Saturday, December 25, 2004

It's beginning to taste alot like Christmas


Ahhh... And finally after 3 hrs of cooking, we're done! Smells great, looks fantastic, and I'm sure it'll taste superb!

Tested the crackling and it just melts in the mouth!

It's beginning to smell alot like Christmas

The appartment now smells like roast pork and I'm hungry as hell! I wonder what people in the street can smell... Are they Jealous of my pork? If they are... Too bad!

Looks like the crackling is coming along quite nicely! Can't wait to get my laughing gear into it.



Maybe time to wake Eva and to start some pan cakes *drool*

Christmas lunch preparation

Yes! Christmas is upon us!

It’s now early Christmas morning, and the work has begun. We’ve got Christmas lunch at Pep @ Ray’s place later on.

Earlier in the week Eva and I managed to make it out to Marrickville shopping centre on our was back from a bead sortie, and remembering Pep’s request that we bring along the roast pork, we scoured the shopping centre for a decent piece of pork to roast.

Not an easy as easy as you would think. Pork comes in many shapes and sizes, and most importantly different cuts. We looked at rolls of pork, legs, mid loins etc, and really, it was just too hard. Eva put her foot down and we found this hefty piece of pork leg, weighing in at 2.8kg, nice size and shape, and a good price too!

Ok, time to catapult back into “now”. Last night I didn’t really feel like heating the apartment up and cooking this hulking piece of pig and wanting to eat it afterwards, so this morning, I managed to drag myself out of bed @ 6am to prepare.

I’ve already made the apple sauce, more about that later… Pork now!

In keeping with Jocelyn’s (my widdle sister) request that I provide “instructions” on how I cook, here it is as follows…

Step 1
Cut pork out of plastic wrapping, be careful not to cut oneself, because that would be just plain bad. And turn the oven on, should be at about 180°c



Step 2
Calculate how long this is going to take to cook, and hope to god that I woke up in time to have this ready for our ETA of approximately 12pm. I’m in luck; pork requires 30 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 30 minutes according to “The Australian All Colour Cook Book” so it should be ready around 1130 hrs. Just in time for our departure *phew*

Step 3
Preparing the piece of pork is the fun bit, scoring the rind, and adding the vital ingredients to get the crackling to work. I’m renowned for my crackling; it just melts in the mouth.

Step 4
Crackling creation time! I use a technique taught by my father, and perfected by me. Firstly you need to score the pork’s rind with a knife, generally cutting the rind, some recipes suggest that you prick the rind all over, but I prefer to make shallow cuts into the meat, it allows it to expand as the pork begins to cook, and it just looks damn good!

Step 5
Next you need the juice of a lemon, and lots of salt. Liberally smear the rind with the lemon juice, making sure it makes its way into the cuts, and then rub in the salt.

Chefs Note: Make sure you have plenty of salt; just a little here and there just won’t work. I just normally poor a whole pile on and then massage it into the rind, and then more, to make sure I miss some bits, and more again to make sure I get good coverage.



Step 6
Place pork in roasting tray and, if you’ve done your maths right, it should be ready in a few hours.


Apple sauce

As promised, some info about apple sauce.

Not sure why, but it's definitely something that goes well with the roast pork, and I generally prepare this one a day prior, nothing worse than warm apple sauce with your roast pork, it's a bit like chalk and cheese, not that I know what it's like, I just wouldn't eat the chalk!

There are a number of ways how to make apple sauce, but drawing from my Father’s tutelage, I’m using his recipe. Granny Smiths are best, others, will just taste weird or just too sweet.

Step 1
Peel, quarter and core as many apples as you think you need, and a couple more to make sure, you can never have enough apple sauce! Make sure that you have removed the core entirely, because there is nothing worse than apple core in your apple sauce, it’s just not cricket!

Step 2
Cut apple up finely, or how ever you like. Add sugar liberally, and a little water, and place over a high heat, and let cook till the apple begins to turn see-through.

Step 3
Grab your potato masher, and mash the apple till it’s a bit like mashed potato. If you’ve added too much water under Step 1, you can cook some of that out once you’ve mashed your apple.

Step 4
Add lemon juice and some butter to taste. I hear you ask, why butter? Well I've never been able to work that one out either, like all good fathers, they avoid the question when asked, but trust me, it makes it taste great!

Step 5
Allow to cool for a bit, cover and place in fridge. If your in a hurry and need to get some sleep, allow to cool for a very short period, then place a metallic spoon in sauce, cover a little and then place in fridge.

Friday, December 24, 2004

JIMINY CRICKET!

We have a cricket that has decided to make our outside shoe rack his brand new love nest.

Right now the love machine is chirping so loudly that he's drowning out the Star Wars DVD on 5.1 surround sound! (which is Steph's christmas present)

Come here! Love for free, let me guide you into my boudior of leather and heels.... Maybe Jiminy has a shoe fetish. After all he does have 6 feet to dress...

Merry Christmas everyone!

PS: Eva got an icecream machine! will be posting my achivements with my new toy Soon!

Brothers

I'm always interested in the updates that I get about my younger brother Serge, and was quite amused that he had gone the whole hog this year for Christmas and had ordered fresh Quail & Mallard (duck) and a few other birds to have on the table for Christmas lunch/dinner.

Serge has a reputation of eating out 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, and my initial reaction was... "He's going to cook?" but remembering some meals he put together whilst we were still living in Canberra, even though, quite basic, were quite tasty! Batchelor food, done the "Serge Way".

I finally caught Serge online this evening, and managed to ask the question about Christmas lunch... Thread as follows:
9:50:53 PM Steph I hear you've purchased half a barn yard for Christmas
9:51:01 PM Serge
lol
9:51:38 PM Serge
yep its gonna be shit load a feathers in the house on Saturday end some goooood cookin'
9:51:47 PM Steph
lol
9:52:03 PM Steph
So they're still alive are they?
9:52:22 PM Serge
ya they arrived last night
9:52:39 PM Serge
the quails are ganging up on the mallard
9:53:18 PM Serge
I'm a little upset coz it could really affect the flavor of the meat. Can't have a stressed out mallard on your hands
At this stage, I'd kinda worked out that he was having me on, but couldn't resist playing along, laughing and tears streaming...
9:53:49 PM Steph *blink*
9:54:19 PM Steph
so who's going to kill these birds, gut & pluck?
9:54:53 PM Serge
mate - we are having a killing ceremony tomorrow night
9:55:01 PM Serge
I've bought some Indian paint
9:55:12 PM Serge
I have some 70's funk music
9:55:23 PM Serge
its gonna be a cool night
9:55:29 PM Steph
mmm... Ok
9:55:53 PM Serge
...
9:55:55 PM Steph
you won't have any birds for lunch me thinks
9:56:14 PM Serge
they're arriving tomorrow from the organic butchers :)
9:56:30 PM Steph
oh...
9:56:41 PM Steph
your purely evil young man
9:58:13 PM Serge
did you really believe that fanciful story?
9:58:25 PM Serge
the quails are ganging up on the mallard!
9:58:37 PM Steph
ha ha
9:58:54 PM Steph
made me think twice once you mentioned the killing ritual
9:59:07 PM Serge
:D
9:59:17 PM Serge
thought the 70's funk was a nice touch
You've just gotta love family, but I look forward to hearing about the outcome of their

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Sunday BBQ + nature film live

Sunday Andrew and I celebrated our birthday with a great big stinking hot BBQ at centennial park. Loads of fun, ate heaps. Gave the goths dirty looks for stealing all the tables. but we had fun on the ground. as i said buckets of food (still eating the leftovers now - sausage with salad in a bun with tomato sauce for dinner)

But even tho the temperature hit a hot steamy 37*C the pigeons... ahh the pigeons. while sitting down and digesting, we noticed to pigeons bopping up and down about a meter away from us.

Eva annouces "Its Foreplay!" (At max volume of course) and chuckles all around, then a gasp and hilairty all around as they mount and copulate in front of us!

Adding to the amusement a seagull walks by with lock jaw. Must have been shock... but anything goes in Centennial Park! But by 2pm it was getting too stinking hot and we adjourned to the swimming pool.

Ahh the Pool, my god was it good! The water was even warm to jump into! Kathleen and Andrew drove back to get their swimmers and we all jumped in and splashed and swam until we turned into little prunes. Perfect way to end a hot sweaty day!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Those were the days...

Well its almost the end of the year.

And tommorrow I am having a goodbye lunch with 1/5 of our team leaving. Yes.
4 of them. Our director, a few ASMs and a Designer have left, for a better career, a better life.

I have dreamed about handing in multiple resignations in one pile. But it seems bitter for those that are left behind. Jealousy? Mostly likely.

Anyway i was humming a tune that my mum sang to me as a kid and i reckon i have found the song for the disillusioned but wiser. The lyrics a below. The chorus is rather famous so dont be surprised if you are humming it for the next few days.

Those Were The Days Mary Hopkins (Music & Lyrics : Gene Raskin)

Once upon a time there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Then the busy years went rushing by us
We lost our starry notions on the way
If by chance I'd see you in the tavern
We'd smile at one another and we'd say

Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely woman really me ?

Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh my friend we're older but none the wiser
For in our hearts the dreams are still the same

Hoo-ray

The last epsisode of Stingers EVER!!!!

Oh my does that statement is guaranteed to send up a cheer in this household.

I dont know if is to do with Gary Sweet (aka THAT Bald dude) or the way they try to boost it up with undercover sex.

Dont get me wrong! I would love to support Australian made series (barr Neighbours and Home and Away - these arent series they are epic fillers) But give us something decent. Or maybe my demands are too high. Someone good looking, A crusader, a Nut, a bit tech, and a lot of humor and wit.

That isnt to much to ask in a TV diet right?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

*Phew*

T-Minus 20 minutes till Eva & her mum arrive home, I've done the mad clean up, now it's time to sit back and wait the phone call for me to pick them up from the international airport.

It's not that the place was untidy, it just needed a clean :O)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Old mobiles, new rubbish - Next - http://www.smh.com.au/technology/

Old mobiles, new rubbish - Next - http://www.smh.com.au/technology/

Somehow I think that Planet Ark have lost sight of the bigger picture here, I've walked past some mobile shops, and they do have these collection bins on show, but most of them are empty.

Why? I'd say that when someone gets a new mobile, they either keep it as a backup should the new one fail, hock it on eBay or give it to a family member who "desires" a mobile. I know I certainly would.

A $10 levy won't fix the problem. These things cost heaps, my new one retails at $700+, and in 12 months time when the warranty has run out on it, I'll get a new one and try and make a little money out of the old one or give it away.