The Love of Purple

The Love of Purple

If anyone had asked me what my favourite colour was before 2008, I would have said blue. Still, I wasn’t a passionate colour fan – and I would probably have had to think for a few minutes before my answer. But some things happened in 2008 that changed that!

Taken with Olympus OM10

The Purple Gift that I received in 2008

In January 2008, I suddenly decided to take up an offer to teach in China, in the wonderful city of Shaoxing, which I had never heard about.  It was a crazy few weeks before I departed Australia, and crazier when I arrived there, for I had so much to learn about living there.

I taught several classes – working Monday to Friday in the College, (which became a university while I was there), and at the end of the semester, as we celebrated our hard work, one class of students gave me a gift that I treasure to this day.  I treasured all the gifts I received, especially from one class that gave me items in the colour purple.  I was curious and asked the students why they had chosen the colour purple.  They had noticed that I had a few items in purple.  I hadn’t realised that I had so many purple things, but the girls convinced me that purple was “my” colour.  And so it started that I would always seek purple items when shopping.

One of the items was a purple bowl (pictured above), in which tiny pieces of paper had wonderful words about me and my teaching in that semester.  when I feel sad or upset I unroll the little messages – all positive – and it makes me feel much better. 15 years ago and it is still very important to me!

Purple and Me – 2023

Purple is my colour of choice now – but it is not easy!  It is hard to find clothing in purple – some of the major dress shops have little or nothing in that colour.  I have fabric to make some myself – perhaps a task over the Christmas/New Year holidays.  But I do wear a lot – I’ve made purple earrings, I colour my hair purple, and I wear purple nail polish.  And as much purple as I can.

Taken by professional photographer

Me in purple

But there was someone who really did it well, and sadly today I learned that she had passed away.  I met Dale Spender many years ago – perhaps in the 1980’s, I don’t recall exactly when, but we met at several women’s events during that period.  It was before I was “outed” as a purple-lover, but she took it to the highest level – and was a great feminist, writer and speaker.  She really used the colour purple everywhere including lipstick and more.

Read here about her amazing life.

Why the colour Purple?

There is much written about the colour purple.  It is considered a colour related to the “royals”.  If you explore Google with purple as your search word you will learn many things about the colour.  It is made using red and blue colours – and red is seen as the power colour.  Does that ring any bells with you?

A famous film called “The Colour Purple” released in 1985, brought the colour into popularity.   You can read more about the movie here.  This article in Wikipedia is full of great information too.

Everyone loves Purple

While I like to see it as the colour for women, and everyone will see the colour at the time of International Women’s Day, and much of the merchandise the colour is used.  But many organisations use purple – it is not exclusive to women’s organisations!

The Love of Purple 1

Purple Jewellery and more

I have been making my own jewellery for years – and if I see any piurple beading in a bead shop, I will buy it.  I have plenty of necklaces and earrings.

The Love of Purple 2

More purple things

So my love of purple continues – my friends and family sometimes give me some funny comments about it, but it is me.  The more purple the merrier.

Oh, and I do wear purple eye shadow and occasionally purple lipstick!

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Nearly the End

Nearly the End

The year 2023 is coming to an end. It’s been somewhat of a roller-coaster year.  I don’t plan to explain much of what happened because, with one month to go before the end of the year, I will focus and plan the next year.

I am working on a plan for 2024, which I will not share with anyone, but I have some great positives coming up, so I hope I can make the best of things in the future.

In past years I have worked on a great year plan, and while not all has gone according to my plans (and I usually make BIG plans), with hope that I can achieve most of them.

This year I have had little opportunity to travel and get away from day-to-day things, but one thing that I want to do before my driving days are over, is take another trip somewhere.

It won’t be a drive to Adelaide and back unless, of course, I get a new car.  And even then I would not be sure I’d do it.  I do miss country driving.  Time will tell.

Photography

This year I have won a number of peer awards and recognition for my photography.  This one, of the Wynum Jetty around dawn, was recognised and when I put it on Facebook I had around 90 comments.

Nearly the End 3

Some people asked what editing program I used.  None.  This is exactly as it was when I took it with my Olympus EM10.  And I love that in the bottom left-hand hand corner you can see the reflections of the light poles on the jetty.

I will continue to do my photography.  I select some of my best and print them (6″ x 4″)  and paste them onto cards, with an explanation on the back of the cards.  I usually give them away.

Some thing I love about the size – it is in “inches” – yay.  I remember those days, inches, feet and yards!!

Writing

I will continue to blog (maybe more often) and have some writing tasks to complete, so those will be high on my list to do.  And I hope some of my tasks will be done well before the end of the year of 2024!

Reading

A few months ago, I bought a new Kindle.  My old one is still working, but I had to upgrade because the technology had changed.  This year I have not done a lot of reading, in fact I was so busy with other things that it was really neglected.  But I am going to make time to lay on my bed and read.

I have a book on Kindle called “The Shanghai Wife” by Emma Harcourt, and despite the delay in starting it, I am well on the way.  Having spent time in Shanghai I like the connection I have in the writing, although the story started well before I was there.  But some things resonate with me.

Today I also picked up a book from the library, That Bligh Girl, by Sue Williams.  It must be popular as I ordered it months ago, and it has only just been available for me.  I will finish the Kindle one first.

Time Planning

This year I am going to plan Reading Time and Rest Time, and I am going to try to say “No” sometimes, too.

I will, I must take time to “rest and relax” in 2024.  As much as I can.  I will still be busy, but I will make time to rest and relax a bit more – even if it is just reading or wandering around taking snaps of things that interest me.

 

 

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About Different Nursing Training

Hospital-based Nursing Training vs University Grad Nurses

In the 1960’s anyone wanting a career in nursing did their training in a hospital. On reflection, nurses were lowly paid workers in the hospital system, and while we did have regular lectures and supervision by our seniors, it was the many hours of ward work that kept the hospitals able to manage the care of sick and older people (there were very few if any aged care facilities), and we learned on the job.

I recall that our working hours were at least 48 hours a week, for a paltry pay.  Not only were our working hours long, but we had to attend lectures and study in our own time.  Of course, in those days it was only women who were doing nursing training and ward work.  I recall one man starting his training in the very late 60’s.  If we were on night duty, we still had to stay awake after our shift ended and attend lectures.  And do the study!  Nurses in those days had little support – even if a nurse had a terrible experience on duty (violent patient, trauma etc), there was no assistance for that girl.

We were required to live in the “nurses’ quarters” or “nurses’ home”, under strict rules.  All our meals were provided but in the hospital. We had our own small room with a single bed, a wardrobe, a desk and storage facilities for our clothes and books.  We had a communal bathroom, laundry and a small kitchen.  Rules were strict, we had to be “home” by 10 pm, (two nights a week we could stay out until midnight if we had applied to do so).  We certainly enjoyed the experience of living with so many of our co-workers.

Very few of us went on to complete the training.  I think there were around 20 in our group, and I recall that after three years only three of us graduated.  And the three of us worked in the health system for many years after – while getting married and having children.  Some of us are still in contact with each other many years later.

A “Profession”

Around 30 years after my training, nursing became a “profession” – which I find rather amusing.  That is what was said in one of the online documents.  We regarded it as a profession, as we had been doing the work as the newly graduated university-trained nurses.  Many of us who worked with these graduates were unimpressed with their attitude and many of us have stories that indicate to us that there was great value in hospital-based training.

However, over the years, modern technology has required a higher level of education than we had, and many of my cohorts from the old days have managed to keep working in the system learning how to keep up with the changes.

I had several experiences working with the university-trained nurses and I was often not impressed.  I remember one of them having a panic attack when having to make some decisions about a seriously ill patient.  I’d never seen anything like that in my long experience.  I also found that they often saw themselves “above” some of the basic skills that we did.  I recall being told when in training that even as an RN (registered/trained nurse), we still had to do some basic tasks for our patients, e.g. get a bedpan, or comfort them.  But I have had quite a few experiences where this would not be done by someone who felt that their education removed them from basic tasks.

Empathy 

In my recent experience as an older person, I have seen the way some of these graduates see themselves as terribly important, and “above” their patients and co-workers.  I get the feeling with some of them that because I am old, I cannot be as “clever” as them.  I would like to tell them that I have more qualifications than them with two university degrees, plus my “hospital-based” nursing qualifications.

I heard recently that at least one hospital in Queensland had introduced some hospital-based training, but then at a health forum, I was told it was not true.  I do know that university nursing students do have to experience “placement” to learn different skills.

I do know that many of us “old nurses” have had concerns about those who regard their university nursing skills as so far above those who studied the “old way”.

The Only Two who completed training - April 1 (yes, no April Fool joke!) 1966.

Hospital Training Completed – April 1st 1966.

Just saying.

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Watch Out for Snakes

Snake Season is here.

Anyone who lives in Australia knows that we have many snakes here.  Many are scary but not dangerous but we have quite a few very nasty poisonous ones. In Spring seasons they come out as the weather warms and it is not uncommon to see some, especially if you live near bushland – their preferred place to live and hide.

This year, 2023, after a cold and dry winter, the slithery snakes are out and about and keeping the snake catchers busy.  Sadly there has been one death by snake already this month.

Do You Have a Snake Story?

This morning on the radio, listeners were asked to phone in and tell their snake story, and as I headed north from Brisbane I had quite a few chuckles to myself (I’m usually driving solo), as people told their stories. I loved the one of the man found a snake on his bed in the night, caught it in a rubbish bin, and then ran across the road naked (he always slept this way), to throw the serpent into the bush.

Then I remembered that I had not told my recent snake story.

My Snake Story

This happened in 2022, when I went on one of my driving adventures.  I headed north from Brisbane to Cania Gorge, north of Brisbane.  I stayed the first night at a motel at  Gayndah, needing a rest after driving 350 km with plans to go to the Gorge the following day.  with nearly 200 km to drive to the Gorge.  I needed a rest.

The following day, I drove on to the Gorge explored as much as I could and returned to the motel at Gayndah.  I had taken quite a few photos, so when I arrived at the motel, I spent a short time checking my emails and downloading the photos.

At Gayndah

Gayndah’s Big Orange

Then I heard yelling and screaming not far from my motel room. I thought it must have been a domestic fight and soon peered out of the curtain to see a few people waving and yelling. I returned to my computer as I thought it looked no big deal.

At Gaynday still

Gayndah’s Tourist Drive

No Domestic Fight but a nasty visitor!

The yelling seemed to move from near my room to further along. So, I decided to go and see what was happening.  A small group of people, including the motel manager were near a unit near the end of the building, and I could see one man with a spade banging at something.  Then he fell screaming and much to my shock I saw he had tried to hit a snake, but had almost fallen on it as the spade broke. Someone quickly dragged him to safety and another man used the broken spade to continue to kill the snake.

At last the screaming stopped.  Carefully some of the people crept closer to the unwanted visitor, hoping to determine that indeed it was dead. I stood back, not wanting to see the mess that surrounded the corpse.  I did pause and wonder if this sneaky beast had family or friends near by.

I started to wander back to my unit, grateful that the snake was unable to scare us any more, when one of the “spectators” walked towards me, clearly wanting to chat with me.

The Very Scary Part of the Story

When I heard what he had to say, my heart rate increased and my jaw dropped!  The first sighting of this poisonous snake was in front of my motel room. It was curled up on the step – perhaps resting. What if I had opened my door and exited the room without looking on the step to see the beastly reptile? What if it had bitten me?

It took me a short while to settle after this, and I can assure readers I looked onto the step before I left my room – for I stayed overnight.

I was so grateful that I had not been hurt by this snake. When I think of it, I do get the shakes a bit.

 

 

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All About Clutter

What is Clutter?

Oh, don’t we all hate clutter – especially if it is one’s own space!  I thought I had everything well-organized, but now things have changed. From living in a three-bedroom house with a double garage and plenty of storage space to a tiny apartment on my own, I am continually working on my downsizing program.

As I sit here at my computer, I am surrounded by piles of paperwork – a project commence around 5 weeks ago, and never finished because I came down with a cold/flu or something that has rendered me somewhat useless for a few weeks.  I’m not panicking, but just keen to get back to it – but my coughing fits are hampering my plans.

Things I Don’t Need Anymore

There are some things I no longer need that are taking up space.  My old printer – is still usable but I would like to not just give it away, but get some dollars for it. I have a “blower” – but I think I have a new home for it.  Just have to transport it some distance.  I have a large box of cables and other tech stuff I no longer need, so looking for someone to take it from me.

Living in a small space with few spaces to store material.  I note my photography equipment takes up a lot of space – but as I still use it, there’s not much I can do with it but keep it close and as tidy as possible.   My other IT stuff – sound equipment and more, still being used, but not as frequently as in the past.

It’s the Gifts!

Heading up to Christmas or my birthday I get concerned that I will be given something that takes up space, or adds to the clutter.  I ask that my gifts are no bigger than 1 inch square.  I’m starting to think that people younger than me don’t know what an inch is. I get gifts that sometimes are of little value to me.

At the time of my recent birthday, I was given two coffee mugs.  Now I live alone and already have 12 coffee mugs!!!!  One I will easily get a new home for it (though have eaten the chocolate that was in it!

All About Clutter 4

My Best Mug

At Christmas, our family decided to do a “Secret Santa” at a cost of $50 per gift, and the gift I received was two wonderful drink containers – suitable for someone who took coffee or similar on their morning commutes. As lovely as it is, it is of no value to me. I am about to re-gift it. But it takes up storage space in the meantime. it takes up space which is limited.

Useless Gifts

I am sure these gifts were selected with the hope that they would be loved and used.  Bath bombs.  I have about six now – currently sitting on the washing machine waiting to be regifted.  Do I like these bath bombs?  I sure do – but as I don’t have a bath, I am not sure how to use them. Pleeeease don’t give me any more bath bombs!!

(Also as a solo senior, when I did have a bathtub in my bathroom, it was a scary event to use the bath – they are not generally safe for lone people, who may need some help to get out of the slippery bath.)

https://www.LiveGoodTour.com/TottieSaves25

Old Medicines

I don’t have a lot, but some have reached their use-by date, so they are ready to “go”.  I will give them to my local pharmacist so they are destroyed safely.

I recently went to my “medicine box” for some analgesics, but I had to get new ones.  I don’t use such medication often, and of course, when I did want it, it had well past its safe date.

Recycling Clothes

As the end of winter approaches I have a growing back of clothes I will no longer use.  I have looked at some of them – favourites from my days in China.  I found a lady in a crowded market in Shaoxing, who made several items for me.  It was amazing as she didn’t speak English, and I supplied the fabric and with hand signals, measurements, brought diagrams, she managed to create some great garments for me.  They are still wearable, and I have worn some recently, but I have made the difficult decision to part from them.  Sadly.

And I know that huge piles of clothing which are destined for recycling or reusing, end in landfill.  So sad.  But these days we all have too much of everything, and it is not like the old days when a mother or grandmother or aunt would unpick the garment and remake them.

 

What do you recycle?

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The National Anthem

Singing the National Anthem

I remember when we sang the National Anthem on a regular basis.  In my school days it was “God Save the King” until February 1952, when King George was the monarch, and soon after his death, it changed to “God Save the Queen”.  And in 1974 our government decided to change our relationship with the United Kingdom and have our own anthem.

In those early days, we sang “God Save the Queen” at all major events, and at assemblies at school, and if one went to the movies, we all stood and sang the anthem before the films started.

Anyone that was in Australia during those early years would remember every work of the anthem, but after the changes, it was not as regularly used.

I thought I would remember all the words, but some have dropped out of my memory, due to lack of use, I am sure.

Remembering the Vietnam Veterans

(and forgetting the words)

Some readers recall the Vietnam War, in which Australian troops were involved from 1962 to 1975. I attended a ceremony to recognise those from our local area who lost their lives because of their military service in Vietnam, and of course, we sang Australia’s current national anthem. I was deeply disappointed that I got some of the wording mixed up. Then I tried to recall when I last sang it. Sadly, people don’t use it very often these days, and it surprised and saddened me, that I couldn’t remember the words correctly.

The History of the National Anthem of Australia

There is information about the history of our National Anthem online and you can download a lovely page of both verses of the anthem here. 

There’s detailed history on Wikipedia here.

The protocol for the singing of the anthem is here.

Will I Remember the Words?

I will.  And I know I can sing along at any time, with the video from YouTube, which is above, and with the words printed of both verses, I can sing with my best voice (not that it is very good) which is all we have to do.

Each time I sing, I will remember the old days when we sang it often, and perhaps were more proud of our country than we are now.

We should sing it more often.  It is a lovely song, and I am impressed with the words, and I do know what “girt” means. Do you?

 

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Reducing Plastics

Using Cakes of Soap Reduces Plastics

We must do more to reduce plastic usage.  When I posted the previous article about using soap instead of “body wash” products, I neglected to discuss how using cakes of soap would reduce the amount of plastics that we dispose of.  It takes many years to get rid of the plastics and as many of us know, plastic waste is difficult to reduce or destroy, and many areas in our wonderful world are being damaged or destroyed by the terrible amount of plastic waste that is on our lands, in our forests and in our waterways – seas and rivers and creeks.

July each year is the month that many organisations promote the value of reducing plastics. The words of the Plastic Free July website reads “Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution–so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.”  

Please visit the website to learn more about this wonderful project. Click here. 

Don’t just do it in July, but look at all the ways that you can contribute to reducing plastic usage.

Reducing Plastic Ideas

There certainly is quite of activity in the manufacturing world about reducing plastics.  One product that I use now is laundry washing detergent sheets. Liquid clothes washing comes in large plastic containers, but there are now many products available that are cardboard packages with laundry sheets, and despite my initial reluctance, I won’t use anything else now.

I find them easier to use and strangely more economical. And the packs I use sit neatly on the ledge near my washing machine. My clothes are not generally very dirty, so have not been challenged in that area, but I am more than satisfied with the results.

I use the product re-stor which I have found in Woolworths Supermarkets – it is very economical too – I’ve saved a lot of money with this product.

Make a Plan to Reduce Plastic Use

As mentioned earlier, manufacturers are under pressure to reduce plastic usage – and everyone can play a part by refusing to buy some of these products.  Fruit and vegetables in the major supermarkets are often encased in plastic containers.  If possible, buy items that are not in these containers, or shop where they are not packed this way.

Often small markets have products loose, so you might need to take your own bags – preferably paper or some other easy packaging. Having your own homemade fabric bags might work for you. too!

Take Action to reduce your Plastic Useage

We must all take action to reduce the pollution of our lands and seas, so keep an eye out all the time to see how you can contribute to this major project.

What can you do to make a difference?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cake of Soap or Bottle?

A Cake of Soap or ??

It did not surprise me when I heard that the sales of liquid bath gel/soap is down 30% and that people are returning to a cake of soap!!  I am one who has done so, and I am pleased to explain why I made the decision.

Taken with Oluympus Digiytal Camera

Flower

I have used various products, from liquid soap, body wash,  bath gel, and various names – most coming in a plastic bottle, with a plastic lid that when pushed will produce some of the contents.  These products have been very popular until recently.

They are great gifts, fancy bottles with a range of fragrances to supposedly do wonders for the body. I must say I happily used them for years, but I was often irritated because the bottle did not fit easily in the shower, and it could be difficult to push down the lid.

Nowhere for the Bottle

When I moved to my current residence, There was only a small place for anything one wanted to use. Yes, I could fit a smallish cake of soap, but there was nowhere for a plastic bottle of the “shower gel”.  I purchased a little holder that I could squeeze in my shampoo and conditioner as I always wash my hair in the shower, and I could squeeze in s small bottle of the liquid-scented shower gel. But in reality, they didn’t fit comfortably and I suspect didn’t enjoy each other’s company.

So I started using some smallish cakes of soap that I had in a box – mostly gifts from well-meaning friends and family, but somewhat ignored while I used the liquid washing stuff.

Then I realised that not only was it easier to use, giving more space for my hair products, but so much easier to use. When I had used all my gift soaps, I bought some lovely products (cakes of soap) at Lifeline, when doing a cruise around the op-shop. Then I compared prices with these soaps in other retailers, and it was soon that I realised that not only easier to use but more cost-effective.

Is cost what is making everyone change?

There’s no doubt that everyone is being affected by the high cost of living these days, and I do suspect that many people have discovered how cost-effective a cake of soap can be.  And it is easier to use, and we can find a wide range of wonderful fragrances in the local supermarkets, gifted shops and markets.

I support the move to the old-fashioned cake of soap!!

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

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Old Books

Some Stories of Old Books

As I am downsizing I am having to explore my collection of books and note that some of them are very old.

The oldest book I have is one that my mother won at St Mary’s Church,  at St Mary’s in Adelaide in 1923, so it is 100 years old.

Old Books 5

100 Year old copy of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales

Certainly the book looks a little worse for wear, and one naughty girl many years ago, wrote on the cover and some inside pages. (Oh, that was me!)

It was awarded to “Joyce Ragless from St Mary’s Sunday School, Christmas 1923” and below it says “Girls First Prize Class II” – written with pen and ink.

There are one or two pages missing, but it is still readable for such an old book that shows its wear and tear.

My Old Books

Good Wives by Louisa M Alcott was awarded to me in 1955 when I was 11 years old for “Regular Attendance and Good Conduct” at St Elizabeth’s Sunday School Warradale.

Old book from 1955

“Good Wives”

I find it amusing that they gave a book about Good Wives to an 11-year-old!!  I don’t recall reading it at that time, but I may have done so.  I read a lot of books in my younger days.

Another book I have is missing the page at the beginning, but I do have a vague recollection that I think I was given for attendance at the Methodist Church at Warradale, around 1954, as we went to that church before St Elizabeth’s was built.

Another old book

An old copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

 

I still have the old school books, the ones published at the end of the school year.  I have the 1957, 1958, and 1959 issues of Brighton High School (Adelaide, South Australia), and the 1960 issue of one from Adelaide Girls High School, which I attended for my last year of high school.

There is no mention of me in any of them, and of course, I have only vague memories of that time.  I was not in any special sports team or any event, so there is no need to keep them, but I am not sure anyone else will want them.

Maybe I can post them to the State Library in South Australia.  I wonder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Love of Naan Bread

Where did Naan Bread originate?

When I first discovered Naan bread, I had no idea it originated in ancient Persia – I found the bakery in Brisbane, but it moved, so I found a recipe online. I still prefer to get it from Breadtop and on the occasions I catch up with one of their stores, it is one of the first things I buy.

The bread is now common around many parts of the world – including the Middle East, Asia, and now in Australia.

On rare occasions I make my own – but never reach the standard of Breadtop.

I know you can buy packaged Naan bread in supermarkets, but nothing reaches the standard I prefer.

Today’s Naan

It was on the spur of the moment that I decided to make some Naan today – I was actually tidying a cupboard and found a recipe – so why not? I had all the ingredients, though my container of yeast had been sitting in the refrigerator for many months. I don’t think it is meant to be kept there, so I wondered if it would work.

And I did do silly things – for I was hasty. I beat the egg with milk, and was supposed to just put half into the flour, but I felt it a bit silly, so added it all, (with fingers crossed), and I was worried that the end result did not rise as it should have. Was it my fridge-living yeast? My extra half an egg and milk?

I kept going. Following the recipe as best I could.

It’s cold, so how do I warm my creation?

I turned the oven on, and after it warmed a little I put the bowl of uncooked naan in it. It did rise a little. Then I followed more directions and created 6 balls of naan and warmed it again. Yes, it rose again.

Then using half of my naan, I rolled it, and flattened it and put it on alfoil on a tray.  I don’t have a ….. to cook it, but I ave always done it in the oven.

Taken with my Olympus camera

Naan bread ready to bake

So, I added the sliced onion and shredded cheese as well as pepper and salt.

Then it was “Hey Google – will you remind me in 20 minutes to check the oven?”

Ready to Eat

Olympus Camera

Ready to Eat

As I type this, I confess, I have eaten it. Yum. Maybe next time I will add some garlic, but I loved it. Yummy. Have two more pieces to eat. Soon. Tonight? Maybe.

It’s easy to make – most of the time it is waiting for it to rise! Easy.   Here’s a receipt worth trying.  Check it out here. (Note – I cook mine in an electric oven.)

Has anyone here made their own?  Do you have a best recipe.

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