Monday, November 21, 2005

Coming through in the clutch

For those of you losing sleep over my seemingly ill-fated quest for canned pumpkin, you can sleep well tonight. My dear flatmate, Joeley, ventured to a different David Jones Market on Saturday and bought 2 of the last 3 cans of Libby's Pumpkin. There will be pumpkin pie as intended -- from a can -- for a traditional American Thanksgiving! I thought the pic of the pumpkin and vegemite proved a good visual metaphor for our Aussie and American cultures meeting and getting on like old chums.

And I have to say it was a really successful weekend, as far as weekends go. At last, I got to see my favorite Aussie band Art of Fighting on Friday night and lead singer Ollie's voice is seriously as wondrous to behold in person as on cd. Thank goodness for a pure singing voice in a day of rather "artful" (ahem, strange) voices in alternative and indie music (re: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Neutral Milk Hotel).

Another great band was on Saturday aftertoon at the Hopetoun Pub, The Kill Devil Hills, from Perth. A rather rag-tag bunch of guys who looked like they should be driving Ford F-10s in Backwater, USA, playing really cool alt/country/rock what-have-you. We're talking big, burly guys in boots playing mandolin and fiddle. Awesome.

Sunday, I must say, was really Haydn's day to shine. The man can barbecue, folks. Not that any of you that have met him would be surprised. After big ol' Sunday breakfast of the bacon, beans n' toast variety, and then some couch time, we headed to the pub markets at the Annandale. Yes, there seem to be reasons to go to the Annandale any time of day. They have these great little markets of handmade clothes, vintage stuff, and artisanal sausage named for dead rock stars. I bought what can probably be categorized as a mu-mu and Haydn took the helm at the grill. He even pulled his pants up high to do so, because he thinks pants up high is always funny and that it has something to do with manning the grill.

But, yes, that was only BBQ #1 of the day. Our pals Jimmy and Michelle just moved into a new place with a spacious veranda, and they acquired a second-hand deluxo BBQ. Last night was the first BBQ at the new place. Kebabs, shrimp, and lamb cutlets were all on the menu. Haydn multi-tasked with pants at an appropriate waist-level, and then with food aplenty we just sat around the table and ate, talked, laugh. It was another co-mingling of Aussie, Irish, English, and American. Sometime we must find a Canadian!

And in good ol' campfire tradition, the night segued into some kind of acoustic sing-a-long with Haydn on guitar and Morgan on voice and percussion.

And in case all of the meat consumption sounded a bit alarming, don't fret -- I had tofu and vegetables for lunch before heading to the library.

Some follow-up on the last couple of comments:
Sweet Thai Chili Sauce -- here is the description from the very side of the bottle: A delicious hot sauce made from fresh Thai chili and Thai spices. It will add flavor and spice, not just heat. Use in place of hot sauce or ketchup. Add to your salad dressing, chili, soup, or a few drops to your favorite dip or pasta.

Christmas in Oz -- the seasonal decor is slowly appearing. Without Halloween or Thanksgiving to sound the opening bell on the season, it just seems to sort of pop up. Like for instance, the little island of wrapping paper at the local IGA that you might bump into on your way to the bananas. But as I walked through the Central Business District today, the big department stores have their windows decked out with finery, although I'm sure Australian retail won't be staying open 24 hours a day or having too many door-busters, which is kind of nice, really. And as far as Christmas specials and cartoons, I'll keep you posted. Please, please let there be A Charlie Brown Christmas -- I am "sore afraid" there might not be!

Keep posting comments, I lurve it! And, Ann, can you give us some tips on the polenta you are stuffing your turkey with?!



ann said...

well the polenta will not be actually going in the bird (mom would never approve) instead it will be cooked in the polenta and sausage stuffing featured in gourmet's tgiving edition. I have also bought a box of stovetop incase this proves to be a flaming disaster. i've never cooked polenta....anyone with tips encouraged to post them!

So glad to see the canned pumpkin has been located. Can't wait to see pics of the big event.

Thanks for answering the sweet chili/christmas questions. I believe we will be viewing rudolph after tgiving dinner...white christmas is being saved for only those who appreciate it.

greggums said...

You know I lurves me some White Christmas, but only when savored in small doses, just like that sweet, sweet chili sauce that should only be added "a few drops" at a time. (Also, holiday factoid: Bing was a homophobe who beat his gay son and drove him to kill himself.)

But I lurves me some canned punkin even more! So cute to see the ugly, wee vegemite jar surrounded by the two behemoth, perfect pumpkin tins. Y'all are gonna need to eat up aplenty of that roughage to scare off all that meat!

Yay Art of Fighting!

I like Haydn's hiked-up pants, but I can only pray they were accompanied by black socks and white shoes. Grandpas the world over would be proud.

Ann, the key to polenta is: it's just cornmeal and water, so it's virtually* impossible to f up! (*By virtually I mean be sure to turn the stove off at some point so as not to burn the place down; other than that, I think you're pretty much golden, like the yummy polenta. mmm.)

ann said...

Dear Greggums (Hi Tara!)

I don't know, this requires I somehow make one batch of polenta "creamy" and the other browned. it really sounds like something that could turn into a big mush mess. I fear the simple things. (I do also fear screwing up the stovetop).

And all I know is that a movie that talks about gams has to be good. Definition of good.

In addition to feasting, movies and likely board games Thursday and kinetic events on Friday, plans for dancing Saturday solidifying (ie not in their creamy form). Pick your poison.

Dusty/Jazzy Berman said...

Yeah canned pumpkins, yeah hiked up pants, yeah polenta. . ., in my opinion, (and G-dawg already said it best), YEAH ART OF FIGHTING!!! I can't believe it took you so long to see them! Speaking of dope Auzzie bands. . .I just discovered a new one that I think all Chunky Toast readers will like. They're called Clue To Kalo, and they have a lovely blend of Folk/Electronica/Indie whatevs. . .they're from Adelaide I think. check em out: