 to 13 ounces (340 to 370 grams) Brussels
sprouts, trimmed and halved
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp unsalted butter (second amount)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 small lime
In a 10” sauté pan, melt 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
with olive oil over medium heat. Arrange Brussels sprouts, cut side down, in
one layer in the pan. (You’ll have to tuck them in snugly.) Season with the
salt. Cook the sprouts until bottoms are nicely browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour
the broth into the pan and cover, leaving the lid slightly askew so that some
steam escapes. Turn the heat down if necessary so the broth is just gently
Cook until the broth is reduced to about 2
Tbsp, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove lid and add 1 Tbsp butter, ginger, and garlic.
Toss well and stir just until the butter has melted. Remove the pan from the
heat and continue to stir gently until the ginger and garlic are well
incorporated and slightly softened. Gently squeeze the lime half over all,
toss, and serve.
There isn't any obvious reason why I'm writing about the Isle of Skye today: no particular news connections, and the weather isn't reminding me of anywhere other than the Antarctic, or perhaps the north of Siberia. But earlier this week, I had some old photo albums out and realized I'd never posted about our trip to this beautiful island when we visited Scotland in 2005.
Our day began with more interest for the adults than the children, as our first stop was at the Talisker Distillery. Andrew and I loved the tour, as well as the free sample we received on arrival. The girls were less enthusiastic, coming along on the tour but declining the dram of 10-year-old scotch eagerly offered by the proprietor.
Facts about this distillery: at the time we visited, there were only six employees; the distillery was founded in 1830, meaning we visited during its 175th anniversary year; Talisker was reportedly Robert Louis Stevenson's favourite drink, and he mentioned it in his poem "The Scotsman's Return From Abroad."
Scotch tasting behind us, we set off for the real treat of the day - a seal-watching adventure. We put on protective rain gear supplied by the company and took off for a two-hour tour of the Sound of Sleat.
Skye's Cuillin Mountains were beautiful, as were the myriad of inlets along the coast. We saw multitudes of seals and flocks of seabirds - and a single basking shark. But the highlight of the trip, according to the girls, was getting drenched in the sea spray, and arriving back at the dock soaking wet, despite all that protective gear!
Is the beginning of March too late to post a soup recipe? I feel like I've made more soup this winter than ever before, and with good reason. February 2015 was officially the coldest month in Toronto history. I spent most of the month looking for food that might warm me from the inside out.
I think I've made this soup every winter since I've been married. Pasta e Fagioli (pasta and bean soup) is comfort food at its easiest and most warming. I don't know where I got the recipe, but I urge you to try it. Because from the sound of the weather forecast, we've still got a few weeks of winter yet to come.
Pasta e Fagioli
5 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
19 ounce can white beans, rinsed well and
2 cups drained canned tomatoes (drain
1/2 cup dried macaroni
In a heavy saucepan, cook the bacon until browned
and beginning to crisp. Add onion and stir until golden brown. Add garlic,
celery and carrot and stir for 2 – 3 minutes.
Remove pan from the heat and drain fat.
Return to heat and add chicken broth, stirring to combine.
In a bowl, mash about a third of the white
beans. Add mashed and whole beans to the soup, along with the tomatoes,
breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add
macaroni and simmer until al dente,
about 6 – 8 minutes or according to directions on the package.
Add chicken broth as required (soup will
thicken as it stands).