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Cymbidium tracyanum False Surprise

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Tuesday May 22, 2012:

Looking closely at the new C. tracyanum orchid plant, I realise that it is a big and robust species. The flower spike is tall almost 1 m long with 15 large flowers. The arching leaves are also long and thick. The big bulbs have already crowded, so after flowering I will move the plant in a bigger pot. Compared with all our other cymbidiums, it is the biggest one. I just read about this plant and it is actually native species of Southern China, Northern Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar.

Other than strong perfume, the flowers are weirdly pretty. The striped petals are mixed colours of yellow, green and dark brownish red. While the spotty white lip is kind of hairy. I keep it inside the house now to fully enjoy the sweet perfume and the exotic beauty. I read that quite a few hybrids available and I am not sure which one is mine….. it could be Cymbidium tracyanum ‘ Atlantis’.

Here in Melbourne, Cymbidium tracyanum orchids are rarely available. I feel so lucky to be able to buy one.

May 2022:

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Not Much Of a Garden

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Our new place has a small garden at the front with a nice Dracaena tree. The back and side yards are more of blank canvases. There are an ornamental olive tree and a couple of lemon trees. Near the fence there is a clump of Alocasia, I am not so sure what variety it is, but as the leaves are ponting up, I know that it is not Colocasia. I like the large thick shiny foliage

I have no idea why some people cover their land with plastic and spread pebbles on it. For a while weeds will not grow, but eventually weeds will always win. This has become my main problem to deal with the garden. I cannot mow the weeds and they are too much to dig them up. So I trim the annoying weeds with a grass trimmer. Some of the pebbles will fly away, but they are small sizes and scorias are not heavy, they are quite light and porous. We haven’t had time nor budget to do makeover and to get rid of the problem-some layer of scoria pebbles. This method of landscaping is bad for soil, as it will get compacted and hard under the plastic layers.

Front garden is tiny, and it also has scorias on it. Among the layer of reddish brown scoria pebbles, there are scatters of small sea shells. It is quite odd to think why people put old sea shells on the ground.

I have trimmed both the lemon and the ornamental olive trees. I decided that it is an ornamental olive as it did not bear fruit after heavy flowering. I could only find a couple tiny fruits, but I like the tree. It looks nice and compact.

Alocasia. I am not so sure what kind of variety, it could be Conjevoi Lily which is native to Brisbane (Queensland area) and New South Wales.

Zygopetalum maculatum 2022

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Months after moving house, finally I had time to check on my orchids. I started with the Zygopetalum maculatum. Dusty leaves needed to be cleaned and dried leaves and stems were trimmed off. To my surprise they are having flower spikes. One pot is having a couple and another one is having one.

Old Garden Statue

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Another item that the vendor left is this old garden statue. An Aboriginal – an Australian Indigenous Man statue that I name Mr. Bushman. Obviously it is old as the paint was badly faded and the face was barely recognizable. It was a pity to throw away, so I repainted the statue.

Oh my… this statue is so heavy. It must weigh around 30 kg, I barely could lift it all by myself. I had to use our small cart to move it. A few coats of paint really make it different. I am glad with the result

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Surprise Cacti

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We sold our old home and bought another house about 30 km away. The vendor left us with a collection of cacti grown in a birdbath. I never good in growing cacti before. They all ended up died. So now with these cacti, I have to be careful not to over water.

The collection consists of a small Opuntia, Mammilaria hahniana, Rebutia, Echinopsis, an unknown cactus and miniature aloe. The birdbath is relatively shallow and it seems that the growing media is mainly consists of pebbles.

Recently to my surprise some of the cactus plants grew beautiful flowers.

Mammilaria hahniana or kown as old woman/ old lady cactus. It grows flowers around the top to form a circle that looks like a crown.

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Ontbijtkoek

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Aslinya di negeri Belanda, kue ontbijtkoek ini bukanlah sejenis bolu atau cake, tapi lebih seperti roti dengan memakai baking powder dan baking soda. Di negeri kincir angin itu, kue ini dimakan dengan diolesi mentega. Tapi yang versi Indonesia adalah bolu empuk manis dengan aroma bumbu spekkoek yang terdiri dari kayu manis, cengkeh, pala dan kapulaga.

  • 5 bt telur
  • 100 gr gula jawa, sisir halus
  • 2 sdm gula pasir
  • 75 gr margarine cair
  • 100 gr tepung terigu
  • 25 gr maizena
  • 1/3 sdt baking powder
  • Sedikit garam
  • 1 sdm susu bubuk
  • 2 sdt bumbu spekoek
  • Irisan kacang almond

Cara Membuat:

Panaskan oven 180 derajat Celcius.

  • Kocok telur dan gula sampai kental dan memutih warnanya.
  • Masukkan mentega cair, baking powder, garam dan susu bubuk. Aduk perlahan.
  • Saring/ayak tepung terigu dan maizena.
  • Masukkan tepung keadonan telur 2 x dan aduk perlahan dengan gerakan melipat.
  • Tuang kedalam cetakan.
  • Taburi dengan irisan kacang almond.
  • Panggang didalam oven sampai matang.

Pineapple

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After about 5 years later the pineapple top that I planted finally is growing a fruit. Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is from the Bromeliad family. It is still small as big as an egg. Hopefully it will grow big enough to eat. What a surprise, I thought the plant was going to die, as some of the leaves seem to dry out.

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Hidden Remembrance

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During a Leap Year, as Leap Day approached, I began to have this sense I was to get what I always seem to need: an extra 24 hours in the day… Then I started to think Leap Day should be designated a holiday so people can take advantage of the extra 24 hours however they wished… By marking this bonus day in some special way, we would celebrate time — really consider what it means to have time here on Earth — and thus, be present with our life and our time together. ( Quoted from Kara Douglass Thom)

Gone forever on February 29 – 2020. Always be remembered, never forgotten.

Makanan di Negeri Orang

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Disini, di Melbourne Australia, kami jarang sekali makan di restauran. Hanya di hari istimewa seperti ulang tahun, kami baru makan diluar. Kalau sedang malas masak sendiri paling kita beli take-away dan dimakan di rumah.

Lain halnya waktu aku di USA dulu, hampir setiap malam kami makan di restauran. Inilah pengalamanku waktu itu dan makanan apa saja yang sempat menjadi hidangan rutinku waktu itu? Ini beberapa diantaranya:

Lobster Dinner:

Lobster Tail

Makan malam yang berupa lobster tail (ekor lobster dimana dagingnya berada) adalah makanan cukup mewah waktu itu sekitar 40 tahun yang lalu dan juga yang cukup mahal harganya. Lobster tail utuh, cangkangnya dibelah bagian atasnya dan dimasak dengan cara di grill (dipanggang). Kalau sudah matang, dagingnya akan menyembul sedikit keluar. Kemudian diolesi oleh butter. Untuk hidangan pendampingnya adalah kentang (potato in the jacket) dan salad.

Steak Dinner:

Medium Rare Steak

HIdangan malam berupa steak, bisa banyak pilihan. Bisa t-bone, rib-eye dsb. Cara memasaknya juga bisa memilih antara ‘rare’ yang artinya daging masih merah sekali dalamnya. ‘Medium rare’ yaitu setengah matang dan dalamnya masih pink atau ‘well-done’. Pilihanku pasti yang well-done yaitu daging dimasak betul. Namun kenyataannya daging yang ku pesan itu selalu masih agak pink juga untuk ukuranku. Rupanya orang sana itu berpendapat kalau steak dimasak sampai matang betul akan keras dagingnya. Jadi mereka itu seakan tidak sampai hati untuk memanggangnya betul-betul well-done. Waktu itu seringnya di steak house untuk hidangan pendamping orang bisa memilih dan ambil sendiri pada tempat yang sudah disediakan.

Meatball Dinner:

Meatball adalah bola-bola daging bisa Swedish meatball yaitu bola daging ala Swedia, atau Italian meatball yaitu ala Italia. Yang kami pesan selalu dihidangkan dengan roti yang dibelah dan 3 buah bola-bola daging diletakkan didalamnya. Besar juga bola bola daging itu sehingga aku tak akan pernah bisa habis. Entah bagaimana makan hidangan ala barat itu selalu membuaku cepat kenyang. Jadi saja sebelum dimakan, 1/3 nya dipotong dan dimasukkan kedalam doggy’s bag untuk dibawa pulang. Esok harinya L akan bawa untuk makan siang ditempat kerja.

Hidangan Mexico:

Restoran mexico ini juga merupakan toko yang menjual bahan makanan Mexico. Letaknya dirumah biasa dimana pemiliknya tinggal dibagian belakang. Pertama kali mencicipi hidangan Mexico ini kaget juga dengan rasa jintan yang amat kuat. Rupanya memang inilah ciri khasnya.

Hidangan yang selalu kita pesan adalah semacam buritto. Di piring ada nasi, ayam/daging, kacang merah (beans) dan salad. Juga dihidangkan roti tipis yang dibuat dari jagung yang dihaluskan. Roti ini namanya tortilla. Kalau akan makan, kita ambil selembar tortilla yang mirip seperti kulit lumpia tapi lebih tebal. Diatasnya kita taroh semua isinya termasuk juga nasinya. Sebelum dimakan digulung seperti lumpia.

Fish and Chips:

Fish and chips selalu kita beli di Barnaby’s. Tempat ini selalu ramai apa lagi kalau pas weekend. Entah jenis apa ikan yang ditepungi itu aku tidak tahu, tapi rasanya hambar. Orang memakannya dengan tartar sauce, tapi aku lebih suka memakannya dengan tomato ketchup. Tartar sauce terlalu asam untuk lidah ku. Salad bisa kita ambil sendiri di salad bar.

Selain hidangan diatas, kami juga kadang kala pergi ke Chinese restaurant dan hidangan yang sering kami pesan adalah chop suey yaitu semacam cap cay. Nasi goreng ala chinese atau mie goreng. Tak begitu asing bagiku. Hampir setahun lamanya di negara paman Sam itu aku jarang makan nasi, orang bilang makan nasi itu bikin badan gemuk. Mungkin betul juga, karena waktu itu aku jadi ramping, paling kurus selama yang pernah aku alami.

Catatan: Sumber foto2 diatas adalah dari internet.

Den nobile Yukidaruma ‘King’

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A slug left a large deep hole on the cane. Being stressed, it is growing thin and crinkly, yet it has managed to flower. The spike with 2 blooms strangely grows a couple of roots. How odd it is, it does not stop me from appreciating the pretty blooms, clean white with contrast mysterious dark purple throat. The milky white sepals and petals are thick and the fragrance is so sweet and lingering.

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