Saturday, April 5, 2014

Fred Morgan (of Herb Morgan Tyres) is correct. We are playing with death with worn tyres!

I recently brought new tyres for my little Getz and I spent some extra money and made sure they were really good ones. Why?-----because I want to live and in the end the more expensive ones I(Michelin) last one hell of a lot longer than the budget ones I usually buy. I was quoted that they would last 70,000 KLS and even after travelling more than 10,000 KLS, there was no sign of any wear. I also put Nitrofil in the tyres and OK, the savings there may not be quite so obvious, but I figure that I am travelling about another 30 KLS per tank, but that may also be down to weighing 45 kilos less, post bariatric surgery!
Fred said on TV tonight that many people are dicing with death as they put off changing their tyres, in the belief that they can just sneak in re passing the stringent Warrant of Fitness test, but over the next six months their tyres reach a point where they are no longer safe. Sure they save money in the short term, but then put themselves, their families and others at risk.
But, it's dammed hard out there for families and for those unable to buy new tyres of any sort, never lone the ones I have, and I feel for the many households who are increasingly  marginalized by a 'minimum wage economy and living in a city where 'housing,' whether it be rental or 'mortgaged,' takes up so much of ones income. The decision to buy 'safe' tyres' is often balanced against the need to put 'food on the table.' Welcome to the 'trickle-up economy, folks! Fred---you are correct of course and thanks to you and your friendly team for looking after me and I thank a greater power that I am in a position to follow through on your advice---for now.

Australian bullying just keeps on and on---why---because they can and we LET THEM!

Today's article in  the NZ Herald that big Australian banks are charging NZers more than they do for their customers in Australia, comes as no surprise, on the back of other claims about bullying tactics for NZ suppliers to Aussie owned supermarket chains. No doubt if we dig deeper we would find more examples of this quasi-Aussie colonialism or to put it bluntly----rip offs.
Why does this happen? The answer is clear---they can----simple, because we let them. Our Government (successive ones) have let this happen because they do not stand up ton the big bully across the Tasman. Yes, Australia is an important trading partner and our links go back many years. In many ways we are one big (for our region) market and it makes sense to have close economic ties, but not if the 'playing field' is not level. The small distance across the Tasman should not be held up as a reason for charging more in this day of technological bridging  and lets face it: Parts of Australia are further away and more remote from Sydney than  NZ is.
Of course we don't want to break off ties or whinge and whine about this situation---we need to do something about it and not be put off by arrogant Australian politicians and business people. We are not without power in this relationship. Australia may 'dig' its wealth from beneath the surface and send it to China (we too have a close trading relationship with that huge nation) but they still need us for their manufactured products and other services. That they charge us more for some of these 'services,' can be renegotiated and if our politicians can't do that, then let the people here, turn to NZ 'providers,' en masse! A word of warning to those NZ 'suppliers'---don't take us for granted! Lets have a bit of a 'fair go', my Aussie cousins.

Gluten-free, healthy biscotties----date and apricot or any other 'whatever' you chuck in!

I am not well known for following recipes. I  belong to the 'Anicarnisitc School of Cookery; being the only member at present, so come join me. I also regularly cook gluten-free food, not because I am following a fad, but because a family member has Coeliac disease--damn, that sounds terrible---is it a disease or a disorder, but what I do know is that if even a small amount of gluten passes the lips of a Coeliac, then they suffer a great deal and the long term effects are life threatening. So my home has cupboards that are about 90o% gluten free in nature. years ago a diagnosis of Coeliac 'D' meant that getting to purchase the right food was a real mission but fortunately things have changed. Just go and check out the big Gluten Free food shows and the shelves on your local supermarkets and specialists shops and you will see the massive changes. Yes, it is a lot easier now, but I am sure most 'Coeliacs' will tell you they miss good bread, be it white or the healthier full-grain breads.
Going out for a coffee used to mean having little or no choices re that 'slice or cake,' but now there are many cafes that offer a selection, though often limited. Sometimes you just don't want that sweet sickly slice and long for something a little healthier. For me, a post-bariatric surgery type person, and one who only wants a small portion, I love it when I can find a biscotti. But---a gluten-free one? I haven't found one yet, so I decided to come up with a recipe. Here's my version and as with all of my recipes, there is no need to stick closely to it!
1) Get a big mixing bowl.
2) One cup of Quinoa flakes
3) One cup of rice flour
4) One cup of ground almond flour.
5) 3 eggs.
6) About one cup of chopped dried apricots and dates---more if you wish.
7) A teaspoon of cinnamon--or any spice---play here of you feel inclined to experiment.
8) Add any liqueur, if you wish (Re member the alcohol evaporates in cooking!--damn) Miss this step if you OBJECT.
9) Get your hands in and have a good old mix---nothing like hands mixing--add some milk of you think it's too dry. You should have a thick cake-like mix. Yes, you can lick your fingers--no one will know!
10) Push the mix into a baking paper lined loaf tin and push down, to get an even mix. NOTE---there is no sugar in this mix or fat. The eggs provide any raising agent needed.
11) Bake at about 180C for about 20 minutes or until it is 'just' brown.
12) Lift out the 'cake' and place on a rack or chopping board to cool.
13) Slice into fingers, no more than about a third of an inch thick.
14) Place back on the lined tray and bake again at about 80C for as long as it takes for the 'biscotties'
to have that dried out hard texture. It is over to you. If you want tea-dipping ones, bake longer, if you prefer them to be a bit chewy--less.

Let them cool and sore them in a glass jar and place on the shelf where everyone can see your café-style wonders.
IT's NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! I will put some pictures up of my delights, tomorrow!--the biscotties, I mean!