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Monthly Archives: July 2019

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Waffles are not just for breakfast

Buttermilk waffles with maple bacon butter. Photo: Steven Siewert. Food: Jill Dupleix Hot Food: Buttermilk waffles. Photo: Steven Siewert

What are they?

Crisp, golden, deeply gridded batter cakes baked in a waffle iron or electric waffle-maker. Descendants of the 12th-century French walfre and Dutch wafel, they’re gaining ground on local menus as all-day breakfasts, desserts, and increasingly, as savoury snacks.Where is it?

Respect, please, for the duck waffles at Melbourne’s Cumulus Up wine bar, stuffed with shredded duck confit and topped with foie gras parfait and sticky prunes.

At the light, bright, new Touchwood Cafe, chef Tristan White’s heart-shaped wholemeal waffles come with peanut butter and jelly (reduced raspberry compote) and whipped peanut butter ricotta and peanut brittle. ”It’s awesome,” says owner Jamie McBride. ”A lot of people order it after their bacon and eggs, and share it as a breakfast dessert.”

In Sydney, it’s the waffles at Surry Hill’s Paramount Coffee Project that take the cake. Head chef Brett Barbuto not only cooks sweet waffles with peanut butter ice-cream, dulce de leche and hazelnuts on the Roller Grill waffle iron, but also savoury waffles topped with guacamole, sour cream, grilled peppers, fried eggs, and bloody mary salsa. ”People were a little unsure how to approach eating them at first,” says Barbuto.

”Now we’re selling almost as many as the crab po’ boy.”Why do I care?

Because that deep gridwork of dimples traps all the butter, maple syrup, honey, cream or ice-cream your heart can cope with.Can I do them at home?

Yes, as long as you have an old-school waffle iron or a flash new Breville waffle-maker (from $59.95).Sourcing


Cumulus Up, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 03 9650 1445

Touchwood, 480 Bridge Road, Richmond, 03 9429 9347


Paramount Coffee Project, 80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, 02 9211 1122.

RECIPEButtermilk waffles with maple bacon butter

For super-crisp bacon, lay the rashers flat on an oven tray and bake at 190 degrees for 10 minutes.

2 large eggs, separated

375ml buttermilk

2 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

225g self-raising flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

1 tbsp caster sugar

Maple syrup for serving

For the maple bacon butter:

100g softened butter

1 tbsp maple syrup

4 rashers crisp bacon

1. To make the maple bacon butter, crush the crisp bacon into bits and beat into the butter with the maple syrup. Chill until required.

2. Whisk the egg yolks lightly then whisk in the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Sift the flour, cinnamon and salt into a second bowl and stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the egg mixture, mixing lightly until smooth.

3. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.

4. Heat the waffle-iron or waffle-maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. To cook the waffles, ladle the batter into each mould and cook for 5 minutes or until golden. Serve with maple bacon butter and extra maple syrup.

Serves: 4

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Britain’s phone-hacking trial: Juror selection begins with verdict not expected until Easter next year

Defendants: Rebekah Brooks and husband Charlie arrive at the Old Bailey for the start of their trial. Photo: Kirsty WigglesworthJurors at the so-called ‘trial of the century’ will likely not be handing down their verdicts until well into next year.

Around Easter, their ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ could decide the fate of not only some of the UK’s most high-profile journalists, but entire media empires.

But in the meantime they have been given an early, tough decision: do they want to spend the next four or five months of their lives listening to the ins and outs of the phone hacking saga?

Monday was the first day of the trial at the Old Bailey, where eight defendants faced charges relating to alleged phone-hacking and payments to public officials at the now-defunct News of the World newspaper.

The defendants include Rupert Murdoch’s star protégé and confidante Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International and editor of the News of the World; her husband Charlie Brooks, and Andy Coulson, former editor of the News of the World and Downing Street’s communications director.

The other defendants are Ian Edmondson, former editor of the NOTW, Stuart Kuttner, the paper’s former managing editor, Clive Goodman its former royal editor, Mark Hanna, former head of security at News International and Cheryl Carter, former PA to Ms Brooks.

Ian Edmondson, Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and Stuart Kuttner are charged with conspiring to hack mobile phone voicemails.

Mr Goodman, Mr Coulson and Ms Brooks also face charges over alleged payments to public officials. And Brooks, her husband, Carter and Hanna have been charged over alleged concealment of evidence.

The trial is attracting intense media interest – with 20 reporters in the courtroom, another 50 in a nearby annex, and many more exchanging comments and observations on Twitter.

However, tweeting or texting from the court will be banned during the trial.

Daily Telegraph columnist Peter Oborne dubbed it the “trial of the century”, predicting “Hollywood movies are going to be made about Rebekah Brooks, guilty or not guilty, and her journey from the Cheshire village of Daresbury to become the most powerful and courted woman in Britain.”

Hollywood producer Gene Kirkwood has reportedly already optioned a Vanity Fair profile of her, with Nicole Kidman suggested for the lead.

However, the movie will almost certainly not feature Monday’s events.

Ms Brooks arrived at court amid the glare of camera flashes (and on the wings of one of Britain’s worst storms in years), but the events in court were merely procedural.

Such a criminal trial normally begins with the prosecution and defence agreeing on questions to put to potential jurors – who are then sent home for the night to consult with family and employers about the ramifications of taking on a trial expected to run for at least four months, with scores of witnesses.

The prosecution is expected to open its case on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Andrew Edis QC, leading the prosecution, was named ‘crime silk of the year’ this month and the award citation noted he was “at the very top of the list for serious crime”, with several successful high-profile prosecutions under his belt including former MP Chris Huhne.

Ms Brooks also has a top silk on her side: her lead counsel Jonathan Laidlaw QC, who in a previous life as a prosecutor was involved in such cases as the IRA bombing of Canary Wharf and the Jill Dando murder trials. The Sunday Times reported that he has “lethal cross-examination skills” and a “mean way with closing speeches”.

The trial comes with the UK government and the press at loggerheads over a proposed new regulatory regime, based broadly on recommendations from the Leveson Inquiry, which the newspapers claim is an historic attack on the freedom of the press.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the solicitor general Oliver Heald wrote to the leaders of the three main political parties, asking for MPs to refrain from commenting on the case behind the legally-privileged walls of Parliament.

The trial may have ramifications, not only for future treatment of the press by politicians, but also for the political influence of Rupert Murdoch – as well as his business empire.

The Leveson Inquiry into press misbehaviour steered clear of the potential criminal actions, so this trial may see new detail of allegations about who was hacked, when and to what extent.

And the evidence may give a better picture as to exactly who at News International and News Corp knew what their employees were allegedly up to, and to what extent it may have been authorised.

Potential jurors were asked to fill in questionnaire and will return for final selection on Tuesday.

Justice John Saunders warned the jury panel they should be prepared for the case to last a long time.”This trial concerns allegations of criminal conduct at the News of the World and the Sun newspapers which preceded the closure of the News of the World,” he said.

“It’s an important case. The trial we are about to start will take a considerable length of time. It’s estimated the case may last until Easter.

“I hope that with the assistance of counsel the case will finish more quickly, but people who sit on [the jury] should be prepared for the case to go on that long.”

They were reminded not to look up anything about the case on the internet – including Google and Twitter – and were warned it was the sort of case where “people have a lot of views”.

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Sky’s now the limit for predicting heatwaves

Meteorologists may have found a way to predict some killer heatwaves up to three weeks in advance. The best they can do now is about 10 days.

An earlier warning would help cities prepare for the heatwave, arrange to open up cooling centres and check on the elderly, said Gerald Meehl, co-author of a study that describes the forecasting clue. ”It gives you a little bit of a heads-up of what’s coming,” he said.

The key may be a certain pattern of high and low pressure spots across the globe high in the sky. When that pattern shows up, the chances double for a prolonged and intense heatwave in the eastern two-thirds of the US, according to the study published on Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

This could predict some types of heatwaves but not all, meteorologists said.

The researchers at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, looked at heatwaves that lasted at least a week and were about 3 to 5 degrees warmer than normal.

They did thousands of computer simulations and discovered that when high pressure and low pressure systems line up in a specific pattern, it foreshadows heat to come in about 15 to 20 days. The weather on the ground at the time of the pattern really does not matter; it can be rainy, dry, hot or cold, said study lead author Haiyan Teng, a scientist at the research centre.

The same pattern that signals a US heatwave also indicates different extreme weather in other parts of the globe, like heavy rains, she said.

This wave pattern was seen before the 1980 heatwave in Dallas that was blamed for 1250 deaths, said Randall Dole, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who did not participate in the study.


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Is monogamy really flawed?

THE PLANNER OCT 26Dan SavageSavage_CAASpeakers_Photo1 credit LaRae Lobdell.jpg Photo: [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校 Why monogamy is bad for you.

Dan Savage – advice columnist, author, provocateur and parent, among other things – learnt to stop mincing words a long time ago.

Growing up in Chicago in the 1960s and ’70s, the product of a family enthusiastic in its Catholicism, there came a time when the boy they called Danny had something to say. He’d thought about it a lot, and then he finally said it. In the process he learnt that when it comes to thinking and talking about life – the forces that shape us, and the shapes we’re forced to fit – he had a talent for navigating the more complicated byways of the human head and heart.

That first brave conversation, 31 years ago, was always bound to leave a mark; it does on almost everyone who has it or hears it. ”Coming out is a process, as they say,” Savage says. ”I came out to myself at 14, 15, came out to a few friends at 16 as bisexual, I was about to come out to my parents when my parents [separated] … my dad left my mum and I actually waited a couple of years longer before I came out to my mother because I just didn’t feel like she could take those two blows at once and survive.”

But once he’d crossed that final frontier, there was no stopping him. Out to the world, he left by the wayside the faith he’d been raised in. He went to college, studying theatre and history. It wasn’t until he was almost 30, in the early 1990s, that the voice found its first major public platform – as an advice columnist for The Stranger, a new alternative weekly in Seattle – but since then it has rarely been quieted.

He’s written six books; he co-founded a theatre company; he’s a prominent American voice on some of the major social issues of the times, from abortion to gay marriage; and, with husband Terry Miller, in 2010 he created one of the most potent media projects of the age, the anti-bullying It Gets Better initiative, a video-driven concept with a powerful message that attracted even US President Barack Obama to the cause.

He still writes the advice column that started it all, Savage Love, now syndicated around the world and also available in podcast form.

Whatever the platform or outlet, the voice is bold, blunt, often contrary, always challenging – as it has been since he first spoke up for himself as a teenager, when he found himself and lost his religion. ”I’m grateful for my sexuality bringing me into conflict with my faith. It makes you think, without my sexuality I might have just coasted along.” He talks of ”all that shit poured into my head” as a kid – ”exclusionary, judgey, condemnatory crap”. As we said, Savage doesn’t mince his words, as Australian audiences are about to find out up close for the first time.

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas, a Sydney event with a one-day Melbourne sideshow on November 3. He is not yet in the country, but Savage has his ideas about the country he’s coming to, and on the phone to Fairfax Media he happily accepts the invitation to share them. They are based on impressions – he’s been here only once, and that was a holiday 20 years ago – but Savage is skilled at making his impressions of those impressions count.

The times here would seem to suit him, given that a bunch of his favourite topics – gay rights, sexism and, courtesy of the new incumbent of The Lodge, Catholicism – feature prominently in national debate.

”Australia, my impression is it’s a little schizoid considering the Prime Minister you dudes just elected down there,” he says. ”The gulf between very liberal laws on prostitution and other sexual-related matters and then there’s this kind of instinctual, knee-jerk conservatism when it comes to marriage equality.”

That Australia would be ”the last country in the Anglosphere to legalise marriage equality” baffles him. ”Australia’s looking a little bit like you guys got the Puritans and we got the convicts; it’s the wrong way round.”

He knows of Tony Abbott and knows he’s a political conservative, and for Savage that is enough to warrant withdrawing any thought of giving the new PM the benefit of the doubt: ”All I’ve seen is that one video where your former prime minister beat the shit out of him during question time, that was delicious.”

I bring him up to speed on some curiosities of the Australian moment that have escaped him, among them that the new US ambassador to Australia is a gay man with a husband – their union recognised by US law but not here. ”That’s too bad,” Savage says. ”I look forward to him meeting your new Prime Minister at a state function and introducing his husband in America, boyfriend in Australia.”

On the same theme, he learns of Abbott’s family conflict on marriage equality, and files it away as just another example of a leader choosing political convenience over doing the right thing. Remember George Bush snr, he says, whose nominating convention in 1988 was a festival of public homophobia; then last month the Republican former president was a witness at the nuptials of a lesbian couple. ”This motherf—er Abbott”, Savage says, will no doubt also see the light and support his sister’s right to marry – when he no longer needs the votes of bigots to win power.

None of this is to suggest Savage has been invited to Australia to hold forth on local politics, or even on the subject of gay marriage, an issue about which he is deeply passionate. He is coming instead to share with the festival his views on monogamy, but inevitably these issues are all of a piece – marriage, its rules, its relation to religion – and Savage dismantles with relish the conventions that govern their debate.

On marriage, for starters he contends that it is straight people who have dramatically changed the nature of the institution, and that arguments against same-sex unions are often based on notions of tradition that have long since been abandoned by heterosexuals.

”There’s a reluctance on the part of many straight people to acknowledge how they have changed marriage,” he says.

”[This] shit that we [gay people] want to redefine marriage – no, no, no. There’s this kind of nostalgia in some ways for gender roles and their legal expression. Marriage used to be a very gendered institution and it was very unfavourable for women and straight people eventually rejected that and re-created, redefined marriage to be the legal union of two autonomous people. Allowing same-sex couples to marry really does force straight people to confront what marriage is – not for us, but for them.”

Those old gender norms, he says, are now ”optional”, yet outdated traditions are the go-to argument of opponents of same-sex marriage. ”Straight people,” Savage says, ”want gay people to marry in 1813 and they get to marry in 2013.”

But when it comes to monogamy – the focus of his Australian speeches – Savage argues that in redefining the old rules of marriage, this is one area where change has not gone far enough. He believes sexual fidelity as a social norm is not merely old-fashioned but is actively damaging to relationships and the individuals within them.

A dangerous idea? It may be billed as such, but Savage seems equal parts amused and bemused that his views could be regarded that way.

”Some of the things I say about monogamy are regarded as dangerous,” he says. ”But I actually think the attitudes we hold about monogamy and the importance we place on it is more dangerous, is doing more damage, is harming marriages, is leading to more divorces than anything I’ve ever recommended that people do or think.”

He insists he is not in favour of a sexual free-for-all for committed partners. Indeed, he has coined a word, monogamish, which is how he describes his marriage to Terry Miller. (The couple were married in Canada in 2005, and again in the US when Washington state legalised same-sex unions in 2012. They have an adopted son.)

”We were monogamous for four or five years and not monogamous for 15 years,” Savage says. ”We’re blissfully happy and we still have sex all the time with each other. I coined the term for our marriage, monogamish, [because] we were so much more monogamous than not.”

But it is common sense, not his own marriage, that Savage holds out as the basis for his views. ”We tell people that humans are naturally monogamous and [it’s not] true. We know that in most serious long-term relationships, 60 per cent of the men in them will cheat, 40 per cent of the women … and we pound it into people’s heads that if there’s infidelity you must end the marriage, that the marriage is destroyed.

”It’s saying that one blow-job on a business trip should be given more weight and consideration and more importance should be attached to it than the 25 years you’ve spent together, the kids you’re raising together, the property you own together, the history you have together, the affection you still have for each other – all of that must be discarded. All of that weighs less on the scales.”

The default position should be reversed, he argues. ”It should be, ‘We’ll get through this,’ not divorce as the default.”

And the result? ”It’s going to save marriage, it’s going to make marriage better and stronger,” Savage declares.

And that, right there, is where listening to Dan Savage not mince words on life and love can lead you: from radical idea to conservative outcome, with human nature as your ever fallible guide. Dangerous? Some may think so, but you’d be mad not to buckle up and take the ride.

Dan Savage is at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on Sunday, November 3, for the Pop-Up Festival of Dangerous Ideas, presented by the Wheeler Centre and the Sydney Opera House. Bookings wheelercentre苏州美甲美睫培训学校

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Freaks and treats for comedy geeks

If you had a third, superfluous, ear growing at the back of your neck, there are several options. You could keep your hair long and wear high-collared garments. You could quietly seek medical advice about its removal, or you could view it as another diamond-drop earring option and seek out the nearest television camera.

Welcome to Embarrassing Bodies Down Under (LifeStyle You, 9.30pm), in which Australians with ailments best covered under doctor-patient confidentiality agreements drop their kit and scream ”look at me”.

This is the Antipodean version of the British original, which had no Down Under in the title but much down under action. Every second patient’s embarrassing secret resided in the vicinity of their underpants.

The Aussie version is no different. While there is medical science involved here, it is definitely part freak show. Who’s for some holiday snaps of unusual bowel motions?

David Walliams’ Mr Church from Big School (Channel Nine, 8.30pm) is in a position to contribute in that regard after an altercation with some bad seafood.

Financial constraints have led to Miss Postern’s school trip to France being downscaled from a visit to Paris to a ferry jaunt to the dreary port town of Dieppe. Naturally, the tracky dacks-clad sports teacher Trevor is on board – not so much to help with the children but to sell them alcohol and ”shag Postern”.

Mr Church has far more honourable, though still romantic, intentions, as anarchy threatens.

Comedy and travel sit beautifully side by side in Michael Palin: From Python to Brazil (ABC1, 10pm). The absurdist skill of Monty Python was a big influence on Walliams and Matt Lucas in the creation of Little Britain. In fact, Python has had its way with much great British comedy.

Here, Palin takes us through his career transformation, from comic actor to much-loved and respected television travel guide.

Any chance to sit and listen to Adam Goodes talk for half an hour should be grabbed. His conversation with Karla Grant in Living Black (NITV, 8pm) is all you would expect from the AFL great: erudite, considered, confident and illuminating.

From family values to becoming an ”elder” within the Sydney Swans set-up, ensuring that players commit to its culture (welcome Buddy Franklin) to the ugliness of the racial vilification moments from this season, Goodes is open to it all.

When asked, there’s even the tiniest hint that politics might be a post-footy career option. After all, for someone who likes to be involved in the process of change, politics is considered the place to be. Were it to happen, let’s hope Goodes could change politics rather than it changing him.

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