Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Feijoa Jam

This is a great way to use up an abundance of feijoas and is a 
lovely chunky jam. 
It makes about 6 jars of jam.

Feijoa Jam

1.5 kgs feijoas (sliced)
1.2 litres of water
1 kg sugar

Do not peel the feijoas.
Cut the ends off and discard.
Cut into slices and put into a large pot with the water.
Broil to the boil and cook gently until soft.
Gradually add the warmed sugar 
(see note below) 
still stirring; then bring to a fast rolling boil.
Boil until it will set when tested.
Test by putting a dessertspoon on a saucer. Run your finger through and if a line stays it is at setting stage. It will look slightly pink.
Feijoa jam must be watched as it jellies quickly and can burn.
Pour the jam into hot sterilized jars and seal.

Note: I wash my jars and put them into a warm oven (130°C) and also put the sugar in a casserole dish or other ovenproof container, to warm at the same time.
The warm sugar when added to the jam helps to keep the mixture at a high temperature.
Cold sugar cools it all down.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away

Do you remember the rhyme?:

Rain rain go away,
Come again another day.
Little Johnny wants to play;
Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again!
I found myself saying it a bit over the last two days. It's rained non stop, sometimes torrential and I have thought "it could stop now".

Did you know this rhyme ...  dates back to the reign of Elizabeth I,(1533-1603) one of the Tudor monarchs. During this period of  English history there was constant rivalry with Spain culminating, in 1588, in the Spanish Armada consisting of many Spanish galleons being sent to attack England. This attempt failed, not only because of the swift nature of the smaller English ships but also by the stormy weather which scattered the Armada fleet.


Not sure who little Johnny was, but I'm sure it would have been a pun at something English.

So its rained and rained and this is what it looks like

Our driveway (this and below)

Roads and streets had surface flooding

Rivers were nearly overflowing

Many farms had flooded paddocks

rest areas became "run offs"
 Some one will say it is good for the land, but it would be nice if it went away for a few days!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The World Didn’t End

14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.

The day the world was supposed to end has been and gone and I am not surprised. I do believe that God is going to come back and take all His believers with him.
It says in the bible
6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

We are aware of this more and more in the world around us as technology has made reporting instant – even while it is happening – and this is something we were not used to ten/fifteen years ago.
It also goes on the say

Matthew 24:9-14

 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

There will then be events happening in the skies
Matthew 24:29

 29Immediately after the distress of those days
   “‘the sun will be darkened,
   and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
   and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

And Jesus will appear in the sky with the rapture occurring.

Matthew 24:30-31

30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

But as much as one man may try to convince the world that this time has arrived, he has forgotten the other scripture

Matthew 24:36

The Day and Hour Unknown
  36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Only God knows the time as it depends on the things that need to happen before hand. God knows the plans He has for us but we still have our own will (choice) or go against God (sin).
Note back in verse 11 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. The people (false prophets) will deceive us. It does not matter what they say and try to convince us because the bible is the truth and if we hold on to what it says “no one knows about that day or hour” we need not be afraid of an impending day or time someone tries to tell us will come.

Verse 42 says

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

We are encouraged to continue to live our lives as Christ woild want us to be so that when he does come we will be found ready

Verse 44

44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

All scripture is from New International Version 1984

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chocolate Muffins

1 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup caster sugar
¼ cup cocoa
100gr butter
1 egg
1 cup yoghurt
½ cup milk
½ tap vanilla

Sift the dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl so they are all combined (If you don’t it will end up like the muffins in my photo - not chocolately looking)
Melt the butter and add the other liquid ingredients stirring well.
Fold the liquid mixture into the dry until damped but not blended smooth (14 stirs)
Fill 12 medium-sized muffin pans, which have been greased or hold muffin cases.
I grease mine with margarine applied with a paper towel.
Bake at 200°C for 10 to 12 minutes or until the centres spring back when lightly pressed.

This recipe can be altered to have chocolate chips (about ½ cup) added to the dry ingredients and/or sprinkled on the top.
I use whatever flavour yogurt I have as this adds to the flavour of the muffin but plain would keep the chocolate flavour.
You could also add a little something in the middle if you wanted to create a surprise e.g. a little chocolate egg (for Easter), a blob of jam, a large chocolate button or marshmallow.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jacob's Little Outfit

The post below shows the complete little outfit I knitted for our third Grandchild.

Here he is wearing most of it (not the mittens - not quite cold enough yet!) and he does look cute.
Jacob has had a bit of a hard start in life but as you can see, at two months, he is fine and a delight to us all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A New Baby Set

When I was having babies we knitted many things and an outfit that consisted of a matinee jacket, bootees, hat or bonnet, mittens and maybe even a dress was called a layette.

They don’t seem to call them that these days so I will just call it a set!

This green set is for our newest Grandchild, Jacob, and it comes from a book I have used a lot Cleckheaton No. 423, Little Babies including Premature Sizes. 

It is design four, the middle size, for new-borns. Although the pattern doesn’t have instructions for threading ribbon through on the bootees I have added it so that they stay on.

I have also knitted the hat a little different around the crown so the pattern carrys on.

The pattern doesn’t have mittens so I made some to match and have put elastic in so that ribbons or wool ties do not get in his mouth.

I have also made a hat to match design one from the book that I made before he was born.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Community Board Conference 2011

Over the weekend I went with two other members of the Tirau Community Board to a conference in Rotorua.
It was the New Zealand Community Boards' Conference 2011  titled The Changing Face of Community Governance held from Thursday 5th May to Saturday 7th May, 2011 and we travelled daily from Tirau.
Although it seemed to focus a lot on the change in governance for the Auckland boards it still had topics of interest and information totally new for me and at times was full on.
I wont bore you with all the details on governance, politics and other facts but let you see some of the high-lights.

Some of the workshops I attended were
  • Mobile Communication and Community Engagement
  • Legal Issues Affecting Community Boards
  • Aging Population 
  • Empowering New Community Board Members
Thursday Night was the opening with a powhiri and dinner

I had a seared Asian style duck breast, Bok Choy and Chinese cabbage salad with a ginger, lime and sweet soy glaze, Entree

My Main (sorry no pic) was baked chicken breast supreme filled with mushroom and ricotta cheese, glazed with spiced plum sauce on potato gnocchi, seved with a roast vegetable tart and micro greens.

Dessert was a zingy lemon tart, mascarpone and creme fraiche, marinated fig stew and orange custard sauce.

Rodney Hide The Minister of Local Government
was a speaker.

Myself, Geoff Poole and Nora Martedlletti (Tirau Community Board Chair Person)


For me there was a lot of learning and a greater understanding of not only what we as a board here in Tirau can and can't do, but also hearing and meeting new people from other boards all over New Zealand.

The next conference is in two years time in Wanaka.