Saturday, July 31, 2021

Weekend Cooking: What I Baked in July

It's the last Saturday of the month and that means it is time to share what I have baked during the month of July.

I was going to say it has been a relatively quite month baking wise here but then I had a look and realised that I actually did make a few things over the last few weeks

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake - I have made this cake a few times now and it is a favourite.  One thing I love is the colour of this mixture. I could quite happily watch this cake mix in the mixer for hours. Not sure how the cake would turn out if I did. Probably a bit rubbery. You can see a video of it here - very satisfying!

Honeycomb  - Honeycomb has been my list of things I need to try at  some point for years. The texture was perfect. Very crunchy and when I broke it into pieces it was very satisfying. However, in my quest to get the sugar to the right temperature it became a bit bitter so then I had to make the next thing to offset the bitterness. I will try this again because the process itself wasn't too hard. I might use the stainless steel pot instead of the black pot next time so I can see the colour of the caramel.

Milk Chocolate Tart - Because of the bitterness of the honeycomb, I was trying to find something to offset it, so rather than making a chocolate tart with dark chocolate I made one with milk chocolate. It waasn't a complete success either as the ganache wasn't as set as I would have liked, but it did taste very nice!

Coffee Cream Cake - We were watching one of the Bake Off shows and they had a recipe on there for a coffee flavoured biscuit (I think it was Junior Bake Off but I could be wrong).  My husband started reminiscing about how his Oma used to always have a coffee cream cake, so I set out to see if I could find a recipe that replicated it. He was very happy with the result, although he remembers the cake having almonds, instead walnuts. I expect we will be having this one again. Today I even went an bought a better tin for it, and also to try making something else.

In addition, my husband made himself a big batch of rusks which he does once a year or so. They are very nice dunked in a cup of tea.

Weekly Meals

Saturday - Pork chops, mushroom sauce, mash and beans

Sunday- Steak, broccolini and mushrooms

Monday- Roast chicken

Tuesday- Bangers and Mash Pie

Wednesday  - 

Thursday- Beef and pepper pie

Friday - Take away

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Friday, July 30, 2021

Paris in July....La Fin!

And so we come to the end of another Paris in July! And already I am looking forward to next year!

I started this year's event with songs about Paris and so it seems fitting to end the same way.  Both of these are kind of melancholy songs but I think that fits my mood. I have enjoyed everyone's contributions to Paris in July this year very much, but it looks unlikely that our international borders will be opened until next year so we are still a long way away from actually being able to head to Europe!

Despite this, I have at least 3 books on my TBR that have a Paris setting, so I am sure that I will be able to start preparing for next year soon!

 Paris Train by Beth Orton

Postcards from Paris

My Paris in July 2021 posts

Paris in July

I have at least 3 books on my TBR that have a Paris setting, so I am sure that I will be able to start preparing for next year soon!

Au revoir! Until next year at least.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Music A to Z: J

Welcome to this week's edition of my Music A to Z feature. Each week on Thursday, I am going to share a song where either the song or the artist name begins with the letter for that week. This week, the letter is....


Small Towns by John Cougar Mellencamp - I always wanted to include this person in my list as I went to see him in concert back in the late 80s, but I had to put it on the list under the letter J because at various points in time he has been known as John Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp and John Mellencamp, so it was easiest just to put him under J for John! He put on a great show, although I will say that his support act was interesting. It wasn't another band, but rather some jugglers. It was the first time I had seen anything like it. 

Jimmy Barnes - I shared a Jimmy Barnes song last week but I couldn't do the letter J without including him. Jimmy Barnes is an Aussie music legend. All through our lockdowns Jimmy and his wife Jane have been keeping us all entertained, often with their family members and friends. This is a version of Unchained Melody, where Jimmy sounds quite mellow! Some times he can be quite shouty!


Jolene by Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus and Pentatonix - There are a number of Dolly Parton songs that I loved, but it is hard to go past Jolene, and this version is so good.

The Greatest Showman by Hugh Jackman - Hugh Jackman is good at everythign isn't he! Acting, singing, dancing and all round good guy! We went and saw him in concert a couple of years ago and it was such a good show!

Do you have any J songs!

Monday, July 26, 2021

This Week I.....

I'm Reading...

I haven't done one of these posts for a while because, well, I didn't even finish a book for a month until last week. How bad is that? Work is still/always crazy, crazy busy which give me time to basically eat dinner and then go to bed. I don't know whether working from home is a lifesaver because it enables me to do the extra hours easily or if I am working the extra hours because I am working from home. Maybe a bit of both. I did take a long weekend this week because I needed a break, no matter how small.

I did finish The Jam Queens by Josephine Moon last week. I had been trying to listen to it but wasn't making a lot of progress so ended up borrowing it from the library. Turns out you need to return library books so other people can read them, so all of a sudden I was getting overdue notices so I thought I better finally read it. And I enjoyed it a lot.

I am currently reading Rogue Protocol, the third Murderbot book by Martha Wells. I need to get reading as I have at least half a dozen books I want to read next. 

I'm watching....

We have actually watched quite a lot recently. We seem to be watching more than reading, because when you are watching you can do other things. For example, as I type this, I have the Olympics on.

This weekend I have binge watched both seasons of  Never Have I Ever. What a great show! I don't know that I am the target audience, but I laughed out loud and I cried (a lot) as we watched Devi navigate high school, friendships, grief, the challenges of being a young Indian woman with the familial and cultural challenges she faces.  John McEnroe as the narrator is an inspired choice. I can't wait for the next series.

We also watching  Last Letter from Your Lover, based on the book by Jojo Moyes, which was a good way to spend Friday night.

We also started watching an older series called Leverage which is a clever heist style show. There are five series of that and then a reboot, so I think that might keep us entertained for a while.

The other show that we binge watched yesterday was Penguin Town which is also on Netflix. Comedian Patton Oswald is the narrator and he brings the story of the penguins which take over Simon's Town,  a suburb of Cape Town in South Africa. It's by turns funny, sad, uplifting. Oh, and the scenery in that part of South Africa is stunning!  Bought back memories of my time in Cape Town a few years.


As I mentioned we have been in lockdown again here for a couple of weeks, so once again all our plans have changed. We had really nice plans over the last couple of weeks, and then this coming weekend we were supposed to be going to Sydney to see Hamilton, which isn't going to happen. We have pretty much decided it's not worth planning anything in advance because we have had to cancel four trips so far. We have another trip planned in September, so we will anticipate that one with everything crossed that it doesn't get cancelled.

Posts from last week

Music A-Z: I

I've linked this post to It's Monday, what are you reading? as hosted by Book Date

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Weekend Cooking: Easy Skillet French-Style Chicken

As soon as Tamara from Thyme for Tea announced that Paris in July was back I started looking for inspiration for something that we could cook and share during the event. I knew I had seen something, but I couldn't remember where, until I picked up one of the supermarket food magazines and the recipe was there on the front cover. 

We have had this a couple of times now and I do see it become part of our regular meal rotation going forward. In fact, I think we are going to have it again this week.  I particularly enjoy how the chicken turns out. The skin is delicious and the inside is tender. I also think that the recipe would be pretty easy to adapt in terms of using the ingredients you have in the fridge? Want to throw in more carrot. That should work. Or a leftover potato. Should be okay. It feels like it should be a pretty flexible recipe.

Easy Skillet French-Style Chicken

1.6kg chicken pieces on the bone
2 tbs plain flour
2 tbs olive oil
50g butter
200g small brown mushrooms, halved
4 bacon rashers, coarsely chopped
8 shallots, peeled
1 leek, pale section only, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled, thickly sliced
1/2 cup (125ml) Coles Real Chicken Stock
1 cup (250ml) dry white wine or extra chicken stock

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place chicken pieces in a large sealable bag. Add the flour and season. Seal bag and shake to coat.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken, in batches, and cook for 3 mins each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.

Melt the butter in the pan. Add the mushroom. Cook, stirring, for 4-5 mins or until golden. Transfer to a separate plate. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, for 1-2 mins or until light golden. Add the shallot and leek and cook, stirring, for 3-4 mins or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 2 mins or until aromatic. Add the carrot and cook for 3-4 mins or until just tender.

Add the stock and wine or extra stock and cook, scraping the base of the pan, for 2 mins or until heated through. Return the chicken and mushroom to the pan. Season. Cover and bake for 30 mins. Uncover and bake for a further 30 mins or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens.

Weekly Menu

Saturday - 

Sunday- Vegetable and meatball soup

Monday- Vegetable and meatball soup

Tuesday- Crispy Skin Salmon

Wednesday  - Chicken Provencal

Thursday- Bacon, Cauliflower and Leek Gratin

Friday -Takeaway

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Friday, July 23, 2021

Paris in July: Visiting Shakespeare and Co

When I am reading, I am always on the lookout for quotes about books, food and Christmas with the intention of sharing them at some point. The other quotes I look out for are about Paris and I save them for when I need them. An example of when I would need them would be during Paris in July!

I read The Flip Side by James Bailey late last year, and it was a fun, easy read. It sits firmly in the rom com category, written from a male perspective. It was a somewhat entertaining read. Just don't look for too much depth. The premise is that the main character, Josh, proposes to his long term partner he had no idea that she would not accept. Suddenly, he is alone, jobless, living at home with his parents and quite depressed. 

He decides that given that he has made such a mess of his life, that it can't be any worse to make all of his decisions, whether big or small, on the flip of a coin. 

Without spoiling a tiny fraction of the book involves a quick trip to Paris in search of "her" which I thought I would share as part of Paris in July.

When we were planning to visit Paris last year, part of our plan was to spend a day walking along the Seine including the bouqquinistes! Visiting Shakespeare and Co and the bouquinistes was also definitely on our must do list. It feels like you can't be a book lover and visit Paris without doing at least one of those things right?

By the time I reach the yellow facade of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore opposite Notre-Dame, my feet are exhausted from all the walking. There is a hive of activity outside, with people sitting out, eating slices of quiche and cake at the adjuoining cafe. Inside, the shop is packed, with tourists flowing in and out, many flouting the request for no photographs as they upload an artsy picture to Instagram. The shop is indeed extremely photogenic. It's beautiful. From the mosaic floor to the rustic chandelier swinging overhead to the quotes painted on the walls and stairs, the books look happy to be here. There is a warren of narrow passageways for customers to navigate, and a traffic jam is forming between the Blue Oyster Tearoom and the Old Smoky Reading Room. I squeeze through, taking the creaky red staircase through to the first floor, and that's when I see it, painted in black type above the door frame.

'Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.

And then.....

With renewed hope, I bound around the first floor, desperately hoping to turn a corner and see her. I walk past someone typing away on a vintage typewriter and listen in to what appears to be a book club with a collection of people, all wearing cardigans, pretentiously debating the meaning of Tristam Shandy. I step into the dimly lit Piano Room, where a small chandelier with only two of the three bulbs working illuminates the old-fashioned piano in the alcove. A hastily handwritten sign in red felt-tip asks customers not play after 7pm, as it wakes the cat. As I go to make my way back down the stairs, I catch sight of a mirror adorned with notes. People from all around the world have left message written on scraps of paper, ticket stubs and postcards. I read one that says: 'Icarus didn't think things through, maybe you shouldn't either.'

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Music A to Z: I

Welcome to this week's edition of my Music A to Z feature. Each week on Thursday, I am going to share a song where either the song or the artist name begins with the letter for that week. This week, the letter is....


Electric Blue by Icehouse - The Man of Colours album was one that I listened to over and over when it was released. At the beginning of last year I was lucky enough to see them live in a sunset session at the zoo.

I'd Die to be with You Tonight by Jimmy Barnes - You know how you can associate a song with a place or a person. This is a song that ihas always been associated with my first love. 

I Want Your Love by Transvision Vamp - We often have a conversation about the fact that the most rebellious/coolest/sexiest star of today is the golden oldies radio song of the future. Yes, even for people like Wendy James! Doesnt stop me from screaming/shouting along with this when it does come on the radio

Do you have any I songs!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Weekend Cooking/Paris in July - An afternoon in Paris! wasn't really an afternoon in Paris, but last weekend we had a French themed day out in Melboure! Considering that we are once again in lockdown this weekend it is lucky that we did get out and about last weekend. 

Every year the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) hosts a Winter Masterpieces exhibition which is generally big name art, maybe tied into a theme (for example, a few years ago there was an exhibition all about Napoleon), or a style. This year's theme is French Impressionists from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. 

There were so many famous impressionist artists included in this exhibition from Monet to Renoir, to Manet to Pissaro and Degas. Now don't be deceived. I am not really an art specialist, but I do enjoy going to these exhibitions and seeing the displays. I like what I like, but there area lot of areas of art that I don't necessarily get!

What I was surprised about was how many people there were in the exhibitions. These exhibitions are always busy and you find yourself jostling for space, but we had timed tickets so in theory the numbers of people inside was limited but it still felt very crowded.

Here are some of my favourites, most of which feature water of some description, because to me, that is one thing that these artists were so good at portraying, especially in that second picture which is by Frits Thaulow and The Grand Canal picture which is by Monet.

If I could only pick one picture as a favourite, it would be this one though, it would be this one. I love the colour and movement and it reminds me of the book Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland, which is about Renoir, who also painted this picture.

There was a whole room that was dedicated to still life painting. On the way into the room there was a quote by Cezanne on the wall, where the final line was:

As to flowers, I have given them up. They wilt immediately. Fruits are more reliable.They love having their portraits done.

It made me smile!!

After having a drink and a sit down for a while, we went onto the next part of our afternoon and headed into Bistro Guillaume, a French restaurant right on the river in the middle of the city. It is a place that I have wanted to try for a while now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

This is a restaurant that is inspired by French bistros, and as such the menu offers mainly classic dishes. I was a little surprised that the menu was quite limited but included things like Confit Duck, Moules Frites, Escargot and more.

I started with the Twice Baked Souffle followed by Steak Frites and finished with Isles Flottantes (Floating Islands) and Robert had Onion Soup (yum), Steak Frites and Creme Brulee.

What I did find myself wondering was what makes something particularly French and this is not the first time I have found myself wondering this. I mean, cheese souffle - absolutement. Steak and chips? Not so much. And yet it is a French classic. In the case of the meal that we had there was a lovely mix of seasoning on the steak and it was served with bearnaise sauce. Our favourite sauce of the night though was the aioli that accompanied the chargrilled broccolini.

There were a number of items on the dessert menu that I liked the sound of. In the end, I chose the Floating Island because I had never had it before. It was nice, very sweet when you have both the merinngue and the vanilla custard. It was served with a little chocolate and some slices of truffle, which was an interesting addition.

What this restaurant does have going for it is it's location, right on the river. Afterwards we went for a walk along the river despite the cold,  watching the gas flames display.   It's one of my favourite ways to end a date night and we haven't done that for a while. The company was amazing as usual! 

I would go back again, especially to try their set price lunch menu, and I would go back there again just because of the location, but I am keen to try some other French restaurants in the city for dinner.

I am so glad we took the opportunity to visit  both the exhibition and go for dinner. Not sure we are going to be able to do anything like that for a few weeks now!

Weekly menu

Saturday - Out for dinner

Sunday- Bacon, Vegetable and Risoni soup

Monday-Steak Egg and Chips

Tuesday-Zucchini, Tomato, Parmesan Risotto

Wednesday  - Fried Chicken


Friday -Takeaway

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Blog Tour: The Lost Girl of Berlin by Ella Carey

Kate Mancini has worked hard to become a journalist. She is talented, driven and focussed, but no amount of talent, drive or focus can change the fact that the powers that be can't get past the fact that she is a female. They therefore think that she is only capable of reporting on issues that would be of interest to women.

Every now and again, Kate manages to get an opportunity for serious reporting. One of those is the opportunity to be the only woman journalist on a tour of post war Berlin, seeing the broken and damaged country that is left behind in the aftermath of the conflict. One day, as she is being driven through the streets of the Soviet controlled area of Berlin, Kate sees the forlorn figure of a young girl, seated on the stops of a destroyed house. Along with her fellow reporter, Rick Shearer, Mia finds her way back to the ruined house and finds the girl, still seated on the steps.

The young girl, Mia, is starving and is so traumatised by what she has endured that she can't speak. Kate is determined that she needs to find Mia's family, but Kate is only in Berlin for a few days so Rick arranges to place Mia with some old family friends.

They return to New York where, despite the fact that Kate reported on the Nuremberg trials, she still cannot get a permanent role on radio. One of the issues that face any women in the industry is that they can't get jobs because they will just go and get married and have kids. Mia therefore tries to resist her attraction to Rick.

She not only faces opposition from within the radio station but also from within Rick's family, because she is not from the right kind of family, coming from an immigrant background.

Whilst Kate starts out in print and radio, the most interesting part of the story is as she begins to make the move into the early days of television. She is given the opportunity to cover the electoral conventions which really opens doors for her career, with her unique ability to cover both in depth political news as well as giving it a female spin.

No matter how busy she is, Kate never forgets the little girl that she helped save, or Rick, so when he finds himself in trouble, it could be that Kate has the information needed to help save him.

When I read the first book in this series, I was excited to see where the trilogy was going to go. There was a whole group of interesting secondary characters in the world that Carey had created. The fact that this went in a different direction was a surprise to me. But to be fair, I don't think that the author did anything to suggest otherwise, but as a reader I did make an assumption. There is a loose connection between the first book and this one, but this is one of those occasions where there really, truly is no need to have read the first book in the series.

This was a really interesting story about a pioneering journalist, inspired by a real woman. I am going to be careful not to make any assumptions in relation to the next book in the trilogy. I will just wait and see what it has in store for us!

Book Description:

The truck stopped for a moment in the freezing, bombed-out street and Kate caught sight of a little girl in a ragged dress on the steps of a once-beautiful mansion. The child’s eyes were startling blue, a pair of endless pools, drawing Kate towards her…

1946, Berlin. War correspondent Kate Mancini is in Germany, reporting on the aftermath of the devastating war. For her readers back home in New York, she tells the stories of innocent families, trying to rebuild the wreckage of their lives now the soldiers have left at last. But in the Russian-held sector of Berlin on an icy winter’s day, Kate breaks all the rules, rescuing Mia Stein, a silent orphan who she fears will otherwise perish.

Together with her fellow journalist, handsome Rick Shearer, Kate manages to find a safe house for Mia before she returns to America and vows to keep in touch. Back home, the reality of post-war life for women is stark. Whilst Rick walks into his dream job, no newspaper will hire a woman. The editors laugh her out of their offices, telling her to get married and raise a family. Rick does all he can to support her, as she takes her first steps towards the new medium of television news, and their friendship deepens into something more.

Then tragedy strikes: Rick is falsely named as a communist sympathizer. He is arrested, blacklisted and faces prison.

Kate knows she must do all she can to free the man she loves. But that means returning to Germany, to seek out the little orphan girl who is her only chance at salvation. Kate and Rick saved Mia—will she help them both now? And even if Kate succeeds, freedom might never be hers when she returns home…

From Amazon Charts bestseller Ella Carey comes an utterly heartbreaking historical novel, inspired by true events, about the courage, love and friendships that sustain us in the darkest of days. Fans of Fiona Davis, All the Light We Cannot See and My Name is Eva will be totally captivated.
About the author

Ella Carey is the international bestselling author of The Things We Don’t Say, Secret Shores, From a Paris Balcony, The House by the Lake, and Paris Time Capsule. Her books have been published in over fourteen languages, in twelve countries, and have been shortlisted for ARRA awards. A Francophile who has long been fascinated by secret histories set in Europe’s entrancing past, Ella has degrees in music, nineteenth-century women’s fiction, and modern European history. She lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian greyhounds who are constantly mistaken for whippets.

Ella loves to connect with her readers regularly through her facebook page and on her website.

Buy Link:

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Weekend Cooking: Scones with Lemon Myrtle

This week it has been NAIDOC week here in Australia. NAIDOC week is a week when " celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community" (from the website)

It was a bit of coincidence that my post last week featured my cooking class which focussed on lots of native ingredients, so in order to bookend both ends of NAIDOC week, I decided to share a foodie quote from a book I read earlier this year called Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss which I reviewed here. The title of this book is in Wiradyuri translates to River of Dreams

This book is written from the perspective of a young Wiradjuri woman by the name of Wagadhaany (pronounced wogga-dine) who works for a Quaker woman named Louise, who wants to find out more about the Aboriginal culture and so asks Wagadhaany to introduce her to the local women

My favourite part of this quote is actually the part where it ends with "Sharing food was just the Wiradyuri way." It made me think about how food is so integral to cultures all around the world and yet can be viewed differently as well

The women are looking to Wagadhaany for some sign, some surety that the waadyin before them can be trusted. For her part, Wagadhaany wants to make the women feel at ease, for them to understand that she has the trust and friendship of a good White person, because surely they can't all be bad. She decides there is pride to be had in having a good White friend, and so she introduces Louisa again, touching her arm.

"Louisa is my friend, she has been taking care of me. Well, we take care of each other, I guess. And she doesn't make me do all the chores in the house myself, we do them together.

This is the first time Wagadhaany has seen Louisa appear nervous and uncomfortable. As she stands holding a basket of baked goods, small beads of perspiration form on her brow. Wagadhaany urges her forward gently because someone else needs to speak and right now the women are just glaring at them both.

"F...f...for you," Louisa stammers. " We baked them together," she adds, motioning to Wagadhaany. Louisa considers it an important act of friendship, a token gesture of kindness, as a way of demonstrating her generosity. For Wagadhaany, food has always been shared among her people, not as a gesture of anything. Sharing came from understanding that another was hungry. Sharing food was just the Wiradyuri way.

"Yes, we did." Wagadhaany endorses.

She's hoping one of the women will smile, even slightly, and soften the mood, making them both feel welcome, because at this moment she knows that her presence is tainted simply by being there with Louisa. She starts to feel that this may have been an incredibly bad idea, bad judgement, disrespectful even. The bamali-galang had warned her about trusting White people, so why did she bring Louisa here? She is cranky with herself for not listening, for not understanding and practising yindyamarra.

While the bamali-galang demonstrate no interest in Louisa at all, it's hard not to notice their eyes focusing on the basket in her hands. She is sure the aroma of baked scones is making their mouths water. Their eyes all look in the same direction of the basket and Louise lifts the calico cloth to reveal some pumpkin scones, freshly baked, and bright orange in colour. Their eyes widen at the sight of this new food. They have only had white damper before.

"Scones are a bit like damper," Wagadhaany explains, "but these are made from pumpkins. We grow them ourselves. The pumpkins, not the scones."

Wagadhaany panics when she sees an entire row of raised eyebrows in front of her, but then half laughs because they are exacty the same faces her mother and aunties pull back home. But she doesn't know why they are looking that way. Then it hits her. She remembers hearing stories back home about White people lacing damper with a poison, something called arsenic, and leaving it out for the Aboriginal people to eat. Many had died. She feels sick to the stomach because she knows this is why they are probably wary.

She reaches into the basket and takes a scone. Actually, Louisa, I think I need one right now," she says, taking a bite, then handing it to Louisa to take a bite too.

Louisa and the women are all shocked. Blacks and Whites don't share food, especially if it is poisoned.

Wagadhaany frowns at Louisa and whispers, "I'll explain later, take a bite."

Louisa breaks a small piece off the scone and puts it in her mouth, watching the women the whole time. Once she has swallowed, the women relax their brows and all reach into the basket and take a scone. They relish every bite, making sounds of pleasure as they devour them within seconds. Wagadhanny breathes a sigh of relief.

I went looking for a recipe for pumpkin scones, maybe with some native ingredients,  to share as well as this quote. I am not sure if they are a particularly Australian thing but if I see pumpkin scones on a menu they just aren't something that I am likely to choose. I know that there are things like pumpkin pie but to me pumpkin is a savoury thing not a sweet thing. This is something that I have posted about before over the years 

I did find a recipe for pumpkin and lemon myrtle scones, but given that I don't recall ever trying pumpkin scones before, I decided against sharing that one. So, instead, here is a recipe for plain scones with lemon myrtle which I found here

this recipe uses the cream and lemonade method for making the scones  which is my go to method for making scones. You can find my normal recipe here.  It is worth mentioning that the lemonade called for is your Sprite style clear lemonade rather that the real lemony style of lemonade

Scones with lemon myrtle

3 cups self-raising flour
1 cup cream
1 cup lemonade
2 teaspoons lemon myrtle

Heat the oven to 200C.

Sift flour and lemon myrtle into bowl.

Add lemonade, cream and mix to soft dough. Be sure to mix it only enough to bring the dough together. It is often recommended that you use the back of a knife to do this. If you mix too much then your scones will be tough instead of light and fluffy.

Place on floured surface.

Cut into shape (I use a glass as a scone cutter most of the time) and place on warm scone tray.

Bake for 10-15 min.

I did just see a delicious looking recipe for roast chicken with lemon myrtle, so I am thinking that I am going to have to buy some soon and give that a try too.

Weekly menu

Saturday - Pork ribs

Sunday- Leftovers

Monday-Beef stir fry


Wednesday  - Butter chicken pizza

Thursday  Pulled Pork with baked potato

Friday -Spanish tuna bake

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Friday, July 09, 2021

Paris in July: Lupin

Recently, my husband Robert and I (you can say both Robert and Margaret/Marguerite in a French accent if you like!) have watched a really great series on Netflix called Lupin. It has been a massive hit so you may have already watched it too!

There are a number of things I loved about this show. Firstly, I loved the importance that is placed upon the book. The main character is Assane Diop, played by Omar Sy, is given a copy of the French classic Arsene Lupin by Maurice LeBlanc when he is a teenager and the story helps shape his life in many ways. And now, he is passing on his love for that book to his own son. 

In the book, Arsene Lupin is a gentleman thief, a master of disguise and trickery, able to disappear into a crowd at any time.  Think a French version of James Bond  with more cleverness and disguises, and less bodies. Maybe throw in a little Sherlock Holmes as well for good measure.

The show isn't a straight adaptation of the book, but it rather shaped and inspired by it. Whilst Assane's plans echo the plots in the various Lupin books, something one of the police recognises as a fellow fan, the series also celebrates the importance and popularity of the book in France, including an episode which is set at the Normandy beach town where fans of the book make a pilgrimage each year, dressed in the trademark cape and black hat. 

When Assane's father is accused of stealing a priceless necklace once owned by Marie Antoinette, he is sent to prison where he dies, leaving behind 14 year old Assane to fend for himself. Over the years, Assane becomes a master conman and thief, able to disguise himself in plain sight. Now, he has just one endgame in mind. He wants to prove that his father was framed for the theft and to bring the real criminals to justice. Those people are dangerous and powerful, and Assane needs to bring his A game, but he also needs to ensure that he keeps his ex and his son, Raoul, safe at the same time. Assane is always one step ahead of his foes and the police, even when you think he isn't. 

Assane does have a couple of trusted people in his life who are part of his escapades. We get to see the origins of these relationships as the story flashes back to 1995 and what happened to young Assane after his father died, and then how they play out as he enacts his revenge plan.

This show is very much a vehicle for Omar Sy, which is no bad thing. I have seen a few things with him now, including Two is a Family and Chocolat. I still really need to watch The Intouchables.

Paris is also a  big part of this story as you can see from this clip. Many of the famous sights of the city make an appearance on screen, but the producers were also not afraid to show the other Paris, the Paris which doesn't appear on postcards.

This song is actually called Gentleman cambrioleur (Gentleman Thief) and was actually part of the soundtrack for the French TV series of the same name which was created in the early 1970s. 

Here's the trailer

If you enjoy a well written, smart, intriguing, and fun thriller type show, then this might be a good choice. There are currently 10 episodes available on Netflix. I have heard that it is better to watch the French version with subtitles but we watched the version with English dubbing.

Have you watched Lupin?

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Music A to Z: H

After a brief detour to Paris last week, I am back with the next letter in my next Music A-Z post.

This week it is the letter 


Diamonds on the Inside by Ben Harper - I went to see Ben Harper in concert a few years ago. it was an amazing experience to see just him and a selection of different guitars

No One is to Blame by Howard Jones - This is one of my favourite songs from the 80s.

Like Wow Wipeout by Hoodoo Gurus - I can't quite believe I have never seen these guys live as they have been on my to see live list for a long time. One day!

I thought I would finish this week by mentioning a playlist. There is a playlist on Spotify called "Have a Great Day and it is our go to  playlist if you want something to help you feel good on a Saturday or Sunday morning.