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About Ruffian

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  1. There is a distinct limit on the amount of slack the state depts will be able to take up. From what I am observing there is a good deal of careful cutting happening now, in an attempt to meet the requirements of suddenly reduced budgets. There are few people hiring, and even fewer new programs being launched. I've had my eye on the SA govt 'help wanted' (both internal and external) for a while now, (on and off since around 1990, if you must know) and the pickings are as lean as I have seen them in a long while. So... if Abbott wants his state sovereignty, he's going to have to pay for it, big-time.
  2. I'm with you, Mr Medved. Me old mum is downsizing even as we speak; from her seven bedroom house in the country (think ramshackle rather than Fortune Five Hundred) to a modest four bedroom place in the 'burbs. She lives alone. She couldn't be wedged into an apartment for love nor money, as she adores gardens and loathes people with equal passion. It's pretty much the same deal for my dad. And my inlaws. The only one in my extended family who has ended up in an apartment is my mother-in-law, who works such long hours and spends so much time partaking of the arts and cafe culture that she could probably live in a capsule hotel with equal ease. She is not a homebody...
  3. To mark the day... ANZAC Biscuits 1 cup flour 1 cup desiccated coconut 1 cup sugar (I like 1/2 brown, 1/2 white) 1 cup rolled oats pinch salt 1/2 cup butter, melted 3 tbsp golden syrup 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda 1-2 tbsp boiling water Pre-heat oven to around 175 C. Mix the flour, coconut, oats, sugar and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Melt the golden syrup and butter together until just runny, but not too hot. Add the bicarb and the hot water to the butter mixture and stir. It will foam excitably. Pour the frothing liquid into the dry mix. Stir well to combine, until you have a moist but still fairly firm mixture. Roll the mix into balls about the diameter of a ten cent piece, and place them on two greased and/or lined baking pans. Press each ball down about half way to flat with the tines of a fork. Space them reasonably well, as they will spread. They should be done in around 15 minutes, but you might want to watch them fairly closely as this is a high-sugar recipe and as such is prone to burning, especially if you have an unreliable bastard of an oven like mine. :)/> These biscuits keep well (which was the whole point of this recipe originally, as it was designed to be durable enough to ship to "our boys" at the front) but frankly they rarely hang around long enough for that to be an issue.
  4. No. No no no no no no.... This cannot be... It was bad enough when packet cake started to creep into church fetes, and I died a little inside when Coles lamingtons started showing up on school cake stalls. But this? It's the end of the cake world as we know it. Mind you, the CWA have turned into quite the collection of dictatorial old biddies in recent years. <_</> I wonder if they aren't under some kind of generational new management, as they are quite a different breed from years past.
  5. Aargh... Don't get me started on sweet onions! Once in a very long while Coles sells "sweet" onions. They are worth buying, as they are vastly different from ordinary brown onions (which they vaguely resemble in shape and colour, but not taste) although they are not quite as good as proper sweet onions, which I have not found outside of the US. Proper sweet onions (Vidalia is the best known variety, but there are others. There is some debate about whether "Vidalias" are a cultivar, or the result of specific growing conditions - terroir for onions!) can be literally eaten like an apple and are simply delicious in any dish where you'd use raw onion. They don't cook particularly well, but it doesn't matter, because if you like them, you don't want to cook them in any case. Instead, you find yourself looking speculatively at the fruit salad and wondering if a little chopped onion might not be an improvement. As for decent pickles, Globus does a reasonable job for a supermarket brand, offers a few different varieties, and is fairly widely available.
  6. Snow...ur doin' it wrong... :)/> With good boots (& girlfriend) it will make you childishly gleeful once again. Despite being born here, I have what must be a genetic yearning for snow, it doesn't matter what kind of snow or when or where, it is always good snow... sigh, now I'm missing those snowy Christmases in the US... :sadwalk:/>
  7. It's a big house on a big block, on a good street with good views. The agent has given a price range and the bottom end of the range ($450k) doesn't seem that unrealistic, except in as much as all house prices seem unrealistic these days. Personally I think the upper end of the range has been set hoping someone will fall in love with the current owner's decor as much as with the house itself.
  8. The intragovernmental "for sale" noticeboard has just about everything (houses, furniture, pets etc) for sale or rent at some stage, all courtesy of your friendly local governmental workers. You need to have access to the SA governmental intranet, though. You could also try gumtree, they often have rentals.
  9. Yes but that is only temporary. The commute will never be a particularly swift one, though, I don't think. But the beaches are lovely. You are home and hosed if you have family here - this town runs on insider information, so it looks like you are set.
  10. Yes, I've done that too, but this rye starter is better by far. It doesn't turn black, smells better and is more active. Thanks for the compliment - I think I still have some way to go with that ryebread, however. :-) Yes, bread is a lot of fun. Protein levels in bread flour are my pet hobby-horse. What is marked on the packet has precious little to do with the actual protein levels of the flour inside - after a while you can get a feel for it by the way it behaves. Steaming is fun too. I have a pan in the oven that I have simply sacrificed to steaming - it is more or less wrecked for anything else now. I use hot water or icecubes, depending on the effect I'm after. It really does make a difference.
  11. I'd be happy to do my best on those but , you know, Adelaide is a little bit bigger than your average country town (almost a million people now) and so it might be a bit more useful if we had a location to work with. Some of those are easy though... Restaurant - none, you are too late - you should have been here in the 1980's, we led the nation in nouvelle cuisine back then. Molecular gastronomy just hasn't been able to catch our attention, I'm afraid. Dentist - too easy; my mother Garbage collection - Burnside Council area wins hands down, they are up to three separate bins for recyclables and a fourth additional basket for compostables. If you are illiterate or uninterested in saving the planet, you are not eligible for residency in this council area School - Saint Peters for boys you want to make (or break), Wilderness for their sisters, Pembroke for human beings, and dear old Brighton High if you have no money... Electricity - anyone other than AGL Hospital - Wakefield st. Bus stop - Well, there are several contenders, but personally I've always been partial to No 17 on Unley Rd. :)/>
  12. When we last left our heroine, she was in search of the mythical recipe for palatable ryebread. Close to despair, with all hope of a recipe that didn’t taste like the floor of a healthfood shop gone, she was astounded when assistance finally came from a most unexpected quarter… And so the saga continues… Someone wishing only to be known as the Polish Pastry Princess, prompted as if by the hand of God (or a god, anyhow) kindly passed on the following recipe. Apparently it's an ancestral recipe that has stood the test of time. Having now made it a couple of times, I do believe this to be true. Zakwas (Sour Dough) 50-100g rye flour 50-100ml water In a plastic bowl (should be quite big) mix Rye flour 50-100g and the same amount of water (not too warm, not too cold around 30C). Cover it, and leave it in warm place the best would be temp 25-30C. Every 12 hours mix it. On the second day (24h later) add 50g of Rye flour and the same amount of water. Mix it well and leave to grow. Repeat every 24 hrs for another 3 days. It will smell not too nice :-) but as long as it does not have mould growing everything it is fine. Polish webside, you can see how to make it and what it should look like: Chleb (Bread) 0.5kg wheat flour 0.5kg rye flour (for bread) 1 spoon of salt 1 cup of Rolled oats 1 cup of linseed 1 cup of wheat bran 1 cup of pumpkin/sunflower seeds sourdough (from above for the first time or the contents of the starter held over from the previous time) 1 litre of warm water Mix everything together. Cover with clean dishcloth and leave for 1h. After 1h put part of the mixture in a 200 - 500ml jar you can keep it max for 2 weeks in the fridge this is the starter for next time the more you keep the stronger the flavour will be next time, too much and it will be too strong Grease a rectangular bread tin Place bread in the bread tin Bake at 170C for 1.5h. Take it out and cover with damp dishcloth and leave until it is dry (otherwise the bread will be too dry). Despite breaking many of the conventional rules of breadmaking this has proven to be an extremely good (and forgiving) recipe. Just about everyone who has tried it has loved it; even suspicious suburban white-bread eating children. It is quick and easy to pull together, and it is moist and lasts well. I use a little more water than is stated in the recipe, enough to form a soft dropping dough (it will never be stretchy like conventional dough, as it doesn’t contain enough gluten). I have also cut back on the bran and correspondingly bumped up the amount of oats and pumpkin seed with good success. If anyone is interested in sourdough starters, I suggest they try this one, as it is a hands-down gold medal winner. It’s easy to maintain, clearly tells you how it is going (bubbles vigorously) and adds good flavour even to a white flour loaf.
  13. I'd strongly recommend the renting before buying strategy. :)/> The subtleties of the benefits of one suburb over another are much easier to assess when you are actually living there...and water-cooler gossip is a big help, too. Also you might find both those suburbs are a lousy commute if you are based in Adelaide proper, as access from the south is a bit bottle-necked. However if you are based down south, in Noarlunga say, they might be ideal. Let me be the first to welcome you to sunny Adelaide, in any case. :)/> It's a great place to raise a family and (compared to Canberra anyway) there is a pretty good lifestyle here for those who are enterprising enough to pursue it. If you have any questions etc regarding the practicalities of moving here, feel free to ask.
  14. Hey man, don't feel bad... I have seen that happen to the best of us. :-) That there book-learning is a tricky thing... Back to bread - baguettes and fine and all... but does anyone have a reliable recipe for rye bread? I mean rye bread with a high % of rye flour, not white bread flavoured with a bit of rye flour. It's technically a difficult recipe because of the low gluten levels, and the ones I have found on the internet have been variable in quality, to say the least.
  15. Re the scoring of loaves... I have always just used an el-cheapo craft knife, the sort with snap off blades (so you always have a good sharp one on hand) and slash the loaves rather than score them. The dough peels open, away from the blade, and the result seems OK to me. It doesn't disturb the rising and the sponge is clearly visible through the cut. So what is it that I should be doing, then??