Monday, December 05, 2011


Life is awash with contradictions! Constantly we’re force-fed contradictions.

On the one hand we’re told not to laugh at our own jokes; and on the other, we’re told to laugh at ourselves! We’re advised to keep a stiff upper lip; then we’re told to release our emotions!

It’s written: “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing”; but then our lives are spent studying, learning, observing, researching and absorbing in an effort to gain wisdom in all things! If, at the end of a life spent expending such effort nothing is achieved, why bother?

Napoleon Bonaparte advised: “The best way to keep your word is not give it”! Was he trying to confuse his enemies - as well as the men of his own forces?

Mark Twain told us to never put off until tomorrow what we can do the day after tomorrow! That would make the day after tomorrow very busy!

Who was the confused idiot who came up with this thought: “Sometimes you have to let go of the one you love to find out if there is really something there”?

It’s understandable why Confucius was named “Confucius”. He composed confused sayings! For example; “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart”. One thing of which I’m certain; my whole heart always goes with me wherever I venture! I never leave any part of it behind! Where would I leave said piece – in the fridge; under my pillow; on the table?

Here’s another one of Confucius’ ditties (or maybe in a world of confusion he has to tote the burden for its creation): “Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth, must wait very, very long time”! Should that be “velly, velly wong time?

Confuse-Us also said: “A cannibal is person who likes to see other people stewed”!

Some academics have far too much time on their hands! The other day I read this report: “After much research academics found that switching to organic produce could help us live longer as well as keeping us healthier and slimmer – fruit and vegetables grown without artificial fertilizers etc., can extend one’s lifespan - by 25 days for men and 17 days for women!” My! Oh! My! That’s worth consideration!

When shopping at my local supermarket, it’s my wont to start at the greengrocery section. I’m never confused, nor am I deceived when I step into the store because, at volume, I’m greeted with: “How are you today you old bag?” I reply to that amicable, hearty salutation with; "I'm great, thanks! How're you, you old tart?" There's no confusion!

Voltaire wasn’t confused 300 or so years ago when he vehemently declared: “I hate women because they always know where everything is!”

How right he was! You’ll get no contradiction from me!

Confused Mashed “Spuds”: Cut 1 cauliflower into pieces; cook to well done; drain well; quickly pat dry; puree hot cauliflower with 1tbl softened cream cheese, 1/4c grated Parmesan, ½tsp minced garlic, pinch of salt or powdered chicken stock and pepper until almost smooth; garnish with chopped chives and butter pats.

Mediterranean Lamb Stew: Chop 500g lamb, 1 onion, 1 large red capsicum and 2 small hot chillies (or crushed chillies to taste). Heat 3tbl x-virgin olive oil in casserole; add lamb; seal; remove to bowl to keep the juices. Add more oil; fry onion 2-3mins; add capsicum and chilli; cook 4mins; season. Return lamb and juices; add 2 bay leaves and a splash of Worcestershire; add 1/3-1/2 bottle dry white wine; keep heat high; reduce wine; add 1 can chopped tomatoes; cook 6mins; reduce heat; cover, simmer 1hr. Add 1 can drained chickpeas; cook 30-45mins. Sprinkle chopped mint and crumbled feta cheese over top just before serving.

Beef Stew & Dumplings: Pat 1kg beef, cut into 1-inch pieces, dry; heat pan; add oil; brown beef in batches; set aside in bowl. Fry 3 large sliced onions and 150g sliced bacon; cook 6mins. Add 3tbls flour; cook 3mins, scraping bottom of pan; add 2c beef stock, 345ml beer, bay leaves, 1tbl brown sugar, 1 can crushed tomatoes,1/4c tomato paste, 300g button mushrooms and 1tbl Worcestershire; bring to boil; cover; cook on low heat, 1-1/2hrs. Dumplings: Combine 50g melted butter, 1 egg and 50g grated cheese; add to 100g S.R. flour, 1tsp baking powder; add a little water if needed; add some chopped parsley, or other herbs of choice, if desired; roll into 8 balls; place on top of stew 15mins before end of cooking; cover; cook 15mins or so!


  1. (Mmmm...Beef stew and dumplings....)

  2. Had to chuckle after I saw the previous comment, because it reflected my immediate thinking as well . . . beef stew and dumplings sound good.

    I used to try to fracture philosophical sayings, for example "It's always darkest before the dawn" became "It's always darkest before the tornado."

    You really just can't take anything too seriously nowadays. But I like how you're serious about your cooking.

  3. I think I might try the cauliflower one.

  4. J Cosmo...after I wrote the article I'd written myself into preparing that very meal! There's something so comforting about beef stew and dumplings. It mightn't be the prettiest looking meal on the a plate, but who cares about "pretty" when one's taste is in the taste?

    Hi Big and I are afflicted by the same affliction it seems...I've a tendency to confuse sayings to suit myself, as well! ;)

    Lee...a little creamed horseradish add to the cauli mash wouldn't do any harm...a mashed spud or two could also be added sometimes.

    Thanks all! :)

  5. God, Lee, your posts always make me hungry.

    My daughter used to lose things in her room, especially when it time to go to school.

    Then I'd walk in and pick said item: off the floor, shelf, under something. "Is this what your looking for?"

    Then she'd narrow her eyes at me. "I hate you."

    We both knew she didn't mean it. She just meant she hated how I could find things when she could not.


  6. G'day Janice. Men have an inability to find things to...when it suits them! ;) It's a bit like selective hearing...they suffer from that affliction, too! Hehehehe!