Sunday, 20 September 2009

Shepherd's Pie My Style



PIE BASE
About 4-500gs of left-over roast lamb finely chopped
1lge onion finely chopped
1 stick of celery chopped
half a chunky carrot finely chopped
6 sml-med sized mushrooms chopped
big handful of baby spinach leaves
1 red chilli finely chopped
1tbs Italian herb mix
3 lge cloves of garlic chopped
2 tbs tom paste in half a cup of water
half a cup of red wine
1 tbs w'shire sauce
salt and black pepper

Pop the onions, chilli & garlic in a largish fry-pan with a splosh of olive oil & fry until onions are clear then add lamb, mushrooms, celery and carrot and italian herbs. Cook until the lamb starts to colour up with golden crispiness. Then add the w'shire sauce, red wine, tomato paste and salt & pepper and let simmer for while...
Once most of the liquid has evaporated tip the lot into a lovely dish suitable for sticking in the oven...make sure you leave room for the topping!

TOPPING
2 med sized potatoes
half a large sweet potato
20gs butter
splosh of low fat milk

Boil up the potatoes and sweet potato until a knife goes in nice and easy, then mash them up with the butter and milk and some salt & pepper. Plop on top of your waiting pie mixture and gently spread over the top. Use the tynes of a fork to make a lovely pattern all over the top.

Pop the dish into a moderate oven 180C or 350F and cook until the top is golden and you can see the juices bubbling up the sides.

YUMMO!


Saturday, 12 September 2009

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Happy

A couple of happy sun-basking skinks and some forget-me-nots
Oh now THAT makes me smile

Is It Hereditary?

I was going through some old photos and I came across this one I took of my Nonna and Nonno's grave in the M.G.C. - the good old "dead centre of Melbourne" a few years ago.
I do LOVE the way wogs do graves - a photo or two, a nice bit of marble and a spot for the flowers.

Anywho, the thing that struck me when I looked at the photo, was the choice of roses on one side and Mary on the other. I have no idea who selected these...probably Nonna herself as the grave was originally Nonno's - it took Nonna 40 years to join him!
I must have noticed these things before, but had forgotten all about them.
It struck a chord because I have a thing for roses and Mary...and I've never really worked out why.

I collect old tins with roses and old plastic roses and old pictures and prints of roses, old crockery with roses, actually anything ye-olde with roses and it's mine...new stuff does nothing for me.
The Mary thing is also about old...I collect old prints and images of her and I have MANY...WHY? I do not know. I MUST admit she is someone I wouldn't mind sharing a wine or 20 with to get the low-down on what really went down, back in the day. I reckon she'd crack up over the whole "virgin birth" bit and poor old Joseph just getting tagged as the guy who lead the donkey!
I don't do religion (in my book too many wrongs are carried out in its name) yet interestingly, I DO find myself Hail Mary-ing my heart out when the plane I'm on is about to take off or land!
I cannot recall seeing things with roses in Nonna's home or more than a couple of your standard Mary images there either...but when I saw them on the gravestone...I realised there had to be something going on!



Saturday, 5 September 2009

Spring-a-Ding-Ding

Here in Paradise, yes, PARADISE - just outside Sheffield Nth West Tasmania,
Spring has well and truly sprung.
Our family of swallows has returned and are busily preparing a new spit & mud & stick abode for their new arrivals. The flying lessons are my FAVOURITE part of following this close-knit clan's daily life. The little ones crouch on the edge of the nest and Mumma and Dad show them just how it's done...whizzing around and around in a small area in front of the nest. One of the babies always tries to bully the others in to going first and one is always nervous-nellie-last-to-fly...too funny, teetering on the edge almost going and then piking over and over and over again. I don't know if birds can smile but I'm SURE I have seen it, actually more like grinning as soon as they have finished their 1st venture in to the world of flight...they take off again and again and again..."look at meeeeeee! Weeeeeeee!"
Being a lover of Autumn and it's fecundant glory and promise of Winter with its chilly, rugged, slatey greys and sparkling blue days...it always astounds me how Spring surprises me. New life and daffodils, freesias, jonquils and grape hyacinths everywhere. the chooks happy and fluffy-bummed and busy busy busy producing orange yolked eggs.



Friday, 4 September 2009

It's All About Red

Since I was little, I have always been attracted to red.
Perhaps it was Granny and Mum's red lippy that triggered it.
If Granny ever saw me without my red lippy on she would ask what was wrong, because something surely HAD to be if you hadn't bothered to put your lippy on!
Red resonates for me and makes me feel warm, happy, excited, nostalgic and alive.
I have many, many, many things of or featuring red - clothes, shoes, lipsticks-a-plenty, scarves, bags, jewellery, artworks, kitchenalia, ornaments, knick-n-knacks-n-bric-n-bracs (as Darling, Sweetie Edina would say), rugs, furnishings and crockery.
Some of my red stuff...