Recipe reflections

lambs fry Offal is not always awful.  This particular offal is the only sort I like.  My husband enjoys kidneys and brains as well as sweetbreads, but they are not for me. Last night we had a meal for dinner that brought back many memories.  The first memory was of the time I first tasted this particular dish.  My sister-in-law and my brother were kind enough to have me stay with them for a year when I first started work.  I have some wonderful memories of my time with them and this recipe comes from that time.  I introduced my husband to the recipe and all my children have tasted it too. Last night as I was preparing the meal it got me reflecting on memories associated with food.  I am lucky to have brothers and sisters who are all good cooks and so there are memories associated with meals we have shared with them. The meal I cooked was Lambs Fry Provençal. Lambs fry ProvençalMy recipe card shows very basic instructions and we have modified the 1970’s recipe to use fresh mushrooms rather than tinned. (It is really important to slice the lambs fry as thinly as you possibly can.  Big chunks of fry are horrible.) It is a delicious meal and certainly one that is ideally suited for a cold winter’s night.  The stock cube was OXO, and that revived the memory from childhood when there was an advertisement that claimed OXO would “Give a meal man appeal!” Stainless steel casserole Another memory associated with the meal was the casserole dish in which the meal was cooked – this was a wedding present from my younger brother.  The wine that was included in the ingredients was one called “Jimmy” so there was also a link to our son. Jimmy   So many meals have so many memories.

Sport aplenty in the month of July

July promises to be a wonderful month for watching sport.

Wimbledon-2015The sport has already started with the beginning of Wimbledon.  Although I generally don’t watch the tennis there are a few Australians I will be following, in particular Samantha Stosur.  It was sad to see Lleyton Hewitt exit Wimbledon so quickly in this his final year on the professional circuit.  He has certainly provided us with many years of “fight back” matches.

Wimbledon_court_No._1Centre Court at Wimbledon.

Cricket is well under way over in the U.K. and we have been able to watch it on television here in Australia.  The real cricket starts with the Ashes series which I will definitely be watching, when it doesn’t clash with the cycling!

The Ashes (Photo by David Munden/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

My favourite cycling event starts this month, with the Tour de France.

tour mapI already have the Tour Tracker uploaded on my phone so I can keep track of the various teams, individuals and their standings.

SBS Skoda Tour Tracker 2015tracker info

Super 15 rugby union has reached the pointy end of the season and the final is between two New Zealand teams, this would suggest that the All Blacks will be the team to beat come the World Cup which starts in England in September.

Rugby world cupThat is just a sampling of the sport on offer this month, needless to say I will be having a few late nights!


Holidays and home.

I have been quiet on the blogging front as we have been away for a while.  We arrived home last week and I am now getting back into my routine.  The first thing that needed attention was the garden as the weeds don’t go on holiday even though it is winter here.

We have been away north to warmer parts of Australia and had a wonderful time visiting my siblings and good friends from Canberra.  We also visited our daughter and of course our granddaughters.  We didn’t get the chance to catch up with our son.  Next time.

It is wonderful to catch up with family and I am lucky as they are spread along the east coast of Australia so it makes for a great trip
Metung to Brisbane

We are planning a trip overseas at the moment and we are really looking forward to that.  We will be going to the UK and France.  We will escape some of our winter so that can only be a good thing.

No matter where we go on holiday there is no place like home.

This actually was no stranger

  I had bought this book second hand thinking that I must read it as it had been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.  I bought it quite some time ago but have only just readi it now.  The reason I say it was no stranger is I feel I have read it before.  I must have borrowed it from the library and had forgotten that I had read it.

I enjoy Sarah Waters books and I have mentioned in previous blog posts Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith.  This one is completely different in that it involves the supernatural.  Not really my style.  The plot is slow moving but I think that is designed to build up the tension.  There is much to be said in this novel about the differences in class in England and it plays an important role throughout the book.

The style of writing is beautiful and well worth reading even though you may not be someone who enjoys books about the supernatural.

From the book cover:

In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall.  Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, its owners – mother, son and daughter – struggling to keep pace with a changing society.  But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr Faraday know how closely , and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.

Well worth reading.

Read in a few hours

This is another book that I can put into my TBR Reading Challenge.  Again it is one that I bought at the secondhand bookstore.

Cover her faceHaving read many Dalgliesh mysteries this one was no different.  Very much like an Agatha Christie novel with many possible suspects to the murder and you are left guessing to the very end.  This one was read very quickly as there was a compulsion to find out “who dunnit?”

From the book cover:

St Cedd’s church fete had been held in the ground of Martingale for generations.

As if organising stalls and presiding over luncheon, the bishop and the tea-tent were not enough for Mrs Maxie, later that mellow July afternoon her son Stephen sprang the news of his engagement.  By morning, Sally Jupp, her new parlourmaid – unmarried mother and minor village scandal – was dead.

Investigating murder at the Elizabethan manor house, Detective Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh is intrigued to find more than one fiancee among the suspects – such are the complicated passions beneath the calm surface of English village life . . . 


Completely floored

I forgot to show pictures of our floor when it was finally finished although I had told you about the process of ripping up the carpet and tiles. We had to wait a little while for someone to come and finish off the trim once the floor was laid but the floor is now complete and we are very happy with it.

family room floorIs is so much easier to keep clean.

new floor


Don’t tell mum I work on the rigs

The full title is Don’t tell mum I work on the rigs she thinks I’m a piano player in a whorehouse.  This is a non-fiction book written by Paul Carter and details his life while working on oil rigs around the world.

oil rigs

He has been shot at, hijacked and held hostage.  He almost died of dysentery in Asia and toothache in Russia, watched a Texan lose his mind the the jungles of Asia and lost a lot of money backing a mouse against a scorpion in a fight to the death.

This book details the adventures of a man as he works his way through the locations of various oilfields in the world. Not a job for the faint hearted.

My reason for having this book on my TBR shelf is our next door neighbour used to work on oil rigs and I thought it would be interesting to get a glimpse of what life was like for him.  Now I have read the book I will need to check if his experiences were anything like the experiences of Paul Carter.