It's time for a bit of frivolous, fictional fun...just for the frivolous fun of it!
A few years ago I knew someone named “Jean”. We ran in similar social circles, but never around in circles. Most of the time we walked, rather than ran. Having mutual friend often we attended the same events etc.
Every time our paths crossed I made sure I never greeted her with - “Hi, Jean!” It just didn’t sound right, or polite...if you understand what I mean.
It was a small country town inhabited by colourfully-named folk.
There was a lass with the name - “Bella Wheeler”. Her friends called her - “Biloela”.***
To everyone’s amusement, Bella wed a young fella called, “ Hank Weller” who was a bank teller. They had a daughter, “Stella”, who became a flower seller. Stella married a Scotsman, MacKellar. No one felt impelled to tell her!
The townsfolk didn’t need to be masterminds to come to the conclusion that in this world it takes all kinds of humankind to keep the earth spinning, but the tale of Bella and Stella, worthy of a bestseller, never fails to remind me of the one that blows my mind most of all.
I’ll rewind to the story behind Bea Hinds.
To everyone’s surprise, Bea married Nick Bottom, only to later divorce him, and marry Andrew Back, who, in most circles, answered to the name, “Drew”.
Soon after their betrothal, Trey, Drew’s older brother, married Nevaeh Huggin. Peyton Plaice was the best man.
Peyton’s mother, “Miss Plaice”, who had a broad knowledge base, was the high school head mistress. It was no disgrace she never married.
Paige Turner was bridesmaid when Tom Katt married Mia. Nathan Whyde was Tom’s best man.
Richard Head was a big bloke. No one was game to call him anything other than “Richard”. He married old Pop Cornes’ daughter, Maisie.
Matt Brown, the house painter, had a green thumb. In his spare time he did a spot of gardening around town. It was while Matt was gardening he met his future wife, Clover Greene. He was bowled over when he discovered her father was a drover. Clover had four older sisters - Jade, Sage, Hazel and Olive. Together they enjoyed many frivolous capers.
April March was best friends with Rose Bloom, June Day, Luna Knight, Summer Raines, Candy Barr and Abby Rhodes.
Mr. Rice, who the kids called “Sago”, was in partnership with William Thomas Bushell in the local grocery store.
Mr. Bushell was known as “Billy T”. When some of the local kids pinched lollies from the jars on the shop’s counter their cheeky actions made Billy T boil!
And then there was Todd Fish. Unfortunately, throughout his life he was known as “Cod”. He would have preferred “Sword”, he didn’t get his wish.
*** For the information of my Northern Hemisphere readers...there is a rural town in Central Queensland named “Biloela”...pronounced....."Bill-oh-eela". It is claimed that the local Gangulu Aboriginal people, who lived in the district prior to European settlement, named the area Biloela after the white cockatoo which was their totem.
Baked Cod with Olives & Capers: Preheat oven 230C. Arrange 1kg cod fillets in oiled baking dish; sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine until moist - 1/3c dry breadcrumbs, 1/3c chopped green olives, 2tbs capers, 1tbs olive oil, 2tsp oregano, 1tsp minced garlic, 1/4tsp white pepper and 65g drained chopped green olives. Spread evenly over cod; pressing firmly to coat. Bake 12mins, or until fish flakes easily. Serve with lemon wedges.
Brown Rice, Sage and Hazelnuts: Combine 2c long grain brown rice, 4c water and 1tsp salt in saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat; simmer, covered, 40–45mins or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Fluff rice with a fork; set aside. Melt 1/4c butter in pan over med-heat. Add 3/4c sliced hazelnuts and 2tbs chopped fresh sage. Cook, stirring, until hazelnuts are lightly browned, 3–4mins; then stir into rice.
Mango Sago: Over med-heat, bring 2c water to a boil. Add 1/4c small sago (tapioca pearls); cook, stirring regularly, 7-10mins. Turn off heat; cover. Let sago stand in hot water until translucent and cooked through. Then place in colander; rinse sago under cold running water to remove excess starch. Drain well; let cool completely. This would be about 1 cup cooked sago. Peel 5 mangoes; cut flesh from seeds. Cube the flesh of 4 mangoes. Dice flesh of the remaining 1 mango; set aside to use as garnish. In blender or food processor, combine cubed flesh from the 4 mangoes, 1/2c evaporated milk and 1/4c sugar; process until smooth and thick. Combine mango puree and sago. Chill until ready to serve. Divide sago into serving bowls; garnish with diced mangoes.
Baked Sago: Preheat oven to 160°C Soak 1c sago in 2c water 30mins Bring to boil 1lt milk with 1 cinnamon stick on high heat; reduce heat; remove cinnamon stick; add sago and pinch of salt Stirring, cook 15mins Remove from heat; add 5tbs sugar and 2tbs vanilla essence. Add 5tbs butter and 2 eggs; mix thoroughly. Pour into greased baking dish; sift cinnamon on top. Bake 30-35 mins.