Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Ash Wednesday- Day 1 of my Lenten challenge

Ash Wednesday.  Its the beginning of what we know as the season of lent.  People give up or take on all sorts of things.  Fasting from food, chocolate, sugar, taking photos, etc.  I have also done this in the past also.  As I sat around yesterday contemplating what I was going to do or give up this Lenten season it suddenly occurred to me that I should look to the Bible for inspiration.  Who would have thought!  It seems a key feature of Lent is the 40 days Jesus spent out in the desert with the devil.  What better way to prepare yourself for that time than to immerse yourself in scripture.  I start my Lenten journey reflecting on the 2012 Lectionary readings.
I sat in the hammock with Bible in hand and open this morning to Isaiah 58:1-12, true fasting.  One particular part of that reading grabbed my attention.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
   and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
   and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
   and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
   and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

I reflected on this quite a bit.  How was I going to take this and use it in a practical way today?  My head immediately went to scenarios I could play out today.  maybe I could go to the local shopping centre and donate to guy standing selling the Big Issue outside Foodland or go for a walk and possibly bump into someone who needs money for a bus ticket.  I put $2 in my pocket with the intention of stepping out of the house and making a small change but the urge to study was too strong and I ended up with my head in books and diaries sorting out my life and readings for the next 6 months.
About 3pm I got a phone call from my brother.  He was stuck on the Southern expressway with a flat tyre and no tools to fix it with.  As any good sister would do I jumped at the chance to 'rescue' my little bro from hours of sitting alongside a busy freeway waiting for someone to stop and help.  There it was, my mission for the day fulfilled.  We changed that tyre together with the speed of the pit crew during the Clipsil 500 in Adelaide.  Although it was a great opportunity to help someone in need I couldn't help but feel I may have cheated the mission.

Fregon Family Photo: Andrew, Tjilpi Robin, Jonathan, Antjala and Judy
It wasn't until I sat down with Andrew over dinner that I now realise how serious I'm prepared to take this.  I got a call when I was half way through my homemade chickpea and zuchini patty from Jonathan, a friend whom I have made a number of trips to the APY lands with.  Tjilpi Robin, the traditional Aboriginal elder we stay with is sick, very sick.  Diabetes, liver problems, ear infections, heart disease run rife in these small, remote Aboriginal townships.  As I sit here typing Tjilpi is being rushed to a hospital in Adelaide with serious liver problems.  According to Jonathan Tjilpi may be on his way out and may only have day left.  I've called the hospital but they are unaware of anyone coming in from the lands and said to call back in an hour when they may know more.  Until then I sit praying and awating more news and  anxious to be with Tjilpi when he gets here.  While people waiting in emergency look on and make their judgements about our Anangu friend, thinking about all the stereotypical things that may have brought him to this point and why they should be treated before him, I can't help but cry when I think about might possibly be.  I don't want him to be alone.  Tonight my heart breaks as I reflect on the reality of this reading.  Please pray with me for Tjilpi and his family.

Amazing Fig and Almond Jam

When I first acquired my container full of figs my first thought went to fig jam.  How can it not?  My mum had always turned her figs into jam and it was always yummy.  Always trying to better my mums amazing cooking I started to think about what it is I liked about hers.  The thick chunky texture was always a winner with me but it was too sweet.  I remembered having breakfast at Nonno and Nonna's house one morning and the delightful taste of the Beerenberg Fig and Almond jam I had on my toast.  It wasn't just the figs I liked.  It was also the citrusy taste it had as well.  It cut through the sweetness just nicely.  I started to do some on line research when I remembered our backpacker friends from Canada raving about Maggie Beer's Burnt Fig Jam.  Taking all the elements I loved about these three ideas I put together my own recipe.  I hope you enjoy.
From this...

Fig Jam

2kg Figs
1kg Dark brown Sugar
Juice from 2 small lemons
Rind from one small lemon
1/3 cup of roasted almonds chopped 

Soak the figs overnight in the sugar.  The next day boil the figs and sugar together.  Break up the figs with a spoon.  Continue to boil for at least an hour until you get the consistency you desire, stirring occasionally (test the consistency by placing a spoonful on a small plate and letting it cool.  Its easy to tell that way how thick it will be when finished).  Add the lemon rind, juice and almonds making sure it passes the taste test as you go.  Place hot jam into hot sterilised jars.
To this!
I suggest serving on crusty bread with a dollop of cream.  Yum!!

A week of bottles and jars

Wow! Its really has been a crazy week!  It started with a very boring last Wednesday.  Too much day time tv over the uni holidays was starting to send me a little crazy.  I decided to go up the the church where my mum runs Friendship Centre, a place where people (mostly over the age of 60) get together mid week, chat, do crafts and eat waay to much afternoon tea.  After being told I wasn't doing my little craft project the right way, being given a 2 hour tutorial on how to do it correctly and eating buttered scones to my hearts content people eventually started to pitter off and go home.  Thankful for my little lesson I said goodbye to my new 70-something friend only to notice someone had dropped off a few bags of plums.  I decided to take a bag of overripe plums home with me. On the way home I dropped into see Nonno and Nonna to give them a hand with preparation for sauce making for Saturday morning.  They had the copper boiler out and were trying to connect up the gas bottle but to no avail.  While Andrew went off gallivanting the suburbs of Adelaide for the right connection, Andrew's beautiful pregnant sister, Claire, other gorgeous sister Joy and I began picking all the ripe figs from the beautiful fig tree canope in Nonno's backyard.  All inspired by the fruit I had just acquired I went home and started to create.  By Friday I had stewed the plums and made burnt fig and almond jam.  Both ended up becoming a screaming success!  I will post my fig jam recipe later.
My Breakfast: Stewed plums with yoghurt and muesli

Figs all ready to go
My friend Sarah has become interested in the authentic Italian sauce making experience and had been invited to come and join in on the process early Saturday morning.  Joy had organised a room full of tomatoes that would be made into sauce and divided among the family members.  4:30am the sauce production began and people made their way over to Nonno and Nonna's house bleary eyed and not so bushy tailed to help out.  Step one, put the tomatoes in the copper.  Step two, put the boiled tomatoes through the mincer to get rid of any seeds and skin.  Step three, repeat step two to get the most from the tomatoes.  Step four, pour the freshly made sauce into long neck bottles.  Step five, cap bottles filled with sauce.  Step six, boil sauce bottles for maximum longevity.  Step seven, take a seat around the table in the back yard while Nonno cooks you sausages at 10:30am.  By 11am it was all over.  Andrew and I went home with 20 bottles of freshly made sauce.  People have asked me if the real Italian sauce making experience is anything like it is in Looking for Alibrandi.  I can't tell you because I haven't seen it but according to Sarah, it is.
Not sure how to flip the photo the right way but you get the idea
It doesn't stop there.  Andrew and I came home that afternoon and decided it was time to bottle our home brew apple cider too! 
Filling up bottles with home brew cider
At the end of the weekend we had 6 jars of fig and almond jam, 1 large container of stewed plums, 20 long necks of sauce and 40 odd bottles of apple cider!
Yes it has been quite a weekend!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


A soulful take on Coldplay's Paradise.  I can't help but feel moved every time I listen to it.  The Piano Guys, the people behind this amazing video are a self funded and take music covers to a whole new level.  Brilliant!

My little indulgence

Good Morning world.  Blogging is a passion of mine I haven't indulged in for quite a long time.  The time has come to turn over a new leaf and make time once again for a little reflection.
My name is Judy.  I live with my husband, Andrew, budgie and two chickens in the foot hills of Adelaide, South Australia. I love our veggie garden, lying around in the hammock, my friends and family, going to the beach, body boarding, camping and travel and being creative.  Unfortunately, a little thing called Uni has taken over my life and limits how much of these things I actually get to do. As a follower of Jesus I seek to live a life of love, humility, equality and justice.
Ok, so why Judalicious Fling?  Judalicious is a nickname given to me by my gorgeous sister-in-law.  Fling was my way of expressing my passion for life and its various idiosyncrasies.
Through this blog I hope I may be able to give you a snippet of what life is like though the eyes of this little individual.
Love to all