Friday, October 31, 2008

derby day tips

The good oil, the drum, heads up, nod is as good as a wink, say no more, no bum steers.

"It's super Saturday tomorrow for the running of the Victoria Derby with four Group One races on the program. Including the Derby, there is the Coolmore Stud Stakes, a 1200 metre race for three year olds, the Mackinnon Stakes over 2000 metres, the traditional last chance for Melbourne Cup hopefuls to qualify, and the Myer Classic, for fillies and mares, over 1600 metres.
Last week's Cox Plate was won by
full story and tips at Cat Politics

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

no words

With his father and a firearms instructor standing nearby, an 8-year-old Connecticut boy shot himself in the head with a submachine gun yesterday, killing himself in an accident some say should never have happened.

Christopher Bizilj was testing a 9 mm Micro Uzi at the Westfield Sportsman's Club in Westfield, Mass., as part of the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo, when he shot himself Sunday.

"The firearm instructor prepped the weapon for him, and once it was ready he handed it to the child," Westfield Police Lt. Hipolito Nunez told today. Christopher then pulled the trigger, and the gun's recoil pulled the barrel upward, causing a round to hit him on the right side of his head, according Nunez. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Baystate Medical Center in nearby Springfield.

ABC News By SARAH NETTER Oct. 27, 2008 ..continued

red meat curry

Even though its spring time and the salads are getting a flogging and the BBQ is all cleaned up ready to rock and roll the nights are still cool enough to allow for the odd curry or soup or other winterish type dish – before we pack away the casserole pot for another 6 months.

It was 16 degrees this arvo when I decided “Bugger it – I’ll do my Red Meat Curry”. So off to Box Hill market I went. The kilo of rump already chopped was $9.90. It was chopped a bit smallish for me – I like bigger chunks in this dish but it would save me the slicing when I got home. I bought it from the Italian guys down the end as I don’t reckon the Asian butchers have got the beef under control. Worse with the lamb – I reckon the Asian guys don’t know anything about lamb and I suspect they don’t even like it. When it comes to pork and especially belly Pork I head straight to the asian guys. But tonight its Red Meat Curry. I have tried Lamb as a substitute for this dish and it works ok. But Beef is better.

Setup: Usually I would put Dr John Naw’lins on the speakers up loud while I’m cooking but tonight it was PM on Radio National.

4 medium brown onions roughly chopped.
Melt them down in a big pan on top of stove – a bit of brown don’t hurt just don’t burn them . When they are melted down a fair bit throw in about 4 good cloves of chopped garlic and a whole lot of chopped ginger. Continue to melt down for a while.

Have ready on a plate the spices:

2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons of turmeric
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
12 Curry Leaves
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

Throw all these spices in the large saucepan on medium high heat and stir to brown off onions and melt them and toast up the spice and mix them.

When ready shovel out onto a plate and wait.

Slop more oil in the saucepan. I use Rice Bran Oil . Until exactly 5 minutes ago I thought it was healthier than Peanut Oil - now I'm not so sure. Get the oil hot- drop in half the red meat – not too much or it will stew. We are seeking to brown it here. Brown it. Then tip that half out on plate and brown other half.

Meanwhile you will have been warming the casserole bowl in the oven at around 220 degrees.

Throw meat and onions and spices into casserole and place in warm oven.

Get a large tin of Coles brand diced Italian tomatoes and open it up. Pour it into the saucepan used to brown the meat and smoke the spices. Deglaze the bowl and heat tomatoes. Grab about half a Beef stock packet – I usually have half ones frozen in freezer - and plonk it in the mélange. It's not strictly Gunga Din but I like to splash a bit of salt in at this point. Depending on your tendencies you might like to chuck in a dollop or two of tomatoe paste – I don’t.

Slop a small amount of water in. Then pour it into the casserole dish what has the meat in it. Then whack it in the oven somewhere above 220C for two hours. Give it a stir every now and again.

I hardly need to tell you that this is best cooked slow and then left overnight before eating. That will make it taste mature and well integrated. But if your ungrateful unwashed unfed are like mine hanging around the kitchen saying “When's it ready” then, like me, you will roll your eyes heavenward and sigh and you’ll serve it up on the night it's cooked too.

OK. It goes with Basmati Rice. Plonk a measure for each person in the rice cooker and 1.5 of water for each measure. Sometimes I put frozen peas or sultanas in the rice mix prior to cooking. Squeeze a lemon into the rice cooker.

Ok its ready.
Rice on plates with meat curry alongside it – not slopped on top please, some Pataks Lime Chili Pickle on each plate, a big drop of ordinary mild chutney on each plate as well and a big dollop of fresh Greek yoghurt. Or you can plonk it all on the table in separate serving bowls and yell out "It's ready".

All that’s needed is a fork and mouth.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

spring time melbourne - going the punt

For those of us who don't regularly follow the gee gees spring time in Melbourne presents a dilemma. How to get the good oil on a nag to do the betting thing. I can usually rely on my mate Stan to give me the drum but others are less connected.

Problem solved. I’ve discovered a Melbourne blogger who seems at home with the bookies, strappers, slappers and squeaky voiced jockeys of the Spring Carnivale.

Cat Politics not only knows the form guide but likes cats and real country music and is a female of the species. Say no more.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

i'd love to kiss the bangles

I see the reformed Bangles are touring. The Bangles had little effect on me one way or t'other. The Saw Doctors are one band I find myself listening to a lot these days. Especially watching the DVD Live In Galway and the song Joyce Country Ceilhi Band. I came across one of their lesser songs - I'd Love To Kiss The Bangles.

They are not loud or angry, or vigorously uncompromising. They have no image, message of "attitude"… Yet in Ireland, where the critical establishment has greeted their uniquely emerald brand of post punk country-rock with sniffy talk of "designer bogmen" they are adored in a way that even U2 would envy.

It is not just that their singles and albums have topped the charts or that their biggest live show there last summer attracted a crowd of 50,000 devoted fans. They are loved for their lack of pretension, the catchy choruses and for a repertoire of songs which give universal expression to specific aspects of Irish culture.

In the way that Lou Reed or Paul Simon can paint a picture of life in New York that often has a vivid resonance regardless of where in the world it is heard, so the Saw Doctors draw their inspiration, both lyrically and musically, from a parochial Irish background, and then use it to create the kind of songs that will strike a chord anywhere that people have ears.'

David Sinclair, The Times.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

tell 'em they're dreamin'

Tell ‘em they’re dreamin’ alright. As part of my continuous quest to understand local cultures I call into a Crime Cash Converters store whenever I see one. I have a quick squiz to see what the local specialties are then I’m on my way. I can report that the Forest Hill branch of this home grown Aussie business isn’t hiring. At least that’s what they told the perky passionate people person girl who asked. The cheapest DVD player on sale was a cruddy scratched 2 or 3 year old model for $120. Across the road at Big W the cheapest new DVD player with a guarantee was $45.

Having a bit of a poke around on eBay just before I found this
Giant OCR 3 bike for auction with a Buy Now price of $800. Second hand, no warranty, or at least no shop to take it back to, could probably do with a service, so that bumps the price up by at least $80, not to mention picking it up. Say around $900 all up. I had a quick google for a similar bike. Ivanhoe Cycles has one advertised for $595.00 brand spanking new without any bargaining.

eBay sellers are blinded by thinking sunk costs matter to buyers and Cash Converters buyers must work overtime to reduce the cognitive dissonance enough to convince themselves that second hand is always a bargain no matter what. It's a funny old world isn't it.