So how well am I doing with my desire to lose my CNY coat?


So how well am I doing with my desire to lose my CNY coat? Not too bad. When I started I weighed in at 82 kilograms. I determined that I would start reducing my carbohydrate intake but not go into hard induction as per the Atkins way of eating. I’d leave that until mid-February when I think I’ll be in a better position.

So this morning I weighed in at 78.3 kilograms. That’s okay progress. A rapid movement is good for motivation.

So what have I been eating? Breakfast has usually been an ham steak, a fried egg, a mushroom and some avocado. I’ve been gradually reducing the quantity of ham and avocado as I get happier with the appetite suppressing qualities of the protein load. For lunch I’ve been packing a little box of meat, lettuce and cheese. The meat has usually been some lamb shoulder I roasted on the weekend and pork rasher that I also roasted and cut into thin strips. I’ll also take a little meat and cheese and put into a separate box for snacks. Dinners have focused on an animal protein and a salad based on cos lettuce, spring onion, fried shallots, tomato, roasted pumpkin and sweet potato. The animal protein has been salmon and chicken mostly but also lamb and pork.

I’ve also been drinking as much water as possible to avoid gout and keep hydrated. This has meant my sleep has been disturbed with a constant desire to empty my bladder.

There have been some challenges. I’ve been out for dinner a few times but I’ve managed what I’ve eaten to minimise carbohydrate rather than trying to avoid it altogether.

I was also sent some Atkins low carbohydrate bars in the mail after I signed up for meal planning ideas with the Atkins website. The strong message from a lot of friends on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has been to avoid them. You can see images of my meals on my Instagram feed.

Thursday 2014-01-23 12.40.38-2 AEDT Atkins bars. I have mixed feelings about these bars. I don't want to become reliant on a sweet treat when the food cravings are satisfied with protein. They're also processed and for all I know contain gums and other things that are not nutritionally beneficial.

Thursday 2014-01-23 12.40.38-2 AEDT Atkins bars. I have mixed feelings about these bars. I don’t want to become reliant on a sweet treat when the food cravings are satisfied with protein. They’re also processed and for all I know contain gums and other things that are not nutritionally beneficial.

2014 Gary Lum Weight and Blood pressure Chart

This is some of the health data I've been keeping on myself.

This is some of the health data I’ve been keeping on myself.

So so far so good.

Don’t forget to read my Medical Disclaimer.

It’s time to do something about my CNY coat | I’ve added a medical disclaimer page


Over the Christmas New Year (CNY) period I put on a bit of weight. Well to be honest since about September I’ve steadily gained weight. I was about 78 kg in September and when I returned from Brisbane on 4 January I weighed in at 82 kg.

For those that don’t know me, I’ve often carried a little extra weight, as a child I was a scrawny kid mainly because of regular bouts of tonsillitis. I had them and my adenoids removed in 1971 when I was six years old. I immediately transformed into a kid who ate everything that was put in front of me no longer bound by a constant sore throat. At primary school I was the second heaviest child in my class. To play rugby league in grade four my weight put me into the open grade, something my mother would not agree with so in grade five I played hockey and in grades six and seven I convinced my mother to let me play rugby league. It was about then that I started to swim competitively and that helped me with my weight.

Through high school during the swimming, life saving and water polo training seasons I managed my weight well but in the off season I’d balloon out somewhat. Through university I worked 30 hours a week and attended university for 40 hours a week. That gave me little time to eat and kept me active. My weight sort of sat between 68 and 73 kg throughout that period. My intern and junior house officer years were amongst the happiest and busiest of my life. I was so active and worked such long hours that despite regular pizza and hamburgers in the wards at night and hash browns for breakfast I sat at around 72 kg throughout those years.

The big change came when I started specialty training. Much of the time was sitting at a desk studying or at a bench doing bench work in the laboratory. In addition, pathology scientists did a new thing I wasn’t accustomed to at work, they took morning and afternoon tea and their lunch breaks went for an hour. At the hospital I did three of my four years of specialty training the registrars and consultants could avail themselves to free biscuits and hot beverages for morning tea in the staff specialists’ lounge (paid for I’ll add by the specialists trust account and not the public purse). I always enjoyed morning tea. During those years my weight crept up to about 84 kg.

In 1996 I went to Darwin to work and live. It was a warm place to live and with the high humidity it made sense to spend more time inside than out. I was at the beginning of my career and dedicated myself to that rather than my health. By the end of 2002 I was 100 kg. I was obese, possibly dangerously obese for my height (170 cm). I went on a holiday that Christmas and my brothers started making whale noises at the beach. That convinced me I needed to lose weight. On 1 January 2003 I made a change. I had read about the Atkins way of living and decided it would be a good option for me. I had diabetes in my family history, my liver function was abnormal and my lipids were high. I also had blood pressure problems which needed attention.

I remember the two weeks of induction well. Minimal carbohydrates in the middle of summer in Darwin and to top it off I had a head cold. At the end of the two weeks I’d lost a few kilograms. I started the ongoing weight loss phase and over about three months I dropped close to 20 kilograms. In mid-2003 I was down to 73 kg and felt light headed most mornings. By the end of 2003 I was happily in maintenance and was sitting between 74 and 75 kg. My liver function tests had normalised. My lipids were normalising and my blood pressure was normal for my age. At that time I also started walking twice a day and was doing other exercise.

Turn the clock forward to 2007 and my move to Canberra. I’ve been okay with my weight but I’d also reintroduced a much higher carbohydrate load so by the time I arrived in Canberra I was happy to eat desserts and toast  every now and then.

To end that long story, I’m feeling uncomfortable about my weight. I need to lose at least 5 kilograms. I’m going to start reducing my carbohydrates (CHOs) again. I’ve got something coming up in early February which will make weight control difficult so I’ve decided I’ll start induction then but in the mean time I’m reducing my CHOs in preparation.

You can see my the meals this week that I’m enjoying myself. Lunches are always a little challenging but I’ve stuck mainly to cos lettuce, smelly cheeses and some meat of some sort.

I’m also conscious that the low CHO way of living is controversial. There are many in the health sector to argue for it and against it. I’ve read the books and some of the references and feel comfortable with my decision. It’s a personal decision and not a professional one. To that end I’ve added a medical disclaimer page to this blog because I’m conscious that many readers know that I’m also a medical practitioner. I would not want to give an impression that what I’m doing is my advice to others.

The New Morks Restaurant at Kingston


On Thursday evening, Bron (who was looking stunning) and I went to dinner with a couple of friends who we regularly dine with. We hadn’t eaten together for a while and we wanted to share travelling stories, Vietnam for us and Japan for them.

Bron and I recently had a meal at Morks in the week they were closing their Florey restaurant and we were very keen to try their new Kingston Foreshore restaurant and share what we knew would be a good meal with our friends.

The new venue is a lot bigger than the old place in Florey. They have a ‘canal’ view near Travillian Quay opposite a large block of up market apartments. We could see people in their living areas, some on their balconies barbecuing and throwing bread into the canal for the black swans to eat. There is also space for outside dining and in summer I’m sure this will be sought after by diners.

Inside everything is new and shiny. Music is now a feature of dining at Morks. When the restaurant is filling the noise levels are reasonably high and for me because of my partial deafness, I found it difficult to hear what was being said. Later in the evening as the crowd departed, it became cosier and much easier to hear the conversation. I think this is a feature of the transition from the ‘burbs’ to a very upmarket part of Canberra. It’s good. Everyone around us was enjoying themselves and their food all looked amazing.

As always we were greeted warmly by Benn and shown to our table. Bron and I have never shared a Morks experience with others so this was a first. At first I wondered if the table fully set might not be big enough for four of us especially if we were going to be sharing morsels around between plates. It turned out well and there was plenty of room on the table even for the long rectangular plates that a feature of some of Morks dishes.

The menu has some familiar favourites and some new items. We were aware the John Dory wasn’t there but it had been replaced with a Monk fish dish.

For me, I was going to relive some classics.

For an entrée I chose the pan seared scallops and a pig ear terrine. It was delicious. The scallops were perfectly cooked and the chilli with the lemon juice made my tongue sing for more.

Morks Entrée

PAN SEARED SCALLOPS AND PIG EAR TERRINE WITH A DELICATELY BALANCED RELISH OF CORIANDER ROOT, GARLIC, CHILLI AND LEMON JUICE SERVED WITH GRILLED SPRING ONION

For my main course I asked for the braised pork belly with crackling. This is a cracker of a dish. There is so much flavour in the pork and the texture is out of this world. There are layers of English spinach between layers of pork which is perfectly cooked and oh so tender. The crackling is a lovely touch as are the quail eggs. It’s a good thing you get two pieces of pork on the dish. I reckon I could eat more.

Morks Main

BRAISED PORK BELLY WITH CRACKLING, ENGLISH SPINACH, BOILED QUAIL EGGS SERVED WITH FIVE SPICE PORK REDUCTION, CHILLI AND GARLIC RELISH AND RICE FRIED WITH BASIL AND CHILLI

For dessert we were treated to a new dessert. Home made coconut ice cream sitting in sweetened condensed milk under the cover of coconut flavoured fairy floss (cotton candy or spun sugar for North American readers) along with a piece of toasted shaved coconut. This was sublime.

Morks dessert

SWEET “EGG IN HAY” – COCONUT ICE CREAM, SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK, TOASTED SHAVED COCONUT

We had a fantastic evening. Good food, great company and a nice new restaurant to enjoy.

All up the cost was very reasonable. I’d rate this a very worthwhile place to dine. I didn’t attend the rest rooms so there are no dunny ratings. In terms of napkins a clear pass. They were linen. As for the waiter etiquette, it was a pass too. With each service, the plates stayed until everyone had finished their meal and utensils were in the ‘finished’ position.

The new Morks will become a favourite for us I’m sure.

Morks http://morks.com.au/

The Morks story http://morks.com.au/about-us/

The Morks menu http://morks.com.au/menu/

The Morks team http://morks.com.au/the-morks-team/

UrbanSpoon http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/344/1582120/restaurant/ACT/Canberra/Morks-Kingston

Morks on Urbanspoon

TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews-g255057-d2069126-r174929724-Morks-Canberra_Greater_Canberra_Australian_Capital_Territory.html

Google maps

http://goo.gl/maps/NmWZk

18/19 Eastlake Parade, Kingston Foreshore
Canberra, ACT, Australia.
DINNER Tuesday–Saturday from 6 pm

LUNCH Tuesaday–Friday from 11.30 am

BRUNCH Saturday and Sunday from 10.30 am

Telephone 02 6295 0112
E-mail manager@morks.com.au

Just a reminder, I’ve changed Facebook pages to YummyLummy Please visit and ‘Like’ it. While I don’t embed Instagram images anymore on this blog, I’m still very active on Instagram, so please visit http://instagram.com/garydlum and take a look and <3 me some of my images. Thanks :-)

Pork belly…erm Pork Barrel for breakfast and pork for tea


Today was a day dedicated to the pig. In Homer Simpson’s words, “A magical animal”.

For breakfast we went to Pork Barrel next to the Lobby restaurant, on King George Terrace in Parkes.

We both asked for Eggs Benedict with bacon served on beetroot and feta sourdough. Breakfast cost $58 which is outrageous. That said, the bread was very very good. The eggs were perfectly cooked and the bacon was just right.

‘Bowls’ for breakfast meals coupled with breakfast knives that cannot cut the crust of sourdough are things that annoy me about some Canberra venues. I know that Tara also has a thing about knives too.

After breakfast we went for a short walk. It was a really nice breakfast but not worth $58.

Tonight for dinner Bron made bun cha from scratch. It was delicious. Amazing. Best ever.

It’s been a magical piggy day :-)

Thanks Bron for a great meal.

Caramel mousse from Ricardo’s cafe

Pork Barrel http://www.porkbarrel.com.au/

UrbanSpoon http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/344/1558464/restaurant/ACT/Canberra/Pork-Barrel-Cafe-Parkes

Pork Barrel Cafe on Urbanspoon

TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g255057-d3537245-Reviews-Porkbarrel_Cafe-Canberra_Greater_Canberra_Australian_Capital_Territory.html

Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/XCxJP

Dinner at Rubicon | Griffith shops


On Thursday evening Bron and I went to Rubicon for the first time. We’d heard a lot about Rubicon, almost all good, especially the food.

The restaurant entrance is deceiving. From the outside it’s next to the Griffith Vietnamese restaurant (mentioned previously). There are other restaurants but the sense from the front is of a small foot print. On entering the restaurant you can see it’s quite deep and it extends out the back
Rubicon’s À la carte menu is full of delightful choices. The entrée and main course selections are complex and very descriptive in terms of flavours. There are also vegetarian options that integrate nicely into the full menu.
For an entrée I chose Pork assiette–belly with chilli lime caramel, rolled shin and boudin noir, crispy ear and herb salad. The rolled shin, crispy ear and herb salad was delicious and full of flavour. The pork belly was nice but the skin was slightly tough and chewy.
Pork assiette

For a main course I wanted pork again and chose the Confit of duck leg, Toulouse sausage and pork cassoulet.The duck was very nice. Not as nice as the duck I had in Ho Chi Minh City recently, but still very nice. The Toulouse sausage was quite strong but not unpleasant. The pork cassoulet was a little disappointing. There wasn’t much pork but the beans and green pepper corns gave it great flavour.
Confit of duck leg

For dessert I chose the chocolate caramel tart with white chocolate ice cream. I found this okay but nothing to write home about. The caramel was a smear on the plate and I couldn’t sense any caramel in the chocolate tart itself.
Caramel chocolate tart

The service is pretty friendly and relaxed. The wait staff were attentive but there were times when we felt we were waiting longer than we’ve waited before in similar restaurants like Aubergine and Sage.
This is our first time at Rubicon. I’d rate it worthwhile for those who enjoy fine dining in Canberra. If I was asked where I’d go if given a choice between Aubergine, Sage and Rubicon I’d take the order I just wrote although the difference between Aubergine and Sage is small with some distance to Rubicon.

I’m sorry about the poor photography. The lighting was poor.

Rubicon http://www.rubiconrestaurant.com.au/home
UrbanSpoon http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/344/1544376/restaurant/ACT/Canberra/Rubicon-Griffith
Rubicon on Urbanspoon
TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g255057-d728062-Reviews-Rubicon-Canberra_Greater_Canberra_Australian_Capital_Territory.html
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/kuDZC

My week in Instagram | #TheEkka | A new blog | Shoutout @CowboysXBones | Battered sav time


Wow since last Saturday so much has happened. It’s been a huge week and with all the food I’ve enjoyed I’m feeling huge. I really need to do something but I’m in a frame of mind at the moment that’s making it hard to resist eating.

Let’s start with Sunday morning. I went for a walk and said g’day to Mr Owl.

Did you see the sliver of moon?

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Bron invited me over for a fabulous breakfast. She’d been to the fresh food markets on Sunday and got some truffles that had been grown locally. For readers not based in Canberra, the ACT has a thriving truffle community. Truffles with butter and in eggs is amazing and Bron makes the best breakfasts.

Must always start breakfast with coffee

I love the reflection of the light in this image

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Bron made scrambled eggs with truffled butter she made on Saturday

These were fantastic.

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Because I’m doing a clinical day now I find I have to go into work on some Sundays to catch up. The office coffee isn’t as nice as Bron’s.

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I didn’t spend all day at work and for lunch made myself a light noodle meal

I prefer cooking with gas

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For dinner Bron invited me over for one of the best meals I’ve eaten. Roasted pork hock with marinaded cabbage, cauliflower cheese, roasted potatoes and potato dumplings. This was THE BEST.

The pork hock was perfectly cooked

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For dessert Bron went one step better if you can believe that. Bakewell tart. I kept on calling it a pie, but it’s a tart.

Bron is the BEST cook I know

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Shortly after, Miss16 sent me an image of a cake she had just made. A baklava torte.

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Mr Owl at 4.30 am

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A smoothie to try not to eat too much

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With the slow cooker roasted beef from Saturday I had sandwich meat for lunches. A money saver and a tool to try to stop myself from buying pies and sausage rolls.

This also had tomatoes and mustard

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My big weight loss problem is the amount of charity chocolate I am tempted by and give in to. I’m good at giving to charity.

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Monday night I made salmon and noodles

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Followed with some evening reading and a peppermint tea

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Tuesday morning Mr Owl image

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Tuesday evening dinner. Chicken and what Aldi calls Jewels rather than potato gems.

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Wednesday morning Mr Owl from behind

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The Belconnen Arts Centre looks peaceful at 5 am

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I did a naughty thing for Wednesday lunch. I added chips to my beef sandwich.

But they were so good

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We have these letters left over from Christmas decorations at work and we make words with them when we feel the urge. The word for Wednesday was mole. I mentioned the Mexican sauce as my inspiration while others thought of blind mammals. I also described various skin lesions and then someone mentioned that mole is used as a derogatory term too so we stopped. But not until someone told us about the children’s story of the mole who was defecated on. This is the YouTube video of the story book.

It is worth the few minutes.

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For Wednesday and Thursday night check out the separate post on the two restaurants we dined at. http://yummylummy.com/2013/08/10/two-ss-this-week-for-dinner-sanurs-balinese-sage-dining-rooms/

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Thursday morning I enjoyed a poached egg and lemon butter on toast. It was like a sweet lemony hollandaise.

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A tip for people who love a toasted sandwich and need to use a shared toaster. I wrap my sandwiches in baking powder before packing it into my lunch box.

It means you keep the toaster clean and no one else’s crud contaminates your sandwich.

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Friday started with a coffee at the hospital

Did you see the apparent temperature!!!

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Now to introduce my new blog. I had a spare domain name after I changed from http://garydavidlum.com to http://yummylummy.com What to do I thought. Please check out http://garydavidlum.com and see what I’ve done.

This image can be found at http://garydavidlum.com/2013/08/10/escherichia-coli-on-macconkey-agar/

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Lunch at the hospital was risotto

Followed by a little blutac dog :-)

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Guess where I went on Friday afternoon?

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The obligatory boarding pass image

With soup

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That’s QF962. Gee I have a big head.

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Dinner on QF962 was chicken and leek with Bundaberg ginger beer

The comments weren’t complimentary

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Saturday morning I woke up and Miss16 made me breakfast. Toast with Mum’s lemon butter smeared on. Miss16 has not inherited my technique of applying spreads. I like the troweling method.

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THIS IS WHAT I CALL WINTER PEOPLE

It was awfully dry though and my skin felt really bad. I was in discomfort all day.

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While Miss12 and Miss16 were at training I took my parents and Miss18 to FantAsia for lunch. I had the Kuta beef rendang

It was pretty good

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Saturday afternoon and evening were dedicated to The Ekka, The Royal National Association Exhibition or the Show. The best Show in Australia. Far better than the Sydney Easter Show. More fun, more entertaining and a much better atmosphere. I also like small town shows, like the Royal Darwin Show too. http://ekka.com.au/

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The first thing we did was head to the Woolworths Fresh Food pavilion because Miss12 and Miss16 needed lunch. We looked around at all the stalls and they said the wanted dumplings.

Char siu bao

Pork and prawn dumplings

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The kids contributed to the graffiti wall

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I love the exhibits from the government agencies

As a kid I loved zoölogy so much and reading all about the Queensland lung fish. If you perform a search you’ll learn what a remarkable fish this is.

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Next were the cake decorations

I was saddened when I watched a family come over, the kids were keen but the father told them this was not interesting enough. The kids clearly wanted to look at the exhibit.

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No we didn’t do this but we spent a good amount of time in Sideshow alley

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I saw this and started salivating

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Next on the list were the animal exhibits. Everyone shoots the whole beast to get a feeling for size. I did something a little more abstract.

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We saw lambs being born

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One of the rituals of The Ekka is the Strawberry Sundae. These have been a mainstay of The Ekka for as long as I can remember. I think the previous ice cream manufacturer was Pauls. It’s now Lick Ice Cream http://lickicecream.com.au

There would be many Ekka aficionados who would object to a new ice cream source but I suppose we have to move with the times and I guess a business decision was necessary. That said, I like the new ice cream. It’s creamy deliciousness.

I can’t remember a time with Ekka Strawberry Sundaes didn’t exist. In 1995 in my final year of specialist training I was based at what was then the Royal Brisbane Hospital (now the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital). During the RNA week we had a system in place where we sent a volunteer down from the hospital to cross the road to the show ground with a stainless steel tray (designed for something else but perfect for ice cream cones). We had a ‘contact’ on the inside and we were able to buy enough ice cream for anyone who wanted one. I’ve always said the Princess Alexandra Hospital was the best in terms of my professional training, but for 10 days in 1995, the RBH was magical.

This year the organisers had made some changes and there were about four or five Ekka Strawberry Sundae stalls set up each staffed with volunteers because all the proceeds go to the Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside (formerly the Chermside Chest Hospital). At $4.80 per cone I hope they make a gazillion dollars for TPCH.

The queues were huge but we were happy to wait. I had Miss16 keeping me company.

This is how a Ekka Strawberry Sunday is put together. There’s a lot of Brisbane and Queensland goodness in this. An Instagram friend did point out the cone was probably made in China. As an Brisbane born Queenslander of Chinese heritage, it seems perfect to me.

Throughout the afternoon and evening we did see a problem with the sundaes especially with patrons carrying them on trays. The top strawberry kept slipping off. The cream interface between the strawberry and the strawberry ice cream needed to be firmer and possibly less creamy. The taste was amazing but for practical purposes they may need to look at this.

This is me and my Ekka Strawberry Sundae. This image is what should be interpreted as HAPPINESS.

After another session in sideshow alley which involved Miss18 buying a firefighters’ calendar and getting firemen to sign it for her we went to the main show arena to watch some wood chop. I love the wood chop. This is a sport invented by Australians and competitions occur at all the major shows in Australia. Tonight we watched two relay teams (red and blue). The lead underhand axeman for the red team who were were supporting only had one arm. He was AWESOME. Can you imagine swinging an axe with one arm? Can you imagine doing an underhand wood chop with one arm? In the end the red team won.

Click on the PLAY icon to show the video

Time in side show alley

Miss16 is all about power

The main arena was full. We couldn’t get a seat at first. In the end we found a plank we could sit on way up the back in one of the stands. The evening’s entertainment involved a monster truck, viz., devil’s taxi, trails motorcycles, a stockman mustering show, and a singer named Ricki-Lee Coulter. The best part of the evening was thirty minutes of fireworks which featured Ironman and a bloke flying a jetpack. It was one of the best fireworks shows I’ve ever seen. The Ekka has outdone itself. If I lived in Brisbane I’d go again. Alas, I won’t be doing this again for some time.

Lights and a jetpack Click on the PLAY icon to show the video

A great use for quad bikes Click on the PLAY icon to show the video

The fireworks finished at around 8.15 pm and rather than get caught up in the crowd crush for the train we decided to go to sideshow alley once more and find something to eat. Miss18 wasn’t hungry, Miss16 wanted a hamburger, Miss12 wanted hot chips and me, well I wanted a Dagwood dog. This is were I do a shout out to a blogger friend Cowboys and Crossbones from the US who recently attended the Iowa State Fair and shared an image of herself chowing down on a Corn dog.

In Australia, the corn dog is known as a Dagwood dog or Pluto pup or a battered sav on a stick. Ever since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games though and work of Roy and HG Nelson a battered sav will take on a different meaning.

Roy and HG on the battered sav, crazy date and spinning flute

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To be honest, there’s nothing nutritious about a Dagwood dog. Unless it’s hot they can be quite oily and unpleasant. They’re best eaten when hungry and when they’re hot. Fortunately for me after walking about 20000 steps and with sore feet I was hungry and this battered sav on a stick must have just been cooked because the tomato sauce was dripping off it from the heat.

My feet hurt

After some more sideshow alley fun we caught the train home. We got in at about 10 pm and settled in for a couple of MasterChefAU encore episodes on 11.

For breakfast this morning Mum wanted to surprise me with something she hasn’t made for >30 years. When we were in high school the mother of a friend shared with Mum a breakfast idea for toast and toasted sandwiches. It consisted of Dutch roast pork, bacon, chopped tomatoes, Coon cheese, Parmesan cheese, raw egg, tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce. This is spread on par toasted slices of bread and then finished off in a hot oven.

Miss18 has had her learner’s permit since she turned 17. Her log book is nearly complete and she wants to sit her examination soon. We spent some time in my parent’s car with Miss18 driving. She’s pretty good. Confident but not cocksure. For morning tea we stopped at McDonalds and enjoyed a shake. We also saw a great sticker on a ute being critical of those stick figure family stickers. I don’t mind the family stickers. I’d never put them on my car but I don’t mind them.

and Miss18 bought macarons for us to eat

Raspberry macaron

The weekend is coming to an end. I’ve enjoyed this trip to Brisbane a little more than normal. I had my kids with me. We went to The Ekka together. We had fun. I always enjoy seeing my kids. This trip though had the bonus of six hours of entertainment and junk food coupled with lots of walking.

Waiting for the flight home

The snack on QF957

Dinner of noodles and beef

Dessert is a Tim Tam Slam

Natalie Imbruglia shows Graham Norton how to do a tim tam slam.

Bron’s pulled pork in brine with molasses


Last night Bron completed part two of our pulled pork adventure. A couple of weeks ago Bron made a slow cooker coca cola pulled pork.

Last night Bron prepared a slow oven cooked pork butt with brine, molasses and a rub.

I forgot to copy down the recipe but I think it went a long the lines of soaking the pork butt in molasses and brine overnight and then after drying, it was rubbed with ground cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, onion powder, paprika and chilli. The pork butt was then placed in a low oven for a few hours. I made a mistake last night when I told an Instagram friend that it was cooked in a slow cooker.

I like big butts when it’s Bron pulled pork butt ;-)

You can see the pork as it emerged from the oven and then after Bron had pulled apart the cooked and tender muscle fibre bundles. The smell in the kitchen was amazing.

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We were having sandwiches again and Bron made a lovely coleslaw to balance the meatiness of the pork.

The colours of coleslaw always make me feel happy.

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One of the necessary items for a really good sandwich is a really soft and fresh bread roll.

Bron bought extras because she knew I was hungry.

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The pulled pork sandwich

This is my first sandwich. Pulled pork, coleslaw and a nice smokey barbecue sauce on a fresh soft white bread roll.

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Bron had separated the rind from the butt and put it in the oven to continue rendering. It contained all the rubbed in flavour and we both agreed it would be a great addition to a sandwich.

You can see the lovely layer of dark flavoured pork butt fat as the first layer on my sandwich. This was happiness on a plate. It tasted so good.

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To finish the evening’s dining Bron made a chocolate hazelnut meringue layer cake

It was topped with a snow white chocolate flake :-)

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My slice was thin, it had to be. It was so rich and fulfilling.

Served with strawberries in syrup

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Thank you Bron for a spectacular meal.

The P Dinner


Last night Bron and I went to dinner party with friends who feature regularly in this blog. A few weeks ago a P theme was suggested and agreed.

We also had another guest, a friend who was visiting from the US.

Menu
Pre-Primary
Pistachios, Peanuts and Peas
Primary 1
Prawn, Pisces and Pals chowder with roast PumPkin Pain
Primary 2
Pear, Pomegranate and Persimmon surPrise
Primary 3
Paella and Pork belly
Post Primary
Profiteroles
Passionfruit souffle´
Pannacotta

Parch Pleasers
Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, PoP

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As you can see the strong P theme. My only contribution was explaining how pissed off I was to pay 50 pence to pee in Green Park last weekend.

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Seafood chowder with prawns, fish, scallops and mussels. I forgot to capture an image of the pumpkin bread.

I really like chowder. This one was thick, tasty and nourishing.

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The next course was the pork belly with crispy crackling and a pear salad with haloumi surprise.

The pork belly was pull apart tender and the crackling was crisp so that an old man with false teeth would love it. Not chewy, not tough, just crispy perfect.

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The paella

This was gorgeous. I’d paced myself to get to this point. I declined a second bowl of chowder and I only had one second helping of pork belly crackling.

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The profiteroles

These were also filled with a lovely gooey vanilla custard which was to die for

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The panna cotta

This is the best panna cotta I’ve ever eaten.

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The passionfruit soufflé

This was light fluffy and full of lovely passionfruit flavour

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This was a great evening. We even had an impromptu video chat with a friend in the US while eating.

Many thanks to our wonderful hosts for another spectacular evening of fun and food.

Bron’s pulled pork special | Game of Thrones Series 3, Episode 9


On Saturday night Bron invited me over for a special dinner and Game of Thrones evening. For fans of GOT, series 3, episode 9 is a stunner. You need a really good meal in your belly before watching this episode. Fantastic action and drama.

Bron began preparation for dinner early Saturday morning. It was going to be a slow cooker pulled pork made with coca cola and barbecue sauce.

Check out that yummy pork butt

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In the afternoon Bron’s place smelt divine.

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When it came time for dinner Bron pulled apart the pork and made a really nice coleslaw.

The buns were soft and fresh

This gives an impression of two each. Guess how many I ate?

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The coleslaw was fresh and tasty

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After eight or so hours of flavour development this is the pulled pork butt

I wish you could smell this

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You have to use proper coca cola

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We didn’t need butter for the bun, you should have seen the fat that came out of that pork butt

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This is before squishing it down and chomping

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At an angle

Barbecue sauce is a must have with this sandwich. Its smokiness really accentuates the flavours.

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And to finish, Bron’s cookie and cream cheesecake

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Oh Game of Thrones. We love it.

Bron’s Mexican magic and other food fun | I’m a slow cooker convert


All the images are from my Instagram account. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

On Friday I had another hospital day except this Friday was very special. As part of my refresher training I got to attend a National Neisseria Network meeting and its gonorrhoea* day. It’s been five years since my last NNN meeting and I’ve especially missed my gonorrhoea and meningococcal meningitis/septicæmia friends. There were lots of hands shaken plus hugs and kisses with old friends. It was good to be back with mates.

I started the day with some avocado on toast

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Because parking in Canberra is less than easy (to put it politely) I set off early to find an all day parking spot ($9). That gave me time to have a nice coffee at the Elk and Pea.  References to Elk and Pea in Yummy Lummy.

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After a great day I went to have dinner with Bron at the Canberra Southern Cross Club.  References to Canberra Southern Cross Club Jamison in Yummy Lummy.

I wanted a steak

Look at the unctuous Hollandaise sauce! It all sat on a bed of mashed potato.

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I didn’t need this but I wanted to try Hummingbird cake

It wasn’t very good if I’m honest. I should have asked for baked cheesecake.

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Cornerstone Brasserie on Urbanspoon

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I woke up on Saturday and decided I wanted an omelet

Yes that’s cranberry jelly because jam is good with anything (my personal motto). This was a Gruyere and coon cheese omelet with parsley (no meat).

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Grocery shopping is not complete without a flat white coffee at Gourmet Deli at Westfield Belconnen

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I bought a Status Quo CD at the supermarket. Don’t judge me.

Coles have used a Status Quo song for their discount pricing. Many Australians believe the band has sold out.

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For my birthday Mum and dad got me a Myer gift card for $50.  [Myer on Twitter] I had every intention of buying a new toaster. I went past the slow cookers and saw this and couldn’t take my eyes off it.

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In the last post I mentioned my shelf of shame

I’m grateful to friends who saw no shame in having a shelf with tinned meat in it. Many of my former school mates do believe like me that SPAM is meat.

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Okay so this is where this post means the business. Last night Bron conjured some Mexican magic and made a splendid nay stupendous meal of chicken with mole sauce. Bron had made this before but last night’s meal was served with corn bread too.

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Corn bread out of the oven

It was beautiful

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Chicken with the chocolate mole sauce off the stove

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Our meal was served with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream

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I ate mine as a tortilla

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I ate three of these. This was the skinniest one :-)

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At the end there was a little salsa, guacamole and sour cream left over. Bron asked what should be done with it? What did you think I did with it?

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For dessert Bron made a David Lebovitz inspired Orange-Cardamon flan

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Just so you know how good it looked served up. It was magnificent. Do you like the way it’s garnished?

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Yummy corn bread

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I had a food baby after dinner. It was amazingly good. Thank you Bron. It was spectacular.

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Sunday was welcomed with avocado on toast again

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I needed to buy food for the slow cooker, so why not have another coffee

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Lunch was grilled coon cheese on toast

A blogger friend, viz., Hilah Johnson from Hilah Cooking asked what was coon cheese. Check it out at http://coon.com.au/index.html

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Today I used my new Breville Fast Slow Cooker for the first time. I’ve never used a slow cooker before.

I looked at a few on-line recipes as well as some of Bron’s and thought I’d do a pork curry. I ended up making it up as I thought about it. Bron convinced me not to go with a prepared packet mix.

I used the following ingredients:

Belly pork and pork forequarter chops ~1 kg
Onion brown 1
Green pepper corns 1 small tin
Water chestnuts 1 small tin sliced
Peanut paste 1 small container
Coconut milk 1 tin
Star anise 2
Chinese five spice a couple of good pinches
Brown sugar 1 tablespoon
Chinese broccoli as much as you like
Bok choy as much as you like
Carrots as much as you like
Potatoes 2 cut in quarters

I browned off the meat and onions and then added them to the bowl along with all the other ingredients plus some water. I locked the lid and set the cooker to six hours and waited.

It may not look too flash but this pork curry was delicious. I have three containers in the refrigerator for work lunches this week.

It’s been a good few days in food. I hope you have a good week and enjoy eating.

* One of my favourite infections as a Clinical Microbiologist is gonorrhoea and more specifically, one of my favourite microorganisms is Neisseria gonorrhoeæ. I have a few microorganisms that are more favourite. Maybe one day I’ll blog about them. When I was working in the Northern Territory of Australia, I was really interested in gonorrhoea in Indigenous Australians and antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeæ.