Friday, December 27, 2013

AN APPLE A DAY…

Tozer & Jeffery, Solicitors, Mary Street, Gympie..Building on right.

My friend Joy on the left.(in the mirrored reflection) and me on the right in the white dress taken at my boss's home. It was the 21st birthday party of my boss's son, Graham. Both Graham and Joy remain my very good friends to this day.







Vic Summers; Gympie's Legendary World Champion Wood-Chopper


Please don’t misunderstand me…I enjoy and am in awe of a lot of today’s technology, but I’m flat out keeping up with the pace; in many areas I don’t bother trying; heavy breathing is for the young and fit; or the perverted!   

It seems every day upgrades, or newer, brighter, cleverer creations hit the marketplace; Apple débuted two new iPhone back in September alone. As I’m the only person left in this world who doesn’t own an iPhone, a Smart Phone, Cell or mobile phone of any make, description, shape, size or colour, I don’t intend taking a bite from that particular apple.

I have no use for a mobile/cell phone or whatever else is on the market today that enables one to speak to others, loudly, while strolling down the supermarket aisles; or sitting sipping coffee in a café.  I have no need for one of my own because I can listen in, without any hindrance whatsoever, on the conversations of others, whether I want to or not.  Said “others” give me no choice.  I often feel like knocking the gadgets out of their hands away from their ears as I really have no interest in their chit-chat.  I don’t understand why people have to be on their phones all the time. What on earth do that have to talk about that is so urgent and important?  

I hate phones!  Often I won't answer my phone – landline- when it rings.  Sometimes I find it to be very intrusive; an invasion of privacy.  Of course, that’s just how I am.  We’re all different...and I can hear you agreeing with this assessment of me!

When I was a young teen, I was a young teen –  if you understand my meaning.

Invitations to parties were extended verbally, or by the written word.  Our home had no phone of any description, unless, of course, for the two jam tins linked by string my brother and I put together.

On the rare occasions a phone call was necessary we’d trek off to the post office to make the call. Sometimes we’d have to kick a half-clothed Clark Kent (he looked pretty good in his Chesty Bonds) out of the red public phone box down the road before inserting the required amount of coins into the slot; hoping we’d remembered the number. Most times the number was written on our hands.  Hands were the best notepads.

TARDIS, Dr. Who’s blue time-travelling vehicle wasn’t an option back in those days. It was before the good Doctor became a sticky-beak and headed off to explore the Universe; stirring up the Daleks in the meantime, the past time and future time as a pastime.

Red telephone boxes, not blue, adorned the landscape where necessary.  And, fortunately, vandalism wasn’t rife when I was young.  It was rare to come upon a public phone that didn’t work.

In my early teen years parties were held in private homes. Gatecrashers were unheard of; other than a gatecrasher being someone who accidentally crashed into the front, side or back gate while peddling their bicycles, I doubt we knew there was another meaning to the word.

Alcohol wasn’t a prerequisite at the parties. It never figured into the celebrations.  As for drugs, my friends and I lived in a foggy world of juvenile ignorance about drugs.

As we matured further into our teen years, alcohol remained unimportant. It was rarely used; and never abused. We somehow managed to have good times without it. The only stimulants we needed were our mates, music and interesting conversation, mixed with harmless, nonsensical, hilarious chatter about nothing.
The group I mixed with shared lots of innocent fun and much laughter.

At the parties I attended when I was 15 going on 16 year of age, we still played Spin the Bottle, Pass the Parcel; Pin the Tail on the Donkey; Bobbing for Apples (we did have apples back then – but of the edible variety only!): Blind Man’s Bluff; Musical Chairs, Charades, and many other innocuous pleasures.  We were such innocents.  We progressed to Strip Poker a year or so later!

Leaving school mid-year during my Junior year; in July to commence my working life as a legal secretary with a Gympie law firm, "Tozer and Jeffery", I was still only 15 years old.  A few months later in the November, I turn 16.

The transition from school to paid employment in a solicitor's office was a giant step for womankind...or perhaps I should say, in my case,  "girl-kind"!

I’d turned 16 a couple of weeks before I attended an end-of-the-year party held at a private home in celebration of a new chapter in the lives of the senior boys at the local Christian Brothers’ College; a tempered, mannered version of “Schoolies”, I suppose. It was the home of Vic Summers, legendary world champion wood-chopper. Information about Vic Summers is in the sites below.

http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/at-93-years-vic-is-still-chopping/1385627/

http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/vics-final-chop/220871/

The invitation extended by Vic Summer's daughter, Kate, came as a surprise to me. Being a Protestant having attended the State School and the Scots Presbyterian Sunday School and Church when I was younger, other than by name and sight, I didn’t know many of the other party-goers. Later on, I learned some of the senior Christian Brothers' College boys had had a crush on me, hence the invitation! I had not a clue. I was not worldly-wise regarding the opposite sex in those days.

It was on that fateful, memorable night I received my first kiss after being driven home and politely escorted to my front gate. I hated it; the kiss, not the gate!

Disgusted, I made a hasty retreat and rushed upstairs to our bathroom where I vigorously washed my mouth.

“Ugh!” I thought in disgust. “If that's kissing, I’ll never allow myself to be kissed ever again; at least not until Tony Curtis comes to rescue me”! 

I was pretty naïve back in those days! Circumstances, attitudes and people change…life changes….

Life all looked a little brighter a year or two later; and it needed to be explored!

Everyone, including me, takes a bit of the apple, eventually!

Chicken-Apple Sausage: Heat 2tsp oil in non-stick pan; cook 1 diced small onion about 2mins; add 1 medium Gala apple or similar sweet apple, peeled and diced; cook, stirring 2mins; transfer to bowl; cool, 5mins. Add 454g minced chicken, 1tbs chopped sage, 1tbs packed brown sugar, 1/2tsp chopped fennel seeds, salt and pepper to apples; gently combine. Wipe out pan; generously spray; heat over med-heat; scoop 4 portions of mixture and flatten into patties. Cook until browned, about 3mins per side.

Apple Fritters: Combine 1 heaped cup plain flour, 1/3c sugar, 1tsp baking powder, pinch salt, 1-1/2tsp cinnamon and 1/4ts nutmeg; slowly add 1/2tsp vanilla, 1tbs melted butter, 1 egg and 1/3c milk (a little more if needed). Mix until combined; don’t over-beat; gently fold in 1-1/2c chopped apple, about size of peanut. Batter should be consistency of light cake mix. When oil is hot enough, using soup ladle, place 4 or 5 balls of dough about the size of golf balls into oil; don’t overcrowd; flip when underside turns golden; continue frying; about 35secs per side; adjust according to size and oil temp. If desired, serve with Caramel Sauce: combine 60g butter and 1/3c brown sugar in saucepan over med-heat; cook 3-4mins; stir in 1/2c cream; simmer 2-3mins until sauce thickens. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over fritters; pour over sauce. OR; just dust fritters with icing sugar.

Apple Chips: Preheat oven, 95C. Thinly slice 2 large, cored apples crosswise (Delicious, Gala, Grannies etc) – about 2mm thick with mandoline or very sharp knife. Arrange slices in single layer baking paper-lined, rimmed backing sheets; spray with canola cooking spray. If using sugar…combine 2ts sugar with 1tsp cinnamon; place in sieve; sprinkle over apple slices. Bake until dry and crisp; about 2 hours. Cool completely.  

Apple Strudel: Pastry - place 1/2c milk, 125g butter and 2tbs sugar in a saucepan over med-heat; stir until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. set aside to cool. Place 2c self-raising flour in bowl; make well in centre. Add 2 eggs and most of cooled milk, reserving a little to brush on the strudel. Mix to form a pliable dough; then turn onto a floured surface.  Knead the dough for a few minutes; cover in plastic wrap; then rest in fridge 15mins. (the pastry, not you!).

Peel, core and slice thinly 10 granny smith (green) apples.

To assemble strudel: halve the pastry; roll out to 5mm thick. (Set remaining pastry half aside). Spread pastry with 1/4c apricot jam. Place half of the apples on top of jam, leaving the edges free. Dot apples with 20g butter; then sprinkle with 2tbs currants,  2tbs sultanas, 1/4tsp ground cloves and 1/4tsp ground cinnamon. Fold in the pastry edges over the apples, and then, with the aid of wide spatulas, gently roll the pastry over the apples so that all the apple is rolled into the pastry. Place on a large greased baking tray, then brush with half of remaining milk.

Preheat oven to 180C. (356F).

Repeat above process with the remaining pastry, filling and left-over milk.  Bake both strudels in oven for 50 minutes, basting twice during the cooking with the juices on the tray.

18 comments:

Carol In Cairns said...

Lee ~ I so enjoyed this read today. I remember red telephone boxes. You and your friend look so elegant in that photo. And my sister left school in junior, and her first job was a legal secretary too.

Good on you for resisting mobile technology!

Morning AJ wrote about Apple Sausage Rolls on her blog this morning ~ I am off to find a recipe for them ~ I am thinking savory and pork and apple perhaps.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

As luck would have it, I am doing an apple-y dessert tonight. Haven't seen a Dr all day.

Lee said...

G'Day Carol. I'm glad you enjoyed today's post.

I loved that dress. I had it made for me; a friend's mother was a dressmaker and she made a few special dress for me - for special occasions. It was white chiffon...partly Grecian-style, and I loved it. I was around 17 years old in that photo.

Lee said...

Do you know what, Cosmo?

I've not seen a doctor all day, either...so obviously mangoes and nectarines work, too!!

Elephant's Child said...

I have seen a doctor today - but he is family and the PhD sort of doctor so he doesn't count. Mangoes, peaches, nectarines and cherries are obviously just as effective as apples.
I do have a mobile. I got it when my mother was in hospital and they said they needed to be able to contact me at all times. Now she is gone, it spends the vast majority of its life turned off.
And I remember those red phone booths well. And used the one up the road on the rare occasions a phone was necessary.

Lee said...

Hi EC...I, too, did once have a mobile (15 and a half years ago)...when my late brother was ill. I needed to have one then...but after Graham passed away...I tossed away the mobile. I had no further use for it.

Yes...with all this beautiful, delicious fruit around at present, we should all be very healthy. I eat a lot of fruit...a lot. I love it!

Have a great weekend. :)

MorningAJ said...

Hi there. Thanks for visiting my blog. Good to meet you.

Your apple sausage recipe sounds perfect and I might just give it a go sometime soon.

Lee said...

Hey! Good to see you MorningAJ...please don't be a stranger. :)

Chatty Crone said...

Good afternoon! Hey that photo of you was pretty - bet you are still pretty.

And the cell phones. At Christmas the other day out of 15 people in a room 11 of them had their cell phones out and ready. I had a great time - but it was funny. 3 were my own family!!!

Liked your post today.

sandie

Adullamite said...

I carry a small phone as I find it useful in emergencies. There is no need for an iPhone unless you have lots of friends, and that rules me out!
For a minute I thought that was me with the axe there...

Lee said...

G'day Sandie. Folk become addicted to their cell phones...and can't be without them, I think. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall if all those 11 phones went off at the same time! Hehehehe!

Lee said...

That's fair enough, I guess, Adullamite.

If I was travelling on the roads, far and wide, I'd have a mobile phone; but I no longer do that. My boundaries are very limited these days...I travel neither far nor wide; and I don't think I need to take a phone to the supermarket. Who would I ring? My two cats....they'd probably not answer! lol

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Arlynda and her mother both have "dumb" cell phones that come in handy when they are out and about. Every time Arlynda gets an itch to see what life would be like with a smart phone, the cost of just the upgrade in service smacks her back down to reality.

Lee said...

Hi Jerry...I have no one that I need to be talking with all the time. I dodge the phone enough here at home as it is without carrying one with me.

If I had use for such a device, I would get myself one...as I don't, I won't. I'd never use it. I don't have to travel far to go shopping...and if in that period someone needs to talk with me...they can wait until I get back home...and vice versa.

And my two furry. four-legged rascals just sleep when I'm out (as well as when I'm here) and they know I'll never forget to buy their food when I'm out shopping, so they have no need to contact me! ;)

Riot Kitty said...

Apple pie sounds better than ALOT of kissers out there!

I love your comment about heavy breathing, thank you for making me laugh!

I feel like the phone is a leash sometimes. Nice to turn it off.

Lee said...

I have a feeling you and I would get on extremely well, RK...and would be a dangerous pairing let out in the real world! We have a similar sense of insanity! ;)

I've not made an apple pie in a long while...I must put that on my "must do" list for 2014!

Lynn said...

That is a lovely picture of you! And I am probably on my phone too much, but I try to never use it in public, or talk on it around other people. Sometimes I am riding in the car with people who will take calls and just talk and talk - I never do that.

Lee said...

Hi there, Lynn...I was a lot, lot younger then...in that photo...a lot! lol I was around 17 years old when that was taken.

Notice the gloves! Kids wouldn't be seen dead wearing gloves today, unless they were emulating Michael Jackson!!