Saturday, April 29, 2017


There was no “pudding on the Ritz” when I was a kid, but there was pudding – lots of it. 

Long ago in the days of innocence pudding wasn’t called “dessert”, not in our home, anyway.  It may have been so in other households, but not ours.  Did it mean we weren’t “flash” – not “ritzy”?  Perhaps it did; maybe it didn’t.  Whether we were or weren’t didn’t matter one iota.  What mattered was we always ate well. 

Our cupboards were well-stocked; fresh vegetables and fruit were everyday basics.  Some vegetables we grew in our garden.

The birds in the backyard, our contented family of lady bantams, supplied most of our eggs. “Joseph”, our cocky bantam rooster held the roost in the coop.  Strutting around, he was the head of his harem. He carried out his duties to the feather. 

Bottled full-cream milk, as well as fresh, crusty bread was delivered daily to our door.

The “Breadman” in those days of the early Fifties delivered fresh bread, buns and other assorted bakery products house to house by a horse-drawn cart.  The horse took it in his stride. And I assure you, it was no mean feat for the horse; he had to travel up and down the many hills in Gympie, clopping along expertly guided by his good mate holding the reins.  Gympie is a hilly town. 

Sliced bread hadn’t yet hit the market; and, in truth, sliced bread wasn’t the best thing, at all.   

The bread from our breadman was far better.  It was the best thing "before" sliced bread!

If it wasn’t a school day the race was on between my brother, Graham and me to see who could be the first to reach the bread vendor.  Down our concrete garden path we’d scamper, elbowing each other out of the way, eager to get hold of the still-warm, crusty bread.  To break the loaf in two, and rip out some of the fresh, soft delicious centre was the reward awaiting the winner. 

No amount of rousing from Mum or Nana stopped us from attacking the warm bread.  The rousing was half-baked, anyway.  They were probably guilty of doing similar on the days they collected the bread from the vendor!  (Not the racing down the garden path, elbowing each other…)

Once or twice a week a man turned up selling vegetables and fruit from his canopy-covered vehicle, too.

Our main meal of the day, which was dinner in the evening, and Sunday lunch on – you guessed it – Sundays, always consisted of two courses; the first being meat and veggies; it was followed by pudding.  Our main meal wasn’t complete without pudding. 

“Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie” had nothing to do with it.  He was too busy running around the place kissing the girls.  Furthermore, I wasn’t a “Georgie” back then.  Also, I didn’t go about kissing the girls, or the boys, for that matter - I still don’t!

As I’ve often mentioned, our Nana did the majority of the cooking.  She was an excellent exponent of home cooking. 

Nana prepared delicious puddings and pies.  Her apple pies and apple or apricot crumbles were delicious temptations, impossible to ignore, as were her baked tapioca puddings, rice puddings, trifles, lemon sago, blancmange, Queen of Puddings, bread and butter puddings,  colourful jellies served with fresh fruit salad, cold custard and/or whipped cream, etc., etc., et al. 

Do people make these puddings for their families nowadays?  Have the puddings, like too many good things (and values) from the past, disappeared with the past? 

Our meals were eaten sitting at the table, never in front of television.  Doing the latter would’ve been pointless, anyway, because television wasn’t around when I was a kid.  We would’ve been sitting around looking like a mob of silly goats looking at nothing.  Instead, we sat around the table eating our meals in a civilized manner, looking at each other as we conversed.  (Oft times my brother and I called each other a “silly goat”.

In those days we didn’t have a refrigerator, either - only an ice chest.  'The iceman cometh' every other day to drop of the large blocks of ice needed to keep our food cool. Ice cream was never an option at home. 

The cooler winter weather meant steaming steamed puddings served with hot custard. 

Pastry for tarts and pies was made by hand, never by a food processor.  Pastry was golden, either short or flaky as the situation demanded. The only food processor was of the human kind.  We didn’t have an electric mixer.  An old-fashioned egg beater and wire whisks did their tricks, and performed them very well.  The bare essentials were all that were needed.  Sponges never failed to rise to the occasion, and they were light like they were meant to be.

For me, the word “pudding” was deserted for the word “dessert” somewhere in the Sixties when I began dining in restaurants.  It wasn’t the ‘done’ thing to order “pudding” when eating out.   Of course, if eating out around a campfire, pudding was allowed.

Baked Tapioca Pudding: Bring 3c whole milk, 1c cream and 1 cinnamon stick to a simmer. Whisk in 1/3c small pearl tapioca; simmer until pearls are completely tender, about 20mins. Whisk together 4 large egg yolk, 85g sugar and 1/4tsp salt. Whisking constantly, pour in third of tapioca; then whisk into the pot of tapioca; simmer over med-low heat, about 5mins. Transfer to buttered gratin dish. Sprinkle top with 3tbs Demerara sugar and 1/4tsp ground cinnamon. Bake in preheated 150C oven, uncovered, until pudding is firm around edges and the centre, a little wobbly, about 30mins. Put under grill until top is bubbling and golden – similar to a Crème Brûlée.  

Almond Cardamom Blancmange with Rhubarb: Heat oven to 160C. Slit 3 cardamom pods; extract the seeds and grind to a coarse powder; mix with 75g caster sugar. Cut 300g rhubarb into 4cm lengths; put in roasting tin in single layer; sprinkle with cardamom sugar. Cover tightly with foil; bake 20-30mins, or until rhubarb is just tender but still holding its shape. Remove from oven, push any un-dissolved sugar into syrup; cool; chill. Blancmange:  Put 2 sheets gelatine in bowl of cold water; soak 5mins. Bring 1-1/4c milk to simmer in saucepan.  Add 75g ground almonds; whisk over heat 4mins. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl, pushing through some of the almonds as well as the juices.  Squeeze gelatine with your hands to remove the water; whisk into milk mixture; then whisk in 75g icing sugar and1/2tsp almond extract until dissolved. Cool in fridge 25mins. In separate bowl, whisk 225ml cold double cream into soft peaks; then whisk into almond milk.  Put into serving glasses; chill overnight.  Serve topped with rhubarb and a spoonful of the syrup. 

Steamed Syrup Pudding: Grease 4-cup, ceramic pudding basin. Pour 1/2c goldend syrup in base of pudding basin.  Beat 125g butter and 1/2c caster sugar until pale and creamy.  Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.  Stir in 1-1/2c self-raising flour and 2/3c milk in alternating batches.  Spoon mixture into pudding basin; smooth the surface.  Layer a sheet of baking and foil together. Fold a 3cm-wide pleat down the centre. Cover the basin, paper-side down with the layered paper and foil.  Secure with string.  Roll the eges of paper and foil up so they won’t come into contact with the water while cooking.  Place an upturned saucer in base of large saucepan. Place basin on top, then pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the basin. Place over med-low heat; cook, covered, for 2 hours or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  Remove from heat; remove the basin from the saucepan. Set aside for 5mins before turning onto a plate.  Drizzle extra syrup over the pudding.  Serve immediately with vanilla custard or ice cream, as desired.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.  

You can use just one of the set of words; or you can use both sets of the words in your creation.  The choice is yours...
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.

This month the words are supplied by me....
and these are my final words for the month April....

"Words for Wednesday" will be on ELEPHANT CHILD'S blog in May (see my Blog list as the right side of my blog) and in June. In May Elephant's Child will provide the words, and in June they will be prompts provided by Margaret Adamson and her friend Sue Fulcher.

(Help me out here, please, Elephant's Child....I don't have the name of their blog!)

Thank you everyone for participating this month.  Everyone's take on the words supplied each week was terrific.

This week's words are:-

Week Four Wednesday Words:-
Week Four




Again....have fun.....

PS:   In answer to my question re June's "Words for Wednesday".....the month of June's words will be on Elephant's Child's blog (as well as May) on behalf of Margaret and Sue.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


As another Anzac Day...Tuesday, 25th April...approaches dark clouds of sadness descend and hover, refusing to disperse.

After all the years; after all the wars; the endless fighting, loss of lives, injuries, broken families, humans haven’t heeded history’s lessons.  In blind ignorance they remain.
Man’s inhumanity to man continues. Appalling atrocities are inflicted, without guilt or pathos, upon the innocent. 
Enemies of civilised people throughout the world, the tyrants, the oppressive despots, the dictators erroneously believe they are above the laws of decency.   

The scrupulous among us, those of our own country and those of our allies abroad are forced to step up to the plate; be first through the door, selflessly putting their lives at risk to make the world a better place - for everyone - no matter one’s colour, culture or creed.    

Our world is drenched in sorrow, with no signs of the suffering abating; no end to the mourning nigh. Instead, the intensity of concern, heartache, negativity, fear and unhappiness increases hour by hour.   

Although uninvited and unwelcome, sadness resides in my heart.  It’s a burdensome demon that refuses to leave.  

I keep questioning why the road to “good overcoming evil” has to be so long.  Why do millions of lives have to be lost along the way?  Why is there no resolution in sight?
Human ineptitude and selfish megalomania for starters...need I go on?

Every man and woman of our Defence Force, past and present, are held in high regard as far as I’m concerned.  

A son of dear friends is an honoured member of Australia’s Defence Force. My friends’ son has done three tours of the Middle East.  He is now on home turf, and here he shall remain, based in Canberra, our nation's capital.
I believe I have a good imagination, but I can’t begin to imagine what my friends went through when their son was stationed in the overseas’ battlegrounds.  I wouldn’t insult them by saying I know what they went through.  I wouldn’t insult my friends by saying I had even the slightest inkling.
I do know every time I talk with them about their son, a lad I’ve not seen since he was a little boy, my eyes well with tears and my voice trembles.  A feeling of pure pride engulfs me.  I’m proud of the man he’s become. I’m proud of what he has done, and continues to do, not only for his country, but for every decent, civilised person throughout the world who desires peace and harmony.  

Our Armed Forces, past and present, deserve our respect.  Not expecting adulation, but certainly deserving of it, they are humble, not arrogant. They should be held in high esteem. They warrant our approval and glorification more than all the so-called “celebrities” and “sports’ heroes” combined.   

May the sacrifices made by those who serve never become lost in the mists of time.  

Our men and women of the Defence Force have my utmost admiration; that will never change.  I wish the attitudes and actions of many humans who occupy space on this earth would change, and change soon.  

Perhaps my wishes and I live in a Fool’s Paradise...

Oh! How I wish my wishes would become realities.  

My wish is for everyone, everywhere, to exist in a moral, incorruptible world; a peaceful, loving world in which no parent’s child goes off to war.  

Humans are dense – blinkered!   

Why are humans incapable of learning history's lessons? 

                                             LEST WE FORGET...

Thursday, April 20, 2017


 A frivolous figment of Friday fun....

In Search of Lochinvar

Over the years travelling wide and afar
Trekking life's meandering highway
Defying the ebb stemming the flow
Overcoming hurdles conquering the brae
Wistfully she searched high sought low
         Yes, for him...her Lochinvar

Succumbing at last she wished upon a star
Only to find sorrowful emptiness and pain
In giving her heart a problem arose
Their love for her too often they did feign
How deeply she hurt nobody knows
           Not even him…her Lochinvar

Exploring endlessly it was quite bizarre
If victorious what then would she do
Was it ever possible a life of bliss
Or with tearful eyes would she bid adieu
A doleful smile a lingering farewell kiss
Better still she could preserve him in a jar
     Just himher Lochinvar.

 Sketch and written nonsense by me....of course!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.  
You can use just one of the set of words; or you can use both sets of the words in your creation.  The choice is yours...
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.

This month the words are supplied by me....

This week's words are:-

Week Three Wednesday Words:-

Sceptical      (or “Skeptical” if you’re in North America)




PS.....Does anyone know who is hosting "Words for Wednesday" during the month of May?    I have no idea....