Sunday, November 04, 2012


Yippee-i-o! It’s Melbourne Cup time again! You’ve heard the one about the horse entering the bar; and you’ve heard the one about leading a horse to water, but not being able to make him drink. Here’s the answer to both - finally! The horse eagerly cantered up to the bar, but all he was offered to drink was water - that’s why he had the long face!

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who may not be aware – The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s major thoroughbred horse race – “the race that stops a nation”! It’s a 3,200metres (1.9888 miles) for three-year olds and over. It’s the richest “two-mile” handicap in the world, and one of the richest horse races. The Melbourne Cup is always held on the first Tuesday in November. The winner of the first Melbourne Cup in 1861 was a bay stallion, “Archer”, ridden by John Cutts.

Melbourne Cup Day is almost a public holiday here in Australia; it’s celebrated throughout the country; some believe it should be declared a public holiday. Between all the sweeps and partying, it should be!

I love Melbourne Cup Day; and always have. I've got the champagne chilling; the prawns and oysters have been ordered, ready to be picked up later today; the smoked salmon has been smoked, and my bets have been laid! The form guide is at the ready!

If you’re looking for me tomorrow – don’t bother! I won’t answer the door or the phone. I’ll be too engrossed watching the lead-up to the race from 6 am; "oohing and aahing" at the fashions on the field; and engrossed by all the races from 10 am to the end of the final race when the final hoof goes over the final line – with no interruptions!

The special race day is held at Flemington Race Course, Melbourne, Victoria.

In the mood of the Day…I’ve spun the little tale below – all past Melbourne Cup winners are highlighted to help you make some sense of my nonsensical ramblings!

The Shocking thing was the Americain looked on very Saintly from the end of the bar while sipping on a Brew. He scratched his White Nose before he accused MacDougall of being a bit of a Windbag! MacDougall Viewed the scene around him. He then nonchalantly tipped his Dark Felt hat, and murmured “What a Nuisance” to the Kiwi from Toparoa who sat on the stool next to him. MacDougall and the Kiwi continued sipping their schooners of ice-cold Haricot beer, preferring to ignore The Trump.

Looking on with a Tawrrific soft glow from the Lantern hanging over the bar highlighting her Empire Rose complexion was Jezabeel, the adopted daughter of Count Cardigan and Prince Foote. As most of you know, Prince Foote is the son of King Ingodas and Marini-Henri of Maraboa, Russia. Count Cardigan, the brother of Lord Fury was a Statesman who had been an Artilleryman at the Battle of Gurner’s Lane. I’m filling you in on a bit of the family history, in case you weren’t aware of the lineage.

Earlier in the day, Peter Pan flew in from the Backwood for a bit of Hi Jinx because out near Wodalla and Merriwee the river was Rising Fast. Peter Pan was a Rain Lover, but he felt it safer and more sensible to Skipton with his Sister Olive who wouldn’t leave without her Gold and Black cloak. She arrived looking like she was going to attend a Gala Supreme, namely the Beldale Ball.

Even Stevens had felt the Might and Power of the Subzero temperatures down Baystone way. He decided it more Efficient to make Just a Dash along Piping Lane grasping his Vintage Crop in his right hand! He’d successfully convinced The Parisian aka Comedy King to join him.

Old Rowley decided to Think Big when he saw a Blue Spec on the horizon. He and Archer, The Quack, cared less that it was a Phar Lap; so off they charged on a Nightmarch to the Delta. For protection they each carried a Carbine, but Sirius, like a Silver Knight guided them along the way. When they reached Newhaven, a Rainbird sang pure and clear like an Evening Peal. Immediately they felt at ease, and even the Light Fingers of Chester, The Grafter, couldn’t alter their relieved, joyous mood. More importantly, they ignored him after his failed attempt to steal The Pearl. He was caught Red Handed; but all that was soon forgotten when the whole bar congratulated Tim Whiffler. Those at the bar overheard him say to Jeune, “Let’s Elope!” What a Don Juan! “Bravo! He sure doesn’t horse around!” Everyone called out in unison, The Revenue in the bar that night paid for the Nightwatch, and then some!

Festive Pizzas: On a floured surface, roll out 1x375g packet puff pastry to 1mm thickness; cut with a small, 4-5cms, cutter; place rounds on large, flat, buttered pastry tray; brush with olive oil. On each round, place a slice of goat’s cheese with a slice of cherry tomato and a slice of yellow tear-drop tomato; brush again with olive oil; sprinkle with black pepper and sprigs of thyme; bake in preheated 210C oven, 12-15mins. Various toppings; prawns, roasted capsicum strips; asparagus, mozzarella, anchovies and black olives.

Scallops with Broccoli Cream Sauce: Cut 24 scallops from the shells; replace onto shells; place on flat baking tray. Make sauce: Melt 20g butter in saucepan; sweat 200g trimmed broccoli and 3 crushed garlic cloves; add 300ml cream, salt and pepper; cook 15mins; process in blender until sauce consistency. Cook the tray of scallops in 220C oven, 2-3mins; spoon a little sauce over scallops; spoon a little sauce over scallops; place 2 scallops and small fork on small plates.

Smoked Salmon Dip: Place 3tbs soft butter, 200g smoked salmon, 1/4c sour cream, 1tbs finely-chopped onion and 2tsp lemon juice in processor; process until smooth. Fold through 1tsp halved capers; season with black pepper. Chill till required. Cream Cheese Croutons: Mash 125g soft curd or cream cheese with 4tbs grated cheddar, gruyere, parmesan or other hard cheese; add plenty of freshly-ground black pepper and chopped parsley or tarragon; stir in well-beaten egg. Spread onto crust-less slices of French bread; top each with a piece of anchovy and halved black olive. Cook in 170C oven, 15mins.


  1. Horse racing is really big in Ireland where a lot of famous horses are trained. My dad was a big fan, but you didn't have to know one end of a horse from the other to be a fan of the style always on view at the races!

  2. Lee
    Sounds like a marvelous time will be had watching the event. Do all the ladies that attend deck themselves out in big hats like the ladies do at our races? Peace and Enjoy

  3. Hi Molly...there are a couple if Irish horses running in tomorrow's Cup...they've become regulars at the Melbourne Cup these day. Quite a few international horses will be running in it.

  4. Lady Di...they sure do! The Fashion on the Field are wonderful...the Melbourne Cup Carnival lasts for a began last Saturday and will finish this coming Saturday. Along with all the magnificent horse, I love seeing the fashions.

    It's a great time of the year...I just love it!

  5. I will be sure not to bother you on Tuesday. I'll be in line voting anyway. We have a horse race going on here that day also. Good luck with your bets!

  6. That you, do RM...our races has 22 more runners in it than yours! ;)

    Thanks for calling in. :)

  7. Well spun tale of winners. May your horses be fleet of foot. I enjoy watching some of the tragic (think Leanne Edelstone) fashions in the field as well.

  8. We're set. Bubbly's in the fridge.

  9. Hi Elephant's Child...Brynne Edelsten, I think you mean. Poor Brynne...her taste in clothes (and men, although not his bank balance, I guess) is pretty questionable! ;)

    But, somehow I kind of like her...she seems to be a sweet young woman and a lonely one, too.

    Thanks for swinging by EC. :)

  10. I thought you would be,, too; plus all the goodies to be turned into an antipasto, along with a fresh fruit and cheese platter...I intend grazing through the day.

    Good luck, Cosmo! Enjoy the Cup...I know I'll enjoy the day.

  11. Oops. You are right. Leanne was the first wife (whose taste in clothes and men was also questionable).

  12. Yes.EC....she had an affair with Clive James, too...Leanne, that is. She was on one of the current affair shows telling the world about it a few months back.

  13. The sea food looked yummy.

    The biggest horse race in America is the Kentucky Derby. When people attend, it's traditional to wear a big hat and drink Mint Juleps.

  14. Oh....they all get dressed up for the Cup Carnival, Janice. The Carnival goes for a week...culminates tomorrow...Saturday.

  15. I committed The Man From Snowy River to memory years ago and are you going to tell me 'Pardon' wasn't really a winner of 'the cup'?
    How then did Harrison make his pile? or did I just miss it in your story?
    The scallops look good.

  16. I'm stunned, but pleased, as would Banjo Patterson be that you're familiar with The Man From Snowy River, Cliff...and very familiar with the poem by the looks of it!

    Pardon me, please for disappointing you, but sorry, Pardon was never a winner of the Melbourne Cup...the Snowy River Cup, maybe... but not our illustrious Flemington one!

    Clancy of the Overflow sends his regards. :)

  17. G'Day Lee ~~ All over for another year. I was more interested in the 100 million in Tattslotto, but no luck there either.

    Glad you liked the Fifty Shades of Greyrey joke. And yes the books may keep me awake though I doubt it.
    I wanted to buy the trilogy when Big W had the three for $20 but my daughter was here and said she would give me her set So she better They sure have made an impact.
    Take care dear Lee, and thanks again for your comments. Love, Merle.

  18. Hi Merle...I read the "Fifty Shades" trilogy...and I enjoyed them. I kind of felt sad when I turned the last page and had to say goodbye to Christian and Ana. You'll have to remind your daughter to loan them to you...she may have gotten attached as well and needs a nudge! :)

    Take good care, Merle...and thanks for calling by. Hugs. :)