Thursday, June 24, 2010

Earthquakes - Geographical and Political - Canada and Australia

Well, it has been an eventful 24 hours - both geographically and politically - and both earthquakes - shaking up the countries of Canada and Australia.
Canada is not known as a common place to experience earthquakes.  There have been some in the past but are so small that they are not felt; but on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 shortly before 1:45 pm ET, they experienced a moderate one - 5.0 on the Richter scale.  The earthquake's location was the Ontario-Quebec Border Region and its epicenter was about 56 kilometres north-northeast of Ottawa.
The primary location it was felt was Ottawa - the heart of Canadian Politics and in fact, a live news conference on Parliament Hill was shaken up quite a bit and and another politician being interviewed, Environment Minister Jim Prentice, was moved by the impact, but managed to keep his composure.
(Pictured Above - Parliament Hill)
A different kind of earthquake has been felt here in Australia, but I dare say, based on the interview that I just watched of Prime Minister Rudd, I reckon he has kept his dignity and composure, too - you should hold your head up high I say.
I am by far a political expert, but I have always tried to follow the goings on and vote regularly*.  In fact, I can remember completing an assignment in High School in Geography where we covered a National Election and we interviewed the local candidate that was running for the Liberals (Canadian Liberals would be equivalent to the Australian Labors) at the time that Prime Minister Trudeau was up for re-election.
Politics - it is a topic that is sure to raise eyebrows, even make your blood boil and in our family, it can sure turn a everyday discussion into a heated debate! (We're up for it!)  But at the end of the day, it is sad when people in politics lose their ability to see the need for unity even if everyone doesn't agree - particularly, within your own party!  I believe that now, more than ever, we need stability in this country and bringing about a change in leadership isn't going to create that.
So, even if the players in this game reckon they have improved their chances of winning the next election by endorsing conflict within their own party by challenging their leader, I think they had better give their heads a shake and think again.  If they cannot run their own party, how can they expect the Australian people to have confidence that they can run this country!
*spoken by an Australian Resident without voting privileges....maybe it is high time I became a citizen!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All Flours Are Not Created Equal

I have to admit - one of the things that I have so enjoyed about baking in Australia is the self-rising flour.  Oh sure, you can probably buy it in Canada, but it is not as common - at least I never realised it if it was.
So, the beauty is you just bake with self-rising flour and omit baking soda and baking powder. Well, I haven't encountered any problems thus far.
For example, the recipe that I have recently discovered from Allrecipes for chewy chocolate chips was originally written for regular flour & add baking soda, but an Australian version is self-rising flour minus baking soda and voila - 'beautiful' (compliments of George & Gary from MasterChef) cookies!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Travellers' Beware!

Peter and I have been on vacation and have taken a few day trips which have been the 'ole - play it by ear deal.
Well, the funniest thing yesterday was finding our adventure could have been dampened a bit by the 'ole "CLOSED" sign.  Our first stop was to be at the Rustic Cabin.
But alas, God knew that we were meant to keep going and we ended up in Montville and enjoyed the most delicious Devonshire tea up in the mountains instead.
It was lovely - sorry, no pictures.  There was enough sun to keep us toasty and warm, too.
We wandered through the shops...well, I did most of the  Peter took advantage of the "husband parking" offered on the main streets in a few locations - along with a few other boys, too, I might add.
He surprised me a few times by joining me in a couple of stores which was very nice.

As we are on vacation, we were not up with the roosters and hence, our get-away time was after brekky and hence, our Dev tea was enjoyed around noon hour.
So, we continued fluffing a bit too late in the afternoon and alas, you guessed it!
Sorry, the kitchen is closed....lunch is over and dinner has not yet started!
Too funny!  Well, not really 'cause my boy was really needing "some food in his gut" (direct quote!).
So, we both put our heads together and came up with a Plan B - I suggested fish and chips down the mountain - and he suggested we try Maleny - just a short detour from Montville and we found just the place!
Captain Merv's Seafood Cafe fit the bill perfectly and we are bit partial to the name, too - Miss you Merv but we reckon you were smiling down upon us!
We had the best fish and chips in a while and it really hit the spot, too!
God knows just what we need and when we need it!