Iodine deficiency

Iodine deficiency
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Iodine deficiency

Hello Friends,

Brisbane

I missed blogging last week because I went to Brisbane to visit my daughters and parents. I had a fantastic time. It rained heavily the entire weekend. I love heavy rain and I love driving in heavy rain. It reminded me of driving from Darwin to Katherine once with a colleague. It was February and the Monsoon was upon us. I could barely see what was in front of me and bear in mind this was the time of unrestricted driving, meaning, no speed limit. My colleague asked if I could see the road because he couldn’t. I replied, “No, but I can feel the road.” He elected not to join me for the return drive and decided to hire a car at his own expense for the return journey the next day.

I bet you’re wondering how I went with my weight loss dream while in Brisbane and visiting my family. Gee, I ate well. But I ate sensibly, well, in my opinion, I ate sensibly.

Weekend food highlights

I flew up on Friday evening and decided to only eat the chicken in the chicken curry that was served as a meal on my flight. I left the rice behind.

Chicken curry

iodine deficiency

🐓 Sorry for the crappy photo

On Saturday morning, I took Ms22 and Ms20 to breakfast to Cafe 63 in Chermside and enjoyed a big hearty breakfast of pork sausages, BBQ pork belly, bacon, beef, hash brown (I ate one of two), scrambled eggs, and a grilled tomato. I left the toast behind.

Cafe 63 big breakfast

iodine deficiency
BBQ pork belly, bacon, beef burger, pork sausage, hash browns and eggs

At lunchtime on Saturday, Ms20, Miss16 and I went to the Sandgate Fishmonger and I had a piece of grilled cod along with one of two crumbed squid tentacles.

Sandgate Fishmonger grilled cod

iodine deficiency
Grilled cod 🐟

For dinner, I took my parents along with Ms22 and Ms20 to Motto Motto in Chermside. It’s an interesting Japanese restaurant. Sort of fast food, order at the counter, speedy food service, eat and leave. I had a bowl of seared salmon, avocado, green salad leaves and Teriyaki sauce. I also had a side of two soft shelled crabs. I also managed to snag a piece of karaage chicken, a Teriyaki chicken wing and a pork gyoza dumpling.

Motto Motto seared salmon and avocado with soft shelled crabs

iodine deficiency
Seared salmon and avocado and salad
iodine deficiency
Seared salmon and avocado and salad

iodine deficiency

After dinner, Dad treated us all to a gelato. This is the first gelato or ice cream I’ve had in months. Gee, it tasted good. I licked that vanilla creaminess like to was the most important thing in my life.

Gelato

iodine deficiency
Vanilla gelato

On Sunday, I was able to enjoy breakfast with Ms22, Ms20, and Miss16. We went to Hermosa in Chermside. I constructed my breakfast by asking for bacon, poached eggs, wilted spinach and avocado. The avocado was coated with seeds and crushed nuts and was really very nice.

iodine deficiency
Poached eggs, bacon, avocado and wilted spinach

All in all, I ate well on the weekend. When I weighed in on Monday morning I wasn’t shattered with the result.

See for yourself in the chart below.

Weight chart

iodine deficiency

Canberra is continuing to crush salmonella but not in a good way

iodine deficiency

Iodine deficiency

On Tuesday night I attended a monthly meeting of medical officers who work in the Australian Government Department of Health. Our guest speaker was Prof. Creswell Eastman, AM. Prof. Eastman is a legend. He is best known for a lifetime of work on iodine deficiency and the role iodine plays in a person’s intellectual development. He’s shown time and again the problems of iodine deficiency not only in Australia but also in China including Tibet.

Check out my Twitter feed.

Click on the tweet and you should be able to follow the lecture from my Tweets.

I learned that in China, Prof. Eastman assisted the people by igniting the government into making a humungous change and iodise the salt which rapidly raised the intelligence quotient of millions of Chinese people living in remote and rural settings. Reducing iodine deficiency is the key.

I also learnt that at the time, Tibet became an unintended control group. There were villages in Tibet where the majority of people had goitres, cretinism still occurred and in addition to intellectual retardation, growth retardation also occurred. Prof. Eastman went in and assisted the locals by introducing iodised oil. The effect was dramatic by reducing iodine deficiency.

What Prof. Eastman also revealed was the population problems in terms of poor intellectual development in Australia. His collaborators used the much-maligned NAPLAN process to compare intellectual development in Australian children.  His group discovered that some time ago the Australian dairy industry made a decision to change milk vat disinfection from iodophors to chlorine without telling anyone. This had the effect of reducing the available iodine in dairy products. Iodine is inimical to bacterial growth so it was a fabulous disinfectant.

In addition, there has been a general move to reduce salt intake and to not add salt to food. While there is nothing wrong with that, instead of buying and using good old-fashioned iodised cooking salt people started following cooking fads and started to buy sea salt and rock salt and sadly Himalayan rock salt. I say sadly because that Himalayan salt, according to Prof. Eastman is murky and dirty looking because of the presence of noxious trace metals that don’t do anything positive for our health. The bottom line was that the little added salt people did use was not iodised and possibly had harmful effects.

Iodised salt is used in bread but with so many people eschewing bread because they believe they have a gluten intolerance (rather than having fair dinkum cœliac disease, this had led to a further reduction in iodine in our diets.

Prof. Eastman’s advice is that pregnant women in Australia should supplement their diets as soon after conception as possible with iodine. The risk of not doing this is having a child who may be a slow learner and all the consequences of that.

If you want a salty recipe you can use iodised salt for, check out this great looking pork crackling on Yummy Lummy.

Thanksgiving

Should Australia celebrate Thanksgiving?

When you look up Wikipedia and search for Thanksgiving it’s a revelation to see just how widespread thanksgiving celebration is.

While I know a lot of Australians resent following Americana on everything I wonder if we should spread the message that Thanksgiving could also be an Australian holiday but for different reasons when compared with our American friends. If we did it correctly we could do something to ameliorate the angst associated with Australia Day and the concerns expressed by Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who consider 26 January to be what they regard as “invasion day”, that is the day the British arrived and began colonising Australia. I think we should still mark Australia Day (26 January) as an important day but we wouldn’t need a public holiday. We could transfer the public holiday to Thanksgiving which could be celebrated on another day. Thanksgiving could be a day to celebrate reconciliation.

Here is where I reckon we should look at the American tradition and use a specific day of the week, e.g, the third Friday of January every year. This way the public holiday isn’t ‘wasted’ on a Saturday or Sunday and we get a long weekend. Another possible day would be the second Tuesday of November so while the Victorians are having fun getting pissed at a horse race, the rest of Australia could enjoy some nice seafood and a mixed grill on the barbie followed by a pavlova. Morning tea could be filled with vanilla slices (bloody Victorians call them snot blocks) and lamingtons. After lunch, people would have time without affecting the national productivity to watch the horserace and waste the arvo drinking grog so by dinner time they can sober up and get ready for work the next day.

When Australia becomes a republic I want to run for President on a platform a long weekend every month.

I did not know that Thanksgiving is celebrated on Norfolk Island.

What do you reckon? Should we celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia?

Black and white

So if you’re on Facebook and/or Instagram you’ll have probably seen if not participated in the black and white challenge. It’s been fun shooting a photograph every day editing it to black and white and then posting it to Instagram and then out to Facebook and Twitter.

I wouldn’t say these photographs are any good but it was fun. The idea is not to include people you know and you don’t provide any explanation as to why you shot the photograph.

This is a gallery. Click on one photograph and then scroll through each image.

This week on the Medical Fun Facts Podcast

This week I talk about scabies. The show will drop on Monday night at 7 pm Canberra time. I’m trying something different. Rather than a ‘fake video’ I’ve produced an Apple Keynote slideshow with a voiceover. This will be available on YouTube (also on Monday night at 7 pm Canberra time).

YouTube thumbnail for Monday’s show

iodine deficiency

Have you ever experienced stalled weight loss?

Weight chart at Sunday 12 November 2017. Stalled weight loss. Gary Lum.

Have you ever experienced stalled weight loss?

So I’ve experienced stalled weight loss. I started trying to lose weight at the beginning of October by eliminating bread, rice and pasta from my diet. I also stopped milk in my coffee and haven’t added sugar to anything except for the occasional sauce like the Sichuan Teriyaki dipping sauce from last week. I haven’t changed my intake of vegetables or fruit, except that I haven’t been eating potatoes. It’s been great enjoying mangoes and avocados.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve experienced stalled weight loss and haven’t been able to continue the steady decline that I had been enjoying. I know that so-called experts say daily weighing is not useful but I have an obsessive personality so I like to measure my mass, blood pressure and pulse rate. I managed to breach 83 kilograms last week and I’ve touched 83.0 kilograms twice. I need to get below that and keep going.

Photograph of weight chart up today

Weight chart at Sunday 12 November 2017. Stalled weight loss. Gary Lum.
Weight chart on Sunday 12 November 2017

The answer is obviously to keep avoiding sugar and other carbohydrates but I also need to reduce the portion sizes. one of my downfalls is my love of nuts. Yesterday, I went to see Thor: Ragnarok at the local Hoyts cinema. I booked a seat in the theatre with an extreme screen and reclining seats. I knew I’d want a snack. To avoid choc tops and popcorn, I bought a bag of salted Queensland nuts. I love Queensland nuts. I’ve been eating almonds and Queensland nuts over the last couple of weeks and it’s been difficult to only eat a small number because they are so moreish.

Thor: Ragnarok (with spoilers)

What a fun movie that was. It was really very funny and much more casual than previous Thor and Avenger movies. It was also good to see Thor get a haircut.

It was nice to hear Australian and New Zealand accents throughout the movie.

Photograph from inside the cinema

Nope, I wouldn’t breach the copyright 😂

Hoyts Thor Cinema 5. What a great movie! Stalled weight loss. Gary Lum
Hoyts Thor Cinema 5. What a great movie!

2 Yummy Super Tasty Boneless Duck

After the movie, I walked over to 2 Yummy and got myself some Super Tasty Boneless Duck which is on the Chef’s specials list. The duck from 2 Yummy is really nice. I brought the duck back to the flat and stir-fried some coleslaw with butter and added a little cream to finish it off. The combination was indeed super tasty. Read my review of 2 Yummy.

Photograph of duck and stir-fried coleslaw

2 Yummy super tasty boneless duck with stir-fried creamy coleslaw. Stalled weight loss. Gary Lum.
2 Yummy super tasty boneless duck with stir-fried creamy coleslaw.

Photographs from this last week

Click on one of the photographs and then please scroll through the gallery. You can also read the comments.

You can probably see why I’ve experienced a stalled weight loss.

Podcast earworms

Regular readers know just how much I enjoy listening to podcasts. Two of my favourites are Mouthy Broadcast and Dork Trek. This week’s shows have left earworms in my head. The common factor between these two podcasts is Jennie Zell.

If you don’t mind some explicit language and NSFW themes, feel free to listen to both shows.

Slowly roasted pulled lamb meat from lamb bones

While I’ve been using my Tupperware Micro Pressure Cooker a lot, these lamb bones needed slow roasting.

Lamb bones ready for slow roasting with smokey BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Stalled weight loss. Gary Lum.
Lamb bones ready for slow roasting with smokey BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock.
Pulled lamb after slow roasting. Stalled weight loss. Gary Lum
Pulled lamb after slow roasting
Slowly roasted pulled lamb meat from lamb bones served with coleslaw. Stalled weight loss. Gary Lum.
Slowly roasted pulled lamb meat from lamb bones served with coleslaw

I desire mutton flaps

This week on The Medical Fun Facts Podcast

I’m talking about Q fever and its ætiological agent, viz., Coxiella burnetii.

The show drops at 7 pm Monday night Canberra time.

I’d love it if you subscribed so you get an e-mail each time a new show drops.

The Medical Fun Facts Podcast episode 92, Q fever. Stalled weight loss. Gary Lum.
The Medical Fun Facts Podcast episode 92, Q fever.

Final thoughts

I hope you enjoy the week to come. Let me know if you have any ideas for helping me keep my weight loss going. My aim is to stabilise around 77 kilograms.

If you’ve just stumbled upon this blog, I’d love it if you subscribed so you get an e-mail each time I write a new post.

Other posts you may enjoy reading

Weight loss challenges when travelling

Four weeks and four kilograms

Is my drawing getting any better?

Podcasts I listen to while walking, driving and working around the flat

 

Four weeks and four kilograms

Weight chart Gary Lum four kilograms

Four weeks and four kilograms

In the last four weeks, I’ve lost four kilograms. So far so good, but I must remain diligent. My goal weight is 77 kg, so I have another six kilograms to go. My aim is to get slightly under that and then stabilise around the 77 kg mark. At 77 kg, I won’t huff and puff when walking around the lake, I’ll be able to tackle stairs more easily and I will be able to fit in my business shirts more easily.

Weight chart Gary Lum four kilograms
Weight chart

After losing four kilograms, I’ve already noticed that my trousers are more comfortable; getting in and out of my car is more comfortable and I can wear a necktie more comfortably. Sleeping has also been easier, although; I’ve been experiencing the odd night of insomnia. I don’t know why. I’ve got a bit on my mind at the moment but nothing life-threatening.

It’s reassuring that I can tighten my belt without feeling uncomfortable all day. Wearing a suit is also much more comfortable sans four kilograms. This last week I needed to wear a suit to attend senate estimate hearings at Parliament House over two days. It’s been a long time since I felt comfortable wearing a suit.

How am I losing weight? Four kilograms so far.

As I’ve written before I’m modifying a low carbohydrate way of living. No bread, no rice, no pasta, no added sugar to anything, but I’m still eating vegetables and fruit. For example, last Saturday I enjoyed nude wonton soup and then on Sunday had yuk biang.

The fruit is mainly for a dessert treat. Mangoes are a great treat at this time of year. I’ve also added some slices of pear to some of the salads I’ve been making.

How about exercise?

Yea, well, there hasn’t been a lot of that. I’ve been busy with work, and when I did this while living in Darwin, I began daily walks when I’d reached my goal weight as a means to stabilise. I hope to do the same now that the mornings are getting warmer.

Are there any new cooking ideas?

Well yes, there is, at least a couple of techniques I can easily describe.

Non-Asian stir-fry

The first is to stir-fry but not using Asian foods or ingredients. For example, I’m a fan of tightly shredded cabbage, sliced green beans, sweet corn, sliced asparagus, sliced bird’s eye chillies, tomatoes, sliced celery plus lots of chilli flakes. In a wok, I melt butter until it foams and then add the vegetables. I wait until the cabbage and tomato have softened and lost shape and then add a splash of cream and allow the liquid to reduce to a nice spicy sauce that coats all the vegetables. To this, I’ll serve it with whatever meat I’m preparing for that evening. Lately, it’s been chicken thighs roasted in a moderately hot (200 °C/400 °F) oven for one hour. When I have salmon, I dice it raw and add it at the end of stir frying my vegetables in the buttery cream sauce.

Microwave oven pressure cooking

You will have read previously that I’ve recently purchased some Tupperware®, included in my recent purchases is a Microwave Oven pressure cooker. I made a lamb forequarter curry in less than half an hour. Doing something similar without a pressure cooker would take hours of slow cooking to get the lamb forequarter meat soft enough to fall off the bone. You can find the recipe over at Yummy Lummy.

Lamb red curry in coconut cream
Close-up of Lamb red curry in coconut cream

What’s the next big challenge?

Tomorrow at work there is a Halloween bake-off. There will be lots of cakes and sweet treats. We have a regular bake-off event to raise money for charity and also for a work Christmas function. Tomorrow may have to be a ‘cheat day’.

Photograph gallery

Please feel free to check out all the photographs.

What’s happening on Medical Fun Facts this week?

MFF Episode 90 Oncology

I’m talking about oncology and cancer. I also do a public service announcement on phallic health and hygiene, along with a shout out to some fellow podcasters.

The show drops at 7 pm Monday night Canberra time. 

MFF0090 Thumbnail Gary Lum four kilograms
MFF0090 Thumbnail

NATIONAL CLUBS GYMNASTICS CARNIVAL 2017 MY JOURNEY TO AND FROM BENDIGO

Day 2 vault Gary Lum

This year’s National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival was held in Bendigo in Victoria, as it was last year and the year before that. Next year the carnival will be held on the Gold Coast in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gymnastics centre.
Miss16 who is Level 9 at Delta Brisbane was competing in the Delta Brisbane B team in the Level 10 competition. Delta Brisbane was the 2016 Champion Club and is one of the largest clubs in Australia. Her competition days were Sunday and Monday.
I elected to take some days off from work and enjoy a short break. I drove down on Friday stopping along the way for toilet and food stops. My IBS seems to be getting more unpredictable, so much so I’m considering a FODMAP approach to eating.

Click on the place markers for more information about each place I stopped.

Dog on Tucker Box

I left Canberra at roughly 7 am (see the map’s marker details) drive to the iconic Dog on Tucker Box just before Gundagai. I had a cup of coffee and emptied my bladder.

Dog on a Tuckerbox near Gundagai Gary Lum
Dog on a Tuckerbox near Gundagai

Run in with law enforcement

Not long after passing the Tumblong turnoff, I needed to pass a couple of semi-trailers going up a reasonable incline. I made an error and exceeded the 110 kph speed limit by 18 kph and a NSWPOL constable in a patrol car pulled me over. I’ll receive a substantial fine and loss of demerit points from my Driver License. This field of yellow is near where I was pulled over.

Field of yellow canola flowers where I got a speeding ticket Gary Lum
Field of yellow canola flowers where I got a speeding ticket

Not a yellow submarine but a yummy yellow vanilla custard

Morning tea was going to be a vanilla slice from the Holbrook bakery. I made a quick stop though to shoot a photograph of HMAS Otway at the entrance of Holbrook.

HMAS Otway at Holbrook Gary Lum
HMAS Otway at Holbrook

I’ll provide a rundown with the food I ate on the trip at Yummy Lummy. This will probably be published in a day or so.

Vanilla slice at Holbrook Bakery Gary Lum
Vanilla slice at Holbrook Bakery

Cafe Derailleur

I decided lunch would be at Cafe Derailleur in Wangaratta. It was a delicious caramelised pork belly with an Asian slaw salad.

Caramelised pork belly and coriander salad with apple ginger and lime juice Gary Lum
Caramelised pork belly and coriander salad with apple ginger and lime juice

One of my problems, when I drive, is a desire to get to my destination in the best possible time. Even though I had cruise control on most of the way, I had one speeding infringement but this didn’t stop an internal desire to keep moving. I should have stopped at more places.

Violet Town

After I finished lunch, I got on the road again and headed to Violet town for a spot of afternoon tea.
When I arrived in Violet town I visited the Lions park public toilet and then stopped at a local cafe and pondered the choices in the display cabinet. There were no vanilla slices left so I went with another iconic Australian sweet, viz., a Lamington.

Lamington and tea at Violet Town Café Gary Lum
Lamington and tea at Violet Town Café

After a very nice afternoon tea and toilet stop I proceeded to my final destination, viz., Bendigo and the Comfort Inn Julie-Anna.

Comfort Inn Julie-Anna

I’ve written a Google maps review which you can read.

There’s a car show at the motel Gary Lum
There’s a car show at the motel
Welcome note from Comfort Inn Julie-Anna Gary Lum
Welcome note from Comfort Inn Julie-Anna

Lake View Hotel

On my first night, I walked down the road to the Lake View Hotel and enjoyed a scotch rib fillet steak with a peppercorn sauce, chips and greens.

Scotch fillet steak with peppercorn sauce served with chips and broccolini Gary Lum
Scotch fillet steak with peppercorn sauce served with chips and broccolini

A disappointing Friday evening

The good news is that each room in the Comfort Inn Julie-Anna there is a large screen television which has access to Fox Sports which meant I was able to watch the preliminary final between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm deep in AFL country.
Unfortunately, the Brisbane Broncos were defeated convincingly and the Melbourne Storm proceeds to this week’s grand final of the greatest game of all.

Julie-Anna’s signature omelette

Julie-Anna’s omelette with cheese, bacon, red onion, mushroom and spinach Gary Lum
Julie-Anna’s omelette with cheese, bacon, red onion, mushroom and spinach

Golden Dragon Museum

I spent a good couple of hours on Saturday at the Golden Dragon Museum.

Bendigo has a rich Chinese heritage associated with gold mining. This wonderful museum has some wonderful pieces including the longest dragon in the world at about 100 metres in length.
I’ve created a gallery of photographs. Please click on one and then scroll through the gallery.

A country meat lover’s pizza

For dinner, on Saturday night I walked down to Luchiano Pizza & Pasta and bought myself a meat lover’s pizza.

Meat lovers' pizza Gary Lum
Meat lovers’ pizza

It was really very good and got me in the mood for the best part of Saturday.

Finishing Saturday night with a happy ending

No, not that sort of happy ending! The second NRL preliminary final between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Sydney Roosters was being played in Sydney. While the Brisbane Broncos are my number 1 team, the North Queensland Cowboys are my number 2 team (and the Melbourne Storm are my number 3 team). These are the teams with the highest proportion of Queensland players who after all are the best athletes playing sport anywhere in the world.

Star Trek PJs while watching the NQ Cowboys defeat the Sydney Roosters Gary Lum
Star Trek PJs while watching the NQ Cowboys defeat the Sydney Roosters

The North Queensland Cowboys were victorious and will meet the Melbourne Storm this Sunday evening in Sydney for what will be a great game.

Sunday avocado with Hollandaise sauce and poached eggs

For breakfast, I enjoyed poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce and smashed avocado.

Poached eggs and avocado with Hollandaise sauce Gary Lum
Poached eggs and avocado with Hollandaise sauce

Bendigo Stadium

After breakfast and a walk around Lake Weeroona, I drove to Bendigo Stadium to watch Miss 16 compete. . Bendigo Stadium is pretty good for gymnastics. It’s big and can accommodate women’s and men’s competitions at the same time. The only problem is air flow which I think needs some attention given the cloudy haze of chalk dust that floats in the air continuously.

Welcome to Lake Weeroona Gary Lum
Welcome to Lake Weeroona
National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival 2017 Gary Lum
Bendigo Stadium. National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival 2017.
Day one on the floor Gary Lum
Day one on the floor

Gems are the standard lunch

For me, gymnastics at Bendigo Stadium means potato gems (or for my North American friends tater tots).

National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival means Potato gems Gary Lum
National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival means Potato gems

Intestinal colic

As I was leaving Bendigo Stadium I was feeling a little delicate in my abdomen. I was experiencing some colicky cramping pain. That said though, I still felt hungry so I went back to the Lake View Hotel and ate a Caesar salad with anchovies and a crumbed poached egg.

Caesar salad with anchovies and a crumbed poached egg at the Lake View Hotel Gary Lum
Caesar salad with anchovies and a crumbed poached egg at the Lake View Hotel

I spent the rest of the evening in discomfort and pain. All I can say is that a warm bath is so soothing.

Spa bath Comfort Inn Julie-Anna, Bendigo Gary Lum
Spa bath Comfort Inn Julie-Anna, Bendigo

Monday bacon and eggs with Hollandaise sauce

I woke up feeling considerably better. The intestinal colic has stopped at about 3 am and I just felt delicate. The best way to evaluate how healthy your bowels are is to eat something so I had a piece of toasted raisin bread and then some crispy bacon with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce.

Bacon and eggs with Hollandaise sauce on Sourdough Gary Lum
Bacon and eggs with Hollandaise sauce on Sourdough

Again I took a short walk around Lake Weeroona and spied a couple of black swans with their cygnets.

Black swans and cygnets Gary Lum
Black swans and cygnets

Back to Bendigo Stadium

Day two was the finals for the Level 10 girls and Miss 16 was again competing in the morning. She performed better on the second day.

Day 2 uneven bars Gary Lum
Day 2 uneven bars
Day 2 balance beam Gary Lum
Day 2 balance beam
Day 2 floor Gary Lum
Day 2 floor
Day 2 floor Gary Lum
Day 2 floor
Day 2 vault Gary Lum
Day 2 vault

What the hell! You had one job Bendigo Stadium!

The tuck shop ran out of potato gems. I had to make do with hot chips.

Hot chips 🍟 while watching gymnastics Gary Lum
Hot chips 🍟 while watching gymnastics

If you have Facebook, click on this image and check out the comments from Bendigo Stadium’s Facebook page


Saying goodbye

It was great to spend some time with Miss 16 while we were in Bendigo but saying goodbye is always tough. She is such a happy bubbly person and watching her with her teammates and coaches lifts my heart to see her so happy.

Dinner with Julie-Anna

So for my last night in Bendigo, I ate at the Comfort Inn Julie-Anna restaurant.
I enjoyed a lovely crumbed steak covered in pepper sauce and served with hot chips and greens.

Crumbed beef with chips and pepper gravy Gary Lum
Crumbed beef with chips and pepper gravy

For dessert, I enjoyed a berry ice cream sundae with white chocolate and pieces of crunchy honeycomb. It was amazing.

Fruit sundae with white chocolate and honeycomb Gary Lum
Fruit sundae with white chocolate and honeycomb

The drive back from Bendigo to Canberra

I left the Comfort Inn Julie-Anna just after 6 am and felt a little sad. If I attend the 2018 National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival, it will be in the Gold Coast and not Bendigo so this may have been my last stay at this motel.
I had a final bath, packed up and drove out of Bendigo with a heading to Canberra. Click on the place markers for more information.

Australiana iconic sweet number 3

I didn’t eat breakfast in Bendigo so I had to find a coffee and breakfast within an hour of leaving. I stopped at Murchison and found a bakery and enjoyed an apple turnover and coffee. I remember loving apple turnovers as a kid at primary school. Our tuck shop sold a really good apple turnover. The Murchison bakery didn’t disappoint me. This apple turnover was delicious.

Apple turnover and coffee in Murchison Gary Lum
Apple turnover and coffee in Murchison

My final vanilla slice

Yep, I think I’m a Hobbit, I had second breakfast. I stopped at Hide’s Bakery and enjoyed the best raisin toast I’ve ever had. It was amazing.

Raisin toast and coffee at Hides Bakery Benalla Gary Lum
Raisin toast and coffee at Hides Bakery Benalla

On the way out I picked up a vanilla slice to go.

Truck stops are good places to eat morning tea

So after second breakfast in Benalla, I drove north and stopped at a truck stop northbound near Glenrowan.
This is where I enjoyed my final vanilla slice of my trip. You can find the place marker on the map.

Vanilla slice from Hide’s Bakery in Benalla Gary Lum
Vanilla slice from Hide’s Bakery in Benalla

My first pie of the trip

After morning tea I stopped just before the Victorian/NSW border and had lunch at Henri’s Bakery in Wodonga.
I love a potato pie and this one was delicious.

Potato pie from Henri’s Bakery in Wodonga Gary Lum
Potato pie from Henri’s Bakery in Wodonga

I can’t eat anymore and I need a dunny stop

Would you believe that by the time I got to Tarcutta I wasn’t hungry? I’m sorry good people of Tarcutta I didn’t spend any of my holiday money in your fine town. I did leave a deposit of another kind though.

Tarcutta dunny break Gary Lum
Tarcutta dunny break. Shot from the entrance of the public toilet.

The end of the story

The good news is that Miss 16 got home to Brisbane safely and for dinner, I had salmon and salad.
I’m hoping I haven’t insulted my bowels too much and I’ll feel okay soon.

Baked salmon with salad Gary Lum
Baked salmon with salad

As I write this though, I feel like I’m developing an upper respiratory tract infection. I have a headache and worsening nasal congestion.
I’ll try to post a food-related story tomorrow but I am starting to feel like death warmed up.

Other posts you may enjoy

How to make the most of 4 nights in Cairns

Kensington Pride Mangoes in August! Seriously?

 

A Kransky for your thoughts

Kransky sausages Gary Lum

A Kransky battered sav for your thoughts

Questions and answers Photo GalleryMedical Fun Facts

Kransky battered savs served with coleslaw, wasabi aioli, Kim chi, pickled ginger and tomato sauce Gary Lum
Kransky battered savs served with coleslaw, wasabi aioli, Kim chi, pickled ginger and tomato sauce

Last week (Tuesday) I was in Melbourne participating in a meeting. I got back into Canberra just after 6 pm and even though I had prepared in my mind to make a salad, I was tired and just wanted to eat something without cooking. I stopped at the Jamison Takeaway and bought a battered sav, a couple of potato scallops and a serve of hot chips.

The following day I went to see my ‘potato scallop-loving’ colleagues and mentioned the battered sav. The question arose, “How to make a battered sav better?”. We discussed a few options and finally arrived at the Kransky sausage. The Kransky sausage has its origins in Europe while etymologically, the word Kransky appears to be Australian. The next question was, “What sauce should a Kransky battered sav be served with?”. My friend with the greatest desire for battered savs, said in her mind, tomato sauce is the only sauce. I know that tomato sauce is a favourite of hers, she keeps a supply in a refrigerator at work. I also thought the battered sav should be served with coleslaw which turned my mind to cabbage.

On Friday, at the Canberra Hospital and Health Services, I shared my food challenge thoughts with a colleague including the cabbage conundrum. As I was about to suggest sauerkraut, she came up with the brilliant food fusion notion of Kim chi. Given my proclivity to combining cuisines, I thought this was a great suggestion. I needed to seek out some Kim chi. The other sauce I thought might go well with the Kransky battered sav was some wasabi aioli.

So today my mission was to get some Kransky sausages, some Kim chi, wasabi and pickled ginger. I had almost everything else I needed in the flat.

If you want the recipe you can find it at my food blog Yummy Lummy.

I went for a walk around Lake Ginninderra after the grocery shopping and enjoyed the blossoms that have bloomed even more since the last visit I made last week.

Photographs

Tuesday night takeaway

A battered sav, a few potato scallops and a serve of hot chips

Battered sav, hot chips and potato scallops Gary Lum
Battered sav, hot chips and potato scallops

Friday night quesadilla

On Friday night I made a simple bacon instant noodles quesadilla for tea and served it with some avocado and sour cream

Bacon instant noodle quesadilla Gary Lum
Bacon instant noodle quesadilla
Bacon instant noodle quesadilla with avocado and sour cream dip Gary Lum
Bacon instant noodle quesadilla with avocado and sour cream dip

Blossoms and a bee on Lake Ginninderra

Blossoms and a bee on Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum
Blossoms and a bee on Lake Ginninderra
Blossoms and a bee on Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum
Blossoms and a bee on Lake Ginninderra

Raisin toast

From Everbean Espresso Bar

Raisin toast with butter Gary Lum
Raisin toast with butter

Burrito bowl with pulled pork

From Guzman Y Gomez

Guzman Y Gomez burrito bowl with pulled pork Gary Lum
Guzman Y Gomez burrito bowl with pulled pork

Kransky in the deli

Kransky sausages Gary Lum
Kransky sausages

Kim chi from the Asian grocer

Kim chi
Kim chi

Kransky battered sav with Japanese and Korean tones

Kransky battered savs served with coleslaw, wasabi aioli, Kim chi, pickled ginger and tomato sauce Gary Lum
Kransky battered savs served with coleslaw, wasabi aioli, Kim chi, pickled ginger and tomato sauce

Questions and answers

Why do you like battered savs?

Well I mean who wouldn’t love a battered sav. A battered sav is an iconic Australian food much like a meat pie or a vanilla slice.

Is the battered sav a euphemism for anything?

Well of course it is. It wouldn’t be Australia if we didn’t imply a sexual aspect to something so phallic.
The best example of this was made famous by Roy and HG.

If you want more from Roy and HJ check out their new podcast. I listen to them every Saturday evening.

What is the next food challenge?

I believe I need to begin a diet. Seriously, I need to lose weight.

Medical Fun Facts

A new show drops at 7 pm on Monday 11 September 2017 (Canberra time). This week’s show is about hæmaturia or blood in your urine.

Click on the thumbnail above and you'll be taken to the show notes. It will be available after the show drops. Gary Lum
Click on the thumbnail above and you’ll be taken to the show notes. It will be available after the show drops.

Other posts you may enjoy

Footy food round up for the 2017 State of Origin series

Maybe I shouldn’t celebrate with food!

Kensington Pride Mangoes in August! Seriously?

 

Kensington Pride Mangoes in August! Seriously?

Kensington Pride mangoes in August in Canberra Gary Lum

Kensington Pride Mangoes in August! Seriously? Is this for real?

I was doing my normal grocery shopping this morning, you know, the Saturday routine, when I came across these Kensington Pride mangoes at $4 each. So expensive and so out of season. I can only speculate the weather in the Top End where the best mangoes are grown has been good.

Kensington Pride mangoes in August in Canberra Gary Lum
Kensington Pride mangoes in August in Canberra

Friday night out

I received an invitation to dinner by my friends Peter and Li Peng (aka Jasper and Myrtle). We had a great night chatting about stuff, catching up on stuff and learning what is going down with Australia’s most award winning bean to bar chocolate makers. I’ve known Peter for a long time and Li Peng for a good number of years too. When I first met them, I would never have guessed they would be these world conquering chocolate makers from Australia’s national capital.

Award certificates

Award certificates for Jasper and Myrtle Chocolates Gary Lum
Award certificates for Jasper and Myrtle Chocolates

Peter and I have a strong affinity for seafood and one of our favourite meals is a prawn sandwich.

Prawn sandwich

Freshly boiled prawns with butter and fresh bread and a little vinegar. Salt and pepper also help make a great sandwich.

Prawn sandwich entrée Gary Lum
Prawn sandwich entrée

Peter cooked an Asian noodle and mince dish for the main meal. We joke because Peter likes to add plum sauce to everything. Li Peng claims a real Chinese person wouldn’t add plum sauce. To prove the point, I add plum sauce and hot chilli flakes to my plate  :mrgreen:

Noodles and mince

Noodles with mince and Plum sauce Gary Lum
Noodles with mince and Plum sauce

Peter and Li Peng both know how much I love a vanilla slice, so for dessert, we had a vanilla slice or what my Victorian friends ingloriously call a snot block from Flute bakery.

Vanilla slice

Flute vanilla slice Gary Lum
Flute vanilla slice

It was a great night and I really love times with Peter and Li Peng.


Breakfast

It’s become a bit of a ritual to eat a slice of raisin toast with some butter while sipping on a latte at Everbean Espresso Bar on a Saturday morning.

Raisin toast

Raisin toast breakfast from Everbean Espresso Bar Gary Lum
Raisin toast breakfast from Everbean Espresso Bar

Joy of vegemite joy

While in Coles buying groceries, I came across a real favourite. Vegemite and cheese scrolls. If you look at my Yummy Lummy Instagram feed you’ll see I regularly have these for lunch as a BLT from Urban Bean Espresso Bar. If you’re ever in the Woden town centre at lunch time, check out their Facebook page for the daily chef’s specials.

Vegemite scrolls

Vegemite and cheese scrolls at Coles Gary Lum
Vegemite and cheese scrolls at Coles

Lake Ginninderra

After the grocery shopping, I went for a walk around Lake Ginninderra and shot a few photographs.

Photographs from around the lake

Lake Ginninderra bike park Gary Lum
Lake Ginninderra bike park. Where is everyone on such a good looking day.
Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum
Lake Ginninderra
Cows on Lake Ginninderra attracted to visitors Gary Lum
Cows on Lake Ginninderra attracted to visitors
Spring is coming! Cherry blossom buds. Gary Lum
Spring is coming! Cherry blossom buds.
Belconnen Art Centre Gary Lum
Belconnen Art Centre

Lunch

On Twitter this week, a friend suggested I try a Hash Brown Big Mac combination. It was delicious.

Hash brown Big Mac combination

McDonald's Big Mac, Hash Brown and Vanilla shake Gary Lum
McDonald’s Big Mac, Hash Brown and Vanilla shake 

Saturday afternoon fun and games

I spent the afternoon enjoying Jasper and Myrtle Chocolates and watching Star Trek on Netflix.

My version of Netflix and chill

My weekend is sorted with Jasper and Myrtle Chocolate and Star Trek on Netflix. Gary Lum
My weekend is sorted with Jasper and Myrtle Chocolate and Star Trek on Netflix.

Dinner

Dinner tonight was a simple roast chicken with a cob of corn on some crispy noodles. I like cooking chicken this way by cutting out its vertebral column and flattening the chicken to make it cook more evenly.

Roast chicken with corn and crispy noodles

Cheesy roast chicken and corn on crispy noodles Gary Lum
Cheesy roast chicken and corn on crispy noodles

And so ends another quiet Saturday. I still feel blergh and I hope I stop coughing up lung butter soon.

I reckon I might have to buy one of those Kensington Pride Mangoes tomorrow. It may help me feel better.

Other posts you may like to read

Still feeling blergh

Learning to ride a bike

Is it getting warmer or is this a false sense of security?

 

Ekka 2017

Iconic Ekka Strawberry Sundae The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum

The Ekka 2017

Over the weekend, Ms22, Ms20, and I went to The Ekka 2017. Unfortunately, Miss16 could not join us. She had a sudden onset of fever with muscle and joint aches and pain. With the spike in influenza virus infections around the country, it’s likely she has influenza. I’m glad I just feel blergh and don’t have influenza.

Going to The Ekka has become an annual ‘thing’ for us. The Ekka or Royal Queensland Show or Show or Exhibition is like most other shows or what American friends may know as fairs (is that the correct spelling?). Only, The Ekka is better (IMHO). Far better than anything Sydney does at Easter and I have to ask, does Melbourne even have a show? Come on Melbourne lovers tell me about your show. I think Canberra has a show but I’ve never been or if I have, it wasn’t memorable. The Royal Easter Show in Sydney is okay and I enjoyed being there the twice I’ve been. When we lived in Darwin, there was the Darwin Show. I remember volunteering for the Territory Health Services booth and I gave out condoms and answered questions. My daughters entered their cooking creations into the cooking competitions. We’d see the animals and enjoy the sights and sounds of the show. Being a small show, it was something you could arrive in the morning, see everything and be home in time for a nap before dinner. The Ekka though is much bigger. It goes for 10 days and is jam packed with all sorts of events.

Now for people who don’t know me very well, the previous paragraph was deliberately provocative because I’m from Queensland and in my opinion everything from Queensland and the Northern Territory of Australia is better than anything else in Australia, if not the universe. Unfortunately, html has not progressed enough to demonstrate my facetiousness and sarcasm, hence this explanatory text as a block quote!

Friday night

I flew from Canberra to Brisbane on a later than normal flight. The cost of flights in and out of Canberra is very expensive so I went with the cheapest fare which was a late flight. At the airport I had a plate of Massaman beef and rice with some polenta slaw.

Beef massaman curry with rice and coleslaw The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Beef massaman curry with rice and coleslaw

I got into Brisbane and got an update on Miss16. She was obviously viræmic with fever, diaphoresis, cough, myalgia and headache. She would stay at her place and Ms22 would care for her overnight. This was a good decision. My parents don’t need exposure to an acutely unwell and infectious teenager.

Because I got in late, I had enough time to have a short catch up with Ms20, Mum and Dad and then a sleepless night coughing and worrying about Miss16.

Saturday morning

I called Ms22 and Miss16 had a quiet night sleeping. Apparently Miss16 was feeling slightly better with a mild reduction in her headache and she was less febrile.

Ms20 and I decided to proceed to go out for breakfast and discuss the day’s plan. We walked over to Westfield Chermside and ventured through the new food pavilion. We spotted a Cafe 63 and agreed to have breakfast there. The menu has dishes with names. We thought it would be funny to have three Garys at the table. So we ordered a Gary each plus a Bircher Muesli to share. The Gary is basically a poached egg with Hollandaise sauce, smoked salmon, and (s)mashed avocado on toast. I’m glad we agreed to eat this before the muesli because the Bircher muesli was quite sweet and was like having a breakfast dessert. I’d happily recommend these dishes at any Cafe 63.

Cafe 63 menu Gary the ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Cafe 63 menu Gary

Gary

The Gary at Cafe 63 is smoked salmon, a poached egg, Hollandaise sauce, smashed avocado and toast the ekka 2017 Gary Lum
The Gary at Cafe 63 is smoked salmon, a poached egg, Hollandaise sauce, smashed avocado and toast

Bircher muesli

Bircher Muesli from Cafe 63 the ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Bircher Muesli from Cafe 63

After breakfast

After breakfast I went to top up my Go Card for the bus ride and then we went to visit Miss16 on her sick bed.

The wheels on the bus go round and round…

In years gone by we would drive to Alderley Train Station, park and ride a train to The Ekka. Ms22 explained that there were road works near the train station and we’d be better off catching the Chermside 333 bus from the Chermside Bus Interchange to The Ekka.

The bus trip is pretty good with a service leaving every 15 minutes while The Ekka is on. We get off at Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital in Herston and walked to the Royal National Association showgrounds which hosts The Ekka.

The showgrounds are close to the Queensland Museum which is a fantastic place to visit. One of these days when I come to Brisbane to visit, I should take my daughters to the Queensland Museum.

Woolworths food Pavillion

After getting through the entry gate we headed straight to the Woolworths food pavillion and line up for a tasting plate of free snacks.

Tasting plate

Woolworths tasting apple, pork and beef. the ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Woolworths tasting apple, pork and beef.

Lunch

The snacks are nice but hardly filling. So we look around the Pavillion for something to buy. In previous years we’ve had dumplings, satays, burgers and pizza. This year we went with Greek food and I had a souvlaki while Ms20 and Ms22 had halloumi chips.

Souvlaki

Souvlaki from the food pavilion the ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Souvlaki from the food pavilion (this was yummy)

Cakes, photography and animals

After eating lunch, we searched out the photography competitions and cake decorating. Ms20 has a special interest in the cake decorating. If find the detail in the cake decorating amazing. The talent people have is awe inspiring. Ms20 has a strong cake decorating bent, I’ve often suggested she consider entering competitions.

Cakes

Cake decorating at The Ekka the ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Cake decorating at The Ekka 2017
Cake decorating at The Ekka the ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Cake decorating at The Ekka 2017
Cake decorating at The Ekka the ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Cake decorating at The Ekka 2017

After that, we wander and wander and wander around as many exhibits as we can. I really like visiting all the animal pavilions and seeing them. There’s just something special about seeing real animals, alive and up close and realise they live and die for us to be able to eat them and gain nourishment from them. I’m grateful for farmers who rear the beasts and then send them to abattoirs. At abattoirs, the animals are killed cleanly and efficiently and then butchered so we can have meat on our dinner tables every day. It’s circle of life stuff. It’s worth thinking about the life and death of an animal so we can appreciate it more.

Primary producers really should get more recognition for feeding us. I know we import a lot of food from Asia and we export a lot of our high quality produce to Asia. The buy cheap sell high approach helps our economy to grow. While I do bemoan the cost of produce compared with other economies, at least we have access to food in plentiful supply and in Australia, especially with our government managed welfare systems, the vast majority of people don’t experience famine. While we do have homelessness and poverty, our governments past and present have all maintained and sustained welfare systems which will provide assistance to everyone who needs it.

Amongst the animal pavillions, a dog collar is purchased and we enjoy a cow milking exhibition with milk, butter, cream, butter milk, curds, whey and cheese all being made in front of us.

Piglets

Animals at The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Animals at The Ekka 2017

Cows being milked

Cow being milked the ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Cow being milked
Cow at The Ekka. Her name is Pam. the ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Cow at The Ekka. Her name is Pam.

Clydesdale

Clydesdale at The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Clydesdale at The Ekka 2017

Great danes

Dogs at The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Dogs at The Ekka 2017

Strawberry Sundae

Once we had our fill of seeing various animals we went in search of a strawberry sundae. These ice cream cones are the stuff of legend. These ice creams are an iconic part of The Ekka. In fact, in my mind, nothing says The Ekka as well as the Strawberry Sundae. The ice cream creations are put together by volunteers and all the profits are donated to The Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside on the North Side of Brisbane. Formerly known as the Chermside Chest Hospital, it’s now a place of amazing medical endeavour with an emphasis on cardiopulmonary health.

Strawberry Sundae

Iconic Ekka Strawberry Sundae The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Iconic Ekka Strawberry Sundae | The Ekka 2017

Sideshow alley and showbags

Not much to say other than I bought a Bertie Beetle showbag and we said goodbye to Ms22 who was going to a party that night.

Show meats. Lamb shank, ham hock and turkey legs. The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Show meats. Lamb shank, ham hock and turkey legs.
Show bag pavillion at The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Show bag pavillion at The Ekka 2017
Bertie Beetle showbag The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Bertie Beetle showbag from The Ekka 2017

EkkaNites

After sideshow alley we went to find a seat in the main arena so we could enjoy EkkaNites which is the main entertainment show for the evening with two sets of fire works, a woodchop relay event, precision driving (V8 Holden utes), freestyle moto-X, monster trucks, some form of artistic entertainment and some sort of comedy routine. It’s always good fun and it’s a good way to spend an evening.

While I kept an eye on our seats and things, Ms20 went off looking for dinner. In the 30 minutes she was away, the Machinery Hill stand filled to capacity and I had to keep people from taking her place on the bare concrete “step“.

Ms20 did well and bought burgers. I had one with bacon, cheese, pineapple and beetroot. It was pretty good. I was happy with it.

EkkaNites burger

Hamburger with bacon, pineapple, beetroot and cheese at The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Hamburger with bacon, pineapple, beetroot and cheese at The Ekka 2017. (Captured in the dark of night. The iPhone did well to capture any detail.)

Here is the list of the EkkaNites entertainment:

  • Not one but two fireworks shows starting with the Children’s Fireworks presented by MG Motor: ‘Colours of the
  • Great Barrier Reef’ at 6 pm plus the spectacular fireworks finale at 8 pm Jaws of Death Aerial Straight Jacket
  • Escape featuring renowned escape artist Sam Powers
  • Horse Archery Combat Show The Rooftop Express Brumby Muster
  • Showtime FMX Battle for the Golden Helmet Ekka’s Tribute to the Holden Precision Driving Team presented by
  • Track skill V8 Show
  • Monster Trucks – Devils Taxi & Tropical Thunder featuring the RACQ LifeFlight Helicopter

Fireworks

Fireworks at EkkaNites at The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Fireworks at EkkaNites at The Ekka 2017

The bus ride home

It had been a full day and at about 9 pm we had one last Strawberry Sundae in Sideshow Alley and then took the Chermside 333 back to the Chermside Interchange.

Sunday morning

After another night of coughing, I awoke and called Miss16 to see how she felt. She was feeling significantly better but very congested with some back pain. She was well enough though to come out for breakfast.

We ended up at Cafe Cherry Beans in Chermside. Ms22 brought her BF along and so seven of us enjoyed a nice breakfast. I ended up having a very nice bacon and fried eggs roll with BBQ sauce. We all enjoyed our meals although we all wish the knives were serrated steak knives because the toast was difficult to cut with the standard dinner knives.

Bacon and fried eggs roll

Bacon and fried eggs roll with BBQ sauce The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Bacon and fried eggs roll with BBQ sauce

All good things must come to an end

I flew back to Canberra with a group of school students.

School students on the flight to Canberra The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
School students on the flight to Canberra

I had a great weekend with my family. Brisbane was lovely and warm. Did I mention that on Saturday the maximum temperature got to 29 °C? It was perfect for an August day in Brisbane (this is the sort of Winter I like). There were none of those dreaded westerly winds which evaporates all the moisture in the air. The air was still and in the crowd, the air was moist with humidity.

Final words

I love The Ekka. I could go by myself, but The Ekka is for family and even though we missed the company of Miss16, it was still a good time. Hopefully, in 2018, we’ll have Miss17 (as she will be then) with us.

Spending time with my daughters and parents is the most precious time I have. It was good to be able to help Dad buy a new telephone handset, help Mum fix a few things on her iPad and just be with my daughters.

As I finish writing this, it’s Sunday evening. I’m back in cold dry Canberra and thinking about the week ahead but also planning my next time with my family.

Chicken Kiev with salad (lettuce, tomato, spring onion, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil). The Ekka 2017 Gary Lum
Chicken Kiev with salad (lettuce, tomato, spring onion, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil).

I desire mutton flaps

Yes, this is a sheep I drew displaying where the mutton flaps are Gary Lum

I desire mutton flaps

Mutton=sheep meat, older than lamb meat, fuller in flavour but slightly tougher
Flaps=Not what most people seem to think, stop thinking what you’re thinking!
Mutton flaps=older tougher flaps of meat that are good to eat

A few months ago I was in a lecture for Australian Government medical officers who are based in Canberra. The lecture was from Prof. Sharon Friel from the Australian National University. She was speaking about policy coherence in a health context with some emphasis on international trade. Sharon mentioned the problem with New Zealand (and to a much lesser extent, Australia) selling mutton flaps to people in Tonga and the contribution this trade has had in Tonga’s obesity outbreak.

Sharon displayed a drawing of a sheep which made it clear that mutton flaps are the breast meat from the lamb or sheep. This meat is about 50:50 fat to meat and the fat is saturated fat. It’s full of flavours and when spit roasted the delicious aroma spreads through market places. These market places were traditionally for trading deep sea fish, but because the fish fetch a better price on the export market and because mutton flaps taste so good, the diet of many Tongans has changed from being fish-based to red meat based with huge amounts of fat.

Yes, this is a sheep I drew displaying where the mutton flaps are Gary Lum
Mutton flaps

As you may imagine, especially if you know me, as soon as Sharon began describing the mutton flaps I was on Google looking up recipes and where I might find mutton flaps in Canberra. I promise I did listen to her lecture and I did take away strong messages about the importance of policy coherence and ensuring policy development considers wider ramifications, especially health ramifications. I also promise I didn’t go to Urban Dictionary to see if an inappropriate thought was recorded there (or not).

It turns out that mutton flaps are used extensively to make doner kebabs and apart from the market to Tonga, most Australian mutton flaps go into pet food. This means that your dogs and cats are getting a good loading of ovine saturated fat in their diet. If I understand the canning process correctly, the meat will be super tender and very tasty.

Anyway, I discovered that mutton flaps could be purchased on the south side and north side of Canberra. Given I’m a dweller of the north and rarely venture to the south of Canberra, I visited the Belconnen Markets this morning at 7 am with a view to getting some mutton flaps to fulfil my carnal desires. To my dismay, I was told that each week all the mutton flaps are bought by a regular customer and they don’t keep any extras. I asked about other vendors in the market and was told no one stocks mutton flaps. It sounds like if I want mutton flaps, I’m going to have to put in an advance order and that may take some time. So what’s a boy to do when he wants to get his lips into some mutton flaps?

Dejected I went on to do my grocery shopping at Westfield Belconnen. In Coles, I came across some scrappy looking meat and noticed they were lamb offcuts. They looked like ribs with quite a bit of meat and fat on them. In my mind, these may as well be mutton flaps. So I bought about $7 worth and started thinking about how to cook them.

Lamb bones ready for slowly roasting Gary Lum
Lamb bones ready for slowly roasting

Now if you want to see how it all turned out, you’ll need to venture to Yummy Lummy and check out the post on slowly roasted lamb bones. Sadly, there’s not much over there about policy coherence though.

Changing the subject to a change on my blogs

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve made a change to the way I’m handling comments here and over at Yummy Lummy.

I’ve been noticing some strange online behaviour here with odd comments. Basically spam but not in the usual spam structure. No links and no abuse, but the comments seemed to be from random people who I had not reached out to and who didn’t seem engaged with the blog. When I saw it I would remove it. I thought the safest thing to do would be to moderate all comments so I had a greater level of control.

Of more concern, I’ve also had a sort of reverse problem with some good (online) friends not being able to comment and their words ending up in my spam folders. I hope by increasing the control I have over comments, this problem will be ameliorated.

Trolls

This raises the issue of online trolls. I’ve been really fortunate that I can count on the number of fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve been trolled on my personal sites (including Medical Fun Facts). On the other hand, from time to time at work, I get abusive messages but that’s very different. Friends who keep an eye open for me have sent some interesting screenshots from various social media accounts. It would be inappropriate to describe these in any detail here but it’s one of the reasons why I try to be polite, friendly and courteous here. There are a few safe spaces where I can be more myself online and in those forums, it is nice to be amongst like-minded people.

When online, I usually write with trolls in mind. I’m not wanting to be controversial and if I have anything controversial to write I’ll try to couch it carefully. Even on my Medical Fun Facts blog/podcast/YouTube when I’m a bit out there, e.g., I have a strong position in favour of conventional medicine including vaccination, I try to make sure I’m on solid ground.

Spam

It remains a constant problem and what I don’t get is with good anti-spam products like Akismet, why do spammers bother. Unlike the tasty canned pork product, I hate online spam, especially now malware and ransomware are becoming more common.

Spam
Gary Lum spam

If anyone has ever sent me an e-mail and I’ve not responded, I’m sorry. Unless I know you, I’ll probably delete the e-mail.

Other posts you may like to read

Is my drawing getting any better?

My warped and twisted mind

10 reasons why podcasting is fun

 

Maybe I shouldn’t celebrate with food!

Six hour slow cooked brisket with olive sourdough bread and some mustard Gary Lum

Food is great to celebrate with but gout sucks. I’m thinking in future I should be more careful with my dietary choices.

Now, just a warning, this is a bit of a rambling post with little to no direction!

So no photographs from a walk around Lake Ginninderra this weekend. I didn’t even manage to walk to the shops, I had to drive. You see my left ankle is in excruciating pain. Well, it would be if it wasn’t for the miracle of modern medicine that are pharmaceutical products aimed to reduce and mask pain.

Let me backtrack a bit. In my past, I’ve had the occasional episode of gout. For those that don’t know, gout is an accumulation of uric acid and in some joints, the uric acid precipitates as crystals in the synovial fluid. A gouty joint is a painful joint. In medical school, we were taught that even the weight of a sheet can cause excruciating pain in a gouty toe. It’s all true. Each time I’ve experienced gout the pain is indeed excruciating and when I lay down to sleep I need to build a little tent at the foot of my bed with pillows to avoid anything touching my foot.

In the past, my experience with gout has always been associated with attempts to lose weight, usually by consuming fewer carbohydrates with a concomitant increase in animal protein. Gout is associated with an increased intake of purines and pyrimidines in the diet. These things are found in the nuclei of cells, so when you have lots of rapidly dividing cells you get lots of purines and pyrimidines. These are found in all meat including red meat and especially meat from the reticuloendothelial system, like liver. The highest concentration will be found in products like bone marrow which is becoming very popular in cooking shows like Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules. So if you supplement your diet with pâté and lots of red meat, gout may be a frequent visitor.

So it’s strange that I’m suffering this weekend. I haven’t been trying to lose weight despite wanting to lose weight. My diet hasn’t been particularly rich in protein and rapidly dividing cells. I’ve been eating a good amount of vegetable matter. However, it’s also winter, so I admit my water intake could be better but I do drink a lot of fluids.

On Friday, I received a little good news and felt like celebrating.

I bought 21 pieces of KFC and enjoyed dinner and used the leftover KFC for a chicken casserole.

Friday night, as has become a tradition, was crapulent. I was awake at 2 am and couldn’t really get to sleep until about 5.30 am and then it was basically time to get out of bed. Why do I regularly experience insomnia on a Friday night? When I stepped out of bed, my left ankle started to hurt. I did wonder if I had hurt it the previous day when I rolled it slightly. The pain progressively got worse over the course of the day and by the early afternoon, I had assumed it was the beginning of an episode of gout. I found some Indomethacin and began the antiinflammatory treatment.

Now, chicken isn’t on the list of gouty foods, but I do eat quite a bit of chicken and salmon. I’ve been deliberately reducing my red meat consumption. I’m a little worried that I may end up having more episodes of gout. I’ll have to restart uric acid lowering medication, be more careful about my diet and drink a lot more water.

I think my attitude to food needs to change too. It’s tough though. I’m always thinking about food. When I arrive at work I think about lunch. After lunch, I think about tea. On Thursdays, I think about Friday take away and on Fridays, I ponder what I can buy and cook and eat on the weekend.

So, what do I do? Well, it has to be more vegetables, less red meat and a lot more water.

So less of this

Slow cooked brisket ready for carving and eating Gary Lum
Slow cooked brisket ready for carving and eating
Six hour slow cooked brisket with olive sourdough bread and some mustard Gary Lum
Six-hour slow cooked brisket with olive sourdough bread and some mustard

Don’t do this as often

KFC for dinner, a selection from a 21 piece bucket. Gary Lum
KFC for dinner, a selection from a 21 piece bucket.

And more of this

Bacon salad with avocado, lime zest, celery, and pear Gary Lum
Bacon salad with avocado, lime zest, celery, and pear

 

2 goes at footy food in 1 week

Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns with mashed potato and gravy Gary Lum

2 goes at footy food in 1 week for Origin and NRL glory

2 goes at footy food in 1 week for Origin and NRL glory we Queensland wins game 2 and the Broncos defeat the Raiders on their home ground in Canberra

So while I would normally post food to Yummy Lummy, this post is about the great week it’s been in sport.

Origin

Roast Chicken and potato scallops

Three weeks ago, the XXXX Queensland Maroons suffered a defeat at the hands of the Victoria Bitter New South Wales Blues in game one of the State of Origin for 2017.

This Wednesday past was game two. I thought I was going to miss the kick-off because of a meeting I had at Parliament House. Fortunately, I was able to leave at 7.15 pm.

My original intention was to venture to Charnwood and get a charcoal chicken after I had enjoyed a deuce of potato scallops and prawn cutlets.

 

Enjoyed a couple of potato scallops and prawn cutlets Thanks @cbrfoodie for the advice on getting them freshly fried.

A post shared by Yummy Lummy Gary Lum Food Blog (@yummylummyblog) on

Because of the meeting, I would not have sufficient time so, on leaving Parliament House, I drove quickly and safely to old faithful, viz., Jamison Takeaway.

Roast chicken and potato scallops from Jamison Takeaway Gary Lum
Roast chicken and potato scallops from Jamison Takeaway

I bought half a roast chicken and two potato scallops (what the ignorant and uneducated call potato cakes or potato fritters).

Queensland Glory

After getting back to the apartment, I got ready for the game. I changed into a maroon shirt and XXXX Queensland Maroon’s hoodie. I then set about enjoying the chook and spuds.

The good thing about being late from work was that I missed seeing a lot of the pregame crap like the stupid musical performance by someone or people who I don’t care about. I mean why delay the kickoff when school kids love watching footy. Bring the kickoff back to 7 pm for it’s not such a late night, especially during what may be examination time for some kids. Unfortunately, I did have to listen to someone butcher our national anthem. I’ve said it before, I’ll keep on saying it, get a school choir to sing it and give the kids free tickets for sideline seats.

The game started with a frenzy and going into halftime, the Victoria Bitter New South Wales Blues (aka cockroaches) had a handy lead.

I thought I might have needed an ambulance at one stage. My heart was pounding so hard. I thought I may have had an infarction.

In the end, the Mighty XXXX Queensland Maroons (aka Cane toads) grabbed victory in the last five minutes. Unfortunately, one of our greatest players, Jonathan Thurston, the hero of the game, injured his shoulder and now he needs season-ending surgery.

Game three is on in three weeks. Bring it on.

National Rugby League

Chicken, prawns, gems, mash and gravy

Turn the clock forward to Saturday afternoon. I’d spent the day doing the usual weekend stuff but there was a game to watch at 5.30 pm. It was a Canberra Raiders home game in Canberra playing the Brisbane Broncos.

I’d been thinking of a footy food meal to beat all footy food meals.

Rather than make something from scratch I put together a meal from readily available bits and pieces.

You can check out how I put this meal together on Yummy Lummy.

Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns Gary Lum
Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns
Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns with mashed potato and gravy Gary Lum
Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns with mashed potato and gravy

Canberra Raiders vs Brisbane Broncos

As is always the case during the Origin period, the Broncos are a depleted team with Origin players being rested or injured. For example, Broncos Captain, Darius Boyd has a broken thumb and is out for weeks.

It was a great game, the Raiders had the home ground advantage. Their supporters did their silly Viking Clap thingee just before 5.30 pm as the sun was setting and the bitter Canberra cold swept through to freeze fans of both teams to their bones.

The lead see-sawed throughout and at times the Raiders looked like they would run away, but in the end, spirit and Broncos grit took over, and the mighty boys from Brisbane prevailed and prevailed well.

The Brisbane Broncos defeated the Canberra Raiders 30:20.

How was your week?

Did you win?

What footy team do you support?

What’s your favourite footy food?

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