Tag Archives: Cocktails

No Rush. Really.

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Career criminals: Exhibits 'A' and 'E'

This.  This is what I did not watch last night.  Despite the fact that it had infiltrated my mind (and soul) many other Thursday nights.  (Hey, hey.  I watch The Slap on ABC net, ok?  Besides, I went into that one knowing we were intense and short-term only).

Decision makers at Channel 10 might as well have stabbed me in the heart when presenting the fact that last Thursday was the final Rush ever (ever…ever).

Catherine McClements.  Gone.  Rodger Corser, Jolene Anderson, Callum Mulvey, Samuel Johnson, Nicole da Silva and co… nary a goodbye wave between them.

(silence)

…..

I have been told that when it comes to engaging with those people and situations speaking at me from within television sets and what not, that I am “fussy”.

Well.  Get this straight.  I am.  With a capital freaking F.

Don’t get me wrong – we are not talking the type of Fussy that needs: high quality scripts, thoughtful performances, award-winning direction and flawless editing.  Sometimes.

Sometimes I need some of those things.  But when you take a good long hard look at the stellar list of my “must watches”, you will see that this….  this is not always the case, you will see.

(You don’t think I’m going to present that list right here at this very moment, do you?)

Silly!  That would detract from many other inane blog posts that I could be making on other days!  You will see (soon enough) that the tele-box (and associates) are quite often like my own form of gravity.

So.

Rush.  (One show that fulfilled many of the Fuss).

There is none.

Looks like we’re done, huh?

It will be months before I can talk about you.  Dissect our relationship (and my feelings about you) properly.  I will, however, say this:  any tv show that can bandy about the term vagina cologne” with such aplomb should be kept on and in the air until I am buried.

That is all I will say on that matter.

Looks like I’ll just have to revert to the endless list of other copsfluff shows that I fawn over.  But.  If you think I’ll revert to popular opinion such as NCIS, Law and Order (any departmental type) or other nonsense… Well.  You have got another thing coming.

No, siree.  I am way classier (and stuff) than that rubbish.

Stop pretending you don’t know what class is when it comes to cop shows.  You know what it is.  It is copsfluffclass is what it is.  The kind that seems to be dominated by the Canadians for starters: Rookie Blue! Flashpoint!  Castle! Or the other type that relies on the serious business of being serious, or seriously melodramatic: Criminal Minds! Prime Suspect! Chicago Code! (They canned that one too, but I’m not above repeats).

And with things so dire on the Aussie front, I’ll bust out the VHS for Cop Shop if I have to.

Whatever.  Whatever.  One woman’s trash is another ones treasure.

Anyways.  It’s not all terribly, bad, me-needing comfort news.

I have real life cop action happening right here in my backyard main street, I do.  Huh!  It’s tantamount to me and my dogs being central to a reality tv piece, actually.

Actually, it is.

Just two days ago, no later than 3pm, me and the pooches were stopped right dead in the middle of Main Road Hepburn by the D-squad.  (The Daylesford cop shop is right near the Neighbourhood Centre.   I’ve booked in for an excursion next week).  We were innocently on our hell-bent way to our wonderful local fruit & vege shop Tonna’s.  (Re-stock for salad days on the busy agenda).  All things innocent soon turned a frown with impending dramatics though.

It was pretty dramatic.

Seriously, if you are not sitting down, I suggest you do.  You’re going to need to be seated is all I am saying.

The drama came in 3 waves.  (As these things do).

1)      It was odd.  Perculiar, even.  I have seen the D-squad vehicle with police decals only one other time in the history of my almost three months of being here.

I let out a gasp, people.  A gasp.

The excitement of seeing them with their RBT kits and three witches hats guiding the three car strong traffic queue (that was the total traffic in the street, people) had me giddy.  So giddy that I was clutching at straws and seatbelts trying to remember if I had had a drink with alcoholic content in the past 24 hours.

I had not (is what I finally remembered when I came to my sensibilities).

2)      I realised (when my senses were in the place they were originally), that I was, in fact, already breaking the l.a.w and order.

Der-Der (Insert Law and Order scene break music here… not that I’ve watched it or anything).

Technically speaking it was not me breaking the law.  It was Evie and Augie (the dog-children).  But I (the good mother that I am) take full responsibility for them and their actions.  (Mainly).

Do you want to know what they were doing?  (Actually, what they were not doing).  No?  Well, you’re going to hear about it anyway.

They were not wearing their doggy harness-seatbelts is what they were doing (or not doing, whatever the case may be).  In fact, I’d left the house scoffing at the harnesses – Essentially thumbing at them.

Here’s what went down then:

I looked at them (the dog-children, patiently seated together in the front passenger seat).  And they, in return, looked at me.  I then (cautiously, I might add) looked at the one car in front of me and took a sly sideways glance at the police officers.  (The dogs were still looking at me).  Contemplating a quick, illegal u-turn and getaway, I instead opted for the sane option:

I proceeded to yank the (human) seatbelt over the dogs.  (Dogs still looking at me).

That’s right, I pulled the seatbelt over them.

To say that I may not have been thinking as clearly as I thought I may have been thinking is probably an understatement here.

The crooked smirks the dogs were giving me jolted me back to the situation at hand though.

I quickly pretended the aforementioned action I had taken – did not – in fact happen.  I merely (with some panic) unclasped them from the (human) seatbelt.  I then chuckled to myself about how ridiculous I was being and said to the dogs: “I’d rather go down for the seatbeltless dogs crime”.  What’s more, I pondered “This would be as bad as things could get”.

Wrong.

3)      I carefully, quietly, and (with extreme caution) approached a safe position alongside the pleasant lady police officer person.  I bit my bottom lip and kept my foot on the brake.  Forgetting other safety precautions such as putting the car into neutral or levering the handbrake on, I simply looked at her (somewhat bemused) face.  (My subconscious speaks loudly at the best of times.  In this case I think it was preparing to do a runner).

Pleasant police officer looks through the window and smiles at me – and then smiles at the dogs.

Ok, so things were looking up.

But.

With some pleasantries aside and without bothering to check my licence (or road laws concerning unharnessed dogs apparently), nice police lady sticks the tube toward me with a look on her face that suggests she wonders how many Pimms I’ve had today.

Then.

All hell breaks loose.

Augie, it appears, is rather protective of us girls.

Especially when there are blue people in powerful positions peering down at us sticking (what could be contrived as a thin, white, tubular gun) in my face.

He growled.  Loudly.  Guttural to boot.

And.  Then.  He lunged.

I tell no lie.  He lunged (wish I had them buckled in after all) toward (probably now not smiling) police officer lady and barked at her.  Loudly.  Teeth bared, I might add.

I caught him though.  In the nick of time.  Thank the gods of Good Lady Luck land.

Somehow…somehow… I managed to keep my foot on the brake, dog in my hands and a smile on my face.

“Sorry” (or, at least that is what I think I might have said, if anything did even squeak out of my dry vocal cords).

(You can pipe in if you think this was not an adequate approach).

Well.

Quite frankly, after what ensued, I will be forever cheering on the girls in blue – at least in this town anyway.  After some tentative chuckling and off-handed comments about “fierce beasts” and “not going to get my hand bitten off, am I’s?” (especially after Augie barked and lunged for the second time)… the good lady police officer merely let me have my three awkward attempts at blowing in the bag and then…

Said “Have a good day”.

And she let me go.  Didn’t even need to post bail.

Now, that – that, is impressive policing work, I say.  Catherine McClements: this lady did done you proud.

….

Not a dramatic enough ending for you?

Well, Rush exited without blazing gunfire too.

Caffe? I walk the line.

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EM - hanging out with Pimms Cup at Perfect Drop

A good coffee, people:  A good coffee.

This morning I have made one.  This I am proud of.

It’s not even – well, just – I normally don’t spruik my own wares too much is what I am promising you.

Back to the beans though.

Let me clarify exactly what I’m talking about with the coffee:

Latte.

Because we (all of us included) need to be specific.  We need not to delve into the expertise of others;  blacks (short or long), “cuppa cappucinno” (as my mum likes to call it), or anything else.

Latte is endgame.

Maybe not for you?

It is for me.   Except on random occasions where I (and my feelings) suddenly decide espresso on the rocks is the only creature on the planet that could ever really understand where it is that I come from.  (That could be true regardless).

So, according to research (including mine) a good latte needs: correctly frothed milk (keep the pitcher cool people), good fresh beans (not talking baked here), an eye on thermometers (no need to burn baby burn) and, a well maintained machine…

BUT.  Let’s take a step back then and look at that evidence.

Now…

Let’s throw it aside and forget pragmatics are necessary.  Because: they are not.  Ok, there are a lot of reasons (for sure) why the pragmatics get good coffee happening.  But just to humour me (and let me have my humour), pretend there are some things that just go above and beyond these pragmatics.  There’s a lot o’stuff that goes on in this world that doesn’t jump on the bus all stops to Pragmatic (and even those that do: some don’t pay the fare), right?

Taste.  For example.  We all have it…. well, ok, debatable.  And I don’t mean to be offensive to those who suffer Dysgeusia.  (Pretty please Karma, do not be a bitch).

I, for example, seem to like a good hard kick-in-the-teeth (sweet-bitter-sweet) coffee flavour (I could munch on beans like they were a packet of Supreme Cheese Doritos – I quite like them, is all).

Second to this, I like a bit of chocolate to my flavourings (pattern emerging here – I like chocolate, like… ok, chocolate and I may need some relationship therapy soon because obsession is not completely healthy.  Not in technical terms anyway).

Chill…

I am not here to dole out lectures on how to make a good coffee.  (For those of you interested in wasting some time on the web of the wide world today – learning some tips – the following could be up your spooky, cold, dark alley: Coffeegeek.com and Radified).

Anyways, learning from those that know, be damned.  My ability to turn out something worth drinking can be put down to 3 plain and simple pieces of the reality of what it means to be me.  (I still think all good things come in 3’s).  These are the difference between me personally creating coffee nirvana or, alternatively, creating a latte that looks and tastes like it’s straight from a Tim Burton fairytale:

1)      Fluke.  You can call it Celestine Prophecy if that’s your thing, but: right place, right time is probably the safer option for this topic.

2)      Coffee Kudos.  Ok, ok, we all have to probably recognise the fact that mean bean=mean ends.  I’ve tried a few.  Mmkay, a LOT.  A lot of beans is what we have tried over the course of our existence with a coffee machine.  And before that?  Well, I have been drinking coffee ever since Nescafe tempted mum with the free Shaker deal (young: I was shorter and a whole lot lighter than I am today).

So.  Skipping all the ones that may not have crossed my life-path and destiny to date, and the ones I won’t talk about (because, even I fear litigation), there are, for me, two standouts:

Coffee Basics.  These dudes are my new local roasters and I love them.  You should check them out too.

Atomica.  A friend-fellow-fan rec.  I’m not sure what the full story is to the growing, roasting and what not.  But you can figure it out for yourself by visiting Atomica Cafe in Fitzroy.  Whilst you’re there, get one of their breakfasts.  (I insist).

Also, I asked the bean question to the Book and Twitter today.  Sneaky survey purposes only.  (Shits and giggles behind all that).  Responses?  Well.  Well, what did I expect?

“Anything Fair Trade!” claimed B from the Central Coast.  Wholeheartedly supported with a thumbs up by J from a similar place.

(Yes, I’m hip to that, because Fair is Fair, and Fair is one of the best things to happen if we are ever to save this world from the slippery slope it’s on).

Cousin C from Bathurst: “Fish River Roasters

(Proving a point that you can always rely on family to be helpful in times of need.  Although:  trust my dad to throw in some random comment clarifying his passion for Maccas coffee.  Not helpful).

Peaberrys” piped in G-R.

(More helpful.  And she’s a dancer.  So, you know.  I’ll know where to turn if I want some extra kicks. ‘Like’).

And:  A comment from M from Morpeth leading me up the garden path about some joint in Manly that she couldn’t remember the name of.

But.  (BUT).  At least M made an effort.  Way to go team.  390 “followers” (and I know I’m not Jesus, but JEE-SUS) on Twitter, and 655 so called “friends” on FB and not even – not even 1% of them can be bothered to watch my every move and comment on it?  I even posted at 9.30am whilst I was sipping the latte (feet up, back deck, nice view).  What gives!  Give it up!  What?  Do these people that I know (mainly know.  At least 10% of them anyway) have work to do or something?  Whatever dudes.  Don’t come crying to me when you think I should have publicly commented on your latest change in relationship status.

Move along crowd.  (Me included).

3)      Pushing the red line.  I like to use the analogy: going for broke.

Despite my adventures as a smaller Darls (riding pushbikes with no brakes, jumping bareback on horses that didn’t belong to me, hurling myself off ladder swings, throwing rocks at school windows on a dare…), I am not what many would describe as an avid risk taker.  But.  But, I can surprise those that even think they pretend to know what I’m all about.

To be technical about this in coffee making terms:

Imagine me.  Imagine my kitchen (the one with the flies).  Imagine my beam me up coffee machine (yes, it’s a Sunbeam).  Also:   Imagine a couple of accessories that help me make my coffee.

Now, here’s the thing.

Accessories are crucial to me pushing the red line.  Because.  (This is what happens):

I just like to shove a whole lotta ground coffee (and press it down as tight as my pathetic muscles will allow) in the thingy that gets shoved up into the thingy.  Then – well, all hell breaks loose.  That is what happens.

I press the button that says it is “manual” (whatever that even means in this context), and then I grin maniacally whilst jumping up and down when the dial on the beam machine for beans goes beyond it’s sunny gold and heads where pragmatics would tell it:  it just shouldn’t head.

Red line.  (It’s not even a thin one).

I get off on it.  Every time.  (I won’t dare use analogies here).

Look, this is enough talk about me and pushing boundaries.  Time to finish up.  But before I do…

Quickly let’s just touch on two other important things, shall we?

One is something that I’d love to be able to do: I get hearts and stars in my eyes when it’s presented in front of me.  The other is a relatively new revelation to me – something I think I could marry, should this country ever truly embrace the term “marriage equality” (up yours Jules and Abbottface, I see Green):

1)      Latte art.

Come on peeps – you know what I’m talking of.  And don’t tell me you wouldn’t smile a little bit if you were served up a latte etched with the image of a baby seal (or one of these things).

And the like.  Let’s keep it simple yet complex – “Beauty:  Appreciate it.  Red hot technique: big applause.”

Summary: I like a bit of art on my latte.  (My own attempts are still a little like Leunig on Speed – just, not in a good way at all).

2)      Espresso Martini.

I know, I know, not latte.  Still, this is a factual point worth stating that needs to be said and shouted from the roof tops to share with all coffee lovers of the world.  (Unite!)

You are looking here at someone who digs cocktails deeper than some of the excavation action happening in W.A and every other beautiful place on the planet (not cool, people, there is only so much dirt in this world).

My “first time” with my new love was a gentle, but thrilling experience at Perfect Drop.  (Deliciously perfect wine bar in the magical land of Daylesford).  Not meaning to be slutty or anything, but I backed it right up a few days later by spending some time with EM (that’s what we’ll call her now, ok?) over at Horvat’s (another wonderful great wonder of Daylesford town) just a few days later (hey – that dirty little martini called me, people – she called me).

(Latte side note: if you are in this place of all great wonders of the world there are some good cafe coffees to be had.  Just sayin’.  Hot tips: Breakfast and Beer, Ego’s Culinaria, Frangos and Frangos, and The Gourmet Larder to name just a few… hey, only been here a little while, will try everyone’s eventually.  Because Fair is Fair.)

Back to your direct needs though.  If Jo down at your local R-y refuses to put in the time and do you some action that results in Espresso Martini, I reckon you should do it for yourself.

There are a few versions apparently, but for starters… See here.  And see what I’m talking about:  Take action.  Trust me, you’ll never look back.

Don’t care for me dishing out plugs for Absolut?  No worries, do your own Google dude.  Heh, maybe EM is old news to you (an ex-lover even)?  Sorry, I can be a bit slow on the take-up of uptakes.

Will try harder, better, faster, stronger next time.

Yes my friend(s) (if that’s what you profess to be), push the red line is what I am prepared to do for you.