Sunday, January 09, 2011


Trisha Reschke - Miss Australia 1962

Before Germaine Greer who, with one foul, targeted stroke castrated the male population; before burning bras became a misguided habit; before political correctness extended beyond extreme; when we still espied our “p’s” and “q’s”, dotted our “i’s”, crossed our ‘t’s” and never dreamed of dropping the “g” when saying “going” or “mowing”; when we respected our elders and those in authority; before “MasterChef”; there was a charitable national Quest known as “The Miss Australia Quest”. The Quest ran from 1908 to 2000.

In 1953, Bernard Dowd, chief of Hickory Lingerie, respected maker of bras (how germane, Germaine) and other ladies’ intimate apparel brought new style and verve to the competition. Dowd’s vision was to couple the fundraising efforts to the Australian Cerebral Palsy Association. Between 1954 and 2000 more than $90m was raised by the Miss Australia Quest for the Association. In 1963, three friends and I were approached to enter the Quest to represent the Gympie area. We felt proud to participate and had much fun raising funds.

A chaperone tutored entrants on etiquette, make-up, fashion, public speaking and general public behaviour. Ironically, amongst the gifts presented to each of us upon entering the Quest was a carton on “Country Life” cigarettes! How times have changed!

Deviously, political correctness bared its teeth and flexed its muscles in 1991 when Miss Australia was officially “crowned” for the last time. The Miss Australia Quest was renamed the Miss Australia “Awards”. And then, not wanting to miss out on the enjoyment, the male population began a merry jig! Debate over their inclusion caused dissent and uplifted eyebrows in 1993! Following a few petulant tantrums, the men got their way! One of their gang raised the most money in 1997, but the crown wasn’t elevated above his “short, back and sides” cranium. In lieu, he only received a fundraising title. No Hickory Shaper Control briefs or underwire bras for him!

The annual financial cost of cerebral palsy (CP) in Australia is over $1.5billion.

The Miss Australia Quest was a viable, dignified method of raising funds for CP.

Simultaneously, it raised public awareness. However, the selfish, short-sighted politically-correct mob and the feminist bra-burning brigade joined forces causing an unnecessary, piteous storm in a D-cup - and the end of the Quest!

Hickory Dickory Dock – stupidity is a crock!

Lettuce Cups with Pork Croquettes: Salsa: Combine 3 diced tomatoes, ½ diced mango, 1/2c diced Lebanese cucumber, 1c chopped parsley, 1-½ capsicums, diced, juice of ½ lemon, 2tbls x-virgin olive oil, ½ red onion, diced, 1tsp sugar, salt, pepper; refrigerate. Croquettes: Combine 150g minced pork, 80g diced chives, 3 chopped water chestnuts, 1tbl chopped bok choy and 3 lightly-beaten eggs. Marinate 30mins; heat oil in pan; take 1tbl of mixture, fry until golden. Place salsa in lettuce cups; add a croquette to each; use your hands!

5-Cup Fruit Cup: Combine 1c each drained fruit cocktail, mandarin segments and pineapple pieces; fold in 1c sour cream and 1/2c shredded coconut; chill; add 1c mini marshmallows before serving.

Cake in a Cup: To a coffee mug add 4tbls plain flour, 4tbls sugar and 2tbls cocoa; mix well; add 1 egg; mix thoroughly; add 3tbls milk and 3tbls oil or apple sauce; mix well; add 3tbl chocolate chips and a dash of vanilla; mix again. Place in microwave - 3mins at 1000W. Cake will rise over top of mug.

Choc-Chilli Cupcakes: Sift 100g S.R flour, 50g cocoa, 1tsp chilli powder, 1/2ts baking powder, 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp each cardamom and nutmeg and pinch of salt. Combine 2 eggs with 2tbls strong black coffee and vanilla. Cream 100g butter and 100g sugar; blend in egg mix; fold through the dry ingredients. Add 2tbls milk if needed to make a soft texture. Put 12 cupcake wrappers on a tray; drop mixture into each one. Bake 12-15mins, 180C. Icing: Beat 1/4c butter with 240g cream cheese; add 55g melted dark chocolate, pinch of salt, icing sugar, some cream and vanilla; beat until smooth.