|Noosa River, Noosaville|
|Cooked Moreton Bay Bugs and Prawns|
We’ve all experienced excruciating moments at some time or other, haven’t we?
There’s no need to blush! Own up! Fair crack of the whip! Face up to and admit it! Stop shaking your head in denial! I know you’ve been intimately familiar with the rawness of the feeling – of the moment, just as I have been.
Yes, I mean you and you, and you; and also you over there ducking for cover trying to make yourself invisible. Give up - it won’t work! ‘Tis only I who has the power to become invisible!
It would be a rare person, indeed, who has never suffered at the indiscriminate hands of embarrassment; whether you’ve been the involuntary, self-inflicting perpetrator; or been a bystander, an innocent victim at the indiscriminate, desultory words and/or actions of another.
Each of us has suffered - encountered - those unexpected, unrehearsed moments when we’ve unintentionally uttered an utterance at the wrong time in the wrong company; or, instances where we’ve felt embarrassment for another because of their seemingly thoughtless behaviour and/or words. Whether the latter is from their personal lack of self-control or from plain ignorance doesn’t lessen the mortification felt.
The many times we’ve put our own foot (sometimes two feet) in our mouth, or when others clumsily put their big clod hoppers in their mouth, those are the moments when, without compassion, the fifty shades darker – of red; vivid, darker and brighter shades of red – strike with passionate dominance!
One Saturday night in the restaurant my ex and I managed at Gympie Terrace...just down the road a bit from Hilton Terrace,
Noosaville (via Noosa Heads) in the early Eighties, I turned quickly, lost my footing and landed – having managed to display a glimpse of decorum within a spit second - on my butt, while being smothered by my tiered, black corduroy skirt.
Perhaps, that particular unplanned, unexpected trick of mine should have caused me to be embarrassed to the hilt on Hilton, but I wasn’t. Instead, when I noticed the looks on the diners’ faces, my uncontrollable laughter took control, leaving me hopelessly, helplessly hysterical.
Upon witnessing me soaring through the air like the Flying Nun, before I’d even hit the floor our restaurant guests buried their flushed faces in their meals, pretending they’d not seen my surprise performance.
Our disconcerted, abashed diners were embarrassed on my behalf; there was no need for me to turn fifty shades darker...they did it for me!
In the restaurant there were more red faces than on “Hey! Hey It’s Saturday’s segment – ‘Red Faces’”.....
(For my overseas’ readers who are not familiar with “Hey! Hey! It’s Saturday” – it was a once very popular long-running variety programme on Australia television that was shown, as the name denotes, on Saturday evenings).
The reaction of the diners’ was priceless.
I found their response to my rendition of “Swan Lake” to be hilarious. Laughing so much I had no time to be embarrassed.
The restaurant, the "Laguna Belle" didn't cruise on a lake, but it did cruise the Noosa River Friday and Saturday nights; and Sunday lunch/afternoons. The rest of the week we were dockside.
Therefore, I thought a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" was more appropriate than William Byrd's "Pelican Bill".
(The cruising restaurant that once was the "Laguna Belle" no longer exists. We had so much fun, so many good times on "The Belle"...an unforgettable period in my life).
I picked myself up - encumbered by their own embarrassment none of the diners offered to come to my aid - I pulled myself together, straightened my attire, and blissfully continued on as if my performance was part of the night’s entertainment.
We couldn’t afford to hire professional entertainers so, when necessary, I stepped up to the plate - ever ready to please.
As I soared through the air with the greatest of ease leading up to my grand finale of a perfectly-executed thud, Sam & Dave’s “I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down” was probably the background mood music.
The diners couldn’t blame the food for any indigestion suffered. My graceful performance of landing on my rump was enough to cause them to choke on their prawns or Moreton Bay bugs.
I’ve had embarrassing moments in my life, some caused by me; some by others; the incident described above wasn’t one of them.
Lamb Rump Steaks with Red Lentil Salad: Brush 4 lamb rump steaks with olive oil. Cook in pre-heated hot pan on one side until moisture appears; turn; cook other side to degree of doneness; don’t overcook. Remove from heat; cover loosely; allow to rest. For the salad: cook 3/4c red lentils in boiling water for 3-4 minutes to retain texture and colour. Drain and place in cold water. Dice 1 small red capsicum, 1 small yellow capsicum, 3 tomatoes, 1 Lebanese cucumbers, chop ½ bunch parsley, ¼ bunch mint and one red onion; place in bowl; season with 1/2tsp cumin, zest and juice of 1 lemon, pepper and 2tbs olive oil; add drained, cooled lentils; serve with the lamb rumps.
Stilton-Stuffed Rumps: Mash together 150g Stilton/blue cheese, 15g butter, 1tbs cream and 2tbs finely chopped hazelnuts; season. Cut a small incision at each opposite end of 4x180g rump steaks (about 1-inch thick); don’t cut through steaks. Open each pocket in steaks; fill with mixture; secure pockets with toothpicks. Cover and chill 30mins. Gently heat 25g butter in pan; add 2 halved, sliced red onions; cook 4-5mins until soft; add 2 springs fresh thyme leaves, 1tbs soft brown sugar, 200ml red wine, 4tbs balsamic vinegar and 1tbs redcurrant jelly; cook 4-5mins until caramelized; stir occasionally. Heat 2tbs olive oil in pan; season steaks; cook to preference; serve steaks with onion marmalade, jacket spuds and salad.
Moreton Bay Bug & Prawn Pasta: Heat olive oil in large pan; add 3x250g Moreton Bay bugs, halved, in shell and 200g smoky bacon, cut into smallish pieces; season; turn bugs every minute or so; after 4 or so mins, remove bugs from pan; don't over-cook. Add 1kg peeled, de-veined green prawns, 1 long red chilli, chopped and 4 chopped garlic cloves; sauté 2mins, or until prawns just cooked; return bugs to pan with 4 diced tomatoes and a splash of white wine; add cooked pasta and knob of butter; heat through.