|Around the corner, to the left, and along the road a bit from where I live|
|Around the corner on the right from where I live...I pass this area every time I go to the supermarket|
|This, too, is just around the corner from where I live...it's a few metres before the hang-gliding area|
I doubt there will ever again be a duo as brilliant as US folk-rock singer-songwriters Simon & Garfunkel. Their lyrics are thought-provoking; their music captivating. Their harmonising is beyond compare; many of their songs are unforgettable and ageless – unlike me!
Sadly, due to artistic disagreements their collaboration fell apart, as did their friendship; a friendship and mutual musical interest that first began in the early 50s when they were kids living in Queens, New York. In their teenage years they called themselves “Tom & Jerry”. Their relationship, which fell apart in 1970, has lasted longer than many marriages, including my own two duos.
Maybe what they needed was a bridge over troubled waters; perhaps a session or two with Mrs. Robinson would’ve helped. When their neighbour, the boxer, suggested they seek counselling all he received in return for what he figured was a thoughtful, well-meaning idea was the sound of silence.
Later Simon, still feeling put out by his interference, told the boxer he sported such a perfect pair of cauliflower ears they’d make excellent bookends!
Ignoring the uncouth remark, the boxer nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders. To no one in particular, mumbled quietly, “I am a rock!”, before he continued onto Scarborough Fair where he hoped he’d run into Cecelia.
It was late in the evening, but it was a possibility.
He was homeward bound so it was on his way without having to make a detour via El Condor Pasa and the 59th Street Bridge.
Earlier he’d met me and Julio down in the schoolyard. I told him he could call me Al before I burst into a rendition of Kathy’s song in an effort to amuse him. By the way, in case you’re wondering - she’s still crazy after all these years; and to top it off, if that’s not enough, she still wears diamonds on the soles of her shoes even though she keeps slip slidin’ away !
Simon & Garfunkel break-up and make up. It’s an ongoing relationship thing. ‘Tis true! I know what I know.
One thing I know is I love fresh herbs. I used to grow a variety of herbs, but not so much nowadays. I love using fresh herbs (and dried) in cooking.
I don’t mean plonking a huge bunch of parsley on plates for garnish, along with a twisted orange slice as once was in vogue not only in RSL and Bowls Clubs across the country, but in many restaurants, too. It was the era when you thought the debonair fellow at the next table was staring at you because he found you attractive.
Embarrassingly, you later discovered he’d been staring because you had a complete garden plot of parsley caught in your front teeth – and no one had bothered to tell you!
Once upon a time I had a green thumb. Through the years long gone I grew and harvested a variety of herbs; a veritable mint. As well as my hair, my thumb has since changed colour; my hair was never green, though.
The only herb I grow now is flat-leaf/Italian parsley; with a shallot or two thrown into the mix. Sometimes I duck for cover and bury a shooting garlic clove.
Parsley, with its many nutritional benefits, has been cultivated by man for more than 2, 000 years; and by me, here where I hang out, for nigh on 14 years.
These days my many flat-leaf parsley plants grow freely in a couple of large planters, and also in two polystyrene boxes. When the plants seed, the seeds drop; the circle of life continues. My stocks are replenished year after year. It’s a bit like “Deliverance” country...lots of inter-breeding going on in my parsley plots!
Every so often (it happened again the other day), my landlord, dressed like a Ghostbuster with his spray pack on his back, wanders around blindly spraying weeds.
The spray he uses isn’t noxious, but it still knocks out the weeds, or some of them.
He also knocks out some of my parsley!
For reasons known only to him – I think he wears invisible blinkers – he always manages to spray some of my parsley plants; plants that are obviously what they are...and they’re in their own boxes/planters! Upon my latest discovery, I loudly blurted out a few spicy words. Of course I did...I do every time I discover his folly; and, of course, the words were screamed into the ether. I do still need a roof over my head and four walls around me!
I’m constantly intrigued and bewildered. My landlord is a member of a local gardening club. As well as maintaining eight or more avocado trees and a few citrus trees, he and his wife have cultivated quite a large area in which they grow a variety of vegetables (including curly-leaf parsley) not only for their personal consumption, but for sale to the public at the “Green Shed” on Sundays, too! The “Green Shed” sells fresh produce grown by locals.
When I first came to live here there was a pre-existing garden plot close by, out from the back area of my cabin. Slightly raised, it was bordered by timber sleepers. I grew a veritable greengrocery in there, including a couple of aloe vera plants.
After all my years cooking in restaurants etc., (and from when I had my own greengrocery/healthfood shop) I got used to having aloe vera growing. I sold potted plants in my Noosa shop; and I always had an aloe vera plant or two close at hand when I was cooking professionally. There is nothing better for the treatment of burns than aloe vera.
Anything that shot or seeded got buried in the garden plot I used to have. Not that I was mimicking the local cemetery, of course!
Everything was growing and going great for a while until my landlord demolished the whole thing because it was getting in the way of his Mad Max machine...his ride-on mower. Bye-bye garden and all it produced!
In the plot I also had a massive rosemary bush. I’d bought a small potted rosemary plant at the Sunday market. Once transplanted into the ground, the plant flourished. Jack of the beanstalk fame would've been envious!
Even though my rosemary bush lasted for a while after the garden was flattened, it, too, no longer exists. (Its demise wasn’t at my hands - he-who-shall-remain-nameless was the culprit)!
Come Anzac Day I used give sprigs of rosemary to the RSL Club for them to hand out to those honouring our past and present servicemen and women.
The soil here on Tamborine Mountain is rich, red, volcanic soil...a plant’s delight!
However, other than my flat-leaf/Italian parsley plants, the odd shallot, onion, garlic (there's nothing odd about my onions, shallots and garlic!) and my lemon tree, I’ve retired from gardening. It’s too risky!
Generously I add parsley to many meals I prepare for myself. I never use it as a garnish, but I still check to see if any is stuck where it shouldn’t be stuck. A girl can’t be too careful.
These days it’s a given if a fellow was staring at me from a neighbouring restaurant table parsley would be the reason for his fixation.
He’d have no thyme for me, only for Rosemary. I’ll have you know...I’m a sage when it comes to these matters!
Roast Cauli &Herbs: Place 12c cauliflower florets in roasting pan; drizzle with 1-1/2tbs olive oil; toss to coat; bake at 230C, 20mins or so until browned; stir often; sprinkle with chopped parsley, thyme, tarragon/sage and 3 minced garlic cloves; bake further 5mins; combine cauliflower with ¼ freshly grated Parmesan, 2tbs lemon juice; season; toss well. You can add almonds, pecans, walnuts or pine nuts to the florets before baking, too, if you like.
One Pan Herbed Chicken: Preheat oven 230C. Julienne into 2-inch pieces, 250g carrots and 250g parsnips; dut 250g green beans into 2-inch pieces. Place vegetables on baking sheet; drizzle with 1tbs avocado oil; season; toss to coat. Mix together 2tbs avo oil, 1tbs Dijon mustard, 1tbs cider vinegar, 2tbs maple syrup, 1tsp minced garlic and 1tbs each of chopped thyme, sage, flat leaf parsley and rosemary. Nestle 1.5kg bone-in chicken thighs in between vegies; sprinkle with salt and freshly-cracked pepper; spoon over dressing; reserving a little less than half. Bake 30-35mins; half way through baste with remaining dressing; stir vegies a little. If needed, brown chicken further under grill for a few mins.
Mixed Herb Salad: In bowl, season 1c halved grape tomatoes; put in fine strainer over bowl; drain, 20mins. Whisk together1tbs balsamic, 1tbs x-virgin olive oil, 1/2tbs lemon juice, zest of ½ lemon and 1-1/2tbs Dijon; season. Combine tomatoes with 3c rocket, 1c roughly chopped coriander, 1/2c freshly shredded fresh mozzarella or goat cheese, ½ cup roughly chopped parsley, 3tbs each roughly chopped basil and mint, 2tbs each roughly chopped pitted green and kalamata olives and 1tbs lemon thyme or thyme. Add dressing; toss; serve.
Quinoa Herb Salad: Combine 2c cooked quinoa, ½ pecans or pine nuts, 3tbs chopped mint. 3tbs chopped shallots and 1/2c chopped parsley in bowl. Whisk together 3tbs x-olive oil, 2tbs lemon juice, crushed garlic, salt and pepper; gently mix through quinoa, evenly; chill 20-30mins to infuse flavours.