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


Heat is on.

42.9 in the city today; outlying suburbs were reporting 45 and 46. The display thermometer at Blyth and Lygon read 49 at 4 p.m. The Nylex sign always used to overstate the temperature as well.

43 tomorrow, but with an ugly northerly instead of today's tame light breeze. Not nice.


I picked up a jar of pesto in the supermarket. (What, with all that parsley and basil in the garden? Yes. Sometimes I get lazy.) The label read Pesto Genovese with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I looked closer. The back label gave the contents in 6-point type: Sunflower Oil 42%, etc.; and the last ingredient, EVO 3%. I put the jar back. The label wasn't exactly lying but it wasn't truthing neither. I went home and picked a bunch of greens and made some pesto with macadamias, my current favourite nut.


We spent most of the day at the Rathdowne Street pool, an oasis at the bottom of what must surely be one of Melbourne's most beautiful streets. Lunch under sailcloth and trees of tuna, onion and cucumber sandwiches and hot tea from my all-steel thermos. Hot tea is cooling. My mother and father drank gallons of it during the heatwaves of my childhood. As far as I know my mother has never drunk water. Tea, tea, tea during summer. And none of that flavoured iced stuff. Hot, strong and sweet.


One eye on the water, the other on the business pages. Someone at the Commonwealth Bank was suggesting small retailers were faking the pain to encourage further government handouts. If I were a small retailer and Commonwealth customer I would be walking into my Commonwealth branch, closing my account and slamming the door on the way out. Apart from that, the Commonwealth spokesperson would have been well and truly aware that a significant amount of the first 'stimulus' package was fed straight into poker machines, with a large percentage flowing straight back into government coffers via gambling tax.

A few days ago a Macquarie Bank commentator was suggesting a new government in the northern hemisphere could right all those bad investments:
"Our market really needs a circuit breaker and that could come from overseas," Macquarie Equities associate director Lucinda Chan told BusinessDaily. "If we can get something positive from the Obama administration and we actually start to see he is giving money to the real economy to stop foreclosures, to help people with credit cards, then maybe it might help swing people around."
Pay off your credit card? Yes, we can! Just send your monthly account to the White House.

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