Wednesday, March 01, 2017

FIFTY SHADES DARKER...





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. 

Red Velvet Cake with Raspberries and Blueberries: For the cake: Preheat oven to 176C/350F. Grease two 9 inch round baking pans; line with baking paper. Place in fridge. Sift 2-1/4c sifted plain flour into medium bowl. Measure the 2-1/4 cups, then sift flour with 2tbs unsweetened cocoa powder, 1tsp baking soda, 1tsp baking powder and 1/2tsp salt into a large bowl. Combine 1c buttermilk (if you can’t get buttermilk...pour a little vinegar into the milk and let it stand for about 5mins – it will become “buttermilk), 2tbs sour cream, 1tbs red food colouring/cochineal, 2tsp vanilla and 1tsp white vinegar in small bowl. Whisk until smooth. With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 8tbs unsalted, room-temp butter and 1-1/2csugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 4-5mins. Add 2 large, room-temperature eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add the flour mixture in 4 batches, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide batter between the cake pans. Bake 24-29mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool 10mins in the pans; then invert onto wire racks; remove paper; cool completely.  Frosting: With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 3x240g room-temp cream cheese and 12tbs room-temp unsalted butter until blended. Add 5tsp vanilla; beat to blend. Add 3-3/4c icing sugar; slowly mix to blend; then increase speed to medium for 1 minute. Place one cake layer, bottom/flat side up onto a platter or cake stand. Frost top with a generous cup of cream cheese frosting; then top with 1 package/punnet of raspberries and 1/2 package/punnet of blueberries, pressing lightly. Top with second cake layer, domed side up. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Arrange berries decoratively on the top. Store cake covered in fridge (can make the day before – let stand 1 hour before serving). If desired, dust with icing sugar before cutting and serving.



39 comments:

  1. When I think over my past, I'm convinced my middle name should have been embarrassment. So many gaffes, mostly through ignorance or simply blurting out the wrong thing at the wrong time.

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    1. Hey, River! We've all had our moments...that's part of life!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  2. Oh dear me, you poor thing hope you didn't hurt yourself! Easily could have broken a bone.

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    1. No, Margaret...I didn't hurt a thing, not myself nor the floor. As I said, I thought it was funny. Great entertainment for the dinner guests! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  3. Oh yes. I have had my moments. Going base over apex on a pedestrian crossing with my skirt over my head on the way to a job interview was one. My panty-hose were shredded rather than laddered and I fronted up for that interview with a grubby skirt and shirt and blood dribbling down my legs. Got the job though.
    My mouth has got me into strife too. And probably will again.

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    1. Hello there, EC....good to have you back. You were missed. :)

      I reckon we could all write a couple of volumes on our hiccups! lol Glad you got the job!!

      I used my mouth to put a fellow in his place at the afternoon tea party I attended on Sunday last. He felt embarrassed from being duly put in his place, which was my intention. And I wasn't embarrassed one bit! m He didn't speak with me again...which also was my intention! ;)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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    3. Eventually I get it right. Shades of the unpleasant person on the island during the cyclone.

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    4. No...this clown just began to say something derogatory about someone I care about, in the presence and with hearing of others; he was getting wound up to say negative comments about things about which he knows nothing other than echoing false information from those who also don't have a clue, but who don't like the person (the brother of one, who happens to be my
      ex-husband) who was going to be slandered.

      I might not have much, but I do have loyalty for those I care about, and I will stand up for them in their absence when they have no opportunity to defend themselves. I won't stand for it...so the fellow got the message swiftly...shut his mouth and that was that.

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  5. All we need is some background music from Swan Lake to let our imaginations give us the full picture of your flight and undignified landing. Ah, you have sent me into the world of You Tube. Thanks for that. Maybe I will have my revenge tomorrow.

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    1. Hahahaha! Forever more every time you hear the music from "Swan Lake" you will see me flying through the air like the Black Swan, Andrw! lol

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  6. Is there no end to your talents? Somehow I had never imagined that you were once a ballerina performing your dying swan routine for enthralled diners. Funny isn't it that when we are young we can fall over almost on a daily basis without injury but when you fall down when you are older your whole future can be threatened.

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    1. That is so true, Yorkie re the falling down as we get older. That is a fear of mine. I try at all time to be aware. I hate the thought of falling and always careful.

      Now....let me get back to my ballet practice!!!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. You described the event well and once again entertained us. I cannot share my embarrassing moments because most happened in college in a drunken state.

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    1. You won't share them, Annie, because you can't remember them! lol I've a few of those, too...so I'm not telling about mine, either!!! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. The best way to get out of an embarrassing moment is to laugh at yourself. It breaks the ice for everyone and people tend to remember your attitude more so than your gaff.

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    1. When I went upstairs to the bar area to tell my ex what had happened I was laughing so much he thought I'd finally lost it and for a few moments he thought I was crying hysterically, not laughing. I was laughing so much it took me a while to compose myself and tell him the cause of my laughter. It was a funny incident.

      My laughter was promoted more from the reaction of the diners. People and their responses can be so funny.

      Thanks for coming by, Arleen. :)

      Delete
  9. Ha!
    Embarrassing Moments is my middle name:)
    The dessert looks scrumptious.

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    1. How boring life would be without them, Sandra! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  10. AS long as nothing was broken (I mean bones not dishes) all is well. Dignity under duress.

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    1. Nope...nothing got broken...not my pride; nor any plates or glasses. :)

      Thanks for coming by, Delores. :)

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  11. Ooh, the dessert! If only we can get it straight from the monitor. :D

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    1. Hey Lux...perhaps a 3-D printer would do the trick and the cake will be yours! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  12. Embarrassment never happens to me, it is usually others who are embarrassed when I am around....

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    1. Well, Mr. Ad-Man, you've only yourself to blame! You never listen to me! How many times have I told you not to wear those tight, short shorts...and not to wear a striped or spotted shirt when wearing those checkered short shorts???

      Thanks for popping in. :)

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  13. Falling in front of people is just the worst - you handled it well though! Wish I had some of that cake right now!

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    1. Hi Lynn...it was a hilarious moment...no harm done.

      Red Velvet cake is a lovely cake and it's a while since I've made one. The last one I made was for the mother of a friend of mine. And that lady, the mother, will be turning 100 in June and I'll be making a few things for the party planned for her.

      Thanks for coming by. ?)

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  14. TGIF MsLee! (well Happy early Saturday in your case)

    L & R

    Katfish

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    1. Yes...Saturday morning it is...and I'm about to begin reading the paper...as soon as I've made myself a cup of coffee.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  15. Lee, you have the gift of endlessly entertaining people :)

    And I am lusting after some of that red velvet cake ;)

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    1. G'day Keith....my aim is to please! The cake is very tempting, I agree. I might just have to make myself one!! :)

      Thanks for coming by...it's always a pleasure to see you. :)

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  16. love the food!

    http://lucyandtherunaways.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Hi there Natalie...thanks for coming by...I intend dropping in on your blog tomorrow. :)

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  17. I vote for the Lamb Rump Steaks with Red Lentil Salad! Do you deliver?

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    1. I knocked and knocked on your door until my knuckles became raw, Cosmo...so I left and then sat in the park and ate the lamb rump steaks and red lentil salad myself!!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  18. Oddly I don't get embarrassed by such things except when they are being shown for entertainment. A word for you: orthopedology (the art of opening one's mouth and putting one's foot in it.).

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    1. Hey Graham...I wasn't embarrassed by my spontaneous performance that night. I rarely get embarrassed on my own behalf...but often others are an embarrassment...to themselves! :)

      Thanks for the new word...and for coming by. :)

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    2. I realised you were not embarrassed Lee. I meant that as an onlooker I would not have been embarrassed either.

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