Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Must Love Dogs. And Cooking

I'll be honest with you; there were two deal-breakers
between Mr Fascinata and me when we first met.
 Cooking and dogs.
Both had to be in the affirmative.
I have kept up my end of the deal.
And he, his.
He has bought me many beautiful cookbooks.
The Artist's Lunch is about how art and cooking is a happy marriage.
Haven't road tested it, but I should.
However, it is nothing for me to be one minute slumped on the couch, half asleep.
Then in another sixty seconds pounding a lump of dough on the bench.

Here's Rachel Khoo's brioche, sausage and onion recipe.
French Hot Dogs.
If you've got room to spare around your middle or not, try it.
It's comforting.
I don't muck around.
If I am caramelising onions I might as well do a whole bag.
But I do have a mandolin.
I can't stand the frippery of chopping and dicing.
You do have to simmer the snags first.
Bit graphic I know.
Then caramelise.

Throw the spices in.

Let the sausages cool.
You've got to knead about a kilogram of butter through the brioche.
So don't leave it 'til the last minute.
You also have to have time for it to rise.
The whole thing can be quite vexing for those who are impatient.
Wrap the dogs up in pastry.

Let those buttery buns proof again.
Serve the Hot Dogs with onion jam and mustard.
And tomato sauce, if you are inclined.

By the way who is reading AUS L'Officiel?
Where is the June edition?
In pressing news it is very late at my news-stand and no-one seems to know why.
Stay true to whatever you have promised others.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

My Cousin's Arrival:The Dress and Politics

I have been reading Dale Carnegie.
 Written in 1954.
It is still sage.
 I am eagerly awaiting my cousin's imminent arrival back from living in America.
Her daughter is my God-daughter.
And I long to see them both.
My God-daughter said one of the most important things I have ever had said to me.
On my Engagement the three of us were looking for frocks.
The dress for my Engagement soiree.
Of  course, I thought I might buy 'one a size smaller'.
To whittle down into.
My God-daughter's reply was succinct.
"Just buy a dress that fits".
I have since applied this advice to many things and it works.
Dale Carnegie agrees.
Megan Hess would agree.
Have you bought her little book of fashion plates?
It is lovely.
Megan Hess gets fully endorsed here because recently
in one of her interviews she thanked her Art teacher.
Who is actually my old chalkface colleague from a time ago.
How lovely for her.

 Quickly flick through the pages.
 I hope Megan doesn't mind me doing a bit of PR for her.
But I couldn't resist a quick book review.
 If you have $29 AUS to spare or a gift to buy, get a copy.

 Sorry, should have put the contents first.

Meanwhile, I need to follow Carnegie's Rule 1 for the next two months or so.
Plenty of action.
I am under the pump with all sorts of work to do at the chalkface and
there's plenty of Flora Fascinatas that are looking forlornly at me.
I miss them.
I have had to endorse some sort of Lenten fasting.
Hair vest wearing.
Things have to change around these traps for a while.
 I am tightening the time-management belt starting with eradicating daily macarons.
Sparkling at soirees.

 Cake-making with alarming regularity.
 Sunday lunches.
 Et al.
 Desserts every night.
 I am not even going to look at you Marche du Macaron.
I am serious.
Just before I go.
And in no order of importance.
Have you been to any rallies raising awareness of the effects of forced closures
of Aboriginal communities?
Go. I have.
You will hear music and see dancing.
Hear people and highly respected Elders talking about First Nation culture.
There's dignity and grace.
 There's been two rallies in my city outside City Hall.
Here's City Hall with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags sailing for
a celebration week last year. NAIDOC Week.
I felt ashamed and annoyed at the Council that the flags were not out for the rally.
 At another rally I noticed a regional council had given shade tents with council logos to groups.
I will be contacting Brisbane City Council this week to ask why they won't put the flags out
for these key events that shape our democracy. The Federal Government have a "Recognise" Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islanders in Australia's Constitution campaign so surely this is a sincere approach to
recognising means to Reconciliation.
I will assist in the celebration at NAIDOC Week 2015 at my chalkface, let me know
if you would like some ideas for yours.
Keep your belt tight.