A busy weekend in Brisbane and Yatala Pies


I’ve just got home (Canberra) after a busy weekend in Brisbane to see my daughters. May is a big month for us, my father’s birthday is in May, my eldest two daughters both share a birthday in May (two years apart), it’s mothers day in May and my birthday is in May.

I arrived late Friday night and the girls were already in ‘bed’ ready to sleep. They had a big Saturday ahead of them.

On Saturday we got out of bed at 5 am and ate a quick breakfast. I had peanut paste on toast (I didn’t have time for a low carbohydrate meal) while the two youngest ones had Mum’s lemon curd on toast. We had to be on the road by 6.30 am and on our way to Yatala for the QGSSSA Cross Country championships. Athletics is not the favourite sport for Miss13 and Miss17 however, as all rounders they compete in as many sports as possible. The meet is held at Rivermount College which isn’t part of the QGSSSA. The college is at Yatala near the Gold Coast.

Just thinking back a bit, when I arrived Friday night I discovered that a tube of moisturiser (yes I have Ichthyosis) had ‘exploded’ in my bag and the shirt I was going to wear had been ruined. Mum said I should wear one of Dad’s shirts. She also said it would be warm so short sleeves wouldn’t be a problem. I always listen to my mother.

So we arrive at Yatala and it’s cloudy and cold. I’m shivering. Thanks Mum 🙂

[To get more detail out of the images, click on them, they should open in a new window with a higher resolution. I’m happy to receive comments on the photography. Some images were captured with a Canon PowerShot G16 and the others with a Nikon D7100. I shoot in manual and capture RAW files to allow some post processing in Adobe Lightroom. ]

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

Rivermount College GPS coordinates

The girls run well and enjoy themselves. The next stop is the Sleeman Sports Complex in Chandler. We have to get Miss17 there for gymnastics training. Even though she didn’t make the Queensland team this year she’s allowed to compete at the national championships this week in Melbourne. She has to train at Gymnastics Queensland headquarters in Chandler. Before we get there though, Miss17 suggests a spot of morning tea at Yatala Pies.

Yatala Pies is a bit of an institution in South East Queensland. Their pies are known far and wide. Funnily enough I’ve never eaten in the Yatala Pies shop. This was a first.

The Famous Yatala Pies shop at Yatala near Queensland’s Gold Coast http://yatalapies.m2media.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/feature1.jpg

Yatala Pies on Urbanspoon

https://goo.gl/maps/e4YGs

Miss17 had a curry chicken and vegetable pie, Miss13 had a sausage roll and I elected to have a pasty. It’s been ages since I’ve had a good pasty. This one didn’t disappoint. I loved it.

 

Yatala pies pasty

Yatala pies pasty

Yatala pies takeaway box.

Yatala pies takeaway box. You can see Miss13’s sausage roll in the background.

Now regulars readers know me so it shouldn’t be any surprise that when I saw Vanilla slice I had to have one. Yatala Pies sells French Vanilla slices with a whopping big layer of French vanilla cream. It was gorgeous.

Yatala Pies French vanilla slice

Yatala Pies French vanilla slice

After a lot of driving back and forth between Chandler and Chermside it was a long tiring day. After getting the kids back to my parents’ place it was time to cook our special May dinner to celebrate so many birthdays and mothers day.

I said to Mum that I wanted to cook salmon and would be wonderful is Miss17 could make a salad. I also made a pumpkin cauliflower mash which I used to smear the plate and perch the salmon on.

Salmon

Salmon

#Dinner is salmon on a smear of pumpkin cauliflower mash with a green salad

#Dinner is salmon on a smear of pumpkin cauliflower mash with a green salad

For dessert, Miss17 had made an ice cream cake. The base was made with Ferrero Rocher, Chocolate Mint and Queensland nut (Macadamia) ice creams. The top had a combination of mixers added to make it a cake to remember.

Miss17 made me a Ferrero rocher, chocolate mint and Queensland nut ice cream cake with heaps of mixers

Miss17 made me a Ferrero rocher, chocolate mint and Queensland nut ice cream cake with heaps of mixers

After dinner we watched The Hunger Games on DVD. I’d never seen it before. It was good.

After a good night’s sleep Miss19 joined us after a busy weekend of working and studying. We had planned a special breakfast together. My daughters and me 🙂 We decided to head to Groove Train at Chermside because it was close and the last time we were there we enjoyed the food.

The Groove Train on Urbanspoon

https://goo.gl/maps/aebPU

I asked for poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise sauce, avocado and mushrooms. It was pretty good.

Poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise sauce, avocado and mushroom on sourdough toast

Poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise sauce, avocado and mushroom on sourdough toast

Miss13 asked for pancakes

Pancake stack with berries and maple syrup

Pancake stack with berries and maple syrup

After breakfast I had to take Miss17 back to Chandler for more training. I said my goodbyes and then caught a flight back to Canberra.

Dinner while watching Master Chef Australia was a nude burger with tomato, bacon and Coon cheese.

Nude Wagyu burger with bacon, tomato and Coon cheese

Nude Wagyu burger with bacon, tomato and Coon cheese

If you have any comments or questions please send me a comment in the space below.

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Hope you had a great weekend and ate YUMMY

Goodbye Brisbane | #likeCanberra | #LoveBrisbane | #adoreDarwin


It’s been a nice few days Brisbane. I’ve been with my kids, I’ve spent time with my parents, and I’ve thawed a little while Canberra freezes. I know there’ll be more subzero mornings in Canberra and apart from the weather, time in Brisbane reinforces why I like to live in small quiet towns like Darwin and Canberra. I especially like small towns that have all the amenities of larger cities.

This weekend proves again just how much I dislike traffic and complicated road systems. Brisbane has grown and developed so much that it looks like an engineered city rather than an evolved city. If it wasn’t for my iPhone and the TomTom app connecting seamlessly through the rental car’s audio system I would be a nervous wreck. As it was there were times when despite “Jane” giving me instruction and direction I was confused. I’m sure if I lived here again I’d get used to it but the city’s roads are more like a concrete jungle and it is unattractive. I grew up in Brisbane knowing that in the context of area rather than population it was the largest city in the southern hemisphere. The Brisbane City Council is bigger than some national economies. Getting from one side to the other can take the better part of a day’s drive.

If it wasn’t for the daily pain and discomfort of living in cold and dry Canberra (Ichthyosis vulgaris sucks) I’d love it rather than simply like it. Canberra is small and friendly, relatively easy to navigate and there isn’t any appreciable traffic, at least at the times I drive. Bring on global warming I say (facetiously), if the seas can come closer so there is a beach front (Pacific Ocean not Lake Burley Griffin) for Canberra so much the better. Then it would approach the glory that is Darwin 🙂

Canberra is a great place to live in full of friendly hard working people. It’s a great place. It would be perfect if it was situated where monsoons exist.

Thank you #brisbane #likecanberra #lovebrisbane not icy here

An Instagram post from this morning

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Time to say goodbye #brisbane 😞

Goodbye Brisbane and hello Canberra

A sour end to a wonderful break


I left Brisbane today after a little over a week of joy and happiness. I’ve had a fantastic time visiting my parents and my daughters.

This morning Dad made us breakfast sausages and bacon.

Breakfast snags and bacon.

Looks odd but it was tasty.

For morning tea we had pavlova

Leftover pavlova for morning tea is the best :-)

It’s always better the day after when the cream goes a little more stiff.

My parents had to attend a matinee session of South Pacific this afternoon and I had to deliver the girls home. I had a couple of hours to kill so I got to the airport a couple of hours early. I checked in my bag using a QANTAS QTAG. A simple and convenient method to avoid paper based luggage tags. The process seemed to work okay.

I went to the Qantas Club and spent time reading. They had iced vivo biscuits which are a real treat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iced_VoVo

Thank you @qantasairways for the upgrade and the iced vovos 😃

I boarded my flight after getting an upgrade thanks to Qantas. For an afternoon snack, I had a cheese plate.

I was going to say nice cheese plate @qantasairways but my bag is still lost. Still tracing according to website.

It was delicious.

Then on arriving in Canberra I discovered my bag was not put on flight QF961. This is the second time in two months that this has happened with Qantas.

I caught a cab home after being told my bag would be delivered when it’s found. The cab driver of TX73 was not the driver on the dashboard card which was for A2278. He didn’t indicate to change lanes or turn corners and he was speaking on his mobile telephone throughout the drive from the airport to my place (this is now illegal in the ACT unless he has a proper handsfree set up which he didn’t). He didn’t know the directions to my place so I had to direct him. When I asked about his authority card it was in his pocket. I called the taxi company and they didn’t want to do anything. I would have to put the complaint in writing.

At 2055 AEDT I called QANTAS but they had closed their baggage service area despite their brochure saying it is open until 2100 AEST (which is 2200 AEDT). I called the Canberra baggage claim area and was told I should avoid using the Qantas QTAG system in future and there was still no trace of my bag. I am so annoyed. This has made me feel quite upset after what has been a wonderful break from work seeing my parents and daughters. I have stuff in that bag that I need to use not least of all the value of the contents.

I try not to rant too much on this blog but tonight I’ve ranted all over twitter and I felt the need to ventilate here.

I hope my bag shows up soon. Word to the wise, avoid the use of the QANTAS QTAG system.

Gaz

Pacific Fair


Today is 2013/01/01 (YYYY/MM/DD this is the way I shorthand dates), the first day of 2013. It was also the last day we spent on the Gold Coast. I promised Miss11 and Miss15 a shopping trip in the tourist shopping centre, viz., Pacific Fair.

Pacific Fair Website http://www.pacificfair.com.au/

Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/wafZ4

To start though we needed breakfast. We walked across the road to Bistro Blanc on Surf Parade on Broadbeach.

Bistro Blanc Website http://www.bistroblanc.com.au/

Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/2YeKg

First things first.

I really need this.

Coffee

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Miss11 and Miss15 both had bacon and egg on a muffin with a hash brown.

Miss11 and Miss15 each had a bacon and egg muffin.  They were happy.

It was served “gourmet” style with barbecue sauce.

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I couldn’t go past the Eggs Benedict with bacon.

It's hard to not have Eggs Benedict.

This was done on a Turkish bread which was very nice.

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Having spent more than a week away from home, I planned my 3G data usage to perfection.

Perfect planning

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Okay Pacific Fair with Miss11 and Miss15 meant lots and lots and lots of dress and shoe shops. It also meant looking at some novelties.

For fans of plants v zombies

I never knew you could buy Plants v Zombies plush toys 🙂

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I haven’t posted pictures of everything they looked at. I am fortunate that my daughters like looking and are careful when choosing to spend money, even my money. In the end everyone came away happy.

For morning tea, you guessed it, it had to be another vanilla slice.

Vanilla slice at Pacific Fair

This one I shared with Miss15 who reminded me that when we lived in Darwin every Saturday or Sunday morning I’d walk to the local pastry shop and buy them caramel tartlets and buy myself a vanilla slice or bee sting.

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After more than half a day of shopping we needed some food before the drive back to Brisbane. We opted for a mall Chinese takeaway. This was a $10 plate of self service. It was awful. Truly disgusting. The worst I’ve ever had. The place is called Cathay Oriental at Pacific Fair shopping centre. Don’t do it is my advice. McDonald’s or KFC would be better.

Shopping is hard work. We all shared this. Worst mall Chinese food ever.

It looks nasty. Tasted worse.

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Miss15 and Miss17 needed new wrist watches. I bought them some very nice looking watches.

ICE watches for Miss15 and Miss17

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As we were driving home Mum and Dad were cooking dinner. Basically it was wonton soup without the wonton wrappers. Instead it was served with noodles.

Chinese style pork and prawn meat balls. Basically wonton soup without the wonton wrapper. Fantastic meal. Thanks Mum and Dad.

Check it out. This was beyond awesome.

For previous entries on wonton take a look at this search query http://garydavidlum.com/?s=wonton&submit=Search

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For my last night in Brisbane with my parents and two of my daughters, Mum made her “world famous” pavlova. One of the greatest Australian inventions ever (I write this to deliberately stir up my friends and family from New Zealand*).

Mum's homemade pavlova. A true Australian classic. Mum makes the best pav.

This one had passion fruit, pitted cherries, banana and mango topping.

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Okay, tomorrow, I return to Canberra. I have had a great little break in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

*For all I care, New Zealand can keep Russel Crowe and Richard Wilkins as their own. Pavlova is ALL AUSTRALIAN.

Wet’n’Wild Water World


It’s the last day of 2012 and the second last day of my holiday with my daughters. Today we went to Wet’n’Wild Water World on the Gold Coast. There aren’t many images because I was dressed in a pair of speedos, boardies and a rashy. No pockets and for the major rides you can’t carry things like cameras or smart telephones. Besides, at a water park, it’s all about the fun in the water. Today the weather was perfect. It was mostly around 29 °C and overcast with occasional sun bursts. That meant it was warm and not hot. It also meant that with four applications of sun screen throughout the day none of us got sun burnt.

Breakfast this morning was at McDonald’s because we were in a hurry.

Not quite as appetising as a Mavi breakfast wrap. Cheaper though.

Rosti wrap. This is rubbish compared to a Mavi Breakfast wrap. Check out previous posts on the Mavi Breakfast wrap http://garydavidlum.com/?s=Mavi+Breakfast&submit=Search

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After a day of water activity we enjoyed ice cream at the ice cream parlour.

Ice cream time

You can buy small medium and bucket sized sundaes.

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I had a small caramel sundae. It’s all self serve through a series of dispensers. I chose mango and sprinkles plus caramel sauce.

I got all the sprinkles

The sprinkles came out in a rush. There was more on the floor than in the cup.

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Goodbye Wet'n'wild

Goodbye Wet’n’Wild Water World.

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As the sun was setting

The sun sets and Jupiter's casino lights up

Jupiter’s casino was lighting up for New Year’s Eve.

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Bath time

It was nice to extend the water theme and have a bath. Sadly the spa didn’t work.

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Tonight it was Miss15’s turn to choose a meal.

Chicken Kiev with Caesar salad. Miss15's choice :-)

She chose Chicken Kiev and Caesar salad.

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After dinner we walked the streets of Broadbeach watching people. Today I pondered that the Gold Coast, especially around places like Broadbeach is for the “beautiful people” while places like Wet’n’Wild Water World is for everyone in all their shapes and sizes, colours and backgrounds. What is great about a water park is that everyone is just in their togs. You see almost everything, especially the tattoos and body art, plus the fat and obesity that is plaguing our nation. You also see the wonderfully crafted and honed bodies of the fit and healthy. I know I’m using strong words, I appreciate all the diversity and I’m not meaning to offend. At a water park, everybody is there to have some fun and get some Vitamin D. The streets of the Gold Coast though are about being seen and looking good to be seen. That is, except for blokes like me. Middle aged Australians with kids in tow. Tonight I chose a daggy T-shirt, King Gee work shorts and thongs. I reckon I got stared at as much as the tall leggy women and the muscle men. It made me laugh on the inside.

NYE treat from Miss15. Coconut vanilla and mint gelato sundae. Thank you Miss15. I love you

The best thing about walking the streets tonight was the lovely gesture from Miss15 to shout me and Miss11 a gelato. Miss17 had already left for a party with her BF so it’s just me and my two youngest daughters.

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Of the rides at Wet’n’Wild Water World, only a few have cameras that worked.

It was raining while riding the Tornado.

It rained today during our ride on the Tornado.

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I'm so fugly! We're on the Kamikaze.

I put my hand up to hide my fugly face lol 🙂 This was on the Kamikaze ride.

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Enjoying Mammoth Falls

This is from the Mammoth Falls ride.

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We went on a heap of other rides. It’s hard to pick the best. I loved them all. The faster and higher the better. It’s probably best to visit the website if you’re interested.

http://wetnwild.com.au/

Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/OHtRX

Movieworld


Today we went to Movieworld on the Gold Coast. I woke up early as usual and while we don’t have a water view we do have a full on view of the local casino.

My view. We're not on the beach. We get a casino view. Problem gambling call lifeline 131114

In Australia whenever gambling is mentioned on the news it’s followed by a statement, “Problem gambling call lifeline 131114.”

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It is Sunday so we went out for breakfast.

Coffee. Get in me now.

Coffee which I really needed.

Poached eggs with hollandaise

Poached eggs and hollandaise which was pretty good.

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Unlike Dreamworld a lot of the rides aren’t outdoor, and the crowds are insanely long. For a couple of rides today we queued for more than an hour. Our favourite ride is Scooby-Doo. It’s an indoor roller coaster with lots and lots of twists and turns, the sideways forces are pretty strong and there’s a constant feeling you’ll be flung out the side of the cart.

Scooby-Doo ride

The Arkham Asylum ride replaced Lethal Weapon. The old Lethal Weapon had a head restraint system which meant as your head jostled from side to side your ears were bashed against the restraint. It wouldn’t surprise me if a few customers got cauliflower ears. I know people would remove their ear rings prior to getting onto the Lethal Weapon. The Arkham Asylum doesn’t have the head restraint but it has more upside down spiral twists which is great.

Arkham Asylum

Arkham Asylum ride

Part of the Arkham Asylum ride.

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Like the Log Ride at Dreamworld yesterday, there is a water ride. This is the Wild West Falls. It’s a better ride than the Log Ride in many ways and you still get wet.

A short video of the end
http://youtu.be/8XSNkc2Gi4A

Wild West Falls

I’m sorry for pulling faces. Okay, no I’m not 🙂

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The Justice League is a new ride and is more laser simulator than ride. You get to sit in a cart and shoot aliens with a laser. The guns have feedback so if you’re successful you feel a vibration in the gun.

Justice League

Wonder Woman has unrealistic proportions.

Wonder Woman seems to be unrealistic in her proportions.

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After yesterday’s exorbitant prices for a less than appetising lunch at Dreamworld, we elected for a cheap alternative. We went to Baker’s Delight this morning and bought a caramelised onion and cheese loaf for $5 which fed all four of us.

Caramelised onion and cheese for all of us. This costs a fraction of what we paid yesterday at Dreamworld.

My bag now has a smell of bread every time I open it. Not a bad thing I suppose.

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The Superman escape ride is pretty cool. The first section is a straight that goes up at about 45° at about four positive G force.

Superman Escape

Look! You can see Superman.

You can see superman pushing the riders along. That’s all part of the story you receive as you emerge from the entry.

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The Batwing is sort of like the Giant Drop from Dreamworld except you go up really fast and then you bounce.

Randoms looking pensive before going up...fast!

Some randoms I captured about to go up really fast 🙂

This is a short video of the beginning of the ride.
http://youtu.be/2AIiW2P4Nk4

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There is a kids section at Movieworld with some more sedate rides like this Road Runner roller coaster. Miss11 is still not 140 cm and she cannot ride on things like the Superman Escape and the Arkham Asylum rides.

A gentle roller coaster :-)

Road Runner

This is still fun.

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I reckon bumper cars are always fun. Miss11 and I teamed up to get Miss15.

Bumper cars yay

Love the colours inside the bumper car arena.

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As well as rides there are also shows. A new on is Ice Age Christmas in 4D. That’s right, 4D. The extra dimension is movement plus special effects like wind in your face and sprays of water when appropriate. It’s a lot of fun.

This will be fun

Sadly you cannot film inside due to copyright laws. This was captured in the entry room.

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It’s still Christmas at Movieworld.

Nice extension to the Movieworld Christmas tree :-)

The tree looks extended because of the Batwing ride.

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This afternoon’s treat was a churros.

Greasy sugary high at the end of the day :-)

Greasy sugary goodness to end a day.

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This is the Superman escape ride as it comes out of the building again.

Love the speed of this ride :-)

It’s a blur of speed.

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Tonight the girls wanted something cheap and simple so we went to the supermarket and bought meat pies and potato gems.

The girls said they wanted cheap and simple. Who am I to complain.

They were all smiles.

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Places mentioned in this blog post

Movieworld
http://movieworld.com.au/
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/prqyV

My girls and Dreamworld


Friday of my holiday started slowly. Mum and Dad slept in and I watched a couple of episodes of The walking Dead series 3 on my iPad. We went grocery shopping for dinner and other things. The girls would be arriving that afternoon and I was cooking dinner. It’s been such a long time since I’ve cooked them dinner. They each love salmon so that was a natural choice. Bro41 was coming over with his three kids too so I had ten to feed.

At lunch time Mum and Dad introduced me to one of their staples, Knackwurst on toast. Given recent snag stand adventures, a snag on a Friday seemed to make sense.

Hey @abefrellman it's name that sausage time :-)

Knackwurst with barbecue sauce on toast.

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Friday afternoon grew dark with rain clouds.

Clouds, hopefully rain clouds.

Dark rain clouds.

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Loving the rain

It didn’t take long for it to rain.

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Between Mum and me, we made coleslaw, a simple lettuce and tomato salad, sausages, salmon, eggs and prawns. The sausages were mainly for my nephew and nieces who can be a little particular.

Huge dinner with my girls. Salmon, prawns and coleslaw.

My plate. The girls loved dinner and having Dad cook for them. They loved the salmon.

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An oldie and a goodie. Vanilla ice cream, chocolate wafer and choc mint ice magic.

There is not much better than an old fashioned bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocmint ice cream magic and a chocolate wafer.

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Saturday morning arrived and we made ready for a day at Dreamworld in Coomera in the Gold Coast.

Breakfast with a stale baguette. Vegemite bites 😃

We had a left over baguette from Friday night and I made the girls vegemite bites.

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We got to Dreamworld and the first ride we wanted to ride was the Buzz saw.

This is a pretty good ride.

If you want to follow where we went feel free to check out my Foursquare history at https://foursquare.com/garydlum/history

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Not quite Yummy Lummy

Not quite Yummy Lummy

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The Cyclone

The Cyclone roller coaster

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Log ride

The Rocky Hollow Log Ride is always fun and a great way to get wet on a hot day.

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Dreamworld lunch burger. I only ate a bit of it.

Lunch was a pretty ordinary double cheeseburger.

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Madagascar

I don’t post many images of my girls.

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People getting strapped in.

Escape from Madagascar roller coaster. A slightly more gentle ride.

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A really good weightless feeling in this.

The Claw gives you a really strong sense of weightlessness.

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This is a gentle family ride

The Thunder Valley Rapid Ride is quite gentle but a good way to get soaked.

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Miss11 is happy she's tall enough for a bike and not a side car.

A much more fun ride if the Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster.

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I also captured some videos and posted them to YouTube.

http://youtu.be/9BrW3wFUiDk

The Tower of Terror II. You go up backwards and come down face first. It’s great.

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http://youtu.be/SQDxf8w2J-I

The Giant Drop takes you high up the tower and then drops you. It is an amazing feeling to almost free fall.

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http://youtu.be/DoXZw2z7P08

The Claw is a very special ride. It certainly gives you a strong sense of weightlessness and it worth the long queue to get on.

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http://youtu.be/QdgKXxVF_dw

The tigers at Dreamworld are a great attraction. Here is a short clip of two of them having a little fun with each other.

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The gates closed at Dreamworld at 1700 AEST. We went and had another go of the Tower of Terror II.

After Dreamworld we checked into the Mantra Broadbeach on the Park. We reserved a two bedroom apartment. It is a well set out apartment and we’re very comfortable.

For dinner I’d made a reservation at Hog’s Breath Cafe Broadbeach.

I will chew with my mouth closed #GoodManners

I promise I ate with my mouth closed.

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Steak

I asked for a steak. It was fantastic.

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Barra burger for Miss15

Miss15 asked for a barramundi burger. She reckons it was perfect.

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This rocky road sundae is massive. All four of us are sharing :-)

We then asked to share a Hoggies’ Rocky Road Sundae. It was massive.

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All gone except for the chocolate brownie base

At the bottom is solid chocolate brownie.

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Apparently we finished this in record time #hungry

According to our server we finished in record time.

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Moooooo

This fine piece of public art is outside our apartment’s restaurant, viz., Moo Moo.

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It’s been a great day and we’re off to sleep.

These are the images from Dreamworld’s cameras. Please click on each for the description.

Buzz saw

Tower of Terror II

Cyclone

Log ride

Escape from Madagascar

Thunder Valley Rapids

Mick Doohan's Motocoaster

Tower if Terror II again

Places and things described in this post

Dreamworld
http://www.dreamworld.com.au/
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/kLVA5

Hog’s Breath Cafe
http://www.hogsbreath.com.au/
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/v7Ufr

Boxing day and the next


It’s coming close to the end of 2012. It’s been an interesting and tumultuous year in some respects. I’m still not sure if this will be my last post of the year. Somehow I think I have more to give especially if I continue to eat like I am while in Brisbane.

Christmas day was a very different one for me. This is the first time I’ve spent Christmas day with Mum and Dad and no one else. I’ll get to see my daughters on Friday. My brothers were doing things with their own immediate families and there were no visitors and no visits to aunts, uncles and cousins places. We’ve all grown up and this year I spent the day with Mum and Dad.

The Christmas day post outlined the majority of the food images from breakfast and lunch.

In the afternoon we went for a short stroll. Dad now walks with a stick so we’re limited to pavement and roads.

Out for a stroll with Mum and Dad

The afternoon was glorious. It was warm and it was humid enough to not be uncomfortably dry.

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We ventured around the retirement village and aged care facility on site. It’s ominous when an ambulance arrives with sirens and leaves slowly in silence.

Anyone for lawn bowls?

The village has its own swimming pool and lawn bowls area.

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Dinner was a simple affair. Mum decided we didn’t need pudding or cake or anything too sickly sweet after a big lunch. I agreed on a spread of cheese and fruit.

Dinner is served 😃🎅🎄🎁

This was a delicious way to end the day. We had fresh mangoes, cherries, seedless water melon and cheeses.

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Perfect weather for Boxing Day in Brisbane #Rain #igersbrisbane

Boxing Day morning I woke up feeling good in my skin. It was warm and it was raining. I had a bead of sweat on my forehead and my skin didn’t feel dry and cracked.

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Boxing Day in Australia (like many countries) means that large department stores and malls have significant sales on. Department stores like David Jones and Myer do a brisk trade as do most other stores. In Sydney the David Jones stores open at 0500 AEDT. In Melbourne it’s 0600 AEDT. Brisbane is more civilised and the stores tend to open at 0900 AEST. I’d bought the girls their present in Canberra and brought it up with me. I also intended to buy them some things that were going to be on sale. With steely determination I ventured to Westfield Chermside. I arrived at 0845 AEST and car park was full.

Great Boxing Day parking whoever you are. #smartdriver

This sort of parking is what elicits car park rage. I witnessed another person write something rude on a piece of paper and attach it to the driver’s side window.

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Rather than wake up Mum and Dad I elected to have breakfast at the mall.

The morning just got better.

Preshopping breakfast.

The eggs were pretty good. The Hollandaise wasn’t that good. There was hardly enough to pour on both eggs. I had breakfast at Cafe Siena in Westfield Chermside. I wrote a Google+ review.

———-

I ended up getting my girls some extra stuff for their new Wii U plus some games and external hard drives for their photographs and other data.

Mum's birthday flowers I got her from last week. Australian natives.

On getting back to Mum and Dad’s I noticed the flowers I got for Mum’s birthday which was last week. These are Australian natives. They’ll last for weeks if not months.

———-

One of the nice things about an abundance of Christmas food is left overs.

Lunch. Left over chicken and duck with mayonnaise and lettuce. Delicious.

Today’s lunch was fresh white bread filled with chicken, duck, mayonnaise and lettuce.

———-

Another feature of Boxing Day in Australia is a cricket test match played in Melbourne. When I was a boy I happily spent hours watching cricket relieved during breaks when we’d go outside and play cricket in the back yard. Today was the first time I’ve sat and watched cricket with Dad for decades. In the late afternoon though I discovered (to some horror) that Mum and Dad enjoy the television soap opera, viz., The Bold and the Beautiful. I elected to go for a walk rather than endure that.

You can see the simple route at http://runkeeper.com/user/garydlum/activity/137877980

I walked past a Jenny Craig franchise and thought after all I’ve eaten I may need to visit.

Christmas inspiration :-)

That said there is a legal history between Jenny Craig and my father so I never will.

———-

I bought my first Falcon here in the 1990s

This is where I bought my first Ford Falcon. Not a V8, they were to come later when I lived in Darwin when I owned three V8 Falcons and Fairmonts.

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Favourite takeaway in the 1980s

This is a place we used to frequent in the 1980s and get takeaway Chinese food from. As an IG friend quipped, not exactly new anymore.

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Dinner of leftovers. Delicious.

Boxing day dinner was a simple affair of left over chicken and duck plus some potato bake and a salad. It was delicious with lots of avocado.

———-

This morning I woke to the tragic news that Gerry Anderson had died after a battle with dementia. Gerry was the creator of SUPERMARIONATION and the developer and producer of television programs like Thunderbirds are GO, Fireball XL5 and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. As a kid and even now I love the Thunderbirds. The whole concept of International Rescue and the story behind Jeff Tracy and his sons each named after a Mercury astronaut was so compelling. Now that I work in emergency management there are days I wish we had The Thunderbirds on-call. Virgil was my favourite character. Virgil piloted TB2. I was also very fond of Gordon who piloted TB4.

YouTube is replete with clips. I’ve added a few that I like, but there are so many more.
Thunderbirds are GO! http://youtu.be/BfIAKj3Gl1E

This is the closing theme music from AudioBoo (I hope this works)

http://audioboo.fm/boos/1027643-thunderbirds-are-go

Take off of TB1 and TB2 on YouTube. The beginning is a little tedious but once you see the swimming pool move you’ll be sucked in.

Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbirds_Are_Go

Vegemite and jam on toast with coffee.

Breakfast was sombre and simple. Vegemite and jam on toast with a strong coffee.

Brisbane has put on a magnificent day for us today. #BluSky

The day itself looked good.

———-

Today Mum and Dad asked me to take them on a long drive. They don’t get out much from the retirement village except in bus trips with other residents. So we spent the day driving with no plan.

This holiday's hire chariot. A Toyota Camry.

This is the car I hired. It’s a Toyota Camry. It is quite good. The remote key entry and ignition is cool. I like how it connects easily with my iPhone through Bluetooth.

———-

I suggested Caloundra and Mum said why not Noosa, in the end I decided not to turn off and we ended up in Gympie in time for morning tea. Gympie has a long history in Queensland, some of it not so positive. I think you have to be a local to share those tales so I won’t go on. I had many friends from Gympie in my university and early years as a medical practitioner. I remember one gorgeous nurse from my intern year…

I want to travel around Australia on a vanilla slice crawl

Morning tea was at the Little Brown Jug cafe in Gympie. I had a pot of tea and a vanilla slice. Regular readers know my fondness for vanilla slice and my dream of one day doing a vanilla slice crawl around Australia. Vanilla slice search of Yummy Lummy.

———-

After Gympie we hit the road and headed to Noosa. In the 1970s and 1980s we would spend Easter holidays at Noosa and occasionally some Summer holidays too. As we got older, we ended buying a place at Caloundra and I remember weekends and holidays in my later years of high school on the beach every chance I could get.

In Noosa we used to stay at a place called Paramount Towers on Hastings Street. Mum said it was reasonable in the day at $50 a night. I can’t imagine how much it would cost now that Noosa is one of the most expensive tourist places in South East Queensland.

It used to be Paramount Towers in the 1970s when I was in primary school. We'd come here every Easter.

It’s now called the Settler’s Cove.

So many good boyhood memories here.

This is the famous Noosa beach. I used to love this beach. So many good boyhood memories. In the late 1970s and early 1980s the beach was crowded with locals and tourists. It was kind of exotic and there would be lots of foreign tourists. For a young fella, what I remember most was that most young women on the beach had no desire to wear much and many would lay in the sun and enter the water topless. There was a clothes-free beach a short walk away but no one seemed to care. Anyway, enough of those thoughts…naughty Gaz.

———-

Rather than eat lunch at an over priced place in Noosa, Mum suggested Buderim. Buderim is a sleepy town in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. It has a significant number of senior Australians (aka self funded retirees) and is a favourite place of art and craft lovers. Dad was feeling a little tired so rather than look too far we stopped at a cafe and enjoyed a toasted sandwich.

Lunch. Chicken mayonnaise and avocado.

I had a chicken, mayonnaise and avocado toasted sandwich.

———-

For dinner tonight we enjoyed a crumbed steak and salad.

Dinner. Crumbed steak and salad :-)

I will confess I ended up eating two large pieces of scotch rib fillet steak that was covered in fresh bread crumbs. They are irresistible.

———-

Things and places mentioned in this post

Myer
http://www.myer.com.au/

David Jones
http://davidjones.com.au

Westfield Chermside
http://www.westfield.com.au/chermside
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/dKrdP

Cafe Siena
Google+ https://plus.google.com/117272677739548942732/about?gl=au&hl=en

Boxing day test match
Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day_Test

The Bold and The Beautiful
http://www.boldandbeautiful.com/

Gympie
Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gympie
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/TxtYd

Little Brown Jug https://foursquare.com/v/little-brown-jug/4c9fe1f654c8a1cd2f2c9b4b

Noosa
Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noosa
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/Nc7Y9

Buderim
Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buderim
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/CXXfT

I also came across this clip on YouTube. Okay, so you get the idea, I’m a scifi geek.

Evolution of the USS Enterprise
http://youtu.be/oAakbHMvgzI

Week 52 2012 Christmas


I hope I have one more post for 2012 to close out the year. This post however, will focus on the lead up and execution of Christmas 2012.

The last weekend was another quiet one. I didn’t have much to do besides wash clothes and clean the apartment. I’d completed all my Christmas shopping and so I enjoyed a weekend of lounging and watching DVDs. I ended up seeing the end of series three of Breaking Bad and watching what in the US is the first series of Strike Back. Apparently in the UK, there were six episodes shown before the US saw the seventh episode which it calls the first episode. I don’t understand the reasoning. The story can be found at IMDB and Wikipedia.

Because I was travelling for Christmas and New Year I needed to go through the contents of my refrigerator. Toasted sandwiches are always a good weekend lunch option.

Toasted red salmon and tomato sandwich. Delicious.

Tomato, tinned red salmon and pumpkin seed bread.

———-

For dinner I had a scotch fillet steak.

Scotch fillet steak (rare) with mango and feta salad.

I served it with a mango salad that also had salad leaves, cherry tomatoes and lots of Australian feta cheese. I made a light gravy from the marinade which was sherry, oil and soy plus some honey and mixed herbs and some minced garlic. I thickened it with some corn flour and used a little red wine to deglase my fry pan. I like my steak rare so this got about 90 seconds on each side and was rested for 10 minutes.

———-

On Saturday night a storm brewed but we didn’t see any rain. The clouds though were very pretty. I captured this image from my balcony but there were some much better ones from other IGers.

Amazing clouds over Lake Ginninderra.

———-

I forgot to mention in my last post, that on Thursday evening when dining with my friends they gave me a book for Christmas. http://garydavidlum.com/2012/12/22/week-51-2012-christmas-party-season/

Great Christmas gift from friends

I like watching Jamie Oliver on television and if you search this blog for Jamie Oliver you’ll see a number of references. http://garydavidlum.com/?s=Jamie+Oliver&submit=Search I’ve heard though with Jamie Oliver’s recipes that sometimes they’re wrong, that is, quantities can be significantly off. This doesn’t always get corrected. If you know enough to know that’s fine but if you’re pretty ignorant like me, that can spell disaster.

———-

WARNING Sad Image

One of the saddest images I’ve captured is this one. Last week I posted this image of a friendly blue tongued skink. Sadly it was run over in my apartment car park.

This guy greeting me when I got home.

From last week

So very sad. The blue tongued skink I met last week came to a sad end in the car park.

What I came across on Sunday morning.

———-

I love pistachios

Snack time

Snack time.

———-

Another toasted sandwich for lunch.

Lunch. Blue cheese, Aldi tinned red salmon and tomato.

This time with blue cheese because like bacon and butter, everything tastes better with blue cheese.

———-

On Sunday night I cleaned out the refrigerator.

Salmon and mango salad with blue cheese

Salmon with mango salad and blue cheese.

———-

Normally when I’m walking back from the post office you can see heaps of people at work.

Barren on Christmas eve.

———-

There are no calories for the next two weeks.

There are no calories for the next two weeks.

Caramel doughnut.

———-

I was tempted, but this was for a work friend.

No I did not eat this jam doughnut. I did covert it though.  Ping @jacquimkane @jesskirkham08

Jam filled doughnut.

———-

Because a work mate was ill last week when we went to the snag stand, we went back with her on Monday.

Spicy cheese kransky on brioche is the bomb. Ping @kecozanat @jacquimkane @jesskirkham08

Spicy cheese kransky on brioche. This was delicious. Our plan is to eat through the entire menu.

———-

I finished work early on Christmas eve and I went to the airport as soon as I could.

White Christmas

A White Christmas snack at the Qantas lounge.

———-

I also had a couple of chilli beef pastizzi in the lounge

Chilli beef pastizzi

They were a little hot.

———-

I managed to secure an upgrade on flight QF960. The flight was meant to leave a little after 1745 however a couple of storm cells hit Canberra and to keep the ground crew safe they were evacuated from the tarmac and we stayed in the aeroplane for more than an hour connected to the aerobridge. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll see were we able to use our telephones.

QF960 crumbed steak

For dinner I had the crumbed beef. The crumb also contained feta cheese. While the beef was well done and tough, everything else was very nice.

———-

When I got to my parent’s place I put out presents for them and my girls (who I’ll see later this week).

Mum and Dad's Christmas tree

———-

It’s Christmas Day. I had a poor night’s sleep, not through Christmas excitement, but because I’m sleeping on my childhood bed. Dad woke up early and we sat together for a couple of hours while he told me stories.

Christmas breakfast of champions. Vegemite on toast. I'm pacing myself today. #Christmas

I had a light breakfast in anticipation of a big lunch. The breakfast of champions, vegemite on toast with a couple of coffees.

———-

And so lunch preparation begins…

One chook with skin tightened with boiling water. #Christmas

This is chicken after we’d tightened the skin with boiling water.

———-

Mum's seafood sauce for the prawns.

Mum made a 1000 islands dressing for our lunch time prawns. If you click on the image you can work out the ingredients in a chat with Hilah from hilahcooking.com

———-

Our duck is patiently waiting. #Christmas

The poultry preparation continued with a duck drying and draining.

———-

Prawns to start #Christmas

The bowl may not look elegant but that mattered nought.

———-

#Christmas prawns

I love prawns.

———-

The prawns were good 😃😃😃 #Christmas

I could not help capture an after image.

———-

My task is to remove the neck. I love a Chinese cleaver.

The duck had a reasonable neck attached. You can tell my intent by the strategically placed Chinese meat cleaver.

———-

My next job is an actor on Game of Thrones #Christmas

I want a role on The Game of Thrones as an executioner.

———-

Because everything is better with bacon. #Christmas duck.

Because everything is better with bacon.

———-

When chook meets duck #Christmas

Side by side, don’t they look a treat (and very cute too).

———-

Chicken cut up #Christmas

Mum makes a mean stuffing. Check out https://www.evernote.com/shard/s183/sh/b0224e03-ecac-4ec6-93cd-7f8246b75d18/45f16c08058a64d34147000cbd21095d for the details. I had my eye on the Maryland at the top of the image. It has the cloaca attached. I love a chook’s cloaca when it’s been roasted.

———-

Poultry mix duck and chook #Christmas

With the duck added. I like to cut the breast off and slice it. It makes it easier to eat because you bite end on into the grain of the meat. Do you see the size of the duck’s neck and cloaca? I’d already bagsed (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bagsed) them.

———-

All the stuff separately for lunch #Christmas

Because of the small size of Mum’s kitchen and oven, rather than roasted vegetables, Mum made a potato bake yesterday and we heated it up in a small toaster oven at lunch time. We also had broccoli, asparagus and peas.

———-

My plate was full of goodness. Duck and chook arse plus duck neck and breast and chook thigh. Oh and some vegetables. #Christmas

This is my plate. Mum made a nice orange flavoured sauce too. It was sublime.

———-

Mmm... I dissected out the trachea from the neck bones of the duck. The duck coccyx is also there too #Christmas

The neck has such nicely flavoured meat. I also managed to dissect out the trachea too. This started a nice little chat on twitter and instagram.

———-

So that’s it for now. Mum decided against making a pudding or a pavlova. This evening we’ll have fruit and some cheese. I’m pretty grateful. I don’t really want to blow out. I can fit into a pair of shorts I like to wear at Christmas time so I’m happy holding back a little.

I hope everyone reading this blog had a wonderful time if you celebrate Christmas. I hope your day was full of happiness and peace and good food.

Merry Christmas friends,

Your friend and fellow blogger

Gaz

Things and places mentioned in this post

Kransky sausage
Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kranjska_klobasa

Strike Back
Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_Back_%28TV_series%29
IMDB entry http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1492179/

Pastizz
Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastizz

Wanton Wonton Wonderfulness


The last week and a bit has been huge. On Thursday and Friday 25 and 26 October I was at Mt Macedon at a Disaster Intelligence Master Class run by the Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI). This was an excellent two days meeting new colleagues and networking.

On Sunday 28 October I flew back to Melbourne for another three nights stay. For the last few months I’ve been involved in the preparation for a week of meetings with international colleagues covering a week of meetings in Melbourne and Canberra. On Thursday I hosted a full day meeting with international visitors. I am so grateful to a small cadre of work mates who behind the scenes got all the logistics sorted out in quick time.

So my week has been full on and my eating has been atrocious. The only day when it approached okay was Thursday when I had some control over the food at the breaks and lunch. We served fruit platters and sandwiches with “healthful” fillings. On the other days when other agencies were in charge we enjoyed cream filled biscuits, cream filled pastries, doughnuts, cakes and slices. The lunches were also very filling.

To top off a very full and mentally stressful week I had arranged to visit my kids in Brisbane this weekend. That has meant a lot of fun and really very little time for rest and sleep. The other benefit has been a rebalance of my twitter statistics. Last week saw very little social media activity so I’ve made up for it over the weekend, especially on Twitter and Instagram.

Anyway, so here I am in Brisbane this weekend. What I had not realised was that my two younger brothers would also be in town. They were sorting some things out for my parents. To give you some context. I’m the eldest of three sons. Brother 2 is two years younger than me and Brother 3 is six years younger than me. Brother 2 is a medical practitioner based in Cairns and Brother 3 is in Brisbane’s building and construction industry.

At lunch Brother 2 sent me an iMessage asking if I wanted wonton for dinner. Earlier in the day we had discussed having dinner at Eatons Hill Hotel where Miss17 was doing work experience. They didn’t have a table so we elected to go to our tried and true Kedron-Wavell RSL. My guess is that Brother 2 and Brother 3 had a chat between themselves and cooked up a scheme, a scheme that would suit me just fine.

Brother 3 has become a master of wonton making. He has friends who ask him to make wonton for them. Brother 3 essentially follows Mum’s recipe. Brother 2 however, prefers a variation on Mum’s recipe. Brother 2 like me enjoys adding texture to our food. We’re also fans of coriander (cilantro) while Mum isn’t. Brother 2 tends to add raw finely sliced ginger and bamboo shoots to augment the crunch of the water chestnuts.

In the end we stayed with Mum’s recipe given we were eating with Mum and Dad.

While we were out Miss 17 needed to my a birthday card. I saw one that caught my eye.

Card shopping with Miss17

(Instagram)

We also enjoyed a high carbohydrate lunch from a local Japanese Bakery.

Japanese bacon wrap

Lunch. Japanese bacon wrap.

(Instagram)

Custard platypus

Custard platypus

(Instagram)

After lunch we were in need of Ice Cream so we went to Cold Rock Ice Creamery at Chermside.

Queensland nut (macadamia) and mint Freddo frog

(Instagram)

I asked Miss15 to capture an image of me buying ice cream.

Buying ice cream with the kids

When we arrived back at my parent’s place you could smell the food preparation from the corridor.

As we entered we were confronted with a tower of wonton wrapper.

I wondered if they had bought enough. Eight packets of fifty wrappers.

I wonder if my brothers bought enough wonton wrappers? Eight packets of fifty.

(Instagram)

Brother 2 had bought some pork mince but it was too lean so he got some pork belly and hand minced it in the traditional family way. With two meat cleavers. This is the BEST way to mince meat. It also builds muscles and annoys neighbours and tests the sturdiness of kitchen tables.

Meat cleavers used to mince the pork belly.

The final filling. Go to my Mum’s recipe for the details.

As the team were getting into making the wonton Miss11 and Miss15 wanted to have a go.

Then the experts showed them how.

We had tray upon tray and made about 400 wonton

We have tray upon tray upon tray of wonton

(Instagram)

The masters at work

The masters at work. #wonton

(Instagram)

Before I drove Miss17 to work experienced she and I were given a tasting bowl at about 1500 AEST.

Miss17 is having another lunch before work experience.

(Instagram)

When I got back dinner was ready and this is my first serving. So much better than restaurant portions.

Amazing wonton soup.

(Instagram)

I also needed a second serve at about 1900 AEST.

Seconds. Yes please.

(Instagram)

Did I mention the pork bones? They were fall off the bone tasty.

There were some wonton left over and my brothers and daughters have a liking for cold freshly made and cooked wonton from the refrigerator. Whenever I do it I get visions of Nigella Lawson going back to her refrigerator late at night.

Needless to say we slept well and still feel full. Mum and Dad though thought I needed a big breakfast.

Mum had been planning this for a little while. She grinned as she brought food from the refrigerator and was pretty happy when she saw my smile. She’d been to the butcher and got some lamb’s fry. As many readers know I like my offal and nice lamb’s fry is hard to come by. Mum has seasoned some flour with salt and pepper and coated the liver and then kept it in the refrigerator overnight. This morning she gently pan fried it and served it with bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs and a grilled tomato. It was delicious.

Awesome lambs fry breakfast. @DrOffal was in his element. 😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃

(Instagram)

Needless to say my daughters are not great fans of offal. I pondered whether Dr Offal should post this on his blog, but figured it was better suited to this post.

A note about this post. I’ve used a new WordPress.com feature. WordPress.com users can now embed Instagram images into their blog posts. This seems to work well. If you want to comment on an image in Instagram click on the image and if it’s been inserted through instagram you’ll soon see 🙂