Tuesday, April 19, 2011
IN YOUR EASTER BONNET WITH ALL THE FRILLS UPON IT!
Please don’t tell me you’ve put rabbit on your Easter menu! The chocolate variety is permitted, of course! My Lindt bunny remains unsullied in my fridge, his safe haven for the past three years. He’s pretty chilled knowing he’ll live out his days unmolested! I’ve not the heart to upset his apple cart!
Once upon a time when I was young and carefree it was a given that Easter weekends were spent at the coast. My friends and I high-tailed it at the end of work on Easter Thursdays armed and ready for sun-blessed, fun-filled days and Record Hops that went all night long! Between sunbathing/baking and wave-catching we managed to squeeze in a little sleep!
I’ve enjoyed wonderful Easters; some more interesting than others!
One Easter on Newry Island brought not only boatloads of guests, but also a koala! Unperturbed by the holidaymakers, he sleepily set up camp in a tree fork at the start of the track that crossed the island.
Back in the early Eighties I spent an Easter in Biggenden -
(Biggenden is a town situated on the Isis Highway in southern Queensland, Australia, 339 km north-west of the state capital Brisbane, and 84 km west of Maryborough. At the 2006 census, Biggenden had a population of 644.
Primary production is the most significant industry in the Shire with beef and dairy cattle being predominant. Other agricultural pursuits include grain crops, piggeries, peanuts, citrus and timber. The area is also rich in minerals. Biggenden Mine is located eight kilometres out of town off Ban Ban Springs Road. Gold, bismuth and more recently magnetite have been extracted from the mine. The township is also close to Coalstoun Lakes National Park and Mount Walsh National Park.
Biggenden was founded in 1889 as a service centre to the short-lived goldrush towns of Paradise and Shamrock; and for coach passengers travelling west from Maryborough. The township, including the intriguingly named Live And Let Live Inn, moved to a new location alongside the railway station when the rail line arrived in 1891.
Opting for a tree change, friends sold their Peregian Beach business. Executing a 180 degree turn, they became country publicans after purchasing the last standing pub in Biggenden;(as per pic above) the town’s other pub burned to the ground shortly before their arrival! Within weeks, their cook unexpectedly abandoned them. Left stranded, they called upon my services to assist in the interim; the “interim” expanded to four weeks!
Eager to take the bull by the horns, I grabbed the opportunity, thinking it’d be for a few days at most. I had a ball in Biggenden, and had no regrets about my extended stay!
ANZAC Day fell during my tenure. With breakfast completed, lunch preparations under control and apron discarded, into the main street of Biggenden I raced to watch the parade. To my dismay, I was the lone spectator with not another in sight! The marchers generously showed their gratitude by rewarding my attendance with their bright smiles. I reciprocated with applause!
Another year, when driving north from Townsville I managed to get caught in the middle of Ingham’s ANZAC parade!
During Easter and ANZAC Day, let’s not forget their true meanings. As we enjoy family gatherings and other pleasures let’s take time to reflect upon those who’ve suffered this year at the destructive hands of Mother Nature, both here and overseas. Let’s also not forget the men and women of our Armed Forces, present and past.
And as “Thumper’s” mother sagely advised: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say ‘nothing’ at all!” She was one positive bunny even if she did believe in double negatives! Have a safe and Happy Easter, everyone!
Easter Brunch Eggs: Preheat oven 200C; line tray with baking paper. Cook diced bacon until crisp; drain. Slice end off tomatoes; scoop out flesh. Place 1tsp butter inside; bake 3mins; place bacon in each tomato; crack 1 egg into each; sprinkle 1tbls grated cheese over each egg; return to oven approx 10mins.
Baked Eggs & Bacon: Liberally grease ramekins with butter; place 6 quartered cherry tomatoes in ramekins; season lightly. Sprinkle grated sharp cheese on tomatoes; break 2 eggs into each ramekin; sprinkle over chopped parsley and herbs of choice; drizzle 2tbls cream over eggs; top with grated cheese and crisp, chopped bacon; bake at 175C, 20-25mins.
Easter Lamb: Grab 2 boned lamb breasts; lay breasts, skin side down, on work surface; cut in half lengthways. Preheat oven 220C. Stuffing: cook 1 chopped onion, crushed garlic, 1tsp thyme, 1tsp chopped rosemary in 2tbls olive oil, 4mins. Transfer to bowl; add 100g lamb mince and 100g fresh white breadcrumbs; season; mix well; spoon stuffing down centre of 2 breast halves; lay other halves on top of the stuffed halves; tie with string at 4cm intervals to make 2 sausage shapes; season; place in oven tray; roast 20mins; lower temp to 180C; cook 1-1/2hours; rest 15mins before carving.
Bunny Hop: Combine 2tsp cherry liqueur, 1tsp choc syrup, 40ml dark Crème de Cacao, 10ml vodka; add crushed ice; garnish with mint leaves.