Monday, February 28, 2011

meet shane

i want you to meet a friend of mine and hear his story.
i hope this may inspire you to think more about the impact of humans on our waterways and beautiful creatures.

we found him on a walk round a headland in northern nsw. we thought he was dead at first but every minute or so he took a breath and lifted his head.

we thought he had been stranded on the rocks as the surf was pretty hectic over that weekend.

we thought we were doing the right thing by trying to help him get back out to sea but he was unable to get under the water - it looked like he had air in his shell that was making him unable to dive.

finally we got to the stage of realising we had to call for some advice so contacted WIRES who connected us with Australian Seabird Rescue. then travelled to us to come pick up the turtle and give him some assistance.

we learnt that when turtles are ashore and they're not there to lay eggs that they are sick. it's either a bacterial infection in their gut that makes them unable to dive but more commonly its because they have swallowed plastic. either of these cause the turtles to flot, unable to dive, so the swell brings them to shore. they are unable to swim back out so are stranded, unable to eat, eventually dying on the shore.

unfortunately shane was one the first of 3 turtles we've seen in past weeks. shane was about a foot and a half long. we met a grand old turtle on a secluded cove. unfortunately he had died. those pictures would not have been pretty. if you've ever snorkeled or skuba dived, you know how graceful and peacful these creatues are. it was a sad day seeing this over 1m long turtle left abandoned on the beach.  last week we came across a 2 foot long turtle on a beach people would be at daily nearby.  he also had died.  if only someone had checked on him and rang WIRES or Australian Seabird Rescue he could have been saved.  it breaks my heart.

i feel a sense of responsibility for all the plastic that gets left on the beach or washed in our waterways because someone simply abandoned a piece of rubbish without thought.

everytime we got to the beach now i pick up rubbish. from a couple of hundred metres of beach i'd pick up at least a bag of rubbish.  its bits of rope, plastic bottles, plastic bags, less than  a centremetre pieces of plastic from being broken down in the sun and surf.  after a long weekend or holidays i could pick up more than 3-4 buckets of rubbish left behind by the tourists. to see human created and discarded garbage mixed in the sand and natural shoreline gets to you. i now find it disgusting and it makes me angry. our inventions have lead to this damage.

so where does leave me and you?
please be responsible with where you discard rubbish.
please use less plastics as they do not break down easily and leaves a mark on our world for far too many years to come.
look after your environment - your parks, bushland and beaches.
connect with community services like Clean Up Australia Day (comming up next Sunday March 6), Landcare or other community groups.
teach your kids to develop these habits.

don't claim naivity. humans are leaving a negative footprint on our beautiful natural world.
live responsibly and think about what you use and where you put it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

lemon potato salad

for kel and mali after a glorious weekend at evans.

my favourite potato salad recipe... credit to my mum. :)

1.2kg small, new season potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise (thorny brand if buying off the shelf)
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup spring onions

put potatoes (diced depending on size) in a large pan of cold, salted water. bring to the boil then simmer for about 15mins or until tender.
combine mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
drain potates then put in a bowl. while potates are still warm, add the mayonnaise mix and srping onions. mix well.
leave to cool, then serve.
can be prepared up to 6hrs in advance. keep in the fridge but remove it about 30mins before serving to allow the potatoes to reach room temperature.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ready to rummage

the start of my collection for my suitcase rummage debut! thanx to salvos newy, lifeline casino and my cupboard!

i know i have more things i've been putting aside... however they're all hiding in the pile of the 'don't know where to put it' boxes in the laundry left over from moving! here's to rummaging in my own place this week. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

look vs function

oh dear. the challenge of finding a helmet that suits the look of my electra. 

it seems helmets did not come into use until after the style era of my bike.

this is the best i have found so far:

only i can't find a large and i could even be 1cm off a large.
oh the curse of having a massive noggin. :)

any suggestions other retro/vintage lovers? it feels so foreign to have to sacrifice feeling like me and having a taste of retro in my helmet. have you seen the options of today? i feel like an alien when trying on the aerodynamic options in shops around our town. am i missing out on some fatastic option since i don't live in the city anymore?? how can i not ruin the feel of my bike and avoid fines??

oh dear. i need help!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

weekend joy

being away from home for most of this week made me yearn for little things from my home that brings smiles and heart jumps of joy. the things that just make home what it is:

the new members of our family - shark and blossom.
shared naming rights in our family.

 and yes. shark is the smaller of the 2. :)

our old school, mis-matched stereo which my husband loves and i have come to love also.
and my mum's fab pic of evans on a misty morning.
dad and sam are out there in the surf if you look real hard. great memory of a lovely beach morning with my family.

my $10 ebay bargin drawers.
the style matches our late 1960s couch. love sitting enjoying the breeze in my retro lounge room.

my sewing table. 
can't wait to wave the magic unpacking wand to create a sewing space in our massive laundry but until then this is my corner of joy.

oh its so lovely being home. next week i hope to bring you pics of my favourite times of day round my beautiful town.

blessings for your week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

sweet potato burgers

for the evans kiosk. their sweet potato and chickpea burgers have inspired me.

600g kumara, peeled, chopped
350g potatoes, peeled, chopped
1 small onion, grated
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup packaged breadcrumbs
4 round crusty rolls, halved and toasted lightly
4 oak lettuce leaves
2/3 cup tabouleh

1. boil or steem kumara and potat until tender. drain, mash roughly. stir in onion, carrot, coriander and ginger. allow mixture to cool.
2. shape mixture into 6 even patties. coat in breadcrumbs. place on a plastic-wrap lined tray. cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
3. shallow-fry patties in hot oil until golden on both sides. drain well. cover base of rolls with lettuce, then tabouleh, hot patties and cumin yoghurt then replace top of roll.

cumin yoghurt
1/3 cup plain yoghurt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp lemon juice
combine all ingredients in a bowl. season to taste with salt if desired.

patties and yoghurt can be prepared a day a head.

for all non-kiwi's out there kumera is otherwise known as sweet potato. :)

rhubarb and sour cream cake

for me. to try  on a lazy day next week. looks yum and different.

300g rhubarb
60g unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
250g sour cream

preheat oven to 180degC. grease a 20cm cake tin, line with greaseproof paper on base and sides. grease again.
wash and dry rhubarb and cut into 2cm pieces.
cream butter and sugar; add eggs and vanilla and continue beating for approximately 5 minutes or until pale in colour.
sift together flour and baking soda. stir in half of the flour and half of the sour cream. add remaining flour and sour cream.
fold in the rhubarb. pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 1-1.5 hours or until lightly browned on top and a skewer comes out clean.
stand in the tin for 15 minutes before turning cake onto a wire rack to cool.
serve warm with a dollop of fresh cream.

banana and walnut muffins

for jacqs. wednesday's creation while hanging in newy.

i tweaked her recipe for yummy fruit and nut goodness. always looking out for ways to add extra nutrients and variety to my meals and snacks.

2cups SR flour
1/2 cup wholemeal SR flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crushed walnts (extra walnuts for finishing touch if desired)
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 ripe bananas mashed
100g butter melted & cooled

pre-heat oven to 200degC.
lightly brush 12cup muffin tray holes with oil or melted butter/place out muffin cases.
sift flours, bicarb & nutmeg into a large bowl, then add husks from the flour.
stir in the sugar and walnuts. make a well in the centre.
in a jug whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla, pour into well.
add the banana and butter.
fold gently with a metal spoon until just combined. don't over mix.
fill each muffin hole 3/4 full with mixture.
back for 20-25mins or until muffins rise, golden and come away slightly from the tin.

QUESTION: what advanted does using a metal spoon give? any answers from seasoned cooks out there?

Monday, February 14, 2011

lismore farmers market

love this thursday evening market happening at lismore - i can't always make a weekend trip from our town so this suits to a tee! got to make the most of it as it ends in april. :(

Sunday, February 13, 2011

bicarb spray

effective against powdery mildew.  make sure you cover every part of the plant - both sides of the leaves - and coat the stems.  acts as a preventative, not a cure.

from 'organic gardener - fruit essential guide'

1tsp of bicarb
1/2 tsp sunflower oil
1 drop of diswashing detergent
to 1L of water.

stir well and use immediately.

i've had success using this on mildew on my tomatoes this year. and due to having the detergent included it has kept caterpillers at bay as well. :)

for cucumbers, zucchinis and apparently grapevines, milk spray is more effective.

milk spray

a simple yet effect spray for mildew on broad leaffed vegies like cucumber and zucchini:

1 part milk to 10 parts water. mix. spray.
from 'organic gardener - fruit essential guide'

use immediately. if you store it in the fridge probably good for another day but would recommend a new mix after that. NOTE: too much milk in the solution can encourage sooty mould, so stick to the recipe.

i had heard adding calcium or milk to the soil around the cucmbers could help ward off mildew as well. i tried that this summer however with the huge amount of rain we had in northern nsw it had no effect. the direct spray worked within a few days.

for tomatos i recommend the bicarb spray. its stops the progression of mildew within a day of spraying. fantastic!

weekend finds

so this weekend's highlights were...

the biggest caterpiller i've ever seen in my garden:

see - super vegies lead to super caterpillers!!

a very bold spider who took on and won against a bee over double his/her size:

and attempts to snorkel were interrupted by me stepping on a stingray:

ok so it was just a little toe and the stingray was probably only a foot long. but hey, our first aid skills weren't successful without our self help book - are stingrays poisonous enough to warrent a hospital visit?? turns out its pretty much like a bee sting. only less swelling and more sting in my case. nothing a heat pack couldn't fix!  few extra heart beats wasted until that finding! 

have to say... it did make me feel like a real ocean going girl! one more feather in my bow towards being a true beachsider. :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

my first softies

ok so i'm not a sewing guru just yet but enjoyed making my first softies from my lovely friend tara's book she sent me.

made them into rattles by adding a few bells into their stuffing for my friend and sister's soon-to-be new bubs. 

blueberry and almond muffins

for the mckendricks. thank you goodies for our great moving buddies.

and for fresh blueberries that are current as cheap or cheaper than strawberries at the moment.

from Chatswood Island Public School 'Favoured Flavours of the Clarence' recipe book 1999.

2 cups SR flour
250g fresh blueberries
1 egg
90g butter, melted
flaked almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ground almonds
1tspn vanilla
300ml cream

pre-heat oven to 200C. grease 12 hole muffin tray/set up muffin cases.
combine flour, sugar, blueberries and ground almonds in a large bowl. 
in a separate bowl mix egg, vanilla, butter and cream.
fold into dry ingredients.
spoon into prepared trays.
top with flaked almonds.
bake for 20-25minutes.
dust with icing sugar before serving warm.

my recipe changes: use skim milk instead of cream to decrease fat content. i leave adding the blueberries till last to allow the wet and dry ingredients mix better and i ground my own almonds to allow bigger bits for added texture interest in the muffins. result - scrumptious muffins.