Monday 28 April 2014

ANZAC Day 2014 and Elizabeth's Portrait of Dad

Mostly photos today, they can tell the story better than me! This year's ANZAC Day parade was made extra special because we had four generations there...

We had a lovely buffet lunch at the RSL Hall and then went back to Mum and Dad's house for Dad's big surprise. Elizabeth has had this photo of her granddad taken in Japan in 1953 after his stint in the Korean her skills improve she has been keen to take a black and white photograph and paint it in colour. This is the one she chose...

This is how it turned out...she even looks like her granddad!

Dad was quite over-come by her painting which now hangs with pride over the fireplace.

Family...nothing quite like it is there?

Love from Sue

Sunday 27 April 2014

Muffin Tin Cornbreads

Oh yum! I made these yesterday evening to go with a bolognaise style meat sauce to provide a more nourishing carb dish than plain pasta. The recipe makes 10 and we ate 3 each last night, 2 with our dinner and one cold with butter on later, I froze 4 otherwise they may have been eaten too lol
I would definitely double this recipe to stock the freezer next time.

They're made the usual muffin way, that is mix the wet and dry ingredients separately and then blend the two together.

So grease your muffin trays(10) and set the oven at 220C

In one bowl whisk together
1 cup of milk(this could be any nut/dairy/grain milk)
2 free-range eggs
2 tablespoons of either olive oil or melted butter

In your second bowl mix
1 and 1/2 cups of polenta/fine cornmeal(not cornflour)
1/2 wholemeal plain flour
a teaspoon each of salt, sugar and baking powder

Blend the dry ingredients into the wet, pour into your tins and cook for 10-15 easy is that?
I bet they would be lovely with cheese too and I will add 2 T of grated parmesan to the next batch.

While I had the muffin tins out I made a dozen sultana and cinnamon muffins for the freezer. This time I used 1/3 cup of apple sauce in place of the oil and they are still nice and moist...

I always use Mum's recipe for these, you can find it here

We had a lovely ANZAC Day and I will post our photos shortly.

Love from Sue

Thursday 24 April 2014

The Castel Felice

I have just joined a Facebook group called Castel Felice Ship and found lots of photos and stories of their crossings to Australia from other members. There is no way I can learn who took all these photos so I cannot give credit to the photographers...

My parents, younger brother, Ian and I set sail from a snowy Southampton on December 10th 1967. I had my 11th birthday two days later, Mum and Dad gave me the presents from our family.
We had intended to fly to Perth but an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the UK meant we had to sail as a form of quarantine. The ships usually went through the Suez Canal but as the ongoing war/conflict between Egypt and Israel made it unsafe we had to take the long way around stopping at Los Palmas in the Canary Islands and Cape Town in South Africa.

We children were required to go "school" each morning to keep up our reading etc as the trip lasted 29 days in all. Being under the age of 12 yrs I had to eat with the younger children and the meals were more suited to very young children and so quite unpalatable for me...I made up at Afternoon Tea-time with extra cakes!
There were regular activities organised such as a fancy dress party and the most important crossing of the equator ceremony presided over by King Neptune...we were all given a certificate like this one...

Somewhere we have a photo of Mum dressed as a pirate doing the limbo dance!

Crossing the Bay of Biscay was rather rough and Mum was unwell for a day but once out into the open sea we all enjoyed the sailing. We went ashore in Los Palmas and saw markets selling typical Spanish dolls and sombrero hats etc. Later on we saw flying fish from the ship and it was soon warm enough to "swim" in this pool that was deeper than it was wide!

Arriving in Cape Town was memorable. The bright blue skies, Tabletop Mountain and porpoises swimming in the harbour made a big impression. It was Boxing Day and 96F and we went by bus to the park at the top of the mountain. I wore a pink long sleeved woollen dress from Marks and Spencers with long white socks and my black patent leather shoes for this outing lol!
Sadly we saw at first hand the shame of apartheid, park benches with "no blacks" etc written on them, separate toilets and segregation even on the buses. We also saw 3 young black women who had obviously been drinking try to board a bus ...the conductor would not let them on and swung his heavy ticket machine into the face of one girl. We were shocked and went back to the ship.

The crossing to Fremantle took 2 more weeks and we had to divert south to avoid a severe storm in the Indian Ocean. It was so rough that we children were able to slide on our bottoms from side to side across the Purser's Foyer as the ship rolled! It must have been frightening for the older people but I was invincible at that age. Ropes were strung across the larger rooms to hold on to and the dining rooms were almost empty as people stayed in their cabins.

Castel Felice was first launched in 1930, named the "Kenya" and sailed between India and Africa, you can read more of her story here . Robert Brinkhuis has written a wonderful account of his family's crossing here and I can now see that some of the photos come from his story.
This ship was 150 metres long, the Voyager of The Seas is 311m long and Captain Cook's ship The Endeavor was a mere 32 metres! Castel Felice was scrapped in 1970 in Taiwan.

So that 'dear reader' is how we came to Australia!

Did any-one else sail here as a "ten pound pom"?

Edited to add thanks to Neal in the group

Incoming Passenger Lists for January 1968

Thursday 17 April 2014

Perth in Autumn

Yet another hospital appt for Joe this week, this one to check the sores that keep developing on his hands and feet...all is well and he has an appt to see the oral team in June...they can help when he gets the cysts in his jaw. Joe has Gorlin Syndrome and that causes all these oddities!

Today is my daughter, Elizabeth's, 31st birthday...hard to believe in fact! Her son, Cody was also born on this day 14 yrs ago so big love to them both.

I took lots of photos in Perth, we aren't often there in the late afternoon so the light was quite different than in other pics I have taken...the first two of the sides of the lovely old buildings that are part of the original Royal Perth Hospital...note the arched windows in the second photo that follow a staircase like the ones of an Italian villa...I love the shadow of the tree on the wall too...

This enormous Morton Bay Fig takes up most of the pathway along the road and also encroaches into the road...

Looking back up Murray St to the cathedral...

Winter is coming, the shops had warmer clothing for sale...

This lovely façade contrasts with the huge cranes behind it as another modern monstrosity is built...

Carillon City is a big mall in the city centre, you can see the eponymous bells in their tower...

gorgeous petunias in all the flower boxes along Hay St Mall

Then I spotted Geronimo Stilton no little girl was so besotted that she kept running back for another hug!...


This shop is called T2 and has the most amazing selection of teas and cups and an art gallery really...

We shared a plate of Indonesian food so hot that Joe became an instant watering was very good though and we'll definitely go back, the beef rendang was so tender.

It seems we only go out these days when Joe has a medical appt but we're fine with that, home is good!
Hope all is well in your home,
Love from Sue

Monday 7 April 2014

Mypost Concession Card/Australia Post

Mum told me about this deal at the weekend....

This only applies to Australian Federal Govt concession card holders and may save a few dollars, perhaps you have family who hold this card even if you don't.

Australia Post has again increased the cost of mailing a local letter, from 60c to 70c despite big increases last Sept and a $302 million dollar profit last financial year(don't get me started!) BUT if you are a pensioner etc you can apply for a concession account which allows you to buy local only stamps at 60cents when you buy 5 at a time. Along with your mypost concession card comes a booklet of 5 free stamps as well as reduced cost Mail Hold and Mail Redirect.

Unfortunately it doesn't apply to parcels or overseas mail.

Jessica had a party at the local swimming pool on Saturday...

Funny kids!!!

Rhonda at the Down to Earth Blog has been nominated for an can vote via this link

We had a wonderful lunch and fun day out at the casino yesterday, for April the cost to go on the casino bus is an incredible $5: transport, $4 to play with, full/all you can eat buffet carvery lunch (soup/salad/seafood/carvery/desserts/soft drinks/tea/coffee) ... sounds too good to be true...just don't get hooked on the gambling!

Big hallo to Scooz from the forums who wrote me such a lovely note to say she's enjoying reading this blog and I wish you all a wonderful week,

Love from Sue

Friday 4 April 2014

Fairly Frugal Friday

Just checked in the fridge to see what vegies Twitch has left and I came across a rather soft tomato and some corn on the cob off the sad shelf at Woollies and still not used after a week! Thinking soup for lunch. I always have red lentils in the pantry so the following came together very quickly...

1 chopped onion
1-2 cups of whatever chopped vegies you need to use up
1 cup of red lentils(any lentil will do, I love red ones as they cook quicker and mush right down to a smooth texture)
1T curry paste or powder
pinch of salt
stock left over from cooking last night's carrots and potatoes, perhaps a little more water

Fry off the onions in a little oil
Stir in the curry paste or powder
Stir in the lentils and coat well
Add the other vegies and stock and simmer for about an hour.

You can serve with a dollop of plain yoghurt and or crusty bread. A Girl Called Jack would be very pleased to see this!

I was wondering what to have on my toast this morning and thought "I'll buy some hummous." Face plant...old habits die hard. I have everything here to make a big healthy batch so will do that next...more savings!

No need to join a gym, by the time I've washed all the floors in here and then hoed the front garden I will have had a good workout...will walk around the park too as there's a funny tree I want to photograph with the big camera.

Another frugality of mine is to do surveys for Valued Opinions. Because of our very simple lifestyle I am ineligible for a lot of their surveys on buying 'stuff' but I plod on...even $40 a year is better than nothing. I'm waiting for a $20 voucher for Coles supermarkets at the moment...that's $20 dollars worth of free groceries next pay day.

My lovely Mum turns 77 yrs young tomorrow...all she wants for her gift is some home-made soap, easily done! We're going to the casino on Sunday, another very frugal day out as for $10 we are driven to Perth in a comfy coach, given $4 to spend, unlimited tea and coffee and an all you can eat roast buffet lunch with soups, salads, mains and desserts! (Extra frugal for me coz Mum treats me to the day lol)
Next week Jessica turns 11 yrs and the week after Elizabeth will be 31yrs and Cody turns 14yrs!

There are 4 beautiful rose bushes in our new garden and I'm really looking forward to planting out my lemon and lime trees once the rain becomes more regular.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend
Love from Sue

Thursday 3 April 2014

Soft and Chewy Slice and More

A new to me recipe, I finally plucked up the courage to try a recipe using apple-sauce as a substitute for the fats in a recipe. I have no idea where I found this recipe, I copied it by hand into a notebook without the author's name, my apologies. The original recipe doesn't have any sweeteners/sugar in it but it need a little something so the second time I added a tablespoon of maple syrup.

I've lost my cooling racks in the move so am cooling them on the pizza tray which looks like it needs scrub!

You'll need...
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
2T mixed seeds/LSA etc
1/2 t bicarb
pinch of salt
2/3 cup apple sauce/puree(I cheated and used a commercial one)
1T nut butter(optional but nice)
1 cup of muesli
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/2 cup choc chips(I used frozen berries instead)
1T maple syrup/honey

Make a well in the centre of the flour, seeds, salt and bicarb
Mix in the apple sauce and nut butter
Add the rest of the ingredients
Bake in a greased 20cm by 20cm tin at 170C until firm, around 20mins
Cool in tin and then cut.

Joe has been reheating a piece for dessert with ice-cream, it freezes well too

I've just walked to the library on my own and it only took 12 minutes! I dropped off my books and then crossed the road to buy Jessie's birthday present in Spotlight then back to select a few new novels at the lovely library. I chatted to Carol next door on my way out and she too is an avid reader and promised to pass on the novels that 'do the rounds' of several of our neighbours...I like this idea!

Coming home I took a couple of photos...the Joseph Ashton Circus is on the big fields next to the library. I couldn't see the animals from where I was but I saw 4 beautiful horses there yesterday, they looked very well cared for.
This arrangement reminded me of the American pioneers' wagons grouped in a circle for safety...

Coming back through the alleyway I admired these colourful climbers, the bougainvillea has sharp spines along the branches which form a good prowler deterrent...

and the hilly park nearby...

Caught Twitchie in a planter yesterday...he looks like he's singing in this photo lol...

So that's just a quick catch up, I'm still finding my feet and rhythm here at our new home but it's lovely!
Bye bye for now,