No no no, no-no-no, no no NOVEMBER

img_3259_2

Hello grumplings, how’s it is hanging? Yes? Good! No!

I have been thinking about my blog a lot the last few days. Been missing it really. Missing the little community of cool-ass bloggers, and their cool-ass blogs that I usually spent my mornings reading. I miss rambling in broken english and mortifyingly poor grammar. I miss telling you all about the latest food ingested and outgested. The only cure for this kinda blues is to write a blog!

Today is a wet sort of cold that gets into your bones, so we are curdled away inside like squirrels. There is a steady shower of rain that every so often turns to snow and then back to rain again. We have a more temperate little mini climate in Gabarus, and the rest of the island is having a fun-time blizzard today so no complaints here. CB has a fire roaring away, and we’re spending the morning in the kitchen cooking together and watching all the Harry Potter movies. We started last night and have just finished the second one. Its a good background movie on such a Novembery day. I forgot how dark they were, Harry P just straight up murdered some guy. And then got awarded school points for it. Wtf…

img_3260

Life is pretty great right now, but one of the top 5 best things has got to be visiting the library regularly. Libraries are the best places on earth. Last month we took out books on compost, solariums, gunsmithing and the first volume of Hellboy. FOR FREE. FOR NO MONEY! It feels like stealing. And stealing feels exhilarating like driving a race car. And driving a race car feels awesome like doing cool drugs. And doing cool drugs feels like visiting the library. I like to get high, on imagination.

This month I grabbed Mastering the art of French Cooking by Julia Child, an ancient old book of Nova Scotian cooking and a book about Scottish baking. We haven’t gone grocery shopping in a while so the Scottish baking book is great, every recipe only has about 5 ingredients, one of which is usually oatmeal. And we never run out of oatmeal…

The first recipe Ive baked from the book is for “sour skons”, to use of the last of the sour cream in the house. This recipe originated in Orkney in the late 1700’s.

ORKNEY SOUR SKONS

200g flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
25g medium oatmeal
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
142ml sour cream
2 tbsp milk

Mix into a soft dough, pat into a 1″ thick round and cut into 6.
Bake at 425F for 15 minutes.

I have to admit, I did not put the caraway in these. Instead I added nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon because I wanted a vehicle on which to shovel tablespoons of apply jelly into my face. And caraway.. I dunno. But I think that would be nice with cheese maybe! Like a fine aged Cheezwhiz perhaps. This recipe took, I shit you not, 17 minutes from when I stood my lazy butt up to when I was eating a softy warm scone. It was super light, with a fluffy texture and I liked the addition of a little oatmeal. They tasted, however, like the 1700s. I’d make these again but probably add a bit of sugar and maybe a pinch more salt to balance it out.

img_3277

Sweetpea was hoping I would hate them and dump them all into her dog bowl in a fit of disappointment and rage. Instead I just ate three, covered in jelly. Actually I put mayonnaise on one. Don’t you dare judge me!

img_3261

This spider has turned my window plants into his very own apartment complex. I like him, he can stay. I haven’t seen a single fruit fly since he moved in.

I have lots to write about but I should pack it in now and go help CB with the pork dumplings he is making for dinner. EXCITING! Dumplings are the #4 best thing in life by the way. I’ll tell you about the others later. Peace out!

Advertisements

I Like It When You Call Me Te Papa

The X-Ray Room, Te Papa Museum, Wellington

TE PAPA TONGAREWA, BIT-CHiZ!

I’m 100% definite that this is one of the cooler museums we’ve ever been to. We parked the van at 9am, and didn’t get out until nearly 2pm.. we are nerds.

But things like this are why:

Cool! Raptors!

G.D. RAPTORS! Giant SQUID body! Bloody HUGE shark skeletons! So many cool things!

Natural History Level, Te Papa Museum, Wellington

They have friendly red-vested volunteers at the door to explain things to you when you come in and it was explained to us that we were too early. So we had a couple of coffees in the cafe which was quite nice.

When you finally enter the first floor of the museum, that’s what it looks like. Low lighting with vibrant colours, with the sound of childrens brains whirring at 1000 km/h. There’s a spiraling platform that goes around a giant fake tree that kids are racing up and down, and ducking into holes like giant maniac mice. Around us there’s an amazing amount of taxidermied animals set up to be interacting in their natural environment. I really loved the displays here, they were set up with humourous anecdotes and didnt seem to take itself too seriously, it was definitely geared towards kids. In one glass case of birds, the Weka is carrying a silver spoon because it’s a little thief who will eat anything, and the furry snake like ferrets are gobbling up eggs from some poor birds nest. It really gets your imagination going, and you start asking questions like “wtf does that bird have a spoon in its mouth?”

If you walk in further the lighting changes to ocean blue and you’re looking at a giant squids carcass, encased in a domed box of formaldehyde. Coooool. Behind that is the “X-Ray Room” which is home to dozens of amazing marine skeletons. The small dolphin skeletons are especially awesome to me, due to their tubular shape. There’s huge crabs on display, and an amazing collection of shells, and cute little creatures like Slipper Lobsters that are like stubby rectangular versions of the real thing. Don’t think Im interested in slipping my foot into one though. The next room is known as The Whale Heart Room. It’s full of interactive little games and stuffed things you and touch and therefore is FULL of children. It also has an enormous, life size plaster make-up of a blue whales heart that kids can run in side of, and out the ventricles. SO cool!

RAWRRR!!

Two Kea’s going at it! This display is super bad ass. Kea’s are endangered, and the worlds only alpine parrot! If you’re camping near them, they will steal your shit. So, watch out.

Moa about to become lunch for a Haast Eagle

This is the largest bird to have ever lived, the Great Moa. They weighed about 500lbs and was an herbivore for some insane reason.

Cute

Above it is its only natural predator, the Haast Eagle, or Harpagornis (cool name). The largest known raptor, it had a wingspan of 3m and weighed 25 pounds. What a chub.

If a Haast eagle could catch a moa it would feed a whole family of eagles for weeks, but it usually died trying. The moa would wait until just the right moment and fall down onto its side, kicking with its gigantic drumstick legs and huge talons. Usually they would both die. They are both extinct now.. or are they? Some cryptozoologists (cool job) believe some could still be living in fiordland. Probably not though, pretty sure some backpacker would notice the 500lb chicken running around the mountains. But MAYBE!

Kiwi Kiwi Kiwi Kiwi

Kiwi birds in 4 delicious flavours! They are probably the weirdest. Also they are somehow the Moa’s closest relative. It made some bad decisions somewhere along the line.

Holy Frijoles, thats an omelette!

That wee little sack of bird lays an egg nearly the same size as itself. Look at that! No wonder they looks so sad an uncomfortable all the time. Can you imagine carrying that shit around? Where do its organs go? Crikey.

Dodo Bone

Aw the leg bone of a dodo. Dodo’s make me sad. All they wanted to do was to see whats up, and they got thunked in the head until they were all dead. I picture them like chicken shaped dogs, and I hate that people killed them. They didnt even eat them! Dodo’s were probably the only thing on the planet that actually doesn’t taste just like chicken! FOR SHAME!

The majestic Kakapo and his girlfriend, A Scientists Head

Now. This is one of my favourite things in life, actually. I first learned about the Kakapo in Stephen Fryes BBC documentary “Last Chance To See”. Please, please, watch this clip. I just watched it again and laughed like an old man who needs an oxygen tank and is simultaneously finding something very funny.

Little rapist. God. His fat little parrot face just kills me every time. Just.. madly slapping the guy in the face.. good stuff.

So, the weird helmet in that picture above makes more sense now doesn’t it? Scientists made this special headgear to catch the parrots.. um.. special baby parrot makers.. so they could use it to make more parrots! Seeing as kakapos have very little interest in mating with anything other than the backs of silky human heads. Yay science!