25 July 2012

A Devil of an Emergency

As everyone is aware Tasmanian Devils are under enormous threat of extinction right now. But did you realise that there is only ONE group of healthy devils left? This larger than expected group of devils live in the Tarkine Wilderness, a habitat that the mining company, Venture Minerals want to destroy. Scientists say that the proposed roads and traffic made by strip mining would likely increase the spread of the Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Leading Wildlife Expert and Chief Scientist for the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, Hamish McCallum states that “There is sufficient evidence to suggest that it may threaten the survival of populations of Tasmanian Devils in the area.”

The Tasmanian Devils need the ancient Tarkine wilderness to be put on Emergency Heritage Listing, a call that Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke has so far resisted. Please take a minute to urge your local MP to help the Tarkine get listed and save the last healthy population of Tasmanian Devils by writing a quick automated email from Get Up! Click here.

17 July 2012

Tasmania: The Road Kill State

pademelons_KB_2008_thumbAn estimated 500,000 animals are killed each year in Tasmania according to the new Tasmanian Wildlife Matters kit, which is being posted to every primary and secondary school in the state. The estimated number of half a million gives Tasmania the worst statistics in Australia, though at just an estimate and only listing those visible on the road the real number could be much higher. Wildlife Matters says that the true number could be closer to one million with many injured animals leaving the road to die and being removed by carrion eating species. The educational kit states that 1.4 million pademelons, Bennet’s wallabies and 300,000 possums are killed under permit and others poisoned each year, while 3 million animals are killed by motorists, farmers, hunters and the forestry industry.

Karen Bevis from Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania (AACT) stated that "There is a lot we can do to avoid much of this killing by changing attitudes and adopting safer driving techniques, such as slowing down at night and in high-risk areas," while Peter McGlone of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust said he was hopeful of changing attitudes and had found that even the older generation of farmers were questioning their habits. Bevis also noted that "Orchardists have found that netting to protect their crops from birds pays for itself within a few years.”

You can find more information here:
Highlights of the worst blackspots at roadkilltas.com
Download the Tasmanian Wildlife Matters kit from wildlifematters.org.au
Get involved with AACT, they’re looking for Tin Shakers for Saturday, July 28th! Go to the event page, contact info@aact.org.au or call 0408 70 359.

13 July 2012

Tasmania Tightens Cat Laws

00009w82editFrom 1st of July, 2012, new animal laws in Tasmania come in to play. From then on you have to be registered for your cat to have kittens otherwise you could be fined and even lose your cat. All cats sold or given away must be microchipped, desexed, vaccinated, wormed and be at least 8 weeks old. Microchipped cats that are lost will be held for 5 days while un-microchipped cats will only last 3 days before either being rehomed or euthanized.

"The aim is to reduce the number of unwanted cats that are euthanized each year,” –Craig Elliott, manager of the Invasive Species Branch in the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

10 July 2012

Vegan Vanilla Custard Slice

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Makes: 12 slices

2 sheets of short crust pastry (thawed)
Custard Filling:
cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbsp. cornflour (cornstarch)
1 ½ cups soy milk
1 tbsp. vegan margarine
2 tsp. vanilla essence
Iced Top:
200g icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla essence
water
½ cup vegan choc chips

  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease two baking trays with vegan margarine. Cut the pastry in to 12 even rectangles each and place on trays. Bake until sides are just turning golden. Place on cooling rack.
  • In a small saucepan combine sugar, salt and cornflour. Over medium-high heat slowly whisk in the soy milk. Continue to whisk until mixture starts to boil, lower heat and keep whisking until thick. Remove from heat and whisk in margarine and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and wait till both pastry and custard are cool, (the custard mixture will continue to thicken while cooling).
  • Assemble the vanilla custard slices, about a dinner spoon full of custard for each slice.
  • In a bowl combine icing sugar, vanilla essence and slowly mix in water until it’s a smooth, thick icing. Spread over slices.
  • Melt the chocolate chips and drizzle lines over icing, using a skewer feather the tops, one at a time otherwise the chocolate may cool.
  • Enjoy!

3 July 2012

Vegan “Meat” TVP & Gravy Pie (Friendship Pie)

This delicious pie is made with TVP, real gravy, mushrooms and peas. It’s the closest thing to a meat pie I’ve had since being Veg, only it’s healthier and really really yummy! This creation came about after making a Seiten and Gravy Pie (think Vegan Steak Pie) and my beautiful beau, Andi decided to try it with TVP instead so we made it together over the weekend, hence “Friendship Pie”.

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This photo really doesn’t do it any justice at all but I was too busy fighting the urge to dig in to it to take a good photo. You’ll understand when you make it.

To Make Pie:
80g of TVP (about ⅓ of an average 250g bag)
1 vegan beef stock cube (Massel brand is vegan)
½ – ¾ cup of peas
¾ cup of mushrooms
Gravy (recipe below)
Pastry (recipe below)

  • Preheat oven to 200° C.
  • In a bowl add the TVP, cover with hot water and mix in the vegan beef stock cube. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • In a frying pan heat a little oil and cook mushrooms and peas. Drain and add the TVP and mix together.
  • Brush vegan margarine inside your pie dish to prevent sticking and roll out pastry. Place one sheet of pastry inside pie dish and add your filling. Pour gravy over the top and place second sheet of pastry over the top and press down sides. With a fork put a few holes in the top of your pie and pour a little oil or margarine over the pastry.
  • Place pie in oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until golden brown. Keep checking. Enjoy!

 

To Make Gravy:
1 tbsp. vegan margarine (Nuttelex)
1 small onion
1 tbsp. plain flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. corn flour (corn starch)
1 vegetable stock cube
¾ cup water
1 tbsp. soy sauce
nutritional yeast

  • In a small saucepan melt vegan margarine over medium heat and add plain flour and stir to make a roux. Add onion and garlic and stir.
  • Add the vegetable stock cube and water, heat and stir until the stock is melted through. Add the corn flour and mix well. Don’t worry about lumps too much but mix as well as you can while bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and add soy sauce and nutritional yeast (as much as you like) and stir well.
  • Using a hand mixer, mix to blend and remove lumps. Once smooth let sit until needed.

 

To Make Pastry:
You can use bought frozen sheets of Puff Pastry instead if you’re in a hurry but I do recommend making your own if you have time.

3 cups plain flour
1 and ½ tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
⅔ cup vegan margarine (I use Nuttelex)
½ cup cold water

  • In a large bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Stir.
  • Add the vegan margarine and mix on low with beaters until the mixture resembles course bread crumbs and the margarine has mixed evenly.
  • Add the water and mix again until the mixture can be pressed together. Add a splash more water if needed.
  • Push the dough together and lay out on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for a minute and divide in half. Roll out dough into inch thick discs and cover both with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until needed.

Note: Can be stored in fridge for a week or frozen for 2 months.

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