Tuesday, December 30, 2014

red rice

I am writing of a time when the people did have rice to eat.

As an Ethnic Chinese I grew up eating rice, rice and more rice. People say eating rice won't make you fat, but this is not true. It depends on what you eta with the rice. I have never been match stick thin, and in Asia, I am considered fat. But here in New Zealand, it feels good when there are more people who tilt the scale more than you.

Rice and whole grains are healthful sources of carbohydrates, providing you choose the right ones. Try adding the following varieties to your holiday table - each provides nutritional benefits as well as flavor and texture.

For rice dishes: Experiment with brown, basmati, jasmine and wild rice, all healthier options than traditional white rice. My brother in law Kallang comes from the Bario Highlands, they grow a very good Bario rice, and people who have tasted this rice swear by it.

Look for organic varieties, and keep them stored in tightly sealed jars on the pantry shelf. During very hot, humid weather you might want to refrigerate the grains.

When I was in Singapore, I used to entertain quite a bit or have pot luck meals with my friends. I made this at one of the lunches with our friends in Nanyang technological University where I lived for 16 years. It was WOWed and they wanted the recipe and it is such a healthy dish.


1 cup cooked brown or red (from NTUC or Liberty)rice
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
1/4 cup of red onion, diced (optional for colour)
1 red or yellow pepper, diced
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 cup. cashew nuts
2 tbsp. sunflower seeds

1/4 c. soy sauce dressing

Toss thoroughly.

Optional: sweet corn kernels
diced green pepper
diced celery
pine nuts
for a non vegetarian salad, boiled eggs, chicken, ham may be added.


3/4 c. oil (sunflower or soy)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper for taste

Put all ingredients in jar; shake well. Makes 1 cup.
Serves 6 to 8.

I couldn't find a photo of this rice salad. The photo shows the boiled red rice we ate in Singapore. My son and I made the cake one year for the man in the house birthday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

kauri gum store. New Zealand.


09-412 9555
A group of thirteen of us braved the rain and headed up to Riverhead.  I loved the warm cosiness of the decor. The paraphernalia and the display of the things of times gone by was very welcome.
The waitress Laura was friendly and helpful . The food was delicious and generous. The muffin was huge.
A great way for us to end the year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

white morning glory

The morning glory Calystegia silvatica is the largest species of bindweed and is a hairless perennial strong rampant climber growing to four metres.

Looks like the vegetable Kangkong in South East Asia, and is an obnoxious plant.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tru2U Flax seed Oil - boost your health.

 I tested this flax seed oil which  come in Garlic, Lemon and Chilli flavours. These  flavours are mild and suit the Kiwi palate. They are a delightful addition to your food, just drizzle over your salad or pasta.

 Tru2U flax seed oil is a high quality product for adults and children and can assist the body to function more efficiently.
a few dash of chilli flavoured flax seed oil on the mango salad, and drizzle garlic flavoured Flax seed oil on the pasta will make a lot of difference to your taste and health.

Flax seed oil is a rich source of healing compounds. Flax seed (also called linseed) has been cultivated for more than 7000 years. First cultivated in Europe, the plant's brown seeds were regularly used to prepare balms for inflamed skin and healing slurries for constipation.
Flax seed oil is one of nature's riches sources of Omega-3,  it is rich in essential fatty acids. These EFAs are vital for good health and are considered to play a crucial role in brain function and possibly reducing the risk of heart disease and arthritis, and to relieve a variety of inflammatory disorders and hormone-related problems, including infertility.

Tru2U Flax seed Oil is cold pressed and grown in Canterbury, New Zealand. This flax seed oil comes in different gourmet flavours for a delightful addition to your food.

Buy them for yourself  or to fill that Christmas stocking  or that Secret Santa. It is a welcomed gift.

How would you use it?

I used them in my summer salad, drizzle over pasta or as a light dressing. As Kiwis are getting more and more health conscious, Flax seeds oil are a tasty option, and are a great alternative to fish oils for vegetarians.

100%pure and natural Tru2U range is available in six exciting flavours, pure, cracked pepper, garlic, lemon, chilli and Rosemary. I recommend them at http://tru2u.co.nz.

I am not paid to do this review. I am given samples to try them out.

Gomphocarpus physocarpus" swan plant

This can be a story of the life cycle of the butterfly. But this is beyond this. In two days time, Patrick Martin would have been celebrating his 10th birthday. He should probably be playing in Junior rugby or rugby league. His mum Louise would be busy preparing for his birthday party. But there is none of these going to happen. Louise's heart is heavy and she knows she is dreading the day.

I wasn't here when this happened. It was a stroke of unusual circumstance that Louise and I became friends. We were at a workshop and she invited me to sit beside her. I introduced myself as a bereaved mum, and Louise touched my arm. She whispered, I am too. It was as if that touch and soft words were magical. We became friends.

On Friday, I was sitting outside the clump of swan plants teaching some students. A Monarch butterfly landed on my shoulder. I taught my kids with this song Butterfly, my butterfly, wait for me don't fly away, I told the students, it is natural for the butterflies to fly away when they are ready.

But in the case of Patrick, it was far from being natural. I looked up the archives, It was a very tragic case. 

swan plant

Little Patrick was taken to welfare care, and he died 10 days later which they claim was SIDS. Patrick had been living in a house with nine other foster children and the foster couple's own two.

An inquest into the death of four-month-old Patrick Martin also heard that the home, owned by the Methodist Mission Northern, did not have resource consent for use as a children's home.
A coroner yesterday recorded an open verdict into the death of four-month-old Patrick Martin last May. 

As regarding the dead butterfly in this photo, I was told that children play with the caterpillars, squeeze the pupas, they have no chance to grow to become healthy butterflies and fly away. Just like Louise's Patrick, someone had interfered with his well being.

White Bucida tree

White Bucida tree...... Bucida buceras ( Bucida 'Variegated') ......upside down Christmas tree

This tree and a few others is growing off Jln Song, near 101 in Kuching. I was told they are very expensive. I remark, they were not worried people might steal them as they were outside the fence.  I am known to be a value for money person. I will never buy a tree this expensive, and if I did, I would grow it inside the yard.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Proposal: A formal Chinese garden.

"A person that creates a garden finds much happiness" - An ancient Chinese saying

A friend my home Borneo had the above quote in his facebook page, just the right one I needed today, as I come back from a function where it was proposed to construct a Chinese garden. I want to add on to Tony's quote by saying that a garden gives much happiness to anyone who walks by. In deed, I walk round places and soak in the atmosphere, smell the fragrances of flowers and enjoy the eye candy.

Will a formal Chinese Garden be the right thing in Auckland?  The Chinese have been in New Zealand since 1850, and there are more than 110,000 Chinese in Auckland?

I wrote to the local MP, Mr David Shearer, I drive past Chamberlain Park daily. There are hardly anyone playing golf. In fact an avid golfer told me that golf course is so low quality that people do not want to play there.

I like my say, I do not think a golf course serving a small group of people are the right one for the city that has diverse groups of people living. I am no expert in culture or landscaping.  I would expect there will be plants like my photo where I took from The New Zealand Chinese Association building.

I signed my feedback to Albert-Eden Local Board.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

red clover

Trifolium pratense is a variety of clover found in New Zealand.  It is common in lawns. Like all clovers it has three leaflets, and creeping stems that set roots at whatever point they touch the ground. Flowers are red/purple. They are a member of the pea family Fabaceae and this means it can fix nitrogen from the air and therefore they favour poorly fertilised lawns.Though cloves are a nuisance in lawns it is an important plant in rural pastures.  It is also important for honey bees pollen collection. Clover honey is the most common honey type in New Zealand.



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mango salad

You need two semi green mangoes ( still hard) cut into strips, and salt it a little.
Cut green and red capsicum the same strips as the mangoes.
Cut red onions into rings.
Cut cucumber into strips,
Cut carrots into thin stricks
Chop spring onions.
Chop one chilli or 1/2 spoon dried chilli flakes,
One lemon juice,(can use 2 spoons of vinegar)
2 spoon sugar,
1 spoon salt,
1 teaspoon of fish sauce.(optional if you can't stand the smell or taste)

Mix all ingredients.
Chill and serve in a big glass bowl.

Optional, soft 1/2 a pack of Chinese pea vermicelli aka called TUNG FEN in Chinese in hot water. Drain well. This is the type used by Pasifika people in their chop suez.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Flower: Ornamental Kale

I used to think that Kale was a vegetable. I saw this in a florist, and bought it for my daughter G when she came home for dinner. The florist said it would last 2 weeks, but the outer petals started to droop after two days.


Woman to appeal against 'fun' bum slap ruling


Photo / Thinkstock

Cherie Howie

Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.
Woman to appeal against 'fun' bum slap ruling

A boss who slapped his employee's bottom has praised the Employment Relations Authority for not automatically favouring the woman complainant by finding it was not sexual harassment, but a "fun slap".
In a judgment released this week, authority member Anna Fitzgibbon found The Plant Place owner Bruce Sanson did not sexually harass former employee Ella Newman.
This afternoon Newman responded that she was "disappointed ... but feeling strong" and would appeal.
The 23-year-old resigned the day after the December 2013 incident, and then alleged Sanson had previously sexually harassed her during the two years she worked at his Hamilton garden centre.
Fitzgibbon rejected those claims, calling Newman an unreliable witness and questioning why she did not complain earlier.
The December 2013 bottom slap was "inappropriate and should not be repeated" but took place during a joke, Fitzgibbon said.
"Ms Newman was being cheeky about Mr Sanson's floppy hat and he slapped her on the bottom. It was a one-off slap, which I accept was a 'fun slap'."
Mr Sanson told the Herald on Sunday the finding was "groundbreaking".
"I assumed there would be too many precedents before it that would disallow it [being thrown out]. I don't think many [sexual harassment] cases get thrown out .. that was my only worry, that the girl would get more believed than the guy."
The slap was his first and last to a woman.
"It was something that just happened and you wished afterwards it probably shouldn't have happened ... I always thought she was a good friend and the relationship would've handled that."
The slap was "never a real case of sexual harassment".
"Wise counsel should have been brought to bear and good advice given in the earlier part of the year by people that should've known better than to let it go on."
Other incidents alleged by Newman were not true. They "bumped each other" in the small work space, but it wasn't sexual, Sanson said.
"She wasn't my type."
The single dad of adult children had offered Newman her job back.
"I still respect the girl. She's still a very good employee, I think it was just a youthful mistake. I thought she would've managed the garden centre within a year or two ... just because she's made a silly mistake doesn't mean that she's a bad person."
Newman stood by all her complaints and said the Roger Sutton case had convinced her "that I need to fight on".
Sutton, the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive, was found to have committed serious misconduct after a female staff member complained of unwanted hugs and comments.
Newman said she felt "let down" by the authority. She had not complained about earlier incidents - which she alleged included bottom slapping - because she thought it might have been accidental.
She had glared at Sanson to make her feelings clear and a text sent after her resignation showed he knew what she was talking about, she said.
The "fun slap" was "unprovoked and forceful".
"I had to go to the doctor. I cannot reconcile what a 'fun slap' is, let alone in what ''context" an employer now seems to be able to do it ... I am 23, he is 61. It is simply not appropriate in any context ... I still can't understand how an employer can turn up to court, admit he assaulted me by slapping my bottom, and walk away thinking he has done nothing wrong."
Equal Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue said the Sutton affair put such behaviour in the spotlight.
"One of the things I would like to see come out of all of this is that woman should come forward," she said.
But she cautioned that incidents of a sexual nature had to meet a high threshold to be deemed as sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment was usually a repeated incident, and if it was a one-off incident it had to be quite significant and cause harm and detriment.
- additional reporting NZME.

I wrote to the Reporter .

Dear Cherie,


Thank you for your article. I am the writer of "Cry the Oppressed Women", women suffer from FUN slaps, women suffer from smite remarks.

35 years ago, fresh from university, in my first job, a manager was a feely touchy type. Once he gave me a Fun Slap on my bottom, I was very upset and couldn't concentrate on my work. Eventually, I went to his office and told him never to do it again.

If it had happened today, I would have sued him for sexual harassment.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WELLA: Sabestian Professional

Shampoos that cleanse and care, conditioners that pamper and treatments that rebuild for a flawless FOUNDATION
 Sebastian Trilliance, shine preparation cleanser for all type of hair
 Sebastian Trilliant, thermal protection and shimmer-complex
Sebastian Trilliance shine preparation rinser for all types of hair.

When I was in between my first degree in Canada and my second degree in New Zealand, my aunt who owned the best salon in the town, suggested that I could come to her salon to learn to be a shampoo girl. She said I could work in the summer holidays in a hair and beauty salon. There she taught me the importance of using good  hair care products before I started to shampoo.  Her product was WELLA.

With the Christmas holiday coming up, whether it is for you to look glamorous for parties, or to give that "I don't know what to give" gift, WELLA is offering gorgeous limited packs from premium hair-care ranges. Sebastion Professional is one of them.

The Trilliance Pack features a 250ml shampoo, 250 ml conditioner and 150ml Trilliant. Formulated with rock crystal extract for added shine. Hair is left soft to touch with Trilliant thermal protection and shimmer complex, designed to gently condition hair.



I am given products to test to write this review, I am not paid.

Procter & Gamble serves approximately 4.8 billion people around the world with its brands.  http://www.pg.

Tru2U Christmas Packs :Tart Cherry


Tru2U Christmas Packs


What is better than giving yourself, your loved ones (children included) and friends a restorative sleep this Christmas?

Christchurch based business have extended their popular range of health-supporting products to include cute – and useful – gift packs, and we thought you might be interested in it as a Christmas present idea for your blog.
The new Christmas gift packs – all containing Tart Cherries or NZ Sweet Cherry (both of which help support restorative sleep with naturally occurring phytomelatonin) – are suitable for the whole family, helping to ensure those you love get quality sleep and natural health support

I have a friend, with a professional job who had trouble sleeping try out with Tart Cherries and this is his report.
As someone who can have trouble getting to sleep this struck me as a product with great potential, and I think it is a potential that was met - I feel I have been sleeping better since I have started taking it.
Tru2u is made from the juice of tart cherries, which the bottles says are high in phytomelatonin, a natural component of a good sleep cycle. The recommendation is to take it an hour before trying to sleep, either by itself or mixed in with something else. I quite like the flavour, but I also enjoy tart flavours.
I have continued to take this product nightly some weeks after first starting and there is a good reason I keep coming back to it.
by H.

I am not paid for this review, I am giving a bottle to try it out.