Posts Tagged ‘rosemary’

The potato.

May 29, 2018
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Image result for peter dutton

 

The latest piece mentioning Dutton and his likeness to a potato was unfortunate. Each time I look at a potato I get this scary Dutton image. Horrible. And yet, when I see Dutton a potato appears. I thought the best way to get over this is to make a good potato bake. This dish is very simple. You need a good solid cast iron baking dish. We use a red enamelled Chasseur. It is very heavy. Even an empty Chasseur, one needs to be fit just to be able to put it in an oven. I hope when reaching the nineties I will be strong enough to continue using this great baking dish.  (I don’t want to be found lifeless at the bottom of my stove with a Cast iron Chasseur pot on top me.) Apart from a potato bake it is ideal for almost all slow cooking recipes, especially slow simmering curries.

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Anyway, thinly sliced raw potatoes are layered with a mixture of tinned tuna in between. For a garnish I mix fried garlic, lots of rosemary and anchovies. Also chopped up leek with a red capsicum. All this is tucked in between the layers of Dutton/Molan, sorry, potatoes. When the Chasseur is ready to put in the oven I fill it up with milk into which I have whisked a couple of eggs. Depending on how we feel, I might also top it up with pouring full cream.  Some grated parmesan cheese on top before you close the lid and bang it into the oven at about 160C for a bit more than an hour. Don’t use salt as the anchovies generally provide enough salt. Helvi likes her salt and an exception can be made for those with low blood pressure. Apparently, salt raises blood pressure which can be beneficial for those, who like Helvi, have low blood pressure.

At last night’s Q&A, a mate of Dutton was on the ABC’s panel. His name is Jim Molan. He also is wildly enthusiastic about keeping refugees ( including 113 children) detained indefinitely on Manus and Nauru.

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Jim Molan

It will take a lot of potato bakes to get over this strange turn that Australia has taken. Is it just a foolhardy sticking to one’s point of view, no matter how wrong this is? Are those Duttons and Molan’s unable to see the misery this is causing? How can they justify their point of view for years on end?

We used to say; ‘Fair crack of the whip.’ But, indefinite detention for people who have done no wrong, who have not been charged with any crime, are not getting a fair go or ‘fair crack of the whip’.

The reason that Dutton and Molan give for putting and keeping refugees in detention indefinitely is to prevent more refugees from drowning. In other words, the refugees are being used/ punished for not having drowned or as a punishment and warning for others trying to seek asylum by boat,  ‘we will also put you in detention.’ Seeking asylum is not illegal.

A court should try those two for committing crimes against humanity.

Q&A

The culinary delights of the anchovy.

March 17, 2018

 

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When we went for our daily walk along the river’s edge I noticed a man sitting on a bench. Sitting on a bench in our neck of the woods is popular. Many of the Southern Highlands inhabitants are retired.  Shire’s planning department must have heeded some advice from a bright young person just out of the University having studied Social Comfort & Welfare. (SCW) She might well have suggested a liberal sprinkling of slatted bench seats throughout the municipality.

I don’t know who the sadist was who invented those concrete benches many years ago. Were the councils afraid of them getting stolen?  Soon after our arrival in 1956 my dad noticed bus stops with the concrete bench on which hardly anyone ever sat. Perhaps that was the aim. You know, the Anglo Saxon’s avoidance of too much comfort making you soft and girly-like! We, in Australia like to be seen as a nation of men and men.

This man looked sadly serious which seemed out of place. The morning was beautiful and the cockatoos gave it a helping hand by hanging upside down from the willow tree under which this serious solitary man was sitting on his wooden slatted bench. We are blessed with so many varieties of parrots. The orange, and green to yellow and even black and yellow feathered ones. They give the black crows a good lesson by chasing them as much as possible. I can never forgive crows for pecking out the eyes of just born lambs back on our days of farming. Why do they do that?

However, the man on the seat did not seem to care about the concert with acrobatics that the cockies were giving. Free of charge too. And if that was not enough, down at earth’s level there were the ducks. They too were in a good mood, just happily paddling about after surviving the night from the cruel red-beady eyed killer fox. Our neighbour lost his chickens for the third time. The foxes, like the crows, seem to take delight in senseless killing. Why chew off the heads of chickens and then just leave them flapping about on the laneway?

I wonder how many go through life without ever realising how much joy a simple anchovy can give. I don’t mean in an aquarium but more on a ceramic plate and cooked. We seem to cook more and more using those little fishes. For those that complain about their fishy pungency; what do you expect? A rose by any other name etc.? So, it is with oceanic life.  Each to their own identity and long live l’odeur l’anchvy.

Perhaps the man on the slatted bench has missed out on the anchovy. Perhaps he should have been told that when anchovies and garlic are chopped up with lots of fresh rosemary and then deep fried in blue smoky hot oil it makes fore one of the most tantalising sauces. Add and mix in some mustard and one is in heaven. Try it in a pasta. Flavour development in the ripening of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicholus) and used when mixed with other herbs is a bit like the art of winemaking.  There will be endless varieties and flavours. A truly amazing little fish.

I buy the little jars of anchovies from the local supermarket and might use about five or six of them with four of five cloves of juicy garlic and a heaped spoonful of fresh rosemary which grows in abundance in our garden. One can muck about with adding a little chilli and different mustards, fresh cream, coconut milk and much, much more.

Next time I see the sad man on the slatted seat I might introduce and give him an anchovy.

Do you think it would help?

 

The stolen Car and other strange procedures for the Aged

August 11, 2016

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It has been some four months since the daughter phoned us up to say her car had been stolen from inside her remote controlled garage. Even though the car was recovered within a couple of days, the police impounded it because it had to be used as proof in a court case. The sales yard where the car was recovered from had bought the stolen vehicle from the thieves and claimed innocence. A police Court case ensued. Our daughter was told she would have to go without the car for a while. She thought though she would get the car back soon.

It is a complicated story but she finally got it back yesterday. No apology or explanation from the police. They expressed surprise the car wasn’t returned immediately! We gave her our car to use in the meantime. As time went by, we too had to get around and after driving past a car on the highway with a “For Sale’ sign, we ended up buying the car. It looked nice and had no obvious signs of being previously crashed. It was a car built by Bayerische Motoren Werke. What made us decide was that the owner told us you can drive this marvel of German Technology with all four tyres flat. Now, there is car which gives a new meaning for driving flat out.

However, now that our daughter finally got her car back, we took the train yesterday to Sydney to retrieve our car, the Peugeot (with foot-rest). However, we don’t need two cars. The BMW is smaller with endless electronic gadgetry for which one needs to take a couple of weeks to plough through the manual. A baffling mix of so many options on heating, steering, lights, the seat tilting up, down, sideways or forward. Locking of doors and bonnet alone takes a PHD to comprehend. However, as we again became embroiled in the Strata Body of our housing complex, and a heated dispute about parking problems, Helvi thought it best to keep both cars in order to give the neighbours something to worry and speculate about.

Just as things had calmed down and peace returned, the painting by the Iranian born Father and Son contractor and conflicting claims of priorities to some owners resulted in the percolating up of dormant problems. Some owners claimed their patch of front garden had been trampled on. One owner reckoned her Rosemary bush had been snipped. The colour of paint was wrong, or not enough coats of paint. Some demanded their town-house be painted first. It just kept on bubbling away. The usual fights of periodontal suffering pensioners, all keyed up and nowhere to go. So little available irony despite all the attempts for seniors to do fitness classes.

In any case. We will keep both cars for the time being. The rego is free for one car but not for both. There is a limit to our Government’s generosity towards pensioners. We would like to claim our spot of visitors parking which is next to our garage. The neighbours opposite us have three cars. One for each daughter and one for husband and wife. We get on well with them. They also are considerate enough to have lots of potted plants in front of the house which gives us a glowy feeling. Kindred souls so to speak. They were nice to the painters.

Spring is on its way. Millions of daffodils are nodding in parks and nature strips. All is well and the daughter has her car back.

https://www.amazon.com.au/Oosterman-Treats-Gerard-ebook/dp/B01IRQZY7C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1470877728&sr=1-1&keywords=oosterman+Treats

The G 20 and a nice Pasta.

September 21, 2014

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It is getting all too much. Nerve wrecking terrorism fears, and Putin coming to Brisbane. What will the neighbours think? Who would have thought a Russian President would ever visit Brisbane? I just can’t imagine him sitting around with all those other world leaders trying to act as nonchalant as possible. Their eyes scanning around while sauntering through those doors of the big-top with its clowns of leaders and performing big bears. They always seem to look so very ‘above it.’

I would not be surprised if they never go to toilets or wear underpants. It somehow seems that all domesticity has been overcome by them. Their digestive system has been conquered with all those weighty world responsibilities. Have you ever watched those G20 leaders making decisions so fastidiously resolute and unquestioning? They shuffle papers while wearing headphones, translators versed in foreign languages murmuring into grotesque pink ears just sitting behind them. The enormity of it all. Of course they don’t suffer from intestinal rumblings or dietary upsets. They have overcome their humaneness. It is all a circus with clowns and jugglers, masters of voodoo economics. Shifters of profits and taxation avoiding shysters.

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As one gets older, those events just seem to repeat themselves into nothingness. A circular event that repeats itself ever year, every decade. So much remains the same yet so much is different. A callousness of spirit and calcified souls have grounded themselves into a permanent headstone of disregards and victim searching. It is, as always, the Viet-Cong, the Hutus, the Arabs, the Nazis, the Japanese, the Nigerians, the Boat people, those Terrorists. The clock (as always) just ticks in seconds. We have developed precise needle point methods of extermination. Laser guided and drone enhanced. We kill in real time TV with a blast enlarged in black smoke heading towards us on our comfy cushion softened settee.

And yet, what would we live for if not the enjoyment of a Sunday cooked pasta? I will never get enough of life if the pasta keep-on-coming. We all know that the fresh made is the best. The noodles cooked al dente and the sauce as always to include the hot blue smoke deep fried mixture of the chopped up garlic, rosemary and anchovies. Forget G20. A lovely well cooked meal makes it all still worthwhile.