Sunday, January 23, 2011

THANK YOU DONNA.....



There's nothing better than to open a new cook book and be absolutely blown away by .......

             *         the number of delicious recipes presented
             *         the absolutely fabulous illustrations
             *         the simplicity of the recipes
             *         the fact I wanted to get up from my chair
.....and cook!                                           
         
and that is just what happened when I opened Donna Hay's Christmas publication

" fast, fresh, simple "


           The groans from my long suffering husband were audible,
           ..." not another cookbook....you know the rules! "

The rules....yes the rules....I hadn't forgotten.

Quite simply.... I have to make at least one dish from the collection before it is added to the ever increasing  pile gathering dust on the shelf , never to see the light of day again. (This doesn't apply of course to my all time favourite cookbooks, and this one was about to join them and become a victim of those oily fingers, sauce stains, notations, pages all stuck together, etc....etc...)

So here is my first effort Donna,

Baked Italian Chicken

not quite as well presented as in your illustration, but absolutely delicious....
and it was fast, fresh and simple




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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A NEW YEAR...a new beginning



You could say that the year just finished was one I could have done without, but there amongst all the sadness and pain were moments of great happiness and joy.... and those moments will stay with me when the others are just a distant memory.

A new year....the slate is clean..... and with that comes the hope that I will once again be an active participant in my Book Club.

How disappointing it was this last year.... missing so many meetings.... coming ill prepared.... skimming the book to get a sense of the story, the author's intent... and then "winging it" during the discussions. What a fraud I felt....they should have tossed me out. But even though I didn't have much to add to the meetings, it was so great to be among friends... and I'll try to make up for it this year, I've already made a start!

Wish me luck....




(Check out the Book Club List for 2011 !! )






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Sunday, June 20, 2010

THOSE WERE THE DAYS....my friends


Further to my previous post, I came across an informative article published in a 1955 edition of the HOUSEKEEPING MONTHLY, which I will now reprint for your edification.......


THE GOOD WIFE'S GUIDE

(The Italics are all mine!)


HAVE DINNER READY.  Plan ahead the night before to have a delicious meal ready on time for HIS return.   This is a way of letting HIM know you have been thinking of HIM and are concerned about HIS needs

PREPARE YOURSELF. Touch up your makeup and put a ribbon in your hair.  Be fresh looking as HE has been with a lot of work weary people.  Be a little bit gay and more interesting for HIMHIS boring day may need a lift and it is your DUTY to provide it

PREPARE THE CHILDREN.  Wash their faces and comb their hair.  They are HIS little treasures and HE wants them to look the part

MINIMISE ALL NOISE.  At the time of HIS arrival stop the washing machine, the dryer and the vacuum cleaner

DON'T GREET HIM WITH COMPLAINTS AND PROBLEMS.  Never complain if HE comes home late or goes to other places of entertainment without you, or even stays out ALL NIGHT.  Count this as minor compared to what HE may have gone through during the day

MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE.   Have HIM sit back or lie down in the bedroom.  Arrange HIS pillow and offer to TAKE OFF HIS SHOES.  Always use a pleasant voice

LIGHT A FIRE.  In cooler months, light a fire for HIM to unwind by.  HE will feel HE has reached a haven of rest and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for HIS comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction

DON'T ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS ACTIONS OR INTEGRITY.   Remember HE is the MASTER OF THE HOME who must exercise HIS will with fairness and truthfulness.  You have NO RIGHT to quesion HIM

BE HAPPY TO SEE HIM.  A good wife always knows her PLACE

*********


I might add I had great difficulty typing this blog due to an involuntary gagging reaction.... (which no doubt you will also experience dear readers, should you be of the female persuasion)

I might also add that I had an Aunt who would never allow her husband to see her face without makeup. ( I came upon this interesting snippet of information whilst on an interstate visit to stay with the family as a 12 year old.) ...
She would retire to the bedroom each evening, put on her nightclothes and matching satin scarf to hide the hair rollers, touch up her lipstick then hop into bed.......  She was always awake well before my Uncle.... bathed, fully dressed and made up by the time he came to the table for breakfast..... and he accepted it all as a matter of course......  He was the sweetest person, kind and uncomplaining in spite of all the fluffing around, the cooing baby talk and incessant twittering that was part of her daily routine...... (I might also add that she predeceased him by about 20 years which may have had something to do with the situation !)

Those were the days my friends.......

(As a further addendum.....may I give thanks to Betty Friedan....Germaine Greer......and the contraceptive pill...)

HALLELUJAH !





 


                                                                                                                                                           
               

Monday, April 26, 2010

MAD MEN.....and women

TV Promo on release

Over the years I've watched some great television....and some not so great.... But the series that has captured my attention this last year has been "MAD MEN" ..... Yes dear readers,  I've been hooked by this terrific series and can't wait for Series 3 which is currently showing here in dear old Aussie on Pay Television..... but not at my house!..... (No subscription TV I'm afraid)

So what is it about this show that has drawn me to the TV for hours on end....for not only did I watch the hourly episodes each week....I hired out the DVD's.... then watched the whole lot again in one big sitting!....( MAD WOMAN!)


What it was that kept me entranced for hours on end is that I knew these people.... they were part of my world ...the part that is now just a memory.





Some of the cast of Mad Men

Back in the 50's I worked for one of our country's largest Banks....
and just as in MAD MEN....women had a lesser role. 

There were no female Bank Tellers..... no female Heads of Departments....and as for female Bank Managers....forget it.

 We knew our place. We were hired as Steno/typistes....Ledger machine operators...
and should we marry...PFFT! ....out the door we went.... Once married you had to resign. ( I kid you not !)




 Dining with my friend Judy

Yes...this was my world.....and I was happy to be part of it...for that was the way of things in those days....and just like the females cast in the series, I dressed in the latest fashion....high heels.... nylon stockings....(suspender belts were de rigeur)...pointy bras (making the most of nothing) .... tiny waists....flared skirts.... (or pencil thin if you had a nice ass)... ass?...what am I saying...(.that was unknown in my vocabulary in those days).....and then of course there was the make-up...powdered and painted to within an inch of my life....and the gloves.... Never left the house without gloves, usually white in summer and soft doeskin in winter. Then If the occasion demanded it...(such as going out to dinner with my girl friends after work)....I sometimes wore a hat.
I was single,fancy free...and so naive.....and the thought of marriage never entered my mind

 A Special Occasion

And so my working life continued.....and just as in the series ....promotions came my way

I moved throughout the State  making new friends.....dating...travelling....growing older and somewhat wiser..

Then came the 60's
but that's another story.....


But back to MAD MEN....and their women.  I can relate to it all.  That's how it was then....(though the younger generation may find it hard to believe). The ensuing years have brought greater  freedom for women...some may say at a price
but I look back at those years now in wonderment and marvel at the life we lived.  How far have we come !

******
But wait.....there's more.....
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS ?

Mattel are about to release their latest range of Barbie's friends.......
And here they are....Don Draper and his wife Betty.....Roger Sterling and former lover Joan Holloway....
They say there's a market for these grown up Barbie Dolls......(Hope they've done their research!)


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MY BOOKCLUB...and Obama

Another month has come and gone....and yesterday our reading group met to discuss two books...."Dreams from my Father"  and  "The Audacity of Hope"..... both written by Barack Obama


I chose to read "The Audacity of Hope" as I thought it would be interesting to read something he had written as a Senator, before putting up his hand as a Presidential Candidate.  I had some knowledge of what this journey entailed having been an avid fan of "West Wing" (and let's face it ...American politics are not for the faint hearted) and I did know it would be a long and winding road.....however we all know how this particular journey ended.

As always , the conversations led us into many diverse topics far removed from the actual books under  review...but who cares.  One of the joys of our club, and one that makes it such a popular group is that we can have free and open discussion.... have our ideas shot down in flames.... have our thoughts acknowledged with a smile and a nod....and always come back for more!

With these books however, the consensus of opinion seemed to be universal....he had known poverty...he  was a man of vision...he was a man of intergity....he had lovely teeth and a great smile...he had a beautiful and intelligent wife, two delightful children...(and the obligatory white house dog)... he appeared to be free from sexual scandal...in fact, he was almost too good to be true.

And so the discussion progressed..... We talked about the diverse makeup of the American people, their hopes, their joys, their frustrations, their health care, their employment situation.....

We also discussed the people in power who pull the strings.....the parties themselves... the Senate...previous Presidents..(their successes and failures).... and what about Rahm Emmanuel..(will he get the boot ?) ....and how  the American system differs from our own....and how our own Prime Minister compares with Obama (alike in so many ways....and soon to meet again, this time in Australia)

In almost no time at all the meeting was over....  We felt stimulated.  We'd had great discussion.  We'd exercised our minds...but we hadn't solved the problems of the world.... That was for others to do...and for us to think about !



(I would be interested to hear from my blogger friends in the USofA your thoughts about your President....and if you feel satisfied with the way things are going.... .no names...no pack drill ! ) 









Tuesday, February 23, 2010

OP SHOPPING....


Coffee plunger & mugs
This morning I went op shopping.....

I'd been reading about all the wonderful treasures that could be found if you had a discerning eye....and with about 20 minutes to spare before collecting the man I live with from his Chi Kung class, I ventured in to the local Salvos Store hoping that the time spent would be productive and there would be something that would catch my eye.....

I was amazed at the stock....men's suits for $15.....tailored jackets, a bargain at $10.....but wait, I was shopping for ME. Lead me to the ladies' department!

I was not disappointed.....I took blouses from the rack (too small)...never mind ...

What about these camis?... still with the original price tag, now marked at $2 each. Thank you I'll have that beautiful saxe blue, and that cream one could be useful.

What's this....a whole rack of casual pants....$4 each....would I be lucky enough to find my size? ....yes a lovely pair of 3/4 pants in the taupe colour I'd been looking for. I was almost overcome with joy

Time was ticking by and I hadn't even been into the bric-a-brac. The handbags caught my eye....put that down I told myself ...but the leather was so soft...I put it back!

I spied a beautiful hat....where would I wear it....no Melbourne Cup here, but for $8?....I had to pull myself together.

A quick dash into the bric-a-brac...... A brand new coffee plunger caught my eye....could that only be $4. Thank you very much

Then I saw a beautifully stylish Avanti water jug.....it had a tiny burnish mark near the handle....but for $3 it was a bargain.
I checked my watch....time to go.

As I dashed towards the check-out counter, two coffee mugs...(50c each) ....were added to my collection. I could not believe I had this armful of delights and the sweet lady at the counter said...."That will be $16 please, would you like a bag?"

I was in shock....So THIS was op shopping ! 
 

Thank you to my blogger friends, especially Melbourne Girl and my daughters (who always manage to find such a wonderful collection of designer clothes going for a song in Melbourne).....I had a great time....and I'll be back!




Avanti Slimline Water Jug
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

POLLYWAFFLE .....

My usual Sunday morning TV viewing has left my head spinning.....
 
While the memory was still fresh I thought I'd share with you a couple of  "pearlers" from our elected politicians and ever hopeful aspirants as they gently debated the state of the nation with some of our respected journalists this morning.

I am ever hopeful of "plainspeak" ....something that's in really short supply these days as they wind themselves up with the pre prepared gobbledegook that passes for policy...or even (golly gosh) ... for the  occasional educated guess....which brings a smile to my face....but surely not their minders as they try to salvage something from the riposte

I am ever hopeful for an answer to the question...but try as they might they never quite manage  to say ...Yes!....or even better .....No! 

How simple would that be....  Instead we get prevarication as they twist and turn under the belligerent questioning of the moderator......

Enough I say.....

Acronyms aside, here were just a couple of this morning's offerings...OPTIONALITY.....SERENDIPITOUS COMMENTS.....FISCAL ZERO 9....EXECUTIONAL PROGRESS.....the mind boggles

Dear readers....please bear with me...it's not my usual style....I'm a simple conversationalist, but I do have a game of SCRABBLE on the boil....and I'm ever hopeful



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