Little Gatherings

Melbourne turned on a lovely day for us yesterday. My cousin arrived then we journeyed into the city in Melbourne and had a lovely lunch with a few members of The Fellowship, (Kate, Ella Dee and Ardyz, – delightful ladies – thank you so much for inviting me to lunch.)  I am not a lady who DOES lunch so I was thrilled to discover that it is a very enjoyable way to pass a few hours. Maybe I should try it again.  But probably not this year!  Two days after I return to the USA my first wwoofer will arrive and then the farmy will be full steam ahead until late autumn.  So you can imagine how lovely it was for me to sit for a while and relax and chat and  listen and learn new things about new people without the pressure of documenting and writing and recording it all. Just friends.

push me

And yes – they found a very handsome waiter to take their photos as requested.

Thank you again for a lovely relaxed few hours.


On the way home we bought a beautiful fat chicken at my daughters local butcher shop. I cut it in half, (flayed), rubbed it with oil, salt, garlic, lemons and rosemary from the garden and later we grilled it on the barbie and ate it with my french thyme potatoes, a fresh caprese salad with basil and tomatoes from the little garden and greens gathered from the tubs in the backyard. . A favourite meal of mine. And the second perfect gathering of the day.


In Australia and New Zealand we call the Grill – the actual structure – a barbeque. In Australia this is shortened to The Barbie. (In America barbeque is an old fashioned slow cooked, often smoked, pork dish and it has endless variations. So don’t get them confused).

I don’t think you can put Tripe on the barbie but my eye was caught by the beachy shapes of it on display. DSC_0949

Today we will work in the garden for the morning then walk into the shopping area to further explore the wonder of  all the little shops. There is a fabulous little Italian Deli, a butcher, a wine ship and a vegetable shop interspersed with clothing shops – that I have no interest in at all. My daughter frequents these little specialised food establishments weekly so they all know her name. They all order the stock for their own little shops and can discuss their produce and its origins with confidence.  It is very different way of shopping from my area of the United States and it fills me with nostalgia for home.

Later tonight I will be meeting up with old friends from the world of the stage. I imagine that will be a lively catch up! Nothing like my gentle and genteel lunch with the ladies yesterday.

I hope you all have a good day.


53 Comments on “Little Gatherings

  1. I’ve been lunching in Barcelona for a week and today was astonishing with lots of sunshine and 17°C. How lovely to lunch with the fellowship in Australia. I’m intrigued by tripe on the barbie, if anyone has a recipe I’ll give it a go 😉

      • I keep thinking I’ll find a delicious tripe recipe, but have so far been disappointed. There was an interesting one that I need to try on giovanna’s blog. I’ve definitely seen a lot of it this week in the Boqueria and I had some amazing cap i pota (head and foot) on Saturday.

        • Mad, just popped in again and noticed your comment: Google for ‘tripe a la mode de Caen’ or ‘tripa Romana’ or similar . . . you would love – and the recipes are easy tho’ slow-cooking. And, if you love kidneys the way I do, have you made ‘rassolnik’ ? – a very famous and elegant Russian soup of veal kidneys and pickled cucumbers [it is divine: I began eating it as soon as I had some teeth in my mouth 🙂 !] Not a bit yucky 🙂 !! Of course love sweetbreads best, but simply can’t get them in rural Australia . . .

    • Maybe it would be like squid or octopus in that it would work cooked fast and furious as well as long and slow….who knows, have only ever used it to make callos with garbanzos!

      • I’ve been thinking the same since I saw Giovanna’s recipe using a pressure cooker. I love octopus and especially when you can cut it with a butter knife.

  2. I love all the different worlds you inhabit and how you float seamlessly from one to another taking us with you like little butterflies floating behind!

  3. Morning Miss C. It was wonderful to finally meet you in person, and I now have a living voice to hear in my head when I read your posts! Such fun to meet you, your cousin and Ardys, who were new to me, and to reconnect with Dale. You’re right, it was a gentle and not at all raucous lunch, and I’m very happy that you enjoyed it too!

    • Kate: help 🙂 ! This sounds lovely but do the rest of us have no chance to see some photos at all . . . ? Of course it is not just Celi – would so love to see all of you together also – tried your blog: nought!!! And just as well I did not manage to get south as I am known to be kind’of lively . . . . might have wrecked the ambiance . . .and most of my life I have ‘done’ lunch numerous times a week, tho’ business ones mostly with the opposite sex! So glad you had a good time and it looks as if it was at a different venue . . . ?

      • Eha, Celi is not at all comfortable having her photo taken and only consented to allow us each a group shot on condition we did not make them public. Naturally I respect her wishes, and can only assure you that a lovely time was has by all :-). We ate at a venue where all kinds of cuisine were available, allowing everyone at the table to choose a delicious meal that suited their tastes, digestive and ethical issues and the nature of the event. I have heard your strong opinions about gluten free foods in the past, and have shrugged in resignation; I am a coeliac and cannot eat gluten without becoming very sick indeed, so perhaps it was as well we did not dine together!

        • Since I do not have your email address: may I humbly correct you on my supposedly having a ‘strong opinion’ re anything gluten-free or paleo – may I suggest this is NOT an opinion but knowledge, being an MB.BS and having studied nutrition now for over a quarter century . . . I am at three universities at the moment doing appropriate subjects – hardly ‘an opinion’. Am very sorry if you are one out of a hundred who is truly coeliac: my best wishes with coping! Both the coeliac and paleo ‘diets’ are very dangerous long-term indeed . . . enough said . . . And naturally I would more than happily have eaten my choice of whatever was available . . . just wish all the critics thereof had not been so harsh 😀 !!

    • Well then, it seems like a good thing I didn’t come, I can turn genteel into raucous in no time at all 🙂

      • Kate – thank you so much for organising this meeting and choosing such a lovely area for us to sit and chat. I loved the feeling of meeting old friends and learning more about you all. I am a naturally quiet and i think the rich gentleness of our lunch companions made it so rewarding. c

        • I had such a good time, as though a group of old friends had gathered and we were just catching up. Not really a Ladies Who Lunch sort of event, nor a raucous, screechy boozy lunch, more country cousins come to town and having a lovely gossip. I treasure my photos, but respect your wish not to have them published, and will resist all blandishments from the Fellowship. The only concern I had was that you were lunching with three ladies who love to chat and it might have been a bit overwhelming. You didn’t talk a great deal, but what you did say was fascinating, funny and very revealing! I hope you will consider repeating the experience next time you’re in Melbourne… it gave this particular country cousin a perfect excuse to visit the big city for the first time since I left it 8 years ago!

      • Perhaps gentle is a better description than genteel. It was comfortable, and peaceful and happy, and there was lots of laughing but not of the screechy kind!

    • Grannymar – DO try tripe ‘a la mode de Caen’ – baked overnight in a bottle of good red wine, the holy trinity, heaps of garlic etc – I make it at least once every month in Australia, and tho’ Aussies are not all that ‘big’ on eating offal [sad, the best part of the beasts 🙂 !] tripe is available everywhere . . . hugely yummy!

  4. I’m just observing more than commenting these days with deep, deep envy. I’m sure it’s hard to leave everyone behind as you float through all your wonderful and delightful worlds. It’s a good kind of envy as I’m enjoying each step, each photo and each meal with you. You are so kind to take us all along. Have a continued wonderfilled journey.

  5. I grew up with parents and grandparents that called the grill a barbecue, today I call our grill…a grill. Thanks for the memory.


  6. To each their own: to me the barbecue is the ‘big beast’ fired by coals or gas which lives outside in the garden and usually gets trotted out on Sundays and with friends with the guys doing the honours – the grill cabinet sits just under the hotplates in the kitchen, is pretty small and heated by electricity: more the daily ‘family affair’ . . . I DO wonder how your tripe came out as I have never ever cooked it ‘fast’ – and I eat it awfully often!! Glad you had a fab time, and being as lively as I am you may have rolled your eyes had I been able to turn up. Am definitely not a ‘lady’ who ‘does’ lunch, but eating lunch at a fine restaurant is my very favourite way to spend time bar being at the theatre! And do look into those little clothing shops: Melbourne has some fabulous gear . . . . you have summer coming!!

      • OH! I love Tripe – and love menudo. It is a such a wonderful thing to have a bowl the day after indulging in a tad too much wine! I also love it in Pho. Of course, I love the chewy texture of it.

  7. It was a lovely meet up feeling more of reconnection than introduction, fortuitous our visits to Melbourne coincided, and generous of you to share your time.

  8. That is some beautiful looking tripe! I’d make it far more often if I could find some of that quality. So glad that you all met and had such a nice lunch. It really is a nice way to spend the afternoon of a beautiful day. Woofers starting already? Here comes summer!

    • Well, John – you can be the one to make the next trip to Australia from Illinois – and we all shall try to get together and perchance even do something about that ‘tripe issue’ . . . or not . . . . that would be an excellent idea methinks . . . [and yes, that was beautiful honeycomb!!]

      • I’ve always said I’d love to go back to Oz. Even so, right now it’s Italy on the horizon. Oz will have to wait a bit.

        • Patience is a virtue, so ’tis said . . . and there will always be the next year . . . 🙂 ! Meanwhile posts from San Marino et al will be mandatory . . . 😀 !

  9. Rushed in early hoping to see pictures of the gathering … I must really try your spatchcock chicken it sounds devine. in SA a Barbie is a braai (rhymes with try) and our second national sport (rugby being #1) . Phew , you had a really people busy day. Laura

  10. Oef! Life is really quite different in different places. First, your ‘flayed’ chicken, I have never cooked one like that and bet it is just wonderful. Tripe, on the other hand, I don’t believe I have ever eaten — unless when I was very young and my mother made it. If so, I have no recollection, but it would have been right up her alley to do so. I must say, the very thought of it turns my nose up but, admittedly, that coming from one who doesn’t know what she’s missing… lol
    Sounds as though you’re having a great time… and the thought of coming together, face to face, with online friends is making me green with envy! ~ Mame 🙂

  11. I sit here and sigh…aaaahhhh! What an exciting life you have you are galavanting around and having lunch with ladies and finding lovely waiters,,,then back home to the farmy. i bet you miss all your animals but the break is doing you good……..

  12. I’m surprised you had a ladylike lunch: I’d expected it to be a riot of laughter and stories!
    We used to bring up our puppies on raw tripe, making them strong and healthy, but I’ve not eaten it myself even though it is a dish local to here.
    I hope your stage friends evening goes well.

    ViV xox

  13. DON’T FORGET YOUR GUMBOOTS!!! So glad you’re having such a marvelous time. So much love, Gayle

  14. Glad you all had a fab lunch. I’m not sure I would like Tripe, although my mum used to love it cooked slowly with loads of onions. I used to love stuffed hearts when I was young, I must try them again.

  15. OMP – that chicken looks amazing! We love chicken here of any kind. Do you have a picture of it cooked? Licks piggy lips. XOXO – Bacon

  16. A lively visit for a nice recharge.
    The wall composed of many interesting bricks header is so appropriate for your posts/titles right now. OF course you do have such an eye for photo images
    Barbeque as a term is such a regional thing (like the spelling of the word: e’s or a’s, or short form?). BBQ in this region is a grill, too. (Which many call a “barbie” now from so many commercials/movies. It sounds world traveler and cooler HA HA) We never cook anything for long on the grill/barbeque pit – all that long cook/slow cook stuff goes in a smoker, slow cooker crock pot, or the oven in winter.
    Sounds like fun – enjoy it all!

  17. In parts of the US (mostly west coast, in my limited experience), you still call the grill the barbecue. I had to relearn this when I moved to Texas years ago.
    And to further confuse things, barbeque (the food) can also be beef, turkey, chicken, etc. But odds are if you’re going for barbecue, you should be prepared for beef (in Texas) and pork (in the Carolinas/Kentucky/Tennessee).
    I’ve found it safest to just say it’s all delicious and let the cook tell me what it is.

  18. Hey Celi ..I would have loved to have caught up with you in Melbourne. It must have been lovely catching up with the Fellowship. Enjoy that BBQ 😊

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