Monthly Archives: July 2011

Saturday Tip: Tips from the WDFF Cookery Book 1965, reprinted June 1973

The Women’s Division of Federated Farmers is an institution in NZ. I was given this book at my Kitchen Tea!

In the foreword the then President Ellenor C. Watson wrote: ……” Country brides have always been presented with this book, and through the members of other countrywoman’s organizations it has travelled around the world, always useful, always helpful to make better cooks and happier homes.”

Tips from the Game and Poultry section include how to roast chicken, turkey, swan, duck, wild duck, goose, quail, and fowl. How to cook Jugged Hare, cook an old fowl and how to make goose tender.

In the Quantity Catering section it details that there are approximately 250 tsps of tea in a pound, which is 200 servings, allowing for a second cup. 1 quart of milk serves 40 persons. 96 teaspoons of sugar to the pound.

Old cook books give such a fascinating snapshot of life in earlier times.

Bandicooting the elephant garlic

Earlier this year I posted about planting garlic in my garden, Garlic and Gumboots. The ordinary garlic is sprouting away but the elephant garlic is not visible at all.

So I decided to use an old gardening trick, normally used for checking out the crop of potatoes or for harvesting some very early potatoes before the whole plant is ready for pulling. This trick has been named “bandicooting”. A fellow blogger in America has posted on potato bandicooting and he offers the following:

To bandicoot a potato is a simple matter. The soil surrounding the potato plant is moistened until it yields to probing trowel or hand. The small, immature spuds near the surface are carefully harvested leaving their deeply positioned brethren to grow.
For readers of a certain age (5-100) and nationality (Australian) the phrase ‘bandicoot potatoes’ is instantly familiar if not evocative. The bandicoot is a small marsupial resident of Australia. Similar in appearance to a rat and armed with the foraging bravado of a pig bandicoots are famed villains in the Australian garden. Bandicoots are said to sense the first moment when a sweet potato can be dug or a melon’s debut to sweetness. Their larcenous, sly habits are immortalized in Australian slang. To “bandicoot” is to steal but with a touch of flair and skill.
Writer: C.Lindquist. Vegetables of Interest blog 2008

Bandicoot

My Mum was a great potato grower and would often report she had been bandicooting and then enjoying some tasty new potatoes with fresh mint and a little butter, salt and black pepper.

My bandicooting today determined that the elephant garlic bulblets were simply sitting beneath the soil, showing no signs of growth or development. I have since emailed an expert for advice. I have learnt that elephant garlic is actually a member of the leek family and probably should be planted in early spring and not at the shortest day. I may yet have to dig up my bulblets and replant them in early spring and with the tip showing above the soil, not buried beneath. What an interesting plant and so much to learn about the cultivation of it.

A quote for Thursday

I found this quote in a book I am reading by Alicia Salzer, M D, entitled: “Back to Life – getting past your past with resilience, strength and optimism.”

“In a world blinded by the pursuit of pleasure, I am here to say that people are in pain. In a world rushing to get ahead, I am here to say that people are being left behind. In a world obsessed with the value of the market, I am here to speak for the value of life……and I am alive. This will be no quiet fight, for I am the voice of audacity in the face of apathy, I am the spirit of bravery in a world of caution. I am commitment to action in the face of neutrality. I am alive.”
Dan Pallotta, activist/survivor

The photo shows a small part a 600 year old Rimu tree in Otari-Wilton Bush Reserver, Wellington, 2007.

Anyone for cricket?

A courier package at the door this morning heralds my blog post for the day. Inside the bag was a small wooden cricket bat…..

While this bat would not feature on Antiques Roadshow it is in many ways a family heirloom.

My Dad loved cricket. He spent most of his life either playing, coaching, administering or fervently watching both family members and favourite teams. As well as being a very able cricketer he was also skilled in carpentry and bat maintenance and repairs.

He very cleverly cut down an old adult sized bat and fashioned this tiny tot’s version. My four brothers may all have used this bat as small boys but I do know that my oldest son was delighted to find he could play cricket just like his Daddy, his Grandfather and uncles when he was given this bat by his beloved Pappa (Grandfather).

All three of my children used it and all went on to play cricket at times in their lives. When my brother had his children the bat went to live at their home and was used by four more small children within the family circle.

The bat has come back to me so I can give it to my grandson to use and enjoy. It will bring back memories for his Dad and for everyone in my immediate family.

It feels as if another turn in a spiral has been made.

Prompts

Over the weekend I saw this suggestion for encouraging writers to write. Begin sentences with “I write of”. Here are some of my sentences from today:

I write of nature because it contains so much beauty, power, rhythm and a space for me from the pressing things of life.

I write of things quirky because I have a sense of humour and a curiosity that enjoys such things.

I write of the ordinary and the good to offer a balance against the glitz, hype and unpleasant that occurs in our world.

I write of the ordinary and good because I know the value that both offer to me and to others.

I write of simple traditions such as cooking for others, writing letters, gardening, knitting, singing in a group, walking, spending time with people we love and connect with.

I write of books simply because I love books.

I write of books because they have helped me in a myriad of ways throughout my life.

What do you write of?

Another prompt I found was over at http://concernedwithstory.wordpress.com was to write beginning with “Right now….”

So for me today, Monday 25th July 2011:

Right now I am very grateful for heating, warm clothing and warm food on such a cold day.

Right now I can see the birds enjoying the apples I have hung for them for winter food.

Right now I am pleased to have paid the bills and grateful for having the money to pay them.

Right now I am wondering if my cat will increase his food intake.

Right now I am processing the information I received about a family member who served in WW2.

Right now I am thinking a lot about resilience and the notes I made this afternoon.

Right now I am pleased to have fixed the errors in the socks I am knitting my grandson.

Right now I have meal preparation to do so I am off to begin that:-)

When I ran self awareness groups I would use a “Right now” exercise at the beginning of the session to help clear the immediate, scattered stuff that was “on top” for participants. Once this happened, focus was easier for everyone in the group.

Writing “right now” sentences offers me similar but different clearing, focus and more.

I’d be interested in your discoveries from writing some “Right Now” sentences.