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December 23, 2017


Readings week 51

by N@ncy

  • Between grocery shopping and cooking…
  • I’ve litte time for ‘ sit down serious reading’.
  • Here are a few snippets, thoughts while making pumpkin pie (Mom’s recipe)
  • and  …mushroom lasagna! (Cookbook Plenty by  Y. Ottolenghi)

  1. #SNAFU in the Xmas kitchen….chilled dough ready for pumpkin pie
  2. …. and I can’t find my rolling pin!
  3. PS:  I can eat Pumpkin Pie for breakfast!


  1. This  dish took me 4 hours to make:
  2. 4 different cheeses – béchemal sauce – chop 2 lbs mushrooms + 15 onions
  3. pre-soak lasagna pasta….and then put all this together in layers!
  4. I deserve a ‘y-uuuge’ glass of wine after this culinary extravaganza!
  5. Ready for the oven….XMAS Mushroom Lasagna!
  6. I used every frying pan, dish, spatula and bowl in my kitchen
  7. to make this…I’m exhausted!
  8. Happy Holiday!


UPDATE 17-18 December 2017

  1. Read: ISLAND  magazine (nr 151)
  2. This is a Tasmanian Literary publication sent to me all the way from Port Hobart!
  3. Read: editorial by Geordie Williamson
  4. Read: poem Munchian O by Mededith Wattison.
  5. Re-read the poem   Munchian O   this morning with my coffee: makes very little sense to me except the allusions to E. Munch ‘The Scream‘ and Bruegel’s ‘Landscape With the Fall of Icarus‘. I’m sorry …I really tried to like it!
  6. Read: personal essay by Erin Hortle “How Do You Make Them See You Belong” (feminist issues in the middle of Tasmanian surf culture). This essay was so-so….issue seemed trivial to me.  Erin is trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill in my opinion…but it is important for her.
  7. Read: The Writer at Present Interview  by Benjamin Law with author Heather Rose.
  8. She is the winner  of Stella Prize 2017  book: the  Museum of Love Modern Love. She describes her journey while writing her prize winning book.
  9. Read:  2 personal essays by husband and wife team on their decision to move to Tasmania from Melbourne. These were excellent  personal essays by  Damon Young and Ruth Quibell.


Film: finished  short series HBO The Young Pope (Jude Law nominated Golden Globe 2018) ..I spent 6 hours watching the last episodes and enjoyed it but felt still as if I was wasting my reading time. Watching films and series on HBO or Netflix just feel like a ‘sugar buzz’  and later I come crashing down. On the other hand…books keep me afloat for days.

Read: The New Yorker with the new app “The New Yorker Today”.

Daily shouts:    Xmas grocery shopping/cooking got you down? #JoinTheClub
But I have just been jolted into ‘Ho-ho-ho” spirit @NewYorker “Life Hacks for the Reluctant Home Cook” (@tasneemraja)   Tasneem Raja’s  article has given me #CulinaryShame “Astronauts in space find time to make their own stock. What’s your excuse?”


ReadMeanjin  – an Australian a literary magazine

  1. Essay:  Two Fires  by T. Birch – winner of the  P.White Award 2017
  2. He is the first first indigenous writer to win the Patrick White Award
  3. His newest novel is Ghost River (2015)
  4. A collection of impressions  and people Birch met during a
  5. 2 week residency in Canada, Banff Cenre for Arts and Creativity
  6. …and Christmas Hills Readers and Writers Festival 2017.
  7. The history of a stolen generation in Canada…sound haunting.
  8. Tony Birch makes many comparisons (CAN vs AUS) and its history
  9. …of dispossession and attempt to destroy the indigenous peoples.
  10. Essay was very readable but did not ‘wow’- me.


ReadQuarterly Essay, vol. 68;  White, Hugh,  28 November 2017  (Australian)

This is worth the time it took to read….2 hrs!

  1. Essay: , ‘Without America: Australia in the New Asia’
  2. Hugh White is Professor of Strategic Studies
  3. ….at the Australian National University.
  4. Stop assuming that USA is going to dominate Asia forever
  5. Stop  assuming that USA will keep Australia safe.
  6. China is now so strong and ambitious that USA under weak
  7. that USA will cease to be a  significant player in Asia.
  8. Australia must prepare itself for this transformation.
  9. I loved White’s explanation of two world powers put their rivals to the test!
  10. “classic power-political salami-slicing”
  11. “…each slice of the salami might be insignificant,
  12. Washington looks weak if it can’t or won’t stop China taking
  13. …one slice after another, and China by contrast looks strong and resolved…”
  14. OUCH!
  15. “Rex Tillerson has proved to be the worst secretary of state in living memory,
  16. ….and the overpraised General James Mattis in Defense
  17. ….has failed to bring coherence to the administration’s strategy.”
  18. WHAT?
  19. Who would have thought that Indonesia will be a
  20. ..VERY POWERFUL country, second only to China?
  21. Thank you, Hugh White for opening my eyes….about China and Indonesia!!
  22. I think TRUMP should put this essay
  23. ‘Without America’ in his bedside night table….
  24. …his TBR!!
  25. Conclusion:
  26. 40 years ago Australia managed a ‘post-alliance’ transition with Britain.
  27. Now Australia’s task in the next few years will be…doing the same with America!
  28. China’s rise is a fact and isn’t going away.
  29. This will require Australia to rethink a lot of things,
  30. ….to make some hard choices, and perhaps
  31. …to pay some heavy costs.
  32. #ExcellentMustRead essay!


Pre- Christmas movies: 

  1. Babette’s Feast ( Best Foreign Film Oscar 1988) –  classic favorite
  2. Casablanca   –  classic love  WWII story (3 Oscars – best picture, screenplay, director 1944)
  3. Going My Way –  7 Oscars 1944;  Oscar for best actors B. Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald #MustSee
  4. Hail Caesar – picked this up at the library….don’t waste your time!
  5. Mr. Holmes – great actor Ian Mckellen…..despite this talented thespian the movie was boring!







2 Comments Post a comment
  1. tracybham
    Dec 24 2017

    Oh my goodness, that food looks great. My husband loves pumpkin pie. We have it for Thanksgiving, Christmas and in between. Fortunately Costco here makes a wonderful huge pumpkin pie and it is very inexpensive. I have made it before but would rather someone else did it for me.


    • Dec 24 2017

      Costco can do wonderful things….but I still have to make my own!
      I hold my breath every time the crust (pre-baking with pie weights) comes out of the oven.
      Whatever happens I can always eat my failures! What are the Xmas films your family will be watching this year?



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