Friendship – what does it mean: Visit to a Saffron Farm: Indulging in a craft: A delicious Coconut Slice

My readers probably think I’ve discontinued blogging, my last post being in January.  Many things have happened but I think a break has revitalised me.  As a blogger you worry that readers are becoming bored with your style or your message;  I certainly hope not but it’s possible.

Friendship – what does it mean

By the time we reach retirement and beyond many people have passed through our lives who we call friends but are they actually friends or acquaintances who we call ‘friends’ because they move in the same circles as we do.  Facebook comes to mind where people appear to have hundreds of friends.  

There are friendships we form in our younger years that we are lucky enough to maintain throughout life.  These friendships have endured the test of time and whilst we may not be in contact as often as we would like, the ties that we formed never break.  I am blessed to have one such friend, Olive.  We met when we started school, dare I tell you, around 75 years ago and know each other inside out.  There is nothing we wouldn’t do for each other.  I also maintain a friendship with Joan Blain through e-mail and the occasional phone call.  Joan is in care now in the UK as she has MS.   We met when our children went to judo club.   I so admire her bravery and true grit.  

Then there are friendships that come upon us unexpectedly and form into strong relationships that stand the test of time.  It’s not easy to be a true friend.  There are times when loyalties are tested, misunderstandings occur, thoughtless acts cause pain and in the worst scenario the friendship is broken.  Through life I am sure we have all experienced the loss of friendship and for whatever reason it inevitably hurts.  We always have to ask what part we played in the breakdown.  Was it my fault, could the break have been avoided.  You analyze yourself and question what type of friend you are.  Can a broken friendship be repaired and be the same as before I wonder.  

I believe we all need friends, someone we can confide in, know we can rely on and trust, whose company we enjoy and feel a sense of well being when we are together.  A lot to ask – what does friendship mean to you ?

Visit to a Saffron Farm

I was fortunate enough to be asked to visit a Saffron Farm with Janet Staben, a member of Women on Farms, as her guest at one of their monthly meetings and outings.  This turned out to be a very interesting experience as I had little knowledge of the production of Saffron and the hard work involved.  We were able to participate in the picking of the crocuses.  Every crocus is counted and records meticulously kept.

The saffron crocus is thought to have originated in south west Asia or the Mediterranean region.  It is a sterile flowering plant, i.e. it does not produce seed and therefore its spread throughout the world has been dependent on human activity and the trade and transport of the corms.  Each corm only produces one flower.  Saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices by weight and is often adulterated by the inclusion of other materials.

In Australia the season for harvest is March to May, the flowers being picked early in the morning, the stigmas removed and dried before being processed.  It seems the actual flower itself has no use.  I did ask if they could be used as a dye but apparently no colour is produced.  Imagine he cost of dyeing with saffron powder which results in a striking yellow/orange colour.  

I found a really interesting article on the internet entitled:   Dyeing with real Saffron – here’s the link:      NOTE:    Click on Dyeing with Real Saffron not Reconstructing History

Dyeing with Real Saffron

INDULGING IN A CRAFT

As many of you may know I am a member of the South Gippsland Spinners and Fibre Arts Group, based in Korumburra, Victoria which gives me the opportunity to meet with other like minded ladies (sometimes a few blokes) in pursuing our various crafts and sharing our knowledge with those wishing to learn.  My particular interest is in wet felting;  it’s absolutely amazing what can be produced from this ancient craft.  Last week some members of the group came to my place to spin/felt and chat.  Chat we certainly did over lunch.  Our theme was felting baby booties which turned out a treat.  

 

If you are looking for an activity in your retirement and have an interest in a particular craft or set of crafts, I urge you to seek out a group, go along and see what’s on offer.  It will give you the greatest pleasure and allow you to develop your talents.  

INA’S COCONUT SLICE

I have been given the opportunity to share this recipe with you by Teresa Verney (member of South Gippsland Spinners & Fibre Arts Group) who inherited it from Ina a friend of many moons ago.  While Ina was alive it was a guarded secret but now we are able to enjoy.  Teresa brought the slice to the spin/felt/chat day and we did it justice by eating every morsel.  I baked the slice myself today and it’s absolutely yum.

Ingredients – 1 cup self raising flour, 1 cup coconut, 114g butter melted, ¾ cup sugar, 2 eggs, ½ cup milk

Method – mix melted butter and sugar together then add dry ingredients followed by beaten egg and milk.  Turn into a lined slice tin and bake in a moderate oven for approximately 20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.  Ice with lemon icing while still warm.

Teresa says she makes up a butter cream icing and mixes with lemon juice to cover cake then sprinkles over additional coconut.  I varied this slightly by mixing icing sugar with lemon juice and coconut and spreading over cake – worked really well, though have to say the butter cream icing makes it just a little bit more special.

 

Here’s my quote for today:

Do not listen with the intent to reply but with the intent to understand

 

Janice 

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This entry was posted in Enjoying good company, Frienship, Interesting people, Knitting and crafts, Outings, Recipes on by .

About Janice Graham

I was born in England in 1938 and migrated to Australia in 1976. During my working years, along with my husband Ken, I managed a goat dairy and distribution business supplying health food products. At the same time I took up the challenge of helping build a mud brick home and lived a somewhat 'alternative' lifestyle. Since retirement I have published three e-books, two on vegetarian cookery and a collection of short stories from my younger years. My pastimes are studying the Spanish language, volunteering as a Crisis Counsellor and Community Visiting. I have been married for 54 years, have a son and a daughter and five grandchildren plus a little terrier called Sophia.

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