Canberra, our federal capital.

 

After being fascinated reading American blogging friend, Barbara’s post, about airport carpets, https://silverinthebarn.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/flying-carpets/ she inspired me to take some photos here in Australia. Melbourne airport is having renovations, so the carpet may be a temporary one. Boring compared to Barbara’s inventive post, even showing how their carpets inspired a tattoo as well as other goods. I hope you have time to read it, if you missed it.

Melbourne airport carpet

Melbourne airport carpet

Canberra, the federal capital of Australia. The glass wall gives a warm welcome to arriving passengers. The granite floor looks new and well cared for.

Canberra, the federal capital of Australia, has a huge glass wall to give a warm welcome to arrivals. The granite(?) floor looks new and well cared for.

Some variations of colour.

Some variations of colour.

Sculpture at Canberra airport

Sculpture at Canberra airport

Grandson, Will, looking out for planes.

Grandson, Will, looking out for planes.

Departure lounge has carpet in seating area.

Departure lounge has carpet in some seating areas.

Departure lounge has large soft leather seats to soften the austere environment.

Departure lounge has large soft round seats to soften the austere environment.

Canberra's autumn sky.

Canberra’s autumn sky.

Visiting Canberra is a delight in autumn with its many deciduous trees. We saw kangaroos at Yarralumla. I was not quick enough to get a close shot.

Tiny dots on the right are the kangaroos!

Tiny grey dots on the right are the kangaroos!

Alright, this is exactly what one shouldn't do, stick a tree in the centre of a photograph. I was trying to be quick to catch the kangaroos, that I didn't see the tree.

Alright, this is exactly what one shouldn’t do, stick a tree in the centre of a photograph. I was trying to be quick to catch the kangaroos, so I didn’t see the tree.

Autumn changes

Autumn changes

Canberra has a cycle path 100km long.

Canberra has a cycle path 100km long.

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Married to an artist, I had to take a photo of this rainbow cake.

Married to an artist, I had to take a photo of this rainbow cake.

Good Appetite!

Good Appetite from Canberra!

 

 

 

A Special Occasion Treat:

This fruitcake is a rich one and suitable for those occasions that warrant something really special.   Rose, from Canberra, gave me this recipe.

Christopher's birthday cake un-iced

Christopher’s birthday cake un-iced

My Uncle's 92nd birthday cake.

My Uncle’s 92nd birthday cake.

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My aunt’s 90th birthday cake.

 

 Grand Marnier Fruit Cake

500g sultanas

250g mixed peel

125g raisins

125 dates

125 prunes

125g glace apricots

125 glace pineapple

60g blanched slivered almonds

60g walnut pieces

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

½ cup Grand Marnier (I use Cointreau)

½ cup caster sugar

¼ cup orange juice

250 g butter

½ cup brown sugar

5 eggs

2 cups plain flour

Place sultanas and peel in large basin, chop all fruit the same size as a sultana and add to the basin. Mix in almonds, walnuts and orange rind.

Sprinkle castor sugar evenly into heavy based pan, place over medium heat, cook until sugar is beginning to melt and brown, gently stir sugar until completely melted and golden brown.

Remove from heat, add orange juice, return to hear, stir constantly until toffee pieces are dissolved. Do not boil mixture; this will evaporate too much of the liquid. Add Grand Marnier, strain to remove any small pieces of toffee; cool.

Place fruit mixture in airtight container or large jar, which has a tight fitting screw top; pour Grand Marnier mixture over fruit mixture. Seal with plastic lid, stand overnight. Next day, invert jar or moisten mixture well. Do this for 10 days.

Beat butter until soft, add brown sugar, and beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time; beat only until combined before adding the next egg. Pour fruit mixture into large basin, add creamed mixture, mix well; use your hand for most efficient mixing. Add sifted flour; mix well.

Prepare a deep 20cm square or deep 23 cm round tin by lining base and sides with three thicknesses of greaseproof paper. Bring lining paper 5cm above edge of tin. Spread mixture evenly into tin, bake in slow oven 3 to 31/2 hours. Brush top evenly with about 2 tablespoons extra Grand Marnier, cover with aluminum foil. Leave until cold before removing from tin. To store cake: remove foil and tin, do not remove lining paper, wrap cake securely in plastic food wrap to make airtight, store in cool dark place, preferably in refrigerator. This cake will keep for at least a year.

Decorate cake with Marzipan and then a firm icing. These can be bought and rolled out using icing sugar to stop sticking. Marzipan oranges can be made to decorate this cake with some green leaves.

If nuts are a problem, I use the same weight in ginger or currants instead. If you like nuts and don’t want to ice, cover top with split almonds. Hope this appeals to someone out there, it is really a delicious treat! Happy cooking!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter!

The small eggs were found in 1970 in Cabbio, Ticino in the one store there.

The small eggs were found in 1970 in Cabbio, Ticino in the one store there.

Fading fast

Fading fast

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pink ones under cover.

pink ones under cover.

Autumn leaves  vary in colour and are quite pink under cover.

Autumn leaves vary in colour and are quite pink under cover.

Studio in background

Studio in background

Couldn’t resist posting these autumn leaves and showing you the eggs I’d hidden away, and finally discovered.

Happy Easter to you all!

 

 

April 2015:

photo 1

Jack’s 7th birthday

Easter comes early this year. My grandson usually misses out on birthday parties, as his birthday falls during the holidays. So this year he had an early one. Jack helped design his cake and ice it. We have so many family birthdays in April. I am going up to Canberra for my daughter’s 41st and her son’s 2nd birthdays. Canberra is very beautiful in Autumn with many deciduous trees. Must remember to take some photos. In between Canberra and Tasmania, we have Will’s 42nd and Hazel’s 1st birthdays in Melbourne.

Then I will be travelling to Tasmania for my Aunt’s birthday. Having only two of my mother’s siblings left of that generation in our family, it is a special time. I am not good at decorating, but hopefully the fruit cake will be delicious. I am still adjusting to our oven, and it is nerve wracking when cooking things like this.

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My Aunt’s 90th birthday 22-4-15

Having measured the cake, I bought the cake container, without remembering that the icing would take up space. This one was really squashed into the box.

My Uncle's 92nd birthday cake.

My Uncle’s 92nd birthday cake with marzipan fruit from Aldi, cut in half.

My uncle’s has had the sides sliced before icing, in anticipation, of getting it into the container.

So I shall leave you with a couple of Autumnal photos from our walk yesterday. I shall not be posting much in April, since we have friends coming to stay, as well as my going away twice for my annual pilgrimages.

berries taken on our walk

berries taken on our walk

Bees have retired as it's after 6pm, it was covered in bees during the sunlit hours.

Bees have retired as it’s after 6pm, it was covered in bees during the sunlit hours.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter break and I look forward to catching up on my return.

 

Quote Prompt 2

‘I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.’ E.B. White

This quote describes the cleft stick that many feel torn between. Or, are we improving the world by staying positive and doing the work we enjoy?

My letters to politicians may be a very small token to improve the world. I guess I must content myself with small increments. Improving the soil quality in our garden and growing our own vegetables brings satisfaction and cleaner air! Keeping the house clean makes it better on a micro level. Those small tasks completed to retain a semblance of order avoid chaos.

I used to think when my own grandmother was very old sitting in a chair and becoming negative, if only she could be aware that her thoughts are important! Positivity is contagious and helpful. Where as the opposite is also contagious, and can depress and hurt those you love.

So, as I get older, I am trying to take my own advice and remember to smile, as it uses fewer muscles than a frown. As my father used to say, ‘If you can’t think of something positive to say, say nothing.’

George Bernard Shaw wrote wisely about happiness: ‘The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation.’

An amusing Noel Coward quote to finish on: ‘I’ve brought you here to enjoy yourself and you’re bloody well going to.’ Mother to child at the seaside, Cavalcade.

This prompt is kindly suggested by myathiestblog., as an alternative prompt from WP.

http://myatheistblog.com/2015/03/28/quote-prompt-2-2/

Sausage rolls:

Food for the Soul (and the stomach) by Michelle W.                                                                       Tell us about your favourite meal, either to eat or prepare. Does it just taste great, or does it have other associations.

If I’d been asked this question earlier in my life I would definitely say a roast dinner; be that chicken, lamb, beef or pork. As a child the roast was a traditional meal that was cooked on Sundays whilst we were at church. It was the condiments that made it special, either: stuffing, apple- sauce, mint sauce or cranberry sauce. The associated memories of eating as a family brings back a flood of warm feelings.

These days our eating habits have changed to many simple but tasty recipes. Eating fresh fruit before the meal has become the norm. One simple recipe that my beloved adores is sausage-rolls.

left over cold ones!

left over cold ones!

  •  This takes three sheets of frozen pastry, cut in half, (as I’m a lazy cook these days).
  • Mix chicken or pork mince with a finely cut red onion, I grated carrot, herbs from the garden, a big dollop of honey and pepper and salt.
  • Divide mixture onto the 6 long pastry pieces, and add beaten egg to edge of one side.
  • Roll each long roll and divide into four and cut slices into top.
  • Apply egg to top of sausage rolls and pop into a hot oven until cooked. 200 degrees for 20 mins, depending on oven.
  • Eat with homemade relish and Bobs your uncle!

This is a simple meal, that can be made a little healthier with a salad.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/food-for-the-soul-and-the-stomach/