Time for a holiday I think. Next week I'm headed here for seven days. It's the island where we spent Christmas 2007. It's where my son works but will soon be leaving. In October he will transfer to another Club Med village somewhere in Asia.
After three weeks of radio therapy treatment I need a little break....and Club Med is a real break. No shopping, cooking, cleaning. Just swimming, eating, reading, drinking, walking, sleeping, talking and hugging my boy.
Before we go we will be stuffing our faces enjoying a posh High Tea at Palazzo Versace. Thanks to our good friends R & S who kindly gifted it to us for our birthdays. Come back after the weekend to see the photos.
.....and I have an award. My favourite hula-hula girl from Hawaii, lives in Japan and shares her adventures with Satoshi. She has awarded me the Yum Yum award.
Thank you Kat and right back at ya'. I think your blog is yum yum too.
Thanks to the charming David Lebovitz in Paris for allowing me to use his photo of rotting fruit.
How often do you throw out rotting fruit like this?
Australians throw away food because we forget about it,” says Jon Dee,
environmentalist and founder of Planet Ark, who has joined forces with
Notebook: magazine to put an end to food waste in Australia. “We leave
it lingering in the depths of our fridges and cupboards, unused and
unloved. When we do use it, we use too much and even then we don’t use
“It’s an approach to food that anathema to older generations. Their
cooking of leftovers was the earliest form of recycling. They used up
every scrap of food, because they valued it. Today that attitude has
changed but it’s vital that we change it back.” “When food waste rots
in landfill it produces methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent
than the CO2 pouring out of your car’s exhaust,” explains Jon. “If we
don’t mend our wasteful ways, we’ll be eating ourselves out of an
environment that can sustainably support future generations of
We all do it. How often do you forget what's in our pantry or fridge and then throw it out because it's gone rotten.
It came at an opportune time when the people at Notebook asked if I'd support their campaign on Food Waste in Australia. Even if they hadn't sent me a free copy of their magazine (thank you) I'd support it.
Food waste is something I've been conscious of since we moved to Australia. I can't tell you how much food I've wasted in the past 6 months since we have been here. There is much we take for granted when we live in the same house for years. Where to shop for the best produce, how long the fruit will last on the bench, where in the pantry is the best place to store your onions and potatoes. Even how long the wine will remain drinkable in the cupboard you call the cellar.
Suddenly I live in a climate averaging 10 degrees warmer and I've learnt the hard way the bowl of red peppers can't sit on the bench looking pretty any more.
Added to that is the fact we don't know that many people here yet and keeping the fridge stocked with nibbly things in case friends drop in for a drink has seen me throw out packets of smoked salmon and jars of sour cream.
In Auckland we lived within walking of the best produce shop in Auckland. It not only sold fabulous produce, it sold all the best Asian, Italian,Spanish and French delicacies. Although we love living in this part of the Gold Coast, and it has great bars and restaurants, it lacks shopping facilities. Which means driving to the shops and rather than shop every day, I now shop twice a week. I'm not so good at planning meals in advance. I hate to shop today for what I'm going to eat in two days time.
From the September issue of Notebook magazine- Australians are wasting $6 billion of food each year - enough
to feed the entire nation for three weeks.
- Current research suggests the majority of food thrown away is fresh
fruit and vegetables.
- Meat, fish, bread, dairy produce, rice and pasta are all in the ‘top’
most wasted foods.
- The two main reasons for food wastage is that people ‘cook or prepare
too much’ or ‘don’t use food before its use-by date’.
- A 2005 study by The Australia Institute estimated that food waste was
costing Australians $5.3 billion per year.
- The Australian 2006 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory report stated
methane emissions from solid waste disposal on land were equivalent to
13.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
- According to CSIRO data, dumping a kilogram of beef wastes the 50,000
litres of water it took to produce that meat; throwing out a kilogram
of white rice will waste 2,385 litres and wasting a kilogram of
potatoes costs 500 litres.
That is just in Australia, a country of 21 million people. Can you imagine the amount of food wasted in the entire world.
Do you have any tips for stopping food waste? Feel free to share them in the comments.I could use the help.
Australian readers can share their tips on stopping food waste at Notebook and win.
Plain Couscous 350g couscous, rinsed and dried 1/2 teaspoon salt 400 ml warm water 2 tablespoons olive oil 20 g butter, in small pieces Topping 15 g butter 2 tablespoons blanched, flaked almonds or pine nuts.
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Put the couscous into an oven proof dish. Mix the salt and water and pour over the couscous. Let the couscous sit for about 10 minutes to absorb the water.
With your fingers, rub the oil into the couscous to break up the lumps and aerate them. Scatter the butter over the surface and cover with a baking paper or foil. Place dish in the preheated oven for until the couscous is heated through, about 15 minutes.
To prepare the almonds or pine nuts, melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add the nuts and stir until golden, watching carefully so they don't burn. Remove from pan and place on kitchen paper to drain.
Take the couscous out of the oven and fluff up the grains with a fork. Serve it from the dish or tip it onto a plate and pile it into a high mound, with the nuts scattered over the top.
Serves 4 - 6 .
1/2 teaspoon salt
150ml warm water
3 - 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 large tomatoes
1 onion finely chopped
a teaspoon sugar
1-2 teaspoons mixed herbs
a bunch each of fresh flat leaf parsley and fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
Prepare couscous as above using 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Remove the top of each tomato and save. Use a large spoon to scoop out seeds and pulp. Set aside. In a heavy based fry pan, heat the remaining oil and stir in the onion. Fry until it softens, then stir in the tomato pulp and sugar. Add the mixed herbs and cook until the mixture forms a thick sauce, Season as required with salt and pepper.
Add the tomato mixture to the couscous, mix well. Add the fresh herbs and preserved lemon and combine. Spoon the couscous mixture into tomato cases and top with reserved lids. Place the stuffed tomatoes in a baking dish, drizzle a little olive oil over. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Serve immediately while hot or at set aside and serve at room temperature.
Watermelon Salad With Citrus and Mint
1 .5 kg watermelon 3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice a small bunch fresh mint
skin and seeds from the watermelon. Cut into bite size cubes and place
in bowl. Sprinkle orange juice over watermelon. Cover bowl and
refrigerate for 1 hour.
Place watermelon cubes onto serving platter and scatter with fresh mint and serve.
Why do some retailers think it is okay to display their products without prices? Because if they put prices on no one would buy them. Imagine walking into a bookstore or clothing store and having to ask the price. Or a restaurant menu without prices. It doesn't happen.
A couple of minutes walk from my apartment is a fruit shop with fabulous looking produce. In past years when we came here on holiday I shopped there somedays. I'd walk out thinking it was expensive, but that's okay, the quality was excellent. I naturally wasn't up with the current Australian produce prices at the time.
However I live here now and I know the price at the supermarket, farmers market and convenience store. I realise just how expensive this particular shop, Fruitique On Tedder, really is. But today their expensive prices were overshadowed by their arrogance.
On several occasions I've gone in and chosen a piece of fruit or a couple of tomatoes, they've weighed it and told me the price, and I've said no thank you and left. But today is hot and I have a sore throat and god that watermelon looked good. I chose a nice piece, asked the price and was told $3.99 a kilo. Now I'd seen watermelon at the produce store in the mall on the weekend and it was $1.99 a kilo. Onto the scales with my chosen chunk and $7.80.
Me: Hmmm, I don't want to pay that much so could you cut it in half please.
Assistant: (to I assume the owner) Can we?
Owner: No, you'll have to choose another piece.
Me: But I don't want another piece, they don't look as nice as this piece.
Owner shrugged and continued doing what she was doing. I walked away without any watermelon.
Does your local fruit and vegie store display their prices?