Monday, August 31, 2009

Okonomiyaki - Japanese Pancake


Australian Style...

I first ate okonomiyaki
in Osaka, Japan
where it is particularly popular

Okonomi = as you like it
yaki = cooked

is a pan fried dish that consists
of a batter
plus cabbage, octopus, shrimp, pork
and vegetables
whatever you prefer...

really you choose it
as you like it...

sometimes it is served
on a hot griddle
where the curling bonito flakes
waft savoury aromas
to the hungry diner

I have tried a number of times
to replicate okonomiyaki at home
and each time
the resulting pancake
has been like a heavy ring of rubber
and equally as unappetising

so I have improvised...

I need to clear these vegetables
from my market produce
laden fridge

so I slice and nuke the potatoes
for a few minutes

saute the leeks

add some chopped brocolli
and a few mushrooms
that had seen better days
and let them soften

nibble a few wasabi peas
to keep in context

add the shredded silver beet
and allow to wilt

meanwhile whisk 6 eggs
with a teaspoon of dashi stock
and about one tablespoon of water
and one tablespoon of flour

remove the vegetables
from the pan temporarily
oil and line the bottom of the pan
with your potato slices
and return the vegetable medley
pouring over the egg mixture
and season

and sit the pan on low to set
I usually place the pan
under the griller
to complete the last few minutes
of cooking

Have on hand
your Tonkatsu sauce
and mayonnaise

and some shaved bonito flakes

create alternate zigzags
of tonkatsu sauce
and mayonnaise

and sprinkle with bonito flakes



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bird Walk


Bird Walking on Saturday...

It's Saturday
no rush to get up today
not that I am ever
in much of a rush
to do anything these days

I looked over the river
and saw a group of egrets
bunched in a tree
looking rather silly

as they stood
on flimsy branches

I was ready
for my mid morning coffee
but needed a walk
and some fresh air first
and the prospect of seeing birds...

and look who is back in the park
after a two week's absence
on walkabout
the plover parents returned

I didn't want to tell you
that they had gone walkabout
because it was an ominous indication
that all was not well
in the little family

and what do you think she is doing
nesting again?

I will take the car into the park later
and place a stake
at the nest site
if that is what I suspect it is

Oh, the resilience of Nature

the cream grevillea
are flowering

as are all the other varieties
the many nectar feeding birds
in our area

across from the grevillea
the casaurina trees,
She oaks,
grace the river bank
with their delicate sensuous tendrils

and chains of nutty seeds

that are hard and prickly

the skittish magpie lark
or Peewee
is always around the river's edge
where he builds his mud and grass nest
on a horizontal branch
over or near the water

He puddles in the muddy shallows
for insects

the pale pink grevillea cloud
provides food and protection
for a variety of honey eaters
and parrots

their giant stamens
an architectural feat

friendly little Willy Wagtail
I meet most days
hops along the nature strip
swinging his tail
from side to side

and perches on letter boxes,
signs and vehicles
to sing his sweet song

as I approach loud bird song in a tree
I realise that I am not
the only birdwatcher
this morning

I see puddy
and he sees me

The rainbow lorikeets
are quite adept
at hanging upside down
to feast on the grevillea
extracting nectar
with their brush like tongues

the sun catches
their rainbow jackets

and they screech discordant notes
to each other
telling their mate
of their whereabouts

and here comes my Beloved
in his truck
wondering where his mate
had wandered off to
this wonderful morning...


Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Pollen Path

Walking the Pollen Path...

in my
Transformative Moment post
of the meme
so brilliantly organised
by the inspiring Steven
I mentioned the Pollen Path

In Navajo Indian tradition
The Pollen Path
is sacred

The path represents
the source of life,
and the path
to the centre of existence

The Navajo Indians
have a short song
they sing about the Pollen Path
that goes like this:

Oh beauty before me

Oh Beauty behind me

Beauty to my right

Beauty to my left

Beauty above me

Beauty below me

I am on the Pollen path

The images I have used in this post
are some of my favourite
John William Waterhouse,
1849-1917, paintings


Friday, August 28, 2009

A Walk on the Wallum Side


A Walk on the Wallum side
of the National Park...

I walked into the Wallum
on the southern side
of the National Park headland

and was interested to see
what wildflowers were evident now
compared to the last time
I came through

Heathy Parrot Pea
Dillwynia retorta

especially since we have had no rain
for about three months

but the Wallum Banksias
and the Grass trees
still looked green and healthy

except for these ones

- A controlled burn
had taken place a week ago
fearful of fire threats to the community
in this time of extreme fire danger
in my corner of SE Queensland,
the bush had been partially reduced

while the casaurinas
and the banksias were charred
and mainly black

the resilience
of the grass trees,
was quite apparent

and the banksia nuts demonstrated
how they use a fire
to their advantage
to disperse seeds

the wild flowers
on the unburned side of the track

Woollsia pungens stem
pungere = to prick
see the sharp points...

flowered pink

and bright yellow
as if to compensate

Golden Candlestick
Aotus lanigera

we heard a rustle
then all was still...
like a log
the Bearded Dragon sat
blending so well
into his environment

when we moved in closer
he puffed out the loose skin
under his chin
to create a beard


my friend and I
were thrilled to see this creature
as both of us
in over thirty years of walking these tracks
had never seen a Bearded Dragon

Evidently they make good pets...

I drove home from the Wallum
via the beach
and realised
that I have not yet shown you

the long stretch of pristine coast
that is called Sunshine Beach

But that will be another day
and another post...