All Ford Day Geelong

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The 2015 All Ford Day was held at Deakin University at Geelong in Victoria on a very hot Sunday in February. This day is put on by the Kiwanis Club. All of the cars are divided into their section, so if you have an interest in a particular model, they are easy to find. I have a soft spot for 1960’s Fords, particularly the XM.

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New Fords, old Fords and everything in between.

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There weren’t many hot rods, but there was a good display from the Geelong Ford Museum. Quite a few car clubs put on displays too.

It was a great day for a barbecue.

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Peanut Butter and Maple Syrup Biscuits


These biscuits are delicious. They would probably work equally as well with a squirt of honey instead of maple syrup.

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Cup caster sugar

125gm butter

1/2 Cup peanut butter

2 Tblspns maple syrup

1 egg

1 1/2 Cups self raising flour

1 tspn vanilla extract

Beat the butter, peanut butter, sugars and maple syrup together, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract, before mixing in the self raising flour.

Roll into teaspoon sized balls, then press down with a fork. Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for around 14 minutes.

Cool on tray before removing to a wire rack.


Baby Emus at Tower Hill at Koroit


Tower Hill at Koroit in Victoria is an inactive volcano which is a state park. When we visited in January, there were baby emus. Usually we look for koalas and kangaroos at Tower Hill.

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When we visited in January, the Port Fairy Hot Rod run was on, so we managed to spot some hot rods amongst the emus. Our fellow tourists took just as many photos of the cars as they did of the baby emus.

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Dried Apricot Slice


Dried Apricot Slice is the latest offering from the  Magnificently Simple Marvellous Slice Recipes Cook book. I’ve been making a version of this recipe for years using glace cherries, which is delicious.

100gm dried apricots, chopped

100gm plain sweet biscuits, crushed (as always, I used Arnott’s Marie biscuits)

2/3 Cup sweetened condensed milk

50gm marshmallows, chopped

25gm chopped nuts

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Mix everything (except the coconut) together. (At this point, my niece S, who is 12, said the mixture looked like cat’s vomit. I have to agree, and the red bowl I was using didn’t help the appearance. Have a look at the photo below and tell me what you think).

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Sprinkle a sheet of baking paper with coconut and roll into a log.

Refrigerate until set, then cut into slices.

The Cook’s Tale by Nancy Jackman


The Cook’s Tale, Life below stairs as it really was, by Nancy Jackman, is the real story of a woman who was born in an English village in 1907. Nancy grew up to be a kitchen maid and then a cook.

Nancy was an only child who was obviously very deeply loved, who grew up knowing that the day would come when she would have to go out to work in order to contribute to her family’s income. When Nancy was twelve that day came, and she went to work for a neighbouring farmer. Eventually the farmer began to take an inappropriate interest in her.

Nancy left the farmer’s employ, and went to work in a household where the cook took her under her wing, and taught her to keep a recipe book of her own. Eventually the cook the sack in an attempt by their employers to save money and Nancy took the cook’s place.

Nancy left this family after a run in with the lady of the house and went to work for another family, where she worked for many years. Nancy worked for the same family throughout WW2, cooking food which had been obtained by her employers through the black market. While in this household Nancy made friends with Dolly, the kitchen maid and they worked together for many years. During this time Nancy also had her first and only romance with a police officer named Charlie, who died during the war.

Nancy’s story of lead being deposited in the toilet bowls after the upstairs members of the household ate game birds was interesting and so were her stories of foods considered prestigious, which she thought revolting. Nancy didn’t describe herself as an adventurer by any means.

Nancy eventually left the household to escape the clutches of a conman, who she had previously given money too. Nancy comes across as quite naïve in many ways. She explains quite a few times that she was not a pretty woman and that she never had the opportunity for romance until she was in her thirties, when she met Charlie. The times were certainly changing, but Nancy was limited by her education and experiences from being able to see more of the world, however her life long dream was to own a home of her own and she achieved this. It was hard to understand why Nancy didn’t go to the police for assistance, but instead she moved to London, without telling anyone where she was going.

When Nancy moved to London, for the first time in her life she chose to board in a separate household to that of the family she was working for. Nancy’s landlady was elderly and a recluse, who unexpectedly died and left Nancy her home very soon after Nancy moved in.

Nancy continued to work as a cook, despite her windfall. Later Dolly turned up on Nancy’s doorstep and they lived together until Dolly’s death.

I found this book a little dull, but as I read it on holidays that didn’t worry me much. I would have liked to have read some of Nancy’s recipes though, as most books can be livened up with a recipe or two.  Nancy’s stories are from a time which has gone forever. The book certainly gave me food for thought though, in that I recognise how lucky women are now to have the opportunities we have.

Caramel Fudge

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125gm butter

395gm tin of sweetened condensed milk

1 tspn vanilla extract

1 Cup brown sugar

2 Tblspns golden syrup

100gm white chocolate melts

Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, brown sugar and golden syrup. Stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Turn up the heat a little and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, simmer for ten minutes, stirring the whole time. Do not leave the mixture at any point or it will burn.

Remove the mixture from the heat and add the white chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has dissolved. Pour the mixture into a tin lined with baking paper.

Set in the fridge for an hour before cutting.

Queenscliff Hot Rod Run 2015

The first thing entrants want to know when they go to a Hot Rod Run, is what does the T Shirt design look like?


None of the male entrants want white shirts, because they get grubby, and hot rodders usually already have loads of black T Shirts in their wardrobes.  Queenscliff’s T Shirt is dark green this year, which should suit everyone. I like that the lighthouse made it into the design.

Friday night there is a sausage sizzle at the oval. You can just see the lighthouse in the background of the photo below.

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Saturday starts with breakfast at the oval, then entrants have their choice of going on a winery tour or to the Adventure Park. With our nieces in tow, we always opt for the Adventure Park.

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Saturday night is street cruising.

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Crowds line the streets, the band plays and the shopkeepers stay open to sell ice creams and fish and chips.

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Cruising in style in a dicky seat.

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Sunday is breakfast at the park followed by the Show and Shine.

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Cinnamon Biscuits


These are one of my favourite biscuit recipes. They are hard, almost to the point of being teeth breakers, they are sweet and best of all, I always have everything already in the pantry when I feel like making them.

60 grams butter
1/3 Cup golden syrup
2 Tblspns brown sugar
1 Tblspns caster sugar
1 and 1/4 Cups of Self Raising flour (I usually add in an extra tablespoon or two of flour, because the mixture always looks too wet otherwise).
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Melt the butter, golden syrup and sugars in a heavey saucepan then cool for five minutes.

Stir in the flour and cinnamon.

Roll into small balls and flatten with a fork (if you don’t flatten these biscuits you will definitely break your teeth on them).

Bake for about ten minutes at 170 degrees Celsius.