Friday, April 29, 2011

High Tea

(Please read with a slightly British Aristocrat accent)

Yesterday along with some friends I, by invitation,  attended a High Tea in Matamata put on by the Matamata Inner Wheel Group along with the Presbyterian Ladies Fireside group as a fundraiser for Victim Support.

There were about 130 of us and over $3,200 was raised.

The food was prepared from the book, High Tea at The Victoria Room ( recipes from The Victoria Room in Sydney, Australia) and included wonderful bite-sized sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, lavender shortbread and other High Tea treats.

Tea and/or coffee were bought to us by maids dress in black skirts, white blouses and white maid caps.

We were to dress ‘posh’ and behave like ‘ladies’.
Etiquette for high teas and the history of them were read to us from the book.

We were also celebrating the forthcoming nuptials of Prince William to Catherine, and so the questions we could part-take in (rather than ladies having a quiz, I tell you) were based on the royals.

We were entertained by two ladies’ playing some pieces on the piano.

A simply spiffing afternoon was had by us all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spiced Feijoa Cake

It’s that time of the year when the feijoas are carpeting the ground and there is a need to use them.

I have been making my favourite muffins and loaf.

This is another recipe; a lovely cake that is best served as a desert or café style afternoon tea. It can be served warm or cold.

120gr butter
180gr sugar
½ cup sultanas
2 eggs
180gr flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
1 ½ cups peeled and sliced feijoas (8 medium approx.)
Cream until light and fluffy the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs and beat well adding a tablespoon of the flour with each egg so as not to curdle the mixture.
Add sultanas and beat slightly.
Add sifted dry ingredients and prepared feijoas and fold in gently. The mixture will be ‘lumpy’ rather than ‘runny’.
Spoon into a greased tin (I use a ring tin) and bake for 50-60 minutes at 180°C.
Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and cream or yogurt.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Anzac Day occurs on 25 April. It commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.

The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. The aim was to capture the Dardanelles, the gateway to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea. At the end of the campaign, Gallipoli was still held by its Turkish defenders. Thousands lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign: 87,000 Turks, 44,000 men from France and the British Empire, including 8500 Australians. Among the dead were 2721 New Zealanders, almost one in four of those who served on Gallipoli.

It may have led to a military defeat, but for many New Zealanders then and since, the Gallipoli landings meant the beginning of something else – a feeling that New Zealand had a role as a distinct nation, even as it fought on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire.
Anzac Day was first marked in 1916.

The day has gone through many changes since then. The ceremonies that are held at war memorials up and down New Zealand, or in places overseas where New Zealanders gather, remain rich in tradition and ritual befitting a military funeral. 

This year being part of the Tirau Community Board, I was involved in the planning of the service at our Memorial Hall.

Katrina, being the Youth Representative for Tirau on the Council, was also playing a part.

She did a reading from Matthew 5:1-11 and I lay a wreath on behalf of the Tirau Community Board.

As with every year I am touch at the end of the service with the playing of the Last Post.

Neither my father or grandfathers were in a war as their ages at these times were either too old or too young. However, Harry's Father was in the Dutch army and fought in Indonesia in WW2.

Edited to add.
I have since found out that my fathers father served in WW1
Edgar Weston Purdie

War World War I, 1914-1918
Serial No. 28290
First Known Rank Private
Occupation before Enlistment Motor mechanic
Next of Kin James L. Purdie (father), Waikanae, New Zealand
Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Embarkation Unit 19th Reinforcements Specialist Machine-Gun Section
Embarkation Date 15 November 1916
Place of Embarkation Wellington, New Zealand
Transport HMNZT 68
Vessel Maunganui or Tahiti
Destination Plymouth, England
Nominal Roll Number 45
Page on Nominal Roll 20

    WW1 AWMM
    15 November 1916 AWMM
    Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    15 Nov 1916-30 January 1917 AWMM
    Wellington, New Zealand, Plymouth, Devon, England, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Province, Republic of South Africa AWMM
    Port of Call, Depart - 15 Nov 1916, Arrival - 30 Jan 1917 AWMM
    WW1 AWMM
    15 November 1916 AWMM
    New Zealand Expeditionary Force AWMM
    19th Reinforcements Specialist Machine-Gun Section AWMM

Matthew 5:1-11

The Beatitudes
1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 

(All Scripture is from New International Version 1984, ©1984)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Green Granny's Garden

Fionna Hill is a florist and has written books in this line but this is a year’s diary of when she first joined an Auckland community garden.

I have just finished reading her ‘A Green Granny's Garden - a year of the good life in Grey Lynn. The confessions of a novice urban gardener.’ It is a light and sometimes funny diary of starting her gardening in an organic community garden but also has some great recipes, hints and little stories of things she and her family have done over the years.

A Green Granny’s Garden covers the preparation and eating of the harvest, including recipes, produce gathered from elsewhere, heritage seeds, companion planting, ornamental edibles, and the microgreens and herbs grown on Fionna’s second-floor apartment balcony. ‘I was brought up by hardworking kiwi parents who lived through the Depression. They gardened: Mum preserved fruit, vegetables and more; Dad was our home handyman and could turn his talents to many things. I have inherited some of mum’s frugal habits and have her dog-eared Aunt Daisy’s Book of Handy Hints, which I sometimes consult.’

This is a book for gardeners and non-gardeners alike, as Fionna’s endearing and honest account of her experience makes for a warm and witty read. Fionna Hill is an exuberant, vivacious gardener with an enormous zest for life. An experienced writer, she is also a professional florist and stylist. © 

I will be referring back to it for her recipes and hints, especially her rhubarb weed killer; as soon as my rhubarb grows enough to get some decent leaves to pick.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday. The Sunday before Easter.

It is the day we acknowledge Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem knowing he was going to face his first Easter. We usually give out a palm cross, a tradition for this day, made by one of the ladies at our church but she has moved and no-one has made them this year.

As Jesus was entering the city the Israelites cut branches off palm trees and lay them on the ground for Jesus to ride over. It was a custom to cover in some way, the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honour. People gave Jesus this form of honour. The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and victory in Jewish tradition. Because of this, the scene of the crowd greeting Jesus by waving palms and carpeting his path with them, has become symbolic and important.

John 12:12-13

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the King of Israel!

The symbol of the donkey refers to the tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. Therefore, a king came riding upon a horse when he was bent on war and rode upon a donkey when he wanted to point out that he was coming in peace. Therefore Jesus' entry to Jerusalem symbolized his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war waging king.

The Triumphal Entry   Matthew 21:1-11

1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to the Daughter of Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The word Hosanna from the Aramaic translation means “save, I pray” or “deliver us”. It was used at this time as part of the shout to Jesus, as the Israelites thought Jesus, known as “The King of the Jews” was going to save Israel from the Roman rule. The people didn’t see Jesus as being their saviour from sin but being set free from the oppression they were under.

This morning in church we were reminded that in our own salvation and walk were we looking for a rescue from the hard times – to make things all OK – or Jesus the Saviour of our sins.
We were reminded that becoming a Christian doesn’t make the road easy and all the hard things disappear. For even Jesus had to face death on a cross, the penalty for sin, although He was free of sin. But He did it in obedience to God and for His love for us. He didn’t focus on the immediate things going on around Him but obeyed God, humbled Himself to this mistreatment so He would be raised up. He saw the big picture.
We were encouraged to do just the same, obey, be humble and so be raised up, as we don’t see the big picture as God does.

I am struggling with things going on around me and have prayed that they go away, that God will step in and be triumphant over it all, but I realise it is me trying to drawer the "big Picture" and who am I to think I can do a better job then God.

I know I must let go and let God as only He knows the ways and plans He has for me.

All scripture is from (New International Version)

Friday, April 15, 2011

One Misty Moisty Morning..

Yesterday I had to take Daniel to his pick up spot for work and the day was a typical Autumn day complete with the cold and mist, but this eventually lifted to a warm sunny afternoon.

On the way back home I realised I was reciting a little rhyme from my childhood. It was a nursery rhyme in a book I’d had. The picture was similar to this one and the rhymes were one’s you don’t hear much these days like Doctor Foster, A Tenner a Dollar, There was a crocked Man and others.

I had forgotten some of the words so I googled it, as you do, and found the original rhyme had a lot more verses and really had nothing to do with the man clothed all in leather!!

I knew the ryhme as something like this but had forgotten the words which started the greeting...
'He began to compliment
And I began to grin.'... 

One misty moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man,
Clothed all in leather.

He began to compliment
And I began to grin.
How do you do? And how do you do?
And how do you do again?

However I discovered as I googled further the bit I couldn’t remember had different versions.

Nursery Rhyme lyrics, origins and history

One misty, moisty, morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
There I met an old man
All clothed in leather

All clothed in leather,
With a cap under his chin.
How do you do?
And how do you do?
And how do you do again?

The rhyme then goes on to meeting a maid who the writer eventually marries. So it was a man who wrote it from his point of view not a little girl as I had always imagined it to be.

English Traditional (arr. Steeleye Span)

One Misty Moisty Morning
One misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man a-clothèd all in leather.
He was clothèd all in leather, with a cap beneath his chin,
Singing 'How d'ye do and how d'ye do and how d'ye do again'.

This rustic was a thresher, as on his way he hied,
And with a leather bottle fast buckled by his side.
He wore no shirt upon his back, but wool unto his skin,
Singing 'How d'ye do and how d'ye do and how d'ye do again'.

I went a little further and there I met a maid
'A-going, a-milking, a-milking sir' she said.
Then I began to compliment and she began to sing,
Singing 'How d'ye do and how d'ye do and how d'ye do again'.

This maid her name was Dolly, clothed in a gown of grey,
I feeling somewhat jolly persuaded her to stay.
And straight I fell a-courting her in hopes her love to win,
Singing 'How d'ye do and how d'ye do and how d'ye do again'.

I having time and leisure, I spent a vacant hour
A-telling of my treasure while sitting in her bower.
With many kind embraces, I stroked her double chin,
Singing 'How d'ye do and how d'ye do and how d'ye do again'.

I said that I would married be, and she would be my bride,
And long we should not tarry and twenty things beside.
I'll plough and sow and reap and mow, and you shall sit and spin,
Singing 'How d'ye do and how d'ye do and how d'ye do again'.

Her parents then consented, all parties were agreed,
Her portion thirty shillings, we married were with speed.
Then Will the Piper he did play, whilst others dance and sing,
Saying 'How d'ye do and how d'ye do and how d'ye do again'.

Then lusty Ralph and Robin, with many damsels gay,
Did ride on roan and dobbin to celebrate the day,
And when they met together, their caps they off did fling,
'How d'ye do and
How d'ye do and
How d'ye do and
How d'ye doooooo .....
... and How d'ye do again!'.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Zucchini Pickle

If I have let my zucchini’s get too big I make this pickle. I have made this for a few years and I can sort of add or substitute a few ingredients. The trick to a ‘pretty’ pickle is to have colour so I used red onions as I only had one red pepper.
I love this pickle on toast with melted cheese. (Grill or microwave the toast) I also have it in a salad sandwich instead of mayonnaise for flavour.
It is from Alison Holst’s “The Ultimate Collection” cookbook.
I have given all my cherubs this cook book and her big red cookbook, "The Best of Alison Holst "

Zucchini Pickle

1 kg zucchini
750 gr onions
¼ cup salt
2 red peppers
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
2 tsp celery seeds
1 ½ tsp turmeric
2 cups white or cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Cornflour

Cut the zucchini and onions into small chunks then process small amounts at a time to about corn size. Be careful not to pulp it. If you don’t have a food processor grate the vegetables.
Place in a large bowl and mix with the salt.
Chop the peppers finely and mix in. Give them all a good stir and leave in the brine for half an hour.
Add the water and give a good stir.
Drain through a coarse sieve and discard the liquid.
Place all the drained vegetables in a large heavy bottomed or preserving pan and add the sugar, seeds, turmeric and vinegar.
Bring to the boil, and simmer for 30 minutes stirring often.
Mix the cornflour to a paste with 2-3 Tblsp of cold water and stir into pickle.
Cook a further 5 minutes, stirring.
Pour into clean, heated jars and seal with boiled metal lids. If you use plastic screw-on lids the jars must be refidgerated as with any opened jars.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Washing Machine Blues

Do you ever have issues with the washing coming out of the machine dirtier than when it went in?

You know that gunge that seems to get on the clothes that are on the outside of the ‘pile’ as it has spun out in the last spin part of the cycle.

It happened the other day and I was also having issues that meant I was going to have to call in the appliance technician to have the machine fixed.
Every washing load was cutting out.
It would do the first part to the emptying of water and then the whole machine would turn off. No beeping or flashing lights just dead.

If I switched the machine off at the wall, waited 3 minutes, and turned it back on; it would light up the part of the cycle the machine was doing before it cut out. It would then start on its own but only for the next part. A wash would take four times of turning it off at the wall and then switching it back on again.

(I have a Fisher and Paykel Smart Drive Excellence that has the stages of the cycle marked by lit up spots – 4 in a cycle)

But each time items would also come out with the gunge.

In the end I decided to give the machine a clean.
I mean I didn’t want some chappy seeing the dirty machine as he checked it out.
I unscrewed the handle thingy inside the agitator so the whole agitator could come out. I cleaned this with hot water and a scrubbing brush. Then I set the machine on hot water and added a cup of baking soda. We had the fire going this day and the hot water was being heated by our wet back so I didn’t feel guilty about using the hot water.

The machine did a whole cycle without stopping!

I tried it again in just a small height for the water. It did it without stopping.

Now was the test. I did a load of washing and the machine worked completely and the clothes were clean.

My advice...
Clean the machine once or twice a year with baking soda and hot water and you will save the cost of so called repairs and a service man’s fee!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Protein and Carbohydrate Free Lunch

The other day I wanted to have a fruit and vege day, just to have a bit of a rest from all the carb and proteins I seemed to be opting for.

I started with a fruit breakfast - banana, feijoas, some canned fruit, pumpkins seeds and a handful of sultanas – all mixed in a bowl and enjoyed slowly.

For lunch I used fresh vegetables from the garden. I have let my vegetable garden go a bit so the zucchinis have grown too big. Never-the-less I still eat them and add them to dishes as ‘filler’ or roast them for a short time with other vegetables. You have to keep the skin on or they will turn to slush but when they are roasted they soak up the flavours form the meat juices.

Stuffed Zucchini

For lunch I cut off a chunk of zucchini and carefully cut the centre fibre part, where the seeds are out, and placed it in the centre of a microwave dish. You need to keep the skin on so it holds its structure and once it’s cooked it is soft.

I diced into small pieces
¼ onion
A handful of button mushrooms
1 tomato
1 tbsp of fresh parsley

I mixed these all together in a bowl with some freshly ground pepper and filled the centre of the zucchini with it keeping the remainders for topping up.
I cooked this on high in the microwave for 3 minutes. I carefully drained off and saved the juices that had come out and then topped up the filling with the leftovers.
I cooked this again on high for 2 more minutes.
I thickened the juices with a sprinkle of corn flour and added the rest of the juice that had seeped out after the second cooking.
I spooned some of the corn flour ‘paste’ into the filing being careful not to have it overflow; cooked for 20 seconds and repeated filling with the ‘paste’, cooking for 20 seconds, until it was used up.

I up turned the dish onto a serving plate and garnished with slices of avocado.
If you wanted you could add grated cheese or chopped bacon. If you were cooking for more people it may be quicker to cook them in the oven at 180°C but it may fall apart more once you start adding the corn flour paste.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Little Stones

On Sunday the 13th of March, Harry was rushed to hospital by ambulance with what we later found out was a kidney stone. I followed in my car and sat with him in A & E for the whole time.
He was able to pass it while we were there and we came home later that night.

Little did we know that our daughter and her husband were having a ‘little Stone’ of their own (their surname) at the same hospital.  Jacob Thomas was born two weeks early at 10.51pm weighing 7lb 4oz.

 1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
   he who created you, O Jacob,
   he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

On a Tuesday at nine days old (still not even full due date) he was able to go home with his Mummy and Daddy. I was able to have my first cuddles of our third grandchild and bond in a way that only a Nana can.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
   were written in your book
   before one of them came to be. 

(All scripture is from New International Version 1984, ©1984)