|George's Paragon, Gallery Walk, Tamborine Mountain|
|Three aspects of Gallery Walk, Eagle Heights, Tamborine Mountain|
|Tamborine Mountain eastern view to the Gold Coast|
|Curtis Falls, Tamborine Mountain|
|A couple of mountain homes...both "slightly" larger and fancier than my humble little cabin!|
Monday before last was my Fun Day Monday. Being the reclusive, happy hermit (by choice) I am, I let loose. I brushed away the cobwebs and dust (off me), discarded the mothballs, and donned my glad rags in readiness to hit the bright lights...bright sunlight. It was a clear, sunny, warm day with a sky of brilliant blue above..
Once I’d checked my visa and passport were up to date, I took a deep breath and poked my nose out the door. After looking both ways, tentatively I ventured forth to walk the Walk, playing to the gallery.
To be honest, I’m not a paragon of virtue. I admit there are times when I “talk the talk”, but I these days don’t really “walk the walk”...it’s more of a “hobble the hobble”, with my trusty walking stick in hand.
Without a second thought, I tossed pride to the wind a few years ago. Pride comes before a fall and with my wonky hips I choose not to fall. So, my walking stick goes with me everywhere I go. It’s a fashion statement....a statement I’m sticking by!
Monday of last week I became one of the “Ladies Who Lunch”, following the path of those portrayed in Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical, “Company”.
I was in good company.
Our hostess for the special luncheon held at “George’s Paragon” on Gallery Walk was a unique lady...a centenarian...not to be confused with a centurion. However, Queen Dorothy, the Grand Dame of the Mountain, the mother of a good friend of mine, held court and was in command of us group of wayward girls. She kept the five of us under control.
Showing due respect (we’re fearful of the rod), we ensured our best behaviour was on show; minding our ‘Ps” and ‘Qs” while out and about in the public domain. I think we passed the test because we didn’t get reprimanded. Our conduct was praiseworthy– perhaps not mine.
On 22nd June, Dorothy hit a 100 not out. At the time she was in an aged care facility down on the Gold Coast. A big party was held in her honour on the day...with an Elvis impersonator present.
On Saturday, 24th June an afternoon tea party was held in Dorothy’s honour up here on the mountain hosted by her daughter and son-in-law at their home. Family and friends from as far south as Coffs Harbour, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne were in attendance, as were friends who live here on the hill.
The reason for the luncheon last week was Dorothy wanted to “shout” those who helped her daughter, Susan (my friend) put the party together – the catering etc.
I’m sure those who were present will agree an enjoyable time was had while around the luncheon table we sat, sharing genial conversation, laughter and delicious food - generous quantities of each.
About us were other contented gorgers gorging on the gorgeous food at George’s while admiring the colourful Greek Islands-influenced artwork on the walls.
I half expected Zorba the Greek to make an appearance. If Zorba had appeared, without hesitation, I would’ve tossed aside my cane and joined him in his dance - not on the tables - of course. How I love the book, the movie and the music – “Zorba, the Greek”. I wrote a post a while back that I saw Mikis Theodorakis, the composer of the “Zorba, the Greek” soundtrack, live in concert at Brisbane’s Festival Hall back in the early Seventies.
I like to “kill as many birds with one stone” when I’m out, so I popped into IGA, our local supermarket, on my way home.
There I was, incognito, minding my own business, putting mandarins into a bag when I was accosted from afar by a maniacal Sir Loin aka Nathan, the young butcher. I swear he was brandishing a meat cleaver. (That latter sentence may be untrue).
Hurling abuse from one end of the rather large store to the other, he bombarded me with questions, severely admonishing me, demanding to know why I was shopping in the afternoon, not early morning as I usually do.
His genteel appearance doesn’t fool me - it’s a facade!
Duly contrite from my dressing down, I promised I’d abide by his rules; that I’d never again dare break them.
If, for some inexplicable reason I felt the need, I gave my word to call beforehand begging his permission.
Saluting in repentant servitude, I then continued shopping...quietly... in the hope I’d not draw further attention.
Is nothing sacred anymore?
By George! I love living here on the hill, surrounded by good, fun people and great eateries; but, upon my return home, I had to apologise to my two furry mates for my lengthy absence...contritely I handed them my note...while begging their understanding and forgiveness.
Greek Leek Pie (Prasopita): Wash and trim 800-900g leeks. Cut white part into 2cm wide slices. Heat a little olive oil in saucepan; add leeks and 3 or 4 finely chopped spring onions or shallots; season. Sauté until tender. Deglaze with 1/2c dry white wine; let it evaporate. Remove from heat; cool. In bowl whisk 1 egg yolk with 1c milk or cream; stir in leek mixture, 150g crumbled feta, 100g Graviera cheese or a hard yellow cheese; season with pepper. Brush med-baking tray with oil; lay 1 sheet phyllo, allowing it to exceed pan; brush with oil or melted butter; continue with 5-6 more sheets, brushing each with oil. Tip in filling; even out. Trim some of the excess phyllo; cover top with phyllo; roll the edges. Whisk 1 egg with 1tsp water and brush top and edges of pie. Bake in preheated 180C oven, 50-55mins.
Greek Bean Soup (Fasolada): Soak 1/2kg haricot beans overnight. Next day put beans in saucepan with enough water to cover. Just before they come to the boil remove the surface froth. After coming to the boil, simmer 15mins. Remove beans; drain. Put back into pot; cover to about an inch above bean surface with boiled water; add 1 large, diced onion, 2 diced carrots, 1tbs roughly-chopped celery leaves, 1 red hot chilli, 1/2tbs tomato paste, 150ml tomato juice, 150ml olive oil; season. Simmer 1 hour or so, until beans are tender.
Gemista: Slice 2 large potatoes into big pieces. Slice-off the top of 8 large tomatoes and 4 green capsicums (keep the tops); use a spoon to remove the flesh without tearing the skin. Remove the capsicum seeds. Sprinkle the sugar inside tomatoes. Put the vegetables upside down on a baking pan to drain. Prepare stuffing: Put flesh of tomatoes and capsicums in pan; add 2 large finely chopped onions, 1 finely chopped bunch of parsley, half cup of olive oil, salt and pepper; bring to boil. Remove from heat; add 1-1/2c white rice, 1/2c raisins and 3tbs mint or spearmint. Arrange tomatoes and capsicums in baking pan; fill with stuffing; place the potato chunks between them. Place cut off tops on stuffed vegies. Sprinkle with olive oil and with breadcrumbs. Bake at 230C, 60-80mins.