Friday, June 25, 2010

ya been out?

The paparazzi were in the line-up again today to capture the action; with dedicated focus on our respective husbands.  Unknown characters did not make it through the shutter.  

Still windy, still firing.  Aquaman content with things.

That's the last of the green room action for a while as we are off to Bali for three weeks to meet friends and family.  Tom's gills will have almost closed over by the time we get back.

joy of vegan baking

The next installment in my community vegan awareness program features a fool proof banana loaf and easy banana biscuits.  Just the solution for an oversupply of mushy bananas.  

banana oat bikkies

2        mashed bananas
1/2 C  honey
2 C     oats
1 C     plain flour
2 t      baking soda
1/3 C  chopped nuts & raisins
good shake of cinnamon

Sift flour and baking soda.  Add other ingredients & mix.
Drop teaspoons onto baking tray.
Bake at 180C for around 15 mins or until browned.

banana & lemon loaf

2 C     plain flour
1 ½ t  baking powder
1 t      bi carb soda
1/3 C  canola or coconut oil
¾ C    honey or agave
2/3 C  soy milk
¼ C    lemon juice
1 t      lemon zest
1 t      vanilla
2 t      apple cider vinegar
2        mashed bananas
2 T     sunflower seeds or poppy seeds

Sift flour, baking powder & bi carb soda.
Mix together remaining ingredients.
Add wet to dry and mix until combined.
Bake in loaf or cake tin at 180C for 20 mins or until skewer comes out clean.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

taking on the wind

20 knot offshore, 10 foot swell, 6’8” board.   It'll do for a day in the office.

Smiles all round from Aquaman and Jo Newburn (USA).


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

pool time

While Jen is here from Hawaii, the afternoon invariably finds me at the hotel for a cuppa, spot of lounging and a dip in the pool.  Perhaps a game of cards, Rummikub or frisbee, depending on the level of exertion desired.  Jen has a thing for a hot drink with her feet in cold water; I can work with that.  

best laid plans

We were meant to go to Bali yesterday, but the ferry is cancelled all week due to strong winds and swell.  The conditions in the Straits of Death are such that all boats have been advised to stay in harbour until further notice.

Yesteray there were four chartered flights to and from the mainland, using a 12 seater plane from an Australian mining company.  Form all accounts, the scene at the airport was a shit fight, with passengers waiting up to five hours to get on, or be turfed off at the last minute. He with the most cash wins.

It is blowing 25 - 30 knots and the Beaufort wind scale states conditions as "strong breeze" to "near gale" 

Indicators for a strong breeze are: large tree branches move,  telephone wires begin to whistle, umbrellas are difficult to keep under control. Larger waves form, whitecaps prevalent, spray.

In near gale conditions : large trees sway, becoming difficult to walk.
Larger waves develop, white foam from breaking waves begins to be blown.

I'm not sure about the umbrellas or telephone wires, but can tick swaying coconuts and whitecaps.  I could add a column for "amount of crap blowing into the house". 

The kiteboarders are loving it.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

boaties breakfast

A hot ticket item on the annual social calendar is the exclusive breakfast invite aboard the Sama-Sama, a 20 metre teak charter yacht.  This year six of us were transferred by dingy to the floating delights of a buffet with the boat's Austrian owners, Gerfreid and Suzannah.

The Balinese chef baked fresh bread, brewed coffee, and laid out a Continental spread of fruit, cheese and cereal.  All served with a flying fish's eye view of the wave and lagoon.  We are so enamoured of the boat's spacious interior, deck space and cruising potential, that there is talk of a few nights aboard in 2011, into the great blue expanse of Indo's ocean swell.  I wonder if they'll take me on as the tea lady?

Thanks to Jen Battles for photos.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

tri-harders picnic

All three members of our newly formed Tri-harder Club pack a picnic and ride the arduous eight kms to a quiet beach on the windward side of the island.  The objects of the morning outing are swim, beachcomb, eat, beachcomb, eat.  Then return home for a cup of tea and to show off our shell collection to less-than-interested husbands. 

running repairs

Bigger swell has taken its toll on Aquaman's 7' gun.  Firstly the leg rope busted the plug, then after being attached with some old school resin techniques, it cut down through the tail of the board.  Secretly, I think he loves having his other woman belly up on the kitchen table :)

gourmet food week

It isn't often the planets align to provide avocado, lemons and almonds at the same time. When they do, the situation calls for raw key lime pie, especially when we have American visitors to share it with.  Long John donated a packet of Arnotts water crackers, four tomatoes and a jar of pesto to the party, and declared "Gourmet Food Week" officially open. 

Served with my version of gingerale; made using the fresh juice from the lontar palm, ginger, lemon juice and ice.  Just the ticket for washing down lime pie on a warm afternoon.

raw key lime pie (simple island version)
2 C almond meal left over from making almond milk
2 T honey
2 T coconut oil

Combine all ingredients and press dough into tart pan and refridgerate until firm.

3 avocados
1/3 C honey
1/3 C coconut oil
about 1/4 C lime/lemon juice and zest 

Blend together, pour into tart shell and freeze until firm.
raw key lime pie (gourmet version)

2 1/4 C cashews, crushed
2 T honey/agave
1 T coconut oil
1 T date paste (dates soaked and pureed) 

Combine all ingredients and press dough into tart pan and refridgerate until firm.

3 C cashews, soaked for 1 hour
1 C lime/lemon juice
3/4 C honey/agave
3/4 C coconut oil
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 C lime zest

Blend all until smooth.  Fill crust and freeze until firm.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

new kids on the block

Our camp is home to many inquisitive goats ,and over the past month he mummas have been popping out kids just in time to feast on the remaining green grass before the dry season.  Their bleets can be heard as they explore their new surrounds; leaping, running,  climbing, but never straying too far from mum.   My favourites are these tiny twins.  We haven't named them yet - any creative suggestions?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

day of the triffids

The biggest success story in our garden is the native vine growing over the back patio.  We struck some cuttings from The Bay's house last year, and since we have been able to keep the goats out of the yard, the vine is powering at a rate of around 30 cm per week!  
Our original plan was bougainvillea, but it wasn't happy with the brackish water.  The native vine can be found on the beach, so we provide the perfect sandy, salty conditions. The hope is that it will cover our shower courtyard and tankstand.  Grow, baby, grow.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

salad days

Rocket and alfalfa sprout salad with a papaya and tomato dressing.  Greens fresh from our garden, sprouts from the kitchen and papaya home delivered from the village.  This combination of ingredients is not available at the local warung. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

beach breakast

Forget about tequila and sex on the beach.  Green smoothies are where it's atOur breakfast staple - banana, papaya, ginger, greens, lemon juice, water.  Gets your motor running. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

vegan bakeathon

I love baking.  LOVE it.  My motto used to be: “when in doubt, bake.” Some friends would argue that the hardest thing about adjusting to my raw lifestyle is the lack of baked goodies they receive!

The combination and transformation of individual ingredients into a new form, in a short amount of time, thrills the creative scanner within.   I like to tweak the formula; add my own style; play around with quantities and substitutions, especially when converting a traditional recipe to a vegan treat.
 Correct, these baked morsels are far from “whole, fresh, ripe and raw”; however they are vegan, so no animals have suffered in the making of this afternoon tea.  I see it as part of my "vegan baking awareness program" for our carnivorous friends.  Proof that you can make delicious cakes and biscuits without using animal products.
I brought the old kerosene oven out of retirement and braved the fumes and black soot to make three new recipes.  We had actually given the oven away to Bingin Mick and Long John, so I had to borrow it back with promise of returning it and some of the bounty.

I took half of the produce to the hotel for afternoon tea by the pool with Hildi, John, Bill and Jen.  The other half went to three very hungry and grateful surfers.

Notes :
For all of the recipes I used almond "meal" left over from making almond milk.
I used cold pressed coconut oil, but canola/vegetable oil would also work.
The original recipes had some sugar, which I omitted.  Sweet enough.
My cakes are a bit flat, because the kero oven doesn't get hot enough.

almond green tea cake (round cake in photo - missing a chunk thanks to Tom)

1 ½  cup plain flour
½  cup almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bi-carb soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼  cup  brewed green tea
½ cup honey (or agave)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup dates/raisins/cranberries

1.  preheat oven to 180C. grease 9" springform pan.
2.  sift flour with baking powder & bi-carb soda
3.  mix flour, almond meal & cinnamon
4.  in another bowl, whisk together green tea, honey, coconut oil, vinegar, vanilla, and dried fruit.
5.  add the wet to dry and whisk until just combined. do not overmix.
6.  bake 50 min (or until skewer comes out clean). cool for 30 and remove from pan.

orange & almond cake (loaf tin in photo)

1 ¼ cups plain flour
1 ¼ cups almond meal
3 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup light soft brown sugar (I used honey, worked fine)
½ cup soy milk
½ cup vegetable oil
juice of 1 orange & 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange & 1 lemon

1.  preheat the oven to 180C
2.  combine the flour, baking powder and almond meal in a large bowl.
3.  in a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, soy milk, oil, juice and zest.
4.  add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
5.  pour the mixture into a greased & lined cake  or loaf tin 
6.  bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cake browns very slightly on top and a skewer comes out clean.
7.  leave the cake in the the tin for around 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.

surfer's balls (or almond muesli bikkies if you prefer)
2 cups plain flour
½ cup muesli (or mix of seeds and dry fruit, I used sunflower seeds & cranberries)
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup shredded coconut (or coconut flour)
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup honey (or agave)
¼ cup water
3 tsp vanilla extract
1.  preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof/parchment paper.
2.  combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
3.  make a well in the dry ingredients, add all wet ingredients, and stir together.
4.  take roughly 1 tablespoon blobs of mix, roll into a ball & flatten into cookie shape on the paper. 
5.  bake for 15-20 minutes. cool on a wire rack.

Monday, June 7, 2010

freedom from Monday-itis

Who needs Sunday when you have Monday?  

While the boys are out being watermen, the girls are letting time slide by with drinks, nibbles and rollicking stories.  As the sun sinks, Jen & Hildi's green tea subsides to almond liqueur, then to gin and tonic.  I keep the kettle boiled and battle the inner demon that wants to devour the whole plate of vegan brownies.

This beautiful bowl was made by Hildi's cousin, a Norwegian artist, using an antique doily as a relief pattern.  Just the vessel for holding your nori sheets.

stand up and be counted

Sal & Jen in stand-up style
I have found my calling in this watery world - stand up paddleboarding (SUP).  I was about to hang up the surfboard and stick to swimming, for want of a pain free neck and shoulder girdle, then Bingin Mick lent me his stand up and I had an epiphany. 

This morning, a few of us decide to do a circuit across the lagoon, out the channel to the ocean side of the reef, behind the wave and back to shore.  A distance of around 4 km.  Going out is joy, breeze at our back, fish milling below, all is well.  Then the off shore picks up and we are fighting our way to keep on course. 

I am on a wave-riding SUP with drop rails; the wind chop is swamping my board and my body is acting as a sail.  As my shoulder fatigues, I'm on a quick course toward Africa.  Help!  Thankfully, the hotel boat is in the area with some guests spearfishing, so I wave my paddle in desperation and bum a lift to shore.

My new passion is untarnished, but I think I'll stay inside the lagoon unless the winds are on-shore. 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hawaiian special roast

almond milk frappucino on a Sunday morning
Bill and Jen are from Maui, and we became friends when they first visited the island in 2007.  They always bring a packet of the finest Hawaiian coffee, and our rubber arms are twisted to indulge regularly while they are here.  

On their first visit, our only furniture was a mattress on the floor and a couple of wooden stools Tom made from scrap timber.  We didn't have power or running water, and had just been catapulted into the new world with a gas cook top.  This addition enabled me to offer guests a cuppa without having to first collect the wood and light a fire.  Today our beach shack is a comfortable home, and I'm sitting in my studio connected to the world.

early days in the beach house

Friday, June 4, 2010

snow fall

Our neighbours, Long John and Bingin Mick, put together a container full of stuff and shipped it from Bali.  When the truck arrived, half the village turned out to see the perplexing array of goodies offloaded: an ancient concrete mixer, a weights bench, aluminium dinghy, motorbike, outboard motor, umbrellas, furniture, mattresses,tiles,  a toilet, fridge, boatbuilding form, and the kitchen sink.  We took the opportunity to add two huge floor cushions for the “reading room”.

Indonesian cargo handlers are a careless bunch, and many items suffered a crack, dent or scratch.  Mick had sent bags of polystyrene bean-bag balls in thin plastic bags, which unsurprisingly busted and settled like snow in the truck.  A gust of wind and it was half way around the yard.  It looked suspiciously like Indonesia's largest ever drug bust.


Long John had bought a large amount of groceries from Carrefore Supermarket, along with plastic boxes to pack and ship the load.  The boxes arrived – empty!  The groceries are still sitting in the loading bay. 

our organic salad patch

Thanks to a late wet season, the salad patch is off to a great start.  After last year's non-event garden, I researched which varieties were more salt tolerant, drought hardy and heat resistant; and came loaded with potential from Eden Seeds.  It appears that the more pungent greens, like rocket and mustard, fare better; the hermit crabs are obviously perturbed by the bitterness. 

Now that the rain has stopped, and won't be gracing us again until October or November, I don't know how long the vegies will flourish with dry winds, sun and a daily dose of brackish water.  This could be the peak of our salad days.

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