Last night I hosted and spoke at an evening organised by the Uniting Church Historical Society, South Australia and hosted by Uniting College where I teach. It was part of a project of theirs to document the history of lay education in this state.
A small gathering attended by about 15 people, half of whom were speakers or organisers, and almost all retired folks (yes, Deidre Palmer and I felt quite spritely).
Despite the fact that I thought it might be deadly dull, I was quite pleased to be asked to be part of it. Our time in SA in the mid-80's was profoundly important for me, and lay education was entering a new and important phase then. I've been well aware of developments here in the ensuing years, and of course, quite involved since moving back here in 2003, and it was my main focus at the College from 2005-2010.
Though there was a lot of history, the evening was anything but dreary for me. I was able to hear from (and reconnect with) some of the legends of the past. David Houston's history of lay education since the late 1800's was really a dot point summary, but I was struck again and again by how my great grandparents' generation had been pioneers. We are SUCH a young country (in terms of European settlement!) and in that sense have barely put down roots. I kept hearing South Australian surnames whose descendents are my peers our our students. And although I spent the first 20 years of my life in Queensland, the stories from that era had direct parallels with my own.
Here's a fabulous dish from "Malouf" by Greg Malouf. Prawns in Ras El Hanout (Moroccan spice mix) with sauteed leeks, fennel and tomato in a white wine, cream and saffron sauce. It's a sort of "curried prawns" dish. Rice or pasta to accompany.
I've bought Ral el Hanout from Herbie's Spices before (not cheap!) so this time I used Malouf's recipe to make my own.
In a dry frypan, lightly toast and then grind each of the folloing separately:
1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp coriander seeds seeds from 6cardamom pods 1/2 tsp fennel seeds 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
Put through a sieve to remove any husks. Then add the following:
2 tsp sweet paprika 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp cayenne pepper (maybe 1/2 tsp as the family found it a bit spicy) 1 tsp sea salt 1/2 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp ground allspice
Prawns were marinated in the mix before cooking. This spice mix would be fine on chicken or lamb.
A very rare weekend away without kids at Moonta Bay. This was the view from the verandah of the house. In hindsight, my advice to parents would be that you need at least two weekends like this each year! We also did some historical place-finding, as Yvonne's parents both came from that area. The weekend was too short.
I bought some Careme Dark Chocolate Shortctrust Pastry the other day, and last night made this Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart. I realised too late that my tart pans were too big, so the pastry is too thin and there wasn't enough filling. But it's the first time I've EVER caramelised sugar (and here, added condensed milk, butter and salt) and it worked fine! I used strawberries instead of the banana in the recipe. Next time I'll make my own pastry. Mmmm....
I use ambient music a LOT in worship and learning settings, and have acquired a bunch of music over the past few years thanks to the recommendations of a number of friends and my own exploring. Here are some great musicians to start with. The styles vary from no beat to more upbeat, from fluid to more jarring, but all excellent.
Album links are to the Australian iTunes where available (or alternatively Amazon or some other band site). If you're in another country, you should be redirected to the relevant iTunes store for your country.
Quite a few of these came from emusic.com where I have a monthly subscription, so they're relatively inexpensive. Sadly, emusic doesnt currently accept new Australians subs due to local recording company agreements.
there was more stuff but its harder to get... and there are loads of individual songs from particular albums that aren't listed here. and some albums that would melt your brain unless you had a particularly quirky use for a particular song.
I've never made sausage rolls before. Last night I made ravioli with chicken, feta and rocket filling, and had heaps of filling left over. So here's where it ended up! Quite yummy and once we've finished snacking they''ll go into school lunches.