Thursday, August 13, 2009

Peoples day at the Ekka.

Yesterday was Peoples day at the Ekka. Apparently, despite the concerns of Swine Flu it was a record day with huge crowds. I guess the good weather has helped this year. I heard this on the radio today....we didn't go there. The Gorgeous Boy and I are not fond of crowds. Which is probably why we are so happy up here at the Farm....miles from anywhere :-) We were however down staying at our city place.

We picked up the Log Splitter on Tuesday night, its still in the back of the car as I need help to lift it out...its sooooo heavy. I hope that once we unwrap it, it will be more "manhandle able". I'm keen to start playing with it :-) Roll on the weekend.

We decided that Wednesday would be a good day to go and visit the "Caboolture Historical Village". I had been there before with Mama and the Princess and was most impressed. I wanted to show the GB around. We decided to take the Princess with us as she had the day off school. It was a great day. We spent nearly four hours wandering around the old buildings and still haven't seen everything.

The Wood turners were there for a morning workshop so we went in to see what they do. I love smells so good and it looks beautiful when its worked. In my early twenties I did a woodworking course at the local college. I made a book shelf and a drawing board stand for my brother (a budding architect). I have often thought about doing more. So many things to little time...sigh. I have brought home the application form to do a course in wood turning. I think it will be great fun. I just have to check to see if I can fit it into my schedule.

We went for a ride on the minature train......

Aren't they a gorgeous couple....The princess and her "Garbie". I, of course, took a back seat. It was a great little ride and the station had all the original ticket office equipment. The Train driver, who is a volunteer, doubles as the conductor and came along and "punched" our tickets.

They have an original school house with the Teachers house next door. A hospital, a Police station with the "lock up" out the back. The Printer was there fixing up an old printer which is still used. We saw the Cooper making a small wine barrel which will be sold when it is finished and many, many more old homes and businesses. The funny thing was, that when I saw many of the "old" household items it was like going back to my past (I didn't think I was THAT old but I guess I must be.) Things like the flat iron....I remember my Father pressing his Police uniform with one when I was young. The mincer which was clamped to the bench in one of the old kitchens was just like my Mothers mincer that we used every Christmas to mince the fruit for the Christmas pudding and the kitchen scales are just like the ones that I brought over with me when I came here to live. They have been sandblaster and repainted but sit on my kitchen bench and are still used whenever I dig out an old recipe calling for pounds and ounces.

In between times they serve as a fruit bowl...change tray....general spot for putting all odds and ends. A very useful piece of kitchen equipment :-)

We only left because we were getting tired but I will be going back again...that's for sure.

Dinner was a low priority after our busy day so I rustled up some corned beef fritters using the last of the corned beef that I had cooked over the weekend. Corned beef was something new to me when I came to Australia. My English memories of corned beef was something that came in a tin and was a little mushy/flaky that you mashed up with potatoes and made into a pastie. My Mother in Law regularly served Corned beef for dinner so I found a recipe that I have "tweaked" over the years and every so often cook up a joint. Its good hot, great cold with tomato relish and those last little scraps get chopped up and made into fritters. How versatile is that :-)

I have never read a recipe for corned beef fritters so I really don't know how you are supposed to make them. All I can say is that since the first day that I played around with a simple batter and threw in the meat, they have been a great success with my family. There are NEVER any left on the plate regardless of how many I make. I would love to share my recipe with you but you really have to be game to experiment.....I don't know what quantities of ingredients I use. I just keep adding things until it "feels" right and my first fritter is always a test I need to add more milk or more flour?

Cooking down in the Granny Flat is always limited. The kitchen there is very, very small, one small work top, a single sink and just a couple of cupboards, hence no room for fancy equipment. There is an electric hob...I hate electric hobs...I'm a gas and fast!!!! It suits our needs but any thing more than basic cooking is done up here at the Farm. So....Linda's Corned Beef Fritters......

Self Raising flour...a couple of cups or so....seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. I go for more pepper...less salt! Beat in two eggs and enough milk to make a loose batter.

Add chopped corned beef and a chopped onion. The batter should look something like this....

As I mentioned...I always do a test fritter. The "taste tester" from this batch was a little heavy and took a long time to cook through so I added more milk to lighten it.

These little babies are just ready to flip out of the pan. Not very glamorous, not the most nutritious recipe in my repertoire by a long shot but quick, easy, absolutely yummy and you can feed a troop for a couple of dollars. They are best eaten hot from the pan so when I make them we don't stand on ceremony. A bowl of tossed salad is put on the table along with a good tomato sauce and they are served straight from the pan to table. I keep cooking until I run out of batter and get to eat the last batch...if I am lucky :-) The above quantity serves four hungry eaters.....I adjust it depending on the crowd or how much meat I have left. I do cook them in olive oil...just enough to give them a good golden colour but not enough to make them "greasy".

There you go kids......That's how Mum does it. Isn't it time I stood down and you guys take over ;-)


  1. What a wonderful post Linda! The historical village sounds so interesting. I just love to visit places like that. Our younger generation really need to see and understand how life was not that long ago.
    So many things touched me in your story; the tickets, the iron, the wood, the mincer but I have to say I absolutely adore your scales. They are gorgeous. I want one! But of course it is not just the scales themselves as gorgeous as they are, it is all the memories attached that make them so valuable. How very precious. I adore things that have "a history", along with all the chips, tears and cracks they bear. I detest objects newly made up to look "old".

    Hope you manage to do a woodworking class. You sound so resourceful. My hubby did woodturning years ago and has built our kitchen table along with lots of miscellaneous items, bowls, mirror, dressers. He loves to use rosewood the best. Our kitchen table is a bit like your scales. A lifetime of memories attached to it. We have heaps of rosewood stored in a safe place, but god knows when my busy hubby shall ever get around to it next. When we bought our farm we discovered red cedar in the hills. Our part of the world was heavily logged for timber one hundred years ago but we have found some cedar trees including a huge log lying near the forest. Beautiful, beautiful timber. Another precious thing.
    Love your "throwtogether" fritters. They sound so easy and such a crowd pleaser.
    Love Mariana

  2. Hi Mariana...just catching up. You are so generous with your definately know how to make a girl feel good :-) Thank you. I too love rosewood. Most of our furniture up at the farm is rosewood.....natural coloured not stained. Some of it was made in Shanghai and has the most beautiful grain. The rest was made in Malaysia and is a finer grain and not in my opinion quite as pretty. Thats just me!

    I love "old" things that are well made...they stand the test of time, whilst a lot of things that are bought now a days are just so cheap and trashy you know that they will not last long and will just become landfill. Sigh. I would far rather have LESS quality items than MORE cheap throw away items.

    What a talented husband you have....lucky girl :-) It certainly is difficult finding the time to do every thing we want to isn't it! How can people say they are bored?