Friday, May 30, 2014

Libraries, Cats, and Beets

I often seek out Australian books. And that's fun.  But I also love when I run into them accidentally.

For the past several months, I've been making my way through the fiction bookshelves at our library. Each visit, I go to the next shelf (or two shelves) and my rules is I have to pick one book from each shelf to try to read. It's a slow process, because I read a lot of other books besides that.  Right now I'm on the F shelves.

So on my last visit I picked up a book about people during World War II.  I didn't study it too much. I think I just found I was in the mood for historical fiction.  

Last night I opened the book and saw there was a quote from Nick Cave. I was pretty thrilled to see that and then decided to take a look at the author.  She's an Aussie! Anna Funder. She grew up in Melbourne. According to her bio she lives in New York now.  We're going to New York this summer. We'll stop by and visit her.  No, we won't, actually.

We might, though, go to an Australian restaurant.  I found one (The Australian), and it actually looks pretty decent. 

They have televised sports...Australian games!  Their website gives their schedule.  So, for example, today at 12 PM you can watch the Panthers vs. the Eels.  I know the Eels are Parramatta.  What are the Panthers?  I shall Google.....

Funny.  When I googled, I got some websites about the mysterious cat sightings around Australia.  I also found out, though, who the Panthers are. It's Penrith.  I also see the game's already happened.  So I guess the restaurant shows recorded games rather than live ones.  It makes sense now that my brain has kicked back in gear. Otherwise, they'd be needing to open their restaurant at odd hours.

The Australian has a lot of Aussie wines and beers, including James Boag. That's significant to us because it's from Launceston and our friends lived there.  Okay, I have to be honest. If you asked me, what beer is from Launceston?  I probably couldn't answer.  The beverage menu jogged my memory a bit.  Or a lot, really.

Okay.  Now I shall go over the food. They have some food that you actually truly find in Australia. Like...Chiko rolls.  Though I'm betting these are a fancier version. They're made of lamb.  Are Chiko rolls usually like that?   

Well, Lord Wiki says they're made of chopped meat.  He doesn't specify which kind. So I guess lamb would work.

They have sliders that are served with beets.  Beets are the thing for me. If a restaurant says they have Aussie food, but their burgers don't have beets, I see the whole thing as a sham. 

I'll have to deduct some points for their salads. There's no pumpkin.  I associate Australia with pumpkin salads.  

They have chicken schnitzel. Totally Australian.

There's a whole section for Aussie food that includes: meat pies, sausage rolls, curry veggie pie, fish and chips, lamb cutlets, Australian burger (with egg and beets!) and Barramundi.  

And they have Pavlova!