Animals Australia: the voice for animals

Animals Australia: the voice for animals
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Meatloaf Glaze and Orange Meringue Tart

Miss Eagle and Herself are a mother and daughter: two single women. So sometimes food is "catch as catch can" but we do have a few proper meals during the week. Some meals are prepared by Herself. Herself is a good cook but is not into food preparation in a big way. Miss E prepares some and now, being at home all the time with Herself as the worker, tries to do the maternal putting-a-decent-meal-on-the-table-for-the-hard-worker thing.
Herself has not yet taken the plunge into a meatless diet although she recognises that would be preferable. She gives two reasons: her susceptibility to iron deficiency and her acculturation to a meat diet. So Miss E does prepare carnivore food - usually about once a week - in consideration of Herself although she does note some decrease in beef consumption in Herself's diet. So, during this week, Miss E prepared a small meatloaf: something she hasn't cooked in at least two decades. The rainy, cold Melbourne weather this week has meant that good, old fashioned, solid comfort food is much appreciated. So the meatloaf came served with mashed potatoes, mashed pumpkin (Australians regard pumpkin as a vegetable more than a fruit), and peas. Miss Eagle always glazes her meatloaf and this time used a different ingredient because there was no brown sugar in the cupboard. The recipe for the glaze is below. Miss E presumes you all have your own favourite meatloaf recipe stashed away somewhere.

Ingredients + Method:

  • 1/4 cup of commercially prepared tomato sauce/ketchup
  • 1/4 cup of commercially prepared barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of commercially prepared mustard
  • Worcestershire Sauce to taste (1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon perhaps)
  • (The sauces can be varied to taste - chili sauce for instance)
  • 3 rounds of palm sugar (would usually use about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar)
  • Mix together until sugar is dissolved.
  • If using palm sugar, you will need to heat ingredients in a pan and keep stirring until the palm sugar rounds dissolve.
  • Brush over meatloaf

Dessert was Orange Tart served with custard. The oranges that were used were Australian grown Navel Oranges. These are the most readily available oranges in Australian food markets. Citrus growing has been problematic in Australia in recent years and we have watched with sadness as many growers have uprooted their trees. Australians are amazed at this - particularly when they see Californian Navel Oranges in the supermarkets on occasions. In the last year or two though, there has been a focus on Australian-grown fruit and vegetables and, generally, food markets are taking pains to label the national origins of produce. It is not clear to all of us how beneficial this is to Australian growers overall and we do know that some fruit canning companies have gone out of Australian hands in recent years and a lot of fruit products list on their labels that they are constituted from local and imported products. In spite of the severe and prolonged drought experienced in Australia through which our food producers have battled, Australians still think of their land as a land of plenty and food sufficiency. So, many of us are saddened when basic food lines come from elsewhere. Now to the Orange Tart. First a disclaimer. Miss Eagle is not copycatting Ahn at Food Lover's Journey. Miss E has only caught up with Anh and her marvellous Candied Orange Tart this morning. Perhaps because we share the same Melbourne weather, the need for Orange Tart was on the wind! Anh's tart looks wonderful with candied orange slices so Miss E resolves to try this one out. Miss Eagle's Orange Tart has been tweaked from Amy Schauer's Orange Tart in The Schauer Australian Cookery Book (p.413) so the ingredients below are Miss E's.



Pastry. (Miss Schauer calls this Cake Pastry. My mother called it Biscuit Pastry. The reference to cake/biscuit is because of the method which begins with creaming the butter and the sugar)


  • 3 oz butter
  • 4 oz sugar
  • Vanilla (a capful)
  • 1 egg yolk (save the white)
  • 6 oz self-raising flower
  • 4oz milk (approximate)


  • Cream butter and sugar
  • Add vanilla
  • Add egg yolk
  • Fold in flour and milk alternately
  • Line a pie dish. The one I used is approximately 1" deep and 8" across the base.
  • Please note this pastry can be difficult to handle. In summer, it may be best to refrigerate before rolling it out. The pastry is very short and it may not be possible to roll the total amount around your rolling pin to place across the pie dish in one movement. You may have to put the pastry in to the dish in pieces pressing them together.
  • Bake blind in a very moderate oven until golden.
  • Remove from oven
  • Cool and then fill.



  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of 2 large oranges
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks (save the whites)
  • 2 good tablespoons of custard powder
  • 1 teaspoon butter


  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil stirring until boiling.
  • Let the mixture just begin to thicken (don't boil for too long or mixture will be too thick or may even go lumpy)
  • Pour into baked pie case.
  • Cover with Meringue



  • 3 egg whites that have been retained
  • Caster sugar (4 to 6oz approximately)


  • Beat egg whites until peaks form
  • Add sugar a dessertspoon at a time, waiting until each addition is beaten in and dissolved before adding the next.
  • Spread over cooled filling.
  • Bake tart in a moderate oven until the meringue is set and lightly browned.

Following Anh's example, Miss E will be participating in Sharmi's blogging event A Fruit A Month.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mandarin Marmalade - a bitter sweet experience

Herself came back from shopping yesterday with a bag of four mandarins. They were cheap, she said, at $1.99 a kilo. She proceeded to peel and bite - and then, ugh. So bitter was the verdict. Waste not, want not, said Miss Eagle. Time for Mandarin Marmalade. Mandarin Marmalade, in Miss E's view, is the Queen of all marmalades. If your taste is to the bitter marmalades this would not suit you. This is a sweet marmalade. The recipe is from Sunset's Home Canning book of more than thirty years ago. Yes, I have kept it all that time - could do with a bit of a glue - and it has travelled Australia with me.
Here is the recipe. I have left in it the names of the American mandarin varieties. Here in Australia, I use any variety that comes to hand. I am not certain of the variety used yesterday since they were not labelled - but I think they were Ellendales.



  • 5 or 6 Kinnow or Wilking mandarin oranges
  • 3 cups of water
  • 4 1/2 cups of sugar


  • Carefully peel mandarins with your fingers, keeping pieces of peel as large as possible.
  • Set peel aside.
  • Cut mandarins in half crosswise
  • Pick out seeds and discard.
  • Whirl enough fruit in a blender (or rub through a food mill) to make 2 cups of pulp
  • Pour into a wide saucepan.
  • Add water
  • Very thinly slice (cut in julienne strips) enough of the mandarin peel to make 1/2 cup
  • Add peel and sugar to pulp in pan.
  • Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  • Turn heat to high and boil rapidly, stirring frequently, until the jell point is reached.
  • This takes about 40 minutes.
  • Remove marmalade from heat at once.
  • Bottle
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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Melbourne, food blogs + an ex-pat

What is it about Melbournians and food? Miss Eagle's guess is the multiplicity of food establishments of all sorts and prices selling very good food. It is Miss E's guess that of all the food blogs in Australia most come from Melbourne. And now Miss E has discovered the blog of an ex-pat Melburnian liviing in the U.S.A. Brooke has established a beautiful blog in the last few months, bear necessities. Melboournians might like to pop over and say hello.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Apple Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb is around and Miss Eagle decided to indulge in a memory from childhood of my mother's friend, Delia Brazil, and her rhubarb and apple pie. Miss E used Flaky Pastry for the pie case, made from scratch. Miss E is fussy. She doesn't object to store-bought Filo or Puff Pastry. These really are time consuming, take practice to get right easily, and - in these days of small kitchens - space could be an issue. For Miss E, you need a good excuse to purchase frozen Shortcrust Pastry. In these days of dough hooks for the mixer and the wonders of food processors, there really is little excuse for not making your own. Now Miss Eagle wishes to advise that between shortcrust and puff pastry there is another category: that of Flaky Pastry, sometimes known as Rough Puff Pastry. Now you would not dash home from work and rustle up this pastry for the evening meal as you could with shortcrust. However, you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the frig for later use. And certainly, it is a pastry worth making for special occasions and special guests. The recipe and instructions here are from our beloved Miss Schauer - she of The Schauer Australian Cookery Book. First, we will look at Miss S's instructions.
  • PUFF, FLAKY OR ROUGH PASTES are folded and rolled repeatedly to increase the amount of cold air held between the layers. Puff paste must be rolled in short forward rolls, never backwards and forwards. The rolling pin must be lifted between rolls. Puff pastry must never be rolled over the edge as this may force out some of the cold air. The ends and edges must be secured by being turned over a little and pressed heavily with a rolling pin.
  • Puff pastry is allowed to stand between rollings, in an ice-chest, refrigerator, or cold place, covered with a buttered paper to prevent crust forming. [Miss E doesn't use buttered paper. She puts it in the frig in a plastic bag.] This is done in order that the butter may harden and thus keep layers of paste and butter separate.
  • In warm weather, puff pastry, when rolling should be placed on a marble or cold slab cooled by ice or very cold water, i.e. wash over and dry before using.

Then to Miss Schauer's recipe:

Sift 1/2lb plain flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in centre, pour in a full teaspoon of lemon juice, add 1/2 cup of very cold water. Mix with a cold knife. Turn on to a floured board, knead lightly into an elastic dough. Divide 6oz of firm butter or lard into 3 equal portions. Roll pastry into a large oblong piece. Put one third of firm fat all over surface in small pieces. Fold into 3 by bringing top of pastry into centre, the bottom end of pastry right up to the top. Turn so that open ends are top and bottom. Run floured hands up each side of pastry to keep quite even. Secure edges by pressing heavily with a rolling pin to shut cold air in. Press fat in a straightforward light roll from within edge to within edge, never over. Fold into 3. Make one finger mark to show rolled once. Put away to get cold 30 minutes. Fold and roll twice more in exactly same way with 30 minutes to cool between. Fold and roll the fourth time without fat to size required ready to use.
by Miss Eagle
  • Divide the pastry into two parts: one piece 1/3 in size (top); the second piece 2/3 in size (bottom) and line pie dish. [Please note: Miss E's pie dish measures 25.5cm in diameter and 5cm deep. To ensure sufficient pastry, Ms E used 10z flour with other ingredients modified accordingly.]
  • Peel, quarter and slice 3 Granny Smith apples and spread one of these apples neatly on the pastry around the base of the pie dish. Top and tail rhubarb and chop stems into pieces about an inch long. Place these on top of the apples. Then spread remaining two applies sliced on top of the rhubarb.
  • Sprinkle the fruit thoroughly with brown sugar.
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice - use sufficient to flavour fruit not to soak the pastry base.
  • Place 6 cloves evenly around the pie.
  • Cover with pastry lid.
  • Trim pastry and use left overs for pastry decoration
  • Glaze. Miss E uses milk.
  • Bake in a very moderate oven - approximately 175 degrees Celsius. The pie should take 30 to 40mins to bake to ensure the fruit is cooked through.
  • Cool and served with custard. Miss E's was made with No Egg according to the recipe on the packet.
  • Miss Eagle used PureHarvest Organic Nature's Soy as an alternative to milk. Miss E buys this by the slab at Friends of the Earth in Fitzroy; Woolworths Naytura Soya Margarine Spread; and Orgran Gluten Free No Egg Natural Egg Replacer from Maxi.


Scrumptious and satisfying served warm on a cold, rainy evening.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Teacake Australis: #2

When Miss Eagle discussed teacakes here, Val sent me her recipe which she, in turn, got from the lovely Kali. Miss E can highly commend it. It is a little different in that one separates the white of the egg from the yolk and whips the white. The sagacious Miss Schauer has only one tea came in which yolk and white is separated. She calls it a Special Teacake. Miss E will give recipes for both. Miss E baked the cake in a 20cm(8") springform pan. The pan specified for Val and Kali's recipe was smaller - 18cm (7"). There was one deviation from the recipe. Miss E had in the pantry a blend from the McCormick range of Orange, Cardamom and Vanilla so she sprinkled this over the cinnamon/nutmeg teacake. It was lovely - providing a lovely contrast to the cinnamon and nutmeg in the cake.


  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • vanilla essence (about a capful)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
  • extra melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


Sift the flour with the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and the nutmeg. Beat the egg white until stiff. Add the egg yolk and mix in. Gradually beat in the 1/2 cup of sugar. Slowly stir in the milk and vanilla essence. Stir in the sifted dry ingredients, with the melted butter.

Spoon into a greased 18cm (7 in) round sandwich tin and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes. While still hot, brush the top with extra melted butter and sprinkle with the teaspoon of cinnamon mixed with the tablespoon of sugar. Serve warm or cold, with butter.


Separate yolks from whites of 2 eggs. Beat egg whites stiffly, add a pinch of salt, beat in the egg yolks, beating for about 5 minutes. Then slowly add 1/2 cup sugar and beat till dissolved. Add slowly 1/2 cup of milk. Sieve in a cup of self-raising flour. Add 1 tablespoon of melted margarine. Pour into a greased 8 in. sandwich tin. Bake in a moderate oven 25 to 30 minutes. While hot, spread with a little butter sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Woolworths, Safeway, Liquor and Fuel - but not food

Miss Eagle has sent the following email to Liz in Victorian Regional Office of Safeway (the name used by Woolworths in Victoria). It is self-explanatory. If you, dear Reader, agree with Miss E, please feel free to write to Woolworths in your state. If you are writing in Victoria, please send to

This afternoon, I was in the Safeway store at Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully (not the Mountain Gate store). I was stunned to see an advertisement stating, that if customers purchased $60 of goods from Safeway Liquor, they would receive a 20c a litre discount on fuel.
I am amazed at the ethics of such a campaign. I have been told by Kerry in the Area 5 office that this was part of a national campaign organised by the Marketing Division of Woolworths. M
The campaign has certainly not been well thought through. It sends very mixed messages to the community:

  1. Alcohol is more valuable than food because it attracts a larger discount on fuel at the bowser.
  2. $60 worth of alcohol far outweighs in value at the bowser any amount large or small spent on food.
  3. The campaign links alcohol to driving in an encouraging way - in more or less the same way that large car parks at suburban hotels encourage a drink and drive mentality.
  4. Woolworths, whose income is derived - in the main - from families, encourages a significant slice of the family budget to be devoted to alcohol.
  5. The campaign seeks to encourage a significant amount of spending on alcohol which is the root cause of violence and road deaths in our society and ties the name of Woolworths/Safeway to it.

I would ask you to immediately withdraw this marketing campaign from all Woolworths and Safeway stores and to refrain from any similar type of marketing in the future.
I also wish to complain about the way complaints are handled within Woolworths and Safeway.
I am told that the Woolworths system means that someone in the local regional office will email someone in Sydney but that the system does not allow for me to be cc'd. So I have no way of knowing the accuracy of material forwarded to the responsible person regarding my complaint. I have rung the corporate office in Sydney who referred me back to the local regional office. Sydney refused to give me the name of the person with responsibility for the campaign. I then asked for the title, the phone number and the email of the person responsible for the marketing campaign. This too was refused. There is clearly no way for the customer to be in direct contact with the person with corporate responsibility. I am told that the matter will take two business days and I am familiar with the time limit that Woolworths sets itself to respond.
I fear that the manner in which Woolworths deals with complaints means that the complaint will not be acted upon in a positive manner leading to the withdrawal of the campaign and that Woolworths will go on its merry way regardless.
Yours sincerely,

[Name supplied]

[address supplied] Email: [supplied] Phone: [supplied] Blogs: Oz Tucker at The Trad Pad at The Eagle's Nest at
We'll wait to see what - if anything - happens.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Over at The Elegant Sufficiency, Stephanie has drawn our attention to a grave ethical problem in the eating habits of human beings. Miss Eagle is a great lover of Chinese culture and food. Chinese cuisine is the pinnacle for Miss E. But Miss E deplores the depredation of whole species to meet Chinese demands for exotic foods and traditional medicinal ingredients. Miss Eagle's health has not been the best in recent times and she has considered resorting to traditional Chinese medicine - but there is a major hurdle. The impact of Chinese medicine on animal life. Read here and here to add to your understanding, dear Reader.
However, while one can recoil in horror at these tales, one also has to question our own Australian ethics in regard to our Standard Australian Diet.
We are wrecking our land. None of us question that anymore. Part of the wrecking of our ancient and fragile soils has been the importation of hard hooved animals. Sheep and cattle undergird the carnivorous diet favoured by most Australians. Goats and camels run wild in large numbers in the inland of Australia far from the eyes of the comfortable congregating in the urban fringes. The Northern Territory sends more cattle overseas in the inhumane live export trade than find their way to Australian slaughter houses.
What are the ethics involved in supporting the diet of most Australians?
For information about beef, cattle, sheepmeat, sheep, and goats go here. If you want to know more about live animal export, please go here.
As Jim Mason and Peter Singer point out (see sidebar), ask questions about your food - where it comes from, the means of its production - and ask questions about the treatment of animals and survival of animal species. Animals share this planet with us. We owe it to them. We owe it to ourselves.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Teacake Australis: #1

Teacakes are a genre all their own with many subspecies. In fact, someone has even decided to make it the topic of debate. The quote below indicates a particularly British perspective: The Teacake is a flat, roughly circular item with a diameter of about 15cm made out of bread, with a smooth brown upper surface and a somewhat lighter underside. If the item contains currants then it is a Currant Teacake. When sliced roughly in half and filled with chips (french fries for our American friends) then it becomes a Chip Buttie.

Miss Eagle is discussing here Teacake Australis - the variety that has traditionally graced morning and afternoon tea tables for generations of Australians. These days they are not seen too often. There are few morning and afternoon teas with visitors or workers' smokoes as in years gone by. Restaurants serve luxury cakes with tea or coffee but the humble and satisfying teacake is seldom seen.

Teacake Australis is a plain but sweet cake. It usually involves a topping of cinnamon and sugar and frequently includes apples. It can be served plain but is often buttered. Of course, if one wanted to live dangerously one could always pour over some cream - but that requires a spoon and moves the cake away from its plain, sweet, and utilitarian purpose. Teacake Australis is also, as a rule, a small cake. This again is an oddity in this age of supersizing everything. But this refers to its use for morning teas - quick to make, best eaten straightaway and warm with butter melting on it, and preferrably none left afterwards.

Miss Eagle's Apple & Orange Teacake has its origin in an oversight and is based on the traditional Madeira Mixture. The oversight? Miss Eagle had run out of Pure Vanilla Extract and forgotten to replace it. So in came the orange juice. Miss Eagle used a 6oz basic measurement (usually there is a 2oz basic measurement) because she didn't have a small tin. She used a 22cm springform pan.



  • 180 grams/6oz butter
  • 180 grams/6oz sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Juice and grated rind of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered milk
  • 180 grams/6oz self-raising flower
  • 2 Granny Smith apples: peeled, quartered and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar


  • Cream butter and sugar
  • Add eggs
  • Add juice and rind
  • Add powdered milk
  • Fold in flour
  • Place mixture evenly in a greased and floured 22 cm springform pan
  • Place apple slices decoratively across the top of the mixture so that the top is entirely covered with apple.
  • Brush the apple slices with melted butter.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar over the apple slices.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon over the brown sugar
  • Bake in a very moderate oven about 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 40 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly but not completely. Serve plain but bring out the butter too for those who prefer this option. Enjoy!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Miss Schauer's Tomato Pancakes

A Trad Pad crop
Towards the back of The Schauer Australian Cookery Book is a recipe for Tomato Pancakes. Miss Eagle had never discovered it before. It is tucked away with a lot of other batter type recipes. The Tomato Pancakes are rather scrummy. You, dear Reader, can eat a pancake on its own or serve it with other stuff. Miss Schauer suggests serving it with grilled bacon. This did not appeal to Miss E's vege heart but it went down very nicely, thank you, with buttered mushrooms and caramelized onions.
Sift 1 1/2 cups of self-raising flower with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pinch of pepper. Beat an egg for 5 minutes, add small cup of milk, good 1/2 cup of tomato pulp with 1 level teaspoon of sugar mixed through, and 1 small finely-minced onion. Gradually beat through flour till smooth. Drop tablespoon quantities into smoking fat in pan, cook till golden brown on both sides, drain.
  • Miss E started with the idea of doing things traditionally and seared her tomato over a gas flame and peeled the skin off after plunging in cold water.
  • However, minced onion! Out came the food processor and she proceeded from there with everything mixed together in the processor.
  • Remember this is batter and you can choose the consistency that suits you: very runny, thicker, or the Goldilocks variety...just right. So adjust flour and liquid to suit your requirements.
  • Miss E took the option of a larger pancake because this was part of a meal, so a tablespoon would not do.

Friday, June 01, 2007

A blogging friendship comes to lunch at The Trad Pad

Miss Eagle has never tried to get a decent self portrait.
Imperfect though this shot in the mirror is, Miss E thinks it is the best of the bunch.
Yester, Val came to lunch at The Trad Pad. It was a wonderful time of conversation, handmade books, and food.
The food was simple but appropriate for a chilly, welcome-rainy day. The slow cooker has come out of the bottom cupboard this week as the weather has achieved a certain bite to the breeze and, officially, winter has arrived to-day. It was pressed into service for the first course. On the menu was a thick vegetable broth and, to satisfy the sweet tooth, Polenta Orage Syrup Cake served with cream. The vegetable (with everything in it) broth came complete with the kluskies from Vicious Ange's Kluski Soup. The cake came from Billington's site. POLENTA ORANGE SYRUP CAKE

Ingredients - Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 110g/4oz Caster sugar
  • 110g/4oz butter - melted and cooled
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 225g/8oz polenta
  • 1 dessertspoon baking powder
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Ingredients - Syrup

  • 2 oranges
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 140g/5oz Caster sugar


  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius/325 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Line a 20cm/8inch round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and mousse-like.
  • Beat in the melted and cooled butter and orange juice.
  • Add polenta and baking powder, followed by the orange zest, salt and vanilla, beating well.
  • Pour into prepared tin.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden.
  • Test with a skewer. Skewer should come out clean if the cake is done.

While the cake is cooking make the syrup: put all the ingredients into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved completely. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

  • Remove cake from the oven and make holes in it with a skewer.
  • Pour over the hot syrup
  • Leave to cool
  • Turn out onto a serving plate
  • Serve with creme fraiche or whipped cream


Food is best when accompanied by good and lively conversation and the food was well accompanied. Val is marvellous company. As well as a former librarian at the Goethe Institute, her background is in German language and lit. studied in the mythological sixties at that great mythological institution, University of California at Berkeley. Pardon, Miss Eagle. She is a child of the sixties and Berkeley was a place one read about with amazement - at a time when merely sitting in a park in conservative Toowoomba to protest the Vietnam war was enough to bring down on one's head the epithet of "Communist!".

And there were Val's handmade books which she brought to show. Beautiful! Inspiring! And Miss Eagle was given a teensy-weensy beautiful one! Thank you, Val. Then we finished up with a visit to Craft Fair where Val purchased nothing but Miss Eagle found these papers irresistible. A sale on at the moment!

All in all, a beautiful blogging buddy day.