13 November 2014

2014-11-10 ylang-ylang under cottage  Cr

What a surprise – YLANG-YLANG growing on our property.  I had no idea.  Austin says he planted it when we bought the land six years ago – and here it is flowering already.  These are the flowers, the yellow-green petals hanging down.   They don’t look like much, but they smell heavenly.    This tree is growing below the cottage – so our lucky lucky guests get to smell it every evening.   I want an ylang-ylang tree up near our house!

Ylang-ylang was the primary part of the leis in Chuuk where we spent some happy years.  In Fiji this plant is called mokosoi and is the favorite scent put into coconut body oil, as well as going into garlands for traditional dances.

2014-11-13 golden spider   Cr


Akka noticed this golden spider in my sitting room yesterday.   It is quite tiny and was quite quick.  Akka finally got a clear picture of it on my index finger.

2014-11-10 toads in pond 1  R


There’s a hole, there’s a hole, there’s a hole in the bottom of the pond.  And what is in the hole in the bottom of the pond?

2014-11-10 toads in pond 2  R

Oh my!   Toads.  Tangles of toads.

2014-11-10 toads in sack 2  R

Now “toads in a sack”

2014-11-10 toads in sack 1 R

More than 25 pounds – 12+ kg – of toads.    Death by hypothermia (don’t ask).

There was talk of test cooking “frogs legs” – these same cane toads from Australia are exported to France as that delicacy.   But they’ve been buried already instead.  Whew!

2014-11-10 white plumeria  R


I did plumeria last week and bemoaned the lack of white plumeria.  SURPRISE – we do have it.   Look how small the tree is.   The difference – Austin planted the red and pink ones from last week.   Akka and Monica planted this one about two years ago along with some others.

2014-11-10 six leaf plumeria Cr

I’m looking over a four-leaf clover…. but it is a six-petal plumeria.   The one in the front has six petals ….. this is as rare as a four-leaf clover so I wanted to share it.

2014-11-11  what animal got the bananas - questioner 1A  R


Bryan Gosling is asking “What animal damaged these newly harvested bananas?”

2014-11-11  what animal got the bananas 1   R2014-11-11  what animal got the bananas 2   R

I’ll give you a hint, the critter is bipedal, very short and got hold of a knife.

2014-11-11 hatchings   R


Austin made me take a photo of this hatching in progress.  If you look closely you can see different stages of the hatching process going on, as well as the different colored eggs and different colored hatchlings.


(This is for you, Green Lizard!)

Tamarind Rice –  Vina’s recipe –   seriously DELICIOUS

For two cups of uncooked rice you need 1/2 ball of tamarind (say 1/2 cup).

Cook rice, put it aside.

Soak the tamarind in 1/2 C water for 1 hour.  Then squeeze the tamarind which will be a thick paste; strain it and set it aside.

Prepare your herbs and spices:  garlic, ginger, chilli, onion, mustard seed, cumin seed and curry leaf (if you have it).  Fry all these herbs and spices in a little oil.   Add the tamarind paste.  and add salt and a little sugar. Let this cook for 3-4 minutes until boiling a little,  then put it aside.

Now loosen up the rice.  In a larger pot fry some more onion, fry the rice and at the end, stir in the tamarind sauce.

This is so YUMMY that the thought of it makes me both happy and hungry.

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Have a happy week, everybody!

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