Thursday, 1 March 2018

Ants in my pants

Remember that tune?
James Brown?
I got ants in my pants and I need to dance.
Really, I don't have ants in my pants, but I feel like I do.

This is February, a month with limited rainfall. Every dry season, it seems as if more and more ants come to live in my garden.
They build lovely big ant hills or should I say mansions and villas and no matter how much Sevin or Terminix I place around the hills it doesn't seem to do much at all.
They just move the colony to another part of the garden and build even bigger condo ant hills.
It's as if they're trying to prove a point with me.
"We ain't leaving bout hay!!  It is here we intend to stay!!! We ain't going nowhere!! We ain't leaving hay at all!!".

Well this year I've had ENOUGH!!!
Time to bring out the big guns.
Doing some research on the internet, I read about Boric Acid, the number one thing to get rid of ants for good.
Only one way to find out if it would solve my problem with these freaking ants, I decided to give it a last resort.
I did have 20Mule Borax Laundry Booster in my laundry which contains some Boric acid but I wanted the true legit stuff.
At the pharmacy I bought a small bottle of Boric Acid to test out the new ant bait.
 I gathered all the items needed to make the deadly ant poison.
 The recipe called for Syrup and Boric Acid and that was it.

 A few old butter containers with holes punched around the rims for the ants to get in (after the tops are sealed)
 I used a disposable paper plate to make the deadly concoction.

Boric Acid Ant Bait

3oz (18 teaspoons) Syrup
3/4 teaspoon Boric Acid
Mix together really well.  The formula is the exact formula that works every time apparently...time will tell if it works for my ants.

I spooned even amounts of the mixture into the containers.

 Placed the lids on and sealed them properly....don't want you know who to get at the contents.
 The ants can still get in through the holes in the rims.

 Placed the containers in strategic areas of the garden where the ants were cavorting.
Party over here!!

 Another party over here!!!  Yes Sir!
 Ant mounds at the feet of my gazebo.

 Ant mounds next to my large pots of palms

 Anthill here and an anthill are ants...there are ants...everywhere are ants ants!!!

I really hope this works.
I am sick and tired of these pesky ants.
I want to get the Queen ant dead....I hope all the worker ants take the syrup to her and feeds her royal butt and she bites the dust taking them all along with her to ant heaven.
I may sound like a sadistic gardener, but I have had ENOUGH!!
Will post my results in a future post....wish me luck.

I also came across this video on how to catch the Queen ant, so will also be giving this a try....stay tuned.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Easy Apple Pie Filling for Apple Tarts

I wanted to make an easy and quick dessert....nothing too fancy but tasty and filling and it definitely had to satisfy my sweet tooth.
I also had to have all the ingredients on hand.

I knew exactly what would fit the bill perfectly...homemade Apple Tarts.

Apple Pie Filling is so easy to make if you prefer the fresh apple taste over the canned stuff.

Easy Apple Pie Filling

4 apples, chopped in small pieces 
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon corn starch 

 Start by peeling and chopping the apples into small pieces.

I used the smaller apples which I find easier to handle.

Place them in a pot with the butter and cinnamon and sugar (I used a few shakes from my Cinnamon Sugar spice bottle).
Stir and cook till al dente.
In a  small bowl mix the corn starch in a little water until fully dissolved.
Place this mixture in the pot and continue stirring until the apple filling thickens.

Turn off the stove and place the mixture in a bowl to cool until needed.

Tart Crusts

1 package of Digestive Biscuits crushed

 1/2 cup of melted butter may use more melted butter if you prefer.

 Mix together and place in mini tart pans.
 Bake for 5-7 minutes.

Remove from oven and fill with the apple pie mixture or jam.
Bake for a further 15 -20 minutes until done.
 May be served with a big scoop of ice cream if desired.


Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Chinese Fish & Dragon Festival 2018

This year, the Chinese Fish & Dragon Festival hosted by The Chinese Association Of Barbados was held at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium.
Usually it is held at Church Village Green in the city but this year the Agrofest 2018 festival which was being held next door in Queen's Park made it impossible for the festival to be held there....crowd pull, parking logistics etc.
Hence the Gymnasium venue, which in all honesty may not have been the ideal alternative.
The hours for the event were also changed which meant it became an evening festival.
Saturday being my jaunt day, I decided to have an evening jaunt instead.
I took care of my chores early in the day and then headed out to have a relaxing evening.
This year (2018) The Fish and Dragon Festival was honouring The Year of The Dog.

The Gymnasium is a big facility but with such a large crowd, the gym felt small. 
Still just enough room to wander around and grab a few hasty photos from the various displays.

 Toys for the kids.
 They were also several books being distributed to the kids.
 The Tea Station
After wandering around for a little while, I purchased some eats (chicken wontons and fishcakes for you know who), and then found a comfortable seat to await the beginning of the show.
During the wait I watched several fast-paced table tennis and road tennis exhibition games on the court below.
Soon it was time for the show to start.
The Tuk Band and Mother Sally descending into the crowd to perform.
The MC's for the evening.
Chinese and Barbadian interpreters for the crowd of mixed cultures.
The Shaggy Dragons
Chinese Shaggy Dragons Perform the New Year dance for good luck. 
Dragons doing their thing.

The Musicians
The character in the foreground holds a broom to sweep away all the bad luck of the old year.
Martial Arts display by the kids.
Martial Arts displays by the adults.

The Tianjin Arts Troupe

The ladies performed their dance routines with precision whirling their beautiful fans accompanied by the musicians playing the flutes.

The Juggling Hats troupe.

These guys were fantastic as they juggled their hats with expertise.
I know this must have taken dedication to train to perform like this.  The way they had those hats flying through the air at all angles and heights....and never dropped even one....a enthralling act from start to finish.

These jugglers were my favourite act of the evening.

Musician playing the flute.

This performer had the crowd gasping as he juggled and balanced two large and heavy pots with gravity defying precision.

Another of my favourite acts.
All the while I was thinking, I hope he doesn't let those beautiful Chinese pots fall because I could use them to pot some indoor plants for my home and that would be a waste.

Another of my favourite acts.

This beautiful lady sang Chinese songs from the heart.
These cute little stuffed dogs were thrown into the crowds as gifts to honour the Year of the Dog.

All in all, it was a nice evening.
After speaking with a few of my friends who also attended the festival, they too expressed that they preferred the open air spaces of the Village Green.
The outdoor ambience and the wider expanse of displays allows the crowd to be more dispersed.
I hope that next year it will return to its original venue.
Happy Chinese New Year to all!!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Lentil Broccoli Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings

This is the time of the year when our temperatures on the island drop quite low (for us here at least) and the nights are COLD.
Wearing socks and warm nightwear and having an extra cover are all a must during the months of January to March.
A couple of nights ago, our temperature dropped to 19 degrees Celsius.
I know..... I know..... that's nothing for those of you living in colder climes, but for us, it was something to talk about.
The cold actually woke me up that night, and I had to crawl out of my warm comfy spot to find a jacket and some thicker socks and a scarf for my head to trap my body warmth inside to prevent it from was so cold that night.
One of my Weather Watchers forum members even said her dog was shivering, and he lives inside.
Brownie lives inside too, but I do give him a blanket for the extra cold nights.  He would initially lie on the blanket but during the night he would sleep wherever he liked on the floor as usual.

The days are quite nippy too.
I don't even think of going outside before the sun is high and shining really bright which helps to take some of the chill away.....mind you it's still cold for us here when it's like this.

With all these low temperatures during this time of year, I love to enjoy a hot bowl of soup to warm up the really helps.

Lentil Broccoli Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings
A couple of days ago, I made a big pot of delicious Lentil Broccoli Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings and shared some with daughter dear and froze the remainder in individual portions.
Yummy hot bowl of soup

Without further ado, here is the recipe for my Lentil Broccoli Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings

Lentil Broccoli Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings

In a pot put:
Oil to sautee
4 cloves Garlic -cut in small pieces
1 Onion cut small
Fresh Guyanese thyme
Rosemary - 1/4 sprig chopped in pieces
Garlic chives
2 tablespoons Bajan Seasoning - chopped assortment of chives, hot pepper, thyme, marjoram, celery, parsley, ginger, oregano, garlic etc
Minced fresh ginger - small piece
Turmeric - 1 tablespoon
Garam Masala - 1 tablespoon

Stir fry everything until tender.

Add broth (leftover pasta water stored in freezer)
1-1/2 cups of lentils
I grated carrot
I chopped tomato
I large head of broccoli cut in pieces
1 tablespoon Bajan pepper sauce
1 tablespoon of salt
Water to fill the pot

Cook until tender.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot.

Blend a little bit of the soup....leaving some chunky bits intact.

Cornmeal Flour Dumplings
In a bowl mix flour, corn meal, vanilla essence, baking powder and a little sugar.
Mix together with hands and form a ball.
Form small dumplings and drop in soup 5 minutes before it is done.  Dumplings will float to the top when finished.
Approximate measurements are 1-1/2 cups flour, 1 cup cornmeal, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and maybe 2 tablespoons sugar)


Monday, 19 February 2018

My fruit salad dog

Remember when my boy Brownie knew nothing about fruit?
Over the years he has acquired a taste for quite a few fruits just because ....truth be told.....he's greedy.
Whatever he sees me eating, he thinks he should have some and most of the time I oblige except it's something that would harm him and be detrimental to his health.

Remember the mango?

Remember the pawpaw?

Then came the sugar apple....he loved that too and I must write a post when next he and I share some of this delicious fruit.

He wasn't too keen on the soursop since that is definitely an acquired taste and there are some locals who don't like it either, so that's understandable I think.

And now it's water melon.

 Daughter dear brought me a package of watermelon slices from the supermarket.
I love fresh fruit for breakfast...and I love that she was thinking of me when she was out shopping.
I decided to have some for breakfast.
 On the floor I saw a "hungry" starve-out looking dog staring at me with a glare in his eyes.

Decided to give him just a few bits to taste.
 I had no idea I'd be swindled out of my breakfast so quickly.
 How many bits....about seven pieces?

He didn't even take a minute to do a taste test.
Soon seven pieces became 7 more pieces and then 7 more pieces.
The melon pieces were wolfed down in seconds.
Now he's staring at me again with that sad hungry look on his face like a vagrant dog on the street.
I now have a fruit salad dog.
Seems as if I'll have to buy extra fruit to satisfy Mr. Brownbie from now on...sharing mine will not be an option.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...