Thursday, May 06, 2010


Balmy spring showers laying dust as they pass; the intoxicating scent of freshly cut grass on crisp, clear morns; succulent buds proudly adorning tall trees as patiently they await their debut at summer’s dawning; thistledown clouds caressing cobalt skies; shimmering cream sand thresholds to aquamarine oceans are some of my favourite things!

Rainy days; moonlit nights; a forest eclipsed by an eerie, misty veil; an iridescent rainbow with its fanciful promise of a pot of gold at its elusive end; the contagious mirth of jocular kookaburras; the unique warbling of a magpie; the cheeky mimicry of butcher-birds!

And then there’s Gregory, my favourite nephew who invests time to telephone me regularly, even if to persistently torment me with tales of his prowess at prawn abduction, mud crab-napping and fish filchering! He’s fully aware they’re my favourite edibles! Just as well I’ve got a sense of humour!

The aroma of onions frying - that’ll draw crowds from afar! When living in Noosa, I was advised by a wise old sage to always fry onions in my shop around lunch time - it wasn’t a fashion boutique, by the way! Being one to heed advice from wise old sages, I was mindful of my mentor’s sagacious counsel! Frantic Pinocchio-nosed crowds laid siege upon my shop wildly demonstrating, demanding food! “Give ‘em cake!” Marie-Antoinette declared! The people hankered for more than cake, Marie-A! Ummm…they did salaciously devour my carrot-pineapple cakes, though!

My favourite things? I have many favourite things, most of which are simplistic and cost little. My two cats, books, particularly my Oxford dictionary and Roget’s Thesaurus, television (I'm not too proud to admit it) and computer head my list!

Here are a few of my favourite meals.

Beer-Battered Fish ‘n Chips: Preheat oven 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Cut 2 large, unpeeled potatoes into wedges. Place wedges on tray. Drizzle with olive oil; season - (sprinkle with paprika, if desired....or other spices/herbs of choice). Cook in oven, turning occasionally, for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Place 1-1/2c S.R flour in a bowl. Add 1 egg; stir to combine. Gradually whisk in 375g chilled lager until batter is smooth; season. Cover; place in the fridge for 30mins. Add vegetable oil to a large saucepan to reach a depth of 8cm. Heat to 190°C over high heat (when oil is ready a cube of bread will turn golden brown in 10 seconds). Dust 4 fish fillets with flour; - dip 2 pieces of fish, 1 at a time, into batter to coat; drain off excess. Deep-fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and cooked. Transfer to plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining fish and batter, reheating oil between batches. Serve with potato wedges.

Lemon-Garlic Squid: Grab 450g cleaned squid, reserve tentacles; cut body section into ½-inch rings; wash under cold running water; pat dry. Place squid in a shallow dish; add reserved tentacles. Squeeze over juice of 1 lemon; toss; stand about 5mins; drain squid in colander; shake to remove excess liquid. Heat 75ml olive oil in a large frying pan/wok; add 3-4 finely chopped garlic cloves and grated lemon zest; cook very slowly as it comes up to heat. When it is really hot, add squid; sauté in the hot oil, keeping it on the move so it just slightly takes on colour at the edges – it will only take about 1-2 minutes to cook; season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and 2tbls chopped Italian parsley; serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Veal/Chicken/Pork Schnitzel: Lightly beat 3 eggs. To 1c quality breadcrumbs, add 1/2c parmesan and 1tbls finely chopped sage; set aside. Coat 8 schnitzels with flour; dip into egg, then breadcrumbs. Heat 2tbls olive oil and 1tbl butter over mod-heat in frying pan; add 4 schnitzels; cook 1-2mins each side; remove; keep warm; add more oil and butter; cook remaining schnitzels; serve with lemon wedges or Paprika-Sour Cream Sauce: Dice 4 bacon rashers; fry until crisp; add 2tbls chopped onion; brown; season with salt, pepper and 1tbl paprika; stir in 1c sour cream and 2tbls tomato paste; cook wide, flat noodles; serve sauce over noodles with schnitzels.

P.S. Acrylic painting done by me.


  1. Yea Julie... ummm Lee, you rattled off a few of my favourite things there also.
    k.d.lang video clip is also a clear winner!!!

  2. Hi Peter....I see on the weather reports that the mornings are cooling down a little up your way. I wish the colder weather would hurry along a's a bit tardy this year! Glad you like k.d. as well.

  3. Ah I see you prescribe to Mz Hazel's technique When in doubt use Purple. Peace

  4. Ummm....not sure what you mean, Lady Di....not sure what I was in doubt about! :)

  5. Evocative descriptions combined with mouth watering tastes and your lovely Acrylic painting ! Best wishes

  6. Those are a lot of my favorite things too--long beaches beckoning beachcombers like Big Dave here. And fish and chips! Seeing your recipe, I was wondering what you favorite fish to filet was.

    On some, like the kookaburra which I've never seen or heard, I'll have to take your word.

  7. Thanks Lindsay.

    Dave...being woken in the morning by a kookaburra's "laugh" is a joyous thing....and so Aussie!

    As far as my favourite fish to fillet.....ummmmm.....I filleted so many over the years of all varieties.....bream, whiting, flathead, cod, queenfish, trevally.....any that are freshly caught, I guess. Mangrove Jack have to be treated carefully...they have teeth that can remove a finger!

  8. I am drooling all over the keyboard!

  9. Hi Lee, everything looks great, (BUT) I have in all my travels in the early days not cultivated a taste for squid. although I have eaten almost everything else. Have a great week.

  10. Mz Hazel uses the term "when in doubt use purple" if you are questioning what color to use and since your painting had lots of purple the term just came to mind. Peace

  11. Hi Voyager & Willie...thanks for popping by.

    Who is Mz Hazel, Lady Di...that's where my confusion lies?

  12. Quite a few of my favourite things are on your list too!