Lemon honey in the city

Living in a big city naturally means you do not have an acre of land. We are lucky in that we have a courtyard, and it gets sun in the summer. You have heard me wax lyrical about basil pesto before. Well now it is the turn of some humble lemons. One of our first purchases was a lemon and lime tree – a graft obviously, though we only seem to get lemons. I had visions of limes for gin and tonic in the summer when we bought the tree! The last batch of lemons ended up as frozen lemon juice thanks to the mother-out-of-law. For some unknown reason I have always wanted to have a go at making Lemon Honey (which is known as lemon butter in the Australian vernacular as I found out) and for some random reason this late batch of lemons (code for I thought I had better take them off the tree as spring was here!) inspired me. While I was tempted to give them the same fate as their predecessors I went to every kiwi’s cooking bible (the Edmonds Cook Book) and the making of lemon honey appeared reasonably straightforward. What was quirky was a couple of day’s later I picked up the October Child magazine (a great freebie) and in there was an article on their tried and true cookbooks and there first was the good old Edmonds cook book. I could not have agreed more that day, fresh from my successful foray. And it made me smile, especially when we think of modern cook books full of fabulous colour photos – this cook book is the original real deal, the entire recipe for the the lemon honey stretches to about two centimetres, and there are four other recipes sharing the page. You know what though – the lemon honey turned out just so. I am even giving the small jar to a friend, not that she knows it yet, but she thought my first jam attempt was more than ok, so I am willing to risk her opinion again! If you have some lemons going spare, can I suggest a batch of lemon honey…

Transferable skills

Transferable skills.  Not a new term, one long bandied about in regard to writing up your curriculum vitae or resume.  However I lived these two words in that order in way I had never anticipated the other day.

The danger classification sign of radioactive ...

When I was undertaking my PhD in Chemistry I was also a demonstrator for practical laboratories for undergraduate Chemistry students, as many of us were. During this time I took on the practical teaching of basic radioactive handling in a third year analytical chemistry subject.  It was one of the most fun set of sessions to demonstrate and assist students with, which may explain that while it has been probably at least 15 years since I used to do this, the other day it popped back into my head like it was yesterday.

Schweppes LemonadeWhy?  Well my daughter was having one of those temporary bursts where she didn’t seem particularly keen to be parent-detached and so was ensconced on one hip.  I on the other hand was thirsty and decided to treat myself to a bottle of lemonade from the fridge.  A good old Schweppes lemonade in a glass bottle with a screw cap lid, What was I to do…invoke the tried and necessary one hand gloved, one hand non-gloved technique (picture Michael Jackson).  This is where your gloved hand handles that which is radioactive, and the non-gloved hand handles that which you do not want to get radioactive.  You are taught to hold a bottle in such a way that you can unscrew the lid with the same hand.  This proved invaluable at a time when I had a non-detachable child occupying the other hand!

The moral, transferable skills is totally true, but not always in the way you might have envisaged!

Radioactive photo credit: Wikipedia

The airline of middle earth gets my thumbs up, not to mention middle earth customs

Well our wee girl has had her first international flight, albeit Australia to New Zealand is hardly long haul. However you do need a passport and you have to go through customs.  When I was a child I travelled on my mum’s passport – just a line entry with my name and birth date; no photo.  That is no longer the case.  Friends of ours had their son’s passport photos rejected. Ludicrous springs to mind – try telling a baby to do something simple let alone change it’s expression!

The customs officer on departure asked if we’d had our daughter’s hair cut.  No. But just goes to show how much a wee bub can change.  If they aren’t sure How recognisable will her passport be in another year’s time.

Air New Zealand Airbus A320

Photo credit: Wikipedia

I digress. I have travelled on a number of airlines and they all have their own character.  Now the flight we were on didn’t even have business class seats, let alone first class; but having travelled with Air New Zealand before I know this to be the normal routine. They always call for people travelling with young children first to board the plane, ahead of all other passengers, even the fancy pants ones! I think this is great.  If I am ever a fancy pants passenger I may change my mind!!

To put a bigger shine on NZ, while written in small letters on the sign, when clearing customs the line for air crew also takes people travelling with children so you get straight through almost without queuing.  What a nice way to arrive in a country when travelling with children, even more so when coming home.