Saturday, April 22, 2006

Slow cooking food

In Melbourne, the weather is closing in dark and cold and often rainy. It is the time to think of the sort of food that warms the cockles of one's heart. The slow cooking sort, substantial and comforting. This means the time time for our favourite autumn/winter meal, Lamb Shanks with Macaroni. These are the ingredients...

...and they are all Australian - the containers and packaging are marked "Product of Australia". Note the little Aussie flags on the Ardmona tins. The herbs, except for the garlic, are freshly picked from the garden - basil, sage, marjoram, oregano, rosemary. Miss Eagle leaves the shanks whole - to be picked up in the fingers and gnawed on, so large napkins are in order.

Here are the Lamb Shanks ready for the oven. Oh, and by the way, Miss Eagle has added some mushrooms that are not in the above photograph. The copper bottomed stainless steel casserole belonged to my aunt. I don't use the lid for this dish. The casserole is cooked very slowly: 200 degrees Celsius to start with until the liquid starts to simmer. Then turned back to 150 degrees Celsius and cooked ever so slowly until the meat is falling away from the bone. Some additional water is needed during the cooking because the macaroni takes up quite a bit. The only way this could be better would be if it was cooked in a slow-combustion stove.

Scrumptious, warming, and FootFoot and Trixie love to chew on the bones.

Pick your trunk

Over at The Nature of Robertson, Denis is talking about favourite tree trunks - and it is eucalypts he is talking about.

Miss Eagle thinks of the marvellous eucalypt trunks that she has loved. She thinks, first of all, of the huge salmon pink roseate trunks of the huge eucalypts in the Cardwell Ranges between Cardwell and Mount Garnet in North Queensland. Miss Eagle thinks they may be the most magnificent trees that she has ever seen. Then she thinks of the Snappy Gum which is ubiquitous in the Outback where Miss Eagle has spent a significant part of her life. God had His decorating angels at work in deciding how brilliantly that stark white trunk and the grey green leaves went with the red soils and sands and spinifex.

Spirit of Endurance1937 Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges, SA.

Gelatin silver photograph (Kodura Etching Brown)28.5 x 34.1 (NLA Accession # C27-1)nla.pic-an2384497

And then Miss Eagle thought of what may be Australia's most famous trunk, most famous individual tree. This is the Spirit of Endurance, a photograph by Harold Cazneaux who is an uncle of Australia's famous expeditioner and philanthropist, Dick Smith. The tree in the photograph is in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. Miss Eagle saw it about ten years ago. The Flinders Ranges is one of her favourite places. The tree is quite a few decades older than when it appeared in the photograph and thus has experienced even more of the vicissitudes of life. It does not look as splendid as it did then. It is a scarred tree which has survived fire. It is hardened by its experience and yet still generates life. It is an Australian parable, an Aussie metaphor.

Friday, April 21, 2006

With you, Denis

A good blogging friend, Denis Wilson, is facing a personal challenge at the moment. Mention of it is woven into his beautiful blog, The Nature of Robertson. Denis loves this planet, especially that part of it around his home at Robertson in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. At the moment, he is not at home. His challenge is happening in our national capital in a Canberra hospital. Please direct kind thoughts, positive energy, prayers and an angel or two to Denis. And, Denis, some flowers for you.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Autumn is a-comin' in....

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Mountview Road, Upper Ferntree Gully
Love in Autumn
I sought among the drifting leaves,
The golden leaves that once were green,
To see if Love were hiding there
And peeping out between.
For thro' the silver showers of May
And thro' the summer's heavy heat,
In vain I sought his golden head
And light, fast-flying feet.
Perhaps when all the world is bare
And cruel winter holds the land,
The Love that finds no place to hide
Will run and catch my hand.
I shall not care to have him then,
I shall be bitter and a-cold --
It grows too late for frolicking
When all the world is old.
Then little hiding Love, come forth,
Come forth before the autumn goes,
And let us seek thro' ruined paths
The garden's last red rose.

Sarah Teasdale

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Resurrexit! He is risen!

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He is Risen by He Qi, China

Anyone who makes a person laugh
Opens heaven to him.
Anyone who is patient with another
Gives him future.
Anyone who accepts a person
As he himself is accepted by Christ
Loosens his tongue for life’s hymn of praise
Let us go out from our customs and our habits
And learn to hope from the Bible.
Let us go out
And cross the frontiers
So that we may infect life with hope.
Let us ignore the barriers,
And look only to the One who breaks them down.
He is risen.
Jesus is risen indeed.
Blessed be the Lord for ever and ever.


Jurgen Moltmann, The Power of the Powerless

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