Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nuts, Pakistan Shooting, Shopping,

chestnutsMatt picked me up a few chestnuts the other day and I have been experimenting with them in the microwave. I have finally got it down to cutting the tops (cutting crosses is not only difficult but doesn’t work particularly well) and then cooking them in a little water in a covered dish for 2 Brazil Nuts1/2 minutes. However, they are not the best tasting chestnuts I have ever eaten. Luckily I have now figured out how to peel them without messing up and breaking my nails etc. I have ordered a couple of packets of Brazil nuts for Matt as a stocking stuffer I guess. One doesn’t see them around much any more, I believe they got a disease only can’t find anything about that online. In fact I now find all kinds of places I can order them on line but they don’t have them in our local grocery store.

Horrifying news out of Pakistan today, 141 people killed in the school by the Taliban, most of them were kids. What a dreadful thing to do, as I said to Matt they (the Taliban) are human too, they presumably have kids of their own, how could they do such a thing. I am not posting pictures but there are videos and pictures on this website. Along with the rest of the reasoning world, I am desperately sorry for the families of the slain.

I went to my local jeweller this afternoon (Tuesday) because I wanted to ensure the stones in one of my rings were OK. They cleaned it for me at the same time. They also told me to use Windex, a toothbrush and then warm water. Never heard of using Windex before. I used to use Liquid Ajax but that is unavailable any more, here anLeg of Porkyway. Now I use rubbing alcohol. I like the Windex idea better though. We went to the jeweller after we had been to the Meat Market and bought a piece of pork for Boxing Day (Dec. 26 for those who don’t have Boxing Day). I managed to find a piece of leg or ham, as they say in the south, which still has the skin on so I can score the skin and cook it up really crispy. Yum. We also went to the liquor store to stock up on beer, wine and champagne to cover us to the end of the year. Expensive afternoon. I would like to be able to buy some really good ham, but that only comes in huge pieces too so it really isn’t worth it for the two of us. Traditionally, in my home anyway, we used to have slices of cold ham with Coleman’s mustard and champagne on both Christmas and Boxing Day morning. We bought a smaller piece of ham last year but it wasn’t nearly as good. A decent ham should have the fat on too which improves the taste. No I don’t eat the fat usually, but for Christmas I do, it’s delicious.

Some of you will remember I was contacted by a long lost friend Me at 12who’s mother was my mother’s long time friend. Today I received a card from her which also contained a photo of me at 12 years old. I haven’t seen this picture in years but I do remember it very well. Matt could not tell it was me. For some reason he was fixated on the teeth in the photo!! Apart from anything else it’s over 60 years ago since it was taken and my teeth were as young as the rest of me. I think I got it a bit too light when I scanned it. Will have to try again later.

This seemed like a nice pudding for this time of year. This from

Gingerbread Pudding Cake

By MacChef

Gingerbread Pudding Cake. Photo by Delicious as it Looks
 From Bon Appetite, this pudding and cake hybrid oozes and intense, sticky syrup that is great with a big dollop of whipped cream. Fantastic for the holidays! 


Servings 8
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons beaten eggs
    • 1/2 cup molasses
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups hot water
    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8x8 inch glass baking dish. Whisk flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt in medium bowl.
    2. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl until blended. Beat in egg. Stir molasses and 1/2 cup water in a 1 cup glass measuring cup.
    3. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, butter mixture and molasses mixture together beating to blend. Repeat until all separate mixtures are now one and transfer to prepared dish. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top.
    4. Stir 1 1/2 cups hot water and melted butter in 2 cup glass measuring cup. Carefully pour over top of batter (don't worry, there will be lots of liquid on the top). Bake until gingerbread is cracked on top, about 45 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.
Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - cleaning jewellery I know can be done in soapy water ... but am glad your stone is safe. A good roast pork is wonderful ... and I love ham .. we usually have one as well ... amazing photo of you - how lovely to have it ... wonderful long hair too .. Gingerbread pud would be good for sore throats etc ... while nuts - Brazil nuts and macadamia are the two foods that don't like me .. why I've no idea!

    Pakistan is just so so sad ... dreadful news - dreadful and terrible to think about ... Hilary

    1. Better to have something stronger for cleaning diamonds Hilary. Yes, I am looking forward to the pork. You don't often see the skin on pork here, don't know why. Sorry the nuts don't like you. By the time I had it cut, I could sit on my hair. My mother nearly cried when I had it all cut off.

  2. Nice picture of you! My local grocer had sliced ham quarters on sale last week. Just two pounds, enough for me for a few meals.

    1. Thanks. Lucky you. Wish I could find something like that.

  3. Terrible what happened in Pakistan.
    That's a good picture of you!

  4. I never would've thought to use windex either. Years ago I was cracking Brazil nuts for my cousin....despite my nut allergy....but we figured I was safe because I wasn't eating them. When I was done I was sitting at the table with my elbows on the table and my chin resting on my hands. When I took my hands away from my face, I had huge welts on my cheeks, jaw & neck from the nut oil! Lesson learned.

    1. Well I guess you can peel them, just make sure to wash your hands of all oil.

  5. I heard about the shooting yesterday on the radio. Beyond me. Horrible. Horrible isn't even a strong enough word.

    Love Brazil nuts. Never had chestnut, that I recall but I see them in the stores this month.

    1. How about appalling?

      Never had chestnuts, that surprises me. I love them made into stuffing for the neck of a turkey.

    2. Not that I recall, no.

      Appalling, works.

    3. I hear the numbers have increased since the first reports. Dreadful is another word.

  6. I said exactly the same thing as you when I heard about Pakistan. How could people do it? Where's the humanity? It's not an act of war when you murder innocent, unarmed children.
    I have never eaten chestnuts. Brazil nuts are good for you because of the selenium but I've heard you shouldn't eat too many or you can overdose. It sounds weird but it's true!

    1. Too right Pinky. Horrible.

      Do you not get chestnuts in Oz? I didn't know about overdosing on Brazils. I wonder how many is too many.

  7. Pakistan news broke my heart. Love the photo - you look like your grand-daughter! Gingerbread pudding cake sounds good.

    1. Terrible wasn't it. Thanks. You should try the pudding, it's good. Britain is good on puddings.

  8. The news in Pakistan was just beyond comprehension .... those poor families.

    We're only starting to see chestnuts occasionally now ... I've been trying to find them for a vegetarian recipe I want to cook tomorrow and it looks like I'll have to go in to the city to buy them, not something to look forward to at this time of year.

    I cannot stand hot ham - but I love it cold with mustard in a sandwich .... thankfully my mother who we always spend the holiday with has decided to have lamb for Christmas dinner this year cos she's had too many festive dinners already in the the clubs she goes to... perfect although I'd have goose if we were at home.

    Your photograph is gorgeous :)
    Happy Christmas to you both.

  9. I finally found frozen chestnuts. about 5 ounces would cost $57. I don't think I'll bother.

    I'm the same, I don't mind hot ham but prefer a good cold one. With Coleman's mustard. Oddly, many people in this part of the world buy a cooked ham and then bake it. Wouldn't want lamb for Christmas dinner, but goose, yes, delicious. Out of the question here for us anyway. I looked at one the other day and it was close to $70. We just do the turkey breast for Christmas Day.

    Thanks Fil and all the best to you for Christmas.