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MargiABC View Drop Down
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2014 at 09:07
I've never done the egg thing, but I tried it. It didn't work, but then I remember someone told me that a little salt sprinkled on the table will balance a raw egg and it worked. I don't know if cheating counts towards good luck. We did do all the other things for good luck and driving away the bad luck, like clearing all debts, cleaning the house before the new year, ensuring a family dinner is held on new year's eve with an even number of courses and one of the courses must include a whole fish with head and tail intact, eating a vegetarian stew in the new year's morning called jai or sometimes referred to as Buddha's Delight, with rice and having a second helping to ensure there will be plentiful food all year or a good rice harvest in old terms We follow the tranditions my mother and grandmother followed. The funny thing is my cousin and her family from Hong Kong came to Sydney for a holiday over CNY 2 years ago and she saw what we still did and she said "Do you still do that?"
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  Quote Toots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2014 at 09:10
Originally posted by MargiABC

I've never done the egg thing, but I tried it. It didn't work, but then I remember someone told me that a little salt sprinkled on the table will balance a raw egg and it worked. I don't know if cheating counts towards good luck. We did do all the other things for good luck and driving away the bad luck, like clearing all debts, cleaning the house before the new year, ensuring a family dinner is held on new year's eve with an even number of courses and one of the courses must include a whole fish with head and tail intact, eating a vegetarian stew in the new year's morning called jai or sometimes referred to as Buddha's Delight, with rice and having a second helping to ensure there will be plentiful food all year or a good rice harvest in old terms We follow the tranditions my mother and grandmother followed. The funny thing is my cousin and her family from Hong Kong came to Sydney for a holiday over CNY 2 years ago and she saw what we still did and she said "Do you still do that?"


And keep doing it Margi. It's nice to keep the old  traditions alive
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2014 at 09:10
We sure will Toots.

Edited by MargiABC - 08 Feb 2014 at 09:51
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  Quote Toots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2014 at 14:02
Well the kitchen designer called this morning. And we got extra 'brownie points' for having picked everything we needed in advance, even down to the mixer tap. I'm having a black sink to match the work surfaces and stainless steel American fridge ,and double cooker.  I got a 'tick VG'(Tongue) for picking the granite surfaces because apparently where our window and french doors are, the light will bounce off the surfaces and reflect back into the kitchen. Thank the lord we have an awning outside and blinds inside for the strong sun in the summer.
The designer was a man in his 40's and what I describe as 'normal' No big stupid ideas just measured up everything, took exact details of the 3 kitchens we want to chose from and did scale drawings. Its surprising how much more room you have when you use every inch isn't it? He was saying that they get awful trouble with women who won't take advice and whinge when they have a totally ill suited kitchen.... too big too much in it and totally inappropriate for their needs. No matter about gadgets and gizmos, I just want plenty of work space and storage then I'll play all day.We have an appointment with him on Saturday at Wicks to see the computer generated 'kitchens' and then choose.


Edited by Toots - 11 Feb 2014 at 15:11
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2014 at 23:52
Have fun Toots. You are getting to the exciting part now. Lots of bench space and storage is very important to me. Don't forget about internal storage configurations. There are shops that specialise in cupboard storage systems that are not fixed and can be changed around. We have one near us and I love going there to look at their latest ideas. That shop is also good for storage solutions for wardrobes, kitchen pantries and laundries.
My only problem is buying kitchen gadgets and appliances and trying to find space for them. I have to cull now and then as I know we have too much stuff in the kitchen.. I wouldn't be without my electric mixers, both hand held and bench top, food processor, hot sandwich press and pasta machine. I'd only buy replacement items now if they stop working, but they are all good, even though my mixer is 15 years old. I've got ice cream maker and a Yonanas which makes frozen fruit desserts, but I don't use them as often as I did when I first bought them. I don't have an electric deep fryer as I have always used a flat bottom wok that my mother gave me over 35 years ago.

Edited by MargiABC - 12 Feb 2014 at 00:05
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  Quote Toots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2014 at 08:35
Originally posted by MargiABC

Have fun Toots. You are getting to the exciting part now. Lots of bench space and storage is very important to me. Don't forget about internal storage configurations. There are shops that specialise in cupboard storage systems that are not fixed and can be changed around. We have one near us and I love going there to look at their latest ideas. That shop is also good for storage solutions for wardrobes, kitchen pantries and laundries.
My only problem is buying kitchen gadgets and appliances and trying to find space for them. I have to cull now and then as I know we have too much stuff in the kitchen.. I wouldn't be without my electric mixers, both hand held and bench top, food processor, hot sandwich press and pasta machine. I'd only buy replacement items now if they stop working, but they are all good, even though my mixer is 15 years old. I've got ice cream maker and a Yonanas which makes frozen fruit desserts, but I don't use them as often as I did when I first bought them. I don't have an electric deep fryer as I have always used a flat bottom wok that my mother gave me over 35 years ago.


Thanks Margi I NEVER have enough storage space so I'll certainly look out for not fixed  storage items. An answer to my prayer love.
Oh you rang a bell with your comment about gadgets!  I too use a flat bottom wok and would be without it. My kitchen bits and bobs I wouldn't be without are:  Pressure cooker, electric frying pan, bakestone (aka griddle,) Actify, food processor, stick blender, hands free and also hand mixer, table oven and my just bought, Halogen oven. and of course the ubiquitous microwave. I make steamed puddings in the microwave and they come out light as a feather. I also mix icing sugar into a ball about the size of a walnut with egg-white, pop it in the micro for a few seconds and I get little meringues. . Beautiful if you stick 2 together with vanilla cream. Not as light as regular ones, but a nice quick way of making them for a treat at tea time. I'm sure there are  more gadgets, I just take for granted. I love to cook. If I am upset or worried about something, I cook.
When I said to the designer that my priority was room to work on the surfaces, he told me about this woman he had who had corner units, and a huge cooking range installed in her small kitchen. When he pointed out, that the only work surface she was left would be roughly 2 feet square, she told him that she rarely prepared meals, just warmed them up in the microwave or popped in the oven.


Edited by Toots - 12 Feb 2014 at 08:37
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2014 at 12:16
Sounds like that lady only wanted a kitchen for show and not for practicalities. Why have a big cooker if only to warm up foods?

I forgot about the microwave oven. Couldn't be without that. They don't seem to make them last like the first one I bought. In this house we have been through 4 microwaves. I was the first in the family to get a microwave oven back in 1980 and it was big and took up a lot bench space. That one lasted the longest. The first time I used a microwave oven was at teachers college doing my Home Economics teaching course in the practical food side in 1976. I always included a practical unit on microwave cookery at school as most of my students said they only used the microwave to reheat food and make popcorn. We would cook cakes and honey soy chicken drumsticks, rice and vegetables in it.

I think my love of gadgets came from ordering equipment for school. One year I had to replace all the electric hand held mixers. I had to order 20. Another year I had to replace some microwave ovens - I ordered 6. I had to replace some of the freestanding stoves - 3 electric and 2 gas and get a new stove top for the demonstration bench when they were beyond economical repair. When we started teaching commercial cookery, I had to buy heaps of additional equipment and I was in my element - going through the catalogues, visiting showrooms and ordering all the equipment and utensils (over a few years to fit in with our annual budget) listed in the guide to what we had to have for the course and trying to get the best price for the multiple sets. When we got the kitchen upgrade at school we doubled our storage space, but we did get rid of a lot of old equipment. If it was still useful it went to other schools or to a charity shop.


My worse experience with school utensils was back in the first 10 years of my teaching. We had Home Economics inspectors of teaching back then and one of the tasks we had to do at the end of the year was the annual stocktake. We had to count every knife, fork, spoon, mixing bowl measuring cup, saucepan etc and fill in a stock book that the H Ec inspector would check over (whenever her next visit occurred) and if there were any losses in numbers, we had to account for it. We had to keep a book for broken or written off items, so if there were 9 plates missing, there should have been 9 plates written in the broken stock book. Thank goodness that system was eventually phased out. Now the Hospitality kitchen gets checked by auditors, not for missing items, but to ensure the required equipment for the course is in the room. Thank goodness I don't have to worry about that any more. My friend said that the latest item they have to buy now is a commercial slicer and it has to be there for the next audit in 2016.

Edited by MargiABC - 12 Feb 2014 at 12:29
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  Quote Toots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2014 at 13:28
You've never said a truer word Margi. No matter how expensive a microwave you buy, the turntable always comes off the spindle .  I had my first microwave in 1980 too. It was as heavy as lead and the size of a large TV, but by gum it lasted.  I had two last year. Mind you, that was because I set one on fire drying mint to store in honey for the winterErmm so can't blame the machine can I? I don't know what happened, I dry mint that way every year.
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  Quote deborah31 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2014 at 21:40
My microwave is built in, slightly high up, above bench height, now I'm the smallest at 5ft 7, and i have actually smashed the  turntable too!!! (when you bring out hot dishes, it sometimes slips out, and of course you can't catch it)
My son has done it too, (actually just realised, at 13 still a tiny bit shorter, but anticipating several inches growth spurt this year)
so getting used to ordering replacements from all the time.
I'm not a big cooker/baker, but I do like the induction top, very clean, and minimum maintenance which is what I like,so i would have one again.
Of course my ovens only warm up too!!! so timer's handy
I do miss the self cleaning ones tho I had in Canada, turn them up full, and blast them!!!
Why i too, took off all my wall tiles recently (didn't enjoy cleaning the grout) and replaced them all with glass splashbacks, so a quick wipe is all that's needed.
You get my drift by now, not a fan of housework either!!!!
All my appliances (yes i do have a few, rice cooker the favourtie,) are all in my cupboards out of sight, even my toaster and coffee percolater/filter is all hidden in cupboards.
 
anyway, i only have my kitchen, cos it came with the house!!!!LOL
(but i do like the way they are fitted, full height  to the ceiling, less dust, and cleaning!!!)
Now if only I had a built in vacu-flow, like my friend showed me in her kitchen, last time i visited, just sweep the floor, to the edges, and all the dirt/dust, is sucked up!
 
 
Loose Lips, Sink Ships !!   or as they say in Jamaice, 'Mouth open, Story fly out!'
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2014 at 23:17
I only use a microwave rice cooker with a double lid (doesn't boil over into the microwave. Single lid microwave cookers always boil over). 2 cups of rice and water 2cm above the rice line (or 1 finger joint above rice line for Chinese accuracy), 13 minutes on high and perfect rice.
All my appliances are in cupboards too, except kettle, toaster and microwave. Thats why I get into trouble if I want another appliance. I get asked "if you buy it, where are you going to put it?" To fit my pasta machine in I had to cull some old cake tins.

Edited by MargiABC - 12 Feb 2014 at 23:21
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  Quote Toots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2014 at 08:38
Thanks for the rice/microwave tip Margi. We are having kedgeree tonight so will try and do it in the microwave
Yes, I have my appliances in cupboards too. Sometimes you wonder if its worth getting them out.
One of the problems I had when we moved here is that the woman we bought from wasn't a cook. The kitchen looks lovely until you try and cook in it. All the wall cupboards go up to the ceiling and the only way I can get anything out is to stand on a pair of steps. Its a slow and tiring old job I can tell you.
We had a new kitchen fitted in our old house, and I have learned by my mistakes. We had solid wooden cupboards with recessed doors. All the gubbins used to collect in the recesses and the only way I could clean them was with a Q tip. I've got plain no nonsense doors on this one.
Forgot to ask. Have the bush fires finished with you? And is it any cooler?


Edited by Toots - 13 Feb 2014 at 08:40
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2014 at 09:36
The inner lid of the rice cooker has a hole in the middle and as the water boils up goes into this lid as it is slightly saucer shaped and the water falls back into the rice. The outer lid is clamped down at the sides and has steam vents at the top. The rice cooks by the absorption method. The time to cook the rice depends on how powerful your microwave is.

The bush fires that were near my friend's place are all out. The major one near Lithgow last year was accidently started by the army on their practice range. The fire fighters couldn't get in because of unexploded ammunition. There was an inquiry into it earlier this year.
The bush fires in Victoria are bad now with quite a few houses lost. Its not as bad as the one 3 or 4 years ago in Victoria where there were quite a few fatalities. Since that one more people in control have put in better communication about fires and better systems in place so there is minimal risk to life. A hard lesson to learn at the time. I downloaded an app for my phone called "Fires Near Me NSW" and it flags where there are bushfires in NSW and how far they are from my location. The fires are flagged on a map and when I click on a flag it tells me if it is under control or out of control. At this moment it is telling me there are over 50 bush fires in NSW mostly under control. They haven't been reported in the news so they are probably quite small flare ups or controlled back burning to remove ground leaf litter and dry undergrowth as potential fuel sources.

We had a couple of cooler days, but mostly still quite warm. Its been overcast so its quite humid. We haven't had much rain the last few months. Luckily our main dams were quite full last year from heavy rainfall, but some areas of NSW have water restrictions again.

Edited by MargiABC - 13 Feb 2014 at 09:43
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  Quote Toots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2014 at 11:21
We went yesterday, to see the designs on the computer. The kitchen we liked the most in the book, didn't look right at all. And the one we liked least was our favourite. Particularly when we saw a show one in the store.
We've paid for it, but because we want a certain fitter, we have to wait until the end of April because he is so busy. All the kitchens we went to see insitu were filtted by him and he had done a wonderful job.  We don't mind waiting at all and the weather should be better then. Ironically, someone we meet walking their dog when we are walking ours has had their kitchen fitted by the same man and gave us a glowing reference for him. So we needn't have gone far from home to see his work!
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