RandomBacon & MargarineFlowers

Food, general thoughts, food…

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Who is paying our politicians?

Who is paying our politicians? Or how to get more depressed in two easy steps…

Step 1: Get up in the morning
Step 2: Read the news

It seems that we as a country are being run by the only people in the world who disbelieve the climate change evidence to such a degree that they are actively making government decisions to introduce more fossil fuels into the environment and ban or at least penalise ‘greener’ options at every possible opportunity.

I cannot think how much money it takes to convince a prime minister of a country to actively throw away his political career by standing on a platform of ‘burn more fossil fuels and stop investment in solar and wind power’. Surely Australians a whole are able to see that this is a destructive and unsustainable path, surely we as a people will put our futures first at the next election and vote out this government.

I have been, I am more and more ashamed each day to admit, a diehard Liberal voter.  Although I actively research political party policy before polls I most often decide that Liberal policy suits me best (out of a generally bad bunch) as they all have policies that I agree and disagree with in general. It is difficult to find anyone that has an all-round agreeable stance on everything I believe in, most often you have to compromise to find anyone to vote for these days…

I have many strong beliefs, not even all apparent to myself until I begin my process of choosing who to vote for but lately, considering the unusual weather patterns around the world these days, I find myself concerned more and more with making my impact, my country’s impact on the planet as small as possible. Our current government does not share those beliefs, in fact they seem to be obsessed with doing the very opposite of what those beliefs lead me to view as a good idea.

Is climate change real? I am not a scientist but I have eyes and ears. The weather has changed, that is a fact, I can see it, even in my lifetime. Is it a natural cycle? Again, I am not a scientist but if it is a natural cycle then nothing we do will affect it. The worst that can happen if we try is that our air will be cleaner, our children will be healthier, the climate may support life on earth for a little longer than it otherwise might. I fail to see a downside in this approach but then I am not becoming wealthy by promoting the coal industry, I personally stand to lose nothing by promoting ‘green’ energy alternatives. My descendants, my children, grandchildren and all future generations may have somewhere that sustains life to live. It is true that this is of no immediate benefit to me, I will live and die before the only home we have is unliveable. I do believe though that I have a responsibility, I am part of something bigger. The earth is the only planet that we know can sustain life and as such is a precious resource in itself and I should be working for its benefit, not its destruction.

In the next government election the environment will be my primary criteria for choosing a party because frankly the short sighted policies and environmental ignorance that is being shown by our current leaders frightens me. I don’t know how they sleep at night.


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What are they thinking?

Australian politicians are out doing themselves this week. Now one of our senators is backing a proposal to implement nuclear power in South Australia. This, in the land of perpetual sunshine and longest coastlines (read: solar and/or wind farms) in the world, is his big plan to eliminate power costs and make his state tax free.

I wonder who is signing his pay cheques?

Better yet he is backing a plan to take the nuclear waste from the rest of the world and store it in Australia. Wow I can’t see how this would be a bad plan. Admittedly the middle of the country is virtually desert and there is not much going on there considering it is 40+ Celsius most of the time and there is no water readily available so I suppose you could store potentially deadly substances out there and, hopefully, not contaminate the whole country and make it totally unliveable but you could also fill it full of solar panels if it came down to it. To me the idea that people would ship this stuff overseas and land it in a port in Australia, transport it through towns and cities to dump in a storage facility that might prevent it from leaking out and killing us all seems fraught with unnecessary risk.

Our esteemed Prime Minister (you know, the one that doesn’t believe in climate change because he can’t see it) thinks this is a fabulous idea, who would have guessed.

Apparently this whole plan is worth any inherent risks because it will enable South Australia to have ‘Free power, no payroll tax and no motor vehicle tax’. This of course is modelled on all of the other countries in the world that have eliminated taxes since introducing nuclear power. I guess there have not been enough catastrophic nuclear disasters in the world to convince these high thinking individuals that bringing the possibility into our own back yard is a bad idea. Admittedly there haven’t been that many but considering the scope of the damage wrought by the few disasters on record, I for one am not excited about taking the risk when there are other options available.

Simplified to its most basic principles a leaking nuclear facility means disaster, an overloaded solar power plant means a sunny day.


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Winter Camping

We spent the weekend camping next to a dam out in the bush and freshwater fishing. No TV, limited phone connectivity. It was bliss. The dam was still low, but the fish were biting and we supplemented our meals with tasty little fish fry ups.

We have recently converted our van to be something I could not honestly describe as a camper but more like a bed on wheels with a bit of room for cooking equipment in the back. It makes for a comfortable and cheap weekend away. We are organising our needs and wants as we go, the more we camp out the better we are getting at not going overboard with the unnecessary supplies. There is a bit of tweaking yet to do but I feel we are almost there.

My major issue has always been and will always be my hair. I wash my hair every day. While I will get up before dawn breaks (so as not to horrify fellow campers) and take a bucket of freezing water for a quick top and tail with a face washer for my basic cleanliness for an indefinite period without complaint, I cannot wash my hair every day when I am camping and it drives me crazy. I get through the first day okay. The next morning I wake and my hair feels heavy. I put on a hat. I try not to think about it. I don’t want to touch it. If I was at home, I’d be dying to get in the shower all day. The next morning I try not to think about it, I hide my brush, I put on a hat as soon as I wake. I pretty much leave the hat on for the duration and hope I don’t have dreadlocks by the time I get home. Everyone knows that the second we get in the door, I dibs the shower first and a good shampoo will restore order to all our lives.

Other than this (to me, very major) issue, I quite enjoy camping, especially in the winter. While I am obviously as averse to being constantly wet and cold as every other thinking human being is, winter is one of the best times to camp, providing you luck in on a few dry days. Here is a list of the very best parts of winter camping, in my opinion.

  1. Less people (very important, yahoos tend to come out only in the summer months and are attracted by water, during winter they stay in and drink at home)
  2. No flies (dunno about other countries, but in Australia where we talk with our mouths shut in summer so as not to ingest lungfuls of flying disease , this is a VERY important consideration)
  3. Less sun (Sun is brutal in Australia, in Western Australia it can actually slap you to the ground when you walk out in it on a hot day. You can FEEL you skin peeling off and blowing away)
  4. Cold crisp mornings that turn into pewter skied comfortable days where you can wear jumpers and such (unlike much of the Northern Hemisphere, cold means anything below 20C or really any day when you don’t walk outside and immediately break into a sweat)
  5. An actual need for warm food cooked by a camp fire
  6. Actual fire, legally, outside (rarely happens in Australia, fire normally means people losing their houses, livelihoods and possibly lives)
  7. Snuggling up in bed with a warm drink instead of laying naked and sweating at 3am in your tent wishing you were home in the air conditioning
  8. The ice in the esky lasts more than 4 hours (meaning you can have steak and sausages, bacon and milk that doesn’t go off before the first night away)

These are just some of the things that I enjoy about winter camping. I think we will try to get out and enjoy more of it this season.

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I am making Whoopie…of the pie variety

How excited am I? I have just purchased my first jar of ‘Fluff’!

Now this may seem a rather banal thing to many of you but in Australia marshmallow fluff in a jar is not something you really see often. It did hit the shops a few years back and then disappeared again before I managed to find a use for it. Yesterday I went looking for it because I had heard it was back and because I have a song stuck in my head.

Yes, I do.

‘Makin’ Whoopee’ is an old song from about 1928.
On a side note, this is when my Nan was 8 years old.
Now where I get a 1920’s song from I don’t know but it naturally got me thinking ‘Whoopie Pies’, as you do… I have never had or made Whoopie Pies before, but of course being fascinated by all things food, an affliction nurtured by way too much exposure to TLC and the Food Channel, I have heard about and seen them.
They are an American treat that has yet to catch on here, although you do see more of them around lately. I do however have a couple of recipes for them because the internet recipe community has no geographical boundaries.

That is one thing I love about the internet. I no longer have cook books in my house (except a couple that used to belong to my Mother and have sentimental value) just a vast database of recipes from everywhere and for everything. My husband is originally from South Africa and I like to surprise him with a taste of home occasionally which is so very easy to do with the internet.

So this weekend I will try my hand at Whoopie Pies, I have the kids again this weekend and I have a feeling that it won’t take too much persuasion to get them to polish of a batch or two.

Meanwhile I will drift around the house, practicing my dance steps, humming ‘Makin’ Whoopee’ to myself. Heavens know the cat is traumatized enough already, maybe I should go back to the supermarket and do it instead…