A Golden Oldie

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Prompts from several different sources inspired me to make a Lemon Delicious pudding yesterday.

First, a Facebook group post encouraged members to make a post recipes for a childhood favourite food.

Second, my brother, sister and brother-in-law were coming for dinner.  What better, than to share a dessert from our common childhood memories?

Third, another Facebook group discusses how our grandparents lived, including cooking and preparing food.

I had not made Lemon Delicious since 2012 when I began eating a gluten-free diet, however, I was not going to let that stop me.

I have posted the recipe for Lemon Delicious on the blog previously.  See here.  Unfortunately the photos have disappeared from the old post and I am unable to retrieve them.

So, here it is again – with the addition of the gluten-free option.

LEMON DELICIOUS

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour (use gluten-free flour if required)
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add flour, juice and rind.  Mix well.  Separate the eggs, add yolks and milk to mixture.  Place the whites in a separate bowl and beat until stiff.  Fold the beaten egg white into the mixture.  Pour into an ovenproof dish.  Stand the dish in a tray of water (about 2-3cm deep) and place in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is firm to touch and golden.

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The finished product is like a lemon self-saucing pudding.  This can be served warm or cold with ice-cream, cream or custard.

NOTES:

As a nod to past generations, I did not use my Kitchen Aid mixer to cream the butter and sugar.  I used a bowl and tablespoon – hard but satisfying work.  I also beat the egg whites using a hand-held rotary beater.  The results were equally as good as any I have made previously using electric appliances.

The ‘sauce’ of the pudding was somewhat thicker than other efforts and I think this was probably due to using gluten-free flour which does tend to absorb more moisture.  I would probably ad the juice of another half a lemon in order to rectify this.  Despite this, the pudding was extremely well-received by the dinner guests and I will definitely be making it again before too long – especially as the lemon trees are absolutely laden with fruit.

 

Far From Perfect

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2019 is nearly upon us and although I am not one for New Year’s resolutions it is a good time to start with a clean slate and perhaps set some goals.

While we were at the beach for a week I had plenty of time to give this some thought.  I have already started but my goal for 2019 is to have my photos sorted, culled, labelled and catalogued.  Any long-term readers of the blog will know that this is not the first time I have tried this but in 2019 it will happen.  I fully expect that this project may well take most of the year.

When I mentioned my goal in an online group I received a request ( a little tongue-in-cheek) about doing the same thing for other people.  While I will be well-occupied doing my own I can offer a few tips that may help you get started and assist in avoiding some of the pitfalls that have tripped me up on previous attempts.

Photographs are a way of preserving memories and we will all do it differently.  There are digital files – most common these days, prints in albums, a digital photo frame and photobooks.  They probably all have their place but whatever you do, you need to be able to locate and enjoy your photos as well as sharing them with others.

1.  Ask yourself what you are aiming to achieve.  This may determine how you approach the task.

I want to create a pictorial record of our lives which will be of interest and potentially useful (eg: family history) for future generations.  It needs to be accessible and fun to look at also.

2.  Decide on categories.

My broad categories include Holidays, Family, Blogs

3.  For digital files, create a naming convention which works for you.  It is important to remember to remember how digital files are ordered.  For example, if you number things as 1, 2, 3, 4 etc it will end up being 1, 11, 12, 13……………….19, 2, 20, 21 and so on.  To avoid this you need to know approximately how many items will potentially be in your sequence and number as 001, 002, 003 etc which will give you up to 999 in correct numerical order.

I use a numeric prefix for each photo before the description, otherwise they will be sorted alphabetically.  My London folder from my UK holiday might look like this:

01 Tower of London
02 London Bridge
03 Houses of Parliament
04 Paddington Station

4.  Specialised naming conventions may be relevant – or not.

All of my blog photos are in separate folders from the general photos and are named as follows yyyy-mm-dd 00.  The date relates to the date the post was published and the number is the first, second or third photo in the post.  This way I can locate them in the future if necessary.

5.  Decide what is really worth keeping.  Refer back to point No. 1.  Remember that the photo you took 1, 5, 10 or more years ago may simply not be of any value to you or others now or in the future.  Be prepared to be ruthless and discard those images that are duplicated, very similar to another or that you cannot remember the details.  If you can’t remember or identify a photo now it is not going change in the future.

6.  Make sure you identify people in your descriptions – memories fade as the years pass.

7.  Photographic negatives are not required if you have a print.  Discard old negatives.

I am sure there are many more things to consider but these are a few to get you started.

Once I have sorted the digital files which include hundreds of prints that I scanned a few years ago, I will then move on to the various piles of prints which are semi-categorised and stored in packets in a shoebox.  I am aiming to only have digital files which are all named and sorted.  Your goal may be a little different.

Here are some examples of what you may want to keep.

This is a perfectly pleasant scene but it does not really hold any specific memories for me and it would not be of any benefit to future generations.  As an aside, it is overlooking the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and was taken in 1982.  I only know this because of the other photos in the series and the particular trip was taken when our elder daughter was about 3 months old.

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On the other hand, the photo below is one of the first photos taken which includes all of my siblings.  This holds a special place in my heart and with the addition of the names and a year would be both a special memory as well as a valuable resource to my descendants.

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A Couple of Classics

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It is interesting see how meals and baking have evolved over time but every now and then it is lovely to drag out some tried and true recipes.  As well as the enjoyment of eating the actual food, the memories that they evoke can be a delight.

The other day there was some discussion in an online group regarding using breakfast cereals in baking which made me remember this one which my maternal grandmother used to make.

DATE LOGS

1 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup castor sugar
30g butter
1 egg, beaten
1 dessertspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1& 1/2 cups Rice Bubbles

Place all ingredients except the Rice Bubbles in a saucepan and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring carefully.  Allow to cool.  Mix in Rice Bubbles.  Form into logs and roll in coconut.  Chill and store in the fridge.

I have not made this recipe recently but will do at some time.  I am not sure if Rice Bubbles are strictly gluten-free but you could used puffed rice which would ensure they are gluten free.

My memory of date logs is them being served for afternoon tea on a dainty oval china dish.

The second recipe I want to share with you is a simple melt and mix fruit slice which I successfully converted to a gluten-free version.  Here is the original recipe.

FRUIT SLICE

1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup mixed fruit
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup sugar
125g butter
2 teaspoons golden syrup

Combine dry ingredients.  Add melted butter and syrup.  Press into a shallow tin.  Bake in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes.  Ice with lemon or orange icing when cool.

In order to make it gluten free I used a cup of gluten free plain flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder.  Also, rather than mixed fruit I used 3/4 cup of sultanas and 1/4 cup of dried cranberries.  You can use any mixture of fruit that you choose.

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Since we have an abundance of passionfruit I decided to make passionfruit icing.

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They do not look overly pretty because I was racing against the clock and the icing had not completely set when I cut the slice.  However, it tasted amazing and adapted really well to the gluten free flour.

I hope you enjoy these and I will add the links to the recipe file on the front page of the blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Emotional Stuff

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Firstly, I would like to say thank to all of you who have sent your caring thoughts and healing wishes for my mother.  She continues to improve and will be home again in no time.

Tonight I want to share some words from my friend, Patty.  She posted this on Facebook today and I immediately thought that it may be useful to those of you who are struggling with the loss of a parent and the possessions that are left behind.  Dealing with them can be a challenging and time-consuming process.

Some of us are struggling with our elderly parents; in our care, in their death; in recent passing. My garage downstairs is full of my parents’ lives, and every time I go to unpack it, and sort it, I am taken back to my childhood and the re-living of this emotion is draining and emotionally exhausting. As much as we loved our parents, there’s a lot of “stuff” to be dealt with, in a practical way.

I hope this might help you? The Amen is complimentary.  Light a candle, and say this out loud. Tears are optional. It’s all release. No rules.

Parents Prayer

To my parents, grandparents, and my earthly ancestors who came before me, thank you.
Thank you for your love and guiding wisdom.
Thank you for loving me, every day; in every way.
Thank you for all of your hard work, your concern, and your complete acceptance of me and my spirit.
Thank you for your precious gift of life and love.
It is received with gratitude.
Thank you for our family, for all of the good times, for your precious memories.
I am now able to live my own adult life, and walk with my face towards the sun.
I shall swing my arms with happiness and freedom, knowing that this is what you want me to do.
Mum and dad, I release you, with love. Thank you for everything.
I love you all, forever.
I will remember you with respect and gratitude. Thank you.
I release you all, back to the universe. I release you all; back to the earth and beyond. Thank you.
It is so.

Amen.

2015-06-22 01Remember, it is the memories that are important and will sustain you.  The stuff is a separate issue.

You Must Remember This…..

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Remembering, memories and shared experiences all combine to be part of what we are today.

The past helps to shape the future.

For many people, our memories seem to be inextricably linked to things from the past.  It may be the souvenir trinkets you bought on holiday last week, your college sweater from 30 years ago or great-grandma’s fur wrap.

Eiffel Tower

What would happen if you removed all of this stuff from your life?  Would the memories disappear?  The memories will remain because the human brain is so smart that we do not need physical reminders of events and people from our past.

College sweater
Let us take the college sweater as an example.  Does it add value to your life by being stashed in a box in the attic.  Perhaps it is sharing a box with some old text books or the corsage from your debutante ball and the suit you wore to your first job interview?  If you got rid of the sweater, corsage and suit would that mean that you did not attend college or your debutante ball and the job interview didn’t happen?  No, of course not.  Moving items such as this along will not destroy the memories which you have kept alive, despite having no day-to-day physical connection to the item.

The holiday souvenirs are insidious.  The Eiffel Tower keyring, leprechaun fridge magnet and so on – are these the ‘real’ memories of your visit?  Did you need a keyring or fridge magnet?  Will you forget that you visited France and Ireland if these things are no longer stashed in a shoebox in the top of your wardrobe?  Time to move them on and remind yourself not to be sucked in to buying these knickknacks in the future.  Save your time and money for things that really count and add value.

Then there are the family heirlooms such as that fur wrap.  Do you wear it?  Can it be refashioned into something you will use?  If the answer to both these questions is no, then perhaps you could ask other family members but if no-one wants it perhaps it is time to let it go so that someone can gain some benefit from it.  Think of the alternative – the wrap sits in that box in the attic, gathering dust and probably deteriorating until you depart this earth and someone has to go through your possessions.  It will be tossed out without a second thought.

If you are struggling with decluttering stuff, stop and put yourself in the shoes of your children (or others) who are sorting through your stuff when you are gone.  Ask yourself, “What would they do with this?”  Better still, ask them if they would like the item now.  If they don’t, you can be rest assured that they will not want it in 10, 20 or 50 years time when you are gone.

Boxes in attic
I am not saying that you need to get rid of all of your possessions but rather, we need to evaluate what we have and keep that which is useful, we truly love and which adds value to our lives.  Anything that has been stashed in a box or cupboard for more than a year needs a careful re-assessment.  Depending on what it is, put it on display, use it everydayor refashion it so that it fits with your current needs.  If none of these actions are right, move it along to someone who will love and use it.

Don’t let your memories hold you back.  Let go of some stuff, free up time and space, go and create new memories.  Enjoy!

Memories

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Today is my father’s 84th birthday, however, we are unable to celebrate it with him as he died nearly 12 years ago.  While his death was sudden and unexpected, we are thankful that he did not suffer.

Flowers

I miss my Dad but have many wonderful memories of him and cherish those today and every day.

Memory

Where do memories come from?  How do you create them?  What memories will your children and grandchildren have of you?

Picking strawberries

The shared experiences and activities of today are the memories of tomorrow.