Saturday, 21 September 2013

Griffins ToffeePop Collisions Krispie

This comes under gimmicky rubbish that isn't worth eating. I was looking for some Krispie biscuits, which are an honest combination of sugar and coconut I believe. Unfortunately, the discerning shoppers had already bought all those, so instead I purchased these hoping they'd be similar.

2012-09-30 - Biscuits - Griffins ToffeePop Collisions Krispie - 01 - packet
I should know better than to buy this rubbish.

2012-09-30 - Biscuits - Griffins ToffeePop Collisions Krispie - 02 - innards

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Planting Rhubarb

I used to like eating rhubarb, but have always found it to expensive to eat.  In the local store nurseries, you can get a small chunk with an attached leaf, for around $6 NZ.  Instead I obtained a large chunk from someone else's plant, for free.

This bag with the chunk in, had been sitting in my warm shed, and a bud had been knocked off somewhere along the way. I wasn't sure if that would affect the plant badly.

2013-08-20 - Rhubarb - 01 - Unpacked
Unpacked, and worse for wear.
Planting this was the same process as planting a fruit tree.

2013-08-20 - Rhubarb - 02 - Hole
Ready to go in.
Cut the edges with the spade, slice off the grass, dig out the dirt, bung in the plant, and then replace the dirt and maybe do the border thing.

2013-08-20 - Rhubarb - 03 - Planted
It seems to have worked rather well, this is one of the more vigorous plants I have. Every day I can see more growth, whether that was a few additional buds, or the leaves on the larger bug growing larger and larger.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Qin Tang Fu restaurant in Beijing

These are old photographs that have been sitting on my camera for over a year now. My Chinese cardiologist didn't appear concerned about the shooting pains in arm, so on the spot I had decided to quit my job and go on a relaxing vacation before the stress of cleaning out an apartment and flying back to New Zealand.

One of the places I went was Beijing, and this food blog provided me with a good restaurant recommendation, in this post. I pretty much ordered the same things she did.

The restaurant, Qin Tang Fu, was thankfully within walking distance of my hotel. I would note that you should book hotel rooms online, as even though I bartered for a lower hotel room price, Motel 8 (I think that was it) had lower prices through online ordering. It wasn't as cheap as the Xi'an hotel, but then again it also didn't have the midnight call where you were asked if you wanted a hooker sent up to your room.

2011-11-24 - Beijing restaurant - 01 - Store front

The menu was basically a book of pictures, and a laminated sheet with a marker. You'd mark the name of the dishes you wanted, and then give it to the waiter or waitress.

2011-11-24 - Beijing restaurant - 02 - Menu and ordering checklist

The table had this mystery bowl on it. I wasn't sure what it was, whether it was to drink, or to wash my hands in. I waited a while until another table of young lads sat down, and saw one of them drinking, so I guess it is probably tea.  It tasted like floury water anyway.

2011-11-24 - Beijing restaurant - 03 - Mystery bowl

Here's an inside shot of the restaurant.

2011-11-24 - Beijing restaurant - 04 - Inside shot

It gets tiring looking at food, here's another inside shot.

2011-11-24 - Beijing restaurant - 05 - Inside shot

I ordered the roujiamo (肉夹馍), which looks like a tastier version of a McDonald's McMuffin in retrospect.

2011-11-24 - Beijing restaurant - 06 - Burger thing

Following the McMuffin, was the cold buckwheat noodles. These were also pretty good.

2011-11-24 - Beijing restaurant - 07 - Cold buckwheat noodles

Then having visited Xi'an where I had previously enjoyed it, I bought sticky date pudding. The version I ate in Xi'an was so much nicer. This had obviously been pre-made and reheated.

2011-11-24 - Beijing restaurant - 08 - Sticky date pudding

And given the low quality, it didn't doggy bag well.

2011-11-24 - Beijing restaurant - 09 - Doggy bag date pudding

Here's the receipt. At 36 RMB, and around 4 RMB to the $1 NZ, that was around $9 NZ. Not bad at all.

2011-11-24 - Beijing restaurant - 10 - Receipt

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Cider apple tree delivery

Most of my plant purchases are what I consider investments. I don't expect to be able to do anything with them in the near future, but the fact that they are in the ground means that eventually they'll be ready to do something with. And sooner, for being in the ground this winter, in the case of bare root trees.

This order was from Thunder Mountain Nursery in the north island. It was driven by an interest in having cider apple trees, so that's what most of them are.  I don't know if I've posted these particular details, so I'll cover it here.  They tend to arrive bundled together.

In this case, the order was:

  • Kingston black cider apple tree.
  • Brown's Eater cider apple tree.
  • Lady Finger Cider cider apple tree.
  • Yarlington Mill cider apple tree.
  • Italian Prune plum tree.
There was some logic applied in the choice of cider apple trees.  At some point I read that you need a variety of different trees, so that you can blend the apples.  So maybe one is sweet, another bittersweet, another bitter.. whatever.

2013-08-20 - Thunder mountain trees - 01 - Delivery
As delivered.
In the bag, the roots are I assume kept moist by either sphagnum moss or straw.  And it was straw in this case.

2013-08-20 - Thunder mountain trees - 02 - Packaging
Straw packing.
Here's a look with the trees taken out.

2013-08-20 - Thunder mountain trees - 03 - Unpacked
My current process is to fill buckets with diluted seaweed extract, and to soak the trees for 24 hours before planting.  But I've only recently become more disciplined in how I do this, and so I didn't do it for these.

Here is the planted row.  My evolved square edging is now my standard approach.  One problem with it, is that the grass tends to grow back.  I need to start sheet mulching, and I'd like to widen the edged space but there is one main problem with that.  The problem is that this is a slope coming downhill in my direction, as seen in this photograph.  So a wider edged area will allow the water to spread more.

2013-08-21 - Thunder mountain trees - 01 - Planted row
The planted row.
At this point, I am dreading all the apples I am going to have.  Even the idea of feeding them to the horses next door is starting to become appealing.