Tuesday, May 21, 2019

All things compost



Over at the Gully Grove website, I've written about all our composting attempts to date. It was interesting for me to revisit where it all began, to where we ended up! If you want to read the new update, visit Compost Gully.

Just a quick update, on the comment box on my website too - Weebly has determined it's a bug, and is endeavouring to fix the "notify of reply" check-box. You can still comment, with no problems. But the tick won't appear, if you click the option to be notified of follow-up comments.

Passionfruit slice

My kitchen has been getting a workout recently. The things I've had to bake in the last week, are a birthday cake, and some bake wares for my son's school. The latter was to raise funds on voting day (last Saturday) as they ran a baking stall, and sausage sizzle at the school - where people vote.

I made caramel popcorn. Yum! But do you think I remembered to take a photo? Good news is, the stall was a resounding success. So all those kitchens around the community, baked up a storm!

But this post is about, Passionfruit slice. I have a gluten free version (which I personally think tastes better) but will share the regular flour recipe, in the "variations", down the very bottom.


These two ingredients are staples in my pantry ~
but you can use fresh passionfruit, if it's in season for you



PASSIONFRUIT SLICE


Preheat oven 170 C (fan-forced) or 180 standard oven
Grease and line a slice pan


 Ingredients pressed in pan, ready to bake

STEP 1 (BASE):


Combine 1/2 cup plain, Gluten free flour *
                1/4 cup almond meal *
                1/4 cup buckwheat flour *
                1 cup desiccated coconut
                1/2 cup white sugar
                1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
                125g melted butter
                1 tea vanilla


  • Mix together in bowl, until well combined - then press into slice pan.
  • Bake 15 minutes, or just golden brown. Don't over bake. Cool slightly.



A little overdone - aim for "just" gold brown



Reduce oven temperature to 120 C (fan-forced) 130 standard oven


STEP 2 (TOPPING):

              
Combine 1x 395g can of condensed milk
                1x 170g can of passionfruit pulp *
                juice of one lemon


  • Mix together in bowl, until well combined - then pour and spread over base.
  • Bake 10 minutes, or until set. 
  • Cool, then slice into individual portions. Store in fridge, in a sealed container.



Glossy after baking


(*) VARIATIONS:


For all those questions you may want to ask, about ingredient substitutions

  • Substitute the 1/2 cup Gluten free flour, for regular flour, OR,
  • Substitute the first 3 dry ingredients (base) with 1 cup regular flour, OR,
  • Substitute the first 3 dry ingredients (base) with 1 cup Gluten Free flour
  • Substitute canned passionfruit pulp with 2x fresh passionfruit (just the pulp)
  • Add zest, as well as juice of the lemon, if you like tart. Otherwise just the juice 
  • A slightly larger can of condensed milk (up to 410g) is fine


Enjoy!


While I personally love tart flavours, and will enthusiastically add both the zest and juice, to most recipes - it tends to overpower the flavour of passionfruit, in this one. So it's one of those extremely rare recipes, I will opt for the zest OR the juice. The latter, is more palatable for children.  

Once finished, the base should be chewy, and the topping like a soft gelatin, which will keep it's form, once cut.

If you're wondering why I add the buckwheat flour and almond meal - it adds depth of flavour (and a few more nutrients) to what is otherwise, just white flour and coconut for the base. This is unashamedly, an indulgent, sweet treat. But any way I can slip in a few more nutrients, and improve the flavour, I will.

After sitting down and writing about this slice, I think I can hear it calling from from fridge! Most likely, it's just my stomach talking, lol. I missed lunch.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Before we were...

I have promised a Passionfruit-slice recipe, which was meant to be the very next post. However, I couldn't let Mother's day pass, without a tribute, first. This special day is a happy time for some, and a sad one, for others. Mothers who have passed away, and some who struggle, to live up to the title - well, life is not always fair like that. Yet we hold "mother" as the gracious role it was meant to be.



My mum & I, on my wedding day ~ 2013
6 months pregnant with my first child


Like all mums (myself included) we are not perfect. Yet they endeavour to be there, for all the important things. Like being ready with a band-aid, when kids fall from their bikes. A hug when they feel uncertain. Home-made meals, only mum can make. They teach us it's okay to fail, and more importantly, how to get back up again. Basically, they try to be there, to help shape us into decent human-beings.

My mum is getting older. I am getting older too. So are my kids. It's all happening the way it should. Yet, how easy is it, to get caught in the busyness of life, and forget how important the ones who went before us, really are? Does it matter what we're doing, if we forget them? For me at least, life starts to lose more of it's meaning, when glossing over the ones who came before us. I know all too well, life can be stressful and take my eyes away. And the needs of my own kids, don't take care of themselves either.

So how do you balance it all together?


My youngest, makes a heart ~ he will turn six, soon


As my mother taught me - each day is a brand new one, and (if you're lucky) you get to start all over again. So start each day, like it's a new opportunity to do better. Hindsight only comes, if we give ourselves the benefit of patience, grace and humility, to change. This applies, whether we are mothers or not. I wasn't a mother, when she taught me this. But oh, how I've needed that wisdom, when I threaten to come undone as one. Or maybe, even just as a human being.

Patience, grace and humility have more value, than any kind of busyness which can occupy us. Because it purchases the coveted ticket, of gaining wisdom. Something, I might add, I'm still attempting to do! Because life (at this point in time) is extremely busy. But I'm fortunate to have my family, still with me. To remind me, what it's all for.

At some point, the baton will pass to my own children. And I hope through all their busyness (that comes with life) they will see the seed of wisdom, my own mother planted in me. So they too, may blossom with this understanding. For it's an imperfect world, we live - and each day, is a brand new one.


Friday, May 10, 2019

Update



For all those who still keep me in their blog lists - thank you! I will leave a notification here, every time I do a blog post (see the latest) on my new property website. 

I will still be blogging here, just not in as much detail, about the property. It's more to do with my life, family, cooking and other stuff. Although I'm sure the property will still be mentioned here, from time to time. Just not in as much detail.

I have not forgotten that Passionfruit slice recipe, Meg *wink*. I intend to share that (here) next.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Technical difficulties

Photo by burak kostak from Pexels


Well it cannot be a true unveiling, unless something goes wrong. Like going live, with my new website today, lol. I realise the Disqus comment box is becoming an issue, so I've reverted to the Weebly default comment box, - in hopes Weebly will help me fix it again. Doing what I can behind the scenes, but I'm waiting for their feedback. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

You can actually make a comment successfully, using the default. But the checkbox which says, "Notify me of new comments..." doesn't apply a tick, when clicked. Even though the service will be engaged, if you click it once. It's terribly confusing.

I'm just going to be good humoured about it all, and chalk it up to a learning experience. So folks, you're free to still visit my site - it's live. You can even comment via the default comment box, without any unnecessary hoops to jump through to sign in. Just a name, email and optional website address. But you may get confused when it comes to checking the "Notify me of new comments" box.

I'll post updates, as they come. Hoping the default can be fixed. But for now, thanks for your patience folks.

Lift off

Image by IO-Images from Pixabay


Guess what folks? I was able to string enough time together, over the long weekend, to finally complete my website. YAY! If you just want the fun of exploring the new website, all on your own, visit gullygrove.com now. It's a fairly basic website (nothing too fancy) but I enjoyed putting together all the little details, which say - this is what we're all about.

If you want a bit more information, namely about the comment box, here's the brief to help navigate.

**At present, I've switched to the Weebly default comment box again. To see if Weebly can help me fix the issue. So if you don't see the "Disqus" comment box (outlined below) that's why. Sorry for any confusion this is causing. I realise Disqus may be limiting your ability to contribute, so please disregard all of the below - for now.**

I was going to use the Weebly default, comment box, but there was an issue getting the notification of replies, to work. Which is an important feature. Opting for the third-party, Disqus comment box, not only fixed that problem, but has several more advantages:


  • Sign-in with existing Google, Facebook, Twitter or Disqus, social media accounts
  • Avatar image, distinguishes your comment
  • Pre-filled data, avoids unnecessary typing, every time you comment
  • Stores all your comments, in one place - from any website, using Disqus
  • Edit or Delete your comments
  • Easily add, images, gifs, links or video to comments
  • Rich text options (like bold, italics, underline and strikethrough)
  • Receive notifications of comments and replies, via the registered email
  • Immediate publishing of comments


Don't despair, if you only wish to comment as a guest - that option is also provided. Just click inside the comment box, and tick the box, which says, "I'd rather post as a guest". See this article, for a more detailed explanation. If you opt for this, please write your name and/or your blog name (ie: Chris, or Chris@GullyGrove) so I'll recognise you. It's not necessary, but I wouldn't want to miss a regular commenter, from this blog.

The 3 main disadvantages of the guest post (must there always be a downside?) are:


  • No email notifications of subsequent replies
  • Cannot edit or delete, once posted
  • Requires moderating, before publishing (sorry about this one, but it's out of my control)

If you have any questions or concerns about the comment box, let me know. While I have disabled the captcha verification process, I'm not sure if it still requires a checkbox (as a guest) to verify you're human. As opposed to a spam bot, lol. I know that process is annoying, but I suppose it prevents spamming.

UPDATE: Due to feedback on the possibility of information being collected, using Disqus, I'm including some links to the Opt-out feature, for tracking - as well as, how to make your Activity Private. Which are added layers of protection, while using Disqus.


Saturday, May 4, 2019

The blog boggler

What title could adequately describe, a conundrum, of the many different ways to set-up a blog? Nothing short of a tongue-twister, would do. Because that's what it feels like, trying to sift through all the options, and find ONE that's right for you. Luckily, I just finished torturing myself with the learning process - so I can shed a bit of light on what's involved, for others.

Basically, it's a choice between a company that specialises in making blogging as EASY, and user friendly as possible - for both the author, and the audience. Like Blogger and Wordpress. They have free blogs, with ready-made templates for you to move straight in to.

The second option, is to set up a blog, through a website.




The latter, it's a little more complicated, than just blogging. It requires creating a whole new website, for your blog to nestle into. This includes designing different pages from scratch (Home, About, etc) your website logo, and branding. This is all before getting to the blogging part! In some website builders, you construct each blog post from scratch too. Every. Single. Time. Luckily, I enjoy doing all that stuff as well.

With your own website, there is the possibility of running into technical problems. Which I've encountered recently, with Weebly. One of the elements weren't working, in the comment box. After many volleys between myself and the support team, I decided to nix the default comment box, Weebly supplied - and go with a third party, one.

Another third party, getting involved with my comment box!! Recollections of Google+. Thankfully Disqus has been operating for a long time, and many of the websites I follow, like Geoff Lawton's, also uses this embedded comment box. It provides the option to change web hosting companies, in future too, without losing my comments. As Disqus can be migrated over.




Bear in mind however, the price for your own website freedom, is to take full responsibility for running it. From conception, content creation and maintaining all the bits, which plug into it. That's the huge difference, and why I would encourage others to stay with their user-friendly blogging platforms - unless, you have a good reason to have your own website. Because it is a lot of responsibility, just to blog!

Thankfully for me, this new website happens to coincide with a few items, I've been wanting to cross off my bucket-list. So it's something I want to achieve. These new responsibilities, are a learning opportunity, and valuable skill-set to add to my repertoire. If I didn't have that drive and purpose though, I may not enjoy what can sometimes feel like a torturous learning curve.

Please let me know, why you would consider setting up your own website? Even if you're not in a position to follow through. Because it doesn't hurt to imagine what's possible.