There are 3 of us with birthdays in July, Nanna, Joe and myself. So our celebrations began on the Friday before last. It was a small informal dinner on my verandah with myself and Anne plus Joe and Kate. Anne had offered to cook us anything we fancied but I felt like fish & chips so that is what we had. There is a nearby fish shop that is very good-- called, surprisingly, "Fish Kitchen". It is opposite the Dutton Park bonefarm.
So I ordered 4 battered Barramundi, chips, a Waldorf salad and some coleslaw. Anne said there was something missing from the Waldorf salad -- croutons, I think -- and the coleslaw was the worst I have had. But the fish 'n chips were brilliant. Expertly cooked fish n chips are one of life's great pleasures.
I was aware that the English often have vinegar with their fish n chips so decided to try that myself for the first time, using just white vinegar. I liked it! Somebody may care to advise me whether you put the vinegar on the chips, on the fish or on both. I put it on the fish.
We had a bottle of Tyrrells Verdelho to wash it down.
Then on the Sunday of that weekend, Jill shouted Anne and me a lunch at her place. It is a very nice little villa that Jill has made into a very pleasant environment.
Lewis had learnt of my liking for Tyrrells Verdelho so we had that with the dinner. Jill cooked a very nice meal of seafood and pasta, as she usually does. For dessert we had pancakes. I had mine with maple syrup and icecream.
And Jill carried on a great dinner party tradition that most women observe. She prepared some food which she forgot to bring out -- in the oven as usual. Good old Lewis eventually reminded her however so we got some rather well-done garlic bread with our meal. It was fine by me.
At one stage I congratulated Jill on her crystal salad servers. She had inherited them from her mother. Some people use silver salad servers and Jill has a lot of silver. Silver reacts with the vinegar in the salad and gives you a nice little dose of silver oxide, which can be toxic.
I made a blunder. Having recently become a pancake cook of sorts, I congratulated Jill on how nicely done the pancakes were. It transpired, however, that she had got them from Woolworths!
Anne has recently come back from a cruising holiday and Jill & Lewis seem to cruise half the year away so a lot of the conversation revolved around that. We also talked a bit about politics as we are all conservative. Lewis made the point that Turnbull has been unfairly criticised for his narrow win in the Federal election. As Lewis said, narrow wins are very common in elections, so the result was nothing new. There is even an explanation of why that is so here
Then on the Friday just gone, Jenny cooked up one of the big dinners she does so well -- featuring egg-rolled pork! A great family favorite. It is a Korean regional dish and even Korean restaurants rarely have it. There is quite a story to how we got a recipe for it. And Jenny served a complete Korean feast, with plenty of Kim Chee, Kujeol pan and Japanese ginger. I have never come across Korean ginger but it is bound to be similar to the Japanese product. The two cuisines are very similar.
And for dessert we had chocolate cake, which sparked discussions of chocolate cakes past -- Schwarzwalderkirschentorte and Sachertorte in particular. Jenny very tactfully did not put any candles on the cake
UPDATE: It was a little remiss of me not to say anything about the various birthday greetings I received. This is the age of the internet so I received only two cards, a jokey one from Anne and one from Von. The one from Von was particularly appreciated as she included a DVD of some recent doings of Hannah. Having the littlies growing up far away does mean that I miss much but with modern technology I can still get some substitute for that.
It's not often I acknowledge it but I am basically an old Celtic sentimentalist so that matters to me. I have plenty of Celtic ancestry (Scottish and Irish) so the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as they say.
One can observe daily that the forever unhappy Leftists are wrong in calling Australians racist: The number of Asian ladies on the arms of Caucasian men around the place tells you all you need to know about that. Clearly, neither party is racist.
But perhaps the most remarkable greeting I received was from Moerbisch -- in German, of course. And being from Austria it was sung! Moerbisch is of course the last redoubt of Viennese operetta and, as such, is my artistic lodestar. I buy DVDs of their performances whenever a new one comes out.