Thursday, April 29, 2021

Corned beef

 There are many things that are done better in the USA than in Australia, but corned beef is not one of them. America uses Brisket, while Australia uses Silverside, a much better cut of beef. Silverside has much less fat and gristle than brisket and does not respond well to roasting. However, it does very well when simmered for multiple hours such as in this recipe 'Dad's Corned Beef'. I've cooked this recipe a couple of times and the results have been wonderful.

The leftover piece of meat. Note the absence of fat.

For some unknown reason, I still make some of my mother's recipes. She used the leftover meat for corned beef fritters. The recipe is simple, a cup of self-raising flour, an egg, some milk, salt and pepper. Mix it up and add cut-up pieces of corned beef.

We don't eat much fried food but we do like to eat corned beef fritters as well as apple fritters. So we went to Kmart and bought a deep frier for $20. Kmart sells lots of appliances for $20.

The trick is to know how much milk to add so that the fritter will form in the fat. I just know what consistency is required from years of experience.

Half-way there after being turned over.

The finished product with a dollop of tomato sauce / ketchup. When she was young, one Dani Kramer used to love these things. I suspect she would be tempted to eat one now even though I think she is still vegetarian. The Aussie version is better than the American because the meat is not at all gristly.

For apple fritters, substitute cut-up peeled apple for the meat and hold the salt and pepper. Serve with lemon juice and sugar. Really unhealthy, but delicious!

We do try to remember to change the oil at intervals less than three years. 


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A walk in the local Botanic Gardens

 We normally rise about 6 am and then eat breakfast. For a change, we went for a walk in the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens before going to a cafe near the jetty to have brekkie.

The entrance at about 6:30.

Not many people around.

This is the entrance to the Chinese Garden section.

Marianne and I take photos quite differently. She thinks and frames each shot so it takes quite a while. Slapdash Ray just points his camera in the general direction, tries to make sure the camera is level and takes the photo. It's all over in a couple of seconds. Cropping later on the computer takes much longer. When you travel by tuk-tuk or train, there is usually very little time to grab the image.

Another beautiful morning. Daytime maximum temperatures are in the mid 70's.

We heard this kookaburra laughing later.

That is a tree trunk.

Pandanas, which are common in our area.

It was a lovely walk in the cool of the morning. We then drove to an un-swish cafe near the jetty and had large cappuccinos along with ham and tomato toasties. $20 for the two of us. Eat your heart out, Robin.

Sydney is much more expensive than Hervey Bay. My haircut costs $21 and of course, there is no tipping here in Oz. Apparently, Robin would be lucky to get $21 change from $100 for her haircut, but she does get a free beer to enjoy while she is being primped. No beer for me. However, at the end of my haircut, the hairdresser takes a hot towel, drapes it over my head and massages my head for two or three minutes. It's better than any beer.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


 The temperatures have lowered into the 70's and the pelicans have turned up. They presumably fly south for the summer. These photos were taken about 30 minutes after sunrise.

They are majestic birds, both swimming and flying.

Some cormorants turned up as well. Presumably, there was a shoal of fish just offshore.

The cormorants took off.

This link is to our weather forecast so that you can see what we have to put up with. It was cold enough this morning for Marianne to wear a jacket.

Monday, April 12, 2021


 Nimbin is the hippy capital of Australia. It's a short drive north of Lismore so we decided to check it out. My sister, Anne, warned me 'not to inhale'.

Nimbin is not too far from the popular resort on the coast, Byron Bay, so it gets plenty of visitors.

It's a lovely drive up the hill except for the potholes. These interesting rock formations are just outside Nimbin.

The rocks are the leftovers of an old volcano. You can read about them here.

It was a lovely day driving through the trees.

We found a parking spot in Nimbin and started walking. The colourful building indicated we were in the right place.

Since it was early in the day there were no crowds and few customers.

A lovely old tree.

The pub and the War Memorial.

This from the Wikipedia article:
In New South Wales, the cultivation, possession, or sale of cannabis is punishable by law. In Nimbin, cannabis is openly bought, sold, and consumed.

Old bench and seat.

That pretty well describes my retired lifestyle. Not really, since we get up with the sun at 6 am and go to bed about 9:30 pm.

Note the mural of the rocks just outside the village.

The area gets plenty of rain so there a plenty of creeks.


I think this says it all. From what we could see, many of the old hippies had not aged well. Some of the men outside the Hemp Embassy looked dreadful. It's not my kind of place and to my mind, Bellingen further south is a lot nicer.

However, Nimbin had a large influence on the change in attitude towards the indigenous people of Australia and creating the 'reconciliation' concept which is still opposed by the conservative federal government. It was also instrumental in bringing about a law banning logging is rain forest throughout NSW.

We then took a pretty drive over to Ballina on the coast. The main crop up on these hills appears to be Macadamia nuts. There are huge plantations. Macadamias are replacing sugar since they are so profitable even up near where we live. The sugar mill in nearby Maryborough has closed and the locals are now growing nuts.

Except for the narrow and pothole-ridden roads, it would be lovely living up in these hills.

We drove down to the coast and were lucky to get a park.

A recent storm had resulted in decent waves so every surfer in the area was getting ready to out for a few waves.