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CulinaryChem: Spice GINGER

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My chosen spice is ---GINGER--- in all its forms, fresh root, powdered, crystallised, preserved – I love it! Most people will be familiar with it in biscuits (cookies) and gingerbread cake but I like it in savoury dishes as well. I like ginger marmalade, ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger wine, ginger in pumpkin soup, ginger in rice based dishes, ginger sprinkled on vegetables. Put ginger in it and I will eat it. I don’t usually have a sweet tooth but present me with some dark chocolate ginger and there’s no holding me back!
The first link is a general article on the spice. Although I’ve loved it all my life I learned something new! I didn’t know it was related to turmeric and cardamom and would never have guessed from the taste of the three different spices.

Ginger has lots of therapeutic uses, particularly in combating nausea. This is a recent article (2013) about tests of its therapeutic effects.

For years I used to peel the root with a potato peeler but there is a much easier way. This article demonstrates that and other ways to prepare it.

This link has general information, recipes, matches with food and how to substitute fresh and ground forms.
MY RECIPE Bonus points:

Preserving Pears with Ginger and no sugar
(works with apples as well)

Peel and cook pears in water to which you have added lemon/lime juice and some minced ginger. I use minced ginger I buy in a jar from the supermarket but you could do your own. Quantities to taste.
Sterilise jars. Add fruit to heated jars, fill to overflowing with lemon, water, ginger mix and seal.

Left over liquid is lovely as juice or tea.

After only a few days the fruit has thickened the juice without sugar and the ginger adds a piquant taste.

PS. Some of the mints in our garden:
and nasturtiums which we eat as salad greens occasionally.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRAZYKAT3232 4/18/2014 7:38PM


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GOANNA2 4/17/2014 11:28PM

    I am a ginger lover too. I bought some pears yesterday
so will start preparing the dessert now. Thanks for the
recipe. I love slicing ginger very thin and adding it to
a jar of cider vinegar with a pinch of salt. When I crave
a snack, I find this very refreshing. I also use some
of the vinegar in my salad dressings.
Have a Happy Easter.

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1CRAZYDOG 4/16/2014 9:18PM

  Thanks for the wonderful information! HUGS

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 4/16/2014 5:37PM

    I also love ginger, in it's many forms. Thanks for such a great article on this versatile spice.

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JFROGSPYDER 4/16/2014 4:24PM

    Ms Penny ~ I LOVE ginger too!!!! I ALWAYS use it in my stir-fry & rice dishes too!!!! I also like nasturtiums in my salads!!!! I really like edible flowers & now our local market carries a few in the Summer!!!! Your pears really look good!!!! I never learned to can, but would like to learn!!!! LOL!!!! On my list of things to do someday!!!! LOL!!!! Thank you for all the good articles too!!!!
´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.•´ .•´¨¨))
((¸¸.•´ ..•´Professor Jae Frog-:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.•´*

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JTREMBATH 4/16/2014 2:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JMOUSE99 4/16/2014 10:17AM

    I love ginger! Especially ginger root.

I use LOTS of it almost like a veggie in the stews I make. I slice it very thin and just throw it in the pot with the carrots, etc. It's a bit spicy if you eat the stew right away, but it really mellows out by the next day.

A little grocery store near my bus stop often has unusual produce and the other day they had turmeric roots. They look just like ginger roots, except bright yellow peeks out from under the rough brown skin. I didn't know what I'd do with them, so I didn't buy any, but they were very interesting.

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RDEE22 4/16/2014 7:42AM

    Love it. I cut root ginger into useable pieces and throw it in a snaplock bag in the freezer ready just to get out. great in stir-fry. emoticon

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WENDYJM4 4/16/2014 7:31AM


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SANDRALEET 4/16/2014 7:23AM

    You can store extra peeled cut in peaces in a jar in sherry

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MLH148 4/16/2014 7:15AM

    At our grocery store they sell frozen ginger squares - about 5 mm Cube. So convenient! It's got us using it much more-- I agree it's great in savory dishes.

Comment edited on: 4/16/2014 7:16:00 AM

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SABLENESS 4/16/2014 7:05AM

    Awesome! I like ginger, but don't use it very often. I keep ginger tea in my desk at work and in the pantry at home for upset stomachs. Thanks for all the useful info. I too could OD on dark chocolate ginger! Yum!

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LYNMEINDERS 4/16/2014 6:47AM


I love the mint......like it in most vege dishes....

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MICKEYH 4/16/2014 6:20AM

    I love ginger too. And you've got lovely mint garden! Thanks for sharing.

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NEW-CAZ 4/16/2014 3:11AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ARTJAC 4/16/2014 2:43AM


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PHEBESS 4/15/2014 11:40PM

    Mmmm, I like ginger too! (Supposed to help prevent seasickness!)

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PLATINUM755 4/15/2014 11:34PM

    Oh I love ginger and add it whenever I can...Thanks for the info share!

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Humour gets us through!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This was produced by CTV, the company whose building collapsed with tragic outcome on 22 Feb, 2011. With the help of other media businesses they were able to re-establish themselves and get back on air.
Those who have ever heard David Attenborough's distinctive style of commentary with recognise the tone here!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GARDENQE2 4/16/2014 12:15PM

    Funny! emoticon
Here, it seems like every road is under repair every summer, and some call the road cone, "The New Mexico State Flower."
Best wishes!

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LYNMEINDERS 4/16/2014 6:46AM

    Brilliant...love it

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PHEBESS 4/15/2014 10:57PM

    Oh that is wonderful!!!!!

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FEARLESSNOW 4/15/2014 10:39PM


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GODDREAMDIVA1 4/15/2014 9:17PM


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WENDYJM4 4/15/2014 8:54PM

    ode to the cone. very funny emoticon

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SANDRALEET 4/15/2014 8:45PM

    That was funny

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MICKEYH 4/15/2014 8:33PM

    Migration of cone! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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SABLENESS 4/15/2014 8:27PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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MERRYMARY42 4/15/2014 8:06PM

    I loved the kitten rescue, and enjoyed the ode to traffic cones, and it does sound like David Attenbourough

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1CRAZYDOG 4/15/2014 8:05PM

  Thanks for this link!!!


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MLH148 4/15/2014 8:04PM

    Very fun! Thanks

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History, royals and the Earth

Monday, April 14, 2014

Yesterday I spent in the central city. I went to see the royals. This was Prince William’s third visit since the quakes and the first time in Christchurch for the Duchess. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall also came last year to look at the damage and start the renewal of the Victoria Memorial. I went to see them that time, even though the city was in a terrible state. This time was even worse: in the short distance from the bus station to the viewing area I took a number of photographs; I also took some of the 1000+ years of history Prince William represents. A large crowd turned up; the royals played cricket and did a walkabout, as well as attending a memorial at the site where so many died. Their visit cheered up a lot of people and brought some colour to a drab city centre. The Duchess dressed in red and black which are the Canterbury colours.

and Prince William was generous with his time:

But my main memory of yesterday is of the destruction around me.

Earth Day is coming up – all around me was a reminder of what happens when the earth fractures. When that happened here recently, 200 years of history disappeared or was destroyed in seconds.

But there is always optimism when you see sights like this: our city council has planted bright flowers among the rubble - and they are a thriving symbol of how the city will revive!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HERMIEME 4/16/2014 3:23AM

    How moving, Penny. emoticon emoticon

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DISPATCH91 4/15/2014 8:18PM


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KRAZYKAT3232 4/15/2014 6:28PM

    Thank you for sharing this day with us. Best Wishes.

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1CRAZYDOG 4/15/2014 1:00PM

  emoticon emoticon

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PEGGYO 4/15/2014 11:10AM


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PHEBESS 4/15/2014 9:33AM

    Glad you made it in - and that the city is progressing. The flowers always make things look better, don't they?

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THETURTLEBEAR 4/15/2014 9:20AM

    Sounds like a good way to spend your day and reflect.

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SANDRALEET 4/15/2014 8:04AM

    That can happen anywhere and has We take much for granted Not us

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WENDYJM4 4/15/2014 7:15AM

    thank you for sharing.

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GOANNA2 4/15/2014 7:05AM

    Thanks Penny. You got some good pics considering.
Poor Christchurch, I hope it recovers. Looks like
the council is doing its best. It will take time. I always
remember it as such a beautiful city. emoticon

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MICKEYH 4/15/2014 6:36AM

    Best wishes for future Christchurch. emoticon emoticon

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RDEE22 4/15/2014 5:12AM

    Thanks for that Penny. emoticon

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CHEBBA 4/15/2014 4:19AM

    As I read this lovely blog, and when I got to the last bit, it made me realise that we humans are capable of rising from just about all of the ashes. Tragedy can't bring back the loved ones we have lost, but the other things CAN be fixed over a period of time.

You mention the loss of history - and I totally understand that. But the other way of looking at it is that this IS part of history, for the latter is never static, it's always on the move. To those who will come after us, today for us is going to be their history. It IS sad to lose the vestiges of our past... beautiful buildings, the views that went with them, tree-lined avenues and countless other meaningful things - but it is what it is and it's now time to turn the negatives into positives. Your country has a sound ability to do this.

If we apply all of this to our invariably rocky weight loss journeys, no matter how bad things get we can get it all back on track again. It'll take time and patience, but it is eminently do-able. Beauty can rise from the ashes, nothing is broken forever and, sometimes, what comes next can be stronger and better.

Thanks Penny - a good post and certainly one on which to ponder.


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ARTJAC 4/15/2014 2:51AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 4/15/2014 2:32AM

    Excellent blog Penny, thanks for sharing emoticon

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MLDRLD 4/15/2014 2:19AM

    Thank you, Penny, for sharing your photos and thoughts with us! You do such an excellent job.

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LYNMEINDERS 4/15/2014 1:24AM

    I am totally positive that Catherine & William would love to fix Christchurch....
I really wish the people would have their houses fixed....
I was gutted I missed them in dunedin....
I was in wellington when they were here....we passed in the skies.....lol

Comment edited on: 4/15/2014 1:25:03 AM

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Christchurch Rebuild

Friday, April 11, 2014


We are number 2 on this list and I can see why. There is definitely a sense of something happening in this city. But for many people it’s still a long road ahead before homes are repaired or rebuilt and any kind of normality returns to their lives.
Our government is talking about our “rock star economy” and taking credit for our reasonably sound economic status in the world. It’s election year, of course, and they are thinking of their electoral prospects and keen to win and keep the support of big business and entrepreneurs. But self-serving declarations about the boost to the national economy provided by the Christchurch rebuild leave a sour taste in the minds and mouths of many Christchurch people who are entering their fourth year of disruption and bureaucracy. Even the so-called rebirth of the central city is fraught with difficulty as in the face of protest from those who have lived here all their lives over 50% of our heritage buildings have been demolished while another large number’s fate is likely to be similar. Our City Council is ridiculed and ignored if they try to oppose central government’s decrees. Not surprisingly the city as a whole supports opposition political parties – probably the reason why government politicians feel they can act so despotically with impunity. We might have a rock-star economy but it is built on the distress and on-going suffering of a large proportion of this city’s residents.
Our area is not the worst but within a kilometre of where I live these are common sights:
These roadworks near our supermarket have been happening for the last 3 years. Repairs to underground pipes often throws more pressure on the system so the roads have to come up again.

These juggernauts are a constant sight and sound. When they move they make the ground shake which can be frightening. This is the roundabout where we get petrol from our service station. The whole road is closed for months.

The big blue box is a shipping container .Lots of houses have them in gardens or on the road outside as they are used to store possessions when houses have had to be emptied. Some of them are used as site offices. Portaloos are still a common site.

Footpaths are still broken and unrepaired . The whole area is a mess.

What a pity we can't put up a notice to national politicians as hazards to our city!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNMEINDERS 4/14/2014 5:46AM

    I have to be honest Penny I am appauled at the time all this is taking and SOOOO MANY people are living in substandard houses....
I think the polititions all need sacked and start again however it is so sad because the people of NZ won't do that at the up coming election

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CAROLJ35 4/12/2014 5:47PM

    Where in this troubled world can you find decent politicians??? They are all just money-hungry and don't care about the people.

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MLDRLD 4/12/2014 4:44PM

    So sad and so hard people who have to cope with this.

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JTREMBATH 4/12/2014 3:42PM

    emoticon I am constantly seeing this on TV it makes you wonder just how much longer you people down there have to put up with it.

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BOPPY_ 4/12/2014 2:32PM

    How are you doing?

Where are you wrt your program?

Lee emoticon

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WENDYJM4 4/12/2014 8:25AM

    so sad to see this after so long. emoticon

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MICKEYH 4/12/2014 7:30AM

    Sometime it is very frustrating to think about why the way our government handle stuff.

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NEW-CAZ 4/12/2014 3:57AM


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    I have lovely pictures of Christchurch before. I am so sorry that it is taking so long and that much is being lost.

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ARTJAC 4/12/2014 12:49AM


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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 4/12/2014 12:13AM

    **HUGS** I totally agree about politicians. Hope you can get some relief and the things that matter fixed.

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GOANNA2 4/11/2014 10:48PM

    Wow, they are slow at getting repairs done.
All talk , no action seems to be the politicians mantra.
I hope things emoticon get fixed up soon.

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SANDRALEET 4/11/2014 10:12PM

    Big business is losing its sole People mean next to nothing over the love of money and profit

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PHEBESS 4/11/2014 9:40PM

    The people of Christchurch are wonderful (you and Peter are prime examples!) but politicians everywhere seem to be the same - all talk and no action.

Are Kate, Will, and baby George visiting CC on this trip?

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1CRAZYDOG 4/11/2014 9:29PM

  Oh my! So sad that it has taken so long to get things going! Prayers

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Commonplace Bk organisation: writing class c.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I'm keeping the organisation simple and have only 4 headings: Book Precis, Words, Exemplars and Quotations. I've made coloured labels and pasted them at various pages throughout. I'm using coloured paperclips to mark the last page used in each section.
I've kept a copy of my labels so that they can be used again, or other headings added as the contents dictate.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Hurray for organization!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/3/2014 5:42PM


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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 4/3/2014 11:38AM

    Thanks for sharing! Love the book and the idea of it... gave me an idea that maybe I'll do one next week.

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SANDRALEET 4/3/2014 9:24AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GOANNA2 4/3/2014 7:08AM

    Well done Penny. Looks great!

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MICKEYH 4/3/2014 4:39AM

    Wonderful, brilliant and genius !! emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 4/3/2014 3:51AM

Trust that you are enjoying this....

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NEW-CAZ 4/3/2014 2:43AM

    looks great!

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PHEBESS 4/3/2014 2:36AM

    Colour coding always helps, doesn't it?

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ARTJAC 4/3/2014 1:19AM


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WENDYJM4 4/2/2014 11:52PM

    looks good

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CHERIRIDDELL 4/2/2014 11:34PM

    Looks brilliant !

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