|Two Photos of The Sands, Mary River, Gympie|
|Two Photos of the Scottish Mine, Gympie|
What I’ve found since the fossicking commenced is quite amazing. If not for my age, I feel positive, with my adeptness at digging, if I applied for a mining job I’d be hired immediately. No résumé required; no questions asked.
No doubt I inherited my Scottish great-grandfather’s genes - as in DNA...not his Levis Strauss blue jeans.
From the late 1800s through until his untimely death in 1918, my great-grandfather worked at Gympie’s Scottish Gold Mine, the headquarters of which were in Glasgow, Scotland. At the time, the mine was classified as being the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
My great-grandfather, on any normal day, never worked underground. On that one particular Wednesday he was called into work for an extra shift to replace a co-worker who failed to turn up because of illness. Unexpectedly, a giant boulder broke loose. It landed on my great-grandfather and a fellow gold miner. The boulder killed the latter instantly. My Nana’s father, at the age of 48 year, passed away 20 minutes after he’d been admitted to hospital. (I have written about the sad event in previous posts)
In the 1950s, for fun, as well as in endless hope, many Gympie adults and kids, my brother and I included, panned for gold at The Sands, a shallow, safe Mary River swimming hole on the southern outskirts of town. We loved to rummage around Gympie's mullock heaps, too.
I had not much luck in those expectant activities...a bit like now, trying to find something about which to write!
At the rate I’m going today I’d have been a brilliant archaeologist. Obviously, I missed my calling.
During my current digging and panning I uncovered a nonsensical old joke from my childhood; one that has remained hidden for decades in the pitch black corners of my mind – little wonder why!
It’s a moot point...some would call it a joke; others a phrase or saying. For the sake of argument, I’m calling it a joke.
My brother, Graham (who could be a bother at times as all brothers have the habit of being; in turn, I was a bother to my brother, I am sure) and I shook our heads, and lifted our eyebrows every time Mum or Nana asked, “Where was Moses when the lights went out?” “In the dark” is supposedly the answer.
However, in our household consisting of four members the answer was never as simple or clear-cut.
The two quick-witted, hard-working women who raised my late brother and me are to blame for my twisted trains of thought. Graham and I thought it was a crazy joke.
Every time they asked the question, Mum and Nana shared secretive side glances and smiles (smirks) as if there was a hidden meaning known only to them; one not suitable for children.
Their highly-amused answer to the “joke” was always: “Under the bed looking for the matches!” Followed by gales of laughter...from them...not us!
As the years passed, it got to the stage Graham and I purposely refused to laugh, even when we found humour in the joke’s innocent idiocy; or in the inane insanity of our small family unit.
I imagine every family has its odd sayings, jokes and phrases – and, innocently or purposely, stuff some up in the quoting.
George W. Bush was guilty of creating many which were unique unto him. Selflessly, he shared his dictums, not only with his family, but with the rest of the world.
For example: “He can’t have it both ways. He can’t take the high horse, and then claim the low road.” Also: “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.” And:”The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country."
Unfortunately, President Bush’s boo-boos resounded around the world, and caused much amusement as they rebounded.
Laugh we may - and we do - we should be thankful the bloopers, blunders, embarrassing mistakes you and/or I make don’t have a world-wide audience.
In my case, I am extremely grateful my audience consists only of my two furry roomies – and, perhaps, readers of my blog!
When I say something stupid, which is often, Remy and Shama merely twitch their whiskers, before promptly returning to sleep in the hope I’ll cease sharing my thoughts.
To answer the question...last night when the lights went out, I was in bed...not under it.
Spinach-Ricotta Stuffed Pasta: Cook 20 large pasta shells: drain; rinse under cold water; set aside on baking tray. Heat a pan over med-high heat; add 450g sausage mince; cook 10mins, breaking up mince. Add pinch or two of chilli, 3 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1 can diced tomatoes and 2c fresh spinach; cook 3-4mins. Remove from heat; stir in 125g ricotta; season. Stuff shells with heaped tablespoon of filling; spoon over remaining sauce; reheat gently, 5-6mins; serve sprinkled with shredded Parmesan.
Stuffed Mushrooms: Preheat oven 190C. Arrange 18 large button mushrooms, stem removed on sprayed baking tray. Melt 1tbs butter over med-heat; add 1/2c diced onion and 1tsp minced garlic; cook 3-4mins until soft; remove from pan. Add 240g Italian sausage mince to pan; cook 5mins; breaking up meat. Combine sausage, onion mix, 120g cream cheese, 1/4c grated parmesan, 1/2c shredded cheddar and 3tbs chopped parsley; spoon mix into mushrooms. Melt 2tbs butter; stir in 1/3c panko crumbs to coat. Sprinkle panko crumbs over mushrooms; bake until tops brown, and mushrooms are cooked.
Kale Stuffing: Place ½-inch thick slices of 350g ciabatta bread in a shallow baking dish; drizzle with 1/2c milk; sit 30mins, gently flipping for even soaking. Warm a pot over med-high heat. Add 900g Italian sausage mince; cook, 10-12 mins. Stir in 1 chopped onion, 1/2c finely chopped celery, 1c finely chopped parsley and 3 finely chopped garlic cloves; season. Cook until onion and celery soften. Add 700g coarsely chopped kale leaves, 1/2c water; cook until kale wilts. Break bread into bite-sized pieces; place in bowl; add sausage-kale mix; add 1-1/4c grated parmesan, 2tbs chopped basil, 1tsp chopped sage, 1tsp chopped rosemary; season. Gently toss to evenly incorporate; season. Spoon stuffing into baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in preheated 175C oven, 25-30mins.