Monday, October 08, 2018

BRANCHING OUT ON A LIMB..


Wollemi Pines


Family trees – in some instances they make it difficult to see the forest. 

Many folk go to extraordinary lengths, out on a limb, to dig up trunk loads of information; hanging onto multitude limbs in efforts to root out their ancestry.  

With the intention of learning about who went before them they branch out in every direction, pouring over clusters of data.  Nothing is left swinging or dangling in limbo.

Persistent in their searches, their interest is perennial.  Their assiduous, dogged determination to discover everything they can about their lineage - from where it stemmed – is unyielding.  Tirelessly the seekers stalk sites in search of answers. 

In the wee small hours off they lumber off to slumber, only to wake a few hours later to begin digging again, feeling renewed like an evergreen.  Their deep-rooted curiosity remains inveterately fresh. 

At times the deadwood is tossed aside, or ignored, usually for good reason. 

Most families, whether they like to admit it or not, have a skeleton or two hidden away in their silky oak, pine, mahogany or cedar cupboard.  There’s no point selling the cupboard on Gumtree or eBay.  Skeletons are adept at finding somewhere else to hide. It’s a haunting thought, but they will remain to haunt...if you allow them to do so.    

Ask the Duchess of Sussex!  I bet she feels like slamming a few doors permanently shut. 
  
I hazard a guess the majority of us have a bone to pick somewhere or other - with someone or other - but, it’s better to keep the door closed...best to move on.

Perhaps there’s a spray available for skeleton eradication; maybe termites are the answer. They could be coerced into embracing a liking for bones instead of wood.

 Just a thought...
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My family tree is non-existent these days.  Deforestation occurred years ago.  I’d better tread carefully, or I’ll be blamed for global warming!  I may not have any family tree limbs or branches left these days, but my shoulders are strong enough to bear weight.

There are no trees or branches blocking forest views in my insignificant corner of the field.  I’m the only tree left standing.  So far I’ve dodged the chainsaws.  Branches of my family tree have been lopped back so far there’s no chance of regrowth.

I don’t pine over the situation. Content I am being a gnarly, old, sole soul. 

I’m not unlike the rather recently discovered, once thought extinct, classified critically endangered Wollemi Pine – I’ve outlived dinosaurs.  

There is a saying - “No man is an island”.   Being a woman, the saying doesn’t refer to me.  I enjoy being an island. 

In no way do I feel deserted.  

 “Deserted” is from where the term “desert island” originated.  As they do, people became lazy throughout the years, and dropped off the “ed” at the end of the word.  
Other than laziness, I can’t fathom the reason why they would do so.  

It’s no secret I love tropical islands having, at different periods in my life, lived on two back in the 80s and early 90s.  

Actually, by having no family - no branches - I’m a palm.  In fact, being so makes me a herb.  I’m herbaceous because palms are herbaceous – non-woody plants.  And, palms have no limbs...no branches.

However, I give you warning.  Don’t become complacent.  There’s nothing wooden about me.  Pinch me, and you’ll immediately discover this to be so.  I am fleshy as opposed to woody.  Wouldn’t you know it!  

My affinity to palms has been longstanding.  Growing in our yard when I was a kid were three palms.  We called them “monkey nut trees”.  The truth could be I descended from the Planet of the Apes!   (Rosanne does not offend me).

And, of course, as well as the she-oaks that bordered on the foreshores of both Hinchinbrook and Newry Islands - my isolated hang-outs for a while - were palms. 

 I never learned how to scale them, but I was proficient at scaling fish – and eating coconuts.

My mind works in mysterious ways.  Don’t question why or how. I don’t have the answers.... 



Salmon with Crispy Coconut Kale: Rinse 1c jasmine rice in cold water; drain. Place in saucepan with 1c coconut milk, 1c water and ½tsp salt. Bring to boil; stir. Reduce to lowest heat, cover; cook 15mins. Remove from heat.  While rice is cooking, heat oven to 200C.  Combine in sealed jar, 1/3c melted coconut oil, 1tsp sesame oil, 2tbs coconut aminos or tamari, and 1tbs Sriracha. Shake until emulsified. Place 3 cubed kumara on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1tbs melted coconut oil; sprinkle with paprika. Toss to coat; bake 30mins, or until tender. Place 1 bunch trimmed kale, sliced into strips and 1c coconut flakes on baking sheet. Drizzle with 2/3rd of dressing. Toss until well coated. Drizzle 4 salmon fillets with 1- 2tbs of remaining dressing. Bake salmon and coconut kale mixture during last 15mins of sweet potato's baking time. Don’t let kale burn. Serve over fluffed rice with an extra drizzle of dressing. 

Coconut Fish: In bowl, beat together 1 egg and 2tbs pineapple juice. Spread 2/3c flour and 1-1/2c shredded coconut on separate plates, suitable for dredging. Add 2/3tbs oil to pan set over med-heat. Dry 5 snapper fillets. Dredge in flour; dip in egg; then coat in coconut. Working with 2-3 fillets at a time, add fish to pan. When coconut starts to brown, carefully turn over. When fish is cooked, remove from pan. Add more oil to pan if necessary; repeat with remaining fish. 

Lemon Salmon & Herbs:  Lightly oil a baking sheet. In bowl, whisk 2tbs  brown sugar, 2tbs lemon juice, 1tbs Dijon, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2tsp dried dill, 1/2tsp oregano, 1/4tsp thyme and 1/4tsp rosemary; season. Place 4 chopped zucchinis in a single layer onto baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil; season to taste. Add 4 salmon fillets in a single layer; brush each with herb mixture. Place into 200C oven; cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 16-18mins, dependent on fillet thickness. Serve with lemon wedges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

30 comments:

  1. At least your mind works. Somedays I am not sure mine does.

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    1. Hey there, EC. I always keep a can or two of WD-40 within easy reach! ;)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  2. My family tree is fast disappearing behind me, but ahead of me, further generations are growing up. I'm in the middle and quite happy to be there.

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    1. Hi River...and rightly so for you to be happy there in your spot. I have none behind me and none ahead of me...or to the side.

      I had/have no children...so I am the lonely little petunia in the onion patch...except I am not lonely. I may be alone...but I never feel lonely.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  3. Hmmm - off to Google the Duchess of Sussex...

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    1. Surely you have heard of Meghan Markle one of the stars of the TV series "Suits"...and Prince Harry, Lynn...and their joining in matrimony...Prince Harry and Meghan...the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. And, all the nonsense behaviour by Meghan's half-sister and father...both grabbing their 15 minutes of fame in the spotlight. :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  4. this was a very fun read, especially with the use of all the tree related terms. ha. there isn't much of my family tree left either, too many skeletons. I never met a tree I didn't like some of my favorites are oak, madrone, and palms but the there are Japanese maples and so many more. I like that first photo.

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    1. Hey there, Linda...Yes...trees are wonderful...it's just some of the family trees that aren't! lol

      Thanks for coming by...and your kind concern earlier. :)

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  5. Those recipes sound so good!

    Sometimes i wish i could be an island for a week or two -- i might get some things done around here without interruption.

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    1. Hi messymimi...I enjoy my own company...I can get into arguments with myself and either which way come out the winner! ;)

      Being alone doesn't necessarily mean one gets things done without interruption! lol

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  6. Oh, Lee. Just from your wonderful writing, we can surmise how your mind works and how it flits lovingly from place to place. Lovely post.

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    1. Hey there, Peace Thyme...my mind does work in over drive often. It's always thinking up something or other! It seems to love bringing many thoughts to the forefront as soon as I decide it's time to go to sleep at night!!! It's just as well I always have a notebook on my bedside table and have learned to write, almost, legibly, in the dark! ;)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. There were some interesting things in my family tree and after looking into some of it answered some questions were answered about my wonderful, kind dad. It was helpful for my family to know.

    You appear perfectly happy being a tree with no limbs, Lee. No problems there to worry about and that is often a blessing.

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    1. Hi Arleen...I learned much from the stories told to my older brother and me by our grandmother when she was alive...I've a pretty good knowledge of my ancestry etc. Now I'm the Last of the Mohicans...and only have my two furry mates, Remy and Shama, to tell the tales to!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. Yes Lee, your recipes always sound so wonderful!
    I have been doing research on my family tree. I am amazed at all the army of people who were my ancestors. Only thing, I go off on a tangent on people who are not related to me at all, all the history of what was going on in that particular decade/century. No man OR woman is an island, we truly all are part of all mankind. xx

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    1. Hi Kay...as I wrote in my response to Arleen above....our grandmother told us many stories throughout the years of our ancestry...she was a great storyteller and my brother and I were good listeners.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  9. I started family history research a few years ago and I understand how manic people come. I actually stopped blogging for a few days. I decided to leave it until I retired. I hope to come across someone who has done all the work already.

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    1. Hi Andrew....I've a store of knowledge filed away in the pigeon holes of my brain about my ancestors etc., etc. Now...standing alone, I have no one to pass that information on to...no one who would be interested in the history of my heritage, anyway. It concerns me not.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  10. I've never really had any interest in my family tree or understood why it is so important to some people to know 'where they came from'. That's probably because it was thoroughly researched on my Mother's side by my maternal Great Uncle when I was still a youngster. When he retired (early) he spent his time travelling to study old church records. My Brother has an interest and so have some of the younger members of the family.

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    1. I'm similar to you, Graham...as I've written in some of my above responses, as children, my brother and I learned much from the stories our grandmother told us...and she told us many and was a great storyteller.

      And my memory is pretty good...so those tales told by her about past relatives and from where they originated...the Scottish Highlands and Ireland...remain with me.

      I know who I am, and climbing trees is not going to change me! :)

      I've never done any researching myself.

      Thanks for coming by.

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  11. A joke from the book 'A taste of Honey' by Sheila Delaney.
    Knock Knock; "Who's There'.... "Nicholas"....
    "Nicholas Who".... Nickerless girls should'nt climb trees.

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    1. Hi there, Vest...And what a stir that book and movie made! Shelagh Delaney was only 19 when she wrote the book. I remember going to watching the movie in the early 1960s.

      I have a taste for honey, but these days, not for climbing trees...partly-clothed or fully-clothed!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  12. Cleverly and wittily constructed Lee! (Cue: APPLAUSE!) Some people seem to be obsessed by genealogy. I often wonder what exactly they are looking for and if they found out everything - where would they go from there? On the tree theme, trees are covered in bark and dogs also bark. I wonder why or am I barking up the wrong tree?

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    1. There is a ring or two of truth in what you say, Yorkie.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  13. I do like the images you've used here.
    I enjoy contact with family members, and have many fond memories of growing up seeing Aunts, Uncles etc. Nowadays, you see so many adverts for 'ancestry, geology' etc but can't say I've ever been tempted.

    … but I am tempted by your recipes, especially the salmon one :)

    My good wishes

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hey there, Jan. It was different when I was young...relatives everywhere it seemed...not so much these days....none within easy reach or contact. None that can be bothered and that doesn't bother me. I keep to myself pretty much...and that doesn't bother me, either. :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  14. Skeletons, indeed. My research into the missus' family history turned up that she may not be who she claimed to be as her legal surname seemingly had no basis in her DNA genealogy. How do you create a family tree then when the biological tree differs from the legal tree. It's like having a gum tree and maple all intertwined. Too difficult for my puny tree-drawing artistry so I gave up.

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    1. Hi Dave...the surname I grew up with wasn't my genealogy/biological name. My older, now late brother Graham and my father's surname was "Nicholson"...and that is not the name my brother and I carried...unfortunately. What's in a name, they asked? I know whose DNA I carry....and that is what matters to me, I know a fair bit about my ancestry...and that will do me. I don't have to start climbing any trees. :)

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  15. These are interesting recipes. I like the salmon and kale one. I have salmon in the freezer and might use it tomorrow. As for ancestry, researching it can be addictive but I am probably happiest when watching "Who do you Think You are?" Because, even though it's not my ancestors, someone else has already done all the hard work!

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    1. G'day Jenny....that salmon and kale recipes had gained a lot of attention. I might just have to make it myself!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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