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Martha’s Musings


Welcome to Martha’s Musings…M&M for short. She’s a younger, distant relative of another very wise lady I know…Aunty Acid…


~~~When a scrawly, handwritten recipe I’m following to the letter, says to cook for 40 minutes in a “mod oven”… will the recipe still work in my old Westinghouse oven I bought at the turn of this century?


TTT #8


Her is a favourite of mine, it goes back to 2010 when a colleague gave me her recipe. This curry is so simple yet so tasty.

Fee’s Famous Curry

500 -600 grams Chuck steak (or meat ideal for slow cooking)

1 Onion, chopped

1 Apple, Chopped

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

2 Tablespoons sweet fruit chutney

2 Tablespoons malt vinegar

…………

Put all ingredients into a large saucepan, just cover with water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours – OR – pour into a crockpot/slow cooker on LOW for 3-4 hours. The longer it cooks, the more tender it will be.

Mix together in separate bowl:

1 Tablespoon plain flour or cornflour

1 Tablespoon Tomato Sauce

1 Tablespoom of Curry Powder (or less, according to taste)

Mix with enough water to make a gravy consistancy and stir in, eave to thicken.

Serve with rice, or crusty rolls, or potato mash and vegetables/salad.

Delicious!


Martha’s Musings #9

FOWC with Fandango  — Flounder Ragtag Daily Prompt — Roots


Hey, how are you doing?  That is such a generic thing to ask, I know, but feel free to say exactly how you are doing in the comments.  Don’t hold back…I don’t!

I know there is a ton of stuff to catch up on, and I haven’t even scratched the surface yet…but before we go there…I had a short trip away and took a flight south.  So on the return flight, while I flounder in my bag for my boarding pass, the ground crew lady at the departure gate asked me if I want to have an exit seat.  Apparently, they have to have the seats filled. And besides, there’s more legroom.  That was her pitch and I took the bait.  I thought okay, sign me up.

What they didn’t cover was what happened once I was in the cabin, in my allocated seat, strapped in

I was just getting my inflight read out; a book about a haunted house that has a tree growing up through the middle and the roots selectively strangle people…sounds like next level of Little Shop of Horrors…then the cabin attendant comes along and says really fast, “so you know you are in an Exit seat?”

Yes.

“So if we are in the situation where we need to use the exit, all you have to do is pull that lever, and…I was like, what…and stopped listening…

I have to do what?

Well, as you are sitting by the exit door, you will be required to assist us, open the door, and follow all instructions given by the crew…

Oh, I’m not sure I want to do all that

Without blinking and still talking really fast…so annoying…he says, “Is that so?  Well, in that case, madam, we will have to allocate you to another seat, without all that lovely leg room…”

I blinked.

Oh.

A voice inside my head said you’ll be fine…

Taking a breath and pulling a face, I shrugged and said “okay, whatever.”

So he actually showed me, like talked me through graphically, how to open the exit door, should we need it at 33,000 feet.

I am the last person that should have that information.  Seriously.

After that little fiasco, the cabin crew continues to talk at 100 miles an hour with the safety drill in the event of an emergency…bla bla bla. It’s just as well they didn’t point to me and say just go see that lady there by the exit seat, she will know exactly what to do to help you. I understood stuff all of the safety drill.  Is it just me who has a thing about how fast the cabin crew talk before take-off?  What’s the hurry?  We are only going to sit and wait on the runway for 10 minutes until we get the green light from the guys up in the tower.

Just so you know, I didn’t need to open the door, BUT the plastic cover of another red cord on the door, kept falling off, so I tried to stick it back on but the sticky on the velcro was worn out…so it just hung there for two and a half hours and I’m like…I really don’t like how it’s just hanging there. It’s like the evil’s advocate saying,  Go on …pull me…

And another thing. It must be really cold out there, high above the clouds at 33000 feet.  That door was so cold to the touch.  Yes, I did touch it.  It was like sitting next to a freezer door that was open.  Looking out over the wing, like right on the wing… I guess that’s where we go out onto…there are even arrows painted or stuck on showing where to walk..?!  I can just see us all balancing on that wing..do they give us goggles?…and then what happens…?

And each time we had turbulence, I stared at the wing tip…how much was it wobbling…

So next time I take to the skies, I don’t care how much legroom I have, I’m going in a regular seat!

For my next “must read: Martha’s slice of life”, I’d better start on all the other stuff I need to catch up on…unless something else happens that I have to tell you about.  

Stay tuned!!


Thanks for reading, Martha best not upset the cabin crew on these flights, it wouldn’t be the first time a passenger has been escorted off!

New Views


Friday Fictioneers – Write a 100-word story based on the Photo Prompt image above by  © Roger Bultot


New Views

The day was nearly done, the sunset leaving a pleasing orange glow against the darkening sky. Pat and Nelly Brown were feeling the newness of their apartment life.

“Turn the lights off. The colours really come to life. The boats are sparkling in the harbour.”

“So pretty! Not long now, Agnes will be here.”

“Mammy will love the view.”

“It’s a far cry from Dublin, but it’ll be a new place to call home.”

“For sure. Bridges, boats, Guinness, and sunsets. She’ll feel like a local.”

“Here’s to all of that.”

“Her piano could be a tight fit though…”


Thanks for reading

Family Honour


Friday Fictioneers – Write a 100-word story based on the Photo Prompt image above by  © Sandra Crooks


Family Honour

The story about Granny Bates’ pink house on the beach near the cliff had been told and retold within the family for decades, but there was some doubt whether the detail was accurate or stretched in the retelling.

But there was something sinister about Great Uncle Raff on top of the cliff. That detail was hazy like the sea on a stormy day. 

Kate wanted answers. She would dig deep even if old wounds wept, to honour and clear the family name. She hoped the truth wouldn’t be too shocking to tell.


Thanks for reading

Kicking Tyres


Friday Fictioneers – Write a 100-word story based on the Photo Prompt image above by  © Starsinclayjars


Kicking Tyres

“This boot is driving me nuts.”

“I know.”

“It’s overkill! I want to chuck it out the window!”

“Yes…”

“I only kicked my car tyre, it wasn’t that bad…”

“You’ve fractured two tiny bones, Mum.”

“So the x-ray said. But I shouldn’t have to wear this heavy, annoying thing.”

The Doctor said you do. Is that comfortable?  Not too tight?” Liz fastened the last velcro strap.

“It’s horrible!” Marg pouted.

“Marg! Stop moaning! I can’t hear the cricket commentary!” Bob snapped.

“Dad’s right.”

 “Out for a duck!” Bob clapped.

“He better not be talking about me!” Marg glared.


Thanks for reading

Martha’s Musings #8


Hellllloooo!!!  Oh my god!  How long has it been???

I’ve been really busy.  I know I haven’t gotten in touch for a while.  Well, a pretty long time.  But let’s not bother about numbers, we’ll get old just thinking about all that.

The main thing is I am back.  Sigh.  So I have a heap of stuff to tell you – I’ve been away in my new campervan.  I’ve started an exercise program.  I’ve had a run-in with that law.  He came worse off, let me tell you.  But I’ll get to that.  I’ve been on hold on the phone for nearly two hours!!  I got bogged in the mud.  I’ve been to the races.  I’ve mourned losing the Queen.  I’m not at all sure about King Charles.  I don’t like Camilla one bit.  

So that is a taste of what’s to come.

Let’s start with…my campervan.  It’s a cutie.  It’s mostly white; a bit boring so I wanted a custom paint job on it. But when I got a quote for that I nearly fainted. Just to have some flicks of paint, a few palm trees, a gorgeous man wearing not much on a beach towel across my back bumper…  

So I gave all that a miss, and I’m putting up with the white.  Such a bummer as I was going to get the guy down the road to model for me in sexy budgie smugglers.  For those who don’t know what they are…you’ll probably google it anyway…but it is swimming attire that is very brief and very snug. He was busy when I asked him, so I said, ‘how about next week then?’  He said he was still busy.  He’s a tradie, and they are all very busy.  My other neighbour has been waiting for a few jobs to get done in her kitchen, but the guy went once to look at the job, and never went back. And I’m pretty sure she mentioned to him, he could leave all his clothes on, so I can’t see what the problem was. So she gave me his number, and I rang him, and the rest is history.

Anyway,  I had a great time galavanting about in my white campervan. It is needless to say that my pink toolbox is in residence in a cupboard in my little campervan kitchen. Of course, it is!  Should I have a spot of bother, I have the wearwithall to fix most things.  I have even lent a hand to another campervan driver who marveled at my pink toolbox.  But that is another story for another day.  We will do that later.  Another must-have in my campervan is my wine cupboard.  I collect good wine on my travels and I need somewhere to store it so I have got a very smart wine rack.  And then there was the snake that visited recently.  But that is also a story for another day.

So, on that note, we have much to catch up on, don’t we?  I’ll be back soon, so don’t go too far. Okay?


Martha is pleased you stopped by and would love it if you did again soon. She has only scratched the surface with her adventures!

A Shady Past


Friday Fictioneers – Write a 100-word story based on the Photo Prompt image above by  © Dale Rogerson


A Shady Past

He’s a curious character 

With a murderous past

He’s slick and cunning

Prefers his shadow cast

^^^

He keeps his secrets close

And he has got plenty

He’s been writing his list

Since he was twenty.

^^^

His list is long

His revenge still raw

He has smarts for plotting

He’s well versed with the law.

^^^

He’s been under the radar

Staying in shadows

Was unknown what his game is

His door is closed.

^^^

The Feds are on it

The evidence grows

 He removes the fingerprints

Where blood flowed.

^^^

Just a few chapters left 

To learn his fate

The Judge’s List

I can’t wait.


Thanks for reading

Patchwork #28

It’s been a while…   If anyone knows what happened to October, can they let me know?  It’s like time travelling  –  zooming through a month, forward into the next, and not bothering to wait for days to pass.

Anyway.  A few things to catch up on…

Kalbar’s Big Day

Kalbar held its famous annual Country Market a few weeks back.  There were so many stalls, it took us a couple of hours to see it all.  The Scenic Rim always turns it on, people come from all over the region, and from the coast.  It’s a great event.

Rodeo Season

The Famous Annual Warwick Rodeo has been and gone.  The campdrafting was cancelled, and the wet weather meant the national finalists couldn’t deliver their best performance in the National Championships.  It has been put off until some time next year, but the Rodeo went on, with calf wrestling, bronco riding, bull riding, and other events. A  huge crowd came out to support.  The rodeo has been around since 1906, so there’s a lot of history behind the colossal event, which is on the last full weekend of October every year. The nation’s top rodeo riders and the best broncs and bucking bulls gather for the Warwick Rodeo – known far and wide as “Australia’s Most Famous”.

Movie News

I went to see Mrs Harris went to Paris last Saturday.  What a delightful movie. Set in 1957 in London, Mrs Harris is a lovely soul, a hard-working cleaner for high-end clients in private residences.  She learns she is single again when she gets the news her husband Eddie has been killed in the war. 

One of her clients is a well-to-do lady who has just spent 500 quid on a new Dior dress.  Mrs Harris sees it hanging in the client’s wardrobe and instantly falls in love with the exquisite creation, and starts dreaming of buying her own Dior dress.  And so she works out a way to get to Paris, where her adventure begins. 

She wants to help people simply but effectively with no fuss or bother, just get problems fixed.  There is so much fuss and bother in the real world, so to see a person like Mrs Harris just being herself and winning hearts and saving a little bit of the world, is so endearing. The movie is a drama, but there are some cute funny bits as well as some irony. I suggest you take a few tissues along, too. I’m giving it an easy 5 stars. The message is clear – dream big, work hard, and magic can happen.

Book News

So I’m currently reading my first John Grisham book.  I read the first 3  pages of The Judges List and knew I had to read the rest. It took a little while to build as the characters established themselves, but the story is brilliantly paced and is unfolding so well, the Judge is as dodgy as hell; he’s a serial killer. The author is masterful in how he brings the Judge to life, and how scheming, clever, cunning, and meticulous he is. I like all the other characters, they are straight to the point, with no fluff as they try and nail the killer. The pace has kept me turning each page.  I am hooked, and I will be reading more from John Grisham.

I’m a bookworm, give me a book to dive into, a cup of tea, no interruptions… Pure Bliss!

What are you reading?  Drop a comment on the reads you recommend.

AV News

And now, in case you were wondering…I know you were…here’s an update on that African Violet.  It’s now fully grown and blooming. It was a bit of a wait…9 months…but it was worth it!

Dad Joke Alert!!

Our cat is semi-comatose on the couch next to me and I say to her…”has it been a hard day in pussycat land?”

She looks at me and yawns.  I tell her, “Lions in Africa nap for 21 hours out of 24, so it’s a cat thing. I know, you’ve been very busy on a cellular level.” and I pat her, reassuringly.

“There’s no call for that… she hasn’t been on the phone.”

On that note…or ringtone…LOL…thanks for reading

That P-Word


Friday Fictioneers – Write a 100-word story based on the Photo Prompt image above by  © Bill Reynolds


“You need to get away.  The words will flow if you get out of the city.  You have too many distractions!”  my editor was doing her usual rant on the phone.

“The dog needs grooming, we’re short-staffed at the cafe, and my roses won’t prune themselves…” I lamented back down the phone.

“Well, you know the deadline, yes? Please just try and finish that manuscript.  Your fans want the sequel.”

“Okay, I’ll go bush. I’ll take my guitar. Just me, nature, my laptop…I’m out of Mozzie repellent.  They’ll eat me alive!”

“Stop procrastinating!”  

I hate that P word!


Thanks for reading

TTT #7


It’s Halloween season…so let’s get out more pumpkins! I have it on very good authority from a professional baking background, this recipe is absolutely sublime! ©Paula Jean Pavlosky – Taylor


Pumpkin Ice Cream

One 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

2 cups HEAVY whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pumpkin PUREE

Optional 1 cup crushed sugar cookies   

I did not use the cookies but instead used spices, a dash of Nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon, and ½  teaspoon of caramel flavor.

WHIP everything together for  1 or 2 minutes and then pour in a freezer container and freeze overnight.

And serve with

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

10 INCH SPRINGFORM PAN  350 F OVEN

Crust 12 graham crackers,(ground( BUT next time I am using gingersnaps for more flavor) 

6 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon sugar (I used light brown)  mix all together cover the bottom and an inch or so of the sides   BAKE 350 degrees F , for 8 minutes and COOL 

Filling 3 packs (8oz each) of cream cheese at room temperature (important unless you want lumps!!)

1 ½ cups light brown sugar

             15 oz (I can) pumpkin puree

             4 eggs at room temperature             

              ¼ cup sour cream

              2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

              2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (mine might have been old and I think the cake needed more Spice and next time I would add more cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg)

              ½ teaspoon salt (I only used ¼)

              1 tablespoon vanilla ( I also added ½ teaspoon caramel flavor) 

Cream the cream cheese until nice and smooth and whipped a bit add the sugar whip some more add the eggs one at a time, add the flour, salt, and pumpkin spice,  add the pumpkin, and then the sour cream and vanilla, and caramel flavor (if using). 

 Cover the bottom half of the cooled springform pan with aluminum foil and pour the filling into it.  Place in a larger pan and pour hot water into the pan about an inch (make sure it is below the top of the aluminum foil) 

Bake for 1 hour  turn off the oven, open slightly(place an oven mitt in the door) keep in cooling oven for 45 minutes  then  remove from the oven and let cool then refrigerate for AT LEAST 4 hours but best if overnight

ENJOY!!