Friday, January 18, 2008

Trivial History January 18

A beautifully overcast and cloudy day with promises of possible precipitation to pour, patter and plop upon the patch, patio, plot and park alike.

Rain dammit!

1778 On his third fishing trip, Captain Jimmy Cook fell over the Hawaiian Islands he ominously branded The Sandwich Islands.

1788 Captain Arthur Phillip parked his boat and rocked up to Botany Bay.

1794 Norfolk Island put on a shindig and a play to party for the Queen's Birthday but the NSW Corps got carried away and started a riot...just as well they didn't advertise it on MySpace!

A family in Monaro, NSW kept a pet wombat which would meet the kids outside their school each day and walk them home. If anyone tried to approach the kids, the wombat would protect them by charging at the strangers.

1815 A residential school opened in Parramatta for Aboriginal and European children.

1816 The ship "Fanny" hit the air brakes at Port Jackson. She had lugged 171 convicts across the seas and brought the latest (6 months old) news of the Battle of Waterloo. Don't know why they just didn't SMS...

1849 Edmund Barton, our first Prime Minister, was spawned. Read more about this likely lad HERE.

Ghost spot-
In the town of Woods Point (Vic), is a house protected by a friendly spirit. Several times kero lamps have been knocked over only to be rescued by an unseen hand preventing a fire and sleepers have felt their blankets pulled up and tucked in around them - when no one else has been at the house.

1863 Ernest De Burgh, who took his mother's advice when she said "Build a bridge and get over it,Ernie" and built bridges all over NSW, was hatched. Read more about this chappie HERE.

1865 Francis Williamson, a school teacher and poet who encouraged sing alongs in class, was dropped off by the stork. Read more about this whimsical bloke HERE.

1872 Millicent Eastwood, a lady who did nothing special except to work bloody hard for her 3 daughters and lodgers, was found in the petunia patch. Think you've got it tough? Read more about Millicent HERE

Great Aunt Hepzibah's Handy Hints-
In the warmer months, do not spin dry your washing but let it drip dry on the clothes line. The weight of the water will remove most, if not all, of any wrinkles and save you from ironing. The water will also help keep any lawn alive too.

1878 Get your backs into it boys! The Ghan Railway construction was begun.

1905 Donald McLean, a novelist and school teacher who had *shock* commonsense ideas about education, was pupped. Read more about him HERE.

1934 Deciding the change of hairstyle deserved a change of moniker, The Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service re-branded itself as QANTAS Empire Airways...and God bless all who sail in her...

Great Uncle Rupert's Ripper Refreshments-
Devil's Handbrake.
Into a shooter glass carefully layer with a spoon 15ml Banana Liqueur,15ml Mango Liqueur and 15ml Cherry Brandy, then serve.
*Great Uncle Rupert advocates the responsible service of alcohol and drinking in moderation.

1944 Paul Keating, former politician and Prime Minster, was hatched. Keating had a way with words and you can read some of his utterances HERE.

1972 Germaine Greer held the launch of her book, The Female Eunuch, in Australia. Mother always said if you can't say something nice, keep quiet, so................

Grandma Mehitabel's Menu-
Dead Easy Creamy Chicken Vol-au-Vents.
Buy vol-au-vent cases. (I did say it was easy!)
In a saucepan melt butter then saute finely chopped spring onions, celery, beans and broccoli (substitute with asparagus and leeks if you wish).
Finely chop cooked chicken breasts, add to pot and stir. Thicken with corn flour, adding and stirring until mixture clings together.
Slowly add small amounts of milk, stirring constantly to stop the heat from burning the mixture. Keep adding milk until you have a thick,creamy texture.
Allow to cool, add grated cheese if you wish.
Spoon into vol-au-vent cases and bake in a moderate oven for 15-25mins.


  1. Raining by the bucketful here.I love the vol au vents recipe - yum ! must try and the devil's handshake too. Great history lesson.

  2. re "raing, dammit"

    I have just had 40mms in the rain gauge in one hour.
    It was sheeting down and the foals were completely terrified.

    the bone-dry hard ground didn't absorb any of it of course, there is just rivers and lakes.

    I celebrated with a rare and long shower though

  3. Jayne!

    Your recipe is going to be one of the first things I make in our new house!!!!
    I have been going to make vouli's for a while now but didn't have a recipe to follow so was just gonna make it up "as I go".

    BTW, thank you for the Bits & Bobs piece. Pls check your entrecard msg's ;o)

  4. And what is wrong with perfectly good tins of condensed soup to make volley-vents?

  5. Thanks Baby~Amore :)

    Still chanting "rain,dammit" here lol BWCA, hope you enjoyed your long shower ;)

    No probs Socko, done ;)

    'Cause I break my nails on those tins, Andrew lol :P