Lemon Delicious is called a "magic pudding" because the batter separated into a cake layer with a sauce layer underneath during cooking. I loved making it with my children when they were you and now with my grandchildren.
There are two types of self saucing pudding, one that is used in this recipe is based on a souffle with egg white folded through at the final stage before baking. The second is based on a cake recipe with the "sauce" which thickens and moves underneath the cake portion during baking.
Once you have learned the technique you can experiment by adding fruits or other ingredients to make your favourite flavour.
So my plan is to make a number of courses each with its own recipe so that a variety of flavours and techniques are covered and resulting in classes that you can follow step by step while you bake.
Having made 2 or 3 recipes you will have the experience needed to make your own variations while still being able to make a different pudding each time.
There also a classic comic Australian children's book published in about 1920 and made in to an animated feature in 2000 called "The Magic Pudding". Its an adventure story about two animal and one human character who have a magic pudding that always replenishes itself after being eaten. It is quite famous and a delight to share with children, so much so that October the 12th has been declared National Pudding Day in keeping with the light hearted nature of the subject. I don't yet know if the Australian sense of humour translates for an US audience or whether it is just quirky. We'll see.
So if you like uncomplicated cooking and enjoy deserts join me on the Magic Pudding Class.
BTW: I found a great Skillshare class on Food Photography that I enjoyed and will put to good use in this class.
Travelling in Mythic Landscapes
We were on the Gunbarrel Highway returning to Fregon after a trip to Nyapari. I was high in a way that often happens from very full days, discussing Tjukurpa, freedom and the struggle for cultural maintenance around the campfire at night and sleeping under the starlit outback sky in a swag that is one of the most comforting beds I have ever slept in. We were travelling in convoy of two troopies, mine in second place some distance behind, allowing the dust to drift away from the road before we encounted it. Murray, John and various family along for the ride were travelling in front, or perhaps John was with me, I don't recall.
Up ahead was a Landcruiser stopped by the side of the road. We stopped and checked to see if we could help. It was a day's walk in either direction to the nearest community. Thinking, we have one of the most adept bush mechanics with us, perhaps there is something we could do.
"Have a look underneath, maybe there is something wrong with the driveshaft. Perhaps they can drive temporarily on the front wheels."
Hey! Open the bonnet. We peered in. Where one would normally expect to see the engine, there was a vacant space."
It was then we noticed the chain connected to the front of the vehicle. Clearly, the vehicle had been towed to this place, then left, for whatever reason.
The occupants were a couple of young women and a pile of kids plus some bags of groceries suggesting that they had been to the store recently. They didn't want to talk. After a while, a young man walked in from the north. We saw him coming for about 20 minutes before he arrived. My Pitjantjatjara wasn't good enough to follow the conversation that ensued.
Murray said, "Come on. We'll go." And that was that.
We took up our positions and continued towards Watinuma. Up ahead, I watched as Murray's vehicle turned off the road making a big loop through the tall grass to the left of the road. As we drew closer we were signalled to stop. We got out of the vehicle to investigate. A full grown ngintaka (perente lizard)standing on his back legs peering over the long grass was pointed out to us. He had been crossing the road as the first vehicle approached. I took a minute to locate him, standing there still as a stump. No rifle at hand, Murray picked up an hatchet and a jack handle and got in position. The hatchet flew slightly to the right of the ngintaka, but now with his eye in, crack... the jack handle caught him right on top of the head. A short scuffle ensued and it was over.
We lay the ngintaka out on the road, and inspected him, a mature male I was told. Murray sent one of us to get a branch from a small bush nearby from which he fashioned two short pegs with sharp points. "This is how you do it," he said and used the back of the hatchet to break the legs and fasten them back on top of the body using the two pins through ankles and wrists. The tail then takes its position coiled around to pass under the arch made by the pinned legs. Whether it is done because the animal might recover and deliver a venomous bite or whether there is deeper law I do not know. From experience, I suspect both.
We stock up on bread and tea at Watinuma Roadhouse, then proceeded to the gravelly creek bed. Murray demonstrateds how to eviscerate the ngintaka and then cooks it in an earth oven we make there on the spot. I filmed the process which is included in Two Brothers Walking.
In the Flow
It was hard work travelling on the APY Lands. As the youngest adult male and the least skilled culturally, a fair share of the menial camp tasks fell my way and it was often difficult juggling roles of driver, cameraman, caterer, student etc. But the experience was out of this world. I was struck by the correlation between the ngintaka we hunted that day having an abscess on one of his feet, and the dreaming ancestor Wati Ngintaka, surreptitiously spearing himself in the foot so as to be excused from the hunt, giving opportunity to seize the special grindstone which produced seed cakes superior to all others.
That evening, I asked Murray about the people we found stranded on the road. He said, "No, don't worry, they will be right. Their family will help them." This gave me as renewed sense of both the resourcefulness of Anangu, the connection with kin far beyond anything that I have experienced and a reminder that pirinpa's (white fella's) reflex to help often does not take account of subtleties, and how good intentions can inadvertantly become interference, because in our eagerness to assist it is too easy to impose our "solutions" assuming that western culture is the envy of all others. For a fuller discussion, Check Out: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/twobrotherswalking for our documentary on keeping Tjukurpa alive.
Trick or Treat?
Halloween is upon us and all manner of costumes, witches, skulls, skeletons, ghouls and vampires are in demand again. Of course this is a northern hemisphere festival, invented in Ireland and popularised in America and is exactly out of phase with the seasons in Australia. In the north it is Fall, leaves are dropping as the sap stream of plants is retreating into the earth for the winter. So it is a little bit curious that here in Australia we celebrate, all souls and the undead, at precisely the time that the life force and vitality of the natural world is gathering to a crescendo. But regardless of being in sync with the seasons or not, there is a clear impulse to have a time for honouring the cycles of life, of creation and destruction.
It got me thinking about young children inventing and fantasising about monsters and ghosts in their games, so much so that they will frighten themselves with just their imagination. It turns out that the brain has the same reaction to imagination as it does to real events. Neuro Linguistic Programming uses this phenomenon in a great many situations.
I remember an occasion from childhood, I must have been 4 of 5 and my brother 2 or 3. He really wanted to go and have a look at some baby chicks that had arrived that day in the post. He wanted someone to go with him but no one was so inclined, He was simply told, "You know where they are, just go down the hall and turn the corner and they are right there by the laundry tubs." But no matter how much coaxing, he wouldn't go on his own.
In those days in the latish 50's we didn't have mains power, there wasn't yet a telephone service, I don't think we yet had a radio. We did though have power for lighting from an ex army generator connected to a diesel engine that powered it and the bore water pump. The 32 volt system was much more convenient than the hurricane lamps that neighbours used but it still cast a dim shadowy light that played tricks on the imagination. Naturally, we had a wood stove for cooking and water heating and a substantial wood box, with a hatch that opened to the outside of the house kept a plentiful supply of dry firewood at hand. It just so happened that it was also a good little nook for storing pumpkins through the winter.
When we finally got to the bottom of why my brother wouldn't go to see the chicks on his own it was because he was frightened to go past the pumpkins. Now I have no idea where that came from other than his own fanciful notions because we didn't celebrate Halloween or pumpkins in any way.
The Creator/ Destroyer
The idea of life and death, creation and destruction, the undead and wandering souls is alluring to young and old alike. The realisation that we don't remember were we came from makes us curious not only about that but also about the end of life. I think it is one of the big themes we suppress for most of the year in order to get on with a normal life, and having a special time especially devoted to it compensates.
There are other times when this motif becomes important, at transitional times in our lives especially. The hero journey places this phase directly after the Belly of the Whale and the Road of Trials. Emphasis is not so much on the wandering souls as recognising the great cycles associated with the Mother Goddess. It is an inner conflict that needs to be integrated, for not only is the mother or Earth Goddess the source of all nourishment, affection and protection to the infant, She also incorporates the destroyer and the grand recycler from which none are immune.
Harnessing the power for Transformation
So as you light the Jack-o'lantern either figuratively or literally, remember it has magical power in being able to identify malevolent spirits, and once identified they lose their power, in this halloween, think about what you are letting go of, releasing to the compost as it were, that will provide the raw materials, and the nutrients for your next stage of growth. Relate it to a project, a stage of life, anywhere you desire progress and be inspired by the energy, the wisdom and the knowledge of those that came before.
Subscribe to the mailing list for more information on empowering your life and projects using the Hero's Journey. Read more about stages of the Hero's Journey in Threshold Crossing and Belly of the Whale.
There's hardly a circumstance in life where the Hero's Journey does offer a larger perspective. It is a device which reflects our inner and outer aspects of our life and a powerful way of becoming aware of the meta levels of our experience. The last post discussed the first stages of the journey, the call, gathering allies and magical helpers.
Having heeded the call, gathered allies together and with magical help at the ready, the hero / heroine sets out on their adventure. At the threshold of adventure they meet a guardian. In myths it is often fearsome or monstrous creature, symbolic of the fears that would have us avoid the unknown. Cerberus the three headed dog, springs to mind, but it comes in many forms, for example in the Matrix, it is symbolised in choosing between the red pill and the blue pill. Getting past the threshold guardian in a matter of wit and cunning more than outright strength.
The threshold tests the hero / heroine's desire and preparedness for the adventure. Without the right attitude and determination they are unlikely to reach their destination safely. Preparation is everything and meeting the threshold guardian in a fit state is like the flight check before taking off. If something is detected amiss, the flight is delayed for having set out there is no turning back.
There may come a time when the energy for change becomes so great that adventure becomes imperative. Nothing less will be sufficient. In the movies, a threshold guardian is often external but it can be internal also. In adventure sports, for instance, the threshold refers to the commitment, courage and confidence required to be able to take action. Stepping of the end of the high diving board, out of the plane to parachute, illustrate the point from which there is no turning back. It also has its internal equivalent.
This idea of threshold guardian is well known to folk practice. It is demonstrated beautifully in Chinatowns all over the world where the entrance is watched over by statutes of mythic creatures. Malign spirits that would create havoc are denied entry by the threshold guardians, not to test readiness to embark on a dangerous journey but to protect a sanctuary as it were. Same function, different purpose. Guardians on the threshold to adventure can see in to the heart of each individual that passes and assesses them on their own merits. It is irrelevant who your allies are and what magical helpers you ay have. It is you and you alone that is tested at the threshold because you are venturing on a journey that no one can do for you. It is an expression of your own creativity and the outcome will be to make you more authentically yourself. Usually the threshold is an entrance to alone waypath of crossing. Once experienced your world will never be the same again.
In crossing the threshold the hero / heroine cresses into what Campbell calls 'The World of Amplified Being'. Here everything is fresh and alive, like a holiday in a part of the world never experienced before. It can be a state of heightened creativity, an awakened state, falling in love, being in the flow, experiencing oneself as part of everything. What often follows can come as a shock. Campbell calls it, 'The Belly of the Whale', the subject of the next post.
The image is from the Labyrinth at Urrbrae House in Adelaide, South Australia. The threshold crossing can be seen as the stairs leading down to the entrance.
I'm turning 63, It's time for something new, and I'm looking to the future.
There has been a lot of discussion about the burden retirees place on society as the baby boom bulge moves towards ageing. To my mind it is applying a stereotype from a time gone by to today. It simply doesn't apply. Describing "Youth" as a discrete category was only invented in the 1960s. Before that, when children grew up they became adults, now they grew up and become youth.
There is increasingly a new demographic appearing, one that Mary Gathering Bateson calls "active wisdom". Yes, there will be some who devote a couple of decades to golf and cruises but I believe that they will become a smaller and smaller proportion of the population over time. Older people simply want to be creative and use the skills, insight and wisdom they have acquired during their working life and to make valued contributions to society.
The Hero's journey is a powerful tool in making an inventory of such qualities to move into a time of renewed creativity, service and satisfaction. In one study of tertiary graduates 20 years on 80% were unhappy with their lives. With hindsight they reflected on could haves and should haves. With a slight altering of perspective that can be turned around.
Review your skills, insights and wisdom at Soul Talks
Interestingly using the Hero's/Heroine's Journey paradigm is useful at any age or stage of life. It is the subject of my presentation this Thursday, 10th August at Soul Talks Click for more info.
I'd like to leave you with this TED Talk from Mary Gathering Bateson. It's particularly for my age group and anyone who is thinking ahead.
Dad, Me and the Wheat Board Inspector at Brookstead c.1962:This picture appeared in the "Grain Grower" newspaper with an article about the change from delivering wheat in bags to bulk handling.
Over the past two decades I have learnt a lot about Australia's first peoples, around the campfire, listening to stories, watching inma and travelling over country. Like so many "Europeans" it's a curiosity I have had since growing up on the farm in South East Queensland. We lived near the Condamine River and when it flooded, which it did more more then than it does now, the Grasstree Creek would flood and cut the road for the school bus at Yandilla. Canal Creek and the Condamine would cut the road to Pittsworth and flooding on Dog Trap Creek cut us off from Warwick. No school. Now normally it would be welcomed as providential, a bonus holiday. But not so one year, one of the few times I felt I was missing out on something by being kept home from school.
This was the middleish 60's, we'd only had the electric wireless for a couple of years and ...Read more
Only the past is written, the future is an exercise in our creative imagination.
Knowing Joseph Campbell's hero/heroine's journey can help us return to and maintaining the creative flow. It is especially useful when we want to create something new, express ourselves in a new way or develop a new project. Our destiny is how we make it.
I don't subscribe to the view that you can be or do anything you want, but I wholeheartedly believe that the possibilities in becoming fully yourself are inexhaustible. I am convinced that consciousness is a quantum orchestra not simply brain chemistry operating on a biological hard drive. I expect that future research will shed new light on its mechanisms. I hold as equally true that First Nations Peoples have known about these phenomena for millennia, not through science but through story, song and ceremony.
The thing is that we don't have to be neuroscientists, quantum physicists or sharmans. It is not rocket surgery. Being able to orchestrate our story with mindfulness, imagination, commitment and resolve is sufficient. There are as many tools as there are cultures to help us on that journey, each with it's own nuance, tone and perspective.
August Soul Talk
On the 10th of August I will be giving a talk in which I invite you to choose something that you would like to have happen, something that you believe is possible but not highly probable at this time, something that you are passionate about, something that would require more of yourself to come about.
It is not necessary to know how to bring it about but it may be an advantage to be open to having fortuitous things happen to assist you on your creative journey in unexpected ways.
The presentation will provide a practical introduction in realising the fruits of your creative imagination through applying the hero/heroines journey to your life.
Sometimes, it is not so much a question of how to make things happen, as knowing what you really want. I will have something to say about that too.
It's a free event, organised by the wonderful Joy Nugent and sponsored by Bird In Hand. There will be and additional two sessions in the afternoon:
- Carrie Faggotter presents Your Spirit Calling - Aligning to the signs and synchronicities of your life, and
- Anne Rogers presenting Demystifying Mindfulness
Bookings are essential by email:
By the time I showed our documentary, "Two Brothers Walking" to the senior men and women at Umuwa we had been working on it for about five years. It was a time of discovery for me. I was acutely aware that I didn't have any experience of how first nations peoples see the world. I knew that interpreting what I heard and saw in terms of what I knew would filter out the most valuable insights. I was on a journey of discovery. The big question was, "How do you discover new things when being there stops it happening?"
The colonisation of Australia was as brutal as ...Read more
There's an old bridge on a farm where I grew up. The approaches have grown over and the deck is in a sorry state of disrepair. (Link to Google Earth Image) Every flood demolishes it further. Locals with wheat crops on both banks of the Condamine used the gravel road to get to their paddocks and bring in their harvest. When public demand for the bridge subsided, a few local farmers still needed it.
So ownership was passed to local interests on the proviso that ...Read more
Belinda posted this evocative image on her FB page, check it out. From https://www.facebook.com/belindabroughtonpoet/phot...
I remember this night. This time of the year, 2015. We were camping out at Mulga Bore. The feral donkeys were particularly raucous that night, braying and galloping around at 3 in the morning, waking us with a start, anxious not to be in the path of a stampede.
Men having kupati in Fregon
It usually happens in the sandhill country north of Pimba on the Stuart highway. I don't know if it happens for everyone, I guess not, but for me it is as palpable as it is subtle, and as perceptible as it is predictable. I call it a brain reboot.
In 1978, I completed a science degree. Wow, now there's a ...Read more
Wati showing the underground stream
We were sitting in the departure lounge of Adelaide airport on route to Cairns, the Manta Nganampa Dancers and me, their cameraman. From there we'd continue by mini-bus to Mossman and on to the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival, singing all the way, Ngintaka (perentie), Caterpillar, Wanampi (Rainbow Serpent), Hallelujah. I turned to the tjilpi (old man) across from me and asked him over my cappuccino and his kupa-tea, "How is it, since Anangu have their Tjukurpa, still alive, right back from the beginning, their songs, their stories, their country, how is it that Anangu are so interested in Christianity?"
He often took inspiration from the Old Testament to get ...Read more
Sunrise Out Side Port Augusta On Route To Pimba
Map Link for Pimba
The old man sat on the ground as if he were rising up out of it, his cowboy hat and mile wide smile making him more caricature than real to my untrained eye, exaggerating his features and amplifying his presence.
The main meeting over and the circle dispersed, he nudged over to me and said he had been a camera man too, with PY Media. He recorded many, many Inma and celebrations over the years. But that was a long time ago.
I struggled with the rising and falling cadenzas of ...Read more
That's my dad, Arnold Salomon on the right with his poddy calf at the calf show in 1938. He didn't win. Notice the footwear (or lack of). From this we can safely assume he is still at school and dairy farming and raising poddy calves is a part time pursuit.
The milking shed photo from the previous post turned up when we were going through Dad's things. Looking now, I realise I hadn't really looked at it before. The people had caught my attention, my granddad in the right milking stall, and my dad, or so he told my sister, is in the left. It was his eyesight that grew dim in later years, not his memory. Grandad's about the age of my children now, perhaps a bit younger and Great Granny Goos with camera in hand, was then about my age now. I remember the Box Brownie she passed on to Grandma. We only see her shadow, her back to the morning sun.
The photo was taken of morning milking on a typical morning at Proston in 1938 by Great Granny Goos. By the look of her shadow, she's most likely using a Kodak Box Brownie like the one I first took photos with. It was a useful camera with two viewfinders.
Memories of old women with thin boney hands and skin incapable of thermal retention. In my farming community, men's hands and women's hands were oh so different, men's, growing thick and calloused, like a pair of bricks as their lady's hands grew thin and wispy.
Life on the land wasn't for me. Mum said ...Read more