Archive for the ‘Australia’ 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! 🙂

The Best Job on Earth!!

This is the amazing place that I get to work at. Seriously, how lucky am I!

Can you spot me and my hubby? 🙂

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 –

A Brand New Invention!

I am so proud of my hubby – he has come up with a brand new invention!

While my sister-in-law and I were lying in our hammocks during a recent camping trip to Adel’s Grove, I started to whinge about the sun being hot and getting in my eyes. I whinge about the sun a lot. Anyway, hubby to the rescue with a bit of rope, a towel and some bush pegs (sticks broken into a Y shape). Look what he set up for both of us over our hammocks!

It was so handy when the wind picked up cause it caught all the sticks and berry-thingos. The sun stayed out of my face the whole time I was in the hammock (which was quite some time!).

Disclaimer: The bright light on my face is the flash – not the sun in case you think I am lying.

I came up with a name of the new invention too: ‘Hammock Shader’ but it is lame, so any other suggestions?

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!!

Camping Etiquette

We have just spent the last four days camping at the gorgeous Adel’s Grove in Far North Queensland (near Lawn Hill National Park).

Our camping set up was simple – 3 chairs, cast iron plate to cook our bacon and eggs on, 2 swags on the ground, 2 hammocks, & 1 mattress in the back of our car.

While I was lazing about in my hammock soaking up some shade, I started to recall some of our previous camping trips and why this one was up there with some of the best. I think it has a lot to do with camping etiquette. Everyone at Adel’s Grove seemed to have some.

There are unwritten rules when it comes to camping. We all know that selfish and rude people can be selfish and rude when outside their house boundaries and mixing it up with society. I have listed my top four camping etiquette rules below, and I believe that by following these all the pretty places in the world can be enjoyed by everyone (and we’d be a step closer to world peace).

 

*don’t bring your stereo, radio and tv camping. Are you seriously telling me you cannot go without? Why must your DOOF DOOF bassy music drown out the quiet serenity around you and the rest of us? The majority of people go camping to escape the noise and get some peace and quiet…not so they can listen to your noise-mess all day and night, no matter how good you think your taste in music is. One word for you: headphones.

 

*walk AROUND people’s camp sites (aka their home away from home) not through them. Just because you think you can walk wherever you like cause it is a public place only means you are rude and a stickybeak. Hello stranger, why are you randomly here brushing against my elbow as I eat my Weetbix under my tarp, sitting at my table, outside my tent? That is just weird.

 

*if you are at a camp ground with lots of free space, never ever set up your camp smack bang next to someone else (unless they are family or friends, in which case you can feel free to ask them to shift their tent so yours is the one in the morning shade). It makes me wonder, are you afraid of the dark? Do you love reality TV and need your fix (cause of course you left the TV at home) and by camping on top of us you can monitor our every move? Pick another spot out of the 120 available that is not next to us. It is unnatural for our possessions to touch.

 

* on the flip side, if you do happen upon a camp ground that is chockers with people (school holiday season), don’t spread all your gear out to hog a few of the last remaining spaces. Again, you are being rude. Hopefully, by being nice and taking only the space you require, you will end up with a camp-neighbour who respects all these rules and everyone will be happy campers together. There is nothing worse than forcing people home from their anticipated getaway because there is no room and you have taken up a massive chunk of the camp ground.

 

So there you have my top four camp etiquette rules. Add yours to the comment section too! I know there are plenty more out there 🙂