Thursday, August 14, 2014


Taken for my 16th birthday...November, 1960
From left - Me (Lee), Vicki and Evonne in Gympie..taken in July, 1965

I wasn’t entirely a Child of the Sixties. I had my fingers in a couple of pies; my feet through a couple of doors; I mixed in a few circles. 

As an aside, it must be drawn to the attention of many, the Sixties started at the last of the stroke of midnight, January 1st, 1960; long before The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Flower Children, psychedelic illusions, et al arrived on the scene.  Chubby Checker, Dion & The Belmonts, The Marvelettes, Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon, The Everly Brothers, The Beach Boys, Duane Eddy, The Champs, The Surfaris, Peter, Paul & Mary, The Kingston Trio, and so many, many more - too many to list here - beat them to the punch.

You see, to be more exact, to draw a clearer picture - I was a child of the Fifties who became a teenager shortly before the turn of the Sixties. Therefore, I was more a Teenager of the Sixties than a Child of the Sixties.

More precisely, I was a teenager for half of the Sixties; and then I became a “Twenty-Something” for the second half of the Sixties, and remained so into the early-to-mid Seventies...and so the pattern has continued through out the decades.  I'm a Child of the Half & Half! 

A few minutes have been frittered away figuring out the above calculations in my head, but I don’t consider it time wasted at all. It makes sense to me. However, if you’re confused by my nonsensical number-crunching and you’re now searching for an abacus, otherwise known as a counting frame, don’t be overly concerned because it really doesn’t matter in the whole scheme of things. 

I’ll keep frittering away on my keyboard while you catch up – if, of course, you’re in any way interested working out the math.  If you’re not interested it really doesn’t matter. I won’t know unless you tell me otherwise.

Before I cease my frittering I must say I’m glad I was a child, teenager and twenty-something during the above-mentioned decades.  Those years had much to offer even if today’s technology wasn’t available at our fingertips.  For example, the great music that filled our airwaves; some of which is still being played and enjoyed today.  It’s been around almost as long as I have – and that’s a long time. And, of course, the youthful years it offered; as in how old I was at the time - or how young. I can't ignore the generous gift of being youthful in those decades. Quite a few decades have since flowed under the bridge or disappeared beyond the far horizons into the Never-Never; but myriad memories have remained.

Flippantly I could be accused of having frittered away this morning. A couple of hours were spent talking on the phone with a friend of long-standing. We've known each other since I was four years old...long before I became a half-Child of the Sixties.

However, I don’t call the time I've spent this morning talking on the phone, writing this post, playing with Remy and Shama, preparing my lunch as being time wasted or frittered.  Some could say I squandered my morning; but I don’t believe time spent catching up with good friends not often seen as being time frittered away.  

 Sure! There’s housework that needs my attention; but it’s not leaving home. It never does; it’ll still be here tomorrow, the next day and the following day. To be honest with you, I did fritter away a little time earlier sweeping the floor. How frivolous of me!

While on the subject of frittering - lately I’ve had a yearning for fritters. I know myself very well; once a seed has been planted in my mind, rather than fritter away time fighting against whatever the persistent yearning is - I refer to food yearnings - I prefer to allow myself to succumb to the enticing allure of the longing. 

Why torture myself? There are enough people in this world of ours who, every day, torture my sensibilities and my perception of fair play without me tormenting me.

When I was a little girl Sunday lunches were the most important, grandiose meal of the week.  My brother Graham and I attended Sunday School each Sunday morning.  To be honest, I think our minds were more on what was to follow, waiting for us at home upon our return, than on our lessons. We were always eager for the lessons to be over because we knew a delicious lunch was in store for us.  We ran home rather than walked - the trip between the Scots Church and home was always covered at a much faster pace and in less time than it took going from home to Sunday School.  We knew what awaited our arrival home - a delicious, special Sunday lunch.  We raced up the backstairs, two at a time, led by our noses.  Tantalising aromas wafting out from the kitchen teased and greeted us.  

If I sit quietly, letting myself drift back into years long gone by, I find myself being transported to those Sunday mornings…to those aromas and what they led to.  It’s not done by mirrors, but by the powerful magic of the mind.

The main feature of our Sunday lunch would be a chosen roast of some sort – beef, pork, lamb or veal, sometimes chicken (although chicken in those days was mostly preserved for Christmas lunch and Easter Sunday lunch) - accompanied by an enticing, wide variety of the obligatory roasted vegetables, often with a cheesy cauliflower au gratin as a side dish, and always fresh peas or green beans.

Of course, flavoursome “made-from-scratch” rich brown gravy graced our plates; as well as a jug of freshly-made mint sauce if lamb was the roast of the day. Homemade apple sauce always accompanied roast pork. 

The highlight, before actually sitting down to enjoy the meal was being allowed to make the gravy. Gravy might seem simple to make, but diligent care and skill were required to make perfect rich brown, lump-free gravy.   Gravy could make or break a meal; and to achieve “oohs” and “ahhs” about your gravy from your family members sitting around the table were rewards proudly received.

When our Sunday lunch didn’t consist of a roast of some kind, corned silverside or brisket cooked in an appetising stock of black peppercorns, cloves, vinegar, dry mustard and brown sugar was on the menu. Carrots, whole unpeeled onions and celery were added to boost the cooking liquid’s flavour.  A “boiled” lunch was enjoyed with gusto equal to that of a roast meal.

Shortly before the meat finished cooking, the vegetables planned to accompany the meal were added to the delicious stock. Also, cabbage – a must with a “boiled” lunch - was cooked separately in the corned beef liquid. The flavour permeated the meat and the assorted vegetables in the most delicious way.  

A white parsley sauce, or sometimes, a tasty cheese sauce, was served with the meal.

Without fail, Monday night’s dinner was always prepared from Sunday’s left-overs.

Often the main feature of Monday’s dinner was corned beef fritters; fritters packed with diced corned silverside, onion, tomatoes and corn.

Over the past few weeks or so, I’ve satisfied my fritter yearning by frittering away my time making fritters.  Not only did I make fritters each time the longing arise, I ate them, too!  

Oh! And I enjoyed them!

Delete from your mind the image of fritters soaked in and dripping with oil. The barest amount of oil, if any, in a non-stick pan suffices. You can throw anything into the fritter mix – within reason, of course - serve with a salad, or just as is.  If they’re made with whatever you can lay your hands on, little else is needed.  Just raid your vegetable crisper in your fridge and miracles will happen!

Artichoke, Feta and Lemon Fritters: Drain, rinse, and chop 2 cans artichoke hearts.
Combine 3 thinly-sliced leeks, 2 chopped shallots, 1tbs minced garlic and 1tbs extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan; sauté until softened; add to artichokes. Stir in 1c flour, 1/4c breadcrumbs, 1/2c parmesan, 1/4c chopped parsley, 1/4c crumbled feta, black pepper, 1/2tsp Italian seasoning, zest and juice of 1 lemon; stir in 1 beaten egg; chill 1hr. Heat non-stick pan; add a little oil, if desired; add spoonfuls of fritter mixture; cook on both sides until cooked through; keep warm in oven while cooking remaining mixture. 

Spinach & Ricotta Fritters: Combine thoroughly, 500g fresh ricotta, 250g thawed, well-drained frozen spinach or 500g finely-sliced fresh spinach or silverbeet, 1c parmesan, 2 eggs, 6tbs plain flour and zest of 1 lemon. Heat non-stick pan; add a little oil. Ladle batter by tablespoon into pan; cook 2-3mins each side. Place fritters onto a paper-lined oven tray; place in 180C oven, 5-10mins. Serve with salad. 

Mixed vegetable Fritters: Make batter;  combine - 1/2c buttermilk (or milk) 2 eggs, 1.5c plain flour, 1.5tsp baking powder; add 2 grated zucchini, 2 small carrots, grated, 1c frozen corn, 1 diced tomato, sliced shallots, 1c frozen peas, chopped silverbeet/spinach, chopped parsley, 40g grated cheese and salt. Mix well. Heat a little oil in non-stick pan. Add spoonfuls of batter to pan; cook as previously described.  

Sweet & Spicy Banana Fritters: Mix 1/2c chickpea flour, 1/2tsp salt and 1tsp chilli powder; add enough water to make batter. Using 2c cut bananas, dip fruit into batter; fry in hot oil until golden


  1. I don't think that anyone laments on their death bed that they didn't spend more time cleaning or at work. And if they do, I am pretty certain that we would never have been friends.
    Friends and cats leave housework for dead. And don't wait nearly as patiently.
    Your fritter recipes are tempting too.

  2. Hey there EC...I agree with you regarding the lamenting...or lack thereof.

    As soon as I sat down to reply to your comment both Remy & Shama landed here on my lap making it very difficult for me to type! I am going to have to get them their own desks and computers!!

    Thanks for coming by...have a great weekend. :)

  3. Ha ! I hate housework so any excuse to dodge it is OK by me and nothing is more important than communicating with friends and family. Now you've made me want fritters too ! Love your recipes.

  4. I reckon we eat far too much chicken these days. I remember when chicken was just a luxury at Christmas too because a bird had to be killed. And because we only ate it then, the flavour was savoured.

    Mum always made fritters with the leftover corned meat.

  5. I figure the house will be here a long time after I am. The only problem is now we have to keep the house clean because it is up for sale.

    Okay I am going to make a fritter! The first one with the feta and artichokes.

    I think you are about my hubs age.

    Have a good day.

  6. I led into the 60's as a pre-teen and definitely was more influenced by the same groups you mentioned than the ones called "of the 60's". My brother and sister were full fledged teenagers and had parties with lots of kids and be-bop and I watched with jealousy and longing.

  7. Hi Helsie...I'm not alone in the housework department...that's good to hear! :)

    Fritters are fun - I throw everything into them...chopped spinach or silverbeet, whichever I have at the time gets thrown in, too. They end up being very healthy fritters.

    Thanks for coming by. :)

  8. Hey there Carol...yes...I doubt we ever bought chickens when we were kids. We had our own up the back yard, too - it was always a big chore the plucking and cleaning of chickens. I wouldn't eat chicken if I had to do that now.

    Have a good weekend...thanks for dropping in. :)

  9. Hey there Sandie...I'll turn the grand old age of 70 this coming November. A friend of mine I've known since primary school days and also we enjoyed our teenage years together too - spending weekends at the coast, dances, record hops etc...and we've remained good friends ever since...she turned 70 last Saturday...and we were saying how we never thought we'd be this age....or be talking about it! It was a number that seem so out of reach - so distant way back then. lol Where do the years go?

    Good to see you. Take care. :)

  10. You sexy wee thing!

    And Elephant's Child's comment is exactly what I was thinking. She does that, you know. Takes the words right out of my mouth :)

    And as for your fritter recipes, I may have to bookmark this page for a rainy day. They sound positively delicious!

  11. Hey Wendy! I'm not a "wee" thing...I am or was 5ft 9 inches tall in my bare feet. I've probably shrunk a bit by for "sexy"...I'm not sure if that was the right description...scary is probably more like it! lol

    Just call me "Wee Lee"! Now I'm sounding Chinese! ;)

    Yep! We've got to watch EC...she's stealth by moonlight! :)

    Thanks for crossing over The Ditch to say "G'day"! It's alwasy nice to see you.

  12. You temptress! I am reading this post at one o' clock in the morning and now I am hungry for the Sunday dinner that Shirley and I will eat at around six thirty in the evening. In those far off days you mention, people seemed much better at using up leftovers. By the way, I loved your woolly jumper. ( I thought that was a cross between a sheep and a kangaroo!)

  13. Hahahaha, Yorkie...the jumper was a hand-knitted one...the main colour was blue (not a colour I wear often...not the lighter blues, anyway)...and the fair isle pattern was in contrasting black and white. I loved that jumper.

    Double "hahahaha"....I hope your strength lasted until dinner time...and you made it to the table! :)

    Thanks for coming by. :)

  14. Well I did it Lee, I made fritters for lunch. They were great and we wolfed them down. We've had a lazy Sunday after a day in Sydney yesterday visiting our son. It always takes us a day to recover from acting like jet setters!

  15. Good for you, Helsie! Now I'm going to have to put my actions where my words are...and make some for myself this week. It's a couple of weeks since I've made them.

    See what you've gone and done! :)

  16. 'Dion?' Music my sister liked! Tsk!

    The beginning was kind of confusing, why can't you be straight forward and simple like wot I am.....?

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. No one can be a simple as wot you am, Mr. Ad-Man! ;)

  19. Strange, while reading your post about the music of the 60s I could almost hear it, as if it were playing on some distant AM station. Then I looked around and found out some radio was turned on in our son's old room. Your post reminded me of a commercial I heard today for a Time-Life collection of the sock hop hits of the 60s. I didn't realize how many good songs were made back then.

    My wife makes good corn fritters, but as much as I've traveled around and eaten at various restaurants, I prefer home cooking. Your's always sounds so yummy.

    Hope you can spend some more time frittering soon.

  20. Hey there Dave...yes...there is so much good music from those days. It had an innocence about it...and I can see nothing wrong with that.

    I'm with you in your thoughts...I've eaten (and cooked and worked in many restaurants etc), but you can't beat a good, home-cooked meal, that's for sure!

    Thanks for coming by...pump up the volume on that radio! :)

  21. I think I may be a bit of a 60 /70 in betweener!

    Nice post.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  22. I think it's good to be an in-betweener, Stewart...we get the best of both worlds! :)

    Thanks for coming by. :)

  23. Aha! I knew there'd be fritters in amongst all that frittering!
    I remember the Sunday roasts of yesteryear, the amazing smells that would permeate the kitchen. I remember learning how to make the gravy too, it was easy enough to me, but a sibling always managed to make gravy so thick you could slice it with a knife. Leftovers were always put in school lunch sandwiches if there were any, mostly they got eaten at tea time. We never had fritters, never even knew about them.
    I don't remember much about the 60s and 70s, in one I was too young and definitely childish, in the other I was married and having babies, so both decades fairly flew by me.

  24. Hi my opinion and it is just my opinion...I think I was at the right ages to enjoy the Sixties to the utmost. It was a great decade. So much happened...a huge lesson in growing up.

    How strange you never had fritters or knew about them. I thought everyone did, particularly corn beef fritters. Actually, I'm going to make some for myself tomorrow...mixed vegetable ones.

    Thanks for popping in, River. :)

  25. I like to fritter away time because it is usually a fun part of the day. Fritter to me might not be fritter to you. lol Peace

  26. G'day Lady Di...below is what fritter is to me...and I'm going to fritter away some of my time today in making some fritters for my lunch. Thanks for popping in.... :)

    frit·ter 1 (frtr)
    tr.v. frit·tered, frit·ter·ing, frit·ters

    1. To reduce or squander little by little: frittered his inheritance away. See Synonyms at waste.
    2. To break, tear, or cut into bits; shred.
    [Probably from fritter, fragment, probably alteration of fitters, from fitter, to break into small pieces.]

    frit·ter 2 (frtr)
    A small cake made of batter, often containing fruit, vegetables, or fish, sautéed or deep-fried.

  27. Well, you've done went and made me very hungry AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Your blog always seems to make me hungry!

  29. Wish I was there to help eat your fritters. Peace

  30. That's why I splurge and have someone clean my place (just once a month or so.) And he needs the money, so it works for both of us.

    Love those 60s hairdos!

    And those fritters look so good! I will try them and report. :)

  31. Oops! Sorry, Jerry and Dexter. :)

    I'm having fritters for lunch today, Lady're more than welcome to join me.

    Hey there! Good for you! I think having someone come in and do the housework every now and then is a great idea.

    The fritters I'm having for lunch today have the following in them: kale, silverbeet, onion, tomatoes, grated carrot, grated zucchini, grated cheese, peas, corn kernels and diced capsicum (peppers). Yum! Yum!

    Thanks for coming by I'm enjoying my fritters I'll be thinking of you all. :)

  32. Nothing wrong with frittering!

    Love the pictures :)

  33. Hi, RK...I agree completely! I'm frittering today...time that's raining and I'm frittering, reading, watching TV and just being a total sloth!

    Thanks for popping in. :)