Wednesday, January 24, 2018


 (Blow me down!  January, 2018 is almost at an end.  My post below is written tongue in cheek, which is far easier to do than if I tried to write it while sitting on my hands, by the way.  It is just a bit of Aussie humour.  Some of you will be able to decipher it...others...well, that may be another story.  No offence is intended...and I hope none is taken).


Strewth!  I’ll probbly get into trouble for callin’ all youse blokes an’ sheilas out there “blokes” an’ “sheilas”, but, fair crack of the whip!  Wot next?  

Has everyone gone bonkers an’ lost the plot lately?  They’ve all gone to the extreme an’ beyond by becomin’ blinded by political-correctness.  There’s a limit to everythin’, I tell ya!

Tell ‘em they’re dreamin’!  Can’t anyone take a joke no more?  

Soon we’ll be afraid to open our mouths – evah!   When it comes to some jackasses that wouldn’t be a bad thing! 

‘alf the time I’m standin’ around like a stunned mullet at some of the stuff that’s been goin’ on, an’ bin said.  Flamin’ galahs, the lot of ‘em!

There away with the pixies - the pixies must be havin’ more fun than I am. I better go an’ ‘ave a Captain Cook! 

Often I think there not the full quid - an’ I aren’t referrin’ to the pixies.  

Commonsense seems to be cactus.

If I’m not careful one of these days I’ll come a gutser.  I’ll  trip over me own jaw because it’s constantly fallin’ open to the ground in shocked amazement at what spews forth from the mouth of some dingbat or another.   It’s a wonder I don’t ‘ave gravel rash on me jaw!

I wish they’d all jest belt up – hit the turps; crack a tinnie; suck on a few - chill out, an’ gimme a break! 

With me mouth constantly open I’d make a bonzer fly-catcher.  I could hire meself out, an’ make a quid or two. Holy dooley! That’s a good idea!  Why didn’t I think of it before?  A bit slow, I reckon.

Nowadays when you’ve got a cold or the flu you’d probably get put in the clink for sayin’, “I’ve got the wog”!   Deadset!  

Things are changin’ around us; an’ not always for the better. 

As regular as after a dose of salts there’s always some yobbo bein’ precious; spittin’ the dummy, wavin’ his/her arms in the air protestin’ about somethin’ or rother.  

Often she/he (no gender neutral here) aren’t even aware the posters there wavin’ about are upside down!  D’oh!

Probbly ‘alf of ‘em don’t know what there protestin’ about...a mob of sheep followin’ a mob of sheep, an’ each don’t ‘ave a clue where there goin’!  

I feel like tellin’ ‘em to rack off!  They make me crazier than a cut snake!

Some of ‘em ‘ave been out in the sun too long, I think - they’ve gone troppo.   Bloody drongos!

Yeah! I’m ravin' an' ‘avin’ a whinge - carryin’ on like a pork chop - but, if I don’t let it all out, I’ll hit the plonk.  

‘ang on....better still...I’ll stay in me grundies, or me tracky dacks, an’ guzzle a few Bundies through Mundee, Choosdee, Wensdee, Fursdee, Fridee, Saddee an’ Sundee!   Sounds like a plan!

Fair dinkum! It might be fun bein’ a lush...if I was flush enough to be one, that is.  Too right it would!  No dramas!

I don’t know how a pork chop carries on, do you?  Do pork chops even carry on?  If youse ‘appen to see one bein’ a pork chop, gimme a bell.  No worries if ya forget.

It might explain the odd noises I ‘eard comin’ from me fridge last night.  It was the pork chops knowin’ they’re gunna be tossed on the barbie tomoz.  I reckon I’d carry on, too – spit the dummy - if that was me fate.  I’d scoot before it was too late!  

I shoulda took a peek. Sussed it out, an’ tried to calm ‘em down; but if I’d opened me fridge door they’d of gone off on the lam with the lamb chops! Then I’d ‘ave to go by shank’s pony to catch ‘em in the middle of the night!  Bugger that for a joke!

Plus I couldn’t find me...doovalacky....ya know wot I torch! torch!

Strike a light! I’ll be stuffed!  Now they wanna change the date of Straya Day!  Dinky-di! They’d steal the milk out o’ yer tea, if they could! 

I’m gunna change me birth date.  I’ll ‘ang onta the day an’ month, but the year needs ta go, if you get me drift...shave a few orf.  On me next birthdee I’d be chuffed to find I’d turned a few years younger. 

I’m gunna be flat chat in the mornin’ of Straya Day - puttin’ together a couple of platters to take with me to the “lane/court” pardee in the arvo.  

Us mob’ll be blowin’ the froth off a few, I reckon.  It’ll be an ‘appy ratbags among ‘em....’cept for me, probbly....  I’m not a two-pot screamer, though, if that’s wot ya thinkin’!

Ridgy-didge!  She’ll be apples!

I promise ya...I’ll be good as gold..  on me best behaviour at the bash.

I’ll whack on some lippy; grab me sunnies.  Not that I’ve got tickets on meself – I’m not skitin’ - but I reckon I’ll look like a bit of a spunk – a bit of orlright in me new slacks an’ top...with a few gold chains around me neck to set me outfit orf.    

We’ll all bend the elbow an’ chew the fat. We’ll have a few laughs, an’ ‘ave a good ole yarn, but no one will get paralytic. No booze bus needed.

Don’t be a pork chop!  Enjoy Straya Day!  She’ll be a bloody ripper, mate!

BBQ Lamb Shanks: Make paste; 1tbs paprika, 1-1/2tbs salt, 3-3/4tsp black pepper, 2-1/4tsp garlic powder, 3/4tsp each dried thyme, rosemary, oregano and ground ginger, 3tbs x-virgin olive oil, 2tbs soy sauce, 2tbs Dijon and 1tbs fresh lemon juice. Trim 4 lamb shanks; liberally coat with paste. Place in storage bag; chill 12hrs. Grill shanks on bbq; cook slowly1-1/4hrs or until cooked to liking.

Balsamic BBQ Lamb Chops: Cut off top of garlic bulbs; wrap both portions in foil; roast at 175C, 45mins.  When cool, squeeze garlic from top and bottom of bulb. Discard skins. Tie together 4 sprigs of rosemary. In saucepan, add ¾ balsamic. 1/4c brown sugar, rosemary, 2 birds eye chillies, or chilli flakes, cracked black pepper and mashed garlic. Bring to boil; reduce heat; simmer until reduced and syrupy. Discard rosemary and chillies.  Cool; pour over 8 lamb loin chops; coat evenly; chill at least 1hr, longer if possible. Grill chops; baste as you go.

BBQ Pork Chops: Combine 2tbs soy sauce, 1tbs chilli sauce, 1tbs toasted sesame oil, 1tbs brown sugar, 1tbs rice vinegar, 1tbs finely grated ginger and  1 grated garlic clove.  Reserve 2tbs; then stir in 1/2c hoisin sauce. Set half aside and add 1 to 2tbs water.  Sprinkle 4 pork chops and 1 red onion, cut into ½-inch thick slices with salt and pepper; place on oiled grill. Grill pork until slightly pink near bone. Grill onions; then place in a bowl. About halfway through grilling start basting each with hoisin mix. Grab 6 baby bok choy; halve; steam just until core has softened; season; then char on grill; add to onions in bowl; gently toss with reserved ginger sauce. Serve chops with the vegies and reserved hoisin mixture. 

Merry Matilda:  Blend 1-1/2c frozen mango, 1-1/4c frozen pineapple until smooth; add juice of 1 lime, ½c orange juice, 1/4c sugar syrup, 1c tequila, and ice as desired. 

Chill-Salt Rim:  Rub lime wedge around glass rims.  Dip into a mixture of chilli powder and salt (optional).

Friday, January 19, 2018


/Fun acrylic paintings done by me a few years ago

Bindi Weed
Cobbler's Pegs

Flashing by at the speed of light, 2017 made 365 days seem like 182!  Already the past 12 months are a blur.  In some instances, that’s good.   If you’re not already aware - the Mad Season is all over Red Rover. Don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise because, you see, upon opening the fridge, glaring back at you bedraggled scraps of ham desperately hanging onto the bone; or you discovered fruit mince tarts and a square of Christmas cake hiding on a shelf.    

In truth, I still have some of my Christmas fare left - not a lot - but none will go to waste.  Already, as I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve enough pea and ham soup stored in individual containers in my freezer to see 2018 out!

Already half way through January, I’m a few steps behind in catching up with my New Year postings - more than a few when I take note of the date.  It’s okay...I do have a very valid excuse for being a tardy blogger.  After my explanation below, a note will not be needed.

My Christmas-New Year period was spent with my two best friends. I couldn’t have wished for better company.  The avidity of the humidity sapped our energy - an excellent excuse to halt any thoughts of unnecessary activity.

Because my mates are experts in the art of lounging, sprawling, loafing and reclining, I followed their lead.  I’m a quick learner when the need arises.

Feeling no guilt, and with no one to answer to, we three were happy to loll around like sloths through the steamy, steamy last couple of days of 2017, and the first couple of weeks or so of 2018.  It’s still quite warm here, but with the humidity giving us a rest – temporarily, no doubt – it’s not half bad. 

My four-legged friends and I watched the cricket, the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race and the tennis; still sweating, but not sweating the small stuff, or the big stuff.  Mostly, my furry rascals snoozed while I kept a look-out. 

In between the various sporting events I binged, but not on food or liquor.   Not a drop of alcohol has been imbibed by me since the pre-Christmas party I attended at my landlords’ home on the Wednesday evening prior to 25th December.  How boring am I!!?    (Don't answer that)!
Australia Day is coming up...Friday, 26th January, and I intend letting my hair down, and kicking up my heels by having a couple of liquid liquor refreshments in the late afternoon.  A small street party has been organised by the good folk up the far end of this lane.  It will include the folk in the lane that runs parallel to this one, as well...if they choose to enjoy our company, that is.  If not, they don’t know what scintillating company they will be missing out on!

However - back to my hectic schedule of the past few weeks leading up to this very moment....

Strolling along Atlantic City’s boardwalk with Enoch “Nucky” Thompson and the mob in “Boardwalk Empire” I had a bird’s eye view of the fun, games and rackets of the Prohibition era; a time when, ironically, banned alcohol flowed freely. It was a binge-worthy series.  No money was spared on its production.  It's a fabulous series, brilliantly produced, directed and acted.   With the two Executive Producers being Martin Scorsese and Mark Wahlberg, one could not expect anything less.  The soundtrack is also superb.   If you've not watched the series...I highly recommend it.

My roomies and I were bereft at series’ end. 

Nucky had departed, but lucky for me the tennis gangs, with their racquets arrived.   

The bingeing continues....

It began with The Hopman Cup (held in Perth, capital city of Western Australia) and The Brisbane International...held in....well, Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city.  After a bit of fun courting the nets in Sydney, the Australian Open being held in Melbourne, now has my undivided attention.   This addiction hits me every January.  I battle my way through without need of going into is touch and go at times, though.  

I do love the tennis.

Resolutions are not on my New Year’s agenda – I don’t have a New Year agenda - other than to discount what the “experts” tell me to eat and what not to eat; how much and how little to eat; how to eat it, and when to eat it – even when not to eat it!  Fingers will always be “in” in my book.  Saves on the washing up!

The advice changes daily so there’s no point being excited about the latest best thing since sliced bread.

Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of glass jars as drinking vessels!  To the scrap heap with activated charcoal, chicken sashimi and air diets.

Take heed!  You heard it here first...the 2018 craze is bindi-eye needles and crushed onehunga-weed leaves.  In case you’ve a hunger for weed - “Onehunga-weed” is bindi-weed.  The leaves are parsley-like; no one will know the difference.  Dried, crushed bindi-eye needles substitute for cracked black pepper.   

Along with cobbler’s pegs, they’ll be the next best thing since Cherry Ripes...close, but no cigar!

As with most of the fanciful nonsense we’re told, follow my above advice at your own peril! 

You have been warned!

On the other hand, in some parts of the world black jacks aka cobbler’s pegs are used as a food or medicine source. During the Vietnam War soldiers adopted cobbler’s pegs as a vegetable. It became known as the “soldier vegetable”. 
It could be said I’m not as mad as I seem after all - it’s your call...

Mediterranean Salad: Whisk 1/2c x-virgin olive oil, 1/4c red wine vinegar, 1-1/2tsp sugar, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1tbs fresh dill, minced, 1tsp dried oregano, 1/2tsp garlic powder, 1/4tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine 450g cherry or grape tomatoes, halved, or 3 large tomatoes, chopped (seeded, if desired), 450g diced cucumbers, 1/2c chopped Kalamata olives. 1halved, sliced red onion, 1 can drained, rinsed cannellini beans and 1/2c crumbled feta. Toss with dressing. Chill 4hrs; take from fridge 30mins before serving; drain off excess dressing; garnish with fresh dill or basil.

Tuna Salad:  Combine 450-550g  drained, rinsed chickpeas, black-eyed peas or kidney beans (or combinations), 360g water-packed chunky tuna, drained and flaked, 1 finely diced red capsicum, 1/2c finely chopped red onion, ½c chopped parsley, 4tsp rinsed capers, 1-1/2tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, ¼ c lemon juice and 2tbs x-virgin olive oil. Season with freshly-ground pepper. Combine ¼ cup lemon juice, 2tbs x-virgin olive oil and 1/4tsp salt in bowl; add 8c mixed salad greens; toss. Divide greens among 4 plates; top with the tuna salad.

Couscous Salad: Dressing: 1/2c fresh orange juice, 1/4c lemon juice, 1/2c x-virgin olive oil, 1/2tsp turmeric, 1/4tsp salt. Place 1c whole wheat couscous in bowl; pour over dressing; stir well once; set aside 10mins without further stirring; then place 2 diced med-tomatoes, 3 finely diced, red, green, yellow capsicums, 1 large jar drained, marinated artichoke hearts, 1 rinsed, drained can chickpeas and 1/2c chopped basil on top; gently stir. Sprinkle with roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds.

Irresistible Salad: Blend until creamy, 1/3c white balsamic, 1/2c x-virgin olive oil, 2tbs water, 1/2tsp salt, 1/4tsp freshly-ground black pepper and 1/2tsp honey; set aside.  Heat 2tbs of dressing; add 750g green, peeled prawns; don’t overcook, In bowl, combine 180g baby spinach, 125g mixed salad greens, 2 large, peeled, diced mangoes, 1-1/4c pomegranate seeds (grapefruit segments could substitute; imagination alert!), cooled prawns, 1c cooked, cooled quinoa, 1c roughly-chopped walnuts. 1/3c crumbled feta; add dressing; toss well.