Post Script: How Do Worms Work: A Gardener’s Collection of Curious Questions and Astonishing Answers -Guy Barter

How Do Worms Work

How Do Worms Work?

Guy Barter

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733638886

 

Description:

This book provides expert answers to the questions every gardener wants to ask – and a few they’ve never dreamed of, from ‘Why do flowers close at night?’ to ‘How do you attract butterflies?’ It’s a great, accessible educational resource for young and old – the essential companion for the curious gardener.

 

Ever wondered how worms breathe? Or why exactly trees are so big? This book covers all aspects of gardens and gardening, and will satisfy all your horticultural curiosity. Packed with photographs, vintage engravings and diagrams, this book will answer everything from the practical to the quirky and whimsical. Feature boxes provide practical guidance, so that you can apply your new-found knowledge to your own garden.

 

Written by the head of the Royal Horticultural Society Members’ Advisory Service, and updated to suit Australian and New Zealand readers, this book is the ideal gift for fact-loving gardeners with curious minds.

 

 

My View:

This is a fun fact filled read- suitable for the gardener, the school room, the nature lover or for anyone who has children who have asked:

 

  • Why do flowers close at night?
  • Does a severed worm grow into two worms?
  • What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?
  • Why is compost hot?
  • When is a plant a weed?

 

And so much more knowledge crammed into this easy read book.

 

I hate to be the first one to mention this (and most likely I am not) but that major gift giving time of the year is fast approaching: Christmas. This is an ideal book to add to your gift buying list, there is something in these pages for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Review- Thirst – L A Larkin

Thirst

Thirst

L.A. Larkin

Constable

ISBN: 9781472125897

Description:

Antarctica is the coldest, most isolated place on earth. Luke Searle, maverick glaciologist, has made it his home. But soon his survival skills will be tested to the limit by a ruthless mercenary who must win at any cost. The white continent is under attack. The Australian team is being hunted down. Can Luke stay alive long enough to raise the alarm? Can he avert a global catastrophe?

The countdown has begun. T minus 5 days, 2 hours and 53 minutes …

 

Brenda’s Review:

Mac and Dave were in the throes of packing up at the crevasse where they’d been working – they were looking forward to getting back to Hope Station, the Australian base. Winter was settling in and most of the engineers and scientists had left Antarctica for the season; there would only be eight of them left on base for the duration…

Luke Searle had lived on the base for around seven years, going home to Melbourne only occasionally. He loved the research; as a glaciologist he could appreciate the beauty of the ice and the colours of the glaciers. But he respected the countryside as well – fully aware of how dangerous it could be. Maddie was team leader and though she and Luke clashed at times – usually over his stubborn refusal to obey orders – he respected her ability to lead.

But the suddenness of the attack; the brutality of what happened had him filled with terror. What was happening? As the team tried desperately to escape the looming danger, Luke wondered if any of them would survive.

With full-on intense action from the very first page, Thirst by Aussie author L.A. Larkin is a thoroughly enjoyable thriller. Fast paced, riveting and filled with the evil of man, the setting of Antarctica was unique and interesting, while the two main characters, Luke and Maddie set the tone well. Highly recommended – 5 stars.

Turkish Pide: The Flexible Vegetarian – Jo Pratt

The Flexible Vegetarian

Images and recipes from The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99)

Turkish pide with spinach and aubergine

Pide (pronounced pee-day) is much like a pizza, but has no tomato sauce and a colourful, aromatic Turkish

flair. Traditionally, this boat-shaped ‘pizza’ is filled with vegetables, spices, cheese and/or meat, most commonly

lamb. I’ve made this one into an exceptionally tasty vegetarian version using spinach, aubergine and feta, but

you can be as creative as you like by using a selection of ingredients to top the dough, as you would a pizza.” p. 143

 

_TurkishPide-

Time taken 1 hour + 30 minutes rising / Serves 4

 

7g/¼ oz sachet fast action dried yeast

1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar

300g/10½ oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsp salt

olive oil

2 medium aubergines, thinly sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

250g/9 oz baby spinach leaves

150g/5½ oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp nigella seeds

flaked sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

small handful mint leaves

 

Put the yeast and caster sugar in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of

warm water. Mix and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture

starts to show some bubbles on the surface.

 

Put the flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Add

the bubbly yeast mixture and slowly add 170ml/5¾ fl oz/2⁄3 cup of

warm water while bringing everything together with your other

hand. If you feel it needs it, add extra water but take care not to

make the dough too wet.

 

Once the dough starts to stick together, tip

onto a floured surface and knead for 6–7 minutes until you have a

smooth, stretchy dough. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover loosely with

cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, heat the grill to high. Brush the aubergine slices with

olive oil. Set on a baking sheet and grill for a few minutes each side

until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

 

Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion for around

8 minutes until softened and golden. Add the garlic and cumin. Cook

for around 1 minute before stirring in the spinach allowing it to wilt.

Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat.

 

Heat your oven to its highest setting. Divide the risen dough into four

pieces. Shape each piece into an oval, dust with flour and thinly roll

out. Transfer to a couple of baking sheets and prick the surface of the

dough several times with a fork.

 

Divide the spinach mixture and aubergines between the dough,

leaving a border around the edges. Pinch the ends of the dough and

roll the edges of the border over the filling, to form a boat shape.

Scatter with the feta cheese, sesame seeds and nigella seeds, drizzle

with olive oil and season. Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes

until the dough is golden. Garnish with mint leaves to serve.

 

Flexible

For a meaty twist on this recipe, omit the aubergine, and sauté around 200g/7 oz

minced lamb with the onion, continue to cook as above. Alternatively, to make this

into a seafood pide, omit the aubergine and mix 200g/7 oz cooked prawns into the

cooked onion and spinach before spooning onto the dough.

 

A CookBook To Suit Everyone’s Needs

Recently I came across a cookbook that asserts that: “Whether you’re an occasional meat-eater, a vegetarian who needs to cook for meat-eaters, or even a dedicated veggie, you’ll find this very flexible book filled with delicious and practical recipes for every lifestyle. The Flexible Vegetarian’s beautiful and tasty dishes offer two solutions: they can be served as completely vegetarian meals, or with the addition of a simple meat, chicken or fish recipe, making them suitable for meat-free days and meat-eaters alike. Recipes cover international flavours, from spiced poke to peashoot and asparagus gnudi, and they are all simple, quick, packed with protein and well-balanced. As well as easy meat and fish additions and hacks for each vegetarian recipe, The Flexible Vegetarian shows you how to ace a handful of classic recipes, from the perfect roast chicken, to the perfectly cooked fillet. Chapters include: Brunch, Broths, Small Plates, Large Plates, and Dips & Bits.”  https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/tv-celebrity-chefs/The-Flexible-Vegetarian-Jo-Pratt-9780711239043

The Flexible Vegetarian

 

I have a dilemma  – do I give this to my vegetarian daughter so she can cook the occasional meal for her non vegetarian friends and family ? Or do I keep this one to source recipes for when my daughter visits?  (I am always looking for new and tasty meals I can prepare that we can all share when she visits.) What would you do?

 

**As a bonus this book contains many recipes that include cheese, and one I will  definitely be making in summer, Grilled Peaches, Burrata and Mint Pesto – YUM.   The section “Dips and Bits” deserves a special mention – there are so many of my favourite foods presented here: labneh, hummus, tahini dressing, pesto…and section, “Small Plates”… well I just have to try smashed bean, kale and tomato toast – what a great breakfast idea!  So many good ideas here. I dont think I could choose just one favourite.

 

 

 

Post Script: Imagine – John Lennon, Illustrated by Jean Jullien

Imagine

Imagine

John Lennon

Illustrated by Jean Jullien

Allen and Unwin Australia

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books In Assoc with Amnesty International UK

ISBN: 9781847808967

 

Description:

Imagine all the people living life in peace.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.

 

Join one little pigeon as she sets out on a journey to spread a message of tolerance around the world. Featuring the lyrics of John Lennon’s iconic song and illustrations by the award-winning artist Jean Jullien, this poignant and timely picture book dares to imagine a world at peace. Imagine will be published in partnership with human rights organization, Amnesty International.

 

 

My View:

5 big stars for this beautifully imagined and illustrated book – this really is art with heart!  Call me sentimental, I will agree with you that I am, this book just strikes so many chords with me. A book for those who can remember John Lennon’s important song of love and peace (and for those who still sing his inspiring relevant message even if just in their own heads) and for the next generation – who will love the prose, the illustrations and the optimism.

 

Buy this for someone you love – young or old.

 

Sidetracked…

In the mail this week I received a copy of  The Girl Who Takes and Eye For an Eye – David Lagercrantz (continuing the Steig Larsson triology). All good except I then realised  that this is book 5 and I hadn’t read book  4.  A bit of googling and I came across a copy in the local area – quick into the car and was immediately sidetracked by a pop up cellar door – open today only.  We had to stop.  What delightful wines.

 

Pop up cellar door and books