Tuesday, September 12, 2017

BY GEORGE! IT’S GEORGE’S!



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.    





35 comments:

  1. I am glad you had such a delightful outing and feel sure that your furry overlords have forgiven you.

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    1. Hey EC....I was soon in their good graces once more...whew!!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  2. You had a fun day and then gave us a fun read. Thanks for that. And for heavens sake, stick to your time table from now on. We can't have you upsetting the local merchants.

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    1. I know, Delores! To be under the thumb of my local merchants is tragic! lol

      They're a good lot. I share many laughs and much inane chatter with the staff at IGA. They make shopping a pleasure...and that's why I do all my shopping here rather than go down to the hectic hassle of the Gold Coast to do it. I hate big, busy shopping centres.

      I love the village-like atmosphere this plateau exudes. Anything I need that I can't purchase locally, I buy online...delivered straight to my door.

      "Hellos/G'days" and smiles are freely shared up here.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  3. You are far too adventurous!

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    1. I know! I'll just have to pull my horns in, Mr. Ad-Man!!

      Thanks for calling by. :)

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  4. I wonder what it is like to reach 100 years old. A bit of Zorba would have been great fun, even if you spent the next day in bed. My mother's local IGA closed down, which is such a shame. While there weren't the endless choices that larger supermarkets have, do we really need so many choices? The city IGAs aren't at all like the country ones.

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    1. Hi Andrew...our Supa IGA up here has a huge range of goods. It's only four years old having replaced the much smaller original store. And, no...I don't believe we need a million choices.

      The music is always tempting...and difficult to ignore. Here at home I rarely do ignore it! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  5. Great adventure, as always. Happy for the celebrated centenarian and wonder if there was a centurion there to guard the Elvis impersonator. LOL

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    1. Hey there, Annie! Dorothy would soon put "Elvis" in his place!! lol She's quite remarkable for her age.

      Already at the new aged care facility she's in she's got the staff toeing the line! ;)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  6. How wonderful that Dorothy keeps celebrating her 100th birthday and her friends can celebrate life with her at fun parties. It is good to be around friends and be teased by a butcher, sans knife, who knows how to make you smile.

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    1. G'Day, Arleen. Dorothy certainly did make the most of her birthday...and rightly so, too. She received a letter from the Queen, the Governor-General, the Prime Minister as well as others. She has had a rather busy few weeks...with a relocation added for good measure!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. Okay I am in love with Zorba the Greek too! If he asked me to dance I would - but oh what a site. Love that soupa!

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    1. Hi Sandie...The story and the music of Zorba is so stirring...magnificent!!!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. As usual the food sounds delicious. A belated Happy Bday to Dorothy. She sounds amazing.
    You always have fun wherever you go:) Tamborine Mountain looks lovely.

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    1. G'day, Sandra....I'm the light entertainment...no charge! lol

      Tamborine Mountain is a lovely area...not over-populated, nor is it over-developed, which suits me just fine!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  9. "Duly contrite from my dressing down" hah! I read that as "dressing Gown" and wondered why you were shopping in your night wear (*~*)
    The Centenarian sounds a good sport, I'm glad she enjoyed her day out with the girls. I don't recall ever seeing Zorba the Greek and I'll have to look it up.
    I'd like to reach 100 and think I have a reasonable chance, my grandma reached 96. I have only 35 years to go, should be easy if the past is anything to go by.

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    1. Hahahaha! No - I don't even own a dressing gown! I do dress appropriately when I go out shopping, River...and on that particular day I was, as described, in my "glad rags"...beads and all...not the normal garb I wear for when I'm grocery shopping! :)

      Zorba the Greek is a wonderful story. Both book and movie are fabulous. Anthony Quinn owned the role of "Zorba"....Alan Bates was memorable, too. I've got the book, as well as the movie on DVD. Also, I have the LP of the soundtrack music as well as the CD...and I think I probably still have the music cassette hidden away somewhere, too.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  10. Sounds like fun Lee. We always enjoy a trip around Gallery Walk when we visit my SIL who lives in Eagle Heights. We also love the once a month markets and try to visit when they are in full swing though SIL prefers the " little market".

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    1. Hi there Helsie...nice to see you. I hope all is well with you and yours. I miss reading your blog posts.

      I never visit Gallery Walk! I stay well away from it and the other day was the first time I've been there (other than to drive along it) in a couple of years. It's a nice strip and visitors to the mountain enjoy it...but I'm a boring old local fart! lol

      Thanks for coming by. Take care. :)

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  11. Nicely done Lee. 👍. An enjoyable read. I'm just glad it wasn't an Australian batsman who wasn't 100 not out in a match versus England! 🙀

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    1. Hey there, Treey. I'm glad you enjoyed my light-hearted post.

      Now! Now! It's time the Aussie's got The Ashes back!! Our cricketers have to pick up their act and their bats and get running!!!! :)

      All the best, Treey...I'm backing you all the way. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  12. 100? That is something to celebrate!
    Lee, you are funny AND you can cook!
    What a beautiful part of the world it is where you are.

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    1. G'day, Kay....and celebrate it, Dorothy did, Kay! :)

      I don't do as much cooking these days as I once did, Kay. Those days are gone...mostly nowadays simple, easy and quick is I the way I go! lol I eat well good foods...lots of fresh fruit and vegetables with raw nuts thrown into the mix.

      Thanks for coming by. Tamborine Mountain is a lovely place. :)

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  13. Tamborine Mountain sounds like a great place to live. You chose wisely... but I wonder how you ended up on "the hill" and not in one of the haunts of your working years. I may be wrong but I can't recall you ever explaining that Lee. If you did blog about this before please direct me to the post that reveals all!

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    1. Hey Yorkie....I'm not sure if I wrote about how I ended up here....on April 13th, 2002! I will write abut how I came to sit, permanently, upon this hill..perhaps my next post, or the one after that! I hope your patience lasts until then...grab a packet of popcorn, potato chips/crisps and a beer or two...it could be lengthy! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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    2. I am waiting with bated breath. Don't spare any of the gritty details.

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  14. That sounds like a lovely gathering. And I love that the IGA employee gave you a shout out - it's what I miss about living in a small town, people who know you. Although the Chinese restaurant employees know my order by heart. :) When I call, they say, "You want the same thing???"

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    1. Hi Lynn....It was a pleasant interlude except we had to talk loudly...and repeat a lot of what was being said because Dorothy is hard of hearing and was having problems with her hearing aid on the day! It was of little aid!! :)

      The staff at IGA make shopping, for me, anyway, a pleasure. Yesterday it took me about half an hour to escape the fruit and vegetable section because one of the girls who works in that area and I got stuck into a lengthy chat! lol She's a lot of fun, too.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  15. Glad you had a fun day - I so enjoyed reading about it.
    The Greek Leek Pie caught my eye - yum!

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hi Jan...I'm glad you enjoyed this post...I think Shama, my female cat is enjoying it, too...because she's refusing to get of my lap as I type!! lol She sitting here watching the screen and my fingers on the keyboard! She's impatiently waiting her turn, I think!!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  16. A gorgeous place. And wow, the food is mouthwatering.

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  17. Hey Lux...yep...it is nice up here on the hill.

    The soup is a simple, but tasty soup.

    Thanks for coming by. :)

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  18. Sounds like a really fun area to live in - and the bright sun sounds enticing....sigh... we're heading towards winter now and not sure we have had a proper summer. I liked your Greek recipes, was hoping for one for "gigandes". I try to make it every now and then but whatever I do it never tastes the same as Greece. I'm sure your recipe would be worth trying.

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    1. Hi Jenny...we didn't have a proper winter...it was very mild and short in duration, unfortunately. The heat of summer will be too soon upon us..for too long! I prefer the cooler weather these days...but then, our winters here, as far as I'm concerned, anyway, are never very cold.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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