Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Crockpot (slow cooker) delightful chicken.

So you hate cooking at night after a hard days work. OK the, just prepare this one either night before you go to bed (it only takes a few minutes to chuck into the slow cooker) or do the same in the morning before you go to work. If you do get it ready at night, just stick it in the fridge and take it out and turn it onto low before you leave for  the slave pits.
Take any number of chicken drumsticks (skin on or off is your choice). Place them in the slow cooker. Chuck in a spoonful of ginger (fresh or from jar, doesn't matter) the same of chilli, lime juice. soy sauce and a small can of coconut milk. If you have lemon grass (yes, I grow my own) put a stem that you have crushed in to the mix. Turn it on at the lowest setting and forget about it until you get home. It won't overcook although the longer you leave it the more likely it is to fall to pieces. that doesn't affect the taste one bit. If you are making larger quantities, just increase the ingredients. I liked it so much, I can feel it coming on for my Xmas dinner when I hope to have a few people over.
Give it a try and let me know how it worked. Your bank balance will love you when you have good home cooked meals.

Treasury and Parata in an unholy alliance---just what do they plan for NZ education?

Education has always been a difficult portfolio for Minister in Cabinet, no matter what party holds that position. Political agendas are often hidden in the detail and it is only when the public’s ire is stirred that we get more of the picture. The latest claim by the NZ Herald that Minister Parata is being advised by Treasury to ‘slowdown’ changes and to keep them secret for as long as possible to lessen the impact. Yes, the words may not be exact but the intent is obvious. Parata and her cohorts are about to unleash widespread changes in NZ education that are based on political philosophy emanating from the ‘right’ and driven by monetary considerations more than what is best for our students.
We have seen this Minister drive policy in an arrogant manner many times now and if the reports are correct then we are in for a torrid time. The two unions will not just sit and take what comes, particularly the PPTA. Whilst they have not always endeared themselves to the public and especially the Government, they do nave the interests of their ‘charges’ at the forefront of any actions they take, despite what politicians claim.
Expect upheaval within the education sector if Parata pushes her agenda and tries to change the New Zealand education system to one that benefits those at the top and penalizes those who have less. This lady just does not get it! There are many reasons why kids fail and no amount of cheap fix- ups or policy announcements of the type she promulgates will make any difference, especially when she tries to spend less to get more. In this case ‘less is not more,’ it is simply a shoddy attempt to save money, all under the guise of ‘educational research’ that she has dragged up from some failed system overseas; like the Charter School experiment and increased class size proposals.
Yes, keep an eye on what is about to happen and use your votes wisely at the election next year. A message to any ‘wannabe Government;’ tread carefully my friends, because you too have had a few hiccups in the past and if you have not learnt, then the students of NZ lose even more. Someone has to stick up for them and value the work of teachers. Let’s look to politicians who really care about our students.