Winter Love

Sunrise 19th June 2018

For the most part, I really like winter. Here in Hobart it brings the Dark MOFO festival, which always leaves me enriched emotionally but (happily) broke from concert fees. This year I saw one of my favourite German bands Einsturzende Neubauten again, Australian treasure Tim Minchin for the first time and the magnificent multimedia artist Laurie Anderson live in concert.

The chickens aren’t laying much and I miss the long days in the garden admittedly, but I like the short, crisply sunny days and love the smell of soup or hearty stews in the slow cooker (usually served with a robust winter garden salad) and although me and mine aren’t big on sweet things, we love the occasional winter pudding. Lemon Self-Saucing Pudding is one of the first things I ever baked on my own when I was very young, baked in an old Metters wood stove and supervised by my mother and grandmother. Over the years I’ve tweaked this recipe a lot, ensuring there’s a reasonable balance between the light and golden sponge to rich and luscious sauce, even adding little touches like very finely grated ginger to shift the flavour profile.

Having home grown lemons and limes has encouraged me to bring this beauty out again and I think this is something of a triumph in terms of flavour/texture balance. I hope you enjoy it ❤

Deb’s Lemon & Lime Self-Saucing Pudding

75g butter

1 scant cup of sugar

2 cups milk

¼ cup Self Raising flour

1-2 lemons (see note below)

2-3 limes (see note below)

3 eggs

Preheat an oven to 160-180 C (320-350 F). Cream the butter and sugar very thoroughly. In a clean large bowl, separate the egg whites and mix the yolks with the creamed butter and sugar.

 

 

Grate the lemon and lime rind, juice the fruit and add this to the batter. Add a little of the milk to the mix and once it’s well combined add the flour. Mix this through, ensuring there’s no lumps and gradually add the rest of the milk.

Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks and fold this carefully through the mixture.

Pour into a greased 6 cup soufflé dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the pudding has pulled away from the edge of the dish. If the top has browned but it seems like there’s too much liquid, leave the pudding in the oven (switched off) for another 10 minutes. Serve as is or with a dash of cream for extra richness.

NOTE: My family like very tart citrus flavours and less sugar, so I used 2 lemons and 3 small Tahitian limes to a scant cup of sugar in this recipe. Feel free to adjust to your taste! I also picked the fruit a few days ago, so they’d had a chance to relax a little and reach maximum juiciness.

Let me know if you try this and how it behaves for you. And as always, feel free to add or reduce sugar levels to suit your personal taste 🙂

The Bittersweet Nature of a Busy Life

Sometimes, things fall in your lap that are wonderful. And throughout my life, I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of these treasures come my way.

Meeting Kirsty, then Sara and playing in Straddlepuss with them has certainly been a treasure. Not only are these two great emerging musicians and songwriters but also amazing young women, who I’m really proud to call my friends. Saturday 21st March, we are incredibly pleased to be playing at GRRL Fest 2015 in Melbourne.

So, It’s more than a little bittersweet to announce that I’ve decided to leave Straddlepuss – but other exciting projects are starting to get very pressing!

I’m really pleased to announce that The Woman on the Edge of the World will be going ahead as a CD release later this year. Remastering is scheduled for mid-late April, artwork is in the final stages, and it will be limited to only 100 signed and numbered copies. Also, it will only be available through me. I’m happy to take pre-orders but holding off a little until I find out the retail price. Trying my best to keep this little collectable affordable! Plus, The Lucky Six covers EP which was first mooted as a recording project in 2013, looks like it will happen as (at least) a digital download later this year. At present, we’re considering mastering, release options and licensing, all the important – but often tedious – stuff that makes the music industry go round.

Meanwhile, the All At Sea project with documentary maker, Josh Troy and the inimitable Matt Sertori from Butterscotch Pony is still forging on. Lots of footage for me to look at now apparently! And we still have to look at recording options for this beastie too……. so much work to do!

And amongst all of this, my university studies continue. I’m doing second year Screen Studies units now through Griffith University and it’s really making me work. Nevertheless, I’m really enjoying the challenge. It’s so different to anything else in my life.

Honestly, I’ll really miss playing in Straddlepuss but I look forward to my other projects and new challenges. I’ll still be going to their gigs in the future and cheering on these truly fabulous women ❤

Back to University and Beautiful Friends

Well, today is momentous. I am now officially back at University! I’m a little scared still but very excited about getting back into scan reading mountains of papers and books for references, making coherent arguments in essays and referencing it all correctly – oh dear, what have I done??!!! No, seriously – it’ll be fun once I get back into the swing 😉

Thanks to my beautiful friends Lauren and Patsi, I’ve been able to log on and join in the discussion board and download extra material that Griffith University didn’t post to me. Yes, I still don’t have a dedicated internet connection at home and sadly, I haven’t been able to keep up with my NaBloPoMo committments, but I’m doing my best.

Over the weekend, I also had some great times with other beautiful friends, namely Jax and Malcolm Battersby. Mal and I played a really nice gig at the Richmond Festival. It was the inaugural Songwriters Concert at the festival and we got to work with some great local artists and the organiser – champion of original music, Roger Joseph.

The other truly beautiful thing is I heard a new song Jax’s written (as yet untitled) and it’s just gorgeous. I understand she’s going to debut it live at the ASA December 11th gig and I can’t wait to hear it again! I heard a rough from Belfry Studio but once the mix is finalised, it’ll be up on Jax’s Triple J Unearthed page. It’s so satisfying to see someone with so much raw talent start to blossom into a confident and accomplished writer and recording artist – it’s really inspirational!

All in all, a very satisfying time in my life – despite the lack of home internet.

Take care everyone and have a wonderful day too, wherever you are

Debra 🙂

Mal & Jax 24 Nov 2013

Joe Abercrombie & Happening Hobart

It’s all been at my doorstep recently, wherever I turned there was something to see, do, attend, revel in – and this was just in and around Hobart!

Last weekend there was wonderful community-building The Works Festival at Glenorchy, Music Tas’ Amplified Festival (that I was very proud to be involved in with The Fringe Dwellers). The previous week we had Synesthesia at MONA and the Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival…… and a visit from Joe Abercrombie – one of my favorite writers.

For the uninitiated, he’s the author of six books all set (so far) in a world not too dissimilar from our own in the late middle ages or early renaissance . The First Law Trilogy (1. The Blade Itself, 2. Before They Are Hanged, 3. Last Argument Of Kings) is an epic, humorous, brutal and twisting introduction to this guy’s universe – and I wouldn’t recommend it to the squeamish! Best Served Cold (my personal favorite), The Heroes and recently released Red Country are stand alone novels that include characters from the trilogy.

Apart from the fact he writes really well, he’s also quite a charming young man and has a family to feed – go buy his books 🙂

The delightful Joe Abercrombie