How to Eat Meat Pies at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat

Friday Food Challenge  Australia Trip #8

Aussie Meat Pies

Mrs. ET and I headed across the plains of Victoria from Melbourne, AU to Ballarat by train. Seventy-five minutes later, we coasted into the station surveying the historic town of Ballarat. Her niece and sister-in-law picked us up and the adventures began.

Aussie Meat Pies

The main interest was Sovereign Hill. Replicating the Australian Gold Rush in the 1850s, reenactors peppered Sovereign Hill with authenticity. There were miners, majors, mothers, and bakers making meat pies.

Aussie meat pie“Have you ever had a meat pie?” Carol asked.

“Of course,” I answered like an Aussie know-it-all.

Only I did not know that the Aussie definition of a meat pie was so different than an American Meat Pie.

Carol could not wait to get her hands on an authentic Sovereign sausage roll, and told me I had to eat a meat pie or my life would not be complete.

“Where are the carrots, peas, and potatoes?”

“What part of meat pie didn’t you get, Marsha?”

“This looks like hamburger, not roast beef.”

“It’s minced meat pie. Try it.”

Remembering back to Christmas more than 50 years ago, I recalled my great-grandmother’s minced meat pie. It was a sweet spicy pie filled with chewy brown stuff called “mincemeat.” I did not think I wanted to try that again.

“Is it beef?”

“Yes, but minced meat can be beef, turkey, pork or any meat. It’s minced MEAT, Marsha.” (They sure are dense in the US, I could hear her thinking.)

I explained about mincemeat as best as my 60-year old memory of it would allow.

“It’s meat, Marsha. It’s not sweet.” Carol urged.

Aussie Meat Pie
Aussie Meat Pie

I gave in. I opened it and sure enough, it looked like hamburger.

“You’re not supposed to open it,” Carol admonished me sternly. “Put the top back on and put tomato sauce on it.”

“It’s too hot. I’ll burn my mouth!”

Oh no, I thought, catsup. Now it sounds like Mom’s meatloaf. That was awful! I can’t do this. What am I going to do now?

“You’re ruining it!” Carol said. “You’ve got to put tomato sauce on it!” She sounded frantic for me to do it right to get the full effect of the Aussie meat pie. I was frantic, too.

“Carol, I can’t put catsup on the top. How am I going to eat it? I’ll have catsup all over my hands and face and who knows what else.”

Carol was disgusted with me. I could tell by her sigh. “It’s not catsup. It’s tomato sauce anyway. You’re not doing it the Aussie (pronounced AUZZY) way. But go ahead JUST TRY IT!”

Gingerly I took a bite without catsup. It was different. I could not identify the flavor, though. Basically, it tasted somewhat like hamburger. The pie crust was flaky. The meat was meaty. I was hungry. The whole thing was gone in five minutes.

Thank you, Carol, Kate, Mandy, and Paul for such wonderful day at Sovereign Hill. I’ll have more to share about our amazing experiences in later posts.

Remembering Ballarat at Home

When I got home, I thought I would make some Aussie meat pies for Vince. I made my own pie crust, which was a mistake because I did not have eggs, and I like eggs and vinegar in my pie crust.

Rolling it out I soon realized that I did not make enough pie crust for two pies. I made another crust. Piecing it all together, I pinched it around the top and thought it looked good OK.

For the meat filling, I followed the recipe below – sort of.

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/8984/aussie+meat+pies

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 3/4 cup Campbell’s Real Stock Beef
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Vegemite
  • 2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten

Since I did not have real stock beef, I used brown gravy mix. I did not use enough water. Also, I was missing Vegemite. OH WELL! Carol gave me some of that on a piece of bread at her house. It’s nutritious.

Proudly I baked the pies. Neither Vince nor I remembered to take a before picture. Vince asked about catsup to put on top.

“What’s the date on that bottle of catsup?” Vince asked as I retrieved the nearly empty bottle from the refrigerator.

“Um, January 2013. It’s fine.”

He did not use catsup either.

Here is Vince’s meat pie after picture.

meat pie
Marsha’s version of meat pie

I am not sure whether or not he liked it. Maybe if I had put vegemite in it.

It’s been in the refrigerator several days now. Carol would not let things like this go to waste. She was a fabulous cook and so efficient. I don’t think Carol would ever substitute things in a recipe. I wonder if I will ever learn?

Have you ever experimented before, and been a little sorry about the results?

Related Posts on Australia

Upcoming Food Blogger Conference

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2017 International Food Blogger Conference in Sacramento

2017 International Food Blogger Conference in Sacramento 

 

Fun Flying from Melbourne to Toowoomba

Fun Foto Big and SmallTuesdays of Texture #loveMelbourne #loveToowoomba #loveAustralia

Australia Travel Series #3

Window Seat Carol’s Sacrifice

Mrs. ET and I flew from Melbourne to Toowoomba on Australia’s Air North. She suggested that I take the window seat. It was a short trip. I would not have to crawl over anyone during the duration. I thanked her, sat down, and buckled up as instructed. As we taxied, I watched the shadow of the plane.

flying high
The plane on the ground created a large shadow

The shadow did not stay large very long!

I do not like to kill birds, but I am proverbially killing two birds with one stone because there are two photo challenges I can do at once with these photos. And I love photo challenges.

In addition to size changes, there are several visible textures. The smooth metal plane, hard concrete, soft green grass, and prickly brown stubbles create a Tuesdays of Texture treat.

flying high
Barely off the ground

But we kept looking. Textures are mellowing out as the shadow continues. The landing gear is still visible, but not for long.

flying-high-in-2017103

Seconds after take-off, the landing gear clicked into place and our shadow streamlined away from the Tullamarine Airport (Melbourne to me). Carol shared that we would be flying into the new Brisbane-West Wellcamp Airport. The airport is located in Toowoomba, Queensland a city of about 120,000.

flying high
Can you still see it?

The plane crossed the highway below the dark rectangle (a parking lot in the middle of farmland???) That represents another change of texture.

The Story of the Brisbane-West Wellcamp Airport

The city of Toowoomba, Queensland has a new privately built airport. The airport is inappropriately named Brisbane-West Wellcamp. Wellcamp had a population of 302 in 2011. Not 302,000, just 302. Brisbane, with a population of 2 million is a two-hour drive from Toowoomba.

This distance might create a problem for bargain hunter travelers who do not know the area. Unknowing travelers might think that would be an alternative airport to Brisbane International find themselves a little farther out-of-town than they planned.

The joke at the time of naming the airport was, “Why not name it Cairns South?” Cairns is a large town north of Toowoomba in the state of Queensland. Never mind that it is an 18 hours drive from Toowoomba. Or maybe they should call the airport Perth-East, a mere 44-hour drive.

Who knows the minds of governments or airport namers?

I hope you enjoyed the shadowy flight of our ride into Brisbane-West Wellcamp.

To see more Fun Fotos or to take part in the Challenge click here.

CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.
CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.

For those who prefer Textures, try this link. This my first time to participate in the texture party.

Photo Challenges Help Bloggers

  1. Photo Challenges Online
  2. Better Blogging with Photography
  3. Australian Gold Rush Australia Travel Series #1
  4. Melbourne’s Walk in the Park Tour: Treasury Gardens  #2

     

How to Travel Like a Pro

Since when did travel get odd?

  1. Don’t forget essentials. Your bed, an extra blanket, and a couple of toys.

Cee's OddBall Challenge105

2. Double check to make sure that your humans did not forget anything important.

Cee's OddBall Challenge106

“Rarrrrrf?”

“Your food is already in the car, Puppy Girl. Don’t worry.”

Rrrrrr, rarrrf?

“Yes, your water is there, too.

“Rrrrrrrrrrrrrarf?

“You just can’t see it. Your leash is in your bed. Now go get in the car.”

Rarrf.

What are your travel hints?

Cee's OddBall

If you liked this post, PLEASE share it with your friends.

This post has all the clickable links to get back to Cee and see other odd pictures or enter for yourself.

In case you missed them, click here.

Wo Hing Chinese Museum and Taoist Temple in Maui, HI

Americans constructing the continental railroad, in the United States and creating sugar plantations in Hawaii discovered the value of the hard-working Chinese in the mid 1800s. As the Qing dynasty began its long decline in China, men immigrated to Hawaii without their families to build many of the infrastructures we still enjoy today. On Maui they made the Lahaina sea wall, tunnels through the mountains, the Road to Hana, and the irrigation  systems for the sugar plantations.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x2448-004Chinatown in Lahaina began as single story stores and homes on Front Street. Single men needed places to stay and congregate. Beginning in 1909 the Wo Hing Society began to collect funds to erect a building that would house the Chinese Social Club and provided a place for worship and festivities. This is one of only two social houses that survived in Hawaii.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x3264Wo Hing, the society’s name written around the door, means peace and prosperity.  The Wo Hing Society Hall opened around 1912 and remained active into the 1940s. When the Chinese population in Lahaina moved to Honolulu to find work during World War II, the Wo Hing Temple and Club House fell into disrepair. Restored in 1983 by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, today it stands impressively restored on Front Street.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x2448-005There were several displays and a gift shop on the first floor. Carol visited with the on-duty docent, and has interesting stories about her. The age of the money encased glass box for public viewing surprised both Vince and Carol. Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 3264x2448-009One source stated that the Chinese originally called paper money “flying money. … Paper money came into use in the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) as a larger denomination of currency to replace the bulky ‘bolt of silk’.”  Colorful Chinese paper money, though easier to carry than currency, had to be replaced or exchanged within three years.  By the late 1200s, at the end of the Song dynasty, paper money became preferred to coins.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 3264x2448-010The square hole in the center of the round Chinese coins had spiritual and practical value as well. Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 3264x2448-011A source stated the round shape symbolized heaven or the universe, while the square represented earth or China, which was the center of the universe.

(TianDi)

The holes allowed the bronze caster to line up the coins and scrape off the metal flashing around the edges. It also enabled consumers to string their money to carry it easily.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x3264-002Personally, I love both jade and dogs, so I headed right for these statues.  This pup is not nearly as cute as Puppy Girl, but these fierce-looking animals were guardian lions, not dogs. Westerners called them Lion dogs or Foo dogs. That is not to be confused with “foo foo” like Vince calls Puppy Girl after I spray “foo foo” smells on her after her bath.  This male Lion Dog guards his embroidery ball with his foot.  Trust me, I didn’t try to take his toy away from him.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x2448-001Just outside the door was the cookhouse. The cook probably had to prepare meals for a crowd, and he had a special building to work in. This practice curbed the fire danger to the main structure. Now the museum uses the cookhouse to show visitors films of Hawaii that were taken by Thomas Edison starting in 1898. Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 3264x2448-008This early film show intrigued me for several reasons. First of all the fact that it was made in 1898 and was still preserved amazed me. Additionally, the subjects of the different films fascinated me. In one short clip we saw native Hawaiians rushing around in huge amounts of clothing. We learned at the Baldwin House that Mrs. Baldwin had taught the women to sew. These women must have loved their new skill.

I enjoyed watching “cowboys” moving the  cattle on and off the island. Men and cows both struggled as the cowboys pulled each animal into the water leading the with a rope around their necks. It looked and sounded impossible, but that technique must have been easier than loading five or six bulls onto small row boats and pushing the tons of objecting bulls into the water. I guess the cattle had to swim beside the small boats. I did not think the film would last as long as it did, so I started filming it. Then I got tired of focusing on the film and let my camera roam around the kitchen. I stopped just before the cattle loading started, so you’ll have to visit the museum to see it. I don’t think I’m ready for the big screen.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x2448-013Upstairs we saw the Taoist Temple replete with incense and fresh sacrifices of fruit and water.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x2448-012The temple area had few decorations or furniture.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x2448-014We visited a Taoist temple in Hanford, CA, and this looked much sparser and lighter.

Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x2448-011You will learn more about our visit to the Wo Hing Chinese Museum from my Australian blogging friend, Carol, the Eternal Traveler when she and her friend Justin Beaver start writing about their Hawaiian travels. For now you can enjoy the trip she and her husband took around the perimeter of Australia.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x2448-006If you go to Maui, be sure to get a Passport to the Past for about $10, and that will get you into four museums. We only made it to two this trip, but we kept our cards, and hope to get to the next two museum next time.Hawaii 2016 Taoist Temple 2448x2448-019I don’t want to beat my own drum, but I hope you enjoyed this short visit to the Chinese Wo Hing Museum.

POKE Tacos and the Need for a Strong Vocabulary

All six of us were hungry for hamburgers and Hula Pie, but we had an hour wait just to sit down at Hula Grill – the informal side with chairs and tables in the sand. I made an executive decision and checked the adjoining restaurant. That side served Hula Pie and is run by the same company. The last time we ate there it was delicious and elegant.

Poke Ahi Tuna Experience
Poke Ahi Tuna Experience

The beadboard wall featured an elegant Hawaiian wall hanging quilt. Some of the tables have white tablecloths. Ours had placemats. I looked at the menu; nothing looked totally definable, and the prices were fairly elegant as well.

Ever since I heard the silly guinea pig travelers, the Roadents, arguing about getting fish tacos at the Beef Barn, I order fish tacos almost every time we travel somewhere.

It’s festive somehow. The fish tacos tasted great at Lalanis across the mall from Hula Grill.

Hula Grill Hawaii 9

Hula Grill, the informal side, also has amazing fish tacos. I found the perfect solution at the expensive Hula Grill side – Poke Ahi tuna tacos. I was somewhat irritated at myself for not reading carefully enough to notice that there was a wasabi drizzle on top, but I figured I could cope with a little spice or scrape it off. Hula Grill, the informal side, has spicy salsa so tasty that I purchased some for gifts last time I came here. So I was prepared to experiment.

Poke Ahi Tuna Experience
Poke Ahi Tuna Experience

When the tacos arrived, the red stuff inside concerned me somewhat, but I figured they added peppers or some vegetable. I bit into it. The first thing I noticed was that even though it tasted like fish, the whole thing felt cold and somewhat squishy. I jolted, and probably made a face.

“Is this raw?” I asked my husband.

“Yes, it was in the raw section of the menu,” he answered. He probably thought, “Didn’t you notice that enormous printing in the heading?”

“But there were other things in that section that weren’t raw,” Darrel added kindly.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” I said.

“It wasn’t what I expected,” Carol said backing me up.

Poke Ahi Tuna Experience
Poke Ahi Tuna Experience      I’m done now.

I asked for a box, and ate the guacamole. I told the waiter I would go home and cook it. Glen suggested that it might have microbes. Connie made a funny face. She hates microbes.

I waited for Hula Pie.

Poke Ahi Tuna Experience
Poke Ahi Tuna Experience

V told me to leave the boxed microbes behind when we left Hula Grill.

Moral of the story: If you don’t know the meaning of the word on the menu, think twice before you order it, or possibly Google the word to make sure it doesn’t mean “raw fish.” 🙂

 

 

Considering Your Costume Choices?

People enjoy Evengeline’s Costume Mansion in Sacramento year round, but I’d bet it’s packed today, the day before Halloween.  You might be planning to wear a sexy costume like the mannequin pictured here.

The new Marsha ???
The new Marsha ???  I photoshopped her arm joint seams, but she still looks rather … dead.

My husband, Einstein’s look-alike, wants to dress as Father Guido Sarducci. Good choice for him, don’t you think?

Father-Guido

People don costumes for many reasons year-long, and sometimes we copy them for Halloween. Here are a few costumes I’ve seen in my travels. In Hawaii we accidentally toured a park during a religious building dedication. Participants in the ceremony wore native costumes. Native dress for the men included tattoos.

I got a little shaky taking this picture. hahaha I had my zoom extended out to 270 mm, and I was in too much of a hurry! hahaha
~~~~ I got a little shaky taking this picture. I had my zoom extended out to 270 mm.  You would have shaken too!

The girls that sang had their costumes wrapped around them.  It reminded me of a church play, where the church costume designer didn’t really go all out with the costumes, but the cute factor was still there.

The women didn't get as into the total costume as the young man did. Does it look like he's glaring at me?
The women didn’t get as into the total costume as the young man did. Does it look like he’s glaring at me?  It was a very solemn ceremony.

Performers wear costumes on stage year-round, not just for Halloween.  Trick or treaters may buy costumes like these , but nothing matches the storytelling, grace and beauty of the Hawaiian dancer.

Luau Kalamaku in Kauai

Mexican folklorico dancers wear colorful dresses with circular ruffled skirts which they swing and raise to show off their legs as they do tap dance-like percussive steps called zapateados.

2013 CCSS Folklorico Dancers

Different street dancers in wide assortments of costumes entertain daily passersby in large cities like these we saw in San Francisco.  Dancers from Thailand depict combat with short and long sticks. Agile dancers, as short stick fighters do, stay close to their opponents. The teut-teung drum keeps the beat during the energetic dance.

SF Thai Dancer229

Do you have your costume picked out for tomorrow? Hope you have a Happy Halloween and don’t get too scared!

Twinkle

The six million dollar photo that sold recently captured the perfect twinkle of light and processed it beautifully. These are my $1.00 twinkles taken with my iPhone last year at the NCSS Conference in St. Louis and their different processes.

Twinkle1

First I cropped it to help it adhere to the thirds rule.

Stylized with Glowing Edges
Stylized with Glowing Edges

Then I added filters.   I thought this one was pretty cool because it took it from real and somewhat blurry to on-purpose blurry with some sharp edges.

Filter:  Stylized - Solarized
Filter: Stylized – Solarized

I solarized Twinkle 3, and I like the rainbow of colors.

Distortion:  Glass
Distortion: Glass

Twinkle 4 reminds me of driving through St. Louis with my dad when

rain pelted the windshield unfettered by wipers.  I’m not sure why we lived through that ride.

I actually thought they turned out well considering the beginning photo.  Mr. Snowman, however, reflects my best camera’s capabilities (before I dropped it) – and mine too, for that matter.

SFW Christmas 2012004RT

Mr. Snowman posed beautifully on our tree last year.  Here he poses pretending he is outside in the snow instead of our cozy cottage.  He came back shivering, though.

Filter:  Stylize:  Find Edges
Filter: Stylize: Find Edges

He tried on the Glowing Edges next, and liked the look when he preened in the mirror, and asked for one more make-over.

Fliter: Stylized: Glowing Edges
Fliter: Stylized: Glowing Edges

I threw him into the texturizer, and he came out immortalized as a stained glass window.

Texture: Stained Glass
Texture: Stained Glass

With a twinkle in his eye he asked me to find out from you which of his pictures you like best.  🙂  I’ll be sure to tell him.  He’s got his eye on me from the tree in the living room.  🙂  He thinks he’d make a good Christmas card.  What do you think?  🙂

For more great Twinkle pictures click the icon below

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Hawaii with Elane

IMG_3560RI just got home after two wonderful weeks in Hawaii.  Vince and I stayed the first week and listened to the timeshare “blah blah,” and took quite a few side trips with a friend of ours.

Driving south on Maui Highway 30.
Driving south on Maui Highway 30.

But Vince only likes to be away from home for a little bit, so the second week my friend Elane joined me.

I still really do have hair.  The pre-hurricane wind blew hard!
I still really do have hair. The pre-hurricane wind blew hard!

She is amazing at any age, but she nears 80 with grace and enthusiasm.

NY high school theatre-arts classes still in effect!  :)
NY high school theatre-arts classes still in effect! 🙂

Sadly, no theatre classes in my past.  I was way too shy!  🙂

Everyone looks better at the beach!  :)
Everyone looks better at the beach! 🙂

Here is a link to the book I made her.

Click here to view.

I hope you enjoy it as well.

Travel Theme: Twist: Twisted Fourth of July

Setting up for an all city celebration traps workers into all kinds of twists and turns.

Twisted flagsUnfurling flags took hours.

Twisted3

Some workers didn’t stop until they saw stars!

Twisted2

Hope you had a memorable 4th!  Tell me about it!  🙂