Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Despite the fact that 4 of my last 7 posts have been recipe based, I am definitely not what you would call a food blogger.

For a start, a food blogger would have their toenails painted, the floor more tasteful and thinner thighs.  Its true - that and the whole floured hem probably gives me away as not a food blogger.

Eddie agrees.

But I do like food.  I like to cook it.   I LOVE to eat it.  I want to share it - hence there is a chance that a recipe may be hinted at...

Golzeme is something I discovered a couple of years ago.  An awesome little local franchise, Sunshine Kebabs, offered it as a special.  As I was holding a one woman attempt to keep such a fantastic little food outlet on in this little backblock, I tested it - and fell in love.

Alas, one woman was not enough to hold back the economic requirements to sustain such a great fast food option.  

We have a McDonalds now.  

It saddens me greatly.

But I have since discovered how easy it is to create your own Golzeme without having to hunt down rare food outlets.

Golzeme is basically Arabic for toasted sandwich - only the sandwich is thin and has an awesome texture and the contents, even if they are pedestrian, are brought through as such an intense flavour.

 There are two Golzeme recipes that I have discovered that are completely different from each other, but both so simple.  I am not going to actually rip off their recipes.  I suggest you chose either one of the following dough recipes:

I have been on a bit of a Golzeme jag of late, and even made a sweet one (apple, cinnamon and brown sugar - inspired by the Croatian mother-outlaw's feed the masses on the smell of an oily-rag culinary school) last week as I had 15 savoury leftover stuffed ones and no filling for the last crust!

The main rule of thumb is to have great ingredients - I use leftover roasted or steamed (or salad) vegetables, fresh produce from the garden, whatever may be on special - you are only limited by your imagination.

Until recently, I would have said that you have to have a cheese of some sort, but I forgot when doing some last week and discovered that it isn't necessary - nice, but not an insurmountable obstacle.

Honestly, the most challenging thing about this dish is working out modulation of temperature to cook the dough enough but not too much!

I love it with a wedge of lemon.

So - what is your food crush?

* I do not apologise for the fact that, being brought up in Central Queensland with the heritage of "English/Irish/Scottish/French/German/whoever else invaded distilled through Australia", I sometimes access my exotic cultural fixes through mainstream media.  My mother learned to cook at the lap of the Australian Women's Weekly.

**  I am, however, open to anyone who has a fair dinkum non-Western recipe for me and if the ingredients are available in Paradise I will give it a twirl.

Monday, October 14, 2013


(Fair warning - **


Do you know what I have been doing?

Reliving my youth, that is what.  Well, on a strictly part-time, quality basis that is but very rarely afforded in the present life.

It is currently the local Arts Festival  (Crush Festival).  This year, I actually KNEW about it before it was on.   And got my act together enough to get the family organised - ish.


On Friday night, I had the great pleasure of participating in the "Holding Worlds in Your Words" workshop with Scott Sneddon.  (courtesy of Queensland Poetry Festival)

One of the great things about poetry workshops is you often come up with poems that otherwise would never have seen light of day.  Sometimes this is a good thing.  Either way that you take "this".

For example...

Strawberry Jam
                I am not tempted by you
                Sticky.  Red.  Juicy.

No, for I am strong.

Nuts crushed between my teeth definant
                At the balancing act of me
                Twice as large as once I aimed.
                And the pull of red sugar syrup.

That was a "one minute purge" poem - the  second one we had done.  The first was for no-one's eyes, this is the one written with the concept that it would be read by everyone in the whole world.  I don't think it is quite there.

Dusted white across the brow
Wrinkles where a thumb pressed down.
Once – I was hot
                I was admired

Oh sure.  Some may not have liked the sultana slant
But my sweet, gluten kiss
                To your lips.
Oh once, you would have reached.

But now.  Now plucked from amongst the pile of
A life class drawn by words.
A technique for the fastidious of hips
                To erupt the thoughts within.

A panacea with cream and jam.
Make me yours.
I shall be whole again.

We were to personify an inanimate object - our table OBVIOUSLY got a scone (the other tables had 2 paper coffee cups or a blue whiteboard marker - you should have heard some of those - it is a great exercise - you should try it)

I was interrupted by organising 'Salina's social life and repercussions - it seems motherhood isn't completely suspended - and so came in on the tail of the instruction for the next exercise.  I wrote two poems from it - guess the technique?

If the Sun was in my pocket
                I’d be a rocket.

If the Sun was in my pocket
                How hot would you find me?

If the Sun was in my pocket
                It would kick your cancer’s ass.

If the Sun was in my pocket
                I would hide behind the moon and
                sing Bonnie Tyler songs.

If the Sun was in my pocket
                Sizzle would be my sound.


Yesterday, for the first time in - too many years, I cannot remember the last time - a very long time, I got to go to a Poetry Slam.  This is where you have two minutes ****** to read/perform/recite your poem and there are judges who determine who wins and who nearly wins.

*******  The poem I performed was very much an oldie.  It was my "go to" piece at the very beginning of my time doing performance poetry when I was in my 20s and living in Sydney.  It never used to be considered for Slams as it was over a minute in length.  And double bonus - for the vast majority of the crowd, it was a new poem ********!


          I look at you and regress years.
My maturity dies,
And the desperate devotion
Of a teenager surfaces.
Illogical, but so in lust!

          Your eyes, surveying your surrounds,
That I have forced into,
Meet my face and pass.
I read a thousand meanings in that glance,
          My mind in turmoil.
Turgidly it fights for realism -
My soul destroys such thoughts
And builds a castle on this foundation.

          Your smile - so complete,
                So sexy,
Rips my resolve.
But it was for another
And I crumble.

          Sweetly secure behind the cake counter you pose.
I scribe my desire,
Hoping passionately you can read minds;
Hoping fearfully that you can’t.

          I want.
And my want is fervid.
The hormones rush and settle on fragments.

          Oh!  The casual toss of a tea-towel
          over a shoulder
Takes the place my head would fit.

          Your hands plunge into the warm, soapy water,
Were that they were mine.

          I sit and stare.
Your hair!  Your eyes!
Your movement a sublime ritual,
Your face in concentration
          Over a stubborn milkshake container.

          You turn.
I turn away.
My spying eyes burn in shame.

          But this teenage bout
Of lust a fantasy
That I fear
Would not sustain any maturity.

          So I sit
          I stare
          I dream
          I drool
Yet I realise that
If, and when, perhaps we meet
You shall be well protected
From an onslaught
Of ravishtation
By the tentative hold this woman
On the girl within.

It went well - I got a "nearly win" prize, which is the story of my Slam career ###.

* (Edited Journal Extract)

(With extra bits)

** for those new - hello - word of warning.  I use lots of words.  Very few pictures.  I do occasionally post lots of pictures - but this isn't one of those posts.  Lots of words.  Ask yourself, do I enjoy reading? Do I enjoy reading lots of words?  There is no refund at the end of the post.)

(Please realise that I have actually taken a lot of originally written words out.  True, I have added a few in also - case in point - but you are only getting edited highlights of the original "regurgitation of the soul" - true, it was actually a phrase used in some of the stuff cut out.  Dodged a bullet there, didn't you.)

(See - took out a whole paragraph there and you didn't notice)

*** Ahem.  As I was saying, I have been sleuthing around and actually discovered that there was the possibility of

***(No, I didn't cut off that sentence- that is how some of it went.  Left that in there so you could see it)

*****(I took out all of the drivel surrounding "to the taste of my refined palate".  Phew!)

# I know - it does LOOK like I am obsessed with food in poetry - I swear, food is only a device.

## (I am only posting one - the other one didn't make the cut) 

****** Wusses - we used to only get one minute.

******* The last time I went to a Slam - I was not a mother.  I was barely a partner.  To a different man.  In a completely different set of circumstances. I was also pre-menstrual - I apologise to V.  Let us say the lead up to the Slam was not pretty, but we survived the organisation of such and actually made it.  
Will do better next time honey.  Thanks.

 ******** Not bad for a poem first penned - eek - about 22 years ago - half my life. Eek!

 ### The first ever slam I entered (I got a "nearly won"), the lady who won was a bit of an enigma - even more so when she won the second ever slam I ever entered (I got a "nearly won").  I asked her why she didn't go to other poetry stuff - she said "I am a mother".  Now I understand, Amanda.  I never saw her again.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Silverbeet Tian

I got this recipe many years ago from my all time favourite vegetarian cookbook - one of those cookbooks that you use as a bible and so allow someone else to delve into it and -that is where the trail goes cold.  Who did I lend it to?

The good news is that this recipe is etched on my brain, because we had it tonight and it was (as usual) truly wonderful.


  • Olive Oil
  • A couple of cloves of garlic minced
  • Good bunch of silverbeet, cut fine and rinsed well (you could use spinach instead - spinach and my garden are keeping their distance due to previous sulking fits by the former)
  • A few cups of leftover cooked rice (or even cook it special, because this is)
  • Toasted pine nuts (not essential, but a bloddy great addition)
  • Grated cheese (about a small handful - don't make it too cheesy)
  • 3-4 eggs beaten
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese
I apologise for no set quantities  - it changes each time I make it, and every time is great.

  • In a frypan heat a good swig of oil and get the garlic all fragrant
  • Add the silverbeet and let it cook down
  • Mix in rice, nuts and cheese.
  • Mix in the eggs and pour into a greased oven dish
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs and parmesan over the top of the dish and put into a moderate oven for 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour.
Eat.  Enjoy.  It is DELICIOUS.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Patch Work

(For those of you from the Garden Share Collective – a very abridged version of what V has done and we are to do is at the end) 

But first the wordy Jeanie yarny bit...

It has been a busy few weeks, as I had intentions of filling this school holidays with things that have been in the pipeline to happen for months if not years.

 We visited, we helped, we celebrated, we updated, we winced, we held breaths, we gardened, we pruned, we laughed, we got dirty, we are now home and it was great.

One of the many highlights of our last few weeks was making good on a promise to my Dad.

We, together, he and I, as a team, and got started on his vegie patch. 

It is terribly dry right now where he lives.

It is hard to imagine that this area was the headwaters of the worst floods in white man recorded history in this region. 

Dad has visions of plentiful vegetable crops.  In terms of tomatoes, citrus and passionfruit, this vision has gone great guns in recent year. 

However it seems his philosophy in life and vegetable gardening are not always seeing eye to eye, with the time and motion concepts warped by many an impediment.  Which is where I am to come in.  I am to be his "woo boy" with his bull at a gate methodology, it seems.

Due to being overseas for a long stretch this year, his patch was to start almost from scratch. 

Yesterday we started. The whippersnipped lawn of weeds and dust was layered with the plentiful supply of well-rotted horse manure (oh to have a well-rotted horse manure mound at the corner of your patch) where it is envisaged creating a nice circular bed in a future working bee. The pile was saturated and then we placed the unused poly trough over it, both solving a storage solution and hopefully speeding up the process of sterilising the weed seed.

As I said to Dad, my approach to gardening is that of a scientific experiment – if it doesn’t work, you will at least find out what it does. 

We then dug and turned ONLY two beds that he had manured a while ago, and got the water to trickle. As is the wont of working in any farming enterprise, this led to checking the water, noticing the tap drip, collection of an ancient enamel bath (one of three possibilities), checking the water, checking the dam, checking the tank, gaining a result and creating new lines of watering.

After morning tea, I got him tarted up to go down to the local plant nursery (no, I didn’t photograph this – he is of the school of standards of dress but not of the bloggable moments).

We got cucumber, tomatoes, beetroot, corn, zucchini and lettuce – a fine selection – but I did get into trouble for dragging him in to town all tarted up for such a short job.

We then donned working gear again to fix a problem with his chicken house.

Paris joined us on this part of the adventure. Grandpa is someone she admires greatly from afar but her timidity and his – looking for the word, looking for the word –boisterosity – gives her nerves and a certain velcrosity.

So we admired the chicks, soothed Paris, gathered blocks and muttered about bricklaying methods, soothed Paris, drove pickets, messed with wire and tins and bits of wood, jammed gaps, devised brilliant gate systems, soothed Paris and moved the hoses a few times. My contribution involved hoses and Paris.

Have I mentioned my father was born early, ran at 7 months and hasn’t actually stopped yet?

Anyway, we (well, he with us as passengers) then checked the water, checked the dam, checked bottom tank, checked the top tank, checked the back dam, came in for lunch and then discussed solar pump technology with my brother on the phone.

Later that afternoon (after a 150km round trip to collect 'Salina), I finally allowed Dad to plant the seedlings. We discussed mulching in depth (ha ha – THAT is a pun, folks – you have to watch for them around here). So we got half a round bale of grass hay (again, serious resources envy – wouldn’t you love a polocrosse carnival to clean up after?) to well and truly blanket them in as well as create a pile over the next proposed bed to hopefully aid in ground breaking the area.

Today, I held the irresistible force who began jiggling for jobs at 7am – Dad in other words – off from the fun stuff we had planned for today for several hours while I did "mum on holiday" stuff - you know, washing, organising iPad strategies, keeping the peace. 

Our next door neighbour had a few volunteers that V has been nursing for Dad until this weekend occurred, and we were set to do our two favourite things – plant trees and prune trees.  I finally allowed him to play after morning tea.

We first planted the tree that the neighbour’s neighbour (whose tree donated the seedling), the neighbour (who potted the volunteer), V and Dad think is a fig, but someone mentioned is probably a Indian Rubber Tree so now I am concerned… (and thanks to Google I understand my concerns – an Indian Rubber Plant is indeed a Fig Tree – but the Fig Tree of my father’s desire is, I think, the Moreton Bay Fig  - 9 Species of Fig Trees )

Then we got pruning. 

I have mentioned in the past my affinity to the secateurs in our home environment – this is an entirely genetic trait, only my paternal donor not only has access to serious secateurs, he also has saws of the chain AND electric variety!

Again, far too quick off the blocks, but remembered to capture after shots of our bit of fun, getting some air into the mandarin and orange trees.

Every year the crop is hugely abundant with these trees – so abundant and yet nigh impossible to harvest fully due the dense foliage, the propensity of dead twigs poking you in the eye or inadvertent thorns attacking grasping hands. These excuses will no longer be valid – and while we may have reduced the potential load for next season, we have ensured the crop available will actually be available.

This got Dad’s pruning lust up, so short work was then made of a nuisance tree that he doesn’t really see the point of in the wrong spot. I did salvage 10 excellent branches for future stakes.

While Dad removed the rubbish and trailer, 
I planted the banana in a spot that should be slightly sheltered from frost and hopefully will be happy and offer golden riches for Mum’s daily breakfast ritual.

I then created some seedling trays as scientific experiments the next working bee.

As I have been busy gadding about, the garden has been V’s sole domain.

Luckily, the front yard has been a delight of self-seeders and sucking up the beauty of spring.

This is about 4th or 5th generation from the original Sunflowers in the banner of my blog.  One of the genetic "quirks" is apparently the occasional multi-headed flower.
In the back beds, we have restocked where heartbreak was wreaked on the corn frontrage, while we have greatly admired the pak choi flowers.  There are also pumpkins growing in this plot.

The corner plot - previously known as the tomato forest - is now home to some peas reaching for a trellis, self seeded borage, mustard, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, basil, marigolds and tomatoes - it will be thinned as the requirements of the season advise.

All of our frangipanni have now formed a good head of leaves - this latest one (also courtesy of the above-mentioned neighbour) is currently in great company, with a floral surround.
The bamboo hedge that V is creating for privacy - both ours and the neighbours - has been interspersed with some sunflowers thinned from
the side bed, as we also have some hopes of
getting some heritage tomatoes of the not self-seeded camp going along here once the sunflowers are done.
This bed is already home to 
our current source of all things tomato!!

The basil, coriander and cornflowers are very welcoming to the bees, which is so heartening - one of my delights in the garden is the animal life that it encourages (well, most - I don't celebrate paper wasps, ants, toads or grasshoppers)
while the bed that, until recently, was our provider of peas and snowpeas, is now producing silverbeet and hopefully will offer zucchini and cucumbers as the season progresses.

Our own banana tree has created a sucker.  We will keep one for next year's tree, but it is so hard to prune off such vigourous vibrant plants.  The sacrifices of gardening, a metaphor for life somehow...

The herb patch at the side is not done justice by this shot - story of my blog, really - the sage has come back quite wonderfully after I removed the tangle of seedy coriander to its right, and has indeed flowered.  The oregano is also creeping towards world domination, while the thyme has gorgeous little flowers on it also.  To the left is some more coriander, severely hacked as it is the only way to treat it - I anticipate these bolting soon and hope the seedlings that V has going will ensure continuous supply - food in Summer (heck, any season) is the better for coriander.  On the far right of this shot is the start of the parsley mound - tabouli is on the menu often here - and out of shot is pineapple sage, garlic chives and lemongrass.
I am looking forward to my Garden tour tomorrow - Lizzie at Strayed from the Table is holding her usual monthly Garden Share Collective

and she has graciously allowed me some time latitude in joining in this month.