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Ahhh, thats better

The asphalt-melting heatwave of a couple of weeks ago was kind enough to leave Sydney before Danica landed in Australia. Temperatures are warm and comfortable now, but this tree has decided to peel off and go naked, anyway.

Danica doesn’t know the species. Maybe someone can answer that in the Comments. Nice change from ice and snow photos, yes?

Danica is staying with her cousin Visnja, so here’s a nice picture of her. Visnja is a yoga instructor and a classically trained concert flutist. Her schedule is a busy one, but the hours are varied enough to allow daytime outings with Danica. Visnja’s husband Stanko has regular hours as a programmer, so his picture might turn up on a weekend.

Visnja under a fig tree. Photo by Danica.

Beach Hill Ice Masters shine

Hockey net, Fairmont Park rink. Plywood boards are a thing of the past.

After a couple of almost impossibly warm winters, the Ice Masters finally got the temperatures they’ve been waiting for. The guys who do this volunteer service certainly took full advantage of the opportunity. The hockey rink is a jaw-dropper and that’s not all. Alongside, there’s a nice, big skating surface. Well done, gentlemen!

I saw a few kids skating when I went by in the afternoon, but decided to return for night shots, just after suppertime. A few early birds were already there. Many more were arriving as I left. Perfect ice.

More ice and snow

It’s time for brother-in-law Paul to make a personal appearance. We’ve been looking at his Point Pelee picture in a few posts. You’ve already met his wife Kathy in those shots, and his daughter Nicole.

Photo by Nicole

Since Paul’s example got me out there, too, I thought we could each contribute an icy tree. First, Paul’s …

Click photo to enlarge

And then mine, from yesterday.

Click to enlarge

Trip to Oz was meant to be

Here’s Danica visiting Luna Park in Toronto’s Distillery District last year.

Danica by photo

Here’s her shot from today … err, tomorrow … fulfilling destiny. Turns out Luna Park is right at one of the ferry stops on the way to town. I still haven’t got a clue what Luna Park is.

Photo by Danica

And here’s my favourite traveller, posing with her opera hat. The bridge in the background looks like the one the wallaby hopped across in the morning. Danica hadn’t heard about it.

Barley Soup in the Style of Trentino

Your Royko Recipe for January, 2018

Barley Soup in the Style of Trentino
Trentino is in north-eastern Italy with Friuli.
Food & Wine, Oct. 1992, Page 71. Credit: Marcella Hazan.

Marcella Hazan is undoubtedly the queen of Italian cooking. Her two books, The Classic Italian Cookbook and Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking are a must-read for anyone who thinks Italian cooking is all spaghetti and meat sauce or pizza.
Serves 4.

1 1/4 cup rinsed, drained pearl barley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onions
1/4 cup plus 2 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
2 oz. finely chopped prosciutto or pancetta
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary-or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 tbl. coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 medium peeled, diced potato
1 large peeled, diced carrot-or 2 small carrots
1 beef bouillon cube
Freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tbl. freshly grated 
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large saucepan, cover the barley with 3 inches of water. Cover and bring to a slow, steady simmer over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, partially covered, until tender (about 1 hour).

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the onion in the oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden (about 3 minutes). Add the prosciutto or pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rosemary and parsley and cook for 1 minute.

Add the onion mixture, diced potato and carrot, and the bouillon cube to the cooked barley. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little more water if the soup is too thick. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are tender (about 30 minutes). Just before serving, stir in the grated cheese.

Comparing smiles

Taken just a couple of days apart, Danica’s winter smile doesn’t quite rival her FaceTime summer smile from Sydney, Australia, does it?

She is visiting her cousins Visnja and Stanko for a welcome break from the cold. I passed on the 22 hour flight. Too much for me. 😊