Thursday, May 21, 2020

ORANGES AND LEMONS...THE BELLS OF ST. CLEMENT’S


My Pineapple Crush dispenser was similar to this...a little different, but similar


To my neighbours’ delight I’ve no bells; no whistles, either. An extra bonus is I’m a hopeless whistler.  I couldn’t hold a tune if I tried...and, I have tried!  Dogs run off in the opposite direction if I whistle them.  Also, Saint Clement’s isn’t hereabouts, but there are a couple down Wynnum way, a bayside suburb of Brisbane...maybe that’s where the bells peal.

There are lots of peels in my abode, though.

Every morning, of every day, of every month, all year through, I squeeze citrus fruit.  I’ve been squeezing oranges first thing every morning for many, many years – not the same ones, of course.

Squeezing a fellow being (or a female being, if one insists on being pedantic) may not be allowed presently, but I am allowed to squeeze citrus, so squeeze them I do...and happily.  

Oh! Boy!  How I would like to squeeze the necks of the noisy motor bike riders who destroy our peace and quiet, while infiltrating our roadways! I wish they all would stay at home, in their own backyards!  The bikers think this mountain plateau is their playground on weekends, and care not about the horrendous noise they make.  If my little car made the noise just one of those bikes do...I’d be booked in a nano second!   Over the weekends the bikers arrive up here on our mountain greenery in tribes of 10, 20, 30 or more at a time!   Grrrrrrr!!!!!   That’s my whinge for today...and yesterday...and the day before.... 

But I do digress....back to more pleasant things and activities....


Lemons from my generous little tree have joined the juicing, as have the grapefruit and limes given to me by my thoughtful friends from up the end of this lane. 

Each citrus season they share their bountiful crop with me, for which I am always grateful! Also, the other day, I was given a jar of homemade marmalade jam...made from oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes.   Thank you, Lady Marmalade! 

When Randall, my now late ex, and I were married, I bought oranges by the carton.  He had arrived back from the States not a fruit eater. To solve the problem, I decided handing him a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice every morning was a good way to get some fruit into him. Slowly but surely, my plan worked.  He, too, became a fruit lover.  I didn’t mind sharing my stocks of fruit.  It just meant I had to buy more to allow for the extra hand reaching out to the bowls!

These days I purchase oranges by the bag, usually purchasing two bags per visit to the local supermarket.  Now with mandarin season in full force, I’m pigging out on mandarins, as well.  Joy, oh, joy!

When I was a greengrocery-health food shop owner in Noosa Heads in the early to mid-80s, I was in fruit and vegetable heaven. Being surrounded by all that goodness, who could blame me? 

My father-in-law loved mangoes. Many trays of mangoes went his way...from my shelves to his lap; only Aussie mangoes...never the imported ones.  I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole....I still don’t. 

My mum-in-law wasn’t overly fond of mangoes, but she didn’t miss out. She loved nectarines; and she feasted on them come stone fruit season.  Actually, all year round my in-laws never had to worry about their fruit and veggie supplies.  What’s the point if family can’t enjoy the fruits – and vegetables - of one’s labour? 

A fun time...it was fun to run the shop.  Being able to eat the stock was a major bonus for me.  It was a wonder I had any left to sell to the public!

Harvey Norman and The Good Guys...and other such traders... can’t eat their Apples!   I could mine...and did!  They were delicious! Granny Smith didn’t mind.

Also, in my shop, freshly-made fruit salad and savoury salads were on offer Mondays to Sundays; as were hot soups, cakes, biscuits, dips, roasted and boiled peanuts, as well as tempting fruit smoothies, and freshly-squeezed orange juice, or juices of personal choice.  All of the above were prepared by me in my shop’s little kitchen. 

In the service area, to the side of shelves and bins that were filled with produce, the pineapple crush machine gently agitated quietly throughout the day.  The container on the dispenser held quite a few litres...probably around 10 or 12 litres, if not more.

With the number of pineapples I crushed every morning to fill the machine it was/is fortunate pineapples grew/grow, in abundance, in areas surrounding the Sunshine Coast.  I bought pineapples and pawpaws directly from local growers who, every couple of days arrived, by truck, at my shop’s back door to unload their healthy, golden bounty.

One morning, I was busy serving a customer when another was helping herself to a pineapple crush over at the machine, which is what customers did...help themselves to the pineapple crush.

To this customer’s dismay, the top of the tap came off in her hand.  Pineapple crush flowed freely over the floor (the previous evening I’d had the indoor-outdoor grass-green carpet professionally cleaned).  

By the time I flew (not literally) across the room to stop the flow there was not a lot of pineapple crush left in the machine...most of it was on the floor.  

The poor woman, flustered, apologetic and red-faced, was left holding a half-filled drink’s container in her hand, and a desire to become invisible on the spot.  It was not my intention to add to her embarrassment.  

Putting myself in her pineapple crush-filled shoes, I felt for her.  Laughing, I assured her it wasn’t the end of the world...that all was well.  I bet she never again touched one of those drink dispensers!  

The following couple of hours I spent...in between serving customers and explaining my “Sadie, the Cleaning Lady” persona...cleaning up the mess.  

Worse things have happened...and will continue happening.

My double-door, glass-front, upright refrigerator and long, open refrigerated “bin” were both always well-stocked with tasty, tempting temptations upon which to dally over...and choose from...!

Having decided to add vitamin supplements to my wares, I wanted to include Blackmores products on my shelves.  However, back then, it was necessary for prospective stockists to apply to Blackmores** to gain the company’s permission to carry their first class vitamin products.  Fortunately, I received the company's approval, making my shop the only business in Noosa allowed to have the Blackmore brand on its shelves.  

I stocked Nature’s Own vitamin supplements, along with Nature’s Way, just to keep customers on their toes, as well as a varied range of other interesting health food lines.

**Blackmores Limited is an Australian health supplements company founded in the 1930s by naturopath Maurice Blackmore, when Blackmore opened the first health food shop in Australia in Brisbane, Queensland.

Naturally, I got a shock when I bought a magazine from the newsagency a few doors along from my shop on Hastings Street.  The colourful, glossy magazine was about natural living. I thought I’d be able to glean information within to my advantage; to learn from it, and add to my knowledge about healthy living practices. 
I did learn a lot, but not what I’d expected.

It was a naturism aka nudism magazine, vividly describing the lifestyle advocating personal and social nudity within familial, social, or in a public context.  I didn’t become a devotee; doing so would’ve scared away the customers...or attracted undesirables!  Either wasn’t desirable....

Winter Salad: Put 2 cooked, crumbled bacon rashers, 155g spinach, 1/2c crumbled feta, 1 sliced red onion, 1/2c dried cranberries and 2tbs chopped, toasted pecan in bowl. Dressing: Combine 1/4c olive oil, 1tbs orange juice, /2tsp orange zest, 1-1/2tsps Dijon mustard, 1tsp maple syrup, 1tsp minced shallots and salt; drizzle over salad; toss.

Roast Veggie Salad: Cut 2 carrots and 2 parsnips in half lengthwise. Halve 2 capsicums, red, green, and/or yellow. Slice 1 red onion into thick wedges. Place on baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt; toss. Roast in 230C oven, 20-25mins. Whisk 3tbs cider vinegar with 1tbs maple syrup, 1tbs Dijon, 1tsp dried thyme, generous pinches of dried sage, salt and pepper; slowly whisk in 1/3c x-virgin olive oil. Cut ½ bunch kale leaves or 142g baby spinach, about 8 cups. Rinse and drain 540ml can chickpeas, and/or canned black lentils. Coarsely chop cooked vegetables; place in bowl with greens and chickpeas, and/or lentils; drizzle with dressing; toss.

Spicy Soup: In pot, put500g cubed kumara, 1c chopped carrots, 1c chopped onions, 1c chopped celery, 1 diced red capsicum, 6 crushed garlic cloves, 1-1/2c rinsed green or brown lentils, 1-1/2tsp each coriander and cumin, 1tsp curry powder, or more to taste, 1/2tsp each smoked paprika, ground cinnamon and turmeric, 1/8tsp nutmeg and 6c veg or chick broth. Cover; cook on low until lentils are cooked through.  Place half of soup in blender, with about 1/2c of broth; blend until “smoothish”. Add back to soup; stir in 2-1/2c roughly chopped spinach and 1/4c lemon juice; cover; cook until spinach wilts; season to taste with salt, pepper and curry powder, if desired.




Tuesday, May 19, 2020

WORDS FOR WEDNESDAY








This meme was started by a lady named Delores a long time ago.  Words for Wednesday are now provided by a number of people and, it has become a moveable feast.

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.  Each week we are given a choice of prompts, which can be words, phrases, music or an image.  What we do with them is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem or treating them with ignore.  We can use some or all of the prompts.

Some of us put our creations on the post and others post on their own blog.  I would really like as many people as possible to join the meme, which includes cheering on other participants (definitely the more the merrier). If you are posting on your own blog, please let me know so that I, and the other participants, can come along and applaud.

This month it's my turn for "Words for Wednesday".  Please do join in the fun!  Fun is what it's all about!


1.  Physical                                                 7.  Bearing

2.  Partial                                                    8.  Accomplish

3.  Performance                                          9.  Deficient

4.  Melee                                                    10.  Hullabaloo

5.  Odyssey                                                11.  Concrete  

6.  Amplify                                                12.  Cultural



After the unnecessary hullabaloo, which had absolutely no bearing on what they were trying to accomplish, the group believed they would not only be deficient in common sense, but in the cultural sense of what they were trying to achieve, as well, if they allowed the melee to amplify and become physical. 

From the performance of some within the tumultuous, uninformed mob it was feared heads and bodies would hit the concrete footpath, meaning people would get hurt if matters weren’t brought under control...and brought under control immediately in a calm manner. 

Violence emanating from ignorance was not wanted. Violence was not part of the group’s spiritual, intellectual odyssey.  It never would be tolerated.  So, it had to be nipped in the bud now, not later.

To have to deploy even partial protection from the police was not what the group had envisaged, or wanted.  Once that happened, in their opinion, temper temperatures would rise. Turmoil and protests were not what the group were about; not what they desired.  Such disruptive behaviour never solved anything.  Unfortunately, it appeared some police protection would have to be applied before they could move forward...peacefully.



Thursday, May 14, 2020

NEON KALEIDOSCOPE







The title is a fitting, not exaggerated description of my mind’s activity the other morning....early morning. 

Around 3.15 am I was rudely awoken by Nature calling.  The call came not on my landline, nor via email, if you get my drift.  Once impatient Nature’s  (“She” who cannot be ignored) needs had been attended to, I hopped...well...not quite hopped...back into bed; drew the covers up; apologised to my two unimpressed furry bedfellows for disturbing them, and then shut my eyes. 

Immediately upon doing the latter, the lights in my mind switched on.... technicolour neon lights a-blazing.  There were enough bright lights illuminating my mind to light up this whole plateau on which I dwell...and the valley below!  Even the Gold Coast would have noticed the illumination lighting up the western skyline.

Becoming more frustrated as each minute passed, I waited, and waited...and waited... for sleep to take hold again...for my mind's shutters to close.  But, no...there was no chance of that happening.  Sleep had packed its bags and left town.  Sleep had broken the self-isolation restrictions.  It escaped, with no intention of returning. 

Have you ever had one of those nights/early mornings when once having woken, the mind stays awake and alert, refusing your pleas to shut down? 

Like a misbehaving, tantrum-throwing two-year old, during those wee small hours of the morning my mind refused to settle. No matter how I tried to quieten it... to dull it; to shut it down and off... my mind just wouldn’t shut up, or switch off!  It was a hive of activity.  A full-blown party was going on up there!

For whatever reason, my mind flew...not drifted...flew back to my time spent living and working in various northern regions of this wonderful state of ours known as “Queensland”.   

During my time spent in the north, I not only had two cats, Pushkin and Rimsky, but I also adopted my brother’s dog when he was unable to keep his pet at his new home base.  Without a doubt, Missy, a black and grey cocker spaniel was the Dame Edna Everage of the dog world.  Missy was in my life...and the bane of Pushkin and Rimsky’s lives...for five years. 

She was lovely old girl, who really didn’t deserve the whacks across her nose she was given every now and then by the feline duo. Pushkin and Rimsky wanted to make sure Missy understood who ruled the roost, and for her to know her place on the ladder.

I’ll cease my ramblings, and return to my early morning mental roaming that stopped me from falling back to sleep....

The managers of the motel/restaurant, in which I was the cook/chef at one stage, not only had a cuddly cat named “Tiger”, they also had a dog...a lovely Irish setter.  And, he was the cause of my mind getting bogged in the deepest mire. 

For the life of me, during my early morning mental activity, I couldn’t remember the dog’s name.  I could see him as clear as day!  I loved that dog.  We were the best of buddies; but his name escaped me.  No matter how or what I tried, his name deserted me.  The more I tried the more awake I became, and the more frustrated.  I tried my oft-used method when trying to recall a name. I began at the beginning of the alphabet, letter by letter, from A to Z.  Failed!   I was at an impasse.  

Out of the blue, around 5 pm that afternoon, many hours later, the dog’s name came to me.  “Bundy”.  My sandy-gold Irish setter mate, the same colour as “Jimmy”, the beautiful Border Collie who lives across the way...was named “Bundy”. 

One day while I was staying at the motel, looking after Bundy and Tiger, I jumped in my car to shoot back to my abode to check on my own pets.  

As I was driving down the road, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. 

Turning my head, I came face to face with Bundy's smiling face staring eagerly and excited at me!  He wanted to come along with me.  I stopped the car, opened the passenger side door...and let him in.  Bundy was a very happy, contented passenger, more than pleased to go along for the ride.

After my early morning neon light, kaleidoscopic frustration, that night, after finally remembering my Irish Setter mate's name, I slept through, undisturbed, until the sun had risen way above the eastern horizon. 

No mental neon lights a-blaring; only happy memories of “Bundy!

Avo-Go Eggs & Bacon:  Preheat oven, 218C. Cut 1 medium avocado in half; remove seed. Scoop out a little flesh...just a little to make room. Crack 1 egg in each half; sprinkle with a little grated cheese; season; top with cooked  chopped bacon; cook in oven 14-15mins.

Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Beans: Combine 4 crushed garlic cloves, 1tbs hot-smoked paprika, 4tbs dried rosemary, pinch of salt and 4tbs olive oil. Slash 1x2-1/2kg lamb shoulder all over with a sharp knife; rub in the mix; marinate up to 24hrs, but not essential. Heat oven 150C. Heat 1tbs olive oil in roasting pan over med-high heat, add 2 roughly-chopped onions, 4 roughly-chopped carrots and 1 garlic bulb, cut in half; sizzle 5 mins until onions and carrots are softened. Pour over 500ml chicken stock; bring to boil. Nestle lamb in pan; cover, then transfer to oven; roast 2 hrs. Uncover and transfer lamb to a plate. Stir into the stock, 3x400g cans drained and rinsed butter beans, 460g jar drained, roughly chopped roasted red peppers, and 300g jar pitted black olives.  Sit lamb back on top; return to oven, uncovered, for 1 hr 30 mins. Transfer lamb to a board; shred using two forks. Stir 4tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley through beans; serve. 

Bananas & Rum Syrup: Put 2tbs butter and 3tbs brown sugar in pan over low heat; stir until sugar dissolves and begins to bubble. Simmer 2mins; add 2 bananas, cut in half, then sliced lengthwise; continue to simmer; turn bananas; simmer a minute or so. Add 1-2tbs Bundaberg rum; stir; remove from heat. Place scoop of ice cream into 2 bowls; top with banana; drizzle with syrup.