Thursday, November 30, 2017


Unlike many others, I guess – I can only speak for myself - I don’t mind, nor do I feel guilty if and when I’m frittering a day away. My pleasurable frittering is usually doing something I enjoy, no matter how insignificant or how meaningful the thing I’m frittering on may be.  To the cause and effect, it’s all relative.  I reckon it’s my day to fritter however I like.

It is no lie, big or little when I confess I spent a rainy Sunday a couple of weeks ago frittering the day away bingeing, streaming, watching the excellent series,  “Big Little Lies”, which stars Nicole Kidman, Reece Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, plus others.  All the rave reviews about the series proved to be my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed the very classy series.  The soundtrack to the series is also excellent.

Today I’m frittering away a few hours making Christmas cakes
For some silly reason I always feel tinges of guilt because, not like I once did, I now make the good old boiled fruit cakes. 

Once upon a time I always made the rich fruit cake around August, early September and kept topping it up with either brandy or rum between the making of the cake and Christmas. 

Because my days of catering for the hordes during the Festive Season...Christmas parties, Christmas lunch, Boxing Day and all times from go to whoa and in between have faded into the mists of years past, these days I only cater for my two furry mates and me.  

Remy and Shama aren’t fond of fruit cakes...boiled or otherwise...which means I can splurge on the cake without guilt, or dirty looks from them.  They won’t miss out, though.  I’ve special treats in store for my furry rascals.

Nowadays I opt to make boiled fruit cakes.  This doesn’t mean my boiled fruit cakes aren’t “rich”.  They are loaded with dried mixed fruits, dates, cherries, crystallised ginger, dried cranberries, red raisins, walnuts, treacle, brown sugar, and a couple of other “secret” ingredients....all soaked generously in dark rum over a 48 hour period.

The rum is Bundaberg aka Bundy rum.  I’m making four times the quantity.  As I do each year come Christmas, I’ll be posting off a cake to my ex, Randall. He’d wonder what had gone wrong if he didn’t receive a fruit cake for Christmas!

My main meal of the day - and it’s been this way for a number of years - is lunch. 

There’s always a method to my many forms of madness. With lunch being the height of my daily fare, sated and satisfied, I can fritter away the afternoon whichever way I choose.

A creature of some habits, I always do my grocery shopping in the early as possible, to get it over and done with.  There is no way I’d wait until the afternoon to visit the supermarket.  If I don’t go in the mornings, it can wait until the next morning.  My needs are never so desperately urgent I have to attack the supermarket in the afternoons. I think my stocks here at home mimic any good supermarket! 

Our local Supa IGA supermarket opens at 7 any time from then is when I scoot out the door...usually between 7 am and 8.00 am, if possible. The only times I linger longer hopping into my car in order to hit the road is if I have to visit the post office.  It doesn’t open until 9 am!  How slack of them!!

While on the subject of frittering, I love fritters.  Yesterday I made salmon-vegetables fritters for my lunch.  They were delicious.

Corned beef fritters or corned beef hash were regular left-over concoctions when I was a kid.   A Sunday lunch of corned beef/brisket or corned silverside invariably was followed by a Sunday or Monday night meal of fritters. Monday breakfast of corned meat hash was often on the menu, too. I enjoyed both.   

When I was a kid there was little better than frittering away Sunday nights, listening to the radio while munching on a plate of corned beef fritters.

High on my list of things I hate...and I do mean “hate” is littering and litterers...those who litter.  There are no excuses for littering, none whatsoever.

The Tamborine Mountain farmers’ and crafts’ market is held on the second Sunday of each month, across the way at the local showground.  The next day, I noticed on the side of the road out from where my humble little abode is were two drink cans and a rather large, empty carton that once held popcorn.  The unsightly objects certainly weren’t left there by me.   

The fellow from up the far end of this laneway went by on his ride-on mower...mowing the grass, weeds and dropped leaves along the side of the road.  To my surprise, and annoyance, he swerved around the litter, and continued on his merry way, leaving the garbage untouched!  After he’d disappeared back up to his own home...I’ve never met the man, other than to give a nod, smile and/or wave in acknowledgement the very few times I’ve seen him.  I’ve no idea of his name.  As I’ve mentioned previously there are only four properties/homes on this lane, one of which belongs to my landlords; and my insignificant little cabin makes five.

Walking, or hobbling across the road, my cane in hand, I picked up the unsightly, unnecessary blot on the landscape.  I deposited them in my rubbish bin. 

It shouldn’t be the responsibility of others to clean up the messes left behind by the ignorant.    How difficult is it for a person to take their own waste material with them? 

One of the first instructions I gave to my staff when we began working together at the resort on Hinchinbrook Island was to never to step over and by-pass litter they came across, in the false premise the next person following will pick it up.  I told them I didn’t care where they stuck their briefs, up their shorts, under their skirt or in their bra... just make sure they picked up the litter; stuck it somewhere on or in their attire; ensure it ended up in its rightful place  -the garbage bins.  

 If we don’t apply commonsense within our own self - bend over; pick litter up; dispose of it correctly, the pattern, in the majority of instances, will continue, unbroken;  and there the litter remains, a blot, not only on the landscape, but a blot on one’s escutcheon (aka a stain on one’s reputation or character).    

Most importantly, in the first place, don’t be a litterer.  It’s simple – it’s a no-brainer!   

Don’t discard drink and food containers, tissues etc., anywhere other than in the correct receptacles e.g. garbage bins.   That’s the purpose of garbage bins...the name is clear enough! 

It never ceased to amaze me, and anger me, when fisherman, apparently were prepared to load heavy cartons of beer (almost always glass bottles) with them in their boats, but were never prepared to take the much lighter empty stubbies/bottles, or cans back with them to the mainland.  Instead of doing the latter, they senseless found it easier to toss the “empties” overboard.   

When I was on Newry Island every day I’d walk along the water’s edge scouring the area for glass bottles, broken and unbroken.  On both Hinchinbrook and Newry Islands I kept the use of glass containers/bottles down as much as was possible...carrying canned beer in the bar in preference to bottled beer.  

On Newry I had a huge waste bin for the aluminum cans.  Periodically, it was taken across to the recycling depot in Mackay.  A similar practice was conducted on Hinchinbrook Island.

One day a couple of fisherman arrived at the bar on Newry Island.  About three or four of my “regulars” were at one end enjoying a drink after their morning’s fishing trip, before heading back to the mainland.  The two new arrivals, I’d not previously seen at the small resort.  One headed up the track to the ablutions’ block, and his mate ordered a beer.

“Can I have a stubbie?” He asked, with no thank you or please attached.  He’d already blotted his copybook in my opinion.  

I told him I didn’t carry stubbies, it would have to be a can.   

Upon hearing my response, he began to grumble and groan quite rudely.  

Already he had annoyed me...I didn’t need any further nudging.  I didn't hesitate with my reaction to his ill-manner.

“The reason I don’t carry stubbies is because of the idiot fishermen who toss their empties overboard, rather than have the good sense to take the empties home with them.  I’m forever picking up broken stubbies that have washed up on my beach because of clown fisherman who know no better!”

“Are you calling me an idiot?” He was his reply.

“If you throw bottles overboard...then yes, I am.  If that is the case, then you are one of the idiot fishermen I’m referring to.  I know the glass I pick up every day doesn’t come from here!”   

I handed him a can of beer.

He shut up pretty quickly, and said nothing further.   

My “regulars” up the other end of the bar, held their heads down, but I could sense their amusement.

Shortly thereafter, the fellow’s fishing buddy arrived from the toilet block, oblivious to what had occurred in his absence. 

“Can I have stubbie, please?”  He asked.

His contrite mate, whom I’d only a minute or two before reprimanded, hushed his friend.  To his mate’s bemusement, said - “Shhh!  Don’t start her off, again!”

I burst out did the fellows up the other end of the bar.  The bloke who had caused the “moment” laughed along with us.   From then on, everyone relaxed and had a pleasant time over a couple of beers.  

What I said that day had to be said.  Unfortunately, similar has to be said about littering every day of the week, month in and year out...because humans never listen...never learn.

Now I’m going to fritter away some time out in the glorious sunshine wiling away the time while I wait for my cakes to cook.

After a few rainy days so far this week there is some sunshine peaking through today...but the rain is on its way again later today or tonight from the predictions.  I’m not complaining.  I love rainy days...and nights.
Remember....fritter don’t litter!

Sweet Potato-Kale-Quinoa Fritters: Devein kale; roll up leaves into tight roll; chop, making 2 cups. In a bowl, place 3c pureed kumara, 2c cooked quinoa, 2c kale, 2 eggs, 3tsp cornflour, 1/2c breadcrumbs, 1tsp grated fresh ginger, pinch of smoked paprika; season.  Heat 4-6tbs oil in pan; scoop fritters into pan; slightly flatten tops; cook on each side, until golden.

Couscous-Corn Fritters: Cook 115g couscous; drain; mix with 120g corn niblets, ½ red onion, chopped, 2tsp oregano, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2tbs chopped parsley; season.  Cook fritters in hot oil. 

Kumara-Corn Fritters: Put 1 large grated kumara (about 250g), 1 grated zucchini,1 grated carrot, 1x410g canned, drained corn, 100g crumbled feta, ¼ onion, finely chopped and 1/4c finely chopped coriander in bowl; season. Sift in 1/2c S.R. flour and 1/2tsp baking powder; add 2 eggs, fold to combine. Heat 2tbs oil in pan; spoon in 2-3tbs of mix per fritter. Fry a few mins on one side; flip; cook until golden. Add a medium can of salmon to the mixture before cooking, if you like.

Apple-Ricotta Fritters: Combine 2 coarsely grated apple (no need to peel), 1/2c fresh ricotta, 2 large eggs and 1/2tsp cinnamon; add 3/4c plain flour and pinch of salt; stir until just combine.  Cook in shallow amount of hot oil; let drain when cooked; douse with icing sugar when still warm.

Banana Fritters: Smash 3 very ripe bananas with 2 egg yolks; add 1tsp vanilla, 1/2tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp nutmeg, 1tbs molasses. 1/4c shredded coconut and 1tbs sugar. Add 2c flour and 1/4c milk alternatively. When combined, whisk 2 egg whites. Slowly add whites, careful as not to deflate the volume. Heat oil in pan; fry mixture in batches.  Drain well; sprinkle with icing sugar; or served drizzled with maple syrup.

Boiled Fruit Cake: Regular recipe..(today I multiplied it by four for my own purposes)..... Soak 500g dried mixed fruit (I added chopped dates, chopped crystallised ginger, walnuts, red raisins, dried cranberries and more glacé cherries to the mix) overnight in dark rum, dry sherry or brandy.  I let my mix sit, soaking, for 48 or so hours.  Adjust the liquid quantity according to additional ingredients. (This recipe is a guideline...fool around with it to your own content, and judgment.  Mostly, I cook according to my taste).  

In a saucepan, place soaked fruits, nuts, 1 cup of water, 125g butter, 2tbs golden syrup or treacle and 1c brown sugar in saucepan.  At this point, I also add my “secret” ingredients...a dessertspoon (thereabouts) of instant coffee (dry) and about the same quantity of cocoa powder.  (You don’t have to add these.  It’s just what I’ve gotten in the habit of doing). Slowly bring to the boil; then remove from the heat.  Add 1tsp bicarbonate of soda which has been mixed with 1 tablespoon boiling water. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Add 2 lightly-beaten eggs mixing thoroughly. Fold in 1c sifted plain flour (all-purpose flour) and 1c self-raising flour, 1/2tsp mixed spice, ¼ tsp nutmeg, (as well as cinnamon and ground ginger, if you like) and 1tsp vanilla essence. Place in a greased and paper-lined (base and sides) 20cm round or square cake tin. Decorate with almonds (or pecans or walnuts) and/or glace cherries.  Bake at 160°C (320F) for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours, until skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin.

Friday, November 17, 2017


Blue Box Cafe...Tiffany's, New York
Ron and me at the Cromwell College At Home....1963

One Saturday afternoon in 1954, along with my friend, whose name, coincidentally, was “Rhonda Friend”, I sat in Gympie’s Olympia Picture Theatre.  My eyes were glued to the screen, engrossed, oblivious to everything and everyone around me – Rhonda and Jaffas included.  

On that very afternoon I fell under the mesmerising spell of Audrey Hepburn. To this day the status quo remains. 

Alongside Gregory Peck as her handsome leading man, Audrey played the runaway princess in “Roman Holiday”. 

From the moment she appeared on the silver screen her star shone brightly.  

Audrey Hepburn passed away on 20th January, 1993. In my opinion, her star hasn’t dimmed.

Vividly I remember the exact moment, and what I was doing, when I learned of her death.  I feel no embarrassment in admitting I shed tears.  Many a tear has to fall, but it’s all in the game we know as....Life.   My reservoir of tears will never run dry, and no desalination plant is necessary.

When filming commenced on “Roman Holiday” Gregory Peck, who was already a major star in his own right, after only a short while in Audrey’s luminous presence, recognised the wondrous aura surrounding the special young woman before him.  Peck, always the gentleman, told the producers Hepburn’s name should have top billing on the movie’s credits, not his.   The producers followed Mr. Peck’s advice. 

Audrey won an Oscar for her role as “Crown Princess Ann”. 

I think Vespa scooters should have received an Oscar, too. 

“Roman Holiday” alerted the world’s attention to the Italian motor scooter, the name of which means “wasp” in Italian.  Everyone wanted a Vespa...just about everyone had one after they’d watched Audrey and Gregory buzz around the streets of Rome.  Even though, at the time, I was too young, I pined for one.  A couple of years later, I did, in fact, go for a ride on a Vespa, as a pillion passenger on the scooter owned by another friend’s older sister.  It was fun pretending I was Audrey Hepburn aka Princess Ann, if only for a short while.

Nine years later, and nine years older, in 1963, with my undiminished love of Audrey intact I stood beside “Ms Golightly” at the windows of New York’s famous jewellery store in the unforgettable, wonderful “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.  

Sitting beside me that Saturday evening in a Brisbane movie theatre was a young man named “Ron”.  He was older than me by four years or so. He was an older brother of another friend of mine.  Said friend was a school teacher in Gympie at the time - which is how her brother's and my paths crossed.  He’d paid a visit to Gympie, and we met at a gathering his sister, Marj, my friend, had organised in his honour. 

Ron was attending Queensland University at St. Lucia, a Brisbane suburb.  He was a member of the Cromwell College Alumni.  He was studying Electrical Engineering.  Cromwell was named Cromwell College in honour of Oliver Cromwell, sometime Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Every other weekend for a couple of months or thereabouts, (which was the duration of Ron’s and my non-torrid “romance”) Marj and I headed off to Brisbane to stay with Ron and his housemate, who also attended Cromwell College.  They were renting a house in Ashgrove.

Our romance was of a simple, pure and innocent nature.  Music, philosophy, movies and reading were our majors.

Sadly, Ron passed away 15 years ago.  He introduced me to the writings of C.P. Snow, CBE, the English novelist and physical chemist. The books I bought and read then, still have pride of place on my shelves.

I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve watched “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.  I have it stored in a set-top box; I have it on DVD, and on USB disc.  I think somewhere I probably still have the video cassette version as well.  Similar applies to “Roman Holiday”. 

Also, among my million LPs is the soundtrack to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”....a fabulous album.

No matter how many times I’ve watched either movie, at the end of each, tears flow like a river in flood.    

Coincidentally, I once had a beautiful ginger cat, named "Cat", same as Holly's in the movie.  I'd named my lovely fellow "Cat" long before I'd seen the movie or read the novella.

Audrey Hepburn’s “Holly Golightly” was a captivating character.  It was Hepburn’s decision to portray her slightly differently to the original “Holly” of Truman Capote’s novella, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. 

Hepburn wasn’t a demanding diva, but she wished to soften the character in the movie version. Her wish was granted. 

Whenever I think about “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” the hauntingly beautiful “Moon River” spins on the turntable in my mind. The image of “Holly”, sitting on her window sill, hair wrapped in a towel, gently strumming a guitar, meditatively singing - “We’re after the same rainbow’s end, waitin’ round the bend, my huckleberry friend, Moon River and me...” makes me long to be drifting with the dream maker.  

Henry Mancini composed the Academy Award winning song.  Johnny Mercer, who penned the unforgettable “Autumn Leaves”, “Days of Wine and Roses”, “That Old Black Magic”, “Alexander’s Rag Time Band” and myriad others, wrote the lyrics.  

When Randall (who later became my second husband...and second ex) came back after working and living in New York for nine years, he gifted me with a sterling silver key chain and a sterling silver telephone dial, both from Tiffany's and both in Tiffany's light blue packaging.   The key chain came in a box and the dialer in a felt drawstring bag.  I still have them in my cherished possession.

A couple of weeks ago I read Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store on the corner of New York’s Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street has made breakfast at Tiffany’s a reality. 

Out of mothballs come my long black dress (actually, I’m wearing a long, black dress this very moment...but it’s covered in cat fur...not really suitable for a visit to Tiffany’s), elbow-length gloves, my multi-strand pearl and diamond necklace, as well as my extended onyx and gold cigarette holder.  My large-framed dark glasses are at hand, always. 

This time I won’t be standing at the window looking in, dreaming...

The famed jeweller has opened “The Blue Box Cafe”, decorated in robin-egg blue, the store’s trademark colour of its packaging.    Diners can order coffee and a croissant for $29. Also on the menu is a choice of avocado toast, truffled eggs, or a smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese.  

 Grab your tiara and pearls...let’s have breakfast at Tiffany’s.  It’s okay if you’re running late...we’re just two to see the our own pace....

Smoked Salmon-Avocado Croissants: Melt the butter in a skillet; crack in 2 or 4 eggs, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat until eggs are cooked the way you like. Towards the very end, places slices of cheese of choice on top of eggs (Havarit is good, too) so it starts to melt. Place thinly sliced smoked salmon on one side of each of the toasted croissants. Place avocado slices on other side of croissants; squeeze juice of lime onto avocado slices. Place eggs on top of smoked salmon; sprinkle generously with finely chopped chives. Place halves together; serve.

Mushroom-Goat’s Cheese Omelette with Spinach and Avocado: Add 1-2tbs x-virgin olive oil to pan; over med-heat, add 85g sliced mushrooms; cook 5-6mins; transfer to bowl. Wipe pan clean; spray with oil; heat over med-heat. In bowl whisk together 3 eggs; season; pour into pan; cook until edges begin to set, 6-7mins. Run spatula around edges to release; slide egg onto plate. On half of omelette, layer the sautéed mushrooms, baby spinach, crumbled goat’s cheese and diced avocado; fold other half over.

Breakfast Veggie Egg Casserole: Preheat oven 175C.  Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Heat 1tbs olive oil in a large pan over med-high heat.  Add 1 small, diced onion; sauté 4-5mins.  Add 1 tbs olive oil, 1 diced large carrot, 450g diagonally-cut, bite-size asparagus, 125g sugar snap peas, 3-4c chopped broccoli florets and 2 crushed garlic cloves.  Cook 8-10mins, stirring occasionally, until the veggies have softened, and are cooked through. Add 250g sliced mushrooms and 1 punnet halved cherry tomatoes; stir; cook 3-4mins.Transfer about half to baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle evenly 55g crumbled.  Repeat process; sprinkle further 55g feta over top. Whisk together 12 large eggs, 1/2c milk, salt and pepper; pour over the veggies. Bake for 30-40mins. 

Crab-Avo Toasts:  Brush rounds of sourdough or halved bagels with olive oil; toast in oven; spread with mashed avocado; top with fresh crab meat.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


De Havilland Grumman Mallard
De Havilland Trojan

De Havilland Beaver and Twin Otter

I’m often surprised.

If given due consideration, it’s possible we surprise our own self more often than we do others.  I’m not sure....I’ll have to think about it.  Speaking on my own behalf, I know I surprise myself at times.  I don’t jump at my own shadow, though, if that’s what you’re thinking.

Questionable behaviour of many humans continually surprises me.  I wish human behaviour would cease to surprise me, but it, or they, won’t comply.  Just when I think I’ve heard or seen it all - surprise, surprise - a rude awakening!

There’s no time for complacency. I hold onto hope, but the cord, stretched to extreme, has become surprisingly thin. 

Over the years – and there are many of them – another one (year) was added to my list a couple of days ago - I’ve been successful in planning three surprise birthday parties, one of which was for my late brother, Graham, who hated birthday parties, surprise or otherwise.  In fact, Graham wasn’t fond of parties of any kind.

However, the surprise party I surreptitiously planned for my brother when he worked with me on Hinchinbrook Island went off with a bang.  Graham ended up, much to his surprise (and to my delight), having a ball!  I wish I’d taken video as proof.  

Towards the end of the night’s festivities, to my surprise, he even kicked up his heels and legs while performing the can-can...or a wild tropical version thereof...with a couple of his female co-workers.    

Summer-mango season and the tropics play games with people...personalities change!  Throw a few, freshly-caught mud crabs into the mix and all hell of the best kind breaks out!

His birthday that year...28th February, 1986....was a happy, carefree night; one that occurred about 10 days before the resort was to re-open to the public – to guests.  The fun and games were just among the “island natives” aka my staff and me.

Another of my surprise birthday parties was for my ex, Randall, back in the mid-Seventies when we were living in Toowong, a Brisbane suburb.

I thought having a surprise party for his birthday was a great idea.  He wasn’t too keen on surprise parties, either. 

Upon exiting our bathroom, with only a towel tied around his hips, he received a hell of a surprise when he was greeted by a room full of smiling, ready-to-party party-goers.  He was almost dressed appropriately for the occasion...almost in his birthday suit. His Sunday demeanour nearly turned into a misdemeanour. 

He’d not had a clue what I’d planned, and had been planning.  Our kitchen cupboards were always well-stocked.  He was used to seeing me prepare food...lots of my actions in the kitchen that morning and the preceding evenings hadn’t alerted him anything suspicious was going on.   

Adept at subterfuge, even Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t have stumbled across my well-hidden evidence, magnifying glass or no magnifying glass. I’d left no clues.  

It might come as a surprise to some, but we’re still good mates – my ex and me, that is - not Sherlock and me.   Mr. Holmes didn’t enjoy being beaten at his own game. He threw a tantrum and left in a huff. 

My first husband received the surprise of his life for one of his birthdays, too.  

I forgot his birthday!   

In the belief I’d planned a surprise party, he spent his whole work day preparing for what he thought lay ahead when he arrived home.  Diligently, he’d rehearsed his grand, Oscar-winning performance of mock astonishment.    

When I was made aware of my monstrous, momentous blooper it was my jaw that dropped. I had enough egg on my face to feed a cast of thousands.

All’s well that ends well, though – to their surprise, we ended up partying with our upstairs’ neighbours.  The four of us partied well into the night. 

My first husband and I are still good mates, too...surprisingly!

The person I’ve surprised most of all, though, is me. 
One of my biggest surprises was the lack of fear I felt flying in seaplanes – the De Havilland Grumman Mallard, the Beaver and Twin Otter flown by the marvellous company, Air Whitsunday, out of Townsville and Airlie Beach, respectively - when I managed the now-defunct resort on Hinchinbrook Island.  

Before my first seaplane flight I believed I was terrified of small aircraft. To my surprise, once I’d flown low over the magnificent island and the Coral Sea, I found I’d not an ounce of fear flowed through my veins – just adrenaline. 

Matching the thrill of flying in seaplanes was the buzz I felt when I went up in a helicopter.  A TV crew came to the resort, by helicopter, to interview me.  When asked if I’d like to go for a ride in the chopper, without a second thought, I grabbed the opportunity, and leapt aboard.  I didn’t need to be asked twice.  I believed I’d never get the chance again; and so far, unsurprisingly, I haven’t. 

Wow!  That helicopter flight certainly was one I'll never forget...for all the right reasons!

Flying from Cairns to Normanton and return by light aircraft was also exhilarating.   

Viewing the Gulf Country...the Red Savannah...from above is awesome, as is flying low above the Atherton Tablelands.

In the late Eighties-early Nineties, I surprised myself by being the skipper of a boat...a 21-foot De Havilland Trojan, powered by a 175hp Johnson outboard motor.  Ferrying guests to and from Newry Island, as well as the island’s provisions etc., had never been on my radar.  Transporting guests and provisions to and from any island had never been on my Life’s plan...but there I was driving a boat, carrying passengers across the ocean.   

Wonders never do cease!

Even though I surprised me by partaking in many more exciting adventures throughout the years, I do admit I’m not as adventurous as many, many others, but that’s not surprising....

Breakfast Surprise: Preheat oven, 200C.  Scrub and prick all over, 2 med-large potatoes.  Place on centre oven rack; bake 40-45mins, until tender. Cool 15mins; slice each in half lengthwise; hollow out; scoop flesh into bowl; add 2tbs butter and 3tbs cream; mash until smooth; season. Spread some into bottom of each potato skin; sprinkle with shredded cheese; add 1 cooked bacon rasher to each half; rasher can overlap edges; top with raw egg. Place onto baking sheet.  Lower oven temp to 190C; bake until egg whites just set and yolks are still runny. Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese; season; top with sliced chives.

Baked Eggs: Preheat oven 200C. In saucepan, heat 2tbs olive oil over med-high heat. Add 1 chopped onion; sauté until soft; add 140g spinach; sauté until just wilted, about 2mins. Remove from heat. In bowl, combine 1 can whole tomatoes,1tsp cumin, salt, pepper, 1/2tsp sweet paprika, and, if desired,2tsp  hot sauce. Add onion-spinach mixture. Divide among 4 oiled ramekins. Crack egg into centre of each ramekin; sprinkle on crumbled feta. Bake until whites are set but yolks still soft, 12-15mins.

Surprise Scones: Preheat oven 246C. Bring water to boil; add 2 eggs; boil 4-5mins; remove from heat; set aside. Cube 2tbs cold butter; put in freezer until needed. Combine 1c plain flour, 1tbs sugar, 1-1/2tsp baking powder, 1/2tsp baking soda and 1/2tsp salt in processor; pulse 1-2times until combined; drop in COLD butter; pulse until crumbly; don’t over-mix. Add 1/2c shredded cheddar; pulse until just combined; transfer to bowl; gently fold in 2tbs chopped chives.  Add 3/4c Greek yoghurt to mix; combine until just combined. Using about ¼ of dough, shape into plump biscuit; place onto sprayed baking sheet; press well in centre; place peeled egg in well sideways. Form another “biscuit”; place on top of egg; cover completely. Bake 5mins; reduce heat to 200C; sprinkle top with grated cheese and seeds of choice; bake 6-7mins until golden. Top with melted butter, if not topped with melted cheese, and chives to serve.