About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, January 16, 2006
Silly Sausage
Well, I'm back, with a whole new respect for painters. Two weeks of painting, two rooms done. It seems mighty slow, but we live in an older style apartment, 1940's to be exact, with water damage to the ceiling and walls. Scrape old paint, patch and prime, sand old paint still sticking, oh dear, missed a spot, patch and prime, that repair doesn't look good, do it again. The ceiling in one room took three days to scrape the old paint off, flake by flake. Chef Melissa at Cooking Diva said painting could be fun. She is from Panama, so I took to scraping the paint off in the shape of Central America, complete with canal. It was fun the first couple of times, then I took to changing the outline. Central America as an S shape, then square, round, long and short. The Panama Canal visited other countries. North and South America were moved enough to put a wobble in the Earth's orbit. Scrape, scrape, scrape, it just became tedious after a while. Still, there is a lot of satisfaction looking at a freshly painted room.

Because of the painting, we went to the local parks for barbecues. Nothing special, just the usual suspects ~ sausages, lamb chops and chicken wings, along with salads. One day we organized a barbecue with one of M's. friends from school; you should have seen them, two five year olds hugging each other like long lost friends. We hadn't met A's. parents before, they turned out to be friendly and relaxed, as friendly and relaxed as you can be with six kids under the age of eleven.

I don't know if you can tell anything about someone by the way they cook, but A's parents were definitely well done kind of people. We started cooking about the same time, ten minutes later our sausages were ready, their sausages, the same size as ours, were not even half way done. After twenty-five minutes they did something that astonished me; they split the sausages nearly all the way through and laid them flat side down to complete the cooking. If there is a crime against sausages, I saw one committed.

When Melbourne hosted its first Grand Prix car race, the one we stole from Adelaide, I helped some friends who owned a wine shop and cafe, not far from the track at Albert Park, to cook for the hungry spectators. It was pretty simple fare, just sausages cooked on a barbecue, served in a roll with a choice of salad. My mate P. from same Beefsteak and Burgundy Club that I'm a member of, helped with the cooking.

While the menu was simple, the sausages were not. They were made by a Frenchman at La Parisienne in Carlton and were absolutely magnificent. The one I remember the most was the Toulouse, a beautifully plump and subtly spiced sausage, the same sausage used in cassoulet, the famous bean stew from France.

Some people are a little afraid of cooking sausages, they feel that they need to be well done and repeated stabbing with a fork mysteriously helps this process. Unfortunately P. was from this school of thought. I watched as good size sausages were reduced to only half their size. Not only did they look like a small serve, all their juices had disappeared. I stopped P. from cooking any more and told him to watch as I cooked one just for him. When it was done, I asked P. to take a bite of one of his sausages, then the one cooked for him. P. didn't over cook or stab another sausage for the rest of the day.
  posted at 8:16 am

At 3:18 am, Blogger Angela said...

I never realized painting could be so tedious....I have never had the priviledge of living somewhere with such classic architecture and history. Maybe someday. I am horrible at cooking sausages, much to my husbands dismay.....I am your average "overcooker" when it comes to sausage and the like. What's your secret?


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