Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

when I was young I didn't know what cheesecake was a cake made from cheese? how odd.

When I was very young, mum often made cakes and puddings for afternoon teas and for sweets after dinner.
We were on a tight budget, so these cheap treats were a good way to fill small tummies when the breadwinner got the largest portion of the main meals. Often enough, sweets,(dessert) was a slice of bread and butter sprinkled with brown sugar, or jam and cream.

Half of our backyard was a giant veggie patch too. I remember planting radish seeds along with carrots because the radishes would be ready first and as we pulled them we'd be making room for the carrots to mature.

The puddings were often a chocolate custard with sprinkles, or a semolina made thick enough to set, with sprinkles.  Lemon sago pudding with custard was a favourite too and I still like it.
Or canned fruit with custard.

Most often would be cake.

Mum would make a basic butter cake mixture, pour it into a slab tin, top it with sliced apples or plums, sprinkle the whole thing with sugar and bake it.
There were sandwich cakes, sandwiched together with plum jam, or chocolate cakes.
Apple strudels with whipped cream.

None of these options ever contained cheese.
We had never heard of cheesecake.
Not fruitcake either, to us, fruitcake was that heavy stuff English people ate at Christmas. 

When I was thirteen, my best friend E had an older sister who was engaged to be married, so their mum was teaching her to cook. Releasing all the hints and tips that made recipes better.

On the way to school one day, riding our bikes, E mentioned that S had made her very first cheesecake.
I immediately said I didn't like was so...cheesy. 
E had no idea, and I didn't enlighten her, that I had no idea what a cheesecake was.

A cake with cheese? That's odd. Why would anyone want to eat such a thing?

In our house, cheese was that mild flavoured yellow wedge bought weekly at the corner store where the shopkeeper would slice the wheel with a giant knife. Three shillings worth of cheese was enough for a week. Or there was quark, the "cream cheese" that mum made. Which hung to drip in its muslin bag on the back porch. Awful stuff which I refused to eat.  Later there was Kraft cream cheese in jars. Still awful.

No more mention was made of the cheesecake and I forgot about it.
My own children were raised without cheesecake, I don't recall ever seeing it in the shops when buying groceries. Possibly because it never occurred to me to look for it. I was on a tight budget....

Now, of course, I know what cheesecake is and buy it way too often.
I've even made a few myself.
From packet mixes, the recipe on the back of the Philadelphia Cream Cheese packet, and recently my younger daughter made a baked cheesecake.
Which was very nice. And lemon flavoured. I do like lemon.
And I buy frozen cheesecakes.

I still don't remember how or when I first came across this delicious treat. A cake, made from cheese.
I think it may have been when my older daughter made one after her mother-in-law showed her how.
Possibly it was sooner, but I have no memory of having it before then.
Of course I also know about cream cheese frosting now too.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Whimsical Wednesday #97

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

The day for your googled giggle that gets you over the hump that is Wednesday and sliding down into the weekend.

fish cakes! 

Mine are usually crumbed and fried and eaten with chips, (fries) but this works well too.

Cute aren't they?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

the tooth saga continues...

After spending a fair amount of time hanging around at bus stops yesterday, I made it to the dentist.
I didn't have an appointment, I was hoping he could just fit me in between patients for a quick smoothing of the rough edges and then I'd make an appointment for a proper filling.

Well, none of that happened. I got there just after the clinic opened, to find my dentist wasn't even beginning work until 10am.
So I sat down with my kindle and read until I was almost asleep, then got called in.

Dr M took a look at the molar and said smoothing the rough edges wouldn't do at all. There are so many old fillings already in the tooth, smoothing would just leave them all exposed and unstable. So he filled the whole side with a temporary filling, to stop it from ripping chunks out of my tongue*, then we discussed options.

Best option? Remove all the old fillings, insert a couple of stabilising pins, then build up a new filling to the original tooth size. I've had a tooth repaired in this way before, so long ago I don't remember when, but it is still there, still stable and never gives me any trouble. So that is what I will do. I'll be back there Wednesday morning to make the appointment for the work.

Then we'll probably discuss the rest of my teeth, it's been a while since I was there, probably one or two might need a filling by now.

*slight exaggeration.

Monday, October 28, 2013

and here we go again.....

Early Sunday morning I was reading the paper, drinking coffee, eating chocolate....suddenly....crunch...what??  
This is plain milk chocolate, nothing should be crunching.

Well of course it was another one of my teeth, the whole side of a molar just broke away from all the fillings and I have a rough edge scraping the dickens out of my tongue.

So I'm off to the dentist again. 
I'm not in pain, apart from the rough edge scraping my tongue, so that's one good thing at least.

And I have good news.....I found a package of tomato seeds at my daughter's house, plant by date stamped on them was 2008, so of course I brought them home and planted them.
I only planted half the packet, so far ten have germinated, and my mini capsicums are showing tiny specks of green in the potting mix too, as is one lonely mini cucumber.

Some of those seeds are stamped 'plant before 2010 and 2011' and I was going to give them all one more week to show signs of life, I actually said that as I was watering the pots, "I'll give you another week and if you don't grow, I'll have to buy new seeds."

I guess they heard me.

Hooray for summer salads!
Of course there's no sign of any lettuces coming up yet, but I'll give it another week.  Come on baby cos, you can do it!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Selections # 143

Welcome back to Sunday Selections!

This once-a- week-meme was originally begun by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock, as a way to showcase some of the many photos we all take, but don't get around to showing on our blogs.
Kim spends more time writing at The Shake these days.

The rules are very simple:-
1. post photos of your choice, old or new, under the Sunday Selections title
2. link back to me, River, somewhere in your post
3. leave me a comment so that I know you've joined in and can come over and see what you've posted.
4. hop on over to The Elephant’s Child to see more of her wonderful photos.

Kath and Andrew often join in as well, although Kath has been quite busy lately and unable to join us.
There are several other participants now though:
Jackie K at Working Through It

I usually go with a theme for my Sunday Selections and this week I'm continuing with some photos of the gardens surrounding these flats I live in.

Today I have photos of just one rose bush. 

You may be forgiven for thinking this is three or four different roses, but truly this is one bush with many roses in many colours. 

It's called a Chameleon Rose because of the constantly changing colours.

see? one bush. many colours.

pink with creamy white. And a yellow-pink bud right behind.

yellow with very faint pink tinge to the edges of the petals.
I love the tiny point at the centre of each petal edge.
Enlarge the image, you'll see what I mean.

creamy white with pink. and another yellow bud.

isn't this just beautiful? here you can more clearly see the little point at the centre of each petal edge.

white with a hint of pink. Yes, we're still on the same bush!  Proof? the points on the petals.

another ruffly bloom, tri coloured, pink, white and cream.

this one is almost half and half white and pink.

one of the yellows with pink tips.

I love this yellow-soft pink combination.

one of the buds has a hole, thanks to a bud worm. 

Next autumn this bush should be a little bigger and since it is over in P's side of the garden,
I'm going to take a cutting and get it going in a pot on my front porch. 

The porch is getting a little crowded, but I'll make room for this.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Don't buy these for your kids

I'm serious.

they're way too yummy.

keep them for yourself.
(give the kids a celery stick, or something...)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesday’s, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a meme which she calls
“Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.
I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. crow
2. evening
3. mist
4. rapid
5. blazing
6. emerge

Here is my story:

It had been a long evening and Emma was just about to climb into bed, when the crow living in the big gum tree began cawing and clattering his beak, then flew down onto her window sill and continued his racket. 

Emma got out of bed to close her window, then noticed the blazing red of what she thought was a full moon rising through the mist. She watched it for a moment as the crow continued cawing and clattering at her. It seemed unusually large and red....wait, what was that smell?
Smoke? Yes, it was. What Emma thought was mist was in fact smoke and it was thickening quite alarmingly. 

The crow was becoming quite frantic trying to attract her attention, then rapped his beak sharply against the window frame. Again and again he rapped and cawed.

Emma began to feel frightened. The news reports had said the fires were contained and under control. She'd thought she wouldn't have to leave after all. But here was the smoke again and the red emerging from it was definitely no full moon.

She waved at the crow to thank him for alerting her, then dressed as quickly as she could, although taking the time to lace her boots properly. Wouldn't do her any good at all to trip on a lace and fall down the stairs now, would it?

Emma raced down the stairs, suddenly thankful that she'd been too tired to bother with unpacking the van. All the important papers and her most precious treasures were still in boxes packed tightly behind the seat along with the suitcases containing her clothes. 

In the kitchen, Emma grabbed her mobile phone and it's charger, emptied the bowl of fruit on the counter into her carry bag and added a couple of bottles of water. 

In case any fire fighters came looking to evacuate her, she taped a note to the glass in the door, saying that she was gone and safe and there were bottles of water in the fridge they could help themselves to. 

Once in the car and making her rapid escape, Emma felt glad that she hadn't yet bought that flock of chickens, imagine trying to get them in the van! As she sped through the gate to her property and headed down the highway, Emma heard the crow cawing above her. He was following the van! 

"Probably making sure I get safely away", she thought, and mentally thanked him again for alerting her to the danger. If he stayed with her all the way, she'd make sure to get him some good mince from the butcher in the morning. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

the land of frozen dreams

Some time ago, along with her weekly six word challenge, Delores gave us a sentence prompt.

"follow the path of ice to the land of frozen dreams"

I wrote it down, along with several other Delores had given us over the weeks, and then forgot about it.
I found that page in my notebook yesterday and wrote this>>>>

Follow The Path Of Ice To The Land Of Frozen Dreams

Mandy wriggled and squirmed in her sleep, she'd rolled around so much in falling asleep, the quilt was wrapped around her like a cocoon. In her dream she felt as if she were being sucked down into a whirlpool. Down and down, feeling colder the further down she went. With a bump, Mandy fell out of the whirlpool onto a glittery field of ice cubes, divided by a solidly frozen path of ice that had a sign shaped like a pointing finger. It pointed down the path and Mandy thought, "well, I might as well go this way, there doesn't seem to be any other way to go."

She trod carefully along the ice path, not wanting to slip, wondering all the time where it was leading her and why didn't she feel cold anymore? "I'm in a land of ice, but I feel warm like the sun is shining on me."
As Mandy rounded a corner, she stopped and gasped with pleasure. Spread out in the hollow of three small hills was a pastel coloured village. It glittered as if made of sugar.  Mandy forgot the path was slippery ice and ran towards it. 

Some of the edges looked soft, as if they had melted a bit, cream! Mandy saw with delight the village was made of ice cream and stopped to taste. Yum! The trees were chocolate trunks and branches with peppermint leaves. The darling little cottages were vanilla walls with caramel doors and raspberry roofs! Each tiny garden was lime lawn with frozen strawberry roses, blueberry delphiniums, orange and lemon sorbet marigolds. This land of frozen dreams was heaven! 

The village church was fashioned from licorice ice cream cut in blocks to look like stone, with a slab of dark chocolate ice cream for a door. A steeple made of sorbet supported a tiny bell that began to peal. Mandy spun around to see as much as she could while the pealing got louder and the village began to melt away. 

Mandy woke suddenly, discovering the pealing was in fact her alarm clock. "What a wonderful dream," she thought and hurried downstairs to tell Mum all about it before she forgot a single detail.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I love this jingle!

Has everyone seen the advertisement for Freeview TV, where the woman is singing
"The Best Things In Life Are Free"? 

I love it! I don't care about the Freeview part, TV is TV is TV...but the song....I LOVE the song.
I turn up the volume every time it comes on.
If you haven't seen it you can probably find it on you tube, so do yourself a favour and have a listen.

I know it is an old song and has been done by others over the years, but this version has me dancing in my seat and singing along.

Whimsical Wednesday #96

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

The day for your googled giggle that gets you over the hump that is Wednesday and sliding down into the weekend.

so this is where all that litigation trouble started!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I hate bush fly season

You all know what I'm talking about?
Those annoying little flies, smaller than a regular house fly, that travel around in packs and descend on unsuspecting people sitting at bus stops. Or anywhere.

For several years, bush flies haven't been in the city in large numbers, some years I haven't seen any at all.
But this year, they're back. And zooming in on faces, arms, necks, settling on clothing.
People everywhere are walking (or sitting) and swishing their arms or hands around every few seconds to brush away the flies. If there is a breeze, things aren't so bad, but a still day brings them out in droves.

It reminds me of childhood in Port Pirie, where people gathered in the streets for a gabfest would have a veritable army of tiny flies hitch hiking on their backs. Children tore small leafy twigs off street trees and used them to swish away flies as they walked.
These irritating little buggers are the reason swagmen wore hats with swinging corks tied around the brim.
Once I moved away from Port Pirie I forgot about them as there didn't seem to be any in the Eastern cities I lived in.
Even coming back to Adelaide I didn't notice any. It wasn't until I spent a week in Port Augusta visiting my dad that I saw bush flies again. They were everywhere up there. More than I'd ever seen.

Does anyone remember seeing old footage of film from places like Africa or Australia up in the Northern Territory with indigenous people that had these tiny little flies clustered around their eyes and noses, sometimes by the mouth? I used to wonder why they didn't brush them away.

Well, those are the flies I'm talking about. And this year, they're back. with a vengeance. For a few weeks now I've been flapping my arms about as I sit and wait for buses to or from the city.
You'd think with such a workout the "bingo wings" would tone up wouldn't you? Not so.  I'm tempted to tear a twig of the nearest tree, but that might be illegal these days, so I'll have to start carrying a fan. Reading a book at the bus stop on a still day is impossible now. Maybe I should get a swaggie hat with the swinging corks?
I can't wait for bush fly season to be over.

Please, all you flies, go back to the bush!

Monday, October 21, 2013

not the prettiest pie I ever made

but this was a test run, so that's okay.

I started with this>>>

two frozen serves of chicken hotpot

and some frozen chicken tenderloins.

I cooked the chopped up tenderloins, then stirred in the hotpot and simmered. I was going to add peas, but changed my mind and added sliced mushrooms. What's in the blue pot at the back?

spaghetti sauce of course. A favourite standby. Cook a batch, freeze individual portions, easy quick dinners.

then I started making the pastry and here is where it gets interesting. 
A while ago, I'd heard that pastry made with lard was good pastry. I'd always used butter, but I bought some lard, put it in the fridge and ignored it for months.
I decided to use it for this.

I began rubbing the lard into the flour and noticed it smelled like pig.
Nothing unusual there, lard is rendered pig fat after all.
But if the finished pie smelled or tasted like pig, I was going to be annoyed.

Another thing, even with resting the dough, this pastry didn't roll out as well as a butter pastry, it cracked up and fell apart easily, especially when it came time to lift a sheet onto the pie dish. If you enlarge the image you'll see where I patched it up.

pie with cooked filling

pie with pastry lid.
I brushed on some beaten egg....

and baked it.  200 degrees C until done.

Ta Da!!         golden brown Chicken and Mushroom pie.

Next time I make this I'll be more careful with the pastry.
Make it prettier.

a slice of pie, (the rest is in the freezer, sliced and wrapped)

served with broccoli and cauliflower...

was pretty nice.

There's a couple of things I'll have to tweak to make it perfect, for instance the pastry could use a touch of salt. It was good without, but I think it will be better if I mix a pinch of salt into the flour.

And the mushrooms weren't quite cooked enough. Next time I'll be starting the filling from scratch since I don't have any hotpot left over, so the mushrooms will be stirfried along with the onion and chicken, before adding the rest of the sauce ingredients.

Little things, no major changes needed here. And the pastry didn't smell like pig anymore once it was thoroughly mixed into dough, there was no pig smell during baking or eating. 
Just as well too, I didn't want to have to toss it out as I had no back up dinner planned.
Of course there's always spaghetti....

This pie will definitely get a repeat performance.