Apple Slice


Biscuit Pastry
1 cup Plain Flour
1 cup Self Raising Flour
1/2 cup (125g) Butter
1/2 cup Caster Sugar|
1 teaspoon mixed spice
A little milk
1 Egg beaten
Extra sugar and cinnamon

Stewed Apple Filling

4-6 apples cooked with as little water as possible and cooled. (Approx 2 cups of stewed apple).


  • Set oven at 190 degrees Celcius.
  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add egg.
  • Sift flours and fold into mixture.
  • Add a little milk if necessary to make a firm dough.
  • Divide mixture into two.
  • Flatten out into two rectangles to fit a greased lamington tin.
  • NOTE: Lining the tin with paper may make it easier to lift out the slice after baking.
    A lamington tin is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper.
  • With pastry in the tin spread over the stewed apple.
  • Top with the other half of the pastry.
  • Score the top sheet of pastry into desired slice sizes.
  • Brush lightly with milk. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to stand in tin until cold.
  • Cut and serve either cold or warmed with ice-cream, cream or salted caramel topping (see below).

BONUS: Salted Caramel Topping

  • 2 tins condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 100g butter
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Caramel: In a medium size saucepan over a medium heat, melt the condensed milk, brown sugar and butter, stirring until boiled. Lower the heat and stir for 5 minutes until thick. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Cool slightly and serve with the apple slice.

Would you be interested in Apple recipes?

An AUSOM member sent me an email saying how much she is enjoying Apple recipes we published in 1995. Your contributions/ideas are welcome. Email Pam Doughty:


Staying at Home — something different to discover

Staying at home has meant that many people have found new interests. Often as a result of following links on the Internet.

Lightning has the effect of enthralling or terrifying us. This bolt appears to be striking right through a cloud. It is the result of parallax or depth of field but a great photo never the less. It is well known that a lightning strike actually strikes down to and up from the ground as a result of a varying potential difference that occurs Between the cloud and the earth.

Did you know there is a strange phenomenon that lighting can jet up above the clouds and into space

Strokes of lightning flashing down towards the ground are a familiar sight during summer thunderstorms, but scientists have captured an image of a rare lightning bolt shooting out upwards from a cloud, almost to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere.

These bolts of upwards lightning, one type among a variety of electrical discharges now known to occur above thunderstorms, are called gigantic jets and were only first discovered in 2001.

Since then, only about 10 gigantic jets have been observed, said Steven Cummer, who was part of the team that photographed this most recent jet. Gigantic jets are essentially the same as cloud-to-ground lightning, only they go the opposite way.

“Gigantic jets are literally lightning that comes out of the thunderclouds, but instead of going down, as most lightning strokes do, these apparently find their way out the tops of thunderclouds, and then keep going and keep going and keep going until they run into something that stops them,” Cummer explained.

While you are staying at home why not share some of the topics you have discovered? Leave a comment below with information of your newly discovered interest.

Creativity Challenge

AUSOM’s Creativity Challenge is underway – there are now 7 submissions for your enjoyment.

Some of the creative activities undertaken while AUSOM members have been staying at home are now available for your enjoyment. Can anything be more creative than bending paper clips?

The challenge officially runs until July 31st 2020

Further details:


OR eMail: – Pam Doughty – Chris McQuillen


Let us fly free

Just one of what I am sure will be many feel-good stories from a time when we are staying at home or at least close to home.

My neighbour, Sue (an AUSOM member) was returning home from a medical appointment and saw a large dark colours bird struggling on or near the road. Nobody likes to see an animal in distress more than this kind-hearted lady. The bird appeared to be trying to lift one leg with his beak and looked unable to fly. Sue stopped at our home. Could we lend a towel and cardboard box?

Armed with 2 towels, a cardboard box and gardening gloves I went back with her. Eventually we located the bird that had struggled about 12 metres to the other side of the road. When we approached it fortunately moved under a small bush. Sue wrapped it in one of the towels. It hardly struggled but did have a few ‘words’ to say.

I sat in the car and was handed the bird, which by this time seemed content. There was no more discussion from it during the car ride to The Blackburn Vet. With me stroking his head and looking into a bright almost orange eye.

Sue gave him into the safe hands of a vet nurse who took details about where and when we had found him. Within a very short time the phone rang saying the bird was fine. It had twine caught around one leg and around its neck, which the vet was able to remove. They would return the bird to where it was found as soon as they could find someone to do that.

Sue agreed to drive back later in the afternoon and pick up the bird. It was getting dark when she opened the dog carrier she had him in and found him asleep and obviously quite content with his treatment for the day.

A small nudge and he opened his eyes, realised he could get away and fly up into a tree.


Imagine the delight of another neighbour when she saw him fly free. She had seen the bird earlier that morning and could not obtain assistance but was fortunate to walk down her drive just as Sue released the Currawong to add his beautiful song to the other bird calls once more.

Do you have any stories from your time ‘Staying at Home’? Please submit them to AUSOM’s Creativity Challenge – see:


Desperate or Creative? You decide

Francis is a frequent flyer and was ticking off his bucket list of places to see before he died.

He is now confronted with a challenge during the lockdown to keep his Instagram account fed with his travel adventure photos. 

Here is his latest. It is the journey this time rather than the destination.

Desperate times demands desperate measures.

Here is his workaround solution.

While staying at home have you found other ways of taking photos or adding frames to your movies and videos?

Have fun and share by adding a comment below.

MORE Apple – at Home

There are now Seven (7) activities – “GarageBand made really easy!” and “Make your videos more cinematic with iPhone” were added as numbers 4 and 5 and just recently “Add drama and style to your portraits with iPhone” was added as number 6 and “Add a bit of magic to videos with Clips” as number 7.

Visit the site below frequently as activities are being added faster than we can update this post.


A Member’s Memorable Movie

Jan Dods has an endearing relationship with one of her grandchildren. A grandson who is a very active risk-taker, and with whom she has spent years trying to shape, modify and encourage. Jan recognises his talents. But the family laughingly says you look after him, “He is just a naughty boy”.

Jan made a movie that captures his talent and the fondness that Jan has for this now, not so little, survivor.

Staying at Home Movie

Making the movie

The movie below was shot on a handheld iPhone in portrait orientation by my granddaughter.
This orientation was deliberate because of an idea I had to present the final cut of the movie.
It was shared and converted into an animated comic book in the Clips App and then shared to iOS Movie where it was edited and had music and titles added.
I chose to do this to show how it is possible to achieve an effect like this in iOS and also because most members who have an iPad or an iPhone could achieve this result.

The story behind the movie

Grandma and mum set up a municipal library and a hairdressing salon for the girls to creatively experience whilst staying at home.
This movie captured the hairdressing salon from booking in, having a braid done and paying the hairdresser.
The conversation flowed organically and allowed Amelia to talk about coronavirus just like any other topic of discussion.
It also gives a glimpse into the relationship between a grandmother and one of her granddaughters.
PLEASE share your latest memorable movie.

Blindly going where no one has gone before

Can you imagine sharing a bottle of wine, over the internet with good friends?

Well, Phillip Lowe can and does.


He is delivered three masked bottles of red wine by a courier each fortnight and then on the appointed time, he sits down in front of his iMac to continue a fortnightly ritual called Wine table.

A tessellated screen congregates him and his companions at a virtual wine table.

It even becomes more complex in that his companions have identical masked bottles of wine. This is not a quaff. It is the continuation of simple pleasure and it’s a lot of fun.

Phillip explains …

“A very good friend, at one dinner party, said ‘Phillip, you enjoy good wine, why not come to a wine table where I’m the convener. It’s over lunch in a good restaurant and we meet fortnightly’. I was very apprehensive, but he assured me that some of the other table guests were just like me, retired or working part-time and that it was not serious, just a bit of fun. He explained the rules – only Australian wine, only red wine, and with some age, say 5 years or older. That I should take a bottle masked so that no-one would know what it is. When a bottle is opened, the group, in turn, pour a sample, and in turn, try and assess, ie. guess, the grape variety, the vineyard area where grown, and the wine’s age.”

The challenge of staying at home meant a creative solution was required.

Philip explains the solution. Zoom.

 “In this COVID shutdown, we’ve had to go virtual; on line. For our last Zoom meeting, the convener shipped masked bottles to all participants for the meeting. It was great to still be in contact with fellow members and enjoy their company”.

So new a new ritual was born.

Phillip relates the journey that brought him to this august table.

“Over the years I have often visited vineyards when touring and on holidays. If I’ve had a tasting then I feel obligated to buy a bottle or two, usually of their premium wines. Over the decades a cellar has gradually been built, on the philosophy of ‘I know what I like, and know what I don’t like’. These wines were only ever uncorked at a dinner party if there were folk who would appreciate fine wine. I have never taken a wine appreciation course.”

He explains that he is not puzzled by the absence of female members.

“The members are all male, about sixteen in total. The average attendance is about six to eight, depending on peoples’ availability. We have had tables of twelve on some occasions. We also have had ladies brought along as guests. Somehow the ladies are not interested in joining. I wonder why. We do have some very knowledgeable members and it’s from these that the rest of us try to learn something. No one gets carried away with the sort of description you see on a wine bottles back label.“

Phillip shares “Doing it my way.

 “So over the years, I have learnt a little bit of how to evaluate a wine. 

“Firstly is the ‘nose’. This to me is the primary source of finding the grape variety. Shiraz and Cabernet are quite different when young but in aged wine, they become very difficult to tell apart. The lighter wines such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Grenache can be distinguished from the heavier tannic varieties, sometimes not easily.


 “Secondly, the colour, is it red, or purple, or brown? Once again lighter wines tend to be lighter in colour than the tannic wines. Tipping the glass will highlight any brown colour at the edge and give an indication of age. Finally is the taste, but even before then one has probably formed some sort of opinion. For example, if you think it’s shiraz does it have typical shiraz pepper taste. The most difficult, for me at any rate, is the grape’s origin. Is it high country cold climate or lower altitude warm climate? This does require a knowledge of Australian wine-producing areas. If one thinks it’s a good quality Cabernet Sauvignon one could place it in the Coonawarra, renowned for quality cabernet. Or Shiraz from the Barossa. etc, etc.

 “At the end of the day, the whole exercise is to have a natter with like-minded souls, over a good lunch with interesting wines, and solve the world’s problems. In this Covid-19 era, we think it’s important to keep the camaraderie going. So to Zoom meetings where we do the same as at our normal meetings. The convener has shipped the same three masked bottles to all participants duly labelled so that we take turns to assess the wines.”


Phillip puts it into perspective.
“So we don’t judge a wine, we just assess them. And mostly we get it all wrong. But we do drink some very nice wine, and have a very nice lunch.”