Winter Solstice Festival

For two weeks in a row, I posted Guest Posts by two Writer friends. One is even encouraged to start her own Blog. I’ll update you when she’s ready.

The reason behind this is that my laptop was in town being fixed, so I was using my Smartphone.

But…we’re now back on board.

But getting to the point:

Sunday, there was a Winter Solstice Festival on at the local Town Square.

It was very hippy, but interesting, and made me think of what this time of year is all about.

Winter is traditionally a time of rest. It’s when the garden is dormant, allowing me more time to write, and encouraging me into sleeping and hibernating.

It’s about going within and thinking seriously about priorities.

Since Winter is in the middle of the year for us Aussies, it’s also a time of thinking forward so that plans can be cooked up so that when the New Year officially happens in January, the important goals make it onto the New Year Resolution list.

It’s also the beginning of the financial new year and a good time to sort out budgets and how to pay for any expenses that may surface on the New Year Resolution list.

So the task I set you is this. Sort out what you’d like on your Resolution list for January and organise your budget NOW for it. That way, you’ll be ready and in a better position for success.

Apple crumble

This is a guest post from Katrina.

It’s winter and time for some comforting sweets that will warm you up in no time. Everyone has probably eaten it at least once. It is a great accompaniment to a roast dinner. Make sure you have some ice cream on hand or hot custard if you like. Have you guessed what I am talking about?

Well I am talking about good old Apple Crumble with a few options and a twist thrown in.

First the crumble topping. I like to use oats to give a bit of crunch. You will need:

1 cup of plain flour

½ cup of oats

½ cup of desiccated coconut

¾ cup of raw sugar

125gm butter

In a large bowl add dry ingredients and blend well. Add softened butter to bowl and rub in with the tips of your fingers.

Find yourself a deep pie dish or shallow casserole dish. Choose from one of these fillings:

  1. 825gm tin of pie Apple, drizzle with iron bark honey and sprinkle with some lemon or lime zest. Top with the crumble topping and scatter a few slivered almonds. Brush with a little melted butter.

  2. 825 gm of pear halves. Drain and quarter spread over base of pie dish. Add a handful of pitted prunes. Drizzle 1-2 Tablespoons of port wine. ( for kids you can add some boiling water to some plum jam). Add a small pinch of cardamon to fruit mixture. Top with crumble topping.

  3. 825 gm tin of peach slices drained. Peel and slice 2 large golden kiwi fruit and arrange over peaches. Spoon over the pulp of 2 passionfruits then top with crumble topping.

Place in a preheated oven set at 200°C or 180°C (fan forced). Cook for 25 to 30 mins or until crispy on too. Serves 8.

The power of the mind

This piece is by my dear friend, Hilda Oakley. She’s given me permission to share it with you.

Please note that this is copyrighted.

“One of the most important organs of the body is the brain. The brain is where the mind is situated. It sends messages to the rest of the body.

I have learnt many lessons and I would like to share them with you.

Strategies:

When feeling anxious or depressed, it is good to use strategies.

It’s like rearranging one’s mind.

Reading

Listening to classical music

Listening to music on the iPod.

Listening to gentle music on the radio

Listening to talking books from the library

A healthy body leads to a healthy mind

It is good to repeat this ofyen: It’s a brand new wonderful day.

The environment

It is good to work in the garden, even if it’s only for 10 – 15 minutes a day.

Don’t forget to take time to smell the roses.

Look at all the beautiful flowers.

Be free from worry

Be careful what books you read

Be careful what you watch on telly

Listen to classical music

Replace negativity with positivity

When feeling anxious, take deep breaths.

Make love a part of your life

Add caring and kindness into your life

Mix with positive friends

Watch your daily caffeine intake. Watch your coffee and tea intake.

Have a proper dress code to lift your spirits.

Laughter is always the best medicine!

We have all been given a free Will, be careful how you use it.

Life is a challenge, but we have been given the equipment to overcome, just use it

For my spirituality I turn to my Christian beliefs and my faith in God.

Set your aims high.

Be proud of yourself and your achievements

Do regular exercise

Eat organic food”

Community organisations

This week’s post is all about community organisations.

Rotary has been my community organisation, of choice, for the last five years.

In my very first post ( https://lizseverest.com/2018/03/29/ikaria ) I wrote about how important it is to longevity to have a sense of purpose, and that volunteering and being a part of the community can give a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Well, the way I fulfill this, is through my local Rotary Club.

During my time with the Club, I have helped numerous high schoolers to steady their nerves and be involved in public speaking, assisted in raising funds for various charities, and organised events and get togethers for the local business community. I do this because I value my community. It’s my little way of linking with others, and getting a buzz when I know I’ve done my own bit for making this a more wonderful planet to live on.

Another bonus is that I was able to travel to Japan with some members from my Club, a few years ago. A bunch of us were privelleged enough to hang out with the Rotary Club of Okayama Chuo, who welcomed us as ambassadors from their sister Club. The fellowship was awesome and we made friends with others of like minds from across the ocean.

Recently, a Guest Speaker from Uganda graced my home Club with a talk on her project in Africa. Tanja founded and continues to support her charity, “The Little Blue Shed.” In a few week’s time, my hope is to secure her as a Guest Blogger on Liz’s Everest. It’s my little way of furthering her cause and helping out where possible, in supporting a fellow believer in community and making this world a better place to be.

So, my call to action is simple.

Track down your local community organisations, and attend a meeting or two. Connect with a cause larger than yourself and start mixing with others of like minds. It might help you live longer!

Cauliflower Soup

This week, you, my faithful follower, would have noticed I’m a little late in posting.

It’s for a good reason.

Friends have spent the past ten weeks outside of Australia, travelling abroad, and they only returned home over the weekend. So, last night, instead of slaving over the keyboard, developing a post for this week, I was having dinner at their place and being regaled with lots of tales from their adventures.

From buying discounted clothing in Dubai to having a pub lunch in Cornwall, they entertained me.

But not only that, they also made the most scrumptious meal from a cauliflower.

My friend is a brilliant cook, and this is what she whipped up:

Ingredients:

1 brown onion, diced

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

5 medium potatoes

1 cauliflower

2L vegetable stock

salt and pepper

nutmeg

cream

butter

Method:

  1. fry onion in melted butter until soft

  2. Add garlic. Cook further 1-2 mins.

  3. Chop cauliflower roughly. Chop 5 medium sized white fleshed potatoes roughly.

  4. Add potatoes to pan and boil 15 mins. Add cauliflower and 2 litres of vegetable stock salt pepper and nutmeg.

  5. Bring back to boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer for. about 2 hrs. May need to add more water.

  6. Season to taste. Allow to cool. Blend until smooth.

  7. Stir in 1 carton of cream and heat gently.

It’s a lovely way to use cauliflower. Since they’re in season at the moment, they can be picked up in my home town for as little as $1 per head. This makes this particular recipe incredibly cheap to make, and the quantities, last night, fed three people with enough for left overs. Especially with a bread roll, this is hard to beat on a cold Winter’s night.