Sunday, March 26, 2023





A couple of weeks ago a Gympie friend and I chatted on the phone; not an unusual event. Having grown up across the street from each other, we’ve been friends for centuries.  We met not long after I’d learnt how to talk.  At which time she was superior to me in the skill of talking. Old friends we are in all aspects, years included.  Towards the end of our lengthy conversation, as we bade each other farewell, she said, “It’s been great listening to you.”  Spontaneously, I burst out laughing.  Whether her comment was impromptu or not, had I talked her ear off?  She joined in with the laughter, and we continued our conversation.  Generously, I even let her get a word or two in!  After all, being older than I am, she’s had a few more years of talking.  I need to catch up!

On an average day, if there is such a thing, I don’t do much talking other than to myself, or when I growl at the TV.  Most of my conversing is with Shama, my furry roomie. In turn, she talks back, loudly and clearly. More often she is the instigator/interrogator. She’s probably telling me to shut up.  I pretend I don’t understand. Not easily fooled, Shama’s wise to me.

Some voices of various television reporters, personalities, etc., do grate.  Frequently I’m annoyed by the mispronunciation of some words.  Perhaps I’m behind the times. Maybe I should expand my mingling…chat with more people. Perhaps I’ll talk less with Shama who, by the way, most of the time, makes more sense than many two-legged critters do. Because of my lack of social intercourse, has the spelling of some words been altered during my absence from society?  For instance, words such as “important” and “exactly” have been affected.  Annoyingly, often the former is pronounced “impordand”, and the latter, “eggsactly”.   

I’m not being “mis-chee-vious”. I’m being “mis-chuh-vuh-s”. When in the mood, my express wish is for an espresso, not an expresso.  Often the “pruh-nuhn-see-ey-shuhn” of “pronunciation” is incorrectly pronounced…e.g. “pruh-noun-see-ey-shuhn “. At times “prenunciation” is tossed into the mix adding to the confusion.  By the way, “et cetera/etcetera” is not “ec-set-er-uh”. The correct pronunciation is, “et-set-er-uh”, etc. Amen! (Pronounced “Ahh-men”!) I guess, that’ll be the next word the “cancel culture” will jump upon…demanding it be altered from “Amen” to “Ahh-women”!

Embarrassed, I admit there are some words over which I stumble.  “Phenomenon” and” phenomenal”, for instance, are two tongue-tripping words.  When and where possible I do my best to dodge those dodgy words.  It’s not a phase I’m going through. The two words faze me, and have done for as long as I can remember. Being a Scorpio, my memory is long. 

Another word giving me constant trouble is “Dave”.  I can never pronounce the word correctly. It always comes out as “David”!  

Foreshore…oops…for sure, I didn’t refuse to put out the refuse. I sed I hadn’t ped. Should I’ve sayed I’d paid?  Why aren’t “gave” and “have” pronounced similarly…or “give” and “hive”?  As I wander about, I wonder why this is so. It’s good to be kind at all times, or at least try our best to be kind.  Why aren’t/aunt “kindle/kindling” pronounced similar to “kind”?  

My mind works in mysterious (mis-tee-ree-us) ways.  It always has. 

Every time I try to say “Bernard Schwartz”, it comes out as “Tony Curtis”.  Folk of my vintage will understand. Younger generations…do a Google check.   As for Vincent D’Onofrio from “Law & Order; Criminal Intent”…my pronunciation of his surname was hopelessly jumbled every time I’d try to say it, so I gave up ages ago!



La torta pasqualina/Pass-kwah-lean-ah ("Pass" rhymes with mass)/Easter Pie: Wash 370g spinach leaves; put into pot with a little water. Cover; cook over low heat,10mins. Filling: In bowl mix 140g ricotta, 60g Parmigiano Reggiano, 30g Pecorino Romano cheese and 1 egg; add pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Drain spinach; squeeze well to remove the water. Add spinach to cheese mixture. Mix well to combine. Line 20cm round cake pan with baking paper. Then line it with one sheet of puff pastry. Fill it with the cheese and spinach mixture. Make 3 small hollows in mixture, evenly spaced. Crack and place 1 raw egg in each hole. Cut a 20 cm circle out of second puff pastry sheet. Place it carefully over top of the mixture. Close the pie, folding down edges of pastry lining to join up with the disk. Bake in 180C oven, 50mins. Serve hot, or at room temp. It can be kept in fridge covered with wrap, or in an airtight container for 3 days. It can be frozen. If preferred, cut it into slices in order to defrost only the portions needed. Defrost in fridge; then reheat in oven or microwave.

Spaghetti aglio e olio/spah-get-tee- ah-lyo-oh-ly-o: Cook 500g spaghetti in boiling salted water. Drain; reserve 1/2c liquid. Heat 3/4c x-virgin olive oil in large, deep pan over med-heat. Add 6 thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook until lightly golden. Add pasta, 1/2 c grated parmesan and cooking liquid; toss 1min or until well combined; season. Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped   parsley, extra parmesan and chilli flakes (if using).

Saturday, March 11, 2023





The recent inane attempts to re-write well-known books by highly-regarded storytellers are further proof many inhabitants of this world have lost the plot. In 1971 David Bowie sang, “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes”.  Bowie, “The Thin White Duke”, must have been able to foresee the future because there are many these days who want to change everything!  It’s time for the “woke” mob to go to sleep…either that, or wake up to themselves! It’s time to turn a leaf.

Will Shakespeare, soon to be known as “Testament Trembleshaft”, if the “changers” have their way, would be shaking in his footwear upon learning what these misguided creatures wanted to do to Rolled Lentils’ (aka Roald Dahl) miscellanea/desiderata aka books.  

What the Dickens is going on?  Charles didn’t have a clue. It wasn’t Charlie who asked the question. Trembleshaft is the guilty one. It was he who asked the question in “The Merry Wives of Windsor” in 1602, a couple of centuries before Our Mutual Friend Charles Dickens had great expectations.  Maybe, when no one was looking, the Merry Wives had been imbibing a little too much sherry, and that being the cause of William’s indignant interrogation.  The ladies’ questionable behavior was years and years before Oliver went around the twist. Long before David copped a feel in the Old Curiosity Shop when he was haggling with Barnaby Rudge over the purchase of Humphrey’s Clock.  Billy Quiverjavelin’s aka Shakespeare’s  “King Lear” will next be altered to “King Ogle”, I suppose.

I now realise my childhood must have been blighted by Enid Blyton.  Ms Blyton was banned from the BBC for almost 30 years. The establishment believed nobody should read “second-rater” Blyton because her work lacked “literary value”. Enid’s Famous Five and Secret Seven tales filled many happy hours for me. Re-enacting their adventures with my friends was loads of fun.  My life was brightened by Blyton.  Poor Noddy, Big Ears, and Piggy were outlawed, too. Should I not have allowed my life to be enlightened by that titan Blyton?  Is Enid to blame for my wanton ways? Somehow, The Muppets’ Miss Piggy escaped the chopping block by the skin of her chinny chin chin.  Porky Pig had better duck for cover.  Seeing we’re not allowed to use the word “fat”, do we now have to cut the “enormous” off pork chops?

One day during my high school years I was on a high.  Our English teacher asked us to write a précis on Charlotte Brontë’s novel, “Jane Eyre”.  Very proud I was to be chosen to stand before my classmates, and asked to read my abridgement of protagonist Jane’s development through life.   The so-called “cancel culture”, or whatever other name they call themselves, haven’t yet decided to change Jane Eyre  Would they dare?

Apparently, Louisa May Alcott also foresaw the future when naming her book “Little Women”, not “Little Females”. The inane ‘Righteous Police’ would’ve made her change the name if she’d used “Females”.  “Female” is another word the brainless ones wanted eliminated from our vocabulary. In their world “Woman/women” are only to be allowed.  It sounds like an amenities’ block, doesn’t it? The next thing they’ll want to change will be “Mrs Brown’s Boys”.  To toy with Mrs Brown will keep them occupied forever!

Erasing history…changing the history of history…the reality of history…appears to be, for some misguided folk, a popular pastime nowadays. Why anyone would want to show the world the extent of their ignorance beats me. Many lessons are to be learned… much knowledge gained…from studying history. The deluded ones have a lot to learn.  It is time they stepped away from the impracticable, illusory world of their own invention.


Braised Pork Chops & Lentils: Heat 1-1/2tsp x-virgin oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over med-high heat. Season 4x200g trimmed pork cutlets. Cook, turning, 3mins, or until browned. Transfer to a plate.  Add one finely chopped onion and 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves; stir until softened. Add 1tsp fennel seeds; add 200g halved grape or cherry tomatoes; cook, stirring 1min. Add 3/4c dry white wine; simmer until reduced by half. Stir in 3/4c chick stock and 2tsp Dijon mustard; simmer 5mins. Stir in 400g drained, rinsed can brown lentils; return pork to pan. Cook, turning pork, halfway through, for 6mins, or until cooked. Stir in 1tbs lemon juice; season. Combine 1/2c chopped Italian parsley, 1/2c sliced green olives and 1tbs lemon juice in a bowl. Serve pork topped with olive relish. 

Spicy Red Lentil Dahl: Heat 1tbs olive oil over med-heat; add 2 diced onions; sauté until translucent; add 4 diced tomatoes or 1 can diced, undrained tomatoes, 3 minced garlic cloves and 1-1/2 inch minced ginger knob; cook 5mns, or until tomatoes begin to break down. Add 1c red lentils, 4c water or vegetable stock, 1 heaped tsp each cumin, coriander and turmeric; add 1/4tsp cinnamon, 1/4-1/2tsp cayenne pepper and salt, to taste. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low; simmer gently 15-20mins; stir occasionally until lentils are tender, but not mushy. Dahl will thicken upon standing (them, not you!). Add more liquids as needed.  Serve in individual bowls, or over bed of rocket and brown rice (cooked, of course). Top with squeeze of lemon juice.