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Stormy Weather

 

You may have heard already. Maybe you experienced it already.

NASA, or the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration has issued an alert about some pretty bad storms coming our way. In fact we had one last week.

These are not your usual storms. These are storms on the sun!  These are solar storms.

NASA tells us that the radiation from these sun storms cannot pass through earth’s atmosphere to harm us. BUT…….they can disrupt GPS and other communication signals.

How disruptive can these storms be? According to Reuters in 1859, when the largest such storm was reported, telegraph operators reported receiving electric shocks, papers caught on fire, and telegraphs continued to send signals even after they were turned off.

If they could do that back in 1859 imagine what they might do to cell phones, computers, GPS systems, power grids, and all the other electronic gadgets we are turned onto and into these days.

The first storm last week passed us by with nary a glance. But other bigger storms are expected throughout the year and beyond. The biggest storms are being predicted for 2012.

The sun’s activity usually ebbs and flows in fairly predictable cycles of 11 years. There is a solar minimum that takes about 5.5 years, and a solar maximum of 5.5 years. The sun is getting ready to move into another solar maximum.

Video of solar flares from earlier this year:


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One of the neatest phenomena that will most likely occur is an increase in the number of aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. And the range of these light shows will go farther south than usual, down into Pennsylvania even.

Last week’s storm caused aurora’s as far south as Oregon, Utah, and Colorado. In 1859 auroras were seen as far south as theCaribbean.

Here’s hoping you can see some Northern Lights where you are this year. If not, enjoy this video.

This is one of the most stunning aurora videos out there. It is a time laspe of one full night.

Featured Recipe           Chinese Style Cabbage 

This recipe comes from Betty Crocker’s Dinner For Two, 1976 Edition.

It is super simple and fantastically delicious. It would pair perfectly with Monday’s recipe Chicken Shanghai. It makes a very tasty side dish for any meal though.

Since I only used half a cabbage I will have enough cabbage to make Cole Slaw for later in the week.

Since it has such a short cooking time the cabbage and the celery remain very crisp adding to this side dish’s appeal.

The recipe is easily doubled.  

And it is also extremely inexpensive. Where else but your own kitchen would you find such a delicious side dish for only $0.35 per person?

This is what you need for 2-3 people:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1½ cups finely shredded cabbage (about ½ medium cabbage)

½ cup thin diagonal slices celery (about 2 stalks)

½ cup green pepper sliced thin*

1/3 cup chopped onion  (about ¼ medium onion)

Salt and pepper to taste **

1½ teaspoon soy sauce

The cookbook says  for added flavor add 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce. This is the BEST part of this recipe, so I always use soy sauce.

*I omit the green pepper.

** I omit the salt because I use soy sauce and that is enough salt for me.

Here is what you do:

Prep your vegetables.

Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the bottom off of the cabbage.

Cut the cabbage in half. Cut one of the halves in half again.

NOTE: If you are doubling the recipe you will use the whole cabbage. If you are not doubling the recipe put the second half  of the cabbage in the fridge for another meal.

Now slice each piece of cabbage into thin slices. Remove the core when you get to it. I find this technique much easier than trying to core a cabbage.

NOTES1. You can slice the cabbage in a processor if you wish. 

            2. I probably do not cut cabbage “the right” way. But this is what works for me given my limited abilities with scissors and knives. I have all ten of my fingers too. So that is an accomplishment.

Wash and cut the ends off the celery. Slice each stalk into pieces on the diagonal.

Chop about ¼ of the onion. (½ if you are doubling the recipe.)

Place 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large sauté pan and heat over medium low heat.

Add all of the vegetables to the pan. Mix together well.

Cover tightly and cook until crisp-tender about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When done sprinkle with salt if using, and some pepper. Then add the soy sauce and mix all together.

Pour onto a serving platter and serve immediately.

Bon appétit!!

Cost

1 tablespoon vegetable oil                $0.05

1½ cups shredded cabbage              $0.48

½ cup thin slices celery                    $0.20

1/3 cup chopped onion                     $0.24 

Salt and pepper to taste                   $—–

1½ teaspoon soy sauce                    $0.09

Total cost = $1.06
Cost per person = $0.35

Quote of the Day

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt.

 Bertrand Russell

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