Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Geneen Roth

I listened to a great interview with Geneen Roth last night on a podcast on wasn't familiar with Geneen's work or books but she was talking about what happened to her when she fell on hard times...the dire straights she found herself in, lead to a self enquiry which allowed her to make peace with herself. Through discovering a sense of spaciousness the grip of her past 'identity' held no hold on her...from this place she found renewal ...Here's the link to that interview and further down her homepage

 Geneen Roth

Monday, May 17, 2010

Autumn Warmups!!

With winter around the corner in the Land of Oz I've collected some recipes from family and friends to warm the cockles of your heart.

From David Rowland's kitchen, a Blues pioneer of Australian music ..(drummer/Phil Jones & the Unknown Blues) ...(and interestingly enough with one of my own Mum's favourites) - a down to the bone recipe from his kitchen too!

Pea & Ham for the Winter Blues

Get a ham-bone from the butchers and a pack of dried split
peas from the supermarket. Rinse the peas and leave to soak. Put it all in a
pot and cook until tender. Season to taste and enjoy:)

Thanks David.

I've decided to cook it tonight!!!!Can't wait to tell you how it went!! The report is, not as good as Mums!!!

Now for a recipe from my cousin Kerry Thorp! That same cousin who was born in America. I wanted to hang out with that cowboy kid and indeed I did but I never got to wear the suit! Well here's one of that cowboy's  favourite recipes...

..and an abfab piccie of Kerry, his beautiful wife Robyn and their daughter Melissa. Robyn is greatly missed and is journeying on but her smiling generous heart lives on....

Cousin Kerry's Cowboy Soup!

Buy packet fresh soup vegetables with / plus celery, couple lamb shanks or lamb fore quarter chops ( all from supermarket), cup of dried soup mix (lentils/split peas etc), salt, pepper, clove of garlic if you want,tin of tomatoes, cover with water - simmer couple of hours, add handful or two of small noodles - serve when noodles are cooked.

Yet to be tried out...but thanks Kerry!  Enjoy that spa!

Now from the kitchen of another Ozzie, the lovely Gail Malone:

"Smoked Cod Chowder"..

Hi Janice, this is a beautiful soup I made up myself. All amounts approx as I don't measure. To one's own taste, I think is the phrase.

I made this soup up on the spur of the moment...last minute was just something thrown together from ingredients that I had in the herb garden, larder and fridge. So it's quick, easy and delicious. I guess you could substitute another variety of fish, it would work. My Mum purchased me a pack of frozen cod
when she found it at Aldi, as she remembered how much I loved it. When I was a kid on Friday nights in winter, we often had scotch haddock that she gently cooked in milk, we then put lashings of butter on it.....ah
the days before we knew about hardening of the arteries. So this soup evolved from that i.e. cooking the fish in milk and I just extended it. Cheers Gail

Smoked haddock (Aldi has it frozen, 3 pieces), simmered in milk until it can be
flaked. Remove fish, flake. Strain milk and reserve.
1 Onion, chopped and sautéed in olive oil
Add water to onion (approx a 2 litres) and add cubed potatoes (2) and corn
kernels (2 fresh ears or 1 med. tin)
Cook until tender, add flaked haddock (be careful of tiny bones) and reserved
milk, bring just to boil. Remove from heat add cream (1 cup) and a handful of
fresh chopped parsley and season.

If you are a dieter, you can make it on all lite milk....just be careful as the
milk can easily catch and give the soup a smoky taste.

I hope you like this, I made it for a dinner party last week and everyone
adored it.

Still to try it out but can't wait Gail - thank you

p.s.Chef Kerry alerted us to the difference between Smoked Haddock and Smoked Cod! To quote:
'Smoked cod and smoked haddock are different fish - they are NOT the same - one is thicker than the other - I think it's hard to get smoked haddock now - it's all smoked cod - which is also great just cooking it as is on the barbie!!!'

Copyright ingredients for the photos provided by the above cooks...David Rowlands, Kerry Thorp &  Gail Malone!!!

An Interview with Carrie Dique

Jan.s: Carrie, we first met when we lived in the same street in Hunters Hill. It was on a sunny Saturday afternoon and there was a wedding taking place in your front yard and your yard was a buzz with activity….I soon discovered that not only was it the marriage of one of your daughters but that you had a host of  daughters who were the bridesmaids!!

Carrie: We did meet under those circumstances and I found you to be such a breath of fresh air. The next day we met again and went walking to the shops where you told me about yourself. I thought what an open woman this is and you allowed me to expand on my own life.

From that time onwards we discussed many things from our childhoods, our families, our schooling, so on and so forth. In fact we became lovely friends and we had many a chat over either a glass of vino or a hot cuppa with many a home-made biccy.

I met many of your family members as you did mine and we shared many laughs, tears and good times to boot. another important feature was that I was able to discuss many incidents of my daughters' lives both good and bad and knew those chats were confidential.

Jan.s: Your husband and daughters, their husbands and children continued to buzz around with a great enthusiasm for life and both you and your husband, Nigel cooked up a storm!! Carrie, I’d like to begin with what both family, friendships and also travel mean to you!!.

Carrie: Family means the world to me, it is the essence of my life, my daughters, their husbands and their children  all meld into one for me. Hardly a day goes by when I do not hear from one or two of the members. We seem to be a close family, helping each other out whenever it is needed, that doesn't mean we don't have our differences and those differences can be quite hostile at times. But that makes life interesting, volatile and challenging. We can discuss anything from sex to socks and we do at any time of the day or night. It is fun to note that the grandchildren (aged from 20 to 9 months) are always wanting a discussion about anything from university studies to school work, music or sport and I always try to comply.

As human beings we are social animals and I for one love my friends. They mean a lot to me and the diversity allows me to be many people. I have those buddies I discuss sewing, art, golf, men, domestic issues, uni studies, gardening,  so on and so forth.

These differences in discussions with different people allow me to be very fulfilled and also let some women off the hook. One person doesn't  have to listen to all my problems, so I can have different faces for different people. I think that is what happens as we get older, we become more discerning, clear about our ideals and can discuss our goals with others.

We have retired now and still the travel bug is with us. We have just completed an around Australia trip for fifteen months. And that was an amazing journey for me. I found for example a sense of liberation, freedom and a stress free period where I realised that for once in my life I was able to be totally free. This trip allowed us to do as we pleased whenever we felt like it. We were able to meet up with new friends, see new places and experience the great outdoors.

Jan.s:  I’d like now to ask you more about the trip you took to the island of Zakynthos a number of years back with a couple of your friends.

Carrie: The journey to Zakynthos took place because my sister Kay and cousin Lyn, with friend Shirley all travelled to Greece and Italy. In particular Italy to find our ancestors' villages in the North of Italy near Turino. We found those villages of our great grandparents just beside the French Alps. That was a wonderful emotional experience.

Jan.s:  Tell me a little more about the villages of your ancestors.  Also about your grandparents.

Carrie:  Oh the villages of my grandparents and what they were like. Well the villages are called Envie and Revello at the base of the French Alps bordering France and Italy. the villages are fifteen minutes apart and they used to walk the distance to visit each other. I think the industry they worked in were the olive trees.
Those villages today have buildings that were there when they lived there -- in fact the church they were married in has their records of birth baptism and marriage, quite amazing and wonderful to see. My sister and I were enthralled to see it all as it gave us a sense of belonging -- very important to our psychology of well being and identity.

The funny thing is that in 1970 they were 21 years of age and decided to leave Italy for Australia, for a better life.  They travelled by horse and cart over the mountains and then on to Scotland where they boarded a boat to Australia. So you see my ancestors have been here for quite a long time.

After arriving here with one child, (my grandfather Pedro or Peter aged 2 years) they were granted land in Queensland near Cairns where they started a cane farm. They had many other children who in turn owned and ran cane farms in Queensland.

Jan.s:  So after your trip to Italy you went onto Greece?

Carrie: We then travelled to Greece to visit another friend who lives close to Zakynthos where we met your friend, Janice and now mine, Bobbi Marchini. She welcomed us with open arms to her beautiful resort and olive grove. She was thrilled to meet us. We reminisced about the 60's and listened to music from those times sung by yourself and her. Once again an emotional time for us all.

Zakynthos is a beautiful island off the coast of Greece where many visitors from all over the world visit and enjoy what it has to offer and that is everything Greek. Just wonderful.

Jan.s:  Carrie, I know you've done many other journeys since then and I'd love to hear more about them. Thank you for sharing  with us!!

Top photo: Courtesy of Carrie Dique
Photos of Villa Christina courtesy of Christina Riganelli

Thursday, May 13, 2010

An Interview with Jack Clift

Jan.s: Jack...I'm listening to your solo tracks as I write. Your music has an edge, which is stark with flashes of fire, and it pushes many boundaries.

Within an American context it rekindles in me some of the earlier musical forays made by musicians like Gram Parsons and Buffalo Springfield. Then there are your poetic musings containing both domestic and spacious universal landscapes....

Would you tell us about where and how you began playing...

Jack: Geography played a significant role in the development of my musical tastes and aspirations. Oklahoma City was a wonderful musical crossroads in my childhood.

My Kentucky born Grandfather, C.W.Clift, had albums by Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, which touched me quite early. My Great Grandmother gave my brother and I Ray Charles’ albums, Modern Sounds In Country Music volumes 1 and 2, which reflected the cross-cultural influences of the era. But more importantly, radio station WKY was the most popular regional entity on the airwaves and it was completely colour-blind. Sam Cooke could be played back to back with the Beach Boys; George Jones next to The Beatles. All of this sprinkled with a good dose of local records provided the listeners with a very diverse palette and gave us a unique lack of boundaries. This was rich soil for the quantum leap of the Psychedelic Era. We had simply never been instilled with any sort of musical prejudice and stylistic mixtures and hybrids seemed not only acceptable, but quite natural.

When I was eight years old and saw the Everly Brothers live my fate was sealed: I knew what I wanted to do.

You are quite correct in your mention of Gram Parsons. He is a major influence. Most all of my original recorded catalog can be heard on

Jan.s:  Jack, I appreciate you taking the time to share this part of your journey with us.

Jack: Thanks so much for your interest.

nb: top photo:  Jack Clift, Dr. Ralph Stanley, John Carter Cash, James Shelton, Ralph's guitarist and road manager.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Autumn Tones

It's moved past being an Autumnal Blue Mountains day to being one on the verge of snowing....but in these here hills, snow is instead it's listening to Alison Krauss and her beautiful vocals of country music and imagining the woods where the snowfall is deep.

Now with winter on its way here in Australia it's time to find hearty recipes for warming the cockles of one's heart...and bringing into being ways to keep the chills I hope to soon be sharing with you some of my friends hearty winter soup recipes!!!  Also their photos from places where Spring is in the air and Summer on its way!! 

So from these hills until then I send you wintry but warm greetings....and the little boat of the Seven Lucky Gods of Japan with Benten playing the Biwa....this beautiful boat has been sailing with me since I was a child thanks to one of my brothers....