Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Neil's oven wedges/chips--part 1

Why do you spend up to NZ$7 (that’s about US$5 on a packet of oven-ready Wedges/chips? They are so easy and cheap to make. As with all of my recipes, the quantities can vary as much as you like. If you are not confident, then just use what I say.
This is a really simple version.
1)   Wash some potatoes (You can also use Kumara---sweet potatoes or even mix them.) Allow tow per person, so you may have some over for breakfast with eggs in the morning.
2)    Cut them--- small for chips and larger, this is apparently   healthier.
3)    Dry them on kitchen paper and place them in a plastic bag.
4)   Add about a table spoon of oil (any—canola, olive, peanut—it doesn’t matter).
5)   Add half a teaspoon of salt and ground pepper (white is fine too). 
6)   Add some chilli flakes---a small amount and/or some mixed herbs—dried is fine but fresh rosemary is wonderful.
Mix it all together, massaging with your fingers. Then tip it all onto a baking paper lined baking tray. (Less messy clean-up)
Bake at 180 in a preheated oven for about twenty minutes or more if they haven’t turned golden brown and crunchy.
These chips or wedges are great with any meal or for a cheap and healthy snack with low-fat sour cream. Play around with the dips--- Use sour cream or yogurt with garlic, lemon pepper and salt ort added chilli.


I put the 'Dating' and online chatrooms back in.

I want to see if the 'hits' warrant offending anyone, but then again, I can't please everyone all of the time and I have decided that since I met my partner in this manner--- well--- what can I say?
CLICK ON THE ADVERTS-- That is waht will encourage me to put up the next chapters for my two books.

Indonesia--- an emerging giant

Indonesia is our nearest large populous neighbour. The Aussies realized this long ago, albeit for slightly different reasons. Indonesia is often touted as the world’s largest Islamic nation. This claim may be true but it disguises the true nature of this emerging power in the region and the world.
It has a population of more than 240 million scattered across thousands of islands.(I see numbers from 13,000 to 20 plus thousand islands, so I am not sure who did the counting). The vast archipelago stretches from the Aceh province in the west to Irian Jaya (Papua) in the east.
The people differ, speaking many languages but they are united by the modern Indonesian language spoken today. Christianity, Buddhists and Hindi are large minority religions and for the most part they get on--- apart from the odd trouble on some of the islands (Sulawesi). We don’t need to look too far back to see such differences in the western world and elsewhere. There is an underlying pride amongst Indonesians that transcends religion.
The days of the dictatorship of Suharto have long gone and the memories of his seizing power something that Indonesians know about but would like to put firmly in the past. Yes there are problems; endemic corruption one of them, but with the advent of a growing middle class, look for changes in that area too--- just like India.
It is no accident that our Prime Minister Key, is spending three days in Indonesia, discussing trade, aid and human rights with his counterpart.  It is a recognition that Indonesia is going to play an important role in New Zealand’s future. There is an agreement that Garuda, Indonesia’s hugely improved national airline will resume direct flights to and from NZ and Air New Zealand will fly to Bali.
Expect large number of Indonesian tourists to visit NZ as they look to spend their expanding wealth. Perhaps the language should be given more attention in our schools.
There are still vast inequalities in wealth sharing in Indonesia, but any President or political party that ignores this in their policy making is doomed to face electoral defeat and ‘feet’ on the street. It doesn’t take much to get the populace out, knowing now that there is less chance that they will languish in some seedy jail.
As for NZers who insist on breaking Indonesia’s strict drug laws--- the warnings are pretty clear--- they don’t need that sort of tourist and the consequences are dire.
What about the ‘extremist’ element that persists in Indonesia? They represent a small but powerful influence; one that the Government struggles to eradicate. They are making progress and in those areas that demand Sharia Law--- well its quite simple--- the vast majority of Indonesia does not support that option--- so avoid Aceh unless you are prepared to embrace and respect the local tradition.
If you want excitement along with the buzz--- try Jakarta, Bali and the other big cities. The potential for tourism in Indonesia is immense. Think of those beautiful often sparsely inhabited tropical getaways and you can see where the trend is heading. Surely there are opportunities for joint ventures, offering relatively cheap holidays. Add the best of Indonesian cuisine into the picture and you have a secret paradise.
Turn some of our overseas aid towards Indonesia; the fact is it will give us a payback that far outweighs any outlay.

Snitch GPS causes red faces after sundown!

Should we laugh at the ineptitude of the explanation given by an Auckland towing firm or should we just throw up our hands in horror? I am sure we haven’t heard the last of this story.
It seems that a young lady had her car impounded for 2i8 days because of ‘boy racer’ activities. From time to time this popular youth pass time rears its ugly head. Of course the supporters of such activities say they are just having a bit of harmless fun.’ That’s a bit rich, especially if you are an innocent driver caught up in the middle of the said racing, or if you happen to be the parent of someone killed during the execution of the said activities.
Back to the young lady--- the owner of the impounded car. Unknown to the towing company, the Nissan car had a GPS ‘Snitch’ aboard, which allows the owner to track where the car is, how fast it is going and when it was travelling.
It appears that the car left the tow yard and travelled at excessive speeds in a 50 kl zone.  The Snitch recorded speeds of just over 100kl per hour.
‘Rubbish,’ claimed the firm. The driver of the towing truck said that he was following a suspicious character who had been stalking the yard. It must have been quite sight--- the towing truck travelling that fast in such a short distance in an urban area. The truck must have been super-charged. The firm also claimed that the GPS system was inaccurate, a claim most strenuously denied by the company selling the device.
The police have been informed and I reckon there will be a few red faces. Make sure you don’t let your ‘boy racing ‘car be taken away, only to be involved in the very activity your car was imprisoned for. Maybe the towing company had let itself out on probation or early parole.

To fellow bloggers-- are you using AdSense?

Hi to all of my fellow bloggers. What drives you to embark on this ‘hobby?’ For me--- it is similar to someone who loves to do crosswords, or loves to entertain friends with their fabulous recipes. I must say that there is a bit of me in the latter. I would almost go as far as saying that it is an addiction once you get hooked.
I have monetized my blog and I have probably reached some sort of threshold. For quite a few months, I did not achieve any financial gain, but lately there has been a miniscule amount of money accruing in m y account with AdSense. I suspect that it is a numbers game and people must have their ad bars activated in order for them to click on the adverts.
 I have also noticed that the type of adverts can be chosen and changed by the blogger (me) and that the adverts can reflect what the blog is about. There is a category that covers social media sites and chat rooms along with some rather ‘interesting’ ones that I would call--- quite ‘out there.’
Initially I was a little reluctant to have these attached to my blogs but I think that most of the tiny income I have received may have been a result of people clicking on them. I may have to go back on my ‘moralistic’ stand, which is a little silly, given that I met my partner on such a site about 9 years ago.
I would love to know what you think.
Happy blogging.

Russia -- are you there?

I am both pleased and intrigued that my blogs are being read in Russia. I would love to know what you think--- give me feedback--- talk to me (not a pun).
If you do not want to comment in the comments section on my blogs, then send me an email.   neilcolemanauthor@gmail.com
I hope you have read the first two chapters of my books--- ‘Talk To ME,’ and ‘The River  Always Flows.’