Monday, January 27, 2014

Tempe with veggies and black bean(home made) sauce.

The ingredients (onion, red peppers, mushrooms and Tempe)
Fry the onions, add the mushrooms, then the pepper and finally the Tempe. Stick in two spoons (you decide which sort!) of the black bean sauce (see previous blog for recipe or cheat and add the one you buy in a jar!)  The finished product---enjoy!
Fry the onions first in oil and add mushrooms, peppers and finally the Tempe

Reasons why Australia needs to treat Kiwis better!

1)      Aussie needs us to buy their 'goods' once China goes belly-up.
2)      If anyone can reverse their stupid Government's decision not to support Holden, it is us,        because we love Holdens.
3)      Who would pretend to laugh at their 'sheep' jokes?
4)      Would any other nation  understand them when they speak?
5)      What other nation has their back when the 'chips are down and we become 'one?'
6)      Who will teach them how to win back the America's Cup?
7)      When they get sick of Tony Abbot, who else will let him visit, without any conditions?
8)      Who will drive their trucks trains busses and God knows what else?
9)      What other country will help them win so many medals at the Olympics, simply by giving them serious competition when they really need it?
10)    What other country will be their 'bolt-hole' when climate change finally makes most of Australia unliveable?

Yes, your Kiwi cousins have much love for you, but that has to be a two-way process. Now---people---add to my list and keep it going. Share the love!

I was bored so I made some 'black bean sauce.'

I regularly buy black bean sauce, in a jar and keep it in the fridge. It is a useful addition to many dished I cook, some dreamed up on the spot. It is often merely a matter of using what is in the cupboard.
OK, here's my take on a version of black bean sauce. You can of course substitute some of the ingredients and cook it from scratch by buying the black beans from  the 'bulk bins' and soaking them overnight, discarding the water and then cooking them in a slow cooker or on the stove-top on a gentle heat until they are soft, but not quite falling apart.

Take a can of black beans, chop up some garlic (I used 5 cloves--but hey, if you like garlic, bust ya butt!) and fry the garlic before adding the beans. After a few minutes, add a teaspoon of sugar, two tablespoons of any vinegar and the same of  soy sauce. From there, the sky's the limit. Add paprika; a half teaspoon,  star anise, cinnamon and if you like that extra punch---stick in as much chilli as you desire. It is all about taste, but remember, once you put it in you can't take it out! Do things slowly, checking the taste as you go. You don't need to make it too complex; if you wish just add the first 5 or 6 ingredients. Who am I to tell you what you like?
Cool the mixture off and store it in the fridge. With the vinegar in it, it should last a few weeks.
ENJOY---with fish, Tempe or lots of your other favourites---stir fried veggies are great with a slosh of the sauced added at the end of cooking!

My 'take' on black bean sauce.

Kakamatua inlet---a doggie heaven--and not too bad for humans too.

What a way to spend part of the final day of my holidays. Kakamatua Inlet is a great place at any time of the year, but today it was sublime, with lots of dogs for Perdy to chase, when she got tired of her ball. Travelling west to get to this lovely little 'westie secret,' is well worth the drive and reminded me where my heart is increasingly heading. I would love to wake up each just a little bit closer to this off the track hide-away.
I can fit in the grotto behind me now.
Looking out towards the Manukau Heads.

About time we had some 'tit-for-tat re Australia's treatment of Kiwis. Good on you David Cunliffe1


It was with a sense of justice that I read the following statement from David Cunliffe, something well overdue from one of our leaders.


Cunliffe: Kiwis in Oz should be treated the same as Aussies in NZ

As Leader of the Opposition, David Cunliffe's pay will rise from $262,700 to $268,500. Photo / APN
As Leader of the Opposition, David Cunliffe's pay will rise from $262,700 to $268,500. Photo / APN

Labour leader David Cunliffe has told an Australian audience that it was time that expatriate New Zealanders were treated the same as Australians who had moved to New Zealand.
In a speech this evening at the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum in Sydney, he said it was Government's job to lobby for New Zealand citizens who lived overseas.
"The fact is, for all sorts of historical reasons, New Zealanders living in Australia are not treated equivalently to Australians living in New Zealand."
A law change prevented New Zealanders who arrived in Australia after 2001 from accessing most government support and welfare programmes.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that his Government was unlikely to remove discrimination against expatriate Kiwis after Prime Minister John Key raised the issue during talks in Canberra last month.
Mr Cunliffe said that Australians living in New Zealand were able to access student allowances and loans after two years, but New Zealanders were denied similar payments when they moved across the Tasman.
He said that New Zealanders had to pay public disability insurance despite not being able to access the disability scheme. Australian expatriates, on the other hand, could access the ACC scheme.
The Labour leader was also concerned about the obstacles to citizenships for the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who had moved to Australia.
"Australian nationals who come to live in New Zealand and wish to become New Zealanders, who work hard, pay taxes and contribute to the community can eventually be full participants in New Zealand life.
"But many New Zealand nationals who come to live in Australia, and who wish to become Australians, who work hard, pay taxes and contribute to the community have no equivalent path."
Mr Cunliffe said there was a widespread misconception that Kiwi expats had limited skills and were more likely to become unemployed.
"The reality is very different," he said, emphasising that most New Zealanders who left for Australia were young and skilled.
"In many cases they bring with them the benefit of years of investment from the New Zealand education system, including at tertiary level."
Mr Cunliffe said he was committed to working with Australian counterparts to make sure that the ANZAC tradition of equality and respect was strengthened.

The dumb arse Mayor of Sochi say, 'we don't have any gays in Sochi.'

Even Putin is making a cynical attempt to paper over his position re gays in Russia by saying that 'all are welcome to the Sochi.' Even he knows that there are many gay people in his country but  it seems that the mayor of Sochi is totally out of touch or just plain dammed ignorant. That he claims there are no gays in his city is beyond belief, unless he has been conducting some sort of clandestine policy to reject gays from his city. The world is watching; at least the part of the world that wants an inclusiveness that values all people. Unfortunately, many parts of the world especially Africa do not enjoy such openness. Russia should be shamed for its draconian attitude; one that is led from the 'top.' God forbid what will happen after the 'games.' I guess it's back in  the closet for at least 10% of Russia population. Maybe other countries will benefit from them leaving Mother Russia and for its gay citizens travelling to places where their skills will be valued. As for that stupid mayor--I suppose he will join Putin's inner circle of cronies, sucking Russia dry and bringing back the worst of the old regime.

Once again the Manukau Harbour is going to be turned into Auckland's dumping ground for---yes--shit!

There is no way that I want to be polite when I read about a proposal to spend nearly a plan to spend nearly a billion dollars to dump crap into what has become a 'cleaner harbour in the last few decades. Why should this wonderful harbour take the waste that normally would have gone to the 'other' harbour---you know---the one that 'sparkles.' As Madonna sang---'I'm not your bitch, so don't hang your shit on me!'
Surely there is a greener option! Why the hell would we spend a huge amount of money on the Onehunga foreshore and then turn it into a new sewer! Crazy, flawed and crappy thinking on the part of our 'planners.' Let us all get behind the growing opposition to this proposal and contribute to the fighting fund. I am sure you will hear about the fight that has started.
Perhaps this is a time to look at just how big we should let Auckland become. How about some meaningful policies that will bring about more balance in the growth of population in NZ; to the regions for example. Come on Greens---come up with a plan and I am sure the people who love the Manukau Harbour will listen to you for the first time. Labour, you too need to look seriously at these plans. I will never vote for a party that comes even close to contributing to the demise of our huge western harbour. Think more deeply, planners. You have areal battle on your hands, you faceless pack of environmental terrorists!

Bid to scupper huge sewer tunnel

Manukau Harbour Protection Society incensed at having to take Waitemata wastewater.
Onehunga Bay Project.
Onehunga Bay Project.
Groups promoting Onehunga as a seaside town and the Manukau Harbour as a haven for recreation and wildlife are raising $140,000 for a court appeal against a $950 million sewer tunnel project.
"Come to our bake sale," said Bronwen Turner, of the Manukau Harbour Protection Society.
"It's a huge responsibility for a non-profit community organisation to take on but people are aghast when told about the project."
Last month, Auckland Council-owned Watercare Services was granted resource consents to start boring for the Central Interceptor Project in 2017.
Watercare said the council's hearings commissioners' approval showed its plan for the 13km storage tunnel from Western Springs to the Mangere treatment station was the best way to serve a growing population and reduce sewer overflows and construction nuisance.
However, Ms Turner said an appeal had been lodged with the Environment Court by her society, as well as the Onehunga Enhancement Society and the Mangere Bridge Residents & Ratepayers Association.
The groups could not stand back and let the Waitemata Harbour and its beaches be cleaned up by Watercare bringing more wastewater over to the Manukau Harbour instead.
"They don't have any similar initiatives within the project to clean up the Manukau.
"Where is the full discussion on alternatives to this combined sewer-stormwater tunnel? We were just told that this was it."
Ratepayers' Association spokesman Roger Baldwin said the project's costs would pass to those who had already paid in their rates for their areas to have separation of sewage and stormwater pipes.
"It's a crazy process when it is the applicant's boss [Auckland Council] granting resource consent."
About 700 submissions opposed the project.
The commissioners imposed additional conditions on Watercare's insistence on the tunnel having an emergency overflow device, which harbour society chairman Jim Jackson said had the potential to undo years of improving harbour water quality.
Watercare Services resource consents manager Belinda Petersen said it would not appeal against any of the conditions. She said the commissioners had agreed the Central Interceptor was the best option.

Lorde---you really are 100% NZ pure---2 Grammys!

New Zealand is so proud of the girl from the North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand. Please try to stay the wonderfully down-to-earth, fresh-thinking young woman whom we all love. No doubt Universal  will get the utmost from you before you break away and form your own label. Learn while you can and have the very best of legal support you can afford. Everyone is going to want their 'pound of flesh.' You have a strong, loving family and lots of fans who want to be there for you. Don't forget them.
I doubt we will see you 'twerking' or shaking your butt like a certain other 'young lady; nor will you be chucking eggs at your neighbours like the spoilt brat from Canada. Of course, Australia will try to claim you as their own, but somehow I suspect that your 'Kiwiness' runs far too deep within that 'soul' to ever let that stick. May you and your fantastic co-writer continue to work together and produce many more memorable songs. You are already a Kiwi icon!

Tunisia---you have a chance to be the 'shining light' in the Arab Spring!

We have seen chaos in all of the countries that have had 'revolutions' or struggles to rid themselves of despotic leaders, since the 'Arab Spring' began a few years ago. The streets of Cairo, Damascus and other Middle eastern cities have witnessed violent opposition to the new rulers as the 'people' realize that little has changed; one corrupt Government  simply replaced by another that represses or ignores the wishes of those who believed that a new 'order' was about to bring relief from decades of inequality and shattered dreams.
Tunisia today passed into law a constitution that at least on paper promises equality between the sexes and the seeds of a democratic future. What is good is that the passing of the law that gives birth to the new constitution was ushered in by 'consensus,' something much lacking for Tunisia's neighbours.
If Tunisia achieves a peace and an acceptance of the new constitution, without the need for guns on the streets or bombs outside mosques and markets, then they will have truly achieved something special; something that we take for granted in New Zealand and something that must be zealously guarded. Tunisia---be strong and hold on to the spirit that guides the will of 'all the people.'
The world holds its collective breath as it seeks a sign that corruption of spirit is not the norm. You have a difficult road ahead, but travel it you must. Variance from the path you have chosen does not bare thinking about--we have seen enough of the alternative, in many regions of the world. Go well!