Pie Maker Frenzy

Thirty years ago I bought a pie making machine , it was made by Breville and one could cook two pies at a time. From memory , it cost me $10. As I had 3 young boys at the time, that pie maker was used daily. I made pies, pies and more pies. All wholesome and healthy. I used the finest ingredients and made my own pastry. After the lads left home, the poor pie maker was put in a back corner of the pantry, where it has been sitting idle for the past 20 odd years.

Fast forward to 2019 and there is an absolute pie maker frenzy.

People are crying because they cannot buy one. Stores are out of stock. Oh dear, what a disaster.

Calm down everyone. Pie Makers are not new. They have been around for decades.

As with most appliances , savvy folk are using them for more than one thing. It seems to me that everything has to be able to function in a multitude of ways.

Take this latest pie making craze. There are websites and chat forums advising us on just what one can do with these marvellous machines.

There are photos of everything imaginable, things that were made using the humble pie maker

Goodness me, cupcakes in a pie maker? Who on earth would want to cook cupcakes in batches of 2. Really?

Get real folks. Cupcakes are meant to be cooked by the dozen. Can you imagine a family of 6 all waiting patiently for the next 2 to be cooked?

Bacon and eggs in the pie maker. Again not practical unless for just one or at a stretch two people.

Just yesterday I saw a recipe for vanilla slice, yep, cooked in the pie maker. I read through the process involved and came to the conclusion that I could cook 2 slabs of vanilla slice in the oven taking the same time as I could make 2 small vanilla slice pies in a pie maker.

There are many weird and wonderful recipes floating about.

How about scones, once again, who would only cook 2 at a time. The process is more time consuming than making them in the oven. There is no turning them over halfway through cooking in the oven. In the pie maker it is recommended to turn them over halfway through cooking.

2 scones at a time, no way.

There are others, obviously not domestic goddesses, who lament over the left over bits of pastry, the bits left after those beautiful perfect circles have been cut out of a sheet of bought puff pastry. What a dilemma one poor lass was in. Well sweetie, just roll those little pieces together and flatten them out. Voila, you can make another circle. Who’d of thunk!

Enough about pie makers though. I think my old one will stay in the pantry. Or maybe, I could give it to some poor soul who desperately needs it.

1000 Bananas

What to do with 1000 plus bananas.

This was a problem I recently encountered.

House sitting a property in Queensland ,recently I had access to no fewer than 4 huge bunches of bananas. Each bunch averaging 280 to 300 glorious bananas, thus making a tally of well over 1000 of the delicious treats.

I love bananas, or should I say, I used to love bananas.

Not so much now though. There is definitely a limit on how many of these fruits can be consumed in a month.

First bunch, I would have a couple of fresh bananas each day. After a week I needed to vary the way in which I consumed them. So began the quest to find interesting and tasty ways to prepare the little suckers.

Banana Cake came to mind.

Feverishly I started whipping up banana cakes. I gave them to all the neighbours, and any family who came to visit. I was onto a good thing, or so I thought. I soon noticed that the neighbours seemed to be avoiding me. I wondered why.

A kindly woman next door politely told me they were done with banana cake. As delicious as it was, they would probably never eat one again. Overkill, in a big way.

Oh well, maybe I could try Banoffee Pie. I mean to say, everyone loves Banoffee Pie don’t they?

Well yes,they do, but not more than one a week so I discovered.

Time to change tack again, Banana Muffins. These were winners, for a short while anyway.

A friend in the USA sent me a recipe for Banana Cream Pie. How delicious this was. The neighbours and family thought so too. For a while. They soon tired of my offerings.

They did not even want fresh bananas, they were all bananared out. I would have to look further afield to get rid of my tasty delights.

There was a Home, just up the road, that housed disabled adults. I would take them some treats as well as some fresh bananas.

The staff were thrilled when I landed there with a box full of cakes, muffins and fresh bananas. The residents were equally as thrilled. They thought it was Christmas. I was so happy to be able to share the produce with them all.

They never tired of my offerings. Every few days I would take more up to them.

‘Oh look” they would say. ” Here comes that banana lady”.

Gradually the bunches diminished, they became cakes, muffins and pies. They fed the grateful and whilst it was quite expensive for me to buy all the ingredients to do my baking, it was also a pleasure to be able to do something worthwhile and nothing was wasted.

Train ride in Indonesia

Indonesia.

There is much more to Indonesia than Bali.

Most people head for Bali to soak up the sun and frolic in the ocean,but I believe a trip through the interior up to Jakarta is well worth it.

It is a distance of 1154 kilometres, and you will see some beautiful countryside.

I started my trip in Bali, stopped overnight in a hotel. Next morning I caught a taxi to the bus station in Denpasar and caught a bus to Gilimanuk, cost of bus was around AUD $4 and took around 4 hours travelling over some very hilly country.

I overnighted in Gilimanuk cost AUD $23. The hotel was quite pleasant and very clean.

From Gillimanuk to Banyuwangi was the next leg of the journey and required a ferry ride. The ferries left often, about every half hour , 24 hours a day. They take around 50 minutes to reach Banyuwangi. There is a cafe selling coffee and noodles as well as other snacks so one does not go hungry.

The ferry moors at Ketapang which is right next to Banyuwangi. The volcano Ijen can be seen as the ferry arrives. Tours of the active volcano can be arranged and it is well worth doing a tour. A stay at the Ketapang Indah Hotel is a must if exploring this region is on your list.

The train Banyuwangi Train Station is only about 150 metres from the ferry terminal so an easy walk.

There are two trains daily from Banyuwangi to Surabaya. One leaves in the morning and arrives mid afternoon, the other leaves at night. I took the morning train as I wanted to see as much as possible on the journey through Java.

Passports must be shown before a train ticket is issued. The passport has to be shown at the other end of the journey as well.

There are two class sections on the train. 1st class, at a cost of AUD $10.50 or 2nd class at a cost of AUD $7.50.

The train was wonderful, excellent seats, very clean with helpful staff. Each seat has an electrical plug for charging phones etc.

The only downfall was the squat toilet, only because my old knees are a bit stiff for squatting. But I managed and all was well.

Food and drinks are brought around frequently, it is fresh and tasty. Arriving in Surabaya mid afternoon gave plenty of time to find a hotel in which to stay for a few nights.

Next leg was to catch the train from Surabaya to Jakarta. This trip was a lot longer than the previous leg and the 1st class was around AUD $40. Well worth paying for 1st class as the trip takes around 10 hours so comfy seats are a must.

The seats have a fold out table so eating any food is a comfortable experience.Also has electrical outlets for charging phones etc. Wifi is available in almost every area of Indonesia.

The trip itself, I enjoyed. Passing through fields and little villages, along the seaside for a while and finally arriving in Jakarta.

Travelling this way requires a little patience and flexibility but is so much nicer than just hopping on a plane and seeing very little. Faster by plane, yes, but on holidays , who is in a hurry?

All in all a very pleasant trip and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Emu Logic

Whilst Caravan Park sitting at Tooraweenah, NSW, I had to pleasure of meeting the Sunrise weather crew. In fact, the crew stayed in Cabins at the park.

There were 5 crew members including James Tobin, the Weatherman.

All great people and they absolutely loved the scones, jam and cream that welcomed them on arrival.

The weather segment was broadcast from Emu Logic, the emu farm just out of Tooraweenah.

The farm is a very interesting placethe has all manner of emu based products for sale.As well as hundreds of live Emu running about.

Almost all of the residents of Toora rose early on the Sunday morning and made their way out to the park.

The local Lions club were c⁷ooking breakfast, there was a mobile coffee van and lots of excitement for all.

Breakfast was great. Bacon and egg sandwiches as well as Emu rissoles.

These were delicious. Who,d of thought Emu could taste so good.

The coffee washed it all down and then the broadcast began.

Some folk lined up to be on TV while others, like myself, stood back and watched the proceedings. JT was in fine form. Geeing everyone up, cracking jokes and even eating a rissole whilst on camera.

In the sheds was an array of local arts and crafts.

The Piliga Pottery had some marvellous works of art. Narrabri Air Museum a great display of WW2 photos and information. A local ceramics person exibited wonderfully colouful mugs , I bought a couple, and of course all the various Emu products.

The TV coverage was good for the area as it brought awareness of the terrible drought conditions that are happening, not just in Toora but statewide.

My Secret Job

My Life as a Phone Sex Operator.

Long before the Internet became a big part of our lives, long before dating sites such as Tinder, Oasis,RSVP and the like, there was phone sex.

I know that many couples have phone sex but this was different.

This was a hotline for men, and the odd woman ,to partake in a fantasy session of a sexual nature. The person on the other end of the line was unknown to the caller. A faceless woman who knew all the right words to say in order for the caller to achieve sexual satisfaction.

How do I know this?

I know because I was one of the women on the other end of the line.

It was in the late 1960’s when I found myself a single parent with young children to support.

Back then there was no single parent payment. Child endowment was 50 cents a week per child.

I had no work experience as my husband would not allow me to work.

With young children still at home, the chance of scoring a job was remote.

I was living in abject poverty. Such a worrying time and almost impossible to have any money to put food on the table for my babies.

One day, I was reading the job vacancies in the local paper when I saw a small ad asking for women who had a broad mind to consider a phone sex career.

There was a phone number to call, so I did. Can’ t hurt to enquire, I told myself.

It all seemed pretty straight forward. I was allotted a certain phone number starting with 19. My name and details would be kept secret and I could choose a name to have as my worker name.

Another good thing about it was that I could choose what hours I was available. This suited me down to the ground as I could do this when my children were sleeping.

The pay rate was excellent. The longer I could keep a client talking, the more I money I could make.

I had a very broad mind so did not think I would have any trouble conversing with whomever called.

The first call I was just a tad nervous. I had chosen Angel as my name and had to make sure I responded when called that.

My first ever client was a sweet sounding gentleman who really just wanted to talk about everyday kinds of things. He was happily married ,he said ,but his wife did not want to know about his day at the office or anything else. He was very easy to chat with, nothing sexual from this dude and he talked for over 3 hours.

This bloke became a regular caller. I had my very first client and had not even had to leave my armchair or get out of my pyjamas.

Perfect.

As time went on , I took all manner of calls. Some blokes just wanted to breathe heavily into the phone, this was fine by me. I did not have to talk at all.

Others wanted the whole sexual experience, as much as is possible over the phone anyway. I was quite detached from any feelings but became a good actress and made the appropriate sounds when required.

I carried on this work for over 3 years until my children were all at school and I could then get part time work in a supermarket whilst they were at school.

I know many people knock phone sexoperators, but there was a place for them back then . I am sure I saved the odd marriage or two as well because I became a skilled counselor as well as a sexy voice on the end of the line.

Without this job, my children and I would have been destitute.

The Maybush

Storyteller extraordinaire, is what I aspire to be.

A feeling of utter dismay came over me when I realised that my maybushes had not bloomed.. They always bloomed by Mothers Day , but this year was different.

I needed the blooms for a Mothers’ Day morning tea. I was shattered.

Maybe I did not fertilize them at the right time.

I had been busy running in the Boston Marathon so could have forgotten to do so.

The marathon itself went well, until the last stretch of the course, when a spectator tripped the leading runner. Absolute mayhem followed this incident. I myself, felt like running the other direction, but I was too close to victory to throw it all away.

The poor bloke who had the win in the bag, so to speak, could only lie there in agony as I flashed past.

Thus was my moment of glory.

Another reason I may have forgotten to fertilize the maybush was because

I had also been busy preparing copious amounts of mayonnaise for the Chicken sandwiches I had to prepare for the upcoming Mothers’ Day morning tea.

The local Mayor took credit for this event. That arrogant little man did nothing to help with the preparations. All he did was make an appearance.

There was absolute mayhem in the community kitchen. People were running around like crazy trying to make sure everything was in order for the Mayor.

I don’t know why they bothered though, as he was such a horrible person.

Many of the towns people adored him. They could not see through his lies and deceptions.

I suppose to them, the title “ Mayor” meant he was a person to be respected.

I myself, did not care for him, but in the local spirit of things, I chipped in to help. The morning tea was free for all the townsfolk.

Well, the ones that did not prepare food that is. I was quite out of pocket after making all those chicken sandwiches.

The one and only thing the Mayor did for the community was to turn up to this annual event.

Most of the time he ignored those who had elected him and spent his time frequenting the local brothel.

Of course the local women did not know this. They were all too busy taking care of their husbands and children to notice the Mayoral car outside the House of Ill repute.

The men knew though. I do believe they were in awe of the Mayor. That is probably why he was always re elected to his position.

His poor long suffering wife knew. Maybe she tolerated it because he brought home the bacon every week. Who knows.?

I would have strangled him, Mayor or not.

The morning tea went well, despite the fact that there were no Maybush blooms to decorate the hall.

All the local Mothers ate their fill and even had some leftovers to take home.

Amazing.


snippets of my life as it is and how it was