Old folk at lunch

Saturday, July 26, 2008

An interesting night -- with cheesesteak

I have always been impressed by what I hear about the way Philadelphians are devoted to Cheesesteak sandwiches. Being pretty cheesy myself, I have always thought that they sound yummy. Sadly, however, they are unknown in Australia (to my knowledge) and a trip to Philadelphia is not on my horizon so I had to find another way of getting to try one.

So I gathered together various screeds about them and a couple of videos about how to make them and did my best to get Anne to create one from those sources. I bought the Provolone cheese for starters. Provolone too is little known in Brisbane but fortunately there is a large Italian deli only a few minutes drive from my place so that was easy.

Last night Anne got inspired enough to have a go at making some -- and they were deLISH! In principle they are pretty basic -- good steak sliced or diced, provolone plus onions in a bread roll. But the cook still needs to have talent to get it right -- and Anne did. You would be hard put to get a better meal in a good restaurant.

Later Anne and I were talking about religion and she made some derisive reference to it but I pointed out that she was herself a good Calvinist. As with me, her background is Presbyterian and Presbyterians are the representatives of Calvinsm (predestination) in the English-speaking world. I tried to get her to see that there was some alternative to predestinarian thinking -- such as Lutheran salvation by faith -- but it was uphill. She informed me that she never has got on well with Lutherans anyhow. She definitely has a Presbyterian brain. Fortunately, I am very much at home with that. My mother and aunties were the same.

Anne reminded me of something that had rather passed me by. The Governor of Queensland, Quentin Bryce, who is soon to become Governor General of Australia (both largely ceremonial posts but very prestigious nonetheless), is an active member of Ann St Presbyterian church -- which for both Anne and me is our old church -- and one which we still like to go to occasionally.

Quentin Bryce is a feminist lady in various ways so I had always been pretty dubious about her. Feminists can be pretty nasty. So my opinion of Her Excellency rose enormously when I realized her church affiliation. Ann St is a pretty old-fashioned gospel-oriented church so it is not the church you go to for social show. She would have gone to the Cathedral if that had been her aim. She may have a Presbyterian brain too.

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