Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Sunday morning.

(Question - does one give a woman in the late stages of pregnancy a Mothers' Day gift? I don't know. Just to be sure, I took T. out for an early lunch.)

Port Philip Bay sparkled in the late autumn sunshine as we pulled up outside the Blairgowrie cafe.

We usually make the trip on foot - a pleasant twenty minute stroll, but since T. is now the size of a ... the size of a seven months' pregnant woman, she is past walking that far.

This autumn's record of absolutely sublime weather continued at the weekend and we sat outside in warm sunshine with just a mere zephyr tickling cotton wool clouds across a perfect sky.

Goldie came too, of course, and sat at our feet ignoring the wet Golden Retriever at the next table. It had obviously just had a pre-lunch swim in the bay. The cafe is a favourite for dog owners and the usual menagerie was there; schnauzers, shih-tzus, standard poodles, lots of labradors, a few spaniels and a couple of great danes that almost dwarfed their owner. (By the way, Frank the Fat Dog is no more. The well-fed stray who dined for years on the cafe's scraps unfortunately did not pass on, as I predicted, after a heart attack; but was hit by the local police car. Vale, Frank. You had a good life. If you're going to be a stray, Blairgowrie is probably the best place in the world to do so!)

We enjoyed a light lunch and finished by sharing a wedge of hummingbird cake (why is hummingbird cake called hummingbird cake?) the size of a passenger liner. Appropriately - a ship was just sailing down the bay. The coffee was superb. Nutty, smooth and just that perfect shade of honey-tan and with a head that was creamier than cream. (T. had decaf. and is looking forward to drinking real coffee again. Not to mention red wine.)

Earlier, the newspaper-reading man at the next table had placed his order - eggs on toast, a coffee ... and three sausages - for the Golden Retriever!

The dog ate the sausages and then lay down again next to the table and fell asleep in the sunshine.

A Golden Retriever being taken for a swim in the bay and then across the road for a sausage lunch - life surely couldn't get any better than that.

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