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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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I thought it wouldn’t go……….but……..

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THEN IT DID!!!!!

Dear Friends of The Bucket,
 
It is an astonishing world in which we live.
 
Today it is my pleasure to present this scholarly treatise detailing five examples of astonishment for your edification;
(The final one provides perhaps a little more detail than was entirely necessary in the circumstances.)

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1.    I thought that 8 wouldn’t go into 4. At least that’s what my Grade One teacher Miss Tong Wei taught me about arithmetic. She said that 4 goes into 8 alright, but there’s no way that 8 will go into 4 because 8 is bigger than 4 and therefore it just won’t go…….

……but then it did……two years later in Grade 3, Mr Bull showed us that 8  WILL go into 4 and what we ended up with was something called a Fraction.

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2.  I thought that an incompetent nincompoop wouldn’t ever go and get elected to the most powerful and influential political office in the world……..

……but then one did and what we ended up with was something called  A Slightly Greater-Than-Normal Global Shambles.

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3.  I thought that a feral pig wouldn’t ever go and root around at night in my potting mix pile which was protected by wire mesh, sheets of iron and flashing solar lights ……..

……but then one did and we ended up with something called a Pissed-off Mad-as-frickin-hell Gun-totin’ Night-patrolling GOF.

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4.    I thought that a plucked chicken wouldn’t go and fit up the backside of a dead duck prior to both of them in turn being shoved all the way up a deceased turkey’s arse before the whole unnatural bloody mess was inserted into a hot oven to cook for 6 hours………

……but then one did and we ended up with something called a Turducken.

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5.    I thought that my neighbour wouldn’t go and fit into a minuscule bikini……..

…….but then she did, and what we ended up with was something called Excellent Viewing.

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The Dependent Colony of Colesworths

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The picture above shows what remains today of my local papaya farmer's roadside stall.  It symbolically illustrates the state of Australia's family owned small farming enterprises.

A nutritionally diverse range of fresh locally grown food is now almost impossible to find, when just twenty years ago there were ample supplies.

So who and what is responsible.

You, me, and everyone who elects to buy from either of the two supermarkets who control up to 80% of our food supply and refuse to buy locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables from individual farmers.

It is our choice to buy the papaya that has just travelled 3000 kilometres before reaching the supermarket shelf, rather than the local farmer's offering at the non-airconditioned weekend produce markets.

But it is not all our own individual fault.

Hungry Jacks has decided to abandon loyal Australian potato growers and import product instead from North America.

Governments have enabled corporate players to buy up huge tracts of previously productive horticultural land to grow timber. 
These new enterprises were established not with any environmental do-goodery in mind.  They are simply tax minimisation schemes for top-end-of-town investors.
Bananas imported from the Philippines will soon replace those previously grown on this land.

Citrus from California flooded into this country during the last decade while our own farmers were busy bulldozing their mandarin and orange trees in the Sunraysia because of a "market glut".  Go figure.

Our Government provides financial subsidies for food to be grown and imported into Australia from other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Instead of encouraging domestic food self-sufficiency, all tiers of Government in recent times have imposed legislative and financial burdens on smallholder farmers. 
The administrative effort and cost of complying with all the regulations of workplace health and safety, public liability, workers compensation, taxation, disease control, produce inspection and certification have all combined to force small growers out of the industry.  
I know a little about it because it once happened to me.

So, as a society what have we lost?

1.  Fresh fruit and vegetables grown locally instead of being
     transported from halfway across the nation or the world.

2.  Old food varieties that were both tasty and nutritious.
     (International agribusiness Monsanto now wants to genetically
      modify vegetables to improve their flavour. How about they just
      leave the genes alone and give us back some of the heirloom
      varieties which tasted just fine ***).

3.  Fruit and vegetables picked ripe, without chemical
     preservatives or a superabundance of plastic wrapping.

Supermarkets;

We wished for them.
We got them.
We will suffer from the health consequences of ingesting all the artifical, additive-polluted chemically-enhanced "food" which they sell.

Governments;

We live in a country which actively discourages it's own self sufficient food supply.
Nobody cares one iota about the demise of smallholder farmers or the little towns which once depended upon them.
Australia will become reliant upon food produced in distant politically unstable countries, and place life or death trust in the vulnerable shipping transport necessary to get it here.

Australia….sometimes you are utterly DUMB and STUPID!!!!

***  India and China, free from the ethical constraints of the West, are now the world leaders in the genetic modification of fruit and vegetables.

Does anyone else find that a very scary scenario?

PS.  If you haven't noticed previously, this whole subject makes my blood boil.  I promise I will not bother writing about it any more.  Instead I'll go and have 52 colonic irrigations next year to get all the shit off my liver.

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