Jacobs Ladder from above

Weekend at Ben Lomond

Friday 26 Feb and Saturday 27 February, 2010

Ben Lomond Schloss

Attending: Di and Sam plus four of their walking friends*, Irene and Kevin, Kristafine, John, James plus several other plant people, Julie and Paul. We live in hope that Kristafa and Andrew will be able to amend their schedules to join us. We will be a group of around 18 people.

— Meet at Evandale at 12 noon Friday for lunch and last-minute food purchases. The evidently means leaving Hobart at 9.30 or 10am.

— Everyone will bring their own food needs for breakfast and lunch each day. Lunch needs to be portable if we are to go walking.


— Dinner Friday night is a roast or several. On the menu:

Roast potatoes, carrot, parsnip (Di)

Roast pumpkin, sweet potato (Julie)

Leg of lamb (Di’s party)

Chicken 1 (James’ party)

Chicken 2 (John)

Green veg (James, Julie)

Dessert 1(Di’s party)

Dessert 2 (Kristafine)

Brownies (Irene)


— Dinner Saturday night is a collection of curries. On the menu:

Sambals (everybody, more or less)

Dahl (Julie)

Vegetarian curry 1 (John)

Vegetarian curry 2 (Irene)

Lamb curry (Julie)

Vegetarian something (Di)

Rice (James’ party)

Fresh fruit (everybody)

Sorry, my notes get pretty vague at this point, I think we were all talking at once. Please fill in the gaps!


— There is also some level of need for nibbles before both dinners.


— Bear in mind that the kitchens are well equipped with everything except refrigeration. There is a cool room though. DI usually brings frozen milk and bread which thaw at a rate corresponding to their consumption.

— Drinks are BYO,

— Bedding: there are lots of bedrooms and beds and pillows. We need to bring our own bed linen or sleeping bags.

— Showering: there may or may not be hot water, so bring plenty of deodorant.

— MIscellaneous items to bring: torch, garbage bags

— Cost is $30 per person per night.

Look forward to seeing you all. Sam, please arrange fine weather as Paul wants to photograph star trails away from the city lights.

Portals of Paradise Chinese Banquet

Saturday 19 September, 2009

Palace of Celestial Antiquity (aka Cafe Cullen)



Now, Lads

This is not to suggest that we’ve a better offer – only an alternative.  As it’s a subject dear to Paul’s heart, and well overdue that we host one of these convivial dinners, could we propose that the Fete Chinoise be held at the Palace of Celestial Tranquility up here in Cato Avenue?  Gongs, incense and robes, of course.  Sampans at midnight, that sort of thing.  Honorable Chairman and Dear Leader, allow us to present a few trifling dishes from the Chinese repertoire to amuse your bouche.

All invited.  Planning, what planning?  The challenge might be to find and prepare a cold dish in Chinese style for the first course, or a dessert.  Let us do the rest.  It really is up our alley, or kampong, or whatever you call those things.

What say ye all?

Paul & Dorcas


Wouldn’t miss it! Funny, when I lived in Cato Ave in the 1980s, I could have sworn the opium den was further down the hill, but that’s what happens with memory, isn’t it? Just in case anyone has any room left after the banquert, I thought I’d bring with me a simple little dessert refresher in the form of watermelon in ginger wine. Does that suit the planning?




Brings back memories of the golden triangle and a village chief carrying an AK47. None of those in Cato Street, I hope. Opium-smoked guinea pig?




OzMas Christmas in June Downunder

Saturday 27 June 2009

Union Hall

Attendees: Andrew, Christopher, Christine, Julie, Paul, Kevin, Irene, Dorcas, James, Graham

Menu uncertain, but it clearly involved a ham…


I see it all now…

You’re right, of course, John.  Full media coverage with commentary by Gordon Ramsay and Maggie Beer.  In-depth analysis by Phillip Adams, Greg Riordan those two chancers you see at the end of the 7:30 Report.  CNN’s outside broadcast trucks skewed across the footpath and SWAT teams occupying nearby rooftops.

Inside, the ten of us gathered around the groaning table, rich with trucklements and vinous bibulations.  The cameras outside zoom in as the long, thin blade whispers one last time across the steel.  We’re about to carve; slow roasted politician with cockscombs and chestnuts, stuffed with a forcemeat of campaign contributions.  Some prefer the loin, others the rump, but I always go for the trotters – so tender, so full of flavour!

Could we get Peter Greenaway for the video, do you think?



Paul, You don’t go far enough…

I see the OzMas as a Reality TV event with the windows of Cullens lit up and the gaping Dickensian gurriers with fingers to the glass looking in at the splendiferous offerings so far beyond their sad grasp.
We could invite some of the politicians who are cutting costs all over the place to show how they are unaffected by the privations they have to impose on the rest of us because we elected them to do precisely that.
I see National Media, maybe even International, as Tasmanians show how they can work together to make the most of the climate, the turkey and the turkeys.
Slainte, John
Regret 21 June still tangled up with Midwinter Festival business, so unable to attend Strategic Planning Meeting.  However, Christmas dinner sounds wonderful, and happy to be volunteered for whatever dishes are wanted.  If you need an oven the size of a turkey, I’m your man!
Slainte, Paul
Kevin the Camel Driver

Egyptian (pan-Mediterranean) dinner party

Sunday March 8 2009

Casa Kristafa

Attending: Andrew, Kristafa, Kristafine, Julie & Paul, Kevin & Irene, John, Paul and Dorcas, Kelly and Ben

Julie and Kristafa

Julie and Kristafa

Dorcas and Paul

Dorcas and Paul

Ben and Kelly

Ben and Kelly


1. Appetisers – various dips and flatbread – Andrew

2. Soup – spinach and lentil – Irene

3. Vegetables

  • tomato/cucumber salad – John
  • chick pea salad – Kevin
  • deep-fried cauliflower and egg plant – Kristafa
  • rice and couscous – Kristafa (with Kristafine’s preserved lemon)

4. Meat

  • something involving camel (or lamb)  – Julie and Paul
  • something with fish – Di and Sam

5. Dessert

  • mahhalabia – Kristafine;
Egyptian Dinner Party

Egyptian Dinner Party

Paul, Julie and James

Paul, Julie and James

John, Dorcas, Kristafine, Kelly and Ben

John, Dorcas, Kristafine, Kelly and Ben

Kevin, Irene and James

Kevin, Irene and James

A note on the setting from Kristafa:

As I mentioned this morning, I would like to make some attempt at a sort of bedouin and/or felucca tent setting, if the weather and etc are appropriate. I need to know if we are going to fit at a table or if we are going to be cross-legged on mats on the floor (just kidding on that bit), so please could you confirm just who is going to be attending by, say, Thursday? Ta.

Please feel free to wear your Bedouin jewellery and other appropriate finery. Limited accommodation for camels.

Supplies of harissa, ras el hanout, coffee, mint tea, cumin powder etc available as/if required.

Mas salaama

A festive surprise

A festive surprise

At the lookout on The Neck at Bruny

Good Friday on Bruny Island

Friday 6 April, 2007

Bruny Island Cruise

Attending: Andrew, Julie, Di, Sam, Christine, James, Kevin, Irene, John


Good afternoon all,

Here are the results of the planning meeting held at Casa Poetica today.


Di’s reconnaissance is absolutely correct: the 9.30am ferry is the most sought-after on this their busiest day of the year. The ferry company told Christine we would be better off taking the 7.45am ferry, for which we would need to arrive by 7.15am at the latest. We could meet at the ferry queue but have breakfast on the other side, when we reach Bruny.


These are the vehicle arrangements, designed for expedience at this ungodly hour of the morning:

  • Andrew will take John and James
  • Irene and Kevin will take Julie
  • Di and Sam


Whether we take two or three cars across on the ferry can be sorted out while we are hanging around in the queue.

  • Christine will meet us at the ferry and won’t be taking her car over.
  • Chris Thomas will meet us at Bruny.





The necessity of packing stuff into cars, and maybe carting it with us on walks, suggests that we should be more compact than usual in what we bring to eat. In other words, bring enough for yourself for breakfast and lunch, and we will pool resources.

We decided to have an alcohol-free outing, which would have to be a first for us, because so many people will be driving. If we get desperate, or if the weather is bad, or if we run out of food, we can always go to the pub.

Breakfast: Hot cross buns, fruit (Julie can bring apples from the trees in the back yard and pineapples fresh from Hill Street), thermos with tea/hot water/coffee — whatever your preference.


Lunch: Sandwiches of your choice, fruit, walnuts (Julie again), thermoses etc etc.



The brochure says to have warm, waterproof clothing and they will supply wet weather gear if needed. We took this to mean BYO goretex if you have one. My friend Lesley said it was very cold on the boat.

I hope this makes sense to those who weren’t there for the meeting. We had a brunch that lasted 3 hours — no wonder we didn’t want to talk about food too much.

See you all on Friday if not before. My mobile number is below: I think everybody has somebody’s mobile number so we should be able to get into contact if anything unforeseen happens at the last minute.