Saturday, October 18, 2014

Reading, Recipe and Prime Ties.

 The Copper Beech is now fully dressed! ( it's a dull cloudy day here but still it's wonderful colours show in contrast with the green, green lawn - lovely )

Last night I finished reading Captive Wife, by Fiona Kidman which was based on a NZ historical  fact. I knew the story already having heard it on the radio some years ago.
I rated it 3.5 out of 5. It's a while since I read a 5.
 My sister left a bag of books for me to read when she was here a fortnight ago...ones she really enjoyed. We have similar reading tastes so I hope some will rate a 5 with me.
 What are your all time favourite reads? I'd love to know.
 Sometimes when books shops have their list of 100 favourite books ( or similar lists ) displayed I am surprised at how many of them I have read.
 There are just so many books in the world to read that I hate to waste my time on indifferent ones.
 When I was at college I wouldn't rate myself as an avid reader - not like 1 or 2 people I recall, always with their noses in a book. I was more likely to be out participating in sport. I now have a real love of books.  Back then Jane Eyre was a favourite - I used it ever so many time to answer exam questions.

 On my list of all time Best Reads are;-
The Various Flavours of Coffee by Anthony Capella.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.
The Jigsaw Man by Paul Britten.

 Sometimes simple recipes are best. We have been having lots of salads from the garden -  very fresh and eaten within 10 minutes of picking.
 This salad  however has only 1 ingredient we grew, avocado. As the wind of 2 weeks ago  blew many avos to the ground we are using up as many as we can. This is delicious if you like avos and can get some good NZ ones.
 Just 3 ingredients; so hardly a recipe as such.

 Chop into bite sized pieces ripe but firm avocado, crisp red apple ( Pacific Rose are  good ) and roasted lightly salted peanuts ( or any nuts you fancy ) Stir together in equal proportions.
 Dress with a creamy dressing with an apple cider vinegar base.
 Eat straight away so nuts stay crisp. Experiment - there are other combinations I like. It is the contrast of textures as well as flavours that makes this work well.
 Hint - if you live in New Zealand do NOT buy avocados from those road side vendors that have lots for a cheap price. Mostly they are selling damaged windfalls or immature seconds. Rather buy from a reputable source. Buy them before they are ripe and keep your hands from constantly squeasing the fruit. If it is a Hass variety it will darken in colour and be slightly soft if cradled in the palm of your hand. If you are not sure remove the stalk and see if a toothpick will slide gently in.Once ripe they will  hold in the fridge for a few days.
 What are prime ties you may wonder. They are soft stretchy rings of stocking material, cut  into narrow widths  that we buy and use to secure kiwifruit canes that won't quite reach the wire ( harder to describe than I thought )
 They are used by the 1000s.  Over the last few weeks I have been cutting off old used ones that are left knotted on the wires...... so they are all over the ground beneath the vines. We always grin when we see recycling has been going on. We  find bird's nests lined with them.
 This is a very untidy blackbird nest in the Viburnum tree.

 See the white dangly bit, that's an old prime tie. ( softer than straw )
 The other day I found a really strange thing. 
 An extra wide prime tie had been used and somehow a new growing shoot got trapped inside it. ( it looks like a nursery web spider nest but isn't )
 I was able to gently cut the stretched tie and release the contents unharmed.( a bit twisted but it will straighten out )
 Sometimes shoots also get stuck under the plastic clips and like wise if got to soon enough can be released to carry on growing.
 Occasionally we get prime ties made from black stocking  or glittery  fancy  stockings!! ( this was one of those )


Jennifer said...

I've been a bookworm all my life, and my tastes are fairly eclectic.....a mix of mystery/detective stories, a couple of favourite "chook lit" (older chick lit) authors, social history, biography, other non name it. Your salad looks very nice!

Quilt Inspiration said...

Your garden is gorgeous, and your salad looks so yummy. We love avocados, and we mash them up into guacamole dip, with just a hint of lime juice.
We also love to read, especially autobiographies. We're looking forward to reading "I am Malala", written by the 17 year old who won the Nobel Peace Prize last week.
Best wishes, from Marina and Daryl

Isabelle said...

My recently-favourite book is "Life after Life" by Kate Atkinson. I also love her "Emotionally Weird". I gave up on "The Poisonwood Bible" recently because it was just so depressing - good, but not at all cheering.

But I more often read non-fiction, particularly diaries and biographies.

Gemini Jen NZ said...

I am a bookworm too! I LOVED The Book Thief and have also read the Poisonwood Bible. I read all manner of books: historical fiction is my fave, followed by auto-biographies (especially historical figures or travel diaries, I want to read the Malala book too, must go buy it!) and murder-mystery etc as well as classics - yes will read almost anything that has words!! My fave Kiwi author is Sarah-Kate Lynch - fave book of hers being 'Blessed Are" - first novel to ever make me actually laugh out loud!

Charlotte Scott said...

Have you read anything by Sheri S. Tepper?

I haven't been reading blogs for a while due to moving but glad I popped in, I always learn something interesting about .kiwifruit growing!

Esther Aliu said...

What a gorgeous garden and I'm a bookworm too, but lately I have fallen into an audio book habit as I don't have time to read and it keeps me company as I quilt. Glad I found your blog :)