Thursday, March 31, 2011

Save the world/Friday Shootout: What am I?

I usually don't deep fry my spring rolls, you can if you wish.

If you just like a quick dish, thinly slice the choko, add a little green and red capsicum, carrot for colour. Stir fry with a little water. You could use onion, garlic or cook with chicken, pork slices.

"The theme for August 20th is "What Am I?"
One, two or three mysterious photos of something in your town. Something that will not be readily recognized. We shall all have fun guessing what it may be. And I am suggesting that you schedule on your blog the whole picture of the "What Am I?" on Sunday. (so we all can check back and see if we guessed right!) I know this theme is different than what we have ever done. Hoping it will be something new and fresh and get us out there shooting and thinking.

Happy Shooting!!
Posted by Doreen

This is a choko.

In New Zealand, there are plenty of chokos. Sadly they are gone to waste because people do not know how to use them.

This is the fruit of the choko plant, in case you are wondering what a choko is. It is similar to a marrow, but has very prickly skin. It also has a sap that makes you itchy. But this one I am showing you has no prickles, and no sap.

As a friend of the Zero-waste of the NGATI WHATUA O ORAKEI and Save the world campaign, I was very happy to support my colleagues Keren and Nicole in their Crops for Christchurch.

I told my friend April what a fantastic job Pt Chev had done, and she kindly gave me a big bag of chokos. She told me that these were good ones, no prickles and no sap and very tender. I happily lugged them to school, and promoted them as organic and no prickles. Sadly, only one person bought one.

Most asked the theme of this week's post "What am I?" or how do I cook it?"

I told my principal I will take them home and cook them and bring them to school for the staff to sample them. I went to the butcher and bought some beef to cook a beef and choko curry. An idea came, what if they didn't like it and it would waste my beef.

So I came up with this idea. A vegetarian spring roll made with long shredded choko as part of the ingredients. There, if more people eat the choko, I have saved part of the world.

What's the verdict, the proof is in the eating, My teenaged son ate the spring rolls without asking, "What is in it?" or "Why is this different?"

Now to answer what is choko?
an alternate name for Chayote, a green vegetable of the gourd family.

The chayote (Sechium edule), also known as christophene, vegetable pear, mirliton, alligator pear (South Louisiana), choko, starprecianté, citrayota, citrayote (Ecuador and Colombia), chuchu (Brazil), chow chow (India) güisquil (Guatemala, El Salvador), or pear squash, iskus (इस्कुस) (Nepal) is an edible plant that belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae along with melons, cucumbers and squash.

The chayote fruit is used in both raw and cooked forms. When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash, it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crisp flavor. Raw chayote may be added to salads or salsas, and it is often marinated with lemon or lime juice. It can also be eaten straight, although the bland flavour makes this a dubious endeavor. Whether raw or cooked, chayote is a good source of amino acids and vitamin C.

The tubers of the plant are eaten like potatoes and other root vegetables. In addition, the shoots and leaves can be consumed, and they are often used in salads and stir fries, especially in Asia.

The Chinese like this and call it the praying marrow. They often used it to worship the Goddess of Mercy, as she is a vegetarian. It looks as though a person is grasping his palms and praying.

Please peel the skin and remove the seed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Outdoor Wednesday: National Womens' Hospital

This is the first draft of my manuscript.

National Women's Hospital where Andrew was born.

Dear all,

I started a new site;
Here I figure my book. If you like to read, do pay it a visit and comment.

Diary of a Bereaved Mother
From the conception of my first blog I had shared with you about my late son Andrew.

In October 2010, fellow blogger Ginny inspired me to write my book about having Andrew. Since then, I had shared with Betsy and George. They have been pivotal in encouraging me.

The book is almost done, my editor suggested that I post some parts of it and I welcome your comments.

This book is not just a soppy and maudlin story of my tragic life. This is non fiction, and the genre is: Self Help/ death and dying/child’s death/survival

The book is my journey of having a baby who died in Auckland National Womens' Hospital and suggestions to help bereaved parents, their care givers and doctors.

It has been edited: It is a wonderful account, written from the heart.

Comment:I know that no words can adequately express sympathy for this tragedy. You must be a very brave woman to come through this ordeal and write about it.

My pastors wrote this introduction in my Forward: Ann’s account of losing her infant son Andrew will resonate with anyone who has had the misfortune to give birth to a child who has struggled to live. As pastors at Ann’s church and as bereaved parents ourselves we felt for Ann through these recordings of her journal.

The first post is my synopsis.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My World Tuesday: Breast cancer Awareness

Kylie's photo, courtesy NZ Herald

we made these bracelets together.
Fellow blogger Ginny, posted a photo of a pink bracelet she and her grand daughter Anne Marie made.

I asked Ginny if she will decorate my bands for me?

I wear two Breast Cancer awareness pink bands.

People ask what is this, I tell them.
They then ask, why two.
So that it will attract you attention and ask.
It reads Share, knowledge, spread hope.

I was fortunate I only had two scares, I had two surgeries and my lumps were benign. So now I spread the message to tell women to have their mammogram done. It saves lives.

The Australian pop star Kylie Minogue, who recently marked five years in remission from breast cancer, broke down and cried during a television interview as she recalled the "really rotten dark moments".

The 42-year-old was interviewed by a veteran journalist and music critic, Ian "Molly" Meldrum, on the eve of her Aphrodite concert tour. Minogue was diagnosed with cancer in May 2005 and given the all-clear the following February.

The pop star also urged women to use "whatever means" they wanted to have children. In a previous interview, Minogue - who believes she may not be able to conceive naturally because of the cancer treatment - said she would consider adoption or surrogacy.

Save the World: Earth Day/hour
Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour was conceived by WWF.

"Switching off lights for an hour is a symbolic gesture to show that people are willing to take a stand for the planet. This year we're asking people to go beyond the hour and make a pledge that they can sustain every day in their lives."

We should not have to be reminded to save power. In my school, Pt Chevalier school, our new buildings are "green". There is a sensor in the staff bathroom. The light comes on when the sensor senses our body heat as we enter. The light goes off when we leave.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

sunday stills: Colour blue

The gardener at the Winter garden was very friendly, he told me the names of the flowers on display. He also gave me directions to the statues in the Auckland Domain.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

outdoor wednesday: Red Cross

Meet my newest friend Romana Torau, he came to my door canvassing for pledges to support Red Cross' Project Partners with the needy in the society. They help New Zealand Red Cross improve the
lives of vulnerable people in our communities
through programmes such as:
Breakfast in schools, meals on wheels,
wander risk tracking, community support,
health services support, and refugee

New Zealand Red Cross staff and volunteers help over 24,000 people in New Zealand communities each week.
The city of Christchurch was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake on February 22, causing widespread devastation to the city. The quake caused significant loss of life and injury, as well as severely damaging buildings, infrastructure and services.

Red Cross has over 95 trained staff and volunteers from all over New Zealand currently working in Christchurch to support the relief efforts. Teams from Australia Red Cross are adding further support.

Ka Pai and Paki paki.

I enjoy having young men coming to my door and doing a commendable job. Do you remember the boy who came to sell me cookies?

I was most impressed with this primary school boy.

He knocked on my door,
"Will you buy a pack of cookies for $2.50? It is for my school and I have the change."

Monday, March 21, 2011

My world Tuesday: Flower bed in the bottom of a crater

At one tree hill park, they planted a round flower bed at the bottom of the crater of an extinct volcano.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sunday stills/save the world: Canine Companions

I don't have a dog. I secretly take photos of dogs because I am afraid the owners might not be happy.

Here these dogs have no owners. These photos are my favourite.

Many years ago, someone abandoned a bitch. She came to the neighbourhod of Nanyang View, NTU in Singapore and had puppies. The children and some parents were delighted.
The campus residents were divided into two camps. Those who liked the puppies, and those who didn't.

The person whose apartment faced where the bitch had the puppies didn't like the shit, urine and the smell. But no one adopted the puppies. The kids just came to her garden to feed the puppies and left a mess with the plastic containers. So she rang the SPCA while the kids were away in school before the dog lovers had a chance to find homes for them. These were mongrel puppies, no one wanted them. So the puppies were put down. Many kids cried, and the poor woman became public enemy number one.

The moral of the story is you must spay or neuter your pet animals, and save the world from abandoned animals. When I lived in Singapore, I belong to the Cat cafe, we rescue cats, feed them and spay or neuter them. Then there won't be an explosion of stray animals because of irresponsible owners.

This pix is cropped for privacy reasons. The chubby boy is my son when he was three..

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friday shootout: Green

This is part of the world map in my lounge. I am showing you New Zealand which is near to Australia. This is a much used item in our house. Whenever something happens in the world, we always look at the map to see where it is.

My pet, a green recycle bag.

The kids have fun using my mechanical sharpener. I don't know if they have that much fun when I made them write a " How to____________" piece of work. Actually, I was very impressed with their work. So they must have fun. Now, they want to sharpen all my pencils. We talked about electrical ones verses this one. I told them, in an earthquake, when the power is cut off, they could still use this one. Besides, this one is better because it doesn't use electricity. I use every opportunity to drill into them my "save the world" philosophy. I train them young, the youngest are 5.

I wish I found a 4 leaf one. I scoured my garden, but alas, I wasn't lucky. This one is unusually big, almost 2 inch across.

The contents of this bottle would not be included in a St Patrick's Day Pub Crawl. It is aloe vera juice made in Korea.

March 18 - St. Patrick's Day! St Patrick's Day is a time for Parades, Parties, Events. It is also a time of fun.

St Patricks Day seems to be overshadowed by the sadness of our Chrischurch Eartquake. Some years, our school encouraged kids to wear green costume. But today, we have a day of memorial, and we are wearing black instead. Priince William came all the way from England to lend his support and had a message from the Queen.

A friend even said, " Why the frivolous? The drunkenness and the pub crawls associated with it."

In my room, I have different hats. The green hat is for creativity. What new ideas are possible.
I teach my kids to think of the possibilities, the alternatives and the new ideas when they write.

So I post something more serious.