Sunday, November 28, 2010

Osso Buco Dinner

One of the nice things about rainy spring weekends, is you lie on the sofa and read those new cookbooks your husband is always mentioning you keep buying. (To which I can now respond, "But it's my job!" and chuckle madly, clutching the latest.) No, not too many, but some good ones...

A productive visit to the farmer's market netted a glorious slab of osso buco, some small young artichokes, potatoes and a few other goodies.

And the other great thing about spring? Just at the time when you rip out all the leeks before they go to flower, there are buckets of broad beans.

Broad beans preparing - braised leeks with white wine, some boiled potatoes, tossed all together with a very fresh home-grown garlic sprig.

Osso buco on the left, slowly simmering all afternoon in white wine, then finished with a gremolata (lemon zest and parsley). Simple, slow - and fantastic!

All either from our garden or local produce from the area - Trentham spuds (ours aren't ready yet) and the meat from the local Belted Galloway herd, and by buying from the farmers, premium food at a reasonable price.

Good thing there's enough for tomorrow, too.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Old white-nose is back

ONE week ago Michael Hussey was one of about 20 people in the country who believed he should be in the Test side. Yesterday he convinced the other 22 million with one of his most sparkling innings in years. Hussey single-handedly pulled Australia back from the brink with an unbeaten 81 before day two was abandoned early due to bad light.
Jamie Pandaram, The Age.

The following morning, Hussy brought up his 100. But that was just a start...

Yet again our favourite batsman pulls runs from the hat, including a special 'taking it to England' six.

Mostly Hussey scored off the back foot. He will look at the scoreboard and feel proud. The English will study the charts and realise they bowled too short. Hussey moved past 50 and on towards his hundred. He deserves a lot of credit. In the crisis of his career and at a critical time for his team, he dared to attack.
Peter Roebuck, The Age.
Hussey, however, displayed the raw hunger of a man who might have been dropped had he not produced a timely century for Western Australia while young pretenders Callum Ferguson and Usman Khawaja failed for Australia A in England's final warm-up match.

The 35-year-old's desire, plus his well-known determination and vast experience, turned him into a rock-solid force in the final session.
Oliver Brett, BBC.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Storm & Sunset

Quite the evening.

I'd never seen the windmill work around 270 degrees within minutes before.

And then the sun went down.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Numbers for Ashes

As anyone who knows me knows, I'm not a one for numbers as a rule. However today's first day of the Ashes has been a good statement of intent for Australia, and some of the numbers tell a lot of the story.

As in the previous post, 1 wicket on the 3rd ball for 0 runs was a good start for Australia, and given it was their captain, tough on England.

Summariser Kerry O'Keefe (left) laughs with Englishman Johnathan Agnew ('Aggers') and the ABC scorer. ABC Grandstand.

By the day's end Mitchell Johnson's 0 wickets for 66 and England's reasonable morning session had been wiped from the memory by a stunning performance of Australia's newest great fast bowler, Peter Siddle. Returning with his first match in the team after being sidelined with stress fractures to his back, his 26th birthday today proved to be the kind of day few could hope for. A Sixfer for 54 runs isn't anything to sneeze at, but in the middle of it was a hat trick of carefully crafted cunning wickets, a trio of England players who didn't know what hit them.

Siddle is only the 11th Australian to take a hat trick at this level (the last being another Victorian bowling great; the inestimable Shane Warne) and the first person to do it at Brisbane's Gabba. Whatever Siddle's career holds from here, his achievements today have put him in an exclusive group of record-setting bowlers. As well as the aforementioned Warne, by returning after back injury more cunning and fiery, he joins another great Australian bowling hero, Dennis Lillee.

Xavier Doherty's two late wickets on debut (or dayboo, as it's pronounced here) likewise were eclipsed, despite their merit. A tough day for England, ending as depressingly as it started with Australia's unthreatened openers putting on 25 runs after the Aussie bowlers had dispatched the entire England side for 260.

It's early days (1/25th in!) but Australia are going to be pleased, and England looking to damage control on day 2. One other overshadowed achievement was England batsman Ian Bell's well crafted 76 while at the other end his team mates fell like ducklings to a fox.

Honours on day 1 don't reflect how a series turns out, but it was certainly a hard fought and terrific day's cricket. Any other sport's both briefer, and well...

The ABC commentary box webcam awaits the takes of tomorrow at the end of day one. ABC Grandstand.

... just isn't cricket.


One for None

Ball three, England's Captain, Andrew Strauss out, caught for a duck by Hussey, bowled Hilfenhaus, 25 days to go...

The Ashes are on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Not with a whimper, but a flour blast

Loaf by Bev.

Thanks to my friend Brett's Airminded blog, I was introduced to Beachcombing's Bizzare History Blog, the first winning entry for interest, which starts with "Food is dangerous at the best of times" has the following quote lifted from it:
Of course, fires are always difficult to interpret in archaeology: there are so many possible culprits including saboteurs, warriors, lightning storms, a drunk servant, a lava stream…

If there is no other evidence the best archaeologists can do is talk about ashes and look for signs of rebuilding.

You want to read on, don't you? Well here you go; Great Balls of Floury Fire. Don't say I didn't warn you!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Only for America

We were lucky enough to score a free sample bottle of wine recently. But it had a secret. I noticed the harrasing, dictatorial note at the bottom of this wine label, thus realising it could only have been intended for the US market, even before I also noticed the 'Surgeon General' (someone we don't have here) and spelling which proved it.

Informed choice? Or simplistic haranguing? It's easy to get into a pointless argument over such absolutist statements. Let's just hope the Surgeon General doesn't discover the human body produces an amount of its own alcohol* and that 'moderation' isn't a difficult concept.

It was very nice wine, by the way, and being adults able to use our judgement, it was a pleasure without anyone being harmed. Amazing. That's why the importer's name's been obscured.


*See an interesting article here on The Straight Dope discussing it and another asinine 'advice' poster.