Life Advice for My Daughter and Nieces #3


Don’t join supermarket queues where the operator is a teenage girl with long fingernails. She will be very slow and you will wait in line for a long time. If there are cute boys ahead of you in the line and there are no other queues to join, paint your own fingernails while you wait, you’ll have time.

My advice is to join the longest line, which is probably being operated by a frumpy, middle aged woman who is a superfast operator and friendly to everyone, not just teenage boys.



The best thing about making Crème Brulee so often is that I have five egg whites left, to make Ugly but Good Biscuits, meringues or, drum roll please, Pavlova.

It is traditional in Australia to have Pavlova as a dessert over summer, including for Christmas and Australia Day. Australians and New Zealanders have argued for a long time about which nationality actually invented pavlova, but either way, both nations enjoy eating it. Happy Australia Day everyone, by the way.

Mum is the family expert in Pavlova making. Dad tells a very funny story about when they were first married, and Mum making Pavlova every day for an entire month until she got it right! They lived on a farm, so as Mum says, they had plenty of eggs and cream.

This isn’t Mum’s recipe though. This is from the back of the cornflour packet. The recipe was for 6 egg whites so I just did my maths and adapted it to suit me. I didn’t open the oven door once the cooking time finished, as instructed by the recipe, which was a mistake as the pavlova crisped out to the point where it was hollow inside, so cutting it was difficult. As I didn’t line the plate, serving slices was difficult too. Next time, I’ll do as I’m told.

5 egg whites
1 1/4 Cups caster sugar
5 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of sugar, then keep beating as you slowly trickle in the rest of the sugar. Beat for around 15 minutes until the mixture is thick and shiny. (I don’t have a Mix Master and my poor little hand beaters only just kept up with the volume of the mixture. When I make this again, I’ll only use four egg whites so as not to blow them up).

Add the cornflour and vinegar and mix for another minute.


The recipe suggested tracing out a circle on baking paper and heaping the mixture on a greased oven tray. I actually used an oven proof plate (just like Mum does, she has a blue oven proof plate which is the pavlova plate) and didn’t line it or grease it at all – big mistake.

Bake at 130 degrees Celsius for two hours, then leave the pavlova in the oven with the oven door open for the next couple of hours. (As I already said, I left the oven door shut and I think my Pavlova kept on baking. It certainly had some very deep cracks).


Serve with cream and fruit.

Port Fairy Hot Rod Run

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The Port Fairy Campout Hot Rod run is a very laid back weekend, held in the Victorian town of Port Fairy every January. The weekend begins with a sausage sizzle and catch up on the Friday night, there is a cruise to the town of Koroit on Saturday for lunch, then a dinner dance on Saturday night. Sunday is the all important Show and Shine, which is very popular.

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The weekend is hosted by the South West Rodders, who do a great job. The Campout has been going for over thirty years and is a very family-friendly event, with generations of families attending.

If you’re interested, last week’s blog post shows some of the older caravans and campers at the Campout.

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Star model 1958 Ford Customline.

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Sometimes in Port Fairy, the sky is the colour of the hot rod below. Unfortunately, it wasn’t this year…

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The numbers were a little down on last year, but since floods were predicted, that wasn’t surprising. (For the record, we were very lucky with the weather, the rain missed Port Fairy completely).

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The next generation of hot rodder made an appearance.

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What’s not to like?

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He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers and Miss S were particularly taken with the car below.

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Date Roll

My new log tin has been getting quite a bit of use (see Nut Loaf).

1 cup boiling water
1 cup dates, chopped
1 tspn bi carb soda
2 Tblspns butter
1/3 C chopped walnuts
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C brown sugar
1 and a 1/2 C self raising flour

Pour the boiling water over the dates and bi carb soda and leave to soak for ten minutes (chopping up the nuts while you wait is a good use of the waiting time).

Add the butter, egg, sugar, nuts and flour to the date mixture and mix well.

Drop the batter into a greased log tin and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes.

Cool in the tin for five minutes before removing and cooling on a wire rack. Serve cold slices with butter.

Caravans and Campers at Port Fairy Hot Rod Run, Victoria

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Loads of hot rodders brought old caravans and tear drops came to the South West Street Rodders Port Fairy Camp Out in January 2015.  I’ll show some cars in a future blog. The caravan above is a Carapark.

The tear drop camper below has a classic shape.

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The little caravan below was kitted out with a very pretty green interior. Outside was a sweet little garden with flamingos.

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van 8Betty Boop often makes an appearance. Boop boop be doop.

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Quite a few rodders generously open up their caravans or tear drops so the public can look inside.


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Ugly But Good Biscuits


Left over egg whites? Make Ugly But Good Biscuits, known as Brutti Ma Buoni in Italian.

I’ve had a few egg whites left over lately after going on a Crème Brulee fad, (Crème Brulee only uses egg yolks), which has been a win-win for my family, because then they get these biscuits too!

2 egg whites (room temperature)
1/2 C caster sugar
50gm chocolate.
100gm hazelnuts. (I think you could use pecans, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, really, any kind of nut you like). Or leave the nuts out and add more chocolate.

Turn the oven on to 180 degrees Celsius.

Chop the nuts and chocolate up, not too finely.

Beat the egg whites until they have a soft peak, then continue beating as you add the sugar a little at a time.

Fold in the nuts and sugar.

Drop spoonfuls of mixture on to a baking tray (use baking paper, it is wonderful stuff), and shape using the spoon.


Place the trays into the oven and TURN THE OVEN OFF. Leave the biscuits in the oven overnight, without opening the oven door.

Point Cook Coastal Park


The Point Cook Coastal Park is a hidden treasure. The park adjoins a marine sanctuary. The Cheetham Wetlands are also nearby and is very popular with birdwatchers. There is a bird hide to watch the migratory birds which come from Siberia and Japan.

Also in the park is the Point Cook Homestead, which serves meals and afternoon teas. The Homestead was built by the Chirnside family, who were active in developing the area.

Miss S very bravely touched a jellyfish.


The bluebottles were all over the beach while we were there too. They look gorgeous, but don’t touch, they sting.




He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers is a real man and he eats Quiche. So do the rest of us. Quiche is delicious.

6 eggs, beaten.
125gm dry biscuits, crushed (I like Ritz, but you can use Jatz or Saos or any kind of dry biscuits you like).
1 carrot, grated
1 brown onion, chopped
1 Cup cheese, grated
1 Cup milk
1 tomato, chopped
ham or cold meat, chopped (can be left out if preferred)

Mix everything together and bake in a slice tin for 35 to 40 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius. Line the tin with baking paper and you won’t have to scrub the tin out with a scourer.

Soda Rock Diner Melbourne


If you like classic milkshakes and spiders, burgers and hotdogs brought to you by a waitress on roller skates, then you’ll like Soda Rock Diner as much as we did.


There are stools along the bar and booths sized to suit couples, families or the whole gang.


My Hound Dog hot dog was spectacular.

He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers enjoyed his burger and cheesy fries. He also had a blue heaven milkshake.


He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers had to help S out finishing her hot dog, as between that and her spider, her eyes were too big for her tummy.


Soda Rock Diner is located on Chapel Street. As we walked up the street after our meal, I felt sorry for everyone who was eating at other places. The service was friendly, the food was great and the atmosphere was fun.