Just like family slide night

More holiday musings…

“If she was wearing white we could watch a movie.” Bri’s hilarious comment when some of the regulars rocked up on Friday night and were trying to lure a baby rabbit out from under a car. Let’s just say she was broad beamed. Maybe it was as funny as it was due to the Pineapple Vodka Cruisers

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The friends we went with – the Doodles – are from the US. I have a real ‘thing’ for American accents, probably some deep-seeded subconcious thing from when we lived in the States when I was very young. Also maybe something to do with an online internet thing I had going with someone that was getting way too serious – and dangerous – considering where Chef and I were at in our relationship many years ago now. Anyway, their accent makes my knees go weak, I just L.O.V.E. it. (give me a moment, swooning over here)

Anyway…
The point of this little vignette is something Badger said that confirmed a converstation we had on our last night under the stars as Vodka cruisers and Jack Daniel UDLs were consumed (followed by a delightful New Zealand Sauv Blanc). Bri mentioned something about Jack and Coke in a can to his sister (who is still in the States) and she was all “what the?” and after Bri explained it – it’s in a can like softdrink, but it’s alchohol with a mixer. And then she was all “that’s so right”. Apparently UDLs do exist in the States (you would be able to knock me down with a feather if you couldn’t) but nothing like the JD&Coke. I find this bizarre and wonder if it’s state by state dependent?

And considering Joke directly me to the hilarious Smirnoff Tea Partay mixed drinks in a bottle must exist in the land of the accent that makes me stupidly giddy.

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“Mum, we’re not just ordinary kids. We build rockets, jets, supersonic aeroplanes.” On my suggestion to the boys they build an obstacle course to ride their scooters around.

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“Have you seen the rocket?” The phone call from Chef after the “boys” spent the morning building a model rocket, took it across to an oval and set it off. Only to realise 1,000ft into the air is quite high and different wind patterns are probably existing up there… as their precious rocket drifted off God-knows where.

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“Are we having take-away again!?” Felix – just seeking clarification one of his life dreams of chronic take-away was coming true.

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“Did you bring any wine glasses?”
“No”

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“Did you bring a frypan or saucepan?”
“No”

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“How many times were you up during the night?”
“Four.”
“Nice.”
“Yeah, and Decky peed on me.”
“Tops”
“I still haven’t showered. I feel like shit.”
“Yeah. Me too.”
– pause, rewind, repeat. This is a basic overview of Jen and my morning refrain as we urged the water to boil faster for mega-mugs of tea and coffee.

*****

Considering all things in our lives revolve around or are equated to Star Wars, it seemed unavoidable the theme we all found ourselves constantly humming was that of Darth Vader.

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In other news…

Killer came over today. She’s a very dear friend from work. She’s been backpacking – on her own – around south east Asia for the last eight weeks. She bought me presents! I feel so special. She also bought the boys a “copy” of High School Musical. She owes me one now.

Anyway, I made this hotch-potch Vietnamese Chicken Salad. I’m going to give you the proper recipe, but let it be known, it certainly wasn’t this fancy today (we have no money until payday and the thought of lugging three boys to the shops for coriander is in the land of pipedream) but still equally delicious.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad
3 chicken breasts
3-4 cups chicken stock
8-10 peppercorns
several sticks of fresh ginger

1/2 small cabbage, shredded (or Chinese cabbage)
good handful each of Vietnamese mint, Thai basil, coriander, spearmint
handful unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

Dressing
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tblsp caster sugar
50ml fish sauce
2-4 long chillies, seeded and shredded

– place stock, peppercorns, and ginger in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer
– season the chicken with a little salt and poach for 15 minutes
– cool in the stock
– make the dressing – the longer it gets to stand, the better it tastes
– drain the chicken and shred with your fingers
– combine chicken, cabbage, herbs and peanuts and drizzle over the dressing.
– serve immediately.

Today’s version
– I did the chicken as described above
– For the dressing I used lemon instead of lime juice, white instead of rice vinegar and didn’t have any chillies
– I cooked some rice in half coconut cream and half water
– to serve I did a platter with the rice on one side and the shredded chicken on the other
– I did another plate with some mesclun salad leaves, sliced cucumber, tomatoe wedges, finely sliced celery and strips of red capsicum.

So it really lacked all those fragrant herbs, but it was still fresh, light and full or crunch. And sensational with the sav blanc Killer brought with her.

Past versions
– I often use some rice or mung bean vermicelli and add that to the mix aswell. It’s also good with flat rice noodles.

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I also made Bec’s Rotary cake. It was a sensation.

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Dinner was going to be leftovers from lunch or a dip-in egg. There was a revolt. So I made a pasta carbonara that I pilfered of one of those birds from The River Cafe from whence came Jamie Oliver, that I saw on the Food Channel (GOD bless Foxtel Digital) yesterday. It seemed so much simpler than the carbonaras I’ve made in the past.

Pasta Carbonara
500g pasta (I used tortolloni – big penne, simply because it was all I had)
a good quality salami, I have no idea how much, just as much as you like, skin removed (we had a home-made salami I used. I know, it was very special)
1 onion, finely finely sliced (I can’t remember if she did this, but I threw it in anyway)
2 cloves of garlic, smooshed (again, can’t remember if she used this)
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup corn (I know I know, what an aberration, but I just felt like them and the boys needed some veggies)
4 egg yolks
good handful of freshly grated parmesan
freshly ground pepper

– cook the pasta
– cut the salami into 1/2 cm thick slices, then slice into strips
– in a frypan heat a little oil and then fry off the salami so its crispy on the outside and smoodgy on the inside
– add the onion, saute and then the garlic
– stir through the veggies (obviously you don’t need to do this bit)
– in a dish mix the egg yolks with the parmesan and pepper
– when the pasta is cooked, drain, return to the saucepan
– stir through the salami
– stir in the egg yolks, stirring constantly.
– add some of the pasta cooking water if you need to loosen it. Don’t be afraid of this step, I held back tonight and it was a little dry.
Eat.

*****

I miss Bec and my banter at Glamorouse. This sensation just washed over me the other day. I have no idea why now or in fact why. I mean, we are doing what we were doing there, but in a zone where neither of us – in all our empathetic womanliness – have to be mindful of what we say or when we say it. Maybe it’s just I’m a goodgy sentimentalist at heart. It’s just there.

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I want a holiday like Muz gets… and he gets roses from strangers he has simply gawked at across a street. He is one big hunk of green-eyed, motorbike riding (OH those leathers…) spunk, so it kinda figures.

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I’m not really handling the arrival of my new manager – the one who got the job I was assured by many I had in the bag – very well. Correction, at all. I’ve got this week to hang with the kids and then I can avoid ‘her’ no longer. I feel like being all petulant and difficult, know I will be the complete opposite and hate myself for being so friggin’ nice and professional, when I want to scream at her to get fucked.

*****

Surely that’s enough drivel for one Monday.

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  • julia

    We don’t have alco-pops like you do. They’re malt beverages and they’re vile. I’ve had Smirnoff Ice in Canada and they actually have vodka in them and are yummy. Down here? Not so much.

  • Badger

    Okay so the pineapple vodka thingummy was in a can? I can’t just make one? Damn.

    And you have Jack & Coke in a CAN?! Already mixed up and stuff? I am SO moving to Australia. Just for the booze.

    What Julia said — we have mixed stuff in a can/bottle that claims to be what you’re talking about, but they’re really just malt beverages in disguise. Flavored beer, basically. Yucko.

  • Muzbot

    You know, my next holiday is going to involve climbing in New Zealand’s Southern Alps… I’ve always wanted to pitch an ice axe into the side of the mountain and hear the ice crack as it digs in. Spooky stuff.
    You’re more than welcome to join me if you want. It’ll only be for a week. 🙂 I’m trying to twist Gleno’s arm to join me too!

  • Kim

    Flavoured beer? Ewww.
    Yes, and apparently the Jack & Coke is in the perfect ratio as well (i.e. they don’t skimp on the alcohol component). Personally, I had one sip and felt like hurling – it was like being ricocheted back to the end of high school and binge drinking Southern Comfort and Jack Daniels on various beaches. Eugh.

    But the vodka cruisers are more upmarket – they come in four packs in glass bottles, with groovy labels.

    I am completely baffled with the US. You can buy a gun at a Walmart but you can’t buy UDLs. Go figure.

    Muz – maybe we’ll follow behind you in the campervan… like a support crew. Of sorts.

  • Joke

    Kim,

    The idea is to make people with accents such as ours really have to work for the least shred of intoxication.

    -J.

  • Anonymous

    You might not do craft, but by goodness you do FOOD (and I don’t do food or craft or anything that involves domesticity).

  • sueeeus

    I *love* that V. chicken salad! It’s one of my all time faves. I shall have to try your official recipe soon.