by Donnie Hayden
© 2014, all rights reserved
First off, Happy Friday! I realize some memorialize today as Good Friday, but I have never understood why anyone would want to celebrate the death of someone? As to Jesus Christ, according to the Bible, history and even Jewish traditions, he did NOT eat the last supper (passover) with his 12 diciples/apostles then was crucified on Friday. He was the passover the year he died on a Wednesday. There is no power to anyone that he died. The power is attributed to that he was raised 72 hours before sunset of the Jewish Sabbath, which was and is, Saturday. This irks me to the enth-degree! If you do not believe or if you do, FINE, just stop talking about and celebrating stuff in which you do not understand what you are talking about! And believers and non or un-believers are equally responsible for misinformation.
Sorry to go on and on about this, but it has opened my eyes to something I will most likely write about somewhere and sometime. But it seems all people have at least two natures in common – curiosity and judgement. We often make judgments and usually about things and even people that we are just plain and simply, ignorant about. But curiosity influences us to open our minds, our hearts, to think, to search, to examine, to explore, to listen and especially to ask questions. It seems as if our curiosity is under attack or we are so weary that curiosity is waning, unused and underdeveloped. Other than all of this, I hope and I hope that your Friday has been good and will end this way! Have a good Friday! 🙂
To begin this post, it begins with “Aussie…stuff.”
A few nights ago, we had just returned from The Blue Mountains and that night there was a Total Lunar eclipse April 15th, 2014. Sorry to say we missed this, but others did not and took great pictures of what many call a “blood moon.” There are those that ‘freak out’ about this, but come on, it’s a beautiful, naturally occurring phenomenon and I’ve seen blood and this moon (picture) in no way looks like blood! 🙂 But I have enjoyed the night and early morning skies while here in Australia. Stars seem closer and there are those in positions that I have not seen in the way they are arranged here, ‘down under’
The following night around dusk, we took a family walk around the neighborhood with baby Felix and Fritz the dog. While out, we saw several huge bats flying overhead. The next night about the same time, I was out for a walk and a really, really big O’ huge bat flew over my head, about 4 feet from my head and nearly scared the crap out of me! 🙂 Sorry, no pictures, but this is my story and I’m sticking to it! 🙂
I love to walk here most anytime, but especially early in the morning and in the evening. When the sky is clear of clouds, the moon and stars have been spectacular. And I love the many sounds of birds including the cackle of the beautiful cockatoos, the caw of the magpies, squeals of the lorikeets (or lories as they say here, ‘down under’), and even the freaky weird song that sounds like a laughing hyena, made by the kookaburra. But I will say this, we four ( + Felix the baby and Fritz the dog) were walking in a park yesterday and Susan got to hear not her first one, but her first three or four. The Kookaburra Quartet all singing at the same time acapella, sounded pretty good! 🙂
There are many others that are beautiful songbirds whose names I cannot name. There are a couple that I have taken upon myself to call them by the name which makes sense to me. There is one that sounds like while you are walking and you have something wrong with your shoe. I call this, the squeaky bird. Another birds starts off with a high-pitched twirling sound then falls off. It sounds alien to me so, I just call it the spaceship landing bird. 🙂
It’s difficult to get use to the weather here. Early this morning it was 47 degrees F. (Fahrenheit) and I could actually see my breath. This was the coldest we have experienced in Australia so far, even while we in The Blue Mountains! I was wearing two shirts, long pants and socks. Well, that was around 7 am and today’s estimate is 80° F. which will be the warmest day so far that we have had while here. So, it’s, cover up at night and in the morning, but change to shorts, short sleeves, sandals (or flip flops), sun glasses and plenty of sunscreen with a HIGH SPF (Sun Protector Factor) by day! The sun here can be brutal along with the high humidity. Truly though, right now (March – May) is the best time to come to Australia, as far as I am concerned.
OK, on to Dairy Products. Let me just say that I come from the Midwest area of the United States. I was born and raised there in the heartlands of agriculture products. The State of Kansas, with its many acres of wheat is often called, “the breadbasket of the world.” The state of Iowa is known for its beef and corn. The Midwest has many large farms and ranches, both privately or family owned and corporate owned. The state of Wisconsin is called, “America’s Dairy” and produces some of the finest milk, cheese and dairy products in our country.
Our grandfather was a farmer. My mother was born and raised with country-fresh until at least after high school when she married our Dad. But our grandfather, was an executive, a foreman and a farmer among many types of work he did throughout his lifetime. I can fondly recall that he always had gardens of fresh produce. He worked on dairy farms and I suppose, he had his own cow at some point, before I was born. This possibility can be seen in the picture below that he posed for, just for fun. 🙂 But our “Papa” (pronounced paw paw), should know something about farming and food! Raised with good country fresh food, I suppose I know something about it as well, at least what it used to look like and taste like.
But whatever happened to America’s dairy products or when it happened I cannot say, but Australia’s dairy products are the best I have ever had, since I was a small boy. Take for example, butter. I remember butter being a beautiful yellow color. Well, for the most part, butter is almost white now in the United States, unless you purchase some specialty butter at a higher price and probably imported. Imported dairy products in the USA? Yep.
And with all due respect to Wisconsin, you have nothing on Australian cheese or any dairy product! Yogurt, even Greek style yogurt and OMG, ICE CREAM from Australia will absolutely BLOW YOUR MIND! It is, sooooooooooooooo good!
In the USA, we have 1%, 2%, ?%, cream, whipping cream, sour cream and 1/2 & 1/2 milk and who knows what other milk (products). Perhaps there is so much cream stripped out that when it gets to whole milk, there’s not much left? Where ever the answer lies, in Australia, whole milk is whole milk and it’s delicious. I use Aussie whole milk in my coffee instead of, 1/2 & 1/2 like at home and it is wonderful!
Dear United States, what has happened to you? Is it added crap, fillers, preservatives, messed-around-with seed for the animals = poor quality grain/grass feed for the animals that has been so screwed up or have WE the People all been sold a bill of crap-messed-around-with goods, just for more profit to business? I really don’t know the answer, but don’t give us cake to appease us poor-pitiful-peons, give us Butter or give us death. Yes, I know that last sentence was intended to be humorous and was a reference to Patrick Henry’s “Give us liberty or give us death,” quote from 1776 and the attribution of Marie Antoinette supposedly saying: “Let them eat cake,” in response to the plight of the people having no bread. The translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche. is certainly curious, since brioche was made from dough enriched with butter and eggs, making it more expensive than bread! The quote then supposedly, would reflect the princess’s obliviousness as to the condition of the people not to mention the ignorance of expense between bread and cake. And it is hotly contested that Marie Antoinette or any “great princess,” as some believe, ever said this. My attempt at humor’s point is that we should have liberty to have and free to choose the best dairy products available. Right now, in my experience, the best dairy products I have tasted in a very long time, are in Australia!
Since I mentioned cake above, lets move now onto or into bread. Many people love chocolate cake so, let’s start with this. In the United States, we have several chocolate companies or those that operate there and are in the public consciousness. Hershey’s and Nestlé are two of these firms. But Nestlé is from Switzerland. There are other companies in the U.S.A., but at closer look, it’s difficult to know who owns what any more. Take for example, Cadbury Chocolate. It was started in England, but made by Hershey Chocolate in the U.S.A. and then Kraft Foods (USA) bought Cadbury Chocolate in 2009. Pretty confusing isn’t it! When you think about it, the ingredients for chocolate (milk chocolate) are pretty basic: cocoa, sugar, MILK, some flavorings and blending agents then perhaps other add-ins like nuts etc. So how can the taste of chocolate be so different from company to company, country to country and from the same company, but in different countries? We have the Cadbury Eggs sold in the USA about this time. We have Cadbury Chocolate products in the USA and have had them for as long as I can remember. Why don’t they taste the same in the United States as they do in Australia? Is the answer, the MILK??? A lady told me she constantly has to send Cadbury Chocolate from Australia to a relative living in the Bahamas on a regular basis. Why is this, because it’s just so much better than what can be purchased (probably imported from the USA) in the Bahamas? Hmm, I wonder if it is the milk! 🙂
Milk is also used in bread. One would think that Australian bread, because of its superior milk would be fantastic. But in my opinion, except for their ‘Damper‘ and a few rolls here and there, Australia has no idea how to make bread. What we call cookies, the Aussies call biscuits. Maybe the McDonalds here can make biscuits, but other than this possibility, the flaky-tasty we love and expect in the United States, do not exist here. Bread here is hard and it is more than just “hard.” I grew up with soft white bread. Honestly, it took me a long time to acquire a taste for hard or real bread. But the bread and rolls (what we in the USA call a hot dog, sub or hoagie roll are so tough, they are hard to eat and hard to chew through just to get to to the stuff we desire in the center. I will give the Aussie rolls this, at least they do not fall apart or spill their contents because, they are so soft like ours in the US. Perhaps the answer to their bread is two-fold: It is all they know and with the humidity here being so constantly high, maybe it is the best that they can do?
And one last thing about Aussie food. Their corn is great, but they have no idea how to make corn tortilla chips or Mexican food whatsoever. Their bean burritos and flour tortillas are good, especially with their sour cream.
We everywhere, need to learn from one another! We all should have the best dairy products, bread and stuff available that can be made, without sacrificing our unique cultures or QUALITY!!! 🙂