Scroggin Biscuits



200g butter                      1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar            1 large egg

1/4 cup milk                       1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla            1 cup flour

3 cups rolled oats              1/2 cup cranberries

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use hazelnuts)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds      1/2 cup chppoed chocolate

Melt butter.

Stir in sugars and egg.

Dissolve baking soda in milk and add with vanilla.

Add flour, oats berries, nuts, seeds & chocolate.

Put teaspoons of mixture onto baking tray – not too lcose because they spread.

Bake about 10 minutes at 180 C or until golden.

cheese rolls 001


This recipe is my adaptaion of one from my mother. I thought it was one of Alison Holst’s but she gave a  a different recipe  for Scroggin Biscuits on National Radio.

Saturday Smiles


The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.    He had too much pi.

 I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

He was only a whisky maker, but I loved his still.

A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

No matter how much you push an envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was arrested for littering a public street.

A grenade thrown into carpet shop in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. 

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

If a short fortune-teller escaped from prison he would be a small medium, at large.

The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

Teop the backward poet writes in-verse.

In democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s your count that votes.

If cannibals eat a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

You shouldn’t join dangerous cults, just practice safe sects.

Unintentional arrogance


Why do middle aged politicians think saying what they were doing in the 60s or 70s answers the question of whether or not they smoked dope?

When asked if she had smoked marijuana  Helen Clark replied she’d been a student at Auckland University in the 60s.

When asked a similar question her successor, Phil Goff, has given a similar answer, “I was a child of the 60s and 70s“.

I’d asked a perfectly straightforward question: Was he a dope-smoking hippy? And the rest of his reply was: “I was a child of the 60s and 70s.”

I said that of course the answer was “yes”, and he said “I’ve given you the answer” and I said “yes”, and so on.

Smoking dope might have been normal for Goff and his friends in the 60s and 70s, but that doesn’t make it the norm for everyone.

I was a child of the 60s and early 70s and a student at Otago University in the late 70s but I never smoked dope.

I’m not making a judgement on the presumption that Goff did smoke dope in the past. We all did things in our youths we might regret in hindsight and wouldn’t do now.

But his answer does remind me of the definition of unintentional arrogance at Open Parachute:

“The assumption that the way we define reality is necessarily the last word.”

We all have different realities, formed and affected by our experiences.

Failure to understand this is not just arrogant it’s ignorant and, especially in a politician, it’s dangerous because it blinds them to a variety of  possibilities for both causes and solutions.

Milk too expensive or people too poor?


Otago University researchers have found the price of milk is beyond the bugets of low-income families and they want the government to intervene.

Researchers Louise Signal and Moira Smith want the Government to bring in price controls to make milk more affordable.

They are also advocating that milk be included in the new “breakfast in schools” programme in low-income areas.

. . . The researchers say the Government contributed to rising milk prices by removing subsidies and control from the milk industry, applying GST to food, and by the linking of retail prices to international commodity prices.

Including milk in breakfast in schools programme might be a good idea but the other suggestions have no merit.

Price controls are simply a tax on production and if they were imposed on farmers they’d stop supplying the domestic market in favour of exporting or change from dairying to something more profitable.

Argentina put export taxes on beef and dairy produce last year to keep domestic prices low. Farmers then turned to other more profitable produce leading to shortages and the possibility of needing imports to satisfy demand.

Removing subsidies was painful at the time but it has made the New Zealand dairy industry the most efficient in the world.

Reintroducing subsidies would not only cost taxpayers and consumers it would sabotage our exports and the slow progress we’re making towards freeing up world trade.

A good tax may be an oxymoron but a simple tax is better and GST is simple. Removing it from food would add to compliance costs, make business much more complicated and more costly for retailers and require raising tax elsewhere to compensate for lost income.

Linking retail prices to international commodity prices is nothing to do with the government. It’s simply the market. If farmers could get more for producing for export than for the local market that’s what they’d do.

The problem isn’t that milk is too expensive, it’s that people are too poor and that’s because of our poor record of economic growth.

Feds to recognise Cream of the Crop


Federated Farmers plans to recognise the best of New Zealand Agriculture with the Cream of the Crop awards at its annual conference.

The Agribusiness Person of the Year and Agribusiness Personality of the Year will be judged by farmer and former All Black Sir Colin Meads, business woman Anna Stretton, Auckland Mayor John Banks and David Walker from Geni.

President Don Nicolson said other agribusiness award winners would also be honoured, including: the winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards; The National Bank Young Farmer of the Year; The Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Award; Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year; Rural Women New Zealand Enterprising Rural Woman Award winners; New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Sharemilkers of the Year; New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Farm Manager of the Year  and New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Dairy Trainee of the Year.

The awards ceremony will take place in Auckland on July 1.

June 20 in history


In 1837 Queen Victoria suceeded to the British throne.

 1945 Canadian singer Anne Murray was born.

Anne Murray in the 1970s

1987 The All Blacks won the inaugural Rugby World Cup

 (Does that provide motivation for this evening’s test?)

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