Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hold on tight

Today a little girl is no longer with her family. She was born damaged, and lived for seven years.

She's in God's arms now.

But her Mum and Dad are still here.

Tonight I am holding my family so tight, and praying for those who are grieving.

We don't know how long we have. We forget just how blessed we are, simply because we are here, we are together and we are safe and well. It's easy to get busy, busy, busy and feel overwhelmed and exhausted from the everyday. We work hard, for a holiday, for a break. But we need to remember to enjoy now.

Luke 12: 16-20

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

So this is a reminder, to me, to you if you need it... enjoy life, and those you love while you have them.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Chicken and Potato Slice

This recipe is one that my Mum used to make. It is one of my favourites, I think I may have even requested it for a birthday dinner once. The name isn't terribly romantic, and I could be creative and rename it, but to me, it is Chicken and Potato Slice. And it is goooood. I don't tend to make it often because it's a little fiddly, but it is well worth it!

Chicken and Potato Slice

Serves 4


500g chicken thigh fillets
3 large potatoes
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 floret brocoli
1 floret cauliflower
1 onion
1/2 cup grated cheese

For the sauce:

4 tbs butter
4 tbs cornflour
2 cups of milk (alternately you can use 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of chicken stock)
2 tsp mustard
4 tsp mayoniase
3 tsp sour cream
1/4 cup of grated cheese

First, put two pots of water on to boil. In one, place the chopped broccoli and cauliflower, and in the other place the potatoes slice thinly. Then fry chopped chicken fillets with garlic, chicken stock, and onion.

Once the vegetables are cooked, (if you hate washing up like me) you can re-use one of the saucepans to cook the sauce. Melt the butter over a low heat, then add the cornflour. Once that makes a paste, gradually add the milk while stirring. Once the sauce has thickened, add the mayonaise, mustard, sour cream and grated cheese.

Once everything is cooked, grease a baking dish, then place the potatoes on the bottom.

Followed by the brocolli and cauliflower.

Then place the chicken on top.

Finally pour over the sauce and sprinkle over the remaining grated cheese.

Then place the dish in a fan forced 180 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the cheese is beautiful and golden. Hopefully something like this.

It even has the Georgie seal of approval!

Also, guess who is being a big girl and drinking cows milk?

Wohoo!!! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the dish if you make it, we did!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I will not go back.....

This past week I have been watching Go back to where you came from, on SBS.

I have found it really, really powerful.

I'm not sure if I even want to write about it. I have never really written about a topic that is so controversial. I tend to steer clear of politics, instead I specialise in light fluff. And I don't know that I can do this justice. I feel like anything I will say about it will be trivial and seem somehow insincere, when put beside the vastness of the issues that the program uncovered.

But at the same time, to not share, to not discuss what that program was, feels like an injustice. Because it is so important. So, I'll do my poor best, and please understand that this incoherent, tentative little post is just that.

If I'm being honest, the topic of refugees isn't one that I ever thought about too much. I thought about it a bit when it came up in the news or in politics. And (like many other Australians I suspect), when Julia Gillard announced her Malaysia solution, I thought it was wrong, but I didn't really do too much more than that. I guess I was too busy wrapped up in my own life to ever pay too much attention.

Go back to where you came from has opened my eyes so much. First and foremost, I think I didn't really have any concept of just how much so many people are suffering. I had no idea of just what it is that Refugees are trying to escape. I knew that their lives were hard and horrible, but to actually see it, so raw and honest, and to meet and get to know the people dealing with that life, took my understanding to a whole new level. I also didn't have much clue of what kind of opinions other Australians really had about the topic. Incidentally I will say, I was impressed that the six participants in the program had such a range of opinions.

Honestly, I don't know what the answer is. I don't think an issue this complex has an easy answer.  I don't know if Australia taking in more and more and more refugees is the solution. I guess I worry that we could take so many different people, especially people of different religions, and then bring with that a whole host of new problems. But at the same time, these are people. Human lives. I also think that many people from foreign nations don't understand what Australia can actually support. We seem like a very large nation, and we are land-wise. But we also cannot support a large population due to out lack of water and other resources. But I do think that we can take more than we do.

On the 'Go back to where you came from' website there was a quiz that asked a few different questions. One of them was 'How does Australia compare to these other countries in terms of refugee's hosted?' We came in eighteenth, just ahead of Cyprus. Eighteenth. America, France, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom were the top five. And in my mind, that is just wrong. Last year, we took 8,250 onshore asylum applications out of the 358, 840 applications received of the 44 industrialized nations. Surely we could do more than that?

I also hadn't really cottoned on to the fact that Malaysia is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention. The idea that Australia is planning on sending any of it's refugee's back (let alone that we are sending them back, how heartbreaking would that be for them?) to a country that does not value human lives. Physical punishment is not okay in our country, but yet we will turn and look away if it happens to the people we've sent to another country? I can't even express it properly.  It just boggles my mind.

Also, as Zoey has said in her post Stand up if You are a Patriot,
They are not illegal. Every person has a right under international law to request asylum. They don't have to be accepted, but they have that right. The right to ask.
 That does not seem to be something that is widely known in Australia.

Really, I could go on for pages and pages. I have so much to say about this issue and I'm sure I've missed out lots of important points. This is just so multifaceted that I feel overwhelmed. It makes me feel grateful for what I have, but helpless to think about what I could do for the so many others who suffer. But I do think that I can do something. I can let the Prime Minister know that I do not support the plan to send people (and children!) back to Malaysia. I can search for more ways to help, and be more active and vocal than I was before. And I can pray, and not forget. I'm sure I will forget to some extent. That same ability that will make me forget some of this is also the same ability that helps refugees forget rape and torture and move on with their lives. So I can't really fault it. But I will try. And if nothing else, this program has made me aware. Like Bahati's brother Masudi said

'The big problem for this world is to educate the system to touch... the heart. If I touch your heart, you are able to understand me.'  

It sounds sentimental and romantic, and many people might treat it as such. But, through this program, and these people, my heart was touched, and I will never be as silent or as ignorant as I was before.

This one's going in Friday's Flog yo blog over with Glowless.

And if you haven't watched Go back to where you came from, please do. It hurts, but it's important.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: An Introduction

I've decided to start doing something a bit different. Every week, I'm going to try to cook something new.

I've been in the doldrums a little with food lately. Just a bit over it. I know morning sickness probably hasn't been helping too much. But now I'm feeling better and I want to give myself a little motivation and inspiration.

So I'm going to try to cook something different and sharing it here on Tuesdays. It might not be fancy-pants-gourmet food. I can't really see this becoming a foodie blog.  But it will be something different to the usual meat and three veg, spaghetti bolognaise or basic chicken stir-fry, all of which seem to make a regular appearance on our dinner table. I'm also not just limiting myself to dinner, I might try making an interesting dessert, or something for morning tea. But I just feel like my cooking needs a bit of a shake-up at the moment.

I'm hardly a master chef. But I can cook. I am not a terribly precise cook. I rarely measure things. I tend to be more of a do-it-as-you-go cook. My sister Jenny doesn't get my cooking at all, she is a precise cook and watches me in disbelief and horror sometimes. So I will post recipes and photos, but many times my recipes may include a pinch of this or a splash of that, so you'll just have to bear with me if you give my recipes a go (and probably just look the the other way of you are a precise cook!) The recipes won't be fancy. I rarely use cream, I tend to just use the types of ingredients I have in the house most of the time, unless it's a special occasion. I also don't have a Thermomix or a Kitchenaid. (sob!) I do have a Food Processor, but still haven't quite figured that one out, most of my recipes will be quite basic, so don't expect to see any of this kind of thing!

Image taken from here
It's funny. If I actually had to describe my cooking I'd say I'm a lucky cook. I have made some spectacular things in my time, I went through a cupcake craze, and once had a go at making my first ever sponge cake for my Grandma's birthday. The cake turned out really well, (surprisingly!) but I learned a very important lesson about turning egg-beaters off at the power socket before you fiddle with beaters. My poor hands got a bit twisted and sore, but I managed to do no lasting damage! Luckily, most of my flops seem to be reserved for the family dinner table. But fortunately for me Shane is not very picky, and will try most things. He's honest, and will tell me if he doesn't like something. But he will try it.

I was actually going to take photos and share the recipe of something different I cooked last night. But thanks to Ergon and their power supply stuff ups, I ended up going over to Mum's and cooking dinner yesterday afternoon, so I didn't get any photos. But I will begin next week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tonight I am dreaming of a holiday....

Photo courtesy of

Hopefully I will be here come October :)
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