31 July 2014

2014-07-30 stock icicles
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We’re freezing!  (ok – so this photo is “borrowed” from google images – that is what it has been feeling like)
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 2014-07-29 55F - 2  R
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Behold our thermometer.  If you can see the red line – it is 3/4 way between 40 and 60 Fahrenheit, or just above 12 Celsius.  Sheesh!
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2014-07-29 Cold morning  R
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Here is a photo of a cold morning.  I get no visual clues between this and a foggy-gonna-be-clear “normal” morning.  The really hard thing about this temperature situation for me is that I’m starting to actually adjust to it and am fine in shirt sleeves when it gets up to 64.  Summer is going to be harder than normal, even if the temperatures are not elevated.
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2014-07-26 brilliant morning rainbow  R
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Here is what one cold morning gave us.   Translation:  Never Lose Hope.
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2014-07-27 huge bananas 2  R
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MONSTER BANANAS
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The cold weather isn’t hurting the produce.  Akka strained his back hanging this humongous stalk of bananas.   There is no trick photography to make these bananas look twice as big as normal.  They are.
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2014-07-28 horn worms 1  R
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HORN WORMS
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The cold isn’t discouraging the wildlife either.   The boys came up from the field all happy with this find of “horn worms” which are really the caterpillars for sphinx moths.   They are all from the same species – they are green while young, and brown when big.
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2014-07-28 horn worms 4  Cr
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The boys were calling these “elephant grubs” because of the long nose.   Austin is planning to put them in a jar and waiting for the moths to hatch  (some boys never grow up).
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CASSAVA FLOUR
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I can’t do the little photo essay on the cassava flour as planned because somebody was running around with no pants on, and came back with a poopy bottom; and when asked where the poop was, led his granddaddy to the sunning pile of grated cassava where there were a couple of buried lumps – just like kitty litter 🙂    OOPS.  So much for that batch.
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2014-07-30  compare cassava flours
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However here is the last of the earlier batch.   On the top is the fine flour – needs sifting.  This can be used for cakes, bread, rotis (flatbread).   Underneath is the coarser stuff – if it was wheat, this would be the “semolina” or “cream of wheat” – it is excellent for breading veggies and fish before frying.  Also there is a dry Indian pudding made of semolina called “halwah” – the cassava semolina works just as well for this dish.
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2014-07-29 mill mix R
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COOKIE PROJECT
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There are 28 kids from early elementary to high school age in a dorm just up the road from us.  Austin has been worrying about them since we moved here, but I’ve been more clueless.  Anyway, 2 sweet Kiwi volunteers at the school became our friends.   They did a diet survey if the hostel kids: lots of starch, a fair amount of greens, scanty protein.  Austin has plans to try to get a fish-chicken-egg project going for them – but the girls and I wanted to do something now – so we went with cookies.   Above is the “filler” – mill mix.
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2014-07-30 mill mix 2  Cr
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Although mill mix is mainly sold as animal feed  – it has all the bran and the wheat germ.  The flour mill turns it into cookies and Austin has used it in many baking projects.   The mill mix turned Katie’s 8 dozen cookies into 20 dozen very filling cookies.   18 cups of mill mix, 12 cups of flour, 6 tsp of baking powder, 12 cups of sugar, 12 grated coconuts, 2 dozen eggs, and some of the coconut water  – as 3 batches of dough and, I think, four bakings of about 60 cookies each.
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2014-07-27 cookie project  R
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This was the cooling of the last cookie sheet’s load..  Job well done!
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2014-07-27  hawan 2  R
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THAT MISSING PHOTO
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Last March I covered Day 13 of a Sanatan Hindu funeral, https://ffwrfromfiji.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/13-march-2014/
 and my camera battery died just when the ceremonial fire – the hawan – was being lit.   This week I went to a four-month follow up ceremony for the same gentleman.  Much of the ritual was the same and it ended with a hawan.
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Upcoming excitement for next week’s blog – the South Indians are just arriving at the temple down the road where they hold an annual FIREWALKING ceremony.  I will try to get some photos.
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2014-07-28 young cinnamon leaves  Cr
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LOVE THIS PINK
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These are the young leaves of a cinnamon tree.  There is always something pretty going on.
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*  *  *
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AN INVITATION
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Finally,  this week I set up a companion blog “FFWR Celebrating the Baha’i Calendar”  It is for all of you who would like to find out a little bit about the Baha’i Faith, to read a short passage from the Holy Writings every few weeks, and/or to see a few more pretty photos.  http://ffwrcelebratebahaicalendar.wordpress.com/
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*  *  *

22 May 2014

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Fiji does not have any local commercial hot sauce!  Considering how many people like very spicy food, and considering how many local businesses produce packaged foods, we have an unexploited niche market, folks.  Akka gets into a hot sauce making mood about once every 3 months.  He made some this week.  Above is the hottest chili pepper on the farm – a Caribbean pepper our friend Maki brought.
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This is the bush – pretty shot – but it is still producing after 2 years.  The local pepper bushes give out after about six months.
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And these are the little rokete chillies (“rocket’)..   The other kind of chili common in Fiji is the “bongo” pepper – we don’t have any growing right now.
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Akka blended the chillies with limes from the property.  Here he shows our 2 main limes – the key lime on the right, and the big seedless lime on the left.
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Here proving that the big one really is seedless.   (How did we get that tree then? … must have come as a sapling.)
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This time the hot sauce is in an old vinegar bottle.  The joke of course is that the neck is so wide you end up with a triple serve of fire on the food.
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While I’m showing citrus, here are some supermarket style lemons growing here!  Surprise!  At least I was surprised.   Also in the bowl are some thick-skinned oranges in season.
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And a tree full of sweet mandarins, just by our front door.  These mandarins peel almost like tangerines.  Since this photo was taken, we’ve sent neighbors home with bags full of them.
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SPEAKING OF FOOD
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Austin came to the house with this paper wasp nest.   He said the larvae are good eating.  I thought he was joking, but he swears that he and our carpenter from Moce Island ate the larvae before, cooked in garlic butter, and that they were delicious.   I was willing to give them a try – but most of the larvae were gone already.   And then Vina sprayed the nest with insecticide.  Gee thanks.
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 Maybe next nest.
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RARE MORNING RAINBOW
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This was out my bedroom window – with the end of the rainbow touching our far property.
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READING THE LAND
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While in town, I was looking at the muddy river and the blue sky – and I realized it meant “there was a storm and it has passed.”
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I knew about the recent storm anyway from the rain a few days earlier – but it was interesting to realize I could learn to read the land a little better, also.    Heavy rain and a blue river would mean “the rain is only on the coast”
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OUT OF SEASON
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I was smitten by this flowering tree on Valley Road – when there are no other flowering trees.  So pretty, but somehow also not making sense.
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On second look – it is not a flowering tree, but a flowering vine ON the tree.   Whoa!
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And then I clued up on my old Wall of Green problem.
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Where everything is green.
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featureless even, and I have no idea what I’m looking at.
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I think the answer is vines.   NOW – to start knowing our vines!
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