Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wordless Wednesday : The Mighty Darling

Old North Bourke Bridge - Friday !

Paddle boats were the major transportation means with wool and other produce, travelling all the way from the rail head at Bourke to the Murray junction at Wentworth. 
  PV Jandra is a faithful reproduction of the original 1894 steam paddle boat. We didn't get to cruise it.
It has been badly affected by drough, salinity and runs through very flat country and plains ...hence the murky , muddy look.

The Historic wharf is very impressive. The three-tiered wharf is a reproduction of the original wharf built in 1897.

The Darling River was busy with boats carrying wool bales and prodcue -

Port of Bourke was once Australia’s busiest inland ports.

Sunday - I ran across here - not to the end as it has been barricaded. The Bridge opened up here - from the look of it.

Last weekend we headed to Bourke to give the enthusiastic folk of far Western NSW a try of Dragon Boating, on the Darling River - the outback's most famous waterway.
The Darling River is the third longest river in Australia, 1,472 kilometres from its source in northern New South Wales to its confluence with the Murray River at Wentworth, NSW

Officially the Darling River begins between Brewarrina and Bourke at the confluence of the Culgoa and Barwon rivers. Wikipedia

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Season of Salt and Honey

How very appropriate when I am living on $2 a day that I finally get around to this delightful book review.

Hannah Tunnicliffe brings us a heart-warming novel of love, grief and antipasto.
Yes please !

I adored reading Season of Salt & Honey. I've savoured it, drooled over it and I could read it again and again.

I see nuts ...oh my giddy gums.
Season of Salt and Honey takes us on an inspirational, mouthwatering journey of the senses, set in the idyllic Washington forest and accompanied with gorgeous Sicilian-American recipes.
Yes, food features promimently and I am going to try the recipes ...spring rissotto and the banana bread. OH I AM so Hungry for both right now!!
This is one of those rare books that warms you from the inside out (like a warm bowl of porridge or apple crumble) , a delightful read that will inspire all foodies

...or those who like to eat it.
Francesca 'Frankie' Caputo had it all figured out , but a tragic, freak accident cuts her fiancĂ© Alex's life short  . Frankie's future plans disintegrate and her world is shattered. Drowning in grief, Frankie flees to an abandoned cabin in a remote part of Washington forest.

Seeking comfort in solitude, Frankie is hesitant as she connects with her forest neighbours - the effervescent, flame-haired Merriem, quiet , tenacious Jack and his highly spirited and sprite-like daughter, Huia.
Frankie discovers freedom and finds hope , both exhilarating and unsettling as her heart slowly begins to heal ;  broken relationships are mended. Then Alex's secret haunts her, Frankie realises her once perfect life was a lie, life crashes around her. Oceans of grief threaten to take Frankie down until you'll have to go buy the book.

"A beautiful exploration of love and loss, and the ways in which unexpected family, new and old friends, and even a spring risotto and warm banana bread can bring comfort, change, and hope." --Mia March, author of The Meryl Streep Movie Club

I am going to track down The Colour of Tea - Hannah's first novel.

So my live below the line on $2  a day -34 /120 hours down.

 I realise a lot of time I just think I am hungry - although now I am hungrier thinking about all the recipes and things I love to eat.

It's both unsettling and unsurprisingly an experience I couldn't imagine living every day . Food or eating is life altering - our lives revolve around it -not just depend on it. Choices and abundance, I am blessed with a full plate (except this week)

Obesity is preventable and I do acknowledge that choosing healthy food is a privilege of those who are cashed up. So is affording chocolate , fine wine, cheese , fruit and vegetables. Those who live below the line might not always be hungry but their choices are limited.

Many of the $10 diets posted in the Live below the line group are full of white carbs - pasta, white rice and white bread. It is all we afford. Do you buy one red apple or a packet of pasta to feed five people ???

Salt , sugar and even honey is a luxury too - it must be calculated in the $2 equation ...I allow for 2g brown sugar on my morning porridge / 30g rolled oats.

My own waistline has expanded somewhat over the last few months and my winter clothes are uncomfortably snug. Reluctant to  waist  waste money on new clothes when my others are still in good condition , I'm going to re-think how full my plate is and reduce my portions. I'm already quite active.

So today's menu
Breakfast -as above.
SNACK - 1 zucchini and carrot slice/muffin (I made 6 from 2 eggs, carrot, zucchini and 1/2 onion)
LUNCH - pre-made pumpkin soup (I slow roasted pumpkin for flavour) - 1 slice wholemeal bread.
DINNER  -brown rice and vegies for dinner.

I'm re-using my tea bags (4 is my daily allowance)  and drinking black tea every 2nd cup (the re-used bags). Lots of water .

What would you choose an apple or pasta for 5 meals ?

If you would like to donate - even $5 counts ...

*Released 1st April by Pan Macmillan.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Live below the line

I must confess , though this is the 5th year of the Live below the Line - an anti poverty initiative - it's the first year I've heard about it, let alone contemplated what it means to live on $2 day food.

So I'm challenging myself to eat on $2 a day for five days; raise funds and help end extreme poverty.

Live Below the Line is the annual fundraising campaign for Oaktree, one of Australia’s largest youth-run organisations. It is a tough but meaningful challenge.

As well as gaining a unique insight into some of the challenges faced by those living in extreme poverty - it might help me reduce my waistline.

Strictly planned meals, a few hunger pains and the odd whine because a $2.49 Aldi vino couldn't be squeezed in. Though I went over a year without wine or any alcohol after chemo, I confess that I will miss it this week.

It will be tough, there is no denying I will feel deprived and h'angry.
The decisions about what to include in my $10 has felt overwhelming.
Yes, I exaggerate.

My cup of tea was not negotiable - I budgeted for 25 cups of tea @ 3.5c per bag.
Milk each drop must be counted too.

I got out my scales and calculated 2g (per day) of brown sugar would suffice on my warm 'creamy' porridge -using 30g rolled oats with 20mls of milk.

Free range eggs x 5 , it is my choice not to go against my principles and use cage eggs - though I'd get more for my money. I realise others don't have this choice.

Wholemeal bread too - though my 10 slice allowance will equal the cost of 85c white trash bread.

Brown rice @ 14c per 100g - easy.
Carrots x 6 - under 50c !
Zucchini x 3  = 97 c

I will make my own tortillas and maybe pancakes using flour. The challenge itself it to make people, as privileged as we are, more understanding of the challenges people who earn very little face when it comes to feeding themselves

The rest of my plan is still under construction depending on what bargains I find shopping today. I do need to add fruit. 

Oaktree works in partnership with local organisations in Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. Oaktree’s overseas partners train teachers, fund scholarships, renovate schools and provide educational resources for thousands of young people.

Credit - Live below the line.

The spirit of the campaign is to raise money and awareness. My husband was not a willing participant and sons are not participating with me. I decided to just calculate what I'll use from my pantry. So 10g of brown sugar is in and so are my 25 teabags.

Stay tuned for updates.

Credit - Live below the line.

My fundraising link is at the bottom if you would like to donate the cost of one of your favourite meals or even a cup of coffee.

Credit - Live below the line.

What luxury food would you miss the most ?

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