Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Eating Bee Pollen

I was spending an awful lot of time flicking through my favourite food blogs when my eye balls stopped on the ingredients “bee pollen”. I thought to myself, could this be? Actual bee pollen collected from a flower and found on a tiny bee’s legs? I had to try this stuff!

Bee pollen is different from the pollen that is airborne which causes allergic reactions. We all know how good raw honey is for you and the honey you buy from the shops is not raw, but boiled and broken down…which is a shame. We always have to stuff around with perfect nature don’t we! Pretty much any thing that bees touch turns to gold, including the pollen from flowers!

I found some bee pollen in the far back corner of a small health food shop and I was feeling very pleased with myself. Such an exotic sounding ingredient I had my hands on, but when I went to the checkout the man told me that this had become very popular at the moment and loads of people had been buying it. Maybe not so mysterious and exotic – but it still was to me. Maybe it was something like that Goji Berry craze a year or so back when they first hit the shelves (I love goji berries!). Everyone started to hear about this superfood with all its antioxidant-goodness.

Here is a photo of the bee pollen I bought.

The different colours are from the various flower types the bees have visited. They take this pollen back to their hives and the pollen is harmlessly brushed off as the bees crawl into the hive. The honeybee collects only the purest of pollens.  It avoids all toxic plants, including those contaminated with pesticides. The pollen isn’t as effective if it is taken straight from the flower. You need bee spit to bind it and activate it. Yum.

It tastes like powdery, flowery, honey goodness. I like it. I put it on my yogurt, or fruit, or blend it up in my juice. You only need a teaspoon or two a day.

Of course there is a healthy side to bee pollen as it is purely natural and taken from things that grow in soil, like all other things healthy. Here are some facts about bee pollen:

  • one of the richest and purest natural foods ever discovered
  • used as an immune system builder
  • it is very high in protein, containing between 20-35%, including all 22 amino acids.
  • it supplies human bodies with nearly every single nutrient we need to survive.
  • contains the richest known source of vitamins, minerals, proteins amino acids, hormones, enzymes and fats, as well as significant quantities of natural antibiotics. Most of the known vitamins in pollen exist in perfect proportion, which further enhances their value
  • jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and phytonutrients.
  • regulates the action of the intestinal functions, it self-digests and aids the digestion of other foods
  • balances the blood, lymph, and aqueous and general metabolism system.
  • contains active antibiotic substances, which destroy bacteria on contact.
  • useful in cases of stress and nervous endocrine system disorders due to its high content of natural B Vitamins.
  • increases energy and mental alertness and is believed to slow down the ageing process.
  • this one convenient source is a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and oils, carbohydrates, amino acids, over 5,000 enzymes and coenzymes, hormones, peptones, polypeptides and globulins, high concentrations of the nucleic acids RNA and DNA, and a variety of antibiotic substances.

You should always store your bee pollen out of direct sunlight. The best place for it is in the freezer and here it will keep it strength for up to 2 years.

The list of benefits could go on and on. Here is some more interesting, thorough and scientific information about bee pollen if you are keen to keep reading 🙂

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My Hot Date

Hubby and I

The famous Spirit House was the setting for our date this weekend! What a special experience!

I received a voucher off a friend as a thank you gift a few weeks ago, and hubby and I decided to use it this weekend. I have always wanted to go to the Spirit House but never had the chance or money, so you can imagine I was pretty excited!

The Spirit House is nestled amongst beautiful Balinese gardens with water dragons running about the place. It was funny hearing some of the ladies squeal whenever a lizard would run under the table 🙂

Water Dragon

For a hot day, the place was cool and refreshing as we sat at our table overlooking the pond. The place was absolutely packed with people, although you still felt secluded as you can’t see everyone through all the bamboo and palms. We couldn’t believe the amount of people there for a Sunday lunch, especially at a restaurant just outside a quiet country town. Where did all these people come from?

The food is Asian and absolutely amazing! This was what we ordered:

My cocktail in a slanty glass

Entrees

Drinks: South Australian Beers, Coco Cocktail (coconut & lemongrass), Balthasar Ress Hattenheimer Kabinett (riesling)

Entrees: Crispy Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel Sauce, Hot & Sour Lychee Scallop garnished with Pork Crackle

Mains: Whole Crispy Fish with Tamarind Chili Sauce, Yellow Curry of Duck with Pickled Pawpaw & crispy Lime Leaves

Desserts: Chocolate Brulee with Chili Raspberry Jam & Candied Chili, Tropical Trifle with Passionfruit Sponge with Coconut Tapioca, Lemon Mousse, Lychees & Macadamia

Desserts

The Crispy Fish - looks can be deceptive!

I highly recommend everything we ate. In particular the Pork Belly and Crispy Fish!

It was such a lovely date. Afterwards we went for a drive to explore some of the land we hadn’t seen before. It is so beautiful out there. Then we came home and crashed with full bellies! 🙂

How our cat deals with the those chooks!

Yes, one of our chooks laid this massive egg today.

No, it doesn’t fit in the normal egg box.

Yes, this is our cat and chooks stalking her in the background.

No, Panini is not enjoying their presence one little bit.

Yes, this is Panini inside a mini cardboard box.

No, she is not headless.

Things just seem better when she shuts those chooks out.

SUCCESS! Shutting Up Chooks.

After a few forced early morning starts something had to go down – big time!

Chicken drumsticks? Chicken soup? Chicken fillets?

To our horror, our lovely, quiet chooks all of a sudden decided that getting up at the crack of dawn and exploring the yard in a noisy fashion was cool. While exploring, they would spread out from one end of the garden to the other. One chook would be in the box laying her egg while the others busied themselves foraging for insects in the bushes. Then they would decide to check on one another to make sure everyone was accounted for (perhaps they heard me talking about chicken drumsticks, chicken soup and chicken fillets). The squarks and chatter would carry across our yard – back and forth, back and forth. My husband and I would jolt awake, jump out of bed and try to shoosh them – I am petrified of disturbing the neighbours!

So before we prepared to eat them, we decided to try a few things first 😉

Our first plan of action – keep the chooks locked up in their pen until 7am. We closed up the little hole in the wire part of their cage which they could previously wander in and out of from their pen to the yard whenever they felt like it. This tactic didn’t work as the very next morning we experienced the earliest wake up call ever – 5am! It seems the chooks were up and bored from being all cooped up in the pen.

Our second and final plan of action – completely black out the pen. We figured the sun was responsible for letting them know when it was ‘appropriate’ to get moving, so we decided to control the light! Hubby spent most of Sunday making a door and covering the holes with boards. We put their seed and water in the pen so they had something to do in case they woke up early again and we went to sleep with joy in our hearts hoping that this was the solution we were craving. The result was perfection! 7am and no noise. We let them out just before we went to work and everyone went about their business refreshed and happy!

Here is a picture of the new and improved blackened out pen:

This was a dog kennel and hubby added in a laying box, door with latch and covered all the panels inside to stop the light.

The inside of the pen...all covered up and the ramp up to the laying box.

Happy chooks = happy people

So if you have a problem with vocal chooks, make their pen as black as possible!

Shower Cat

My boy cat, Maximus (the Great), is very strange and loves to have showers.

I thought cats were supposed to hate getting wet?

I hop in the shower and sometimes the meowing begins – on and on and on and on – until I can no longer handle the whinging….so I cave and let him in (I am going to be the worst mother one day).

He gets himself saturated and then will flop down at the bottom of the shower for the duration.

The Normanton Bush Races

On 24th September 2011, we managed to be in Normanton at the same time as the annual Stingers Bush Races (third time lucky, right?). The Stingers are the Normanton football team, and it is a massive fundraising day for them.

This humungus event sees everyone frocking up and heading into Normanton from all over the place – other towns & states, the Sunshine Coast :), and surrounding stations.

We didn’t pay too much attention to the actual horse races (which were 200m sprints down the track), as we were too busy socialising…and winning the prettiest hat award! Yes, you read correctly – I won the prettiest hat award. My prize was a $100 voucher, a purple sash that I almost wore pig shooting the next day, and some beautiful flowers. I ended up being happy that hubby bullied me into going up on the platform to be judged.

After the final horse race, most people change into something more comfortable (I’m talking jeans, boots and a shirt here!) and walk over to the arena for barrel racin’ and bull ridin’ events. We drove the 4WD up to the arena fence and watched the action from the comfort of our car, like a true local.

Hubby was asked to be the official photographer for the day, which he enjoyed. He even almost got knocked off his perched position on the fence by a wayward bull. The things he’ll do for the perfect shot. The locals only laughed. His photos will go in the paper and on the official website for the bush races. Here is a glimpse of his work –

Shiny Sparkly Things?

Let me retell a little experience I had with shiny sparkly things –

Adel's Grove location

So, we have finally arrived at our camping destination – Adel’s Grove, in Far North Queensland. It has taken us a whopping five hours of driving from Normanton and most of the way it was on red dust, but we have now arrived in the night.  My hubby, his sister and I are spending three nights in this paradise just because we can.

The camping area is very bushy and beautiful with large shady trees and leaf litter on the ground. Seeing as it is night-time, we have no other choice but to set up camp in the dark. We collectively decide to go and look for some wood to light ourselves a toasty fire so we can see stuff around us and get ready for bed.

My hubby and sister-in-law head over to some bushes to my right with their torches, and I go in the other direction searching around for our fire-needs. While I am busy foraging something catches my eye. I spot the most beautiful, shiny beads of light flickering all over the fallen leaves on the ground. They looked just like mini twinkling fairy lights, and I presume they are just broken glass shining in my head torch. I make my way over to them curiously and bend down to have a closer look at this sparkling beauty of mystery, and what do I discover…. they are bloody spider eyes twinkling in my torchlight!  

I absolutely have the most unbelievably, ridiculous fear of spiders thanks to watching the gross movie ‘Arachnophobia’ when I was younger at a friend’s place. Since then, whenever I see a spider of any proportion I can imagine it crawling all over my skin.  So you can see how I am feeling at this moment in discovering that my shiny sparkly things are actually beady spider eyes – I am feeling the opposite of delight – I squeal, run and try to climb hubby’s back to get off the ground where all the sparkles are.  Both hubby and sister are having a bit of a giggle as hubby tells me that he saw me stop my search for wood and meander over to some leaves and he immediately thought, uh oh, here we go, knowing what I was about to discover.  He quickly asked me for my head torch. Of course, I refused because I was using it, but he was adamant that he have my head torch now. Little did I know that his insistence was actually for my own good…he was trying to protect me from the awful sight. He ended up leaving me alone while I went on to uncover this surprise while he just waited for my reaction.

I must admit though, I did get quite accustomed to the spiders after three nights when I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had indeed survived the first night without being attacked by a spider. I have a wonderful imagination.

I was also very thankful that I was not one of the two sleeping on the ground in swags.

What could these pretty, shiny, sparkly things be?

Here are some more! So beautiful.....

Those shiny sparkly things are spider eyeballs!!