Friday, December 19, 2008
“Bacalhau, as the fish is called here, is to Christmas Eve in Portugal what turkey is to Thanksgiving in America. Treasured since the 16th century, when Portuguese fishermen first brought it back from, it bore the nickname fiel amigo — faithful friend. Its correct preparation is a source of pride, a sign of respect for family values."
"Every Portuguese, it seems, likes to boast that there are 1,000 recipes for bacalhau and that the people here eat more of it than do those anywhere else in the world.”
If you want to try celebrating this Christmas the Portuguese way, we recommend this traditional recipe from Cuisines of Portuguese Encounters, Expanded Edition. As the author Cherie Hamilton says about it:
Codfish prepared for the consoada (the traditional Christmas Eve dinner) is an alternative to the codfish cooks with todos (literally "all"), which is traditionally served for supper on December 25. This particular recipe, besides being very enticing, appeals to those who like their codfish served in large pieces. In some homes it is served as a second course, preceded by boiled crabs, shrimp, and lobster; and followed by roast turkey or Roast Suckling Pig (page 44) and the trimmings.
2 pounds thick salt cod fillets
6 medium onions, peeled
6 carrots, peeled
2 pounds medium white potatoes, peeled
3 pounds collard greens, stems removed
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic, smashed
6 to 8 hard-boiled eggs (1 per person)
Soak the salt cold fillets in cold water to cover for 24 hours int he refrigerator, changing the water frequently.
Drain the salt cold and place in a large pot with the onions, carrots, potatoes, greens, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and saute the garlic cloves until lightly golden. Keep warm.
Arrange the codfish, onions, carrots, potatoes, collards, and eggs on a large platter or several platters. Serve the warm olive oil with garlic in a bowl on the side to drizzle over the fish and vegetables.
Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Lisa Lazarus the new face in Salman's Veer is a fun loving and easy going girl who loves to explore new cultures and meet people from all over the world. Amazing is one of her favourite words.
This 21 year old celebrates her birthday on the 22 November. She was born in Swansea in Wales. As she was tall she started modeling at the age of 14 as a hobby.
This rare combination with beauty and brains completed her GCSEs (10th grade) in Science, Math, English, Welsh, PE, IT and Geography. She then finished her A levels in Physics, Chemistry, English and IT and got a degree in Radiography (study of X-rays) while pursuing her modeling career.
Now doesn't she sound different from the lot?
She won her first beauty pageant title of Miss Hair and Miss Smile in the Miss Wales pageant in 2005 at the age of 16.
Modeling became a serious career for her and she signed up with Vibe Models agency in Cardiff. In 2006, she won the 'Miss Bikini Great Britain' title and she was crowned 'Miss Universe UK' this year.
She gets a full 10 for her perfect body, a pretty smile, buoyant hair and brains and stands hundred percent chances of being a hit with men's magazines like FHM and Maxim because of her wholesome figure which is such a refreshing change in these anorexia and size zero obsessed times.
In spite of being 21 she has a great modeling portfolio developed over 5 years in the glamour industry.
Walking the ramp and doing print campaigns for TIGI, Elizabeth Arden, Zoo and Red Handed magazine, Plaza Hotels, Bossy boutique, Mark Jermin and Jovani Dresses are some of her assignments.
She has also walked the ramp at the Cardiff Fashion Week and been part of several TV shows and music videos. This photogenic beauty loves being in front of the camera.
This newcomer finds Bollywood jhatkas and matkas and Hindi very tuff so currently she is brushing up her skills. She is well trained in hip hop and street dancing styles. She is a big fan of pop stars Britney Spears and The Pussycat Dolls and also likes to play golf and likes mild food.
Lisa loves India and the warmth ness the people here show. She wants to establish herself in Bollywood and finds Katrina as one of her idols. She is here to stay as doesn't feel like leaving the country and going away.
In all this there is one bad news for her male fans is that she already has a boyfriend.
As we all know Celina Jaitley has started blogging where she shares her thoughts on elections, the terror attack, security, the common man and myriad other issues which she feels she can contribute to.
Trust Kareena Kapoor to be an absolute professional. The actress floored debutant director Prem Soni completely by finishing her shooting in time.
Yes, the promos of DILLI 6 (or DELHI 6?) are out on all leading satellite channels and portals and going by the response that it has generated, it appears that Abhishek has another winner on hand. Music maestro A.R. Rahman's lilting background musical score on the harmonica and ghatam enthralls the senses and once again expectations surmount that Rahman will create magic, just like he did with RANG DE BASANTI. Sonam's pretty, innocent looks, Abhishek Bachchan's brooding, intense visuals and the historic old Delhi, all conjure up a beautiful picture and build up the audience's curiosity.
Looks like Rakeysh is continuing from where he left off in RDB. And in the process we feel that 2009 may well be Abhishek's year, especially now that Mani Ratnam's RAVANA is progressing at a brisk pace towards completion and Rohan Sippy's next with Abhishek is on the anvil from January!
On Thursday, Wayne and I went up to our float cabin for the first time in three weeks. It was a winter wonderland with sparkling white snow and brilliant blue skies.
The snow was powder fine and crunched under our boots as we made our way to the cabin door. We built a roaring fire in our Kozi wood stove and settled back to enjoy the view of Goat Island and a cloudless sky.
Today we are heading back up the lake to settle back into our cabin. It's always such a good feeling to be back home. -- Margy
Thursday, December 18, 2008
In Part One on the 25th November, I focused on Duncan Ferguson, Claudio Gentile, Billy Whitehurst & Dave Mackay.
In Part Two on the 28th November, the men in question were Frank Barson, Norman Hunter & Andoni Goikoetxea.
Now in Part Three, I am going to focus my attention on the following 'hardmen' who have graced our beautiful game.
Before football became a non-contact sport, players frequently spoke about the first 10 minutes of a game as a period in which you had to 'earn the right to play,' essentially by being hard!
In the same breath it was arguably even more important the other way round: you had to earn the right to be hard by showing you could play; otherwise you came across as a sort of cowardly fraud, presenting the facade of being hard.
Step forward Graeme Souness.
Did Souness 'pass that test? He gave the test!'
In his playing days at Liverpool, Sampdoria and Rangers, the Scottish international midfielder was known as one of the toughest competitors in the game.
Graeme Souness, was similar in many ways to say Johnny Giles. He could actually play the game, he didn't need to just kick people up in the air all afternoon. Everybody knows what a gifted technician Souness was on the field, but if you're like me what you might well remember him for was some of the most horrendous tackles he unleashed on his opponents - potentially career ending ones. Perhaps the worst I ever saw was when he was playing for Scotland against Iceland one time. The Icelandic player had the temerity to go for a fifty-fifty with Souness and collected most of the Scotland man's studs firmly in his groin.
One of Bob Paisley's majestic trio of Scottish captures, with Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen, he cost £352,000 from Middlesbrough in January 1978. Five months later he supplied the pass at Wembley for Dalglish to score the only goal to beat Bruges & retain the European Cup. In general during his Anfield career the Scotland captain responded brilliantly to Paisley's demand to curb his explosive temperament and he became a midfielder of immense stature.
In six successful seasons as a Liverpool player Graeme Souness was at the heart of Liverpool's triumphs. Memorably described as 'a bear of a player with the delicacy of a violinist,' he was a high-octane blend of amazing strength & bewitching subtlety (centre left).
But when the legs & to a lesser extent, the eyes went towards the end of his career, he had to rely on an inadvertently hilarious thuggery.
He moved to Italian football in 1984, but returned to the UK as player/manager of Glasgow Rangers.
In 1986 Souness marked his Rangers debut with a red card inside half an hour, for a two-footed outrage on Hibernian's George McCluskey, thus sparking a mass 22-man brawl. (Souness actually nobbled the wrong gangling mullet, an easy mistake to make in Edinburgh in the mid-80s).
Even as a football manager he seemed to court controversy wherever he went.
Most famously in 1996 he nearly caused a riot while boss of Galatasaray, by planting a Galatasaray club flag on the centre spot of the pitch, of fellow Turkish side & arch-rivals Fenerbahce.
In Ron Harris, the man they called 'Chopper' you had a guy who was considered the unacceptable face of a talented Chelsea team in the late 1960’s & early 1970’s.
In that footballing era, every side had a so-called destroyer, a hatchet man, whatever you want to call them. There was at the Arsenal, Peter Storey, at Liverpool Tommy Smith, at Man Utd you had Nobby Stiles......& so on.
Harris was said to have tried to intimidate opponents even in the tunnel before a match, with a choice sentence perhaps containing the word 'ambulance'
Harris denies this saying that in fact he seldom used to speak to anyone before or during a game. However he said his manager at Chelsea at the time, Tommy Docherty did give him a tip about man-marking.
'He told me to larrup somebody in the first few minutes, and after that just to stay behind them & cough every now and then, to show them I was not too far away.' The tactic plainly worked in the case of Tottenham’s Jimmy Greaves, marked by Chopper 19 times, scoring just the once.
It is Greaves, in fact, who wrote a foreword in a book saying, 'I've been acquainted with Ron Harris, better known as Chopper, for longer than I care to remember - and for most of that time I thought he was an evil git.' Harris came into his own in the 1970 FA Cup Final & subsequent replay against Leeds – two of the most bruising games ever seen!
His assault on Eddie Gray in the replay was one of the reasons the Blues won the trophy. Today there would not have been a player left on the pitch come the end of that Final. Nowadays it seems that too many teams have a soft centre where their midfield should be.
The game is much faster these days, of course, and the timing of a tackle is becoming a thing of precision. Old Chopper Harris, who was so short-sighted he had to be pulled back from scything down his own team-mates, would be permanently suspended these days.
Dissent is a major cause of cautions. And it seems that more modern players have difficulty in controlling themselves after being fouled. In the old days a player was willing to bide his time before getting even!
Last but by no means least, the final player to make my 'Top Ten' list of football’s hardest men is Forest legend Stuart Pearce.
Pearce was signed by Brian Clough in 1985 from Coventry City & he became a stalwart of the Nottingham Forest side of the 1980s & 90s. Pearce forged a reputation as one of the most uncompromising defenders in world football.
Given the nickname 'Psycho' by Nottingham Forest fans, the left-back cultivated a 'hard but fair' image that had him respected up & down the country.
There can be no doubt that Pearce was a hard man. He did possess an uncompromising tackle, but there was more to his game than that. He was a great crosser of the ball & had a fearsome shot on him whether it be from open play or a dead-ball situation. Probably his most notable goal was the bullet free-kick he scored in the 1991 FA Cup Final at Wembley.
Pearce was physically tough. He once tried to run off a broken leg in the twilight of his career at West Ham. But it was his mental strength to take a penalty for England in a shoot-out against Spain at the 1996 Euro Championships, which will live longest in the memory of all England fans, as he exorcised the ghost of 1990!
Pearce had missed a vital penalty-kick in the World Cup semi-final against West Germany in 1990, but made no mistake against Spain & the joy and relief on his face along with his clenched fist salute to the crowd when he scored, wiped out the memory of that miss & is one of English football's most enduring images (right).
Pearce later said in his autobiography of his penalty miss in Turin in 1990. 'My world collapsed, I had been taking penalties for as long as I could remember, but now I'd missed the most important penalty of my life.'
The 1992 Euro Championships saw him come up against a certain Frenchman Basil Boli. The giant Frenchman headbutted Pearce, without the referee noticing. Pearce was visibly angry and had to wipe blood from his face. Normally you would have given Boli five minutes at the most before 'Psycho' sent him to the treatment room. But the England captain surprised us all when he just got up and continued with the game.
You wouldn't have blamed Pearce for flooring the Frenchman, such was the ferocity of the headbutt, but Pearce showed he was better than that and beat his man by 'playing football.'
He won countless trophies with Forest and scored some classic goals. He made 522 appearances, & scored 88 goals for The Reds.
Whilst for England he made 78 appearances & scored 5 goals. Not bad for a left back!
*Putting together a list of foootball's top ten hardest men was no easy feat, & I am well aware that I had to leave out many other well-known players, who some of you might consider more worthy contenders than the players I did eventually choose.
So before I sign off I will add an additional list of some of the other players I considered but overlooked before I decided on my final ten - Nobby Stiles, Joe Jordan, Marco Tardelli, Kenny Burns, Tommy Smith, Terry Butcher, Luis Medina, Peter Storey, Antonio Rattin, Roy Keane, Jose Batista, Billy Bremner, Vinnie Jones, Miguel Angel Nadal........to name but a few!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
When we got up this morning, the ground, trees and roofs were very white. It snowed about 5 cm (2 in) overnight and it's still snowing big wet flakes. We decided to walk to our favourite breakfast spot, Starvin Marvin's. A hot cup of coffee was just the ticket to warm our fingers and noses.
On the way back home, we stopped by the marina to see the boats in their very white overcoats. Here in Coastal BC we don't get much snow, so it's fun. On the other hand, I'm not sure my car will make it up the hill to the shopping centre for some needed groceries.
I guess it's a good thing we don't live in Edmonton. Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy are we when everything gets very white! -- Margy
Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan who is acting in Hindi version of Ghajini recently met south superstar Suriya. The two had a healthy and friendly conversation.
Akshay Kumar starrer Chandni Chowk To China(CCTC) is said to be inspired by Hollywood's animated blockbuster Kung Fu Panda(KFP).
The big Christmas Release Ghajini has a longer story to tell than is considered healthy for the mutilplexes.
So what's the price of the next biggie to hit the screens this year? I'm talking of GHAJINI. There's tremendous speculation about the price of the film, with 75, 80 and 90 crores being quoted by various sections of the media. The truth is something else.
It is learnt that the King Khan didn't charge a single penny from his Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi makers Yash Raj films. But that doesn't mean he has done the film for free. So what has exactly been the equation then? Read on…
Jiah Khan fell flat on the face with her debut 'Nishabd', despite the skin show, the hype and the film's unique theme. Since then she's made more news for her war of words with Kangana Ranaut.
Katrina Kaif has just been voted the most googled girl from Bollywood.
We in the media all know how Yash Raj bosses are a stickler for privacy and how well guarded their huge studio premises is. Well just that we didn't know that even some Bollywood stars are no exception as Yash Raj's strict rules are being enforced on them too.
Shuddering at the bizarre turns of the day Bipasha says, "We were doing a heavy-duty action scene when this pebble went right inside my ear. I had to be taken to Leelavati where it had to be sucked out. "
On the surface, this doesn't sound serious. "But it wasn't on the surface. It went right in. And I couldn't move because there was the danger that it would go in deeper and pierce the eardrums, I tried to shake it out. Then, when that didn't work, I decided to let a doctor do the needful."
Sunday being an off day no doctors were available. "The producer and director tried everything. We finally headed towards Leelavati. It was John who got an old ENT specialist friend of his to check me out. The sweet doctor was at another hospital. He drove down to Leelavati and at 4.30 pm, he finally put me out of my misery."
But it was a good three hours of trauma for Bipasha. "Who would think such a thing would happen? Normally during an action scene, you protect your knees, head, etc. But your ear? My parents were petrified. The minute the doctor said it could be taken out, I was okay. It was the most bizarre thing that ever happened to me."
That wasn't the end of Bips's Sunday trauma. "It was double jeopardy for me. When my parents, sister and I returned home we got stuck in the lift while going up to my apartment. My sister is claustrophobic. So I had to pretend to be calm for her sake until we were rescued."
Bipasha has marked Sunday 14 December as the most terrifying day of her life. " It was the most ridiculous and scary day of my life. And that too on a Sunday when I should've been relaxing."
Akshay credits his "Punjabi eyes" for his effortless sex appeal adding, "Just for the record, I'm not what you call good-looking. Our industry just happens to have excellent directors of photography. That's all," he tells PEOPLE on receiving the honour. Akshay was photographed specially for the issue in Vicenza, Italy. In the accompanying interview, AK talks gets candid...
"I think everyone just likes to change the way I look it seems to be an amusing pastime for themÃ¢Â€Â¦I'm not afraid to try anything. It takes guts to be an icon. If we played it safe all the time, fashion wouldn't exist."
"My cleavage is my best asset. Women used to love my hairy chest too. Also, my Punjabi eyes convince women that I'm in love with them. I think that's why I'm always linked with my co-stars. We look so in love on celluloid that people think we must be having an affair."
"My son would probably kung fu my a*** if I flirted with anyone but his mother."
Are you counting the days to the release of Ghajini?
Yeah. Now that it has been completed I’m just waiting for its release. I’m thrilled that people all over India are excited about the film. It has a Tamil version too and all over audiences are eagerly awaiting its release. The cast and crew have worked very hard for this movie. My director Ossim, without knowing Hindi, had to adjust.
Your film got U/A rating. How do you feel about it?
It’s great that the censor board, having seen it, has given it this rating. Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The censor board has liked it, we now have to wait for the audiences’ reaction.
Tell us about the scenes that have been deleted because of the censor board.
There were only about two to three shots that were deleted. Unless you watch the movie it is worthless to say which scenes these were. Also, I really can’t disclose this type of information.
Do you really think that you can promote Ghajini through a hairstyle?
See, the idea was from the film’s publicity department. They thought it was good and it is the first time a film has been promoted this way so I am happy with the concept. The film has a lot of offer. I assure you that everyone who watches it will get something out of the experience. So I can’t say that it will become a hit or not only through the way it is being promoted.
Issues about the phone number tattooed on you in the film’s poster were in the news. It all came back to you. Tell us about it.
It was our mistake and I am sorry for what happened. I was upset about it but we did not do it intentionally.
Have you watched Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi?
No, but if I get time I will definitely watch the film.
You are apparently promoting your film in theatres that are showing Shahrukh Khan’s movie. Is it tough always competing with Khan?
My film has only two weeks to it’s release. Shahrukh is Shahrukh and Aamir is Aamir. No one should compare us to each other. We both have different styles when it comes to our work and we are both well settled in our careers. So I don’t know why the media is constantly comparing us. The promotion of my film has nothing to do with this so called Khan war.
Do you think you have worked harder than Surya (who starred in the original Ghajini) for this film?
I saw the film in its Tamil version and I liked Surya’s character. That’s why I asked Murgadoss to make a Hindi version. I was inspired by him. So I can’t say that I have worked harder than him.
This film is quite different from your recent movies. The storyline is not situational or message based.
Ya, but the film is good! When I saw the Tamil version I liked the movie so much that I called the director. It’s true, it isn’t situational or message based but again it’s a different kind of role- something I have never done before. You get to see the action hero in me this time; the one who fights gundas and all! And also, a lover boy! That’s a role I’m playing after a while. I need variation in my characters and want to do different roles with each film.