Rockabilly Rats, Tatts n’ Pin-ups Corio 2018



It’s spring, which means that it is Hot Rod season again!

Rats, Tatts N’ Pinups 2018 was on recently at the Gateway Hotel in Corio. Thanks again to Kingpin Kustoms for putting on another terrific day.


The pair of Holden’s (used to be) as Australian as they make them…


This beautiful coupe recently graced the cover of Cruizin’ magazine.


Love the old Kingswood.


It was a beautiful day for those who came on bikes.

Pablo’s Coach Builders.



We didn’t see a great deal of the bands, but there was something for everyone with a ZZ Top tribute band, a KISS tribute band and rockabilly favourites, Rosie and the Top Cats.


For a gold coin donation to charity, Rats, Tatts, ‘N Pinups is a great day out.





Bradmill Factory Yarraville Melbourne


Miss S is on school holidays and is mad for abandoned places, which meant that He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers needed to come up with an adventure.

He surprised us with a visit to the old Bradmill Denim Factory at Yarraville, which operated from 1927 until 2002.

Melbourne is known for its graffiti, but this place is extraordinary.


Inside the old saw-toothed buildings there is an art gallery.

Inside the old boiler house is creepy. Pigeons flapping their wings made me jump more than once.



The graffiti in the boiler house was a different style to that in the saw-tooth buildings, but just as amazing.

The Tintin in the photo below right is a mosaic.

Some of the larger equipment and infrastructure is still in place.

My knees are still shaking from the climb to the top.

Some teenagers who were also wandering around taking photos told me that you could climb up to the top of the boiler house via the old conveyer belt structure, but I didn’t fancy it…


img_2682.jpgThe buildings are to be demolished to make way for a housing estate.




Melbourne in Spring

I walk most lunchtimes. Melbourne is a beautiful city for walkers with loads of parks around the CBD fringes and walking paths along the Yarra River.

The following photos are from a walk I took one lunchtime last week along the Yarra. The weather was typical for Melbourne in spring, around 20 degrees Celsius, with a slight breeze. It rained a little, then the sun came out. The saying is in Melbourne that if you don’t like our weather, just wait a minute!

The photo below is from the Swan Street Bridge looking back towards the CBD.

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I’ve been watching the nesting swan in the photos below for a few weeks. The bridge in the background is the Princes Bridge.

The view in the photo below left is from the Princes Bridge, looking across Federation Square, and the photo below right is looking down the Yarra River to the MCG. The boathouses on the right side of the photo belong to various rowing clubs.

The photo below is looking back at the Princes Bridge from Princes Walk. The Art Centre spire is in the background.

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Further along Princes Walk. The thing in the river is to catch rubbish and debris.

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No one knows what the massive three-legged mosaic sculpture on Birrarung Marr is all about, but we like it. It is called Angel and is by Deborah Halpern. I believe the name Birrarung Marr means ‘beside the river’.

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Flowering gum. My favourite.



Pear Jam


I’ve gone mad for Pear Jam lately. A friend recently brought me back a bottle from her travels to Adelaide and I ate it off the spoon until it was gone, then Hunny-Bunny, who lives in Adelaide, brought me some more. As it is an eight or nine hour drive from Melbourne to Adelaide this became unsustainable and so I needed to find a new source of Pear Jam…

I bought some Packham pears and looked up recipes on the internet while the pears ripened. The first time I made Pear Jam, I boiled it too long and the results were more like a toffee than a jam. It was delicious, but unspreadable. I ate it all, spoonful by sticky spoonful, then bought more pears, messed around with the recipe and tried again. Success!

15 pears (approximately 1.75 kg) peeled and chopped.

1.5 kg sugar

juice of 2 lemons

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (the top came off my bottle of cinnamon and I think about three teaspoons of cinnamon went in. It tasted good, but I would put less in next time).

Peel and chop the pears. Put them into a bowl of water with some lemon juice while peeling the rest so they don’t go brown. Pears are slippery little buggers to peel and this part took me ages to do.

Dump the pears, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon with a couple of centimetres of water into a large pot. Dissolve the sugar then boil until it sets. (I read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens while I stirred the boiling jam).

Once the jam is ready (test small amounts on a plate by pushing it around with a teaspoon to check if it seems likely to set – best bit, you get to do taste tests) then when ready, pour into sterilised jars using a funnel. I got six big jars of jam and a lovey, sticky pot to scrape out.

Hot Cross Buns with Gelato

Happy Easter, everyone!

Messina Hot Cross Buns with Gelato are the most craved food in Melbourne at Easter and I was lucky enough to try one at work this week!

My Hot Cross Bun was chocolate and walnut, with salted caramel gelato. Words cannot express just how good it was…


Cherry Pie

cherry pie

Cherry Pie is one of Mum’s recipes and it is one of those terrific things to make when you have nothing nice in the cupboard to eat.

1 Cup plain flour

1/2 sugar

100gm butter

Jam (I used cherry)

Melt butter and mix into the flour and sugar. Press into a small pie dish. Leave a small amount of pastry.

cherry pie 2

Spread the jam over the pastry, then sprinkle the leftover crumbs over the top.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.








Miss S and I went shopping recently and stopped for sustenance at a Mrs Fields Cookie outlet. It is a well known fact that I intensely dislike shopping and go as infrequently as I can get away with, but I don’t complain as much if there is a food treat somewhere during the excursion.

Anyway, we tried a mixture of cookies, including Snickerdoodles. I liked them enough to find a recipe and make them as soon as we got home. Next time I make this recipe though, I will leave out the nutmeg as it was slightly overpowering.

125gm butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Cup caster sugar

1 egg

1 and 1/3 Cups plain flour

1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon caster sugar (extra)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream the butter, vanilla extract and sugar, then lightly beat the egg into the mixture.

Stir in the flour, bi-carb soda and nutmeg (if you’re using this). Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place the extra sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl.

Roll teaspoons of mixture onto a ball, then roll in the cinnamon mixture to completely cover the balls. Spread the balls on an oven tray (don’t forget, baking paper is your best friend when it comes to washing up afterwards) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.

Cool the biscuits on the tray.

Mrs Fields Cookies are lovely, but can someone who likes shopping please bring me some back next time they go?

Orange Shortbread


This recipe for Orange Shortbread came from the side of a packet of sugar. It was nice, but slightly too crumbly because I think I had the oven on too hot a temperature.

I might be bragging here, but the pattern I made on the dough with the fork is the best I’ve ever managed. It looks just like a snowflake… (yes, we in Australia cling to our British and European backgrounds when it comes to Christmas traditions – the ones we like, anyway. I for one think that summer and shortbread go very well together).

I’ll make normal Shortbread next week, since we have already eaten all of the Orange Shortbread.

4 tablespoons sugar

125gm butter (I used slightly more)

rind of two oranges -finely grated

1 1/2 Cups plain flour

Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the orange rind. Gradually add the flour.

Roll into a ball and split into two. Roll both out to a one centimetre thick circle. I did this on baking paper, to prevent having to try to move the rolled-out dough.

Cut the round into eight (imagine you are cutting up a pizza) then press around the edges using the end of a teaspoon, then go mad with the fork to decorate your own snowflake shortbread.

Bake for 15 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius. Let the shortbread cool on the tray before moving it.

Christmas Pudding


Today is Christmas Pudding day!* I put the fruit to soak in the brandy about three weeks ago, and have been diligently shaking the mixture every night. I made sure I had all of the ingredients for the pudding last night, then mixed it up this morning.

He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers and Miss S both stirred the mixture, (apparently if everyone in the household has a stir, it is good luck for the coming year), then got it in the pot nice and early. Today had to be Christmas Pudding day, as the weather in Melbourne tomorrow is to be 32 degrees, much too hot to have a pudding steaming away for 6 hours.

My Christmas Pudding recipe has been adapted from Mum’s, which is an adaptation of a recipe from the 1968 Australian Women’s Weekly recipe.

5 Cups dried fruit

2 packets glace cherries (Mum left out the cherries last time she made Christmas Pudding and we all complained as if our throats had been cut. “What, no cherries?” “Mum, I didn’t get any cherries!” Etc…)

1 Cup brandy (Mum only uses a couple of teaspoons of sherry, but I splash in brandy until the mixture looks about right, so this might be a bit more than a cup. Anyway, use your own discretion about what type of and how much alcohol suits your taste).

Mum also uses mixed peel, but I would rather stab myself in the eye with a knitting needle than eat mixed peel on purpose. Put mixed peel in if you must, but don’t expect me to eat your pudding without complaining. You would have to ask Mum how much mixed peel she uses, as I am not going to ask her for you.

Place the dried fruit, cherries and brandy into a container with a tight lid, close the lid and shake it up. Give the fruit a shake every time you think of it for at least a few days. I put extra fruit in, as I have a taste every time I think of it too…


250 gm butter

2 Cups brown sugar (use white sugar if you want the pudding to taste like Mum’s)

4 eggs

1 Cup plain flour

4 Cups soft breadcrumbs (I use brown bread and Mum uses white. Mum says not to use the crust).

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon mixed spice (I used allspice this year as I didn’t have any mixed spice, don’t think it will matter).

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream the butter and sugar. Don’t let any son-in-laws, not even your favourite Son-in-Law, near the electric beaters. My favourite son-in-law has a tendency to put knives too near to the blades for my peace of mind.

Mix in a tablespoon of the flour and some fruit. Stir the flour and fruit in, then mix the eggs in one at a time with a wooden spoon.

Mix in the remaining flour, nutmeg, mixed spice and cinnamon, fruit and breadcrumbs.

Make sure everyone in the house has a stir of the mixture to bring good luck to your household for the next year.

Line the pudding steamer with aluminium foil.

Pour the mixture into the steamer, then tie the lid on. Dad always ties the lid on for Mum, and says “Don’t let it get out,” when he gets to the difficult bits.

He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers ties the lid onto the pot for me and he does a good job of it, although he takes his duties more seriously than Dad and doesn’t joke about.


Place the pudding into a larger pot, with water about half way up, and bring to the boil on the stove top, then turn down to a simmer. Top up with water every half hour. Cook for six hours.

Let the pudding cool down, then place the whole pot into a large container in a cool spot until Christmas (this is easier said than done in a hot Melbourne summer).

On Christmas Day, steam it for another two hours, then take it out of the pot and turn it onto a large plate while everyone watches anxiously. Dad usually does this, and makes more jokes about not letting the pudding get out… he likes an audience, and at this point, we are all hanging on his every word.

(Or if you have moved with the times, turn it out of the pudding tin cold, and microwave slices for anyone who wants theirs hot).

Serve hot or cold, with cream, or custard or ice cream (your choice. Just make sure there are leftovers, as we all enjoy another slice of Pud for breakfast on Boxing Day).

*This post was written about a fortnight ago, when Melbourne was at the end of the hottest November on record. It seems crazy to eat pudding during summer, but Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it.


Chicken Parmigiana


Chicken Parma is a pub classic in Australia, and is usually the safest (and most popular) option on the menu.

My version took quite a while to make, but it tastes heaps better than the Parmas where I used to have lunch once a month with my workmates.

4 chicken breasts

oil and butter for frying

plain flour

parmesan cheese

2 Cups breadcrumbs

2 eggs

1 Tblspn milk

ham slices

grated cheese (I use a mixture from the supermarket which is already grated and includes parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella).

425gm tin canned chopped tomatoes


1 onion – finely chopped

1 sachet tomato paste

1 Tblspn brown sugar

Cook the chopped onion and garlic in a saucepan in butter, then add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste and brown sugar and simmer for 20 minutes. (This sauce is so delicious I can eat it straight from the pot).

parma 2

Flatten the chicken between sheets of cling wrap (I smashed the chicken with a rolling pin), then dip the chicken in the beaten egg and milk, before rolling it in the mixed breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

Cook the chicken in a frypan using oil and butter.

parma 3

Once the chicken is browned and cooked through, place onto a baking tray (remember, baking paper is your friend), and top with slices of ham, the tomato sauce and grated cheese. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes and serve with chips, potatoes or salad.