Friday, April 24, 2015

Lest we forget...

Remembering my grandfather this Anzac Day, the 100th Centenary of the Gallipoli landing...

 

"We're All Australians Now"

Australia takes her pen in hand

To write a line to you,

To let you fellows understand

How proud we are of you.

From shearing shed and cattle run,

From Broome to Hobson's Bay,

Each native-born Australian son

Stands straighter up today.

The man who used to "hump his drum",

On far-out Queensland runs

Is fighting side by side with some

Tasmanian farmer's sons.

The fisher-boys dropped sail and oar

To grimly stand the test,

Along that storm-swept Turkish shore,

With miners from the west.

The old state jealousies of yore

Are dead as Pharaoh's sow,

We're not State children any more --

We're all Australians now!

Our six-starred flag that used to fly

Half-shyly to the breeze,

Unknown where older nations ply

Their trade on foreign seas,

Flies out to meet the morning blue

With Vict'ry at the prow;

For that's the flag the Sydney flew,

The wide seas know it now!

The mettle that a race can show

Is proved with shot and steel,

And now we know what nations know

And feel what nations feel.

The honoured graves beneath the crest

Of Gaba Tepe hill

May hold our bravest and our best,

But we have brave men still.

With all our petty quarrels done,

Dissensions overthrown,

We have, through what you boys have done,

A history of our own.

Our old world diff'rences are dead,

Like weeds beneath the plough,

For English, Scotch, and Irish-bred,

They're all Australians now!

So now we'll toast the Third Brigade

That led Australia's van,

For never shall their glory fade

In minds Australian.

Fight on, fight on, unflinchingly,

Till right and justice reign.

Fight on, fight on, till Victory

Shall send you home again.

And with Australia's flag shall fly

A spray of wattle-bough

To symbolise our unity --

We're all Australians now.

- An open letter to the troops, 1915

A.B. Banjo Patterson

 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Do you Kobo or Kindle?

 

This is the screen shot of my Kobo app on my iPad- not many books yet but thats okay...
(Web pic)

I'm still easing into my Kobo. I love the idea that I can take one little notebook sized contraption with me and have so many novels at my fingertips...

I'm about to start Outlander (Cross Stitch) on a recommendation by a friend (and as it turns out, my girls have read some of the books and watched the series).

My biggest problem is that when I read at night, I get two pages in then I get too sleepy to read. Does that happen to you?

Cheers - Joolz xx

 

 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Quick quince paste...

I was at my sister's recently and her friend had made quince paste. With a glut of the fruit on her tree, she offered me some. I've never really even held a quince before, let alone cooked with them...

 

I do love Maggie Beer's quince paste, served with a sharp cheddar and crackers! This sells for about $6/tub.

~

Anyway, a bag of quinces and a recipe showed up on my doorstep on Sunday so yesterday, I thought I'd better make some quince paste. Never waste produce gifted to you! Reading the recipe, it wanted me to cook the quinces for several hours then dry in a low oven for 10 hours! Too hard!

~

I googled 'quick quince paste' and Julie Goodwin's blog popped up. I had a quick read and she had cooked her QP in 5 hours in her slow cooker. That sounded better. Off I went...

~

http://www.juliegoodwin.com.au/blog/?p=1423

~

I started by washing, removing a few blemishes (I think some were wind fall fruit), cored and cut into eighths...then I gently boiled the fruit until tender. Skin is left on as that is where the pectin is.

~

Once tender, I drained off the water and pureed the hot fruit in my food processor...

~

Now the naughty bit - I had exactly 5 cups of puree (same as Julie G) so you add 5 cups of sugar to the puree!!!!

~

Added it to my slow cooker and turned it on to high... (6.08pm)

(7.32pm) Starting the thicken. I stirred it every half hour...
~

(8.32pm) Colour is starting to change...bubbling around the edge...

~

(9.37pm) more colour change - stirring every 15 minutes now...
~

(10.30pm) colour intensifying...bubble, bubble, bubble...

(10.49pm) I decided to turn it off at this stage. It was starting to almost burn between stirrings and it was setting on a spoon so I reckon it was done. I think my slow cooker is a hot one!

~

(Photo of Julie Goodwin's quince paste)

Colour is very similar...

~

I put some in a little ramekin which I will use up first...

The rest, I spooned into these little plastic tubs I had - perfect!

~

Julie suggested leaving it out all night to cool...

...so I did just that. I covered it with a food cover and finally went to bed. Way past my bedtime!

~

I can't wait to try it with some cheese later today.

Have you ever cooked with quinces before?

Cheers - Joolz xx

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A weekend at home...

Look what I found going through some files on my computer at work!

It's Brianna holding our two kittens, Clyde and Bonnie - way back in early 2007...

Poor Clyde didn't see out the end of 2007 before he was hit by a car but Bonnie has survived living on a main road, she is a resilient outdoor mogster. We shut her in each night in our garage if she chooses to come home... (where she usually sleeps on the bonnet of my car !) but she roams free during the day.

~

Gus cooked this recipe that was in the Who magazine. We didn't have fresh figs so we used dried ones. Equally as good!

~

The pearl barley was a new thing for us. I can remember mum putting it in casseroles but I have never had it like rice. Pleasantly surprised.

~

As you can see, I was impressed with the dish!

~

Oh, dear! We are still eating Easter chocolate here...just little bits here and there...

After making the date loaf and biscuits on Saturday, I made choc chip muffins on Sunday morning. These went to feed our hungry workers who turned up for a working bee. Gus was thrilled with what was achieved to clean up the dealership. Men hoard all sorts of things but they ended up taking 8 trailer loads to the refuse dump.

~

I finished watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey. I really enjoyed it and can't wait for the final Season 6 which will air in 2016.

Then I got stuck into resurrecting our aging CD collection. Men! They never put anything away! I had to pair up CD's with dusty, broken cases. Some of the covers, I couldn't even read because they were so dusty! We had a CD player in the garage for playing when we sat outside. We now have a new system that works through our wi-fi and iTunes. No CD's needed! We just need to get any favourite CD's into our iTunes files - that may take a while!

Anyway, here they all are, shiny bright and back in their cases and stored in a plastic stacker box in the shed. There were only about 4 CD's missing so not a bad result.

~

My next job was prepping for the curry I wanted to make fir Sunday night dinner...

These curries are quite time consuming - assembling the ingredients, making each step in readiness for cooking...

I had to debone a small leg of lamb, make the curry spice paste which had about 10 spices in it plus cook the rice (to which I added dried cranberries, sultanas, cinnamon and hazelnuts to make a sort of Kashmiri pulao) and make a cucumber mint raita...

It came together very nicely, quite hot (I am still learning to judge the hotness of dried red chillies which are like fire crackers!) but delicious.
~

Now it's Tuesday and I am off to try and buy a winter coat like the grey one pictured. We are off to the Anzac march in Adelaide this coming weekend and its going to be cold!

Cheers - Joolz xx

 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Busy in the kitchen...

 

Pumpkin and veg soup - looks a bit green because of the zucchini I put in it...

Cheese and bacon toasties - some people call these Rat Bait! Together with the soup, that was our dinner last night.

This morning I got my bake on...
My dear little great-nephew was bitten on his face by a dog and had to be flown to Adelaide by RFDS on Thursday evening. He had plastc surgery performed and they are on their way home today. I text my niece to let her know that I was making dinner for them. The mornay, it turns out, is Brax's favourite - I didn't even know so that was a fluke!

First up, banana bread (for my niece)...

Then I made the chicken & corn mornay...

And a tossed salad...

and some bread cases for the mornay. These are used like vol au vents but are much cheape and just as tasty.

A date loaf for our staff - we are having a working bee at work tomorrow. Big clean up!

Finally, some Country Boy cookies (sultana, choc chip, oats - how can you go wrong?).

Now its time for a cup of tea and an episode of Downton Abbey!

Its been a dreary day here with a bit of rain, perfect for baking! What have you been up to?

Cheers - Joolz xx

 

 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April showers and dead bananas...

I had to zip out to get fresh bread this morning and when I got back, the sun was shining but there were dark clouds looming...

This is the same picture with a filter applied...

A good rain is on the way...

~

beautiful Bonica rose...

~

Lots of dead bananas in the fruit bowl so I have made banana choc chip muffins for our staff at work. They'll love these for smoko!

What's the weather doing in your neck of the wood?

Cheers - Joolz xx

 

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