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Test Post 22

 

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test post 21

 

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False Alarms from Smoke Alarm

 

False Smoke Alarms

Last year a house near us caught fire. It was a frightening experience and soon after we replaced our smoke alarms.

Quell smoke alarms

Chubb Fire & Security Pty Ltd sent Free Replacement Quell Smoke Alarms

The existing alarms on the ceiling were Ionisation type alarms. QUELL model 8A502, about 8-9 years old and the Ionisation type.
Research showed that now Photoelectric smoke alarms are considered better. In fact the new Smoke Alarm Laws 1 January 2017 require photoelectric smoke alarms to be fitted to new domestic dwellings, rental properties, and properties that are undergoing substantial renovations.

We bought 4 Quell Photoelectric Smoke Alarms. There were two in each blister pack, model Q301, Q301H.

They were fitted on the ceiling in the exact places of the old alarms. Within a few weeks one of them went off in the middle of the night, with a persistent shriek. Over the next few months they all gave off false alarms. Eventually I removed all the batteries.

We live in the Wet Tropics so the humidity is high here and is a possible cause of the false alarms, but no-one else seems to be having problems with this brand.

I understand that dishwashers, sinks, ovens, cook tops with boiling water, bathrooms etc are all bad places to place a smoke alarm

The alarms were all on the ceiling.
1. Upstairs between kitchen and dining room, approx 4 metres from oven cook top
2. Upstairs hallway
3. Garage
4 An inner downstairs room with no windows.

I contacted Chubb Fire & Security Pty Ltd, who are the distributors of the Quell smoke alarms. I received a quick and helpful reply from the Consumer sales Co-ordinator who suggested the false alarms might be caused by static, and to wipe the alarms with a damp cloth.

I wiped the alarms with a damp cloth and put them on tables around the house, so they’d be easier to get to. Within 4 hours, at about 3pm, one of them went off! Out came the batteries again!

I explained this to the very helpful man at Chubb and his excellent response was to send me 4 new Quell smoke alarms at no charge, as pictured.

It’s great to report such good service.

We’ve had very little problems with the old Quell ionisation smoke alarms that we’ve used for over 20 years. The brand has a good name. I can only assume the new ones I bought had some glitch in manufacture.

I’ll fit the new alarms, which are the same model and report back here in a few months, hopefully with a successful outcome.

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Curry Traders Madras

 

It took a couple of hours to prepare and cook the Curry Traders Lamb Madras spice mix because I like to saute the onions until they are translucent and sweet. The recipe says to saute them for 10 minutes, I took about 25mins. I also used Ghee instead of oil. Other than that I stuck exactly to the recipe, to give the Madras Spice mix a fair test.

There were 3 separate spice packs. One was pre-ground and had a strong dark smell of black cardamom; the other contained various seeds, coriander, cumin, mustard, fennel, cloves etc that required grinding. When ground the mix had a fresh, slightly clove smell, that was interesting and not the usual spice mix aroma. The third sachet was 2 cinnamon/cassia sticks and some dried red chillies.

Madras Curry

I used 1.25kg of lamb and after 10 minutes of simmering, I put the pot in the oven on low simmer for 90 minutes. Curry Traders call this their ‘Award Winning’ curry, and it all looked and smelt very promising.

I was pleased with the taste test and surprised that it was more chilli hot than I expected. Most spice mixes err on the side of light chilli heat and I add more chilli, in this case it had a pleasant bite, about the same as you’d experience in an Indian Restaurant. I made the pot airtight and put it in the fridge for 3 days, to mature.

I could still smell the interesting aroma for the next 2 days when I opened the cupboard doors above the cook top. It was tantalizing.

After 3 days in the fridge, I re-heated the curry and served a portion. It was a good curry and definitely one I will have again. This spice mix has a different flavor and aroma compared to some other mixes I’ve tried. It has a distinct signature, which I liked and I’d recognize it anywhere because of that signature. I suspect that black cardamoms are part of that.

It wouldn’t take much to raise this curry into restaurant standard. There was plenty of sauce and enough meat to make 5 portions out of the 1.25kgs of meat. The meat was tender and the sauce excellent with just a tad too much cloves for me. Next time I’ll check how many cloves are in the sachet and remove perhaps a third of them before grinding. It’s a personal thing, I’ve had a couple of meals with too many cloves and now I prefer them to be extremely subtle.

I was pleased with the way I cooked this curry, it was aromatic and well matured. Perhaps the addition of some BIR style gravy would lift it to restaurant standard?

 

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My Advent Calendar of Funny Christmas Videos

 

In 2008 I came up with an idea; to drink a different beer each day of Advent (December 1st to 24th). It was fun and documented on my blog ‘The Shed’. My favourite year was 2010, and the entry for Day 11, Corona Extra http://shed.robhealey.com.au/grog/my-beer-advent-calendar-2010/

This year as part of building the level of the ‘ Spirit of Christmas’ up to 100% by Christmas Eve, I’m posting a funny video each day of Advent. Some are Naughty, some are Nice.

Day 1: Hugh Jackman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhg7Xm4FXAY

Day 2: Secret life of pets –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYYIOScfkKM

Day 3: The famous Mr Bean and the Turkey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFgLrWiNHFc

Day 4: Seinfeld & the Nipple https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhIMV3lu6Qg

Day 5: The dog in his Kennel https://www.facebook.com/bewarmers/videos/457548267688953/

Day 6: Billy Connolly, just audio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRZeYHM1GzQ

Day 7: Mommy wrestling santa – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vts1mgceXiQ

Day 8: Christmas Gnome https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=570Sj8j-ZXE

Day 9: Animals around the table https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhg7Xm4FXAY

Day10: Mr Bean nativity scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8tSq-fNNyk

Day 11: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015. Song “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” by Celine Dion -Good cartoon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2RnVpl2J_c

Day 12: Rick Mayall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy0HGvCa978

Day 13: Singing animals Deck the Halls https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-0WVfj76bo

Day 14: Achmed the dead TERRORIST http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/1ddd1362ea/jeff-dunhams-very-special-christmas-special-achmed-from-jeffdunham?_cc=__d___&_ccid=24x20h.nycd3k

Day 15: Snowman and Moose https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ3qgIMURgI

Day 16: Richard Pryor – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EgN1hwrRK4

Day 17: Cat sings ‘Dashing through Snow’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfUzpaJ_OsI

Day 18: Bean Salvation Army https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzkm-kbx2T4

Day 19: The Grim Reaper https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1qb-p05EBM

Day 20: Morecambe and Wise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiNvuxaVtxY

Day 21: Animals sing jingle bells https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRzhd3eUyO8

Day 22: Unwanted presents https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhCS3ZS50FA

Day 23: MOGS XMAS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuRn2S7iPNU&list=PLCxp1cmXyzM3weH2vZJ4FT5dlkOoWjDs8

Day 24: Robin Williams reads The Night Before Christmas  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INzqLES5a3I

 

 

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Durong Dingo Sanctuary

 

Simon Stretton’s Durong Dingo Sanctuary – Simon explains why keeping the Dingo DNA is so important for Australia.

Remember the Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine)which became totally extinct?- don’t let that happen to Australia’s own Dingo.

 

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How to Improve Packet Curry Sauce

 

Curry Sauces make a great base for a curry when time is short. I prefer the Passage to India Sachet Sauces which are quite good on their own, but with a little help they can be really great. Korma Sachet Sauce

 

How to Improve Packet Curry Sauce

 

It was a weekday evening and I wanted some sauce for a two portion stir fry.

 

I put 300gms diced chicken breast in a wok with some oil and stir fried until just cooked, then added half a packet of Passage to India Chicken Korma curry sauce and simmered for a few minutes. I added two pinches of curry powder, made from the standard ground spices of Cumin, Coriander etc and half a T spoon of Kashmiri chilli powder.

 

The light, coffee coloured sauce looked a little bland, so I fried up a Tablespoon of Tomato paste with a little oil, constantly stirring. After about 90 seconds added the same amount of water to make a 50/50 mix.

 

Korma is a yoghurt based curry, but I couldn’t find any yoghurt so I added a Tablespoon of Coconut Powder, stirred it in and allowed to cook for 2 minutes before pouring into the pot and stirring into the curry. Ayam Coconut Milk Powder

 

I put the pot in the oven to simmer for 30 mins while I prepared the stir fry ingredients.

 

After stir frying chopped Capsicum, Snow Peas, Slivers of Carrot and tiny pieces of Broccoli with some oil and 2 large chopped cloves of garlic, I removed them from the Wok and with a little more oil, fried a packet of Noodles that had been soaking in water.

Chang's Noodles

After a minute or two I added half the stir fried vegetables and when all was combined, tipped that into a bowl and ladled half the Chicken Korma on top. I repeated that with another bowl for the 2nd portion, adding another half teaspoon of Kashmiri chilli, because I like a little more chilli heat with mine.

 

It was a really excellent meal. Adding the extra ingredients transformed the Sachet Curry Sauce, and I will be making this many more times. It was yummy, the sauce dripped down through the vegetables and noodles, transforming this quick snack into a gourmet meal and the only complaint heard was ‘not enough sauce’- I count that as a win !

 

Tomato Paste and Water: Mixed 50/50 is the base for most BIR (British Indian Restaurant) curries.

 

Oil: Transfers the tastes of the ingredients; I use it in Casseroles for the same reason.

 

Curry Powder/Garam Masala: A pinch or two adds to the aroma and taste. A pinch or two can be added just before the end of cooking if the meal is lacking in aroma but don’t overdo it!

 

Coconut Powder: I use Ayams Coconut Milk Powder because it tastes like real coconut, 100% better than tinned coconut milk or cream .

 

Noodles: I use Changs Gluten Free Wok-Ready Noodles. They’re like Udon Noodles, not thin like the dried Ramen Noodles. It’s best to soak them in water to help untangle, they are a bit stiff and soften when fried.

 

Sachet Sauces: There’s a wide choice available and I’ve tried many. Often the taste of preservatives is too strong, or some other unknown taste is overpowering. I like the Passage to India Korma, Rogan Josh and Butter Chicken sauces best.

 

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