Monthly Archives: February 2013

When good tomatoes turn bad

Don’t know about your part of the world, but the weather is crazy here. We don’t refrigerate our tomatoes, the climate is usually perfect for them to just slowly ripen. But this year we’ve had sudden bursts of really hot weather and the tomatoes have ripened a bit too quickly. But while they are too ripe to just eat, they are fine to make sauce. But first, I need something to put the sauce on. So it’s roast vege time.

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Yep, my personal favourite – sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, spuds and onions (the onions will go into the sauce). Meanwhile, those over ripe Capsicum can go under the grill until they are black. If you happen to have a deep fryer, you can just drop them into hot oil for a few seconds – much quicker and cleaner. After they are black, put them in a covered box or paper bag so they can steam for a minute or two, then the skins will come straight off. (I’m not allowed to have a deep fryer – would probably burn the house down)

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With the onions, just slice one end off and squeeze. The onion cooked in its own juices will slide out. Now it’s into the blender with the tomatoes, capsicum, onion and some garlic for a big whiz. The mix will be pretty thick so I toss in some white wine (white for cooking – red for drinking) until its smooth.

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And there you go. Roast veg with tomato sauce served on a bed of Cous Cous (with the odd herb added). Plus a nice sausage for the Responsible Adult. Apologies for the photo quality, I’m experimenting with different gadgets for when we go back packing through Viet-nam, Laos and Cambodia in a few weeks.

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Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Frogs

I was about to cut off some Arrowroot the other day, when I noticed some suspicious looking brown dots on the leaves. My trusty spectacles revealed that I was looking at a few hundred frogs. Frogs have plenty of predators lurking around so I thought that the least I could do was to leave them be. Here’s a pic – they’re about half the size of your little fingernail (unless you have large manly hands like me)

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A Nice Walk on the Beach

I took the Responsible Adult on a week’s holiday to our favourite beach – Rainbow Beach. After unpacking, we went for a wander to the beach, which was gone with the wind. Yep, the Cyclone had excavated the beach. Just as well I got a house with a pool. At low tide, I was able to walk into town and did so every day to keep all those medical people I see regularly happy. Some of the erosion was 3 to 4 meters deep and there were plenty of tree skeletons along the way. Anyway, here’s a pic of the beach at low tide. My walk went down to where you can see some white things on the hill.  I surely hope you guys in the Northern Hemisphere get a better summer than we had.

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A nice Dragon

I do love having Water Dragons around the place. We had a nice mob down at the main dam for a number of years until the neighbours bloody dog came onto the place and grabbed the big male. I took the poor old bugger down to Australia Zoo where they have a dedicated facility to assist injured wildlife, but he didn’t make it. Water Dragons have harems with one male to look after his girls and the babies. After he died, the rest just left. So it was great to see them finally returning after about 5 years. They are very shy, but will get used to humans wandering around, so eventually they will just ignore me.

 Here’s a pic taken from the verandah:

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Cooking by candlelight

Sound romantic? Here’s a pic:

hurricane 007It wasn’t romance that set this scene up. It was a cyclone. Or, to be more precise, as the cyclone had weakened, a tropical low. Just as well it had weakened as the tropical low caused enough death and destruction. So, along with about 200,000 other houses,  the cubby house was without power, phone, internet and mobile coverage for 3 days. So here’s a couple of tips if it happens to you.

First, eat the most expensive stuff you have in the fridge. Eating a nice Stilton cheese with smoked salmon washed down by some good Shiraz eased my suffering considerably.

Second, make sure you have a portable radio, or a radio app in your devices. You need some sort of music while you are eating your expensive stuff.

Third, make sure there is some place on your downpipes where you can collect rainwater. I guess it’s possible to live on Shiraz, but someone may also want a cup of tea. And of course, there is the flushing to consider.

Finally, get a pack of cards – if you don’t know what that is, ask an older person. Playing games on your tablet is fun until the battery needs recharging but after that, it’s cards, backgammon and practicing how to make an adult film with your loved one.

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