Animals Australia: the voice for animals

Animals Australia: the voice for animals
Love life? Love all of life

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kath and Kim: tunnelling through

It is nearly ready! Melbourne's latest Freeway - the Mitcham to Frankston or the Scoresby as it is often known. It is only ten minutes from Upper Gully and Miss Eagle will probably love its convenience. Shame on me - as I remember the beautiful farmland it subsumed - including a place with miniature ponies.
Herself can be a clever drawers at times and - as soon as she heard the announcement - she had the names: Kath and Kim.
I don't think the names are worth entering because you see, dear Reader, there are guidelines. And, after a read of those, it seems that Kath and Kim may not cut the mustard.
But that, dear Reader, should not really matter. The tunnels can have a flash, guide-line meeting name for the toffs. But for the rest of us we know that, just as at Fountain Gate in south-east Melbourne, Kath and Kim are stars so their names can become through common and widespread usage the names for the stars of convenience in private transport in south-east Melbourne.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Aussie Farmers Direct

Herself has signed us up. First delivery is yet to arrive. Someone knocked at the door - and it seems like a great way to support our farmers. You see in Australia our grocery retailing is in the hands of a duopoly - Woolworths and Coles. There are independents - an Australia wide one IGA and locally there is Maxi. Here at The Trad Pad, Maxi is our preferred grocery retailer but we do shop at Woolworths when it suits - for very good specials or a particular product. You see we don't want to give most of our grocery dollar to supporting the market dominance of Woolworths - not only in groceries but in hotels, liquor retailing, and poker machines. What do you think, dear Reader, when you see the Roll Back poster in Woolworths proudly boasting that they are rolling back prices? Miss Eagle thinks there are two possibilities:
  1. This is untrue - and prices are not rolling back i.e. when are they rolling back to? - are they rolling back on every item or only some items?
  2. This is true - but how is the rolling back being done and at whose expense? Stories persist of farmers being squeezed; of farmers being flooded with paperwork as Woolworths imposes their auditing procedures upon them. And what about employees - are their wages and working hours and intensity of work being squeezed too? Are suppliers being forced to cut and cut their prices to get shelf space to put their products up front?

Miss Eagle suspects that the answer to each question is in the affirmative. Woolworths are progressively introducing their trendy looking house brand, Select. Some stories are around that Select is gradually taking shelf space away from other wholesalers. In other words, Woolworths are not giving existing suppliers a fair deal. Dear Reader, if you are not already taking time to check the labels on all the products that go into your shopping basket - please do so from now on. To whom are you transferring the power of your grocery dollar vote? Towards Australian business and employment or to foreign businesses who do not pay their employees well, who do not meet appropriate environmental standards? If you think this is exaggerated, Woolworths had to answer questions recently about Select brand toilet paper which had its source in unsustainable forest harvesting.

As a consumer, dear Reader, are you prepared to be relieved of what power you might have and give the decision-making to large corporations to make decisions in their own interests which, in the end, may not be in your best interests?

So, here at The Trad Pad, we are willing to give Aussie Farmers Direct a go.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A heart for French Provincial

Let me put it on the record. Here at The Trad Pad we love things French Provincial. This means that Herself and Miss Eagle take a regular fix by visiting Provincial Home Living at Nunawading on a regular basis. Now, what I would really love to purchase there is their large bookcase, the one with the ladder. Ho, hum. Not on the financial or space agenda here at The Trad Pad. But, I usually walk away with a tidbit or two. Herself had to have a bird cage (only ornamental birds at The Trad Pad) and a pair of golden mesh food covers. Miss Eagle came away with a set of three heart-shaped biscuit cutters in their own metal case, some new tea-towels, and three little white hens with which something interesting needs to be done. As you can see below, as if I needed another biscuit cutter. So, I had to bake something that would justify a graduate set of hearts. Using the small and large cutters, I made biscuit pairs with pink icing in the middle and on top and multi-coloured cachous. Won't make them too often because the icing makes them s-o-o sweet. You virtually have to eat them like cakes by slicing them up into smaller pieces! But the biscuit pastry is lovely and the recipe is below. Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups of butter or margarine
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 4 cups of plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Thoroughly cream butter and sugar
  • Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract
  • Beat well
  • Stir together flour and baking powder
  • Gradually add the creamed mixture, mixing to make a smooth dough.
  • Roll out
  • Cut into shapes
  • Bake for 6 to 8 minutes
  • Cool on rack
  • Ice

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Paradise, Cinnamon, Crunch and Apple Crumble

I'm here, back, arrived. Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated - in spite of my illness, Herself's illness, and general busy-ness and Spring fever which can be seen over at The Trad Pad. Just popped in to tell you about something I did differently for dessert recently. Instead of the usual topping on the Apple Crumble, this packet of Made and Owned in Australia (and isn't that Paradise), Paradise Cinnamon Crunch got crumbled up, sprinkled over the apples, and dotted with butter. Miss Eagle thought it was absolutely scrumptious and highly commends it. Herself said is was "all right" but preferred the traditional topping.