Wednesday 30 September 2009

Getting older.

If you are of a certain age, and lived in a certain southern Australian capital city, you will remember with fondness, the coming of the next month. The countdown would start in September, with your trannie tuned to 3XY, you would spend the school holidays counting down to


I'm not too sure what we did during Rocktober, but I remember Barry Bisel, Richard Stubbs, Lee Simon and Greg Evans telling us all "ONLY 12 DAYS LEFT UNTIL ROCKTOBER!!!"

I have vague memories of Under 18's concerts for the princely entry of $2.99 and I possibly attended a "Rocking with the Royals" concert during one ROCKtober. And I am sure I saw the OILS (**insert appropriate clenched-fist-punching-air movement**) play in a circus tent opposite Kooyong staduim.

I also have a vague disquieting sensation that ROCKTOBER-fest , at the Dandenong Showgrounds might have featured highly in later ROCKtobers.

I do clearly remember that hits of ROCKTOBER 1982 (the year of my HSC) being "Pass the Dutchie", "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go"

I defy anyone of my age not to be humming:

"It's always tease, tease, tease,/ You're happy when I'm on my knees"

Anyway, fast forward to 2009, and things have changed. A trannie is now something quite different from what is was back then, Blondie split up, Peter Garrett sold out and the Royal that we Rocked with got divorced and then died.

And 28 years on from that most seminal of music years, 1982, ROCKtober has become


Just like 1982, the 10th month of the Gregorian Calender year is STILL all about the booze.

or now, the benifits of giving it up for a month. The web site, found here contains some startling facts about alcohol and alcohol-related disease. Funds raised go to help Ted Noff's Life Education, an awesome charity that
" empower (s)children to make the right choices for a safe life, free from the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. These programs are delivered by a team of 120 qualified educators, through a fleet of mobile learning centres equipped with the latest technology to create a unique and exciting learning environment for children.Topics covered include:Healthy food choices, Bullying, Safety with medicines,Negotiation and refusal in peer pressure situations, Effects of smoking, The dangers of alcohol misuse, Illicit drugs (secondary school programs)"

The web site also has an awesome page to help with the detox process, should you decide to go the whole hog. You can even buy a leave pass, if you need to attend an event and want a drink or two.

Me, it's about losing some weight, getting back in shape for Summer (and for Furry's return **evil wink*) and realising that at 44, I really need to devote at least one month to being slightly healther.

And while, in my mind, it's still 1982, Andy Marron is still drumming for The Painters and Dockers, there's a Scrumpy bottle on the upturned milk crate cum coffee table that someone has turned into a bong, and I am looking HOT in my Lubervicher slash Boy George hat, the reality is that I am 44, hit 100kgs after giving up the fags, could do with some healthier life choices and my liver (and skin and hair and nails) will thank me.

Sunday 27 September 2009

Pesky real life.

I am no longer going to apologise for my lack of blog posts, or my dearth of Tweets or my general lack of presence on the Interwebs. Life at The House of Purple Love has been beyond hectic these past four weeks. There have been kids to deal with ("NO Lima Bean, you may NOT drop out of school to become a barista. I was a Jewish Mother in a previous life and I didn't go through 58 DAYS of labour for you to pour coffee. You will go to Uni and become a barrister"). I have, however, acceeded to him getting dreads after school is finished.

The hardest thing to deal with over the past few weeks are the dogs, Stella Bella Bottom Smeller and Mrs Peaches.

SBBS has returned to her previous neurotic behaviour, of cowering whenever someone's voice is raised and gulping madly at her food and then muscling the smaller Mrs Peaches out of the way and gobbling down hers. And when you yell at her, she cowers, drops to the ground and wets herself.

Last week, I headed of for a girls weekend, leaving the pups and Mme Mouse home alone for 2 nights.

My fabulously gorgeous and relaxing weekend feeling lasted exactly 4 seconds after I walked through the door at THOPL, to find the pups had muscled their way into my bedroom, urinated all over my bed, shat in the washing pile, torn up their bedding and shat in the lounge room and the corridor....

So much for that loving holiday getaway feeling.

So blogging, and Interwebbing in general, has taken a back seat to life, neurotic dogs, brainiac sons wanting to make stupid life choices, the vagaries of SKYPE and remembering which night is rubbish night.

I am also getting better at cooking for one. Cous Cous has become my new best friend. Some chicken stock (or some Vegeta and water), some sliced chorizo, a handful of sundried tommies, a wodge of mozz or fetta and voila! super quick and easy dinner.

So I put out a call on Twitter the other week, for a Middle Eastern recipe for chicken and cous cous. And the divine Zoe, from Progressive Dinner Party, came to the... err... party with a recipe that she assured me, I would fall in love with. She was right.

It's from Ottolenghi the cookbook 2008 and I adapted it slightly, as I already had some macadamias in the house.


For the marinade

2.5kg organic chicken breasts, skin on

4 onions, roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

150ml extra virgin olive oil

150ml water

Zest and juice of a lemon

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of saffron threads

Murray salt

freshly ground pepper

For the hazelnut paste

200g unskinned hazelnuts, lightly roasted and chopped roughly (I used macadamias with awesome results)

1/2 cup of honey

2 teaspoons rosewater


1. In a large dish mix the chicken with the onion, garlic, olive oil, water, lemon zest and juice, ginger, cinnamon, saffron threads and salt and pepper. Leave to marinate minimum 1 hour. .

2. Preheat the oven to 200C. Transfer the chicken and the marinade to a roasting pan. With the chicken skin side up, cook for 30-35 minutes.

3. Meanwhile mix the hazelnuts/macadamias, honey and rosewater together to make a paste.

I did this in my mortar and pestle and the results were brilliant. You want to grind a few of the nuts to a paste, but leave most of them whole (ish) for texture.

Remove the chicken from the oven and spoon the nut paste onto it, heaping it up quite high. Return to the oven for a further 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are golden brown in colour.

4. Serve with cous cous.