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Monthly Archives: December 2012

GOF’s gift to gastronomy

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Photo credit; LOM

Photo credit; LOM

Cooking in the 21st century has become unnecessarily complicated.  It’s like employing a helicopter to relocate a baby wombat from one side of the Murrumbidgee River to the other when I could have done the same job more rapidly and economically using my slingshot.

After tapping your utensils to the beat of the following gastronomic etude you will be left flabbergasted and wondering  “How on earth did GOF reach this extraordinary level of proficiency in the kitchen with so little practical experience?”

The obvious answer is that I was tapped on the shoulder at an early age by the spatula of epicureanism and endowed with the golden gift of culinary genius, because Lord knows it most certainly didn’t come from spending long hours sweating over chopping boards or peering with hopeful expectation into oven windows.

For two reasons;

1.  Someone else has always been happy to step up to the hotplate whenever my plane of nutrition has dipped to a dangerously low level.

2.  I am an excellent browser and forager of nature’s foodstuffs which don’t require the application of heat in order to render them edible.   For example, Weetbix.

From the beginning;

My Mum somehow prevented the early onset of kwashiorkor and the addition of little gof’s name to Australia’s infant mortality statistics, despite all the wowsers and moral missionaries during the 1940’s warning new mothers against “putting your disgusting filthy pornographic nipples into the mouths of innocent babes.”

I survived by suckling on the teats of  Beatrice, our tolerant, nurturing and productive Jersey cow who had all the necessary Government approvals and documentation enabling her to be a wet nurse for Australian children.

Eventually my parents decided that I’d been freeloading long enough so they dumped me on the doorstep of a residential Agricultural College at the age of sixteen.  During the following three years a coagulation of greasy foreign chefs fed me food which clogged my arteries and cemented my stools to Building Foundation Strength Number 10.

Then came New Guinea and a succession of domestic servants, two of whom I am happy to report were considerably more picturesque than useful in the kitchen.  One school of thought is that I was nothing but a lazy, spoilt and  pampered little colonial bastard, but truth is that I was generously contributing to the local economy by employing them.

For the last 32 years Mrs GOF has been captain of my ship of nutrition, so it is always dietarily disconcerting at times like this when she leaves me alone in my inadequately victualled lifeboat to fend for myself.  There is a real risk that I may founder on the shoals of starvation.

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Australia_Coat_of_Arms

This has occasionally been mistaken for Australia’s Coat of Arms.

It is actually a pictorial menu.

Today I choose kangaroo.

Ingredients;    This scrumptious recipe includes all three food groups essential to good health.

1. ANIMALS.     2. VEGETABLES.     3. MINERALS.

1.  ANIMALS;

Skippy mince  with a subtle continental influence.

Skippy mince with a subtle continental influence.

2.  VEGETABLES;

There are green ones, and yellow ones and white ones and orange ones, and they all get put in.......etc etc

There are green ones, and yellow ones and white ones and orange ones, and they all get put in…….etc etc

3.  MINERALS;

These three products contain all the minerals essential for good health such as 551, 635, 721, 257, 312, Sodium, Chlorine and Potassium iodate.

These three products contain all the minerals essential for good health such as 551, 635, 721, 257, 312, Sodium, Chlorine and Potassium iodate.

Cooking;

One saucepan only.  The use of more than one saucepan, one knife, one fork and one plate is extravagant and will result in avoidable sink-misery afterwards.)

One saucepan only. The use of more than one saucepan, one knife, one fork and one plate is extravagant and will result in avoidable sink-misery afterwards.)

Plating up

The secret to truly great food lies in the process which we chefs refer to as ‘plating up’.   Delicious food like this deserves to be presented with love, care and artistic finesse. Please take careful note of the following delicate sequence.

1.  plate on top of saucepan thus

1. plate on top of saucepan thus

2. invert quickly

2. invert quickly

3  voila....GOF's Roo Stew for Bachelors....bon appetit.

3 voila….GOF’s Roo Stew for Bachelors….bon appetit.

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Ooooh……gotta go. Now in what cupboard did I put my Imodium?

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Losing my marbles…..and a bloody big pipe.

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I consider myself no more or less prone to senior moments of forgetfulness than any other living relic of the baby boom.

There have been a couple of incidents which admittedly don’t bode well for the future, such as accusing Mrs GOF of misappropriating my spectacles, only to have it pointed out that they were residing safe and sound just north of my eyebrows where I had put them.
Then there was that other occasion when I forgot to put trousers on before I went off to church, but that, as they all said with a degree of Christian forgiveness and understatement, was no big deal.

The following incident did however send me off to check that my emergency euthanasia stock of Xanax was still where I had hidden it.
(message to self; the ‘hidden’ aspect needs to be urgently reviewed)

I lost a twenty foot long, four inch diameter, heavy duty,
PVC water pipe.  

Just before smoko (morning tea) on Christmas eve I extracted, with considerable difficulty, this pipe from amongst all the junk stored in the workshop roof space and placed it on the floor.

Fifteen minutes later, after enjoying my patented concoction of decaffeinated coffee mixed with powdered milk , cooking chocolate and hot water, I returned to find it had disappeared.  Poof!  Vanished.  No more. Absent.
Totally gone.

Then I heard what I thought was an aboriginal corroboree going on in a distant corner of GOF’s Empire. There was the haunting ‘didyontheoinking’  sound of a didgeridoo being played.  Perhaps the ancient spirits had disapproved of all the naked nymphs cavorting on their land ever since Mrs GOF departed for her PNG holiday. Maybe they only took offence at the seven grossly overweight ones whose frolicking probably caused earthly tremors of such magnitude that they were disrupting the peacefulness of the afterworld. God knows, they certainly were playing havok with my sleep pattern.

Be that as it may, I followed my ears, and discovered…..

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Kebba the frigging dawg.

She’d carted my pipe 120 yards down the paddock and discovered along the way that she could play a didgeridoo by shoving her nose into the end and snorting into it.
She was last seen beating down the regrowth and giant brambles and heading south east with the pipe in tow. The nearest neighbour in that direction is 20 miles away, so if you live in Innisfail and discover a $400 dog attached to a $100 pipe would you please kindly return the pipe.

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Probably culprit

Probable culprit

Kebba the didgeridoo player

Kebba the didgeridoo player

IMG_1141

Heading for Innisfail

Heading for Innisfail

Move, you bastard pipe, why should I have to do all the work.

Move, you bastard pipe, why should I have to do all the work.

Happy..ummm…errr…Whatever?

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Well no.  I refuse to be drawn into the rapidly filling sewers of political correctness.  It’s HAPPY CHRISTMAS, and if the Christians of this world choose to light a celebratory fire of hope and renewal in December each year then I’ll happily sit on the sidelines and absorb some of it’s warm glow.

If all the religions of the world would similarly respect and share the theological virtues and sacred observances of the others then there would be fewer days remaining in the year for them to both literally and figuratively bomb the crap out of each other in the name of God.

I will just take this annual opportunity to look around me and be thankful for all that is good in my world. Summer warmth and early sunrises over the mountain. Thunder storms. Wild birds feeding on my verandah at dawn. Mrs GOF’s temporary gift to me this Christmas of silence and solitude. A house of my own, and a very large puppy dog to play with.

And your company.

I wish you a Happy Christmas, and may good health and contentment be your traveling companions in 2013.

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You too might  see some relatives and friends in the following  Christmas offering from the Dropkick Murphys;  “If you think your family’s crazy, then you should see mine.”

And then there was television

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“The Lord saw that man was as a lost sheep in the desert and that his eyes were shrouded with boredom, and his habits filled with slothfulness, so it came to pass that He sent unto his earthly children a kinescope in a box which He verily called a ‘television’.

And lo, the television fell upon fertile ground and within it grew sustenance for the soul of mankind such as The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s island, Bugs Bunny, John Wayne, and Daisy Duke.”

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House of GOF
Australia
December 20  2012

Dear God,

It seems you made an awful mistake.  Television is now almost a complete mind-numbing waste of time for two reasons;

1. Commercials

(a)  If I have to watch one more time that bastard (who has enough testosterone coursing around his veins to start World War 3) trying to sell me “53 stepladders in just one amazing unit’  I’ll scrape the dried blood and bovine testicular tissue off my old cattle emasculator and ensure that the twin sources of this aggravation shrivel up and drop off and render him speechless in all registers except soprano.

(b) There is a plague of funeral insurance advertisements featuring teary-eyed, whining, miserable, depressing and pathetic old actors being paid to give the impression of  “not wanting to burden the children with the cost of our funerals”.  

For God’s sake (sorry God) it is our responsibility and duty to burden them. It’s a lesson in life. We paid for their food, clothes, education, court costs and teenage abortions so the very least they can do is pay for our final barbecue. Besides, they know they’re going to get all the money back after they’ve ratted through our bank accounts and the hanging fern basket third from the left on the front porch.

2. Cooking shows

Oh shit, don’t even get me started God. Why did you allow all these idiots onto my small screen to boil, fry, bake, mash, roast, grill, saute, scramble and whisk our natural foods until they resemble something that came out of the arse end of an indiscriminately omnivorous cassowary?

Given your omnipresence and my appreciation of the finer things in life we both know that the only worthwhile cooking show is Foodie Planet hosted by journaliste culinaire Julie Andrieu.
I have included below some exquisite culinary highlights just for you, to counterbalance all the horrible things that you must see in your daily life as a deity……like pillaging and Lada cars and X factor.

Good luck with the end of the world tomorrow and I hope you will soon be able to find another job.

Yours Faithfully,

GOF

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J2

J1J4J5

Fangpusen

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(The following paragraph alignment anomalies can be blamed on WordPress and not me.  Nothing is ever my fault)

I have a problem. Well that’s not strictly correct if truth be known.
Actually I have many problems, but the most pressing one for the purpose of this story is my older cousin.  She is like a termite gnawing away at the foundations of my tower of integrity. Cousin Elisabeth takes every opportunity to remind my daughter that “Your Dad is a silly old sausage and a very peculiar man”.
 
Now Liz, the dear old character assassin, has only known me since Mother-of-GOF pushed and grunted and popped me out into my awaiting groovy nineteen forty-eight swaddling clothes, so what the hell would she know.

Perhaps one peculiarity to which she refers is my propensity to find amusement in the sight or sound of some words in English or the other languages which I have unsuccessfully attempted to learn during my lifetime.

It all started when I was around seven or eight years of age.
I would cack myself laughing in the back seat of the family Humber Hawk every time we passed the Mobilgas service station at Ravenswood midway between Castlemaine and Bendigo in Victoria.

Mobilgas

Mobilgas. 

Well I have to admit it’s not even vaguely funny half a century later.

As we all understand, The Bucket is a serious journal catering to a select group of highly intelligent adults.  Occasionally I choose to provide a paragraph of spurious special information just so the younger readers can copy and paste it into their school assignments.
 
The word mobilgas derives from the ancient Greek mobi (on the run) and gaseon, (flatulence).  Marathon runners encouraged their own mobilgas production through dietary means and then harnessed it to their advantage. By releasing tiny ‘pfffts’ on every other stride, mobilgas provided a propulsive boost to these athletes when they were running up the mountains of Peloponnisos.

Australia no longer has Mobilgas signs.  I miss them.

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Two words from the Kotte language in Papua New Guinea which always caused me to have short-lived spasms of mirth were;

rauckenzepeneng  and  kikefung,

and

Karpapuk  is Melanesian Tok Pisin for ‘fart’.

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IMG_1098
The latest addition to my Cackle Dictionary is ‘fangpusen’,
the brand name of the voltage regulator which came with my new solar panel.

🙂  🙂  🙂  Fangpusen.  Fangpusen.  Fangpusen.  🙂  🙂  🙂

The word deserves to be widely promulgated and I have taken the liberty of suggesting some possible meanings;

fangpusen;  a snake ready to strike.

fangpusen;  a childs tooth pushing it’s way through the gum.

fangpusen;  a serious infection of the mouth characterised by copious amounts of oozing pungent yellow pus.

fangpusen;  feline front teeth.

Fangpusen;  The German Association of Vampires.

fangpusen;  a kind of sexual misadventure.

Please join my crusade to promote this wonderful word.

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Other electronic equipment brand names around my house are not quite so inspirational.   Some things are best forgotten.

IMG_1097

The television set

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A daughter’s odyssey

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After spending three nights in the chaotic and lawless Papua New Guinea towns of Port Moresby and Lae,  Inga (age 30) will this morning commence a journey with her Mum which will inevitably change her life and perspective of the world forever.

She will step into a rugged little Britten Norman Islander aircraft at the refurbished wartime airstrip at Nadzab, and with propellor blade tips spinning just inches from her ear through the side window, fly over the spectacular mountains of the Huon Peninsula into another peaceful and intriguing world surrounding the tiny landing ‘strip at Pindiu.

She may even use an occasional expletive during the final landing approach (below) and think her life is about to end before it really got started.   (Internet gremlins are interfering with the youtube link so the only way to see this ‘interesting’ aviation exercise is to copy and paste the following URL)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBn4OYUJbpU&list=PLDD7563CA053A8759&index=6

I admire Inga’s courage in leaving behind a comfortable life in Australia to discover the places of  Mrs GOF’s childhood, and I am enormously proud of her for accepting the challenge.
She will suffer from culture shock.  She will be physically exhausted climbing mountains.  She will have little privacy, and have to use communal pit latrines. She will bathe and do laundry in creeks and carry water and firewood for cooking.

The rewards however will far outweigh the privations.  During the next 18 days of walking though the Dedua and Hube areas she will discover an entire extended family who will love her and care about her. She will walk through some extraordinarily beautiful scenery and meet some of the happiest and most hospitable people on Earth.

It is also coincidentally exactly 40 years since I conducted my first  ten-day walking patrol through Dedua villages on these same bush tracks in the role of a rural development officer.

Inga will return to Australia culturally enriched and understanding why those of us who had the privilege of working with PNG village people a very long time ago retain such an enduring affection for them and their country.

The following photographs of the Pindiu-Dedua area were taken by Mrs GOF in 2011.

DeduaTewae

Domestic pig Rebafu village

Afong village with Pindiu airstrip in background

Afong village with Pindiu airstrip in background

Masaweng River tributary

Mongi River suspension bridge

Mongi River suspension bridge

Mongi Valley walking track

Mongi Valley walking track

Pindiu village house

Pindiu village house

Reverend GOF’s Christmas Newsletter

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tree

Dear Friends,

Hello again to you all at this special time of the year.
Golly gosh doesn’t time fly.

It has been a difficult year for Our Lady of the Divine Eructation Church.  In February one of our parishioners broke into the vestry and stole a silver chalice and two collection plates which contained three hundred and seven dollars, four plastic buttons, one cigarette butt and a nut and washer from the transverse shaft of a 1966 Volkswagon gearbox.

I should not have been surprised when the offender, Walter Sphincter, was arrested shortly afterwards while he was trying to hammer the washer into a parking meter using the metal leg which he had just broken off a nearby restaurant’s alfresco dining table.
When I baptised Walter 24 years ago I said to the Verger  “Verger, mark my words, with parents like those, that little bastard is never going to amount to much.”

Last Christmas the church conducted a special fundraising campaign to help save the starving children in Ethiopia following an address to the congregation by Pastor Sikam Bastar who said that he worked with the children.  Unfortunately it transpired that he was not a religious man at all, but a warlord whose only contact with the children was to supervise them smashing up rocks with their bare hands in his quarry.

We did feel much better though when he assured us by telephone that he had spent our entire donation of $7620.15c  (plus one New Zealand twenty cent coin) on improving the lives of prostitutes in Addis Ababa.

Gospel according to Mark; Chapter 9 Verse 43;
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off .

Thank you all for your best wishes and get well cards since this event. The wound has healed nicely after several months of intravenous antibiotics.  Perhaps I should have been a little more gentle on myself and at the very least used a sharp hacksaw blade.  After all it wasn’t entirely my fault.  The Matron of Honour seated next to me at the wedding reception did, after a few drinks, grab my hand and direct it to where she wanted it.

I have resolved that in future I will be less selfish, perform fewer limb amputations on myself, and continue to enthusiastically give my one remaining helping hand to those in desperate need.

Sunday School classes have been temporarily suspended since that unfortunate day when the Italian exchange teacher Miss Profligatus showed the senior youth group part of a DVD titled  “Virgin Mary Does Jerusalem”, believing it to be a religious education film.

Our eldest daughter Philistinia gave birth to twins on the 29th of January and the 1st of February. One black and one white.  Praise be to God for this miracle.  We also ask you to pray for the paediatric nurse down at the clinic who has been passing around some very hurtful and defamatory stories about our daughter.

Prayers are also requested for Philistinia’s husband Festus.
Soon after the birth of the twins he received a spiritual enlightenment from the Lord and immediately went off to work in the fleshpots of Asia saving souls and preaching His word.

We are so proud of the work Festus is doing, but Thailand must have very primitive communication facilities.  We haven’t heard from him for almost 10 months now.

We wish you a not too merry Christmas after all the trouble you got into last year, and hope to see you regularly in our church during 2013.

In contrast to your record of attandance this year.

Love and blessings,

Reverend GOF and family.

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