Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Featured Book - An Interesting Year by Nick Weatherhogg

An Interesting Year by Nick Weatherhogg

Kay Facts and Statistics
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Book Guild Limited
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1909984310
ISBN-13: 978-1909984318

Publisher’s Taglines: Most people, famous or not so famous, have at least one bizarre or surprising facet to their lives - all we needed was someone to research and collate them. Did you know that Dolly Parton is Miley Cyrus's godmother, or that Edwin Buzz Aldrin's mother's maiden name was Moon? In this unique collection of fascinating trivia, ammunition for any pub quiz participant, every day of the year boasts a birthday, a passing, and a random fact, with quotations from each person featured, a photograph, and a summary of their claim to fame. Statistician Nick Weatherhogg's lifelong obsession with gathering unconsidered trifles has produced this interesting and strangely compelling collection. A yearbook for anyone who finds lists irresistible.

From the author: I love facts. The more surprising, the more unusual, the more bizarre – the better. For anyone who loves interesting trivia this is the book for you. Over 1000 facts to amuse, to bemuse, to quote, to enjoy. Read the book as novel …. read it as a diary (just read the page for that day) …. read chunks …. dip in and out …. leave a copy in the toilet for those times of delay! Up to you – any of these would work. Not only fascinating, but very flexible!

For every day of the year there are two people and one fact – one page per day. The two people are one born on that date, and one who died on that given date. For each of the people there is the briefest of biographies for each, a random / bizarre / surprising fact about each, and a quote from each. And then the day ends with a fact for the date, which has nothing to do with the people. For example ……

Rod Stewart (Roderick David Stewart) was BORN on 10th January 1945.
Famous as a British singer-songwriter and one of the best selling artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide.
And did you know …… he signed professional terms for Brentford football club as a junior, and had to clean the boots of the first team.
He said: “Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house”

Brian Clough DIED on September 20th 2004 (aged 71)
Famous as an English footballer and football manager. As a player Clough was a prolific goalscorer with Middlesbrough and Sunderland, scoring 251 league goals from 274 starts, and winning two England caps. Best remembered for his highly successful time as manager of Nottingham Forest, winning the European Cup twice
And did you know …… he was Head Boy at his secondary school, and was more interested in cricket than football
He said: “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but then again I wasn’t on that particular job”

FACT: And did you know, the first English child born in North America on August 18th 1587

QUIZ. The answers to all these questions are found in An Interesting Year …. plus loads more interesting facts.
1.      What did Leonardo Da Vinci use to study human anatomy?
2.      What was tennis star Goran Ivanišević’s pre-match ritual?
3.      What, according to Peter Sellers, is like a “television on honeymoon … unnecessary”
4.      What were Albert Einstein’s first words?
5.      What footwear did Peter Cushing wear for the filming of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
6.      How did Rasputin die?
7.      Where was ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev born?
8.      Oscar Wilde once claimed ““Women are made to be loved, not …… (what?)”
9.      What job did Woody Harrelson’s father do?
10.  President JFK (Kennedy) used to occasionally telephone Judy Garland. Why?
11.  What did Clint Eastwood do when his plane crashed in the sea?
12.  What animal was Australian daredevil Steve Irwin frightened of?
13.  How often did Charles Dickens brush his hair?
14.  What football team did Des O’Connor play for?
15.  What was Che Guevara’s nickname as a young man – and why?
16.  Bing Crosby was offered the title role in Columbo, but turned it down. Why?
17.  Who did Charles Tombe of Sudan marry in 2006?
18.  Benedict Cumberbatch spent some time teaching English … where?
19.  Who was fired from The Times for making up a quote as a trainee reporter?
20.  What two things did Joan Crawford change about her estate every time she married (4 times)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Thrown Together Chicken Salad

We cheated for dinner and bought a couple store roasted chickens. We like to roast our own but the dang grocery store did not have a single whole chicken. Can you believe that? My dinner plans were already made so we gave in and bought the store chicken. Admittedly, it's not all that bad.  But, we had quite a lot of chicken left so I took it all off the bone, saved the carcasses to boil down tomorrow, and used some of the meat to make chicken salad.

My cousin told me about this chicken salad she made a while back and how she fell in love with it. I tried to contact her on Facebook, but she didn't respond right away and I wanted chicken salad RIGHT NOW.  In her defense she lives in the Central Time Zone and I live in Mountain so it was an hour later in her neck of the woods and she has a real job. I'm sure she was already in bed. I'm still hoping she sends me her recipe so I can try it too.  In the meantime I took a moment to chat with another friend about chicken salad. She's quite the chef, so I took all her suggestions to heart, but didn't have most of the ingredients she suggested - tarragon, pecans or walnuts, raisins or dried cranberries... Sigh...  So I took some of what she said and some of my own imagination and created my own.  It turned out pretty dang good.

As usual, this is an use your imagination recipe.  I did not measure anything so I'll be giving you estimates.


Shredded, cooked chicken (I used about two cups)

Two heaping tablespoons of sour cream

Two heaping tablespoons of mayo

Shredded cheese (I used some leftover shredded cheese from my baked tomatoes experience)

Diced cucumber (I used half of a large cucumber)

Diced green bell pepper (I wish I would have used red or yellow to add color but I used about half a bell pepper)

Diced celery (I used one full stock of celery and would have used the leaves had they been in better condition)

Diced dill pickle (I used two baby kosher dills)

Dried minced onion (This one is hard since I sprinkled them in and didn't get to see a pile to gauge size - probably a tablespoon)


After preparation put it all in a bowl and stir - tah dah!  Done!  It's probably best to let it sit in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to mingle and the dried minced onions to soften some. But, it has quite a lot of crunch with all the other veggies in it.

It's super good all by itself. We (my husband, oldest daughter, and me) all had a couple spoonfuls before I put it in the refrigerator to rest.  I ate the crackers in the picture above and it's great on the crackers and the grapes really added to the experience. I'm really excited to try it on bread for lunch tomorrow.  I'm going to have to eat store bought bread, but I think this would be wonderful on a crusty type of bread or even a bagel. Too bad I'm not a bagel fan.

I'm going to have to start having Ms. Grey cook some of these recipes I'm sharing here. She hasn't been doing much cooking lately.  Though, she recently made some fried rice that didn't turn out all that great. After she made hers I had to try and make my own. Mine, surprisingly, turned out better than hers did.  My family ate every bit of it I made and I didn't get pictures.  I'll have to make it again so I can blog about it.

Additional Information
I've made variations of this recipe since I wrote up this post. My family really loves it and have been devouring each batch almost as soon as I make it.  In my latest batch I added those gorgeous dark purple grapes you see in the above picture.  I just cut them into smallish bits and stirred them in. It adds just a slight sweetness to the salad.  Also, I have yet to eat any of this on bread.  I've been eating it on crackers or just by the spoonful.  Our latest adventure with this salad was to cut some avocado slices and add that as a topper to my cracker and chicken salad.  It's so good and I can't get over how much I'm enjoying this recipe.  Now I'll know what to do with my left over chicken from now on.