Thai-style Shrimp Curry

Ingredients

450 g tiger shrimp with heads and shells
4 tablespoons thick coconut milk
1½ tablespoons green curry paste
2 cups thin coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon palm sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves
60 g green eggplant
2 fresh chilies, finely sliced
2 tablespoons sweet basil leaves

Method

  1. Shell and de-vein the shrimp, leaving the tails attached.
  2. Place the heads in a pan, add 450 ml of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain the liquid and set aside.
  3. Heat the thick coconut milk in a wok until the oil separates out, then remove 2 tablespoons and set aside. Add the curry paste to the wok and stir for 1 minute, then add the prawns and stir for a further minute.
  4. Add the stock and thin coconut milk and bring to a boil, then add the fish sauce, palm sugar and lime leaves and continue to cook for 3 minutes over a high heat. Add the green eggplant, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the chili and basil leaves and remove pan from the heat.
  5. Finally, fold in the reserved thick coconut milk, transfer to a warm dish and serve immediately.

Source: The Best of Thai Cooking


Today’s Comic

How An 11-Year-Old Boy Invented The Popsicle

Shelby Pope wrote . . . . . .

The next time you pop a popsicle in your mouth, think about this: You’re enjoying the fruits of an 11-year-old entrepreneur’s labor.

Back in 1905, a San Francisco Bay Area kid by the name of Frank Epperson accidentally invented the summertime treat. He had mixed some sugary soda powder with water and left it out overnight. It was a cold night, and the mixture froze. In the morning, Epperson devoured the icy concoction, licking it off the wooden stirrer. He declared it an Epsicle, a portmanteau of icicle and his name, and started selling the treat around his neighborhood.

In 1923, Epperson decided to expand sales beyond his neighborhood. He started selling the treat at Neptune Beach, a nearby amusement park. Dubbed a “West Coast Coney Island,” the park featured roller coasters, baseball and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Neptune flourished in the pre-Depression days, and consumers eagerly consumed Epsicles and snow cones (which also made their debut at Neptune).

Buoyed by this success, Epperson applied for a patent for his “frozen confection of attractive appearance, which can be conveniently consumed without contamination by contact with the hand and without the need for a plate, spoon, fork or other implement” in 1924. The patent illustrates the requirements for a perfect ice pop, including recommendations on the best wood for the stick: wood-bass, birch and poplar. Eventually, Epperson’s children urged him to change the ice pop’s name to what they called it: a Pop’s ‘Sicle, or Popsicle.

This origin story is charming, if somewhat apocryphal (sources differ on the details), but it didn’t have a happy ending for the inventor. A broke Epperson sold the rights to his creation to the Joe Lowe Co. in the 1920s, much to his regret: “I was flat and had to liquidate all my assets,” he later said. “I haven’t been the same since.”

The Lowe Co. went on to catapult Epperson’s invention to national success. During the Great Depression, the company debuted the two-stick version of the Popsicle to help consumers stretch their dollar — the duo sold for 5 cents.

But this delicious duo faced competition from Good Humor, which had recently debuted its own chocolate-covered ice cream on a stick, and Lowe was sued for copyright infringement. The court’s compromise? Popsicle could sell water-based treats, and Good Humor could sell ice cream pops. Popsicle tested the limits of the agreement, selling a “Milk Popsicle,” and the two companies tussled in court about the definitions of sherbet and ice cream over the years through a series of lawsuits.

The giant food corporation Unilever scooped up the Popsicle brand in 1989, expanding the brand beyond its original fruity flavors. It also bought Good Humor, ending the feud between the two icy competitors.

Over the years, Epperson’s childhood invention has achieved iconic status, standing in for any frozen treat the way Kleenex means a tissue. That explains why also over the years, Unilever has worked to keep the name Popsicle its and its alone: In 2010, the company threatened legal action against artisan Brooklyn ice pop makers People’s Pops for using the word “popsicle” on its blog.

As for Epperson, he died in 1983 and is buried in Oakland’s Mountain View Cemetery, where he’s featured on a tour celebrating local food luminaries including chocolate mogul Domingo Ghirardelli and mai tai inventor Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron.

His story lives on in many forms — from the official Popsicle website, where it’s illustrated in comic form, to an inspirational Christian self-help book about trusting in God’s grand plan for your life. Epperson’s childhood invention, born randomly on a freezing night, has also proved to be resoundingly successful and long lived: These days, some 2 billion Popsicles are sold each year.

Source: npr

What’s for Lunch?

Burger and Salad Set

The Menu

  • Burger of Ground Pork and Beef Patty Between Two Pieces of Large Cut Tomato
  • Tomato and Lettuce Salad

Loneliness May Fuel Mental Decline in Old Age

Slower deterioration seen in people with more satisfying relationships, researchers say.

Loneliness and depression are linked to an increased risk of mental decline in the elderly, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 8,300 American adults aged 65 and older who were assessed every two years between 1998 and 2010. Seventeen percent reported loneliness at the beginning of the study, and half of those who were lonely had depression.

Over the course of the study, mental decline was 20 percent faster among the loneliest people than among those who weren’t lonely. People who were depressed at the start of the study also had faster mental decline.

However, lower mental function did not lead to worsening loneliness, according to the study scheduled for presentation Monday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, D.C. Data and conclusions presented at meetings are usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

“Our study suggests that even one or two depressive symptoms — particularly loneliness — is associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline over 12 years,” study author Dr. Nancy Donovan said in an association news release. She is a geriatric psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“We found that lonely people decline cognitively at a faster rate than people who report more satisfying social networks and connections. Although loneliness and depression appear closely linked, loneliness may, by itself, have effects on cognitive decline,” she explained.

This is important to know for the development of treatments to enhance mental health and quality of life for older adults, she added.

The new study suggested a link between loneliness, depression and heightened risk of mental decline, but it did not prove cause-and-effect.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Gadget: Ice Cream Spoon

Spoon made of aluminum with anodized coating

Shaped to scoop the ice cream in the bottom of the bowl