Monthly Archives: October 2013

Inspirational Quotes














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Bread Making



Thirty years ago a dear little old lady taught me how to bake bread.

I pumped and pulled bread dough so much my short arms ached.

I am convinced that the old way of bread making is really just for tall people with long arms.

Then twenty two years ago I started experimenting with beer bread and found it so easy to make. This started me on a pathway of baking between 20- 30 loaves a week for friends.

Steinlager Classic is my beer of choice as the aroma and flavour is superb.

Of course the flavour all depends on the beer and I have experimented with ½ gallon (flagon) beer, cheap nasty brands and good stuff on special.

Basically if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t use it in bread.

I once used a highly perfumed beer and even the chooks turned their beaks up at it!

I have a wee problem as my recipes are all in my head because I am a bit of this and a drop of that kind of cook.

I have been asked to put an easy Beer Bread recipe on my blog, so have picked out a trouble free one which you will find at the end of this ramble.

Many years ago when Sam and Ruby were little, after Supermarkets became sellers of fine beer, I was purchasing my normal weekly or fortnightly booze for bread when along came a very elegant woman whilst I was loading up in the carpark.

She looked down her nose at me and said,

“I had heard you were a drinker but didn’t realize as to how much.”

I replied ever so kindly,

“This slanderous accusation is totally inaccurate and I would like you to inform the person who inadvertently told you this blatant lie that it is indeed a lie  but better still, give me their phone number and I’ll give them a ring and sort it out for you today.”

She turned red with embarrassment and walked off in a huff.
I was quite impressed with my quick comeback.

I think she was very careful with what gossip she actually believed from that day on.

What I actually wanted to say was,

“Lady you should see me when I’m sober as I can fit a few more dozen in the boot.  The kids can each hold a dozen in their car seats too.”

But I thought better of that as I do remember my unusual sense of humour has gotten me in trouble from time to time!


A simple uncomplicated Beer Bread recipe


3 cups white flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 bottle of beer (Steinlager Classic 330ml (made up to 400 mls with water)

1 handful of grated cheese


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Mix the first four ingredients together and spoon into a large bread/loaf tin approx. 23 x 12cm. This will take 50-60 minutes to bake or two loaf tins approx. 8 x 15cm  which will take approx. 40 minutes to bake.

Top with the grated cheese before popping in the oven.

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“If you ever catch fire, try to avoid looking into a mirror, because it might throw you into a panic.”


“PESSIMISM: Every dark cloud has its silver lining, but lightning kills hundreds of people each year who are trying to find it.”


“Life is like a box of chocolates. It’s a cheap thoughtless perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for.
Unreturnable because all you ever get back is another box of chocolates, so you’re stuck with this unidentifiable whipped mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there’s nothing left to eat.
Sure, once in a while there’s a peanut butter cup or an English toffee, but they’re gone too fast and the taste is fleeting.
So you end up with up with nothing but broken bits with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts.
If you’re desperate enough to eat that, all you have left is an empty box filled with useless brown paper wrappers.”




“A man with no arms should not look at a piano.”

Rizwan Haroon


“It is better to drink to forget, than to forget to drink.”

Message on a blackboard in an Edinburgh pub


“This planet is obviously being used as an insane asylum by other planets.”

George Bernard Shaw


“I was walking down the street when this man hammering on his roof called me a paranoid little freak… In morse code.”



“I remember reading that scientists once believed the universe was made of hydrogen, because it was the most plentiful ingredient found. If that theory holds any truth, then I believe it to be made of stupidity.”


“Crazy? Once I was crazy. They locked me in a room to die. Die? I don’t want to die. All the mice will get me. Mice? I hate mice. They drive me crazy. Crazy? Once I was crazy. They locked….”


“PHILOSOPHY, n. A path of many roads leading from nothing to nowhere.”



“The best defense against the atom bomb is not to be there when it goes off.”


“Friends come and friends go, but enemies accumulate.”


“Stupidity killed the cat. Curiosity was framed.”


“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.”





 “If you ask me, these cheap, mudslinging ads drag the political process down to a level so juvenile and debased, I can actually understand it.”


 “A man being admitted into a mental institution: “They called me mad. I called them mad. And damn them they outvoted me.”


“Two Rules of Success : 1) Don’t tell everything you know.”


“Save the whales. Collect the whole set.”



“Only the wisest and the stupidest of men never change.”



“Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.”


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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My son has told me that he is going to have  his girlfriend stay over for weekends in his bedroom from now on.

He tells me that because they are already having sex it shouldn’t be a problem for me.

My son is sixteen and the girl is fourteen.  He is her first boyfriend and she idolizes him so I think they will be together for a while.

Should I let him get his own way?


Aunty S responds:

Let me think for a minute.

What !!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course not!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your son is just a kid trying it on!!!!!

Furthermore you would be facilitating a crime by allowing your son to have sex with an underage girl whilst under your roof with a strong possibility of both you and your son being charged should you get caught.

And there are many ways this can happen; girl tells a teacher, girl tells her mother, girl tells a friend who tells her mother, son brags about his mother allowing him to have his girlfriend in his bed,  etc etc

I could write another few hard-hitting paragraphs but I think you get the picture!

Furthermore tell him straight that having sex with a child is against the law so no sex in his bedroom or anywhere.

Time for some backbone my dear.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My 32 year old son refuses to pay his Student Loan even though he has a huge income.
He lives a very frivolous lifestyle.

He does pay the $3000.00 minimum yearly payment.

He works overseas and has no intention of ever returning to New Zealand.

His reasoning is that he will inherit a lot of money from my parents when they die as he is the only grandchild and is the sole beneficiary, which means he can clear his debt.

My parents are seriously considering changing their Will as he never contacts them.
The last time he spoke to them was over 10 years ago.

I think they may have already done it and I will be the new beneficiary.

Even though we could afford to fund him at University we chose not to as he has always been irresponsible.

If he had showed any sign of maturity and responsibility while at University we would have stepped in financially though.

Sadly this didn’t happen.

What can I do to help make him grow up?



Aunty S Responds:

What a sensible mother you are my dear.

Hopefully your parents have changed their Will or are speeding to their Lawyer at this very moment as there is no time to waste.

The realization that there will be no ‘windfall’ may be the kick in both the backside and ego that he needs in order to grow up and take some responsibility for his life.

Furthermore he was given a student loan, not a student gift.

Some students fund their education by way of a student allowance and part-time work.

Others have their tertiary education paid for by their parents.

And then there are those who take out student loans.

The majority repays their loans.

There are a few who don’t; it’s all pretty basic.

Let me know how it works out.


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Food for Thought



Best foods for perfect skin

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Trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils).
These fats occur naturally in meat, but their main dietary source is packaged baked products such as cookies, cakes, breads, and crackers, as well as fast foods and some dairy products.
Trans fats were artificially created in the laboratory to provide cheap alternatives to butter.
Food chemists found that they could solidify vegetable oil by heating it in the presence of hydrogen.
As a result, the structure of polyunsaturated fat (a good fat) becomes more like saturated fat.
Thus, solid vegetable fats such as shortening and margarine came into being.
Today, trans fats are found not only in solid foods such as these, but also in foods that contain “partially hydrogenated oil.”
Trans fats are even worse for you than saturated fats.
Not only do they increase your LDL cholesterol, but they also reduce your beneficial HDL cholesterol.
There is no safe level of trans fats.

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Companies like using trans fats in their foods because they’re easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time.  Trans fats give foods a desirable taste and texture.  Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers.

Before 1990, very little was known about how trans fat can harm your health.  In the 1990s, research began identifying the adverse health effects of trans fats.


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Frost Fighting

At 3:45 this morning the temperature in the coldest spot of the Orchard reached zero so Sam started up the frost-fighting pump.

Over the past twenty plus years I could always hear our pump running from my bedroom or the sunroom but now, since the Pine Planation in Ladysmith Road has been cut down, the sound of all the other pumps from the Roxburgh East area can be heard in unison so I can no longer distinguish our pump from the rest until I venture out the back of the Fruit Stall. 
This may sound a very minor thing but to an Orchardist the sound of the pump is a wonderful sound as protecting the crop is vital.

Many years ago Alex had returned home for a coffee break when out of the still of the night a horrendous mechanical scream came from the top of the Orchard. 
It was the sound of the driveshaft disintegrating. 
As Alex steadfastly refused to have a bike, trike or other mode of Orchard transport other than a tractor, he ran like he’d never run before to shut the tractor down.  
With no spare driveshaft I made a frantic ring to a friend who thankfully answered the phone even though it was 2am. 
He very kindly unattached a driveshaft from one of his tractors and drove very quickly to our place to attach said driveshaft.  
Our fruit was saved as we got the pump started up again within half an hour.
The window of opportunity in this type of disaster is very limited but we made it!!!  A very close call though.

October Garden Photos

















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Painting Woes

Our house will need a paint job some time in the near future so about three weeks ago we started checking out colours.
Do you realize these days there are hundreds and hundreds of colours to choose from with the most ridiculous of names?
What happened to khaki brown, light brown, dark brown, brown?
Oh and the names for black are truly amazing.
It’s black for Pete’s sake!
And I refuse to go down the testpot road.

Many years ago I had splashes of at least thirty testpots on a wall and in the end I went with none of them.

Yesterday I remembered what happened to a dear friend in Wellington when he decided to have his house painted.
He still claims he was mentally scarred from the experience of trying to work out a colour scheme as it took over six months of dithering before he finally made up his mind.
With the colour scheme sorted he rang the Painters and arranged for the job to be done whilst he was overseas on business.

He flew back into Wellington a month later and he was sure he saw a “dazzle” coming from the hills where his house is perched, as the plane descended.
Well he was right.
His house resembled a brightly decorated Xmas tree; a look he wasn’t aiming for at all.
It was bright and hideous with the contrasting trim so bizarre; one was simply lost for words. (To this day, I believe it was the vodka that chose the colours)

The painters must have laughed the whole way through the project.
And they must have been aware that this rich boy would be asking them to repaint as quick as look at you once he saw the abomination that was once his home.

Before my friend had a chance to put his key in the front door lock, his neighbours, who had been tentatively awaiting his return, ambushed him.
He listened to their fears, tears and horror and they to his; as it was obvious he was on their side, the situation was diffused ever so quickly.

Hence to say he gave me a ring and put the ball in my court as he was off overseas again the following week.
The colour scheme I chose still looks fabulous to this very day.

So the million-dollar question is, if I’m so good at choosing a paint scheme for someone else, why then can’t I pick one for our home?

That is the question I shall ponder until I come up with a solution.

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Ask Aunty S


Hi Aunty S

School holidays are driving me mad. My two kids are five and seven. They are constantly bored and as I rented a pile of DVD’s for them they shouldn’t be bored.
I have taken this two weeks off and now I wish I hadn’t.
Any ideas of what to do with them on a budget?


Aunty S Responds

Oh my Dear they will grow up fast and you will wonder where the years went so enjoy them while you can.
Often it is very hard for mothers who work away from home to adjust to school holidays. I know this is cold comfort but you are not alone with your feelings of frustration.
As you are a townie, why not take them for a walk to the local library.
Also you are living in a warm climate, so fill up the paddle pool, set up your deck chair and watch them have fun.
And as you are so close to a lovely sandy beach, visit it daily to collect shells and for the kids to have a run around.
Clean out jam jars and get the kids to pop the daily shells into the jars and when they are full, put the lid on and write on the jar their names, date and when collected.
If you have a sandpit still lying around, give them a hose and some tiny toy boats.
Put up the swing ball.
Plastic skittles on the lawn are great fun at their ages.
Take them to the local park and let them ride their bikes.

Feed the ducks at the local park.
Read them stories under a tree.
Laugh with them, love them, tell them they are your darlings and you will love them forever.
Sit them at the table and show them how a cake is baked.
Let them join in with weighing etc.
Be prepared for a mess but who cares!
Try your best to keep them away from the TV as they are cooped up in school for weeks on end and deserve some reward for being captives for such a great part of the year.
Always remember, this is their formative years and memory making is what it’s all about.
Let me know how you get on.

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