Local Heart, Global Soul

September 16, 2019

Towing Oil Rigs…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,ROTTERDAM,Rotterdam Harbour/Port,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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As I mentioned a few posts ago, the amount of shipping that constantly finds it’s way in and out of the Port of Rotterdam each year is probably a rather staggering figure. Whilst I was at one of the lookout points taking photographs I couldn’t miss the oil rig platform being towed towards the port entrance.  It’s a formidable show: the power of a tug, the far smaller boat hauling something more than twice it’s size, and making impressive headway as I watched.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 16, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: How to Cook Perfect Papadam/Pappadum’s Without a Single Drop of Oil…

Filed under: FOOD,INDIA,Indian Cusine,PHOTOGRAPHY,Recipes — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I love papadams but because I can’t exercise easily due to my foot injury/ recovery process, am trying to eat extra healthily instead.

Therefore I  have shied away from papadams because they are fried in oil.

Wikipedia tells me:

“Papadam, (also known as “Papad” in Northern India, “Appadam” in Telugu and “Pappadum” in the rest of south India; spellings vary) is a thin, crisp disc-shaped Indian food typically based on a seasoned dough made from black gram (urad flour), fried or cooked with dry heat.

Flours made from other sources such as lentils, chickpeas, rice, or potato, can be used. Papadams are typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India, or as an appetizer or snack, sometimes with toppings such as chopped onions, chopped carrots, chutneys or other dips and condiments. In North India, the lentil variety is more popular and is usually called ‘papad’.

Papad is often associated with the feminist empowerment of women in India. Many individual and organized businesses run by women produce papad, pickles, and other snacks. This provides them regular income from minimal financial investments.

Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is an organization owned and run solely by women that produces large quantities of papadums on the open market which started as a small business in the late 1950s, with an annual income in 2005 of about Rs.3.15 billion, or US$80 million.”

You can imagine my delight when I discovered at the Indian cooking class that papadams don’t need to be cooked in oil at all.All you need to do is to set an uncooked papadam on a paper towel in your microwave and cook on high power for 1 minute.

Edited to add: I made some for a family party today and after 1 minute some of them started to burn, whereas the ones I made earlier were perfect with one  minute… 35 seconds were all today’s lot took, so experiment with your own microwave to find the perfect time.  I found I could do three at one time for 35 seconds too. My kids watched with amazement as they watched them puff up, they think doing these in the microwave is “way cool!”” LOL.

Result: one perfect papadam, with not a drop of oil! No fuss, no mess and a tasty treat to serve with pickles or any of the Indian dishes I have been learning.  How Seriously easy is that?  For me at least it’s complete and utter Magic!

When Himself went to the Indian specialist shop the staff gave him a different brand of papadum to the one our teacher had. I tried it out and after 1 minute in the microwave it was perfect too!!!  (the first 30 seconds it kind of explodes and gets bigger, but I checked and it’s a little tough, raw looking, too much the same texture as the “before”version: the last 30 seconds finished off the cooking process).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papadum

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My package of papadums,  and how one of them looks before and after 1 minute in the microwave…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 14, 2012

Oil My Palm, With Palm Oil….

Filed under: FOOD,LIFE,MALAYSIA,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Since we apparently satisfied the Malaysian police that we were law abiding citizens, (goodness knows how we got away with that one!) the coach was permitted to  continue on it’s way.

Soon we are passing plantation after plantation of oil palms, hardly surprising considering  that Malaysia is on of the world biggest producers of palm oil.

When my parents lived in the Solomon Islands, the growth of palm oil plantations was a contentious issue since it meant that the local flat land that had been historically used for subsistence agriculture (village or individual “gardens”) was being taken over at an unsustainable rate.

New “gardens” were being made on the very steep sides of the hills, but clearing the dense jungle to do so was  difficult, access was limited and in a place of high tropical rainfall these gardens were being swiftly eroded and produced less yield.

I don’t know if people in Malaysia have prospered from the production of palm oil or not, probably the are multi-nationals have but if the villagers who historical had plots of land to use as a family resource did or not?…. who knows?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Since as a foodie, palm oil is not high on my wish-list of ingredients since it’s so high in saturated fat and as a crop I can still hear my parents ranting about the destruction of Guadalcanal in the Solomon’s,  I find that I have rather switched myself off to any knowledge of palm oil so a little research is required:

Wikipedia tells me:

Elaeis (from Greek, meaning “oil”) is a genus of palms containing two species, called oil palms.

They are used in commercial agriculture in the production of palm oil. The African oil palm Elaeis guineensis (the species name guineensis referring to its country of origin) is the principal source of palm oil, it is native to west and southwest Africa, occurring between Angola and Gambia.

The American oil palm Elaeis oleifera (from English oliferous, meaning “oil-producing”) is native to tropical Central and South America, and is used locally for oil production.

Since palm oil contains more saturated fats than oils made from canola, corn, linseed, soybeans, safflower, and sunflowers, it can withstand extreme deep-frying heat and resists oxidation. It contains no trans fat, and its use in food has increased as food-labelling laws have changed to specify trans fat content. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Oil from Elaeis guineensis is also used as biofuel. Human use of oil palms may date back about 5,000 years in coastal west Africa; Palm oil was also discovered in the late 1800s by archaeologists, in a tomb at Abydos dating back to 3,000 BCE. It is thought that Arab traders brought the oil palm to Egypt.

Elaeis guinneensis is now extensively cultivated in tropical countries outside Africa, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia which together produce most of the world supply.

Palm oil plantations are under increasing scrutiny for social and environmental harm, particularly because rainforests with high biodiversity are destroyed, greenhouse gas output is increased, and because people are displaced by unscrupulous palm-oil enterprises.

Description Mature palms are single-stemmed, and grow to 20 m tall. The leaves are pinnate, and reach between 3-5 m long. The flowers are produced in dense clusters; each individual flower is small, with three sepals and three petals.

The palm fruit is reddish, about the size of a large plum, and grows in large bunches. Each fruit is made up of an oily, fleshy outer layer (the pericarp), with a single seed (the palm kernel), also rich in oil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaeis

I did find a very interesting  website about Palm oil : http://www.palmoilaction.org.au/shopping-guide.html which is good for people on both sides of the debate.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you would like to identify palm oil in your food so that you can avoid it then there are easy instructions on how to lead a food label to identify palm oil.

If you don’t mind palm oil in your food there is also a list of products on the website (albeit items more familiar to Australian and New Zealand consumers since the site is Australian)  that contain palm oil sourced from sustainable plantations so that you can at least make an ethical choice if you are worried about the environmental impact of it’s  use.

One thing is for sure, after travelling for hours in the coach and seeing one palm oil plantation after another, it’s clear to see that this is now a mega-sized global business that’s rather literally got it’s finger in to an awful lot of pies…

….and doughnuts,cakes, sweets, crisps, chocolate, cosmetics, soaps, laundry detergents and  even bio-fuel!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 27, 2011

An Oil Spill Cascades…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are back in the heart of Rotterdam continuing our tour of the Port and parts of the city, that I took last summer.

We stop by the Maritime Museum and outside, across the street, I spy a sculpture.

It’s called “Cascade”, is a towering 8 meters (26 feet) high and is the 2010 work of artist Joep van Lieshout and his studio “Atelier Van Lieshout”.

There are eighteen oil barrels in the stack and it appears that oil is leaking out the barrels and running own the column.

Then when you look  more closely at the “oil”  you see that they are in fact human figures.

The sculptors website tells us: “The sculpture by Atelier Van Lieshout evokes associations with the current economic crisis, the exhaustion of raw materials and the bankruptcy of the consumer society “Always striving for a solution” according to Joep van Lieshout.. These interpretations are brought into sharper focus by the sculpture’s location at the junction of Coolsingel and Blaak, at the centre of the commercial and financial heart of Rotterdam.”

The sculpture was set in place in March 2010 and I find it to be  a strong and thought provoking image…

For me personally, it represents more that fact the people are as much the problem as the materials they use (oil spill / pollution) and there is something in the double entendre of the oil/people that is both strangely whimsical on one hand and a dark stark truth on the other.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


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