• Running :: on empty
  • Alternative :: plan
  • Cope :: all the time
  • Lots :: of love
  • Sympathetic :: ear
  • Barn :: yard
  • Totally :: dude
  • Baby :: face
  • Undeniable ::beauty
  • Watermelon :: boobs
  • you can play too!
    *****
    Seeing as Rockstar is over – sigh – and Foxtel seems to have decided to stop running ANTM – grrrr – we’re left with the pathetic world that is Idol. Australian Idol. Or as I prefer to think of it, Australian Idle. (Chef just called it televised karaoke, which is as on the mark as his arse-plaque comment last night.)

    Look, the talent this year is about a gagillion per cent better than last year’s crop, but the production standards, the set, the prevalence of Celine Dion songs, the love of the b.a.l.l.a.r.d., idiots like Mark saying to (very) young girls that their new look lights his wick (or as I keep remembering, sends fire down his wire) and fat little wombles like Kyle driving me to violence all combine to leaving me wanting.

    But what I can say to its credit is this, it is infinitely more bearable and enjoyable than the tripe on Channel 9, Prehistoric Park. This pathetic drivel involves time travel (settle down all you Trekkies), a guy who looks enough like Anthony La Paglia that every time I see him I get that little “oh goodie, eye candy” heart skip for about a micromillisecond until this imposter opens his annoying English accented mouth and shatters my dreams. Combine that with a voice over by Charles Woolley, one of those perpetually sunny journalists who always did the tongue-in-cheek, funny, light-hearted, good-spirited stories on 60 minutes. You know the one you just want to smack to get rid of the smirk. Then there’s tell-it-like-it-is Kate-the-Vet. She’s the worst offender of the saying exactly what we’re seeing unfold on the television in front of us. Maybe she just knows how uncredible it all is, so by describing exactly what we’re seeing it might make it all a bit real. It doesn’t. It is about the most irritating television I’ve ever watched. Next to breakfast television, and insight-hysteria evening current affairs programs. Naturally Felix loves it, so I have to sit here and type out my frustration because I don’t want to kill the dream for him just yet.

    *****
    Chicken Puttanesca
    1.5-2kg chicken pieces, on the bone (I use thigh fillets with the skin on)
    plain flour
    sea salt, freshly cracked pepper
    2 onions, finely diced
    4-6 cloves garlic, smooshed
    1 tblsp small capers, rinsed and shopped
    4-6 anchovies, chopped
    2 bottles sugo
    water
    1 jar kalamata olives (375g)
    handful each of parsley and basil, torn

    – dust chicken pieces in the flour
    – heat some olive oil in a heavy based pan
    – brown the chicken, remove from pan
    – saute onions and garlic
    – add the capers and anchovies
    – add the chicken pieces
    – then add the sugo and enough liquid that to cover the chicken
    – add the olives and herbs
    – simmer for about an hour, or two.

    Serve with salad and crusty bread, or as we did tonight on a bed of spaghetti.
    *****
    The weekend summation – we had the most awesome weekend. I think I drunkenly recalled yesterday last night.

    Today featured – wait for it – gardening. I completed deforested the two vegie patches, that were a bed of weeds. I turned the compost and attempted to build its walls so the dogs don’t view it as the food bowl that keeps on giving and the possums don’t view it as the best ‘tree’ on the street. It all got a bit hard and I was getting a bit bored with it by then, but man, you should the empty, but weed free veggie garden.

    There was also some bathroom floor scrubbing (just for you Bex!) and long overdue cleaning, washing and general domestic oblivion, but you know what, it was all still sensational.
    *****

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    • Joke

      I tried watching the American version of “Idle” but had to cease and desist when I noticed small amounts of liquefied brain matter dribbling out of my ears.

      -J.

    • Surfing Free

      Argh! Australian Idol was good the first season but now that they have actual INFANTS singing songs I’ve lost all interest in it.
      Karaoke is what it is and giggling girlies dressed to the nines with microphones in their hands is just a recipe for disaster in my book.

      When Project Runway finishes on Foxtel there will officially be nothing left to watch … except Return to River Cottage and Grand Designs.

      vf is daamn …. damn indeeed!!

    • Bec of the Ladies Lounge

      The announcement last night that next week would be the final in the Prehistoric Park series almost brought our three kids to tears. I admit the animatronics are so amazing that the show deserves some credit, but “Nigel” shits me to tears with his fake bravado act and the logic gaps are very annoying to my kind of cryptic-crossword-riddle-deducing brain. Like, if they’re trying to save the Tyrannosaurus Rex, why go back in time to the last possible day to collect them and then choose a brother and sister? Why not go back to 10 years before the comet hits and take your time to get a proper breeding pair? And who the hell wants to save the T Rex anyway? You just know that’s going to end in tears and hopefully they’ll be Kate The Vet’s tears as she watches the girly T Rex toss the last soggy bit of Nigel’s torso down her gullet…

      I don’t do Idol, or Rockstar, but the notion of a crossover program where the Prehistoric Park carnivores eat the popstar contenders is almost irresistible.

      Like the puttanesca, that’s going on next week’s menu. My kids now love the idea of anything puttanesca because it’s what the baudelaires cook for the actors in Lemony Snicket.

    • My float

      What’s sugo? the recipe sounds great.

    • nutmeg

      Thanks MF; I thought I was the only one that didn’t know what sugo was! Seeing as I got the dugong wrong last time I was too afraid to ask 😉 (though I love puttanesca – obviously I don’t use sugo – I may have been missing out on the key ingredient all this time!)

    • MsCellania

      Why is any Nigel ALWAYS annoying?! I actually liked the name before, oh what was that annoying NIIIIIIIIIIIII-GEL thing?!
      And yes – Sugo?
      I love that you’re digging away in the garden. Ours is being put to bed soon. I think about all the remains is 14 dozen tomatoes and 6 large pumpkins. Which the boys have already chosen and named. If anyone steals them I may turn murderess.

    • Bec of the Ladies Lounge

      I’m sure Kim will answer this for you all individually, but just in case, sugo is basically a tomato puree. It has a runny sauce consistency and usually (in Australia anyway) comes in about a 750ml glass bottle. You’ll find it in the kind of fruit and veg shops that also sell pasta, or in most decent sized supermarkets. Super cheap and very handy!

      (I have got that right, haven’t I Kim?)

    • Kim

      Sure have Bec – it’s tomato sauce, but in Australia we call ketchup tomato sauce so it gets confusing. Sugo is runnier and smoother than simply tinned chopped tomatoes but it also has a sweetness.

      You can ofcourse make it yourself, but who has the time!?! (My beautiful friend Linda is Italian and her family have a sugo making day every second year and bottle their own. This is naturally the best sugo in the universe.)

    • Kim

      I have decided to walk away from Australian karaoke. It’s just too b-grade for me to tolerate.

      Sigh.

      Thank GOD for The Daily Show, The Family Guy, Arrested Development and My Name is Earl.

    • Joke

      Tomato puree. Got it.

      Do you get (and if so, have you tried) the kind that comes boxed aseptically? The Parmalat people (under the “Pomi” brand) sell that here, and it tastes far better than the stuff avalailable here in cans/tins/jars/bottles.

      -J.