Thursday, September 30, 2010


It has taken 92 long years ....but Germany has reached its goal of completely paying the reparation bill from WWI. 

When the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, Germany accepted blame for the war and agreed to pay 226 billion Reichsmarks, a sum that was later reduced in 1921 to 132 billion Reichsmarks.  Part of the rationale for the large fine was to prevent Germany becoming a major power in Europe after WWI.  Instead, the aftermath of the Treaty of Versailles ended up providing Hitler support for his views and his rise to power in the 1930s.

Up until 1952 Germany had paid some 1.5 billion Reichsmarks in war reparations to Allied countries. But in 1953 the balance was suspended pending a reunification of East and West Germany.

When the payments started back up again in 1990, it was publicised that everything would be paid off by 3 October 2010 .... and that goal has been reached with 4 days to spare.

If they can pay off their debt ... then the rest of us should be able to as well.  I realize that there will always be extenuating circumstances that will pop up ... but for the most part, it can be done.  Think of the freedom you would have if you didn't have to continually "live in the past" (spending your today money paying off bills from the past).

Monday, September 27, 2010


A dear friend shared this with me recently ... I found it thought provoking.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Clearing out my recipe folders ..tossing ones that no longer sound appealing, trying others to see if they are keepers.  Tonight I made SINGAPORE TURKEY STEW.  Though the list of ingredients is long, it only took about 1/2 hour to make...mostly the making of the meatballs.

1-lb ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice (or can use equal parts of ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger and ground anise ... I didn't have anise, so used a smidge of jerk seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon hot chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced (in Spain, it is called a tooth of garlic)
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger (had part of a root in the frig from another recipe)
1 can (13 oz) coconut milk
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 head (12 oz) bok choy, cut into 1-inch pieces (used Napa cabbage, next time I'll try spinach)
1 can (14 oz) baby corn, drained
2 Roma tomatoes, rinsed, cored and chopped (picked up a few cherry tomatoes at the Belpasso market today - used those)
1/4 cup drained canned sliced water chestnuts (will probably skip this next time or use jicama -- the ones I use had a metallic taste)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 Tablespoon lime juice
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In bowl, mix ground turkey, five spice, chili flakes and salt.  Shape into 1-inch balls. Put flour on a plate and roll the meatballs in the flour to lightly coat them.

Pour oil in 4 or 5-quart non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Add meatballs in single layer.  Cook turning frequently, until lightly brown all over and barely pink in the middle (I cut a couple open to check - mine took about 8 minutes to get cooked through).  Remove from pan into a bowl and set aside for now.

Add garlic and ginger to pan and stir just until fragrant - 30 seconds or so.  Add coconut milk, broth and meatballs; bring to a simmer.  Adjust heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until meatballs are no longer pink in center - another 5 minutes or so.

Stir in bok choy, baby corn, tomatoes, water chestnuts, green onions and lime juice and cook, stirring often, until bok choy leaves are wilted and stems are slightly tender - another 5 minutes or so.  Sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves and eat!

4 servings.   I don't know where I got this recipe from .. I copied it from something, but there is no page number on the sheet as if it came from a book, nor did I write a reference on the page anywhere ... normally I do that.

DH said he would like to have it again ...

Monday, September 13, 2010


DH and I went on a day sail the other day ... it was a nice way to spend a warm day .... drifting along the coast, swimming in the (cold!) water, enjoying the breeze ...the crew provided lunch for us.  Fresh seafood pasta!  DH ate his share AND mine!

Catania and Mt Etna
Cyclops Rocks
He's turning blue!  He's wrinkling up!
He's a blue raisin!