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


Google celebrates purple haze.

Doodle Google story here. Or visit doodle artist here.

The fine art of stating the obvious.

It's always a thrill to find out something you didn't know. Today, Herald Sun economics reporter Paul Gilder revealed that:
A Deloitte Access Economics report this week found Victoria's generation capacity had been reduced in the wake of the March closure of the Hazelwood power station.
Ignorance-busting revelations to come include
(a) most birds fly
(b) sun rises in the east
(c) KFC is delicious
(d) the side with more points wins.

It must be fun working at Deloitte. Get all your self-evident reports out of the way in the morning, and you've got all afternoon to sit around leveraging diversity.


Rigatoni with chickpeas and footnotes.

Everyone talks the talk about supporting farmers but few walk the walk.

It's all very well paying an extra forty cents for milk, but it's mere gesture purchasing if you then go to the next aisle and load up on Mutti passata, or any Italian tomato product for that matter.

Mutti preaches a responsible approach to nature, so why spoil that by shipping the things halfway round the earth? I'm turning locavore one can at a time.

Australian canned tomatoes including cherry tomatoes are sitting right next to the imports, so use them instead.

Rigatoni with tomato, herbs and chick peas.

Chop an onion finely, and cook in olive oil1 until translucent. Add a crushed clove of garlic. While it's cooking, puree two cans of diced tomatoes. Add the pureed tomatoes, a dash of salt, a dash of sugar, a dash of chili pepper and half a teaspoon of dried basil to the onion. Cook gently. Add a little water if necessary to achieve a smooth, saucy consistency. Toss in half a can of chick peas2.

Simmer a minute or two and fold through a tablespoon of cream at the end of cooking.

Cook 500g (regular pack) of rigatoni3 in plenty of salted water. Drain and add sauce. Top with grated parmesan4 if you wish.

1 See note re tomatoes.
2 Could be a problem getting local ones but let's just worry about the tomatoes and olive oil for the moment.
3 Plenty of local pasta varieties available including Da Vinci and La Triestina without having to buy the pretentious imports.
4 You're getting the idea.


AFL in move back to East Melbourne.

The Australian Football League is planning a return to its spiritual home, and will move its headquarters back to East Melbourne after 17 years in Docklands.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the return to East Melbourne placed the AFL in the best position to play a leadership role in the nation's ethics.

"2 Cathedral Place is not just a couple of drop punts from the MCG," he said, "but it also has a history of moral high ground which is a perfect fit with our corporate ethos."

McLachlan was excited about the move, saying the additional building on the site could be utilised for special events. "St Patrick's Cathedral is the perfect location for media conferences," he said. "Its heritage-listed pulpit will allow me to be well-heard on a range of current issues," he added.

McLachlan said it could also be used on Brownlow night to read votes, subject to the venue gaining a liquor licence.

The former tenants of 2 Cathedral Place have been issued a notice to vacate and the building is expected to be available by the weekend. The tenants include Denis Hart and several of his mates who said they may join the Elizabeth St homeless camp if they cannot find alternative accommodation.

The move to East Melbourne will bring a rearrangement of roles within the AFL following recent retirements of key personnel following behavioural issues.

The reshuffle will also affect Gillon McLachlan, whose role will be redefined.

His new title moving forward will be Archbishop McLachlan.

"Suits are so old hat," he said. "The new AFL corporate dress has been developed from heritage uniforms found in the Cathedral."

McLachlan will wear the new corporate uniform of flowing white robes and a bishop's mitre at a game when he returns from Europe.


The Book Detective.

These books were common in the 1950s and early 1960s when they were imported from Britain for the huge Australian baby boomer market, then still in their infancy to early teens.

They were often given as birthday or Christmas gifts; Lego, electronic devices and gift vouchers were yet to be invented. (However, there was Airfix.) Today they are hardly collectors' items but their retro illustration styles are of interest.

I found the above example above in the Melbourne CBD's last second-hand bookstore, a goldmine in a basement off Flinders Street. You could spend a week in there and not get bored.

I got Film Fun Annual 1955 home and opened it. Just before the title page was a feature common to older books. This was the 'This Book Belongs To ...' page, shown below.

I looked closely at the inscribed name.

Now, just a moment. That is not a common name. Could there have been two - or more - Ralph Doubells in Melbourne in 1955? Quite possibly. But somehow I doubt it.

If anyone knows Ralph Doubell, tell him I have his book. He can have it back again if he wants it.


City Basement Books
Basement, 342 Flinders St.,


Ralph Doubell earlier mentioned in this blog here.