Saturday, August 23, 2008

Recipe: Low-carb chicken curry with cauliflower "rice"

I made a very nice low-carb chicken curry tonight! I'm not a huge fan of curry, but I do enjoy it from time to time. I made a double batch and froze the leftovers. The serving sizes are quite tiny, so I increased them a bit. What's a hungry boy to do? I got six servings instead of eight out of the double batch.

I strongly recommend making the cauliflower rice. This was the first time I'd attempted it and it turned out really nice! Quite tasty! I used a packet of chicken bouillon instead of an "organic" bouillon cube. I'll definitely be making it again to go with other dishes.

You'll see in the recipe that you can use either yogurt or pureed cottage cheese. I used pureed 2% cottage cheese. I also omitted the optional cayenne pepper. It was spicy as it was, but if you like spicier, the cayenne pepper would have definitely increased the heat!

The texture of the curry part of the dish was OK, but I found that the large amount of spice caused it to be a bit gritty. The texture of the cauliflower helped to tone down the grittiness, that's why it's best to have it with the cauliflower.

I quite liked it and will make it again, but this batch will probably last me several months since it's not something that I eat very often.

And yes, it does definitely smell up the house!

Click here for the recipe, which can be found at the amazing Healthy Indulgences blog that's chock full of gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb, all-natural recipes.

Click on the photo for a larger version. (I'm not an expert at food presentation, so please forgive the amateurishness. It's garnished with (a bit too much) cilantro (also called "coriander").

Friday, August 22, 2008

Old family movies - Part I

If you read this week's Hump Day column, you'll know that I mentioned some old family movies that I managed to get my hands on! Needless to say, I was quite excited to see all these people from my past again. Precious memories, let me tell you!

Here's a scene taken from the hour-long video that I had put on DVD. I then converted it to WMV format so that I could post it online.

In the video are Émile and Léonie Cormier (my grandparents), Thérèse (Cormier) Julien (my aunt), Gisèle and Pierre Julien (my cousins), and Ronnie Cormier (my cousin). I'll be posting more of these in the coming days. It was filmed at 107 Wesley Street in Moncton, N.B., circa 1961.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kevjumba: Back to school

Modern technology helps preserve heritage

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial Page (pg. D6)

Normally, I spend my time relaxing on Saturday evenings. For me, this usually consists of either reading, doing crossword puzzles, watching a bit of television or surfing the Internet. Most of my time online is spent either blogging, on Facebook or looking at cool videos on YouTube.

This past weekend, however, I suddenly became popular with three competing invitations for supper on Saturday evening. It's funny how those things happen. Most weeks, there's nothing much to do (not that I'm complaining -- relaxation is not a dirty word to me), and then the next thing you know, you're debating on where to go.

I was invited to two out-of-town events, both not far from each other. I was also invited to supper at my mother's place. This rarely happens on a Saturday evening, but this weekend was different. Since the out-of-town invitations came first, though, I decided to accept those and went to my mother's for leftovers on Sunday.

First, I ended up at my cousin's cabin, a very nice rustic A-frame right on a river. It's a very peaceful spot. A person could easily fall asleep in a lawn chair right next to the gurgling river not five feet away from you. Nature at its best!

I'm not a big traveller, but day trips are OK in my book, so I was quite happy to get out of the city, pop a motivational audio book into my car's CD player, and spent some quiet time learning, contemplating life, and looking forward to seeing friends and family. All in all, a pretty good day in my books!

Normally, I consider myself pretty much in-tune with family happenings, but I learned something new during this visit. I'd always known there were home movies of old family events in existence. An uncle who moved to the U.S. as a young man had a movie camera and was quite faithful at shooting footage of various events.

Like I said, I'd known that, but never really followed up on getting my hands on any of it. Apparently, there's also footage of my parents' wedding around somewhere.

From what I understand, most of the movies were taken in the old Super 8 format that has long since given up the ghost to camcorders and digital cameras. Whereas home movies were relatively rare years ago, now every kid with a computer is a videographer thanks to cheap technology and an Internet connection.

While I was at my cousin's cabin, I'd heard that there were several copies of these movies on VHS tape. To say that I was happy to hear this is an understatement. After years and years of telling myself that I was going to track down these pieces of family history, the footage had more or less fallen into my lap. Another cousin's wife told me that she knew exactly where her copy was and that I could drop by and pick it up at any time. OK, now I was getting seriously excited!

Needless to say, I'll be doing that very shortly after I get a quick out-of-town business trip out of the way. I can't wait to transfer it into a digital format so that it can be shared with everyone through the wonders of computer technology. I don't even own a VHS machine anymore, so I'll have to find someone who can convert VHS to a digital format.

Shouldn't be too hard to do, I hope!

I'm giddy with anticipation at seeing these movies. It's one thing to look at family photos, but to see people laughing, talking, walking and moving about brings back memories all that much more vividly. My grandparents died nearly 30 years ago, and seeing them "live" again will certainly be emotional. I doubt if there's any sound to the movies, but just seeing all these people who were part of your early life can only be a powerful experience.

Being able to easily share history like this is what's so great about the technological revolution we are currently in. Some people criticize computers, saying that they've taken all the "personal" aspects of communication out of our relationships. In my own experience, nothing could be further from the truth.

I spend my entire day communicating and interacting with people. Sure, a lot of it is online, but it's still a way of keeping in touch. I suppose people used to say the same thing about the telephone, too. Today, however, getting in touch with someone on the telephone seems to be losing favour to keeping in touch online.

I can't wait to share these videos online with family. And what better way to share this important family history? What good is it doing stuffed away on a tape in someone's dresser? By putting this stuff online, it can be shared with the masses -- well, at least with those who want to see it.

Who's going to put a CD, DVD, VHS tape or anything else in the mail these days? No one, that's who. They'll be downloading it off the Internet.

Sometimes day trips like the one I took on the weekend can bear more fruit than expected. I anticipated my trip to be a nice time with family and friends, but discovering the existence of these tapes just made the trip even more worthwhile.

I know when I look at these movies that I'll need to have a box of tissues nearby. With so many old memories coming back, it will likely be difficult to keep a stiff upper lip. It will be the next best thing to having these people alive and in my life again.

Today's generation will not have to worry about losing their heritage. Technology has made this the best-documented generation in history.

And that's a good thing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today's Hump Day column...

... is all about my discovery of some old home movies taken by a relative using an old Super 8 camera he owned. I can't wait to see them once I get them transferred to a digital format that I can watch on the computer! Read all about it on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript (pg. D6).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Canadian Idol shocker elmination

Call the authorities! Call 911! Call the pope!

Something is terribly wrong in the world. Mookie Morris has been eliminated from Canadian Idol.

What a damn shame!!

Here is singing an amazing rendition of Come Together from last night's show.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy International Lighthouse Day!

It may not have the same cache as Christmas - or even Arbor Day, I guess - but International Lighthouse Day is a perfect opportunity to honour these noble structures and those who maintained them and kept generations of ships safe from wrecks.

The above lighthouse is located at Cape Enrage, New Brunswick. For all things lighthouse-related, go to the Lighthouse Depot website.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Congratulations to Michael Phelps on his historic Olympic performance

Michael Phelps has won a record eight gold medals - the most ever for an individual in a single Olympics.

Amazing. Stupendous. Indredible.

Singer Belinda Carlisle turns the big 5-0 today!

Belinda Carlisle - who enjoyed a successful career as a member of The Go-Go's and as a solo artist - turns 50 today.

Singer Pearl Bailey died 18 years ago today

The late great singer and actress Pearl Bailey died 18 years ago today on August 17, 1990. Here she is singing My Soul Is a Witness on The Muppet Show: