Banana Cake

June 27, 2009

Banana Cake

 125 g butter                     1 Cup sugar

2 large eggs                      4 mashed bananas *

2 cups flour                       1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

 Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

 Add eggs and mashed bananas & beat well. (don’t worry if mixture curdles).

 Fold in sifted flour, baking powder and baking soda.

 Cook in 20cm greased tin 130 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.

 When cool ice with chocolate icing.

* older, over ripe bananas are best. They can be frozen until you need them.

snowish 002


Down Under Kookaburra rip off?

June 27, 2009

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree/Merry, merry king of the bush is he/Laugh Kookaburra, Laugh Kookaburra/Gay your life must be.

Anyone who sat round Girl Guide campfires will remember that (and just in case there’s a young reader out there, gay in that context just meant happy).

It must be decades since I sang it, but it all came back when I read that lawyers reckon that the classic Aussie pop song Land Down Under by Men at Work is a rip-off  of the Kookaburra song.

Similar maybe, but it would take someone with much better grasp of melody and rhythm than I’ve got to argue whether or not it’s a rip-off.


Finalists announced for Fed Farmers’ Agribusiness Person of the Year

June 27, 2009

Federated Farmers have announced six finalists for its inaugural Agribusiness person of the year Award.

They are:

  • Tom Henderson, Champion of the Environmental Award winning Opuha Dam
  • Jeremy Moon, Managing Director, Icebreaker
  • Craig Norgate, Chairman PGG Wrightson
  • Dr. John Penno, Chief Executive Officer, Synlait
  • Sam Robinson, Chairperson, AgResearch
  • Ben Russell, General Manager for Rural New Zealand, Rabobank

The finalists will be judged by an independent panel and the winner announced at Feds’ national conference next weekend.

My vote goes to Tom Henderson. He’s a grassroots farmer who led the development of the Opuha irrigation scheme.

As a result of that, the positive agricultural, environmental and recreational impacts of the Opuha Dam have transformed South Canterbury and made a significant contribution to the national economy.


From a different planet

June 27, 2009

When Princess Diana died I felt as if I’d just arrived from another planet.

Any death of a relatively young person is sad and when it’s a public figure it will obviously get publicity. But I couldn’t understand the wall to wall idolatry and anguish.

I’m feeling a bit the same way now over the deaths of Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

I recognise her face, name and that of Charlie’s Angels but don’t think I ever watched the programme.

I know who he was. But absorbed such a strong negative impression of him from accidental encounters with increasingly mad, bad and/or sad stories about him that I was put off his music and can’t recall ever listening to it.

A lot of other people had much stronger and more positive connections with one or both of them and that’s reflected in the media. But here on Planet Homepaddock I just acknowledge the deaths as sad in the abstract and with sympathy for their families and friends.


Dairy subsidies to cost NZ $122m

June 27, 2009

Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson got a lot of attention for his piece in the Wall Street Journal on milking trade subsidies.

Perhaps he should follow that up with an invoice because the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research has calculated that the subsidies on dairy products introduced by the EU and USA will cost the New Zealand economy $122 million.

New Zealand’s dairy output may fall by around 5% and the value of milk, butter and cheese exports could decline some 8% as American and European subsidies create an oversupply of product, according to the NZIER’s latest Insight newsletter. The think-tank predicts the global economy will be worse off by around US$41 million, although countries such as Japan and Korean would benefit from lower world prices.

The prospect of lower dairy prices “will cause kiwi farmers’ incomes to fall below where they would otherwise have been, through no fault of their own,” said the institute’s deputy chief executive John Ballingall. “The risk of ongoing retaliation between the U.S. and EU, and potentially others, could lead to larger increases in subsidies, tariffs and other trade barriers over time.”

The immediate impact of the subsidies was partially responsible for the decrease in Fonterra’s forecast payout for the new season.

The threat of ongoing retaliation, bigger subsidies, tariffs and other trade barriers is even more concerning. It will hinder the recovery and hamper progress towards freer trade.

The NZIER Dairy Insight newsletter is here.


June 27 in history

June 27, 2009

On June 27:

1880 Helen Keller was born.

1967 The world’s first electronic ATM  was installed in Enfield, England.

1984 Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was awarded the Albert Einstein Peace Prize.

Pierre Trudeau


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