Wednesday 25 June 2014

Orange Skies

Yesterday Cairns had lost it's sunny skies again for most of the day but today dawned fresh and clear.
This morning as the sky was changing from soft pre dawn colours to a vibrant orange I headed to Machans Beach. It is the first beach north of Cairns. Using the word beach could be a bit of an overstatement but those living almost right on the shoreline have the best views with the ocean on their door step.

 It made for a great place to catch a beautiful sunrise. It had that lovely peacefulness that is there of an early morning before the world has gotten busy. The problem with heading to the Northern Beaches of a morning is getting back into Cairns once peek traffic has begun. It makes for a very slow trip.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Coconut Jam Slice

I love cooking, well baking in particular. Maybe that is because I am a huge sweet tooth. Just normal old dinner cooking like good old meat and three veg doesn't hold much interest even though it is the most common cooking that happens in our house. Instead I do enjoy cooking different things and having them turn out.

I used to do lots of baking when I was on The Station, especially after I was given to go ahead in the kitchen and told to cook til my heart was content, so I did. Every Sunday out came fresh cakes, slices and even the odd savory thing. During the week the odd cake or something would be produced by me or me and the kids. I miss all that baking and the happiness and togetherness that went with it.

Now I have a cookbook, picked up at somewhere like Jack in the Box called 'Baking a Commonsense Guide' or 'A Commonsense Guide to Baking', whichever way you prefer to read it, that is published by bay books/ Murdoch Books Pty Ltd. I love it. I have three of their books in total. The baking one is filled with the yummy, buttery goodness of baking from sweet to savory. Everything sounds so good and (so far) all the recipes work which is always good. It also has tips for cooking which is great.

One thing I used to cook on occasion was Coconut Jam Slice and rather than send yet another chocolate cake to work with Mr Sparky, (his choice and I think preferred of all the fellas) I made this for him to take. I hope they like it.

It is pretty easy to make and tasty as well. I cheat with the base and just put in the whole egg and a bit extra flour.

 I know this is a slice that has graced many a country function, city too I am sure. It is a very old fashioned kind of thing. I do love traditional, comforting, baked foods. There would be heaps of different recipes. I also decided after baking this that I had to share it and thought I would actually put some effort into photographing it. I am not really a food photographer at all I usually just plonk it on the bench, take a pick to show what it looked like and that is that. This time I was down on the floor in the doorway to attempt a nicer lit pic. This was very hygienic I am sure but natural lighting is pretty crappy in our house with it only coming from the front and back. It is also okay if you think I was a little crazy, Mr Sparky thinks so as well, actually he just flat out told me I was. Good thing I love him really.

Do you like baking or maybe just eating a good old fashioned slice or cake?

Sunday 22 June 2014

Winter Solstice

Wow! The shortest day of the year has passed us by, whizzing in and out without any ceremony. 
The 21st, yesterday, was the shortest day of the year here in the southern hemisphere and the same date is the longest day for the northern hemisphere.
I had the thought of capturing both the beginning and end of the day. When I was awake before sunrise it became a reality and something I just had to do.

 Sunrise in Cairns was at 6:45am.

I headed out for a short walk around near our place to try and capture some pretty and clear sunrise sky.

Sunset was a 5:52pm.

I headed out aiming for the Barron River but got sidetracked by the thought of sun on sugar cane flowers. That was where I stayed too.

The daylight hours lasted 11 hours and 7 minutes plus some seconds (my guess is about 5 seconds as today is supposed to be 6 seconds).

The day was nothing special in our house, just a normal weekend with Mr Sparky on call, me a little tired (and grumpy according to Mr Sparky) after my first night back on night fill after having some time off and both of us just hanging about at home as you do. The skies were clear and the weather beautiful, much more the northern winter it should be.

Friday 20 June 2014

A Knobby Morning

Today it seems there will be clear skies from sunrise to sunset (just a random guess considering sunset isn't to far away). I headed out early again but not quite early enough it seemed as the sun was already over the horizon by the time I got to the highway to head a little north. So to make sure I got the sunrise look I stopped in at the Barron River. When I arrived I could see a fair sized bird perched on the rails of the viewing platform but it sensed me before I could capture it. I think it was a hawk or eagle, something like that. Disappointing. Below is all I got.

Anyway the colours were beautiful and I just loved the texture of the water today, not smooth like last time.

I then went back to the highway turning off a few round-a-bouts later.

The Knob or Yorkey's Knob was my destination. I haven't been there in a while. Even though I missed the sunrise is was a nice morning down on the beach.