Friday, June 01, 2007

A blogging friendship comes to lunch at The Trad Pad

Miss Eagle has never tried to get a decent self portrait.

Imperfect though this shot in the mirror is, Miss E thinks it is the best of the bunch.

Yester, Val came to lunch at The Trad Pad. It was a wonderful time of conversation, handmade books, and food.

The food was simple but appropriate for a chilly, welcome-rainy day. The slow cooker has come out of the bottom cupboard this week as the weather has achieved a certain bite to the breeze and, officially, winter has arrived to-day. It was pressed into service for the first course. On the menu was a thick vegetable broth and, to satisfy the sweet tooth, Polenta Orage Syrup Cake served with cream.

The vegetable (with everything in it) broth came complete with the kluskies from Vicious Ange's Kluski Soup. The cake came from Billington's site.


Ingredients - Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 110g/4oz Caster sugar
  • 110g/4oz butter - melted and cooled
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 225g/8oz polenta
  • 1 dessertspoon baking powder
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Ingredients - Syrup

  • 2 oranges
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 140g/5oz Caster sugar


  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius/325 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Line a 20cm/8inch round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and mousse-like.
  • Beat in the melted and cooled butter and orange juice.
  • Add polenta and baking powder, followed by the orange zest, salt and vanilla, beating well.
  • Pour into prepared tin.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden.
  • Test with a skewer. Skewer should come out clean if the cake is done.

While the cake is cooking make the syrup: put all the ingredients into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved completely. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

  • Remove cake from the oven and make holes in it with a skewer.
  • Pour over the hot syrup
  • Leave to cool
  • Turn out onto a serving plate
  • Serve with creme fraiche or whipped cream


Food is best when accompanied by good and lively conversation and the food was well accompanied. Val is marvellous company. As well as a former librarian at the Goethe Institute, her background is in German language and lit. studied in the mythological sixties at that great mythological institution, University of California at Berkeley. Pardon, Miss Eagle. She is a child of the sixties and Berkeley was a place one read about with amazement - at a time when merely sitting in a park in conservative Toowoomba to protest the Vietnam war was enough to bring down on one's head the epithet of "Communist!".

Val, as does Miss Eagle, an abiding interest in track travel - tram or train. Miss Eagle dates her interest since childhood. When she holidayed with Nana O'Carroll there favourite pastime was to get on a train or tram in the centre of Brisbane and ride to the terminus and back again. So perhaps there might be a shared adventure in the future. To give some impetus to adventure planning, no matter if it is suburban, is this wonderful mural of a train taken by Miss Eagle last year in Broken Hill.

And there were Val's handmade books which she brought to show. Beautiful! Inspiring! And Miss Eagle was given a teensy-weensy beautiful one! Thank you, Val.

Then we finished up with a visit to Craft Fair where Val purchased nothing but Miss Eagle found these papers irresistible. A sale on at the moment!

All in all, a beautiful blogging buddy day.

Steamy but sunny and chilly at Upper Gully

There has been a good bit of very welcome rain at Upper Gully in the last few days. This morning the sun got up and heralds a clear day. The fence, as you can see, is still very wet and -with the warmth of the sun on this chilly morning - steam is rising.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Buona notte in Lygon Street, Carlton.

Miss Eagle went to the movies in Lygon Street, Carlton on Monday night. You can read about the movie over at Desert. Miss E came out of Cinema Nova about 9.30pm. Now it was Monday night and the night was moving on and Tuesday would not be a rest day for all. But there was life in Lygon - even if it was not as busy as a Friday and Saturday. Miss E wandered across the road to her favourit-est place in Lygon Street which was still open: Readings. Miss Eagle's budget is very strict these days so-0-0 no purchases were made...but here's what took her fancy and if there had been spare cash and lotsa time to read these would have gone home to the aerie.
NYRB keeps one up with the latest. There is nothing quite like a quality critical magazine. As a teenager Miss E was addicted to Time and Tide, an English literary journal. Does it still exist?
Ah can dream

...and, while Miss E has never been a fashionista, this is stuff to admire and inspire.
And then there is Miss E's feminist always likes to be fed!
Then it was on down Lygon Street.
Window shopping when the shops are closed is always a good policy.
...the passions can be kept under control.

And, of course, almost the whole of Lygon Street is about food, restaurants, street cafes...but those sort of photographs can wait for another time.
Food is represented here by the Lygon Food Store, below.

And as the main shopping and dining precinct was left behind, there was the residential/office precinct. As readers of TTP are aware, Miss E loves a bit of architectural detail so...
the barley sugar window...
the frieze which is actually moulded but here looks like a painted or papered frieze...
and beautiful native birds flying high in a fanlight.

And BTW, Miss Eagle did have a nibble but that is talked about at Oz Tucker.

Ricky, Tim, and a straight bat

Monday was a big day in The Gully.
There was a time when country town after country town had a welcome sign just on the entry to town declaring that XYZ-ville is a good Rexona town. These days the signs are gone but who should turn up in town but Ricky Ponting, Australia's illustrious cricket captain.
Safeway, Mountgate had won a competition for selling the most Rexona products and the prize was a store signing with Ricky. So we queued, Miss Eagle among them - she just wanted a photo.
The crowds had come with pieces of paper for autographs, a cricket ball here, a bat there, and some pads, of course, and a shirt. And they got a Polaroid happy snap with Ricky.

Miss Eagle's young friend Tim was there with some mates from Kent Park Primary School. Note the cap and the bat ready for signature.

Australians love Ricky better than the Prime Minister, Miss Eagle thinks.