More biscuits from my mothers recipe collection. Mum had many recipes which used golden syrup. I had tried using karo and Lyles syrup but the taste I was wanting wasn't there. Just recently, I discovered Steens Syrup which is very close in taste to golden syrup, so now I can bake all my favorite cookies and cakes from Mum's collection of recipes.
4oz. Butter – I used Smart Balance ¼ cup Sugar 1 tbsp. Milk 1 tbsp. Golden Syrup – I used Steens Syrup 1 tsp. Baking soda 1 cup Flour.
Cream butter and sugar. Warm milk and syrup, (10 secs. in microwave) add the soda, lightly stir Pour bubbly mixture into butter and sugar then add the flour and mix.
Roll into balls, (flour your hands) I prefer to use my cookie scoop, you don't get sticky fingers, though if you like to lick dough off your fingers when you are finished, use your hands. Press with a fork dipped in flour. Bake 10-15 mins. 350F mine take about 9 mins. check on them, they brown quickly.
A man walked into the produce section of his local supermarket, and asked to buy half a head of lettuce. The boy working in that department told him that they only sold whole heads of lettuce.
The man was insistent that the boy ask his manager about the matter.
Walking into the back room, the boy said to the manager, "Some old b****rd wants to buy half a head of lettuce." As he finished his sentence, he turned to find the man standing right behind him, so he quickly added, "and this kind gentleman kindly offered to buy the other half."
The manager approved the deal, and the man went on his way.
Later the manager said to the boy, "I was impressed with the way you got yourself out of that situation earlier. We like people who think on their feet here. Where are you from son?"
"New Zealand, sir," the boy replied.
"Well, why did you leave New Zealand?" the manager asked.
The boy said, "Sir, there's nothing but hookers and rugby players there."
"Really," replied the manager? "My wife is from New Zealand!"
"Your kidding??" replied the boy. "Who'd she play for?"
The pohutukawa or New Zealand Christmas Tree, is one of the most outstanding plants of the entire New Zealand flora. It is an extremely tough tree and is found growing along coastal areas.
Photograph from Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, Artist Noeline Grant click on picture for larger view
I remember looking out of the car window at these magnificent trees as our family drove a coastal road, in the northern part of New Zealand, on one of our vacations. I was impressed by how the pohutukawa’s roots gained a foothold in the most inhospitable of rock crevices where continual lashings of salt-laden winds and drenchings of salt water are the norm, and life giving fresh water and nutrients are scarce in the extreme. On very exposed rock faces where conditions are extremely barren it will at times grow little more than one metre, (about 39 inches) but will still flower profusely.
In the coastal forests the pohutukawa can grow into a spreading tree 20, metres or more in height. The leaves of the pohutukawa are thick and tough, a shiny dark green on top and silvery white on their softer undersides. The spectacular dark crimson flowers occur just before Christmas and the flowering period extends well into January. The first settlers used pohutukawa blossom to decorate their homes at Christmas time, regarding it as a New Zealand substitute for holly, and it was they who first applied the now common name of Christmas tree.
The pohutukawa was used by the early pioneers. The potential of its strong durable timber for ship building was soon realized, and in the early days of colonization shiploads of pohutukawa timber were exported, severely depleting the magnificent stands of trees which at one time dominated the northern coasts.
The leaves and bark of the pohutukawa were used for a variety of medicinal purposes by the Maori people, and many an early settler drank a decoction of inner bark of the pohutukawa tree to cure dysentery.
A professional artist from Ventura, CA, Tracy has been participating in street painting festivals since 1998. For her, street painting is an art form that instantly captures an artist's creative essence and produces a unique dynamic between the viewer and the artist. Tracy has participated in street painting festivals throughout the country and in Europe and has created commissioned street paintings for public art and corporate clients.
Anzac Day in New Zealand is held on 25 April each year to commemorate New Zealanders killed in war and to honour returned servicemen and women.
The day has similar importance in Australia, New Zealand's partner in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli. The ceremony itself has been continually adapted to the times, but has also steadily acquired extra layers of symbolism and meaning.
April is Humor Month National Volunteer Week Teacher Appreciation Week National Poetry Month Cancer Control Month Foot Health Awareness Month National Home Inspection Month National Smile Month National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Week The third week in April is Egg Salad Week Stress Awareness Month Keep America Beautiful Month.
Sometimes you just gotta' complain. Yesterday the weather was windy, cool and sometimes overcast, a good day to stay indoors at work. Today it is a beautiful sunny day and I get to sit at my desk instead of getting out doors to enjoy this glorious day, but you have to agree, this view from my desk is compensation. Perhaps some Grey Whales will swim by on their way north for the summer, they usually swim by about the same distance from shore as the sail boat you see in the picture, so we have an amazing view of these huge creatures. You all have a great day, I will too.
Some days I get cravings for chocolate or peanut butter, this time I have both at the same time.
These are nice rich chewy brownies which go well with a freshly brewed cup of coffee.
¼ cup margarine 1 cup sugar 1 cup smooth peanut butter 2 eggs 1 tsp. Vanilla 2/3 cup flour ½ tsp. Salt ¼ cup cocoa 1 tbsp. Water
Cream margarine and sugar. Add peanut butter mixing well. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla. Add flour, salt and cocoa. Beat well, add water, beat well. Baked in greased 8x8” pan 25-30 minutes 350F
When cool frost with peanut butter fudge frosting.
¼ cup smooth peanut butter 2 tbsp. Margarine ¼ cup cocoa 2/3 cup powdered sugar ½ tsp. Vanilla dash salt 3tbsp. Milk
Cream peanut butter and margarine, Add cocoa, powdered sugar; beat well Add vanilla, salt, beat, Add milk a little at a time until frosting is desired consistency.
Waitomo New Zealand is located in the Waikato region on the east coast of the North Island..
The First Explorers
Fred Mace (right)
Maori Chief Tane Tinorau (below)
The Waitomo Glowworm Cave was explored in 1887 by local Maori Chief Tane Tinorau and English Surveyor Fred Mace. They built a raft of flax stems and with candles as their only lighting, floated into the cave where the stream goes underground.
As they entered the caves, their first discovery was the Glowworm Grotto with its thousands of tiny bright lights dotting the cave ceiling. As their eyes adjusted to the darkness they saw a multitude of lights reflecting off the water. Looking up they discovered that the ceilings were dotted with the lights of thousands of glowworms.
This glowworm is unique to New Zealand. It emits light to attract food in the form of other flying insects. It requires a select habitat to survive. The glowworm must have humidity to prevent it from drying out, hanging surfaces for it to send down sticky feeding lines an adequate food supply of insects brought in on the river, a still atmosphere to prevent lines from tangling and darkness to allow it to show its light.
These stalactites,( the ones which hang down) stalagmites, columns and sculptures have formed as a result of water dripping from the roof of the cave or flowing over the exposed limestone walls. As the water flows down through the earth towards the cave roof and walls, it dissolves limestone in its path. This limestone is then left as a crystalline deposit within the cave
Cave formations - millions of years in the making..
Formed over 30 million years ago there are two levels to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves which are 16 metres apart. The upper level is dry and includes the entrance to the cave, the Catacombs and the Organ Loft. The lower level consists of stream passages and the Cathedral.
The Cathedral is a huge cavern on the lower level of Waitomo Glowworm Cave and at 18 metres in height, it is the largest cavern in the cave. It is a famous chamber known for its acoustics, and many famous singers and choirs have performed here and have been delighted with the purity of the sound.
The boat ride, which wanders underground along the Waitomo River, takes you through the Glowworm Grotto. As you enter the grotto of tiny living lights, you will look in silence at the thousands of glowworm, and you'll immediately experience a feeling of peace and quiet. The guide asks you to be quiet as noise causes the glowworms to extinguish their lights. I remember being fascinated by the tiny glowworms, and would like to visit again sometime.
Riannan from In The Headlights says "When I was growing up, kids were fascinated by dinosaurs, as they are now. The good thing was, at that time, there were only 8-10 dinosaurs to keep track of. Now, every time I turn around, they're finding more new dinosaurs".
I agree with Riannan, dinosaurs are fascinating, One of my dreams is to see a dinosaur display at a museum. Stop by In the Headlights and read more about these wonderful creatures.
The school children of New Zealand were presented with commemorative mugs, to celebrate the coronation. Sadly I no longer have mine.
This lavishly gold trimmed mug marks the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953. A portrait of the Queen facing left appears on the front. "Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth " appears on the reverse. It stands 3" high with a diameter of 3". It is marked with a crown and "Radfords Bone China Made in England". Today the mug is worth $45.00
Just months after her Coronation, Queen Elizabeth II became the first reigning sovereign to visit New Zealand. At the end of her first day here she told the people "though this is my first visit to New Zealand, I have the impression that I know it well and I know that here I shall feel athome." During her five week stay, the young queen charmed and enthralled all with her eloquence and beauty and delivered her Christmas message to the Commonwealth.
I was lucky to see Queen Elizabeth up close when she visited New Zealand in the 1950’s
I was five years old and had just started school. All the schools in Palmerston North were closed for the visit of Queen Elizabeth so the children would have the opportunity to see the Queen as she made her way around the city.
My memories are a little vague, as I recall this day, I was with my family lined up along the route Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh were to be driven in an open car.
At five years old most of us kids were all pretty much impressed by the Queen’s visit, I know I was, and when she was driven by just about ten feet away I was in awe. "this is the Queen , she lives in a castle, wears a crown and everything, and has lots of coaches, one of them being made out of real gold". Ahhh! Memories of a child.
Buckingham Palace is planning a number of events to celebrate The Queen's 80th birthday in 2006, both around Her Majesty's actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on 17 June.
My friend Hostagirl over at Life's Adventures, and I are two of a kind. We are not happy unless we have dirt under our nails and a trip to the garden center at least once a week.
* The first thing you do each morning is go out to see your garden.
* You go out back to empty the trash and two hours later you come back inside with dirt under your fingernails and grass stains on your knees.
* All errands include a trip to the garden center. "I'm not going to buy anything, I'm just going to look." Yeah, sure.
* You carry little packages in your purse so that no matter where you are, if you find some cool seeds, you can collect them.
* When you cannot work outside in your garden, you read about it and plan what you will do in the spring.
* When you cannot wait for spring, you start seeds inside so they will be ready to plant when the weather allows.
* You love internet gardening forums and clubs.
* You get excited about mulch and compost.
* You won't cook outside or go to picnics during the heat of a Washington summer, but nothing can keep you from taking care of your garden, even when you are dripping wet with perspiration and beat red in the face from the heat. You just go inside to drink water and cool off and are right back out there.
* You take more pictures of your plants than anything else.
* You set up a web page just so you can tell other people about your garden and show them your pictures.
I have always been fascinated by the many beautiful butterflies there are in the world.
I thought you may enjoy seeing some of these wonderful insects from New Zealand.
Despite its favourable climate and diverse landscape New Zealand can only account for 23 species of butterfly. Of these 23 species, 11 are endemic and 12 non-endemic Of the 23 species, 16 are known to breed in New Zealand and the remaining 7 are either frequent or very rare visitors from Australia. This is not a great number when compared with a country of similar size and latitude in the Northern Hemisphere, Japan for example with 225 species.
So why so few butterflies? The answer belongs with New Zealands position as an isolated landmass. Its nearest neighbour Australia is at its closest point 2000 kilometres away.
Towards the end of the Cretaceous period, about 60 million years ago, New Zealand split away from the Australian continent. It was then subjected to extremes of climate and volcanic activity, events that modified the existing flora and fauna. Glaciation in particular would have resulted in the extinction of many species of plants and animals. Faced with a wide ocean gap most Australian species have been unable to colonise New Zealand despite favourable winds.
What we have left is our present butterfly fauna to which has been added several species which have arrived since European times.
HERE is a link for some wonderful pictures and interesting information.
After driving home from work in the rain, I parked my car and started up the front steps to go inside. As I got near the flower pots I had planted a couple of days ago, I noticed all the white on top. The first thing that crossed my mind was, darn, I must have used too much *soil moist* (a product you add to the soil which absorbs and releases water) then said to myself " I did not use too much, besides it was put down below the roots of the plants." About this time I decided it is too cold standing around and I will figure it out tomorrow, so went indoors.
As I came inside Mr. C asked, "did you see all the hail today?" Mystery solved, that is what is on the pots, I went back outside and noticed the hail also on the garden
There is still quite a lot of hail left a few hours after the storm had passed over.
Near Rotorua, New Zealand: At 2:00am 10 June 1886, terrified families awoke to a rumbling giant, the noise was heard over 500 kilometres away. The mountain, lit by a tremendous display of lightning, rained ash upon her neighbours and began the deadly renovation of her buried landscape. The very violent eruption of Tarawera, was one of the most notable events of the 19th century in New Zealand. That eruption was heard over most of the country; about 108 people were killed, and the world-renowned White and Pink Terraces were utterly destroyed.
Charles Blomfield - The White Terrace Alexander Turnbull Library
The White and Pink Terraces at Lake Rotomahana had aroused worldwide attention once the first pakehas to see them (in the 1840s) had reported their existence. An organised tourist industry flourished at Te Wairoa village from about 1872, and by 1886 no visit to the Antipodean colonies was considered complete without the climactic experience of bathing in the uniquely beautiful hot pools of the Terraces.
Victorian travellers recorded their experience in a rich legacy of art, photographs and words. Writer Anthony Trollope enjoyed a bath in one of the pools of the Pink Terrace in 1874:
"In the bath, when you strike your chest against it, it is soft to the touch, you press yourself against it and it is smooth.....The baths are shell-like in shape, like vast open shells, the walls of which are concave and the lips ornamented in a thousand forms."
Images Courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library
On 1 June 1886, a party of tourists claimed to have seen a Māori war canoe appear out of the mists on Lake Tarawera. It was being paddled by Māori in traditional dress, and disappeared when only half a mile from the tourist boat. A tohunga or Māori priest in Te Wairoa claimed that it was a waka wairua, or spirit canoe, and that it was an omen of a great calamity, which would strike the land.