Chutney On My Mind

Since a friend brought us a basketful of lemons from his orchard recently, I have been on a chutney trail, starting with the lemons, of course.

Many prized bottles of this amber-toned delight have since unleashed its magical potpourri of flavours on the taste buds of chutney lovers, spurring us on to a chutney churning craze.

For the uninitiated, the word Chutney is derived from the Sanskrit word caṭnī, a term for a class of spicy preparations used as an accompaniment for a main dish.

The spices that go into making chutney originate from South Asian cuisine, which give rise to the most fabulous tastes when combined with some mixture of vegetable or fruit.

Chutneys may be either wet or dry, and they can have a coarse to a fine texture. As they come in a range of tastes, depending on where the recipes originated and perhaps evolved, here are some recipes to try. They all look good – and must surely taste magical!

Mango chutney, Apple chutney, Dips and spreads/chutney, Cranberry chutney, and not to be left out – Beetroot and Ginger chutney by Nigella Lawson!

Wishing you many happy hours of ‘chutney on your mind’.


The Garabandal International Magazine, April-June 2012 Issue

For all who are interested in the latest updates from Garabandal, here is the April – June 2012 issue of the Garabandal International magazine for your online reading pleasure….

“Garabandal International” is published quarterly, by the Australian Garabandal International Apostolate. The purpose of “Garabandal International” is to promote and disseminate the messages of Garabandal.

These messages were given to the world by the Blessed Virgin Mary in her apparitions to four young children in San Sebastian de Garabandal, Spain during the years 1961 to 1965. (Although three of the girls have the same surname, they are not related).

I take this opportunity to remind all who believe in the power of praying the rosary, that MAY is the Marian month, hence it would be good to try to pray the rosary at least once a day.

Till the next update, thank you for your interest in Our Lady’s messages to us.

Tony Lee
Penang Garabandal Centre

Suzanne’s Art To Wear

Suzanne with some of her Art To Wear handiwork on blouses and pants.

My hands are never idle.  And when inspired to create, I must do so immediately – in whichever way available to me at that point in time. Hence, always within reach are my paint supplies, and a variety of haberdashery items that resemble little bits and bobs of treasure (to me anyway). Somewhat like a magpie’s nest, I would imagine!

I love expressing myself with collages of art on my blouses, t-shirts, pants, shoes, bags – on anything that takes my paint, beads, sequins, and appliqué work (At my age – 87 – I can still thread a needle with ease). I do get requests for special orders, which give me a buzz, as it is so much fun working on these pieces.

For years, I used to tailor outfits for everyone in my family including the children’s dolls and teddy bears.  I enjoyed giving sewing lessons to like-minded friends too.  My trusty Singer sewing machine has been with me since 1956 and still works well.

Keeping one’s mind actively working on something – anything – is akin to brain exercise…..and I am thankful for being able to enjoy this form of expressive art.  It not only gives me great satisfaction, but often, serves as a conversation ice-breaker, if ever in need of one!  Amen to that.

Two Stepping Suzanne

Suzanne (with hat) climbs up the steep flights of brick stairs easily with a gentleman's arm for light support

In December 2011, we decided to visit Penang Hill to test out the new funicular train – and to an afternoon tea & scones treat at David Brown’s , as many of our young friends had recommended it to us over the years.

 We made it to the Hill with minimal queuing time, and after perhaps more than 30 yrs (?) since our last visit, we felt like tourists, stepping off the train into a cooler environment despite the hot late afternoon sun, filtering through the shady trees at the hilltop station.

After a quick tour of the vicinity, we headed towards the long-awaited highlight of the afternoon… but…. nobody told us about the massive number of steep steps we had to climb to get to our tea and scones!

Happily, with one hand on my godson’s arm, I made it up rather easily, with hardly a stop halfway up to catch my breath. Not bad at all for an 87 year old gal with low heeled sandals (if I may say so myself)!

 And, I might add, the traditional English afternoon tea, complete with delicate triangular sandwiches, cakes, tarts and scones, (Tony gave two thumbs up for the freshly made mulligatawny soup, which he was pleased as punch about) were well worth the climb up to the Monet-like garden setting.

Going down the same flights of brick-steps was a picturesque experience, as we took in the panoramic views around us and appreciated beautiful floral varieties that bloom so well in the cooler environs of Penang Hill.

Taking two steps at a time is all in her stride, when going up the stairs at home....

I owe my agility to the on-going exercises I have been doing over the years….which have helped to maintain and strengthen my leg muscles and joints.  One of my normal routines, which has become second nature to me, is to climb up the stairs at home, two steps at a time (though not when I am in my qipao or when wearing my heels). When I descend the stairs it is done one step at a time.

This research shares some facts about two-step-stair climbing….for those who might be interested to know more.



NOTE: Please remember, before you do any new keep fit routines, do consult your doctor for advice, and always work out in the safest way possible.

Celebrating Easter

Having observed 40 days of Lent, we are now in the midst of three of the most significant days in the Catholic (Christian) calendar, referred to as the Triduum Sacrum which starts with Holy Thursday going on to Good Friday, until the Easter Vigil on Saturday evening. Through the Triduum, we literally walk and journey with Christ from the celebration of the Last Supper, to the Agony in the Garden, through the Passion and Crucifixion, unto the celebration and joy of the Resurrection.

From a culinary perspective, the hot topic of Easter must surely be the universally known Hot Cross Buns, which, at the mere mention of the name, brings a catchy tune to mind of how this age-old nursery rhyme used to be sung!

We have a slip of a recipe from a cut out in the scrap book from many moons ago, but now with everything online, we thought we would share with like-minded enthusiasts, the search for the perfect home-made hot cross buns!

For something different, try one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes…. here is one of her regulars that caught our eye – the Easter Egg Nest Cake.

 If anyone has a better recipe for the hot cross buns, do feel free to share with all of us. We take this opportunity to wish one and all, a very Happy and Holy Easter.