Football's over for the year and we're well into the spring racing carnival. The Melbourne Cup runs next Tuesday - 3200 metres, one and a half laps of Flemington, clockwise - and once that's over, you're staring down the barrel of Christmas.
Isn't that a nice prospect? Of course, Christmas junk has been in the supermarkets for weeks, probably since Easter. Today, walking through IGA, I saw a rack of Simpsons Advent calendars.
Moving suddenly onto the recipe, because there is no possible segue, unless you can think of one.
Prosciutto-wrapped chicken breasts with cheese and pesto.
Slice two chicken breasts in half, but not all the way through. Stuff them with a generous amount of pesto and a slice of cheese. I used a nice creamy havarti.
Now wrap the breasts in slices of prosciutto. If this is very thinly sliced, its texture will ensure it stretches and holds well when wrapped carefully. Otherwise use toothpicks.
Now cook the wrapped breasts very gently in a little olive oil to start with; just until the prosciutto begins to crisp, then add some white wine - maybe half a glass - and a few pink peppercorns. Place the lid on the pan and simmer very gently, turning the breasts after several minutes, depending on their thickness. When they're almost done, toss in some good cream, remove the cooked breasts, raise the heat to reduce the sauce and then pour it over the chicken to serve.
On the side, spinach cooked with garlic, and mashed potatoes flecked with shards of semi-dried tomato. Drink a chardonnay with backbone.
Oh, the tip: cook a couple of extra breasts as above, chill them overnight, slice them across the grain and lay the slices, with rocket or radicchio, in fresh baguettes. (Keep them chilled on the way to the races. I'm amazed at how many people produce 'warm' chicken salads and other unchilled chicken items at spring and summer events.)
Bonus tip: Kibbutz in Saturday's Victoria Derby at Flemington. But don't put the house on it.