Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Paid Parental Leave Rant

Ok so deep down I'm really thankful that we have the paid parental leave but I'm even more thankful that I'm not relying on it to pay my mortgage!!!! I have to have a rant about the bureaucracy involved! 
So I dutifully submitted my claim (twice since you have to fill out the paper form and the online form which are virtually the same). Then the family assistance office has 21 days to process it, to make it easy lets call this 3 weeks rather than worrying about if they are working days or not. Of course they take the full 3 weeks to process. Then my employer has 14 days to accept or decline, call it 2 weeks. Of course the payroll representative of my employer chooses to accept on the 14th day because "I didn't want to log in more often than I had to". This same payroll representative indicated to me that the family assistance office then takes about 3 weeks to pay my employer then and only then will my employer pay me. 8 weeks of the 18 weeks of paid parental leave is up before I get paid a cent!!! 
Can you sense the frustration??? I feel for those out there who are relying on these payments to pay their bills/rent/mortgage!
I think I will have to laugh or I'll go around the bend!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Pudding

I love Christmas pudding! This recipe is one I've developed from a few different recipes with my favourite ingredients and without my least favourite ingredient, peel. Its very flexible so add the fruit you like best!

1.5kg of dried fruit (I add approx 750g raisins, 250g sultanas, 250g currants, 250g pitted prunes and a pack of glace cherries)
315g butter
250g sugar
1t mixed spice
1/2t nutmeg
250g plain flour
6 eggs
300ml milk
250g breadcrumbs (fresh not stale)
1 apple

Soak fruit in brandy for 2-3 days (I often soak the fruit for a week),
Blend butter into the dry ingredients (except the breadcrumbs),

Beat the eggs together with the milk,
Make the breadcrumbs and grate the apple,
Add the dry ingredients and breadcrumbs to the fruit and then the milk and eggs,

Place mixture in pudding bowls and boil for as long as you can on the day of making (atleast 4 hours) and atleast 1 hour on the day of eating.

The puddings can be boiled and stored in pudding bowls or in fowlers vacola jars (I'm lucky enough to have some number 28 jars which are perfect for puddings!)