Friends Of Australia Friday #FCFriday

This is my soon to be weekly Friends Of Australia Friday posting. Don’t know how long I’ll keep this up, but it may depend on just how Pissy and Stupid the CCP in China can be.

I’d suggested #FriendsOfAustraliaFriday or even F… China Friday #FCFriday, but whatever. I’m not a hash tag person nor a Twitter Twat, so no idea what is catchy, really.

As I type this it’s about 10-something in Australia on Friday, so even though it is just after dinner Thursday in California, I’m making this an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!

Dinner tonight was some Knorr Alfredo noodles. These come in a metalized pouch like freeze dried expensive food but cost about $1 / package at Walmart instead of the $6+ for “camping food”. One of the easy ways to make a prepper pack. Add coconut oil instead of butter and a can of condensed milk and you are good to go.

With that I had a bit of fried potatoes. Then, the main meat dish:

Essentially a Saaaaaaalsssbury steak made with ground lamb. The lamb in question is Thomas Farms Free Range, product of Australia. Cost was $6-something for a pound and made two 1/2 pound steaks (one each and quite enough). Onion and garlic added with a sprinkle of salt and pepper over, then pan fried in Olive Oil for about 3 to 4 minutes a side on medium. Ooooh Yum!

This was accompanied by a Yellow Tail brand Chardonnay with starters ( i.e. poured in a large glass ;-) and then shifting to their Merlot with the main course. Now back on the Chardonnay. Also an Australian wine maker.

Oddly, while I got the lamb at Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, they had NO Australian wine! Now this, believe it or not, is a good thing. This particular store sells a lot of ‘remaindered’ products. When the maker has too much for their regular channel and needs to clear out the excess inventory, these folks get it at a discount. I’ve gotten nice $20 wines for about $5 there. So, there being no Australian wines, despite having a category of Australia / New Zealand marked, means it’s not on the remainders market.

So, OK, off to another store to get the wine… I stopped at BevMo but they said “phone orders only” no wandering around the store looking at a half acre of beer and wine. OK, the local regular grocer then…. On some future day I’ll hit up BevMo for a better selection of wines and checking out Australian Whisky.

So, with that, it turns out I have 2 bottles of Australian wine open for the next 24 hours… Just sayin’… I’d hate for it to spoil and all ;-)

What that means is that in at least this one little corner of California there’s a “Party Of One” even if not quite an “Army of One” with a glass held high for Australia (Middle Finger extended for China). #FCFriday and all…

On a side note, both Target and Walmart were looking a bit picked over and thin on things like soft goods (cloth goods) and housewares from China. There were other outages too. And I’m very OK with that.

For now, let the good times roll on…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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43 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday #FCFriday

  1. beththeserf says:

    Someone from the Great Southern Land says ‘Thank you, E.M.’ )

  2. Scissor says:

    Sounds delicious.

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    A billion people a week, just one Australian meal and one Australian bottle each, that’s all I ask!

    A global party? How hard can that be?


  4. E.M.Smith says:

    The Chardonnay is gone…

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    On to the remaining Merlot (with salami slices as needed to balance ;-)

  6. andysaurus says:

    Here’s another Aussie (by choice not birth) wishing you cheers and thanks. In the circles in which I move, Merlot is considered a bit limp wristed, I’m so butch I almost never drink anything but rough Shiraz, something like M in the early Bond novels, where I got the idea. The taste followed later.
    I can be persuaded to try a Cabernet Sauvignon – Cab Sav in the local vernacular.

    Thanks again.

  7. Power Grab says:

    My dad was a medical professional. During maybe the late 1960’s or into the early 1970’s, he would say that if they continued to socialize medicine, he was moving us to Australia. He had been there during the Korean war (or police action, whatever you want to call it) and couldn’t stop himself from picking up the accent. He also got one of those classic Aussie hats with the brim folded up on one side.

    Considering how politics have gone in Oz, I think I’m we didn’t go there. It’s just scary to think that they would keep blowing up their old-faithful electrical plants in favor of intermittent energy.

  8. Michael Lewis says:

    I hadn’t heard of Chiefio for some years, since when I was looking at WattsUp several times a day. I’m just as incredulous at the ongoing ruin of the world to save us from “climate change” now as then.

    However, I’m writing from Sydney Australia at 3:30 pm Friday, 29th May to help you enjoy your Aussie lamb “steaks” and wine. I looked at your prices and compared then with comparable supermarket and liquor shop prices here, “even as we speak”.

    First, sitiing at your “table for 1” , with your lamb steaks made from minced lamb, which is not a true blue Aussie staple – it’s favoured by those Middle Eastern and Indian “types” – however whole lamb, in any cut, is standard Aussie tucker. And all lamb is free range – unless it’s starving or sick. Beef and pork with the use of feed lots as well as the paddocks, are different.

    1 Kg (just over 2 lb) of lamb mince (termprarily unobtainable) was in AU, USD 10 vs in US, USD 13.
    1 Kg of lamb steak was in AU, USD 20 (the other end of the spectrum from mince)
    1 bottle of Yellow tail chardonnay was in AU, USD 5 per bottle – this is definitely not a premium wine but still very popular.

    However the cost of preparing your US meal with fresh Sydney ingredients at this moment is somewhat hampered by the world travel situation and if transport were available, the cost would be prohibitive. So go ahead and enjoy your Aussie meal.

    Sidebar: My wife yesterday, bought a range of canned vegetables, she needed, for cooking.
    The corn kernels in brine were from Thailand – or packed in Thailand.
    The carrots were proudly grown and packed at a town in Australia (we accept New Zealand as our’s).
    The champignons were from China (my wife has been suitably chastised – never again)
    The tomato pulp was from Italy (illegal refugees working for almost nothing – worrying).

    Of course we don’t grow any of these vegetables in AU or NZ!! /sarc

    So, continue to enjoy your meal and try and finish next time with an Australian whisky (which is more expensive than a Scotch one). Provenance does not seem to matter in whisky any more, since every variation in bottle size, age, colour, barrell, weather when it was boiled, minutes of ageing, etc etc – for the Chinese and Japanese markets is of crucial importance.

    However, I’m happy, I’ve discovered your site.

  9. YMMV says:

    And after dinner, watch an Australian series. Called “Doctor Doctor” there and “Heart Guy” elsewhere.

  10. Another Ian says:


    With the first Great Northern Original – full strength as I’m not driving anywhere.

    Re “Doctor, Doctor”. I heard of a bloke here who had done his Ph.D. in Sweden. Award of which also got him a Ph. D. from the sister university in Norway. So he was known as “Doctor Doctor”

  11. Paul, Somerset says:

    In the German-speaking world, people are addressed with a full list of their honours, e.g.a professor with a couple of doctorates would be Herr or Frau Professor Doktor Doktor Schmidt.

  12. Graeme No.3 says:

    In the IPCC they say Doktor, Doktor, Doktor. And if they still can’t see Global Warming in the temperatures they add another Doktor to the figures!

  13. Graeme No.3 says:

    And andysaurus is behind the times; tastes now are for Grenache, Pinot noir even Tempranillo. And Shiraz has smoothed out in the last 20 years (except in NSW where I would guess he resides).
    Who said we are all the same?

  14. Bill In Oz says:

    Thanks E M for the concern and fun of this. The CCP clowns are probably getting all frowny about the business. But who cares what they think ? They’re not invited to the party.
    Lamb steak for diner tonight also from Thomas foods who are based just down the road at Murray Bridge here in South Australia.Along with a nice, quiet Cooper’s Stout.Brewed in the bottle !

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    I think I might have seen Coopers in the BevMo Australia / New Zealand section long long ago. They have stores about 50 x 50 meters of beer and wine :-) divided by nation of origin. Hard liquor divided by type. Unfortunately, not yet open for browsing.

    Queued up in the fridge are some very nice lamb chops from Australia. The ones shaped like tiny T Bone steaks… Then it’s off to Costco for a leg-o-lamb from Australia for next week. I’d be buying your beef if I could, but as a big beef producer, the US likely doesn’t import it. I prefer lamb but as China targeted the beef it would be a more direct response. Oh well, I’ll do what I can.

    So, let the good times roll on, and ignore the CCP Sourpusses in the corner. Nothing like a party to give the middle finger to someone trying to manipulate you into feeling bad! Never let a bully boy have the pleasure of you feeling bad. Just smile and let them know you have a party to get to, and they are not invited.

  16. Annie says:

    Great stuff Chiefio…cheers! Annie PommieAussie

  17. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    Our grocery stores never closed but my next planned trip (15 miles to town) is not until Tuesday. I’ll check for OZ beer. We have several local breweries, but what I now have is CA beer. Everything from CA causes cancer (or something), so I read.
    A visit of a friend from Kiama (60 mi. south of Sydney) intended for the just past weekend was not possible. Panic2020 has caused a lot of grief.
    Maybe not in my lifetime, but someday both China and North Korea will become decent World citizens. Only the Middle East remains intractable.

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    @Michael Lewis:

    Minced (or ground) lamb is not common here. Almost all lamb is sold as legs, shanks, or chops. When I do find it, I buy it, mostly so I can make a non-beef “hamburger”. Beef more than once a week starts to cause an arthritic flare up in my finger joints (any cow stuff really, even milk to excess). But I miss burgers… I checked my receipt and it was $6.49/ lb.

    For the foreseeable future, I’ll be buying it much more often (we’ll see if I can run their inventory to zero ;-)

    IIRC, the wine was about $6.x per bottle too. At Smart & Final (lower cost store with lots of bigger sized restaurant service sized cans & bags too). So didn’t expect the top end stuff there. They have lots of lower cost domestic, Italian, and South American wines.

    I’m going to try some higher end grocery stores for more Australian wine choices (and BevMo when they fully open again). I’ve gotten very good Australian Cabernet at BevMo. Have yet to find Australian Whisky anywhere, but only just started looking. Once I find some, it’s my whisky for the duration.

  19. Dan_Kurt says:

    RE: “Add …a can of condensed milk and you are good to go.” E.M.Smith

    The only condensed milk I see at the grocers is Sweetened Condensed Milk, and that product is cloyingly sweet. Is there another type of Condensed Milk? Or did you use Evaporated Milk?

    Dan Kurt

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, the Merlot is gone now… :-(


    Both are condensed. One is evaporated to 1/2 volume, the other is sweetened and condensed to near zero water. Yes, the labels only put Condensed on one and Evaporated on the other, but both are small c condensed. You could use powdered too, or dry, or evaporated not in a can or…

  21. Compu Gator says:

    Bill In Oz replied 29 May 2020 at 12:24 pm GMT:
    Along with a nice, quiet Cooper’s Stout. Brewed in the bottle!

    Ummm, I recognize that you are the “local”, and that Cooper’s own Web site claims that its ales are “naturally conditioned, bottle-fermented ales” [♑]. But to really “brew in the bottle“, you would be boiling the wort [∆] in the bottle, and confining fermentation to the bottle. That would require not only that their bottles be incredibly temperature-tolerant, but also pressure-tolerant, whose strength would need to be on the order of champagne bottles. Which would almost certainly be prohibitively expensive containers for retail sale.

    What would make sense to me as a U.S. home-brewer (thus using U.S. terminology) would be for their “bottle-fermented” claim to be an overstatement of their entirely plausible “naturally conditioned” (a.k.a. finished). That’s because 1 technique for “natural conditioning” is kräusening, which is compatible with both commercial and home brewing. In fact, for its stout, Cooper’s clams only “An all malt brew that’s naturally conditioned in the bottle” [♣]. A carefully dispensed small amount of newly produced but not-yet-fermented wort (and sometimes some dilute yeast) to each bottle right before capping. That does indeed restart fermentation inside the sealed bottles. Its advantage for brewing quality is that the yeast consumes residual oxygen (e.g., from the turbulence of filling the bottle), but its effect for consumers is to naturally carbonate the bottled beer. That’s in contrast to U.S. megabreweries, which simply infuse compressed CO2.

    Cooper’s claims that they are “Australia’s oldest family owned and run brewery, and that’s not changing anytime soon.” [♡] That by itself attracts me to try its brews. Alas, an initial Web search failed to find any bricks-&-mortar sellers in Florida.

    Note ∆ : Wort is the liquid that’s produced, customarily by boiling sugars extracted from malted barley (&c.) with hops in water, to be fermented in the next step of the brewing process, which culminates in ale or beer. Some spoil-sport historians & nutritionists claim that in medieval times, the only reason that beer was safer than water is that wort was sterilized by its boiling. Harrrummmpf!

    Note ♑ :
    (The symbol I’ve used as the reference-mark for this note is not only the astrologer’s zodiac symbol for Capricorn, but also the alchemist’s symbol for the fermentation process. It’s in Unicode (at U+2651 i.q. &#9809) along with other zodiac symbols in the ‘Miscellaneous Symbols’ block; some combination of WordPress and Firefox displays it in an unwanted purple quadrangle with rounded corners.)

    Note ♣ :

    Note ♡ :

  22. philjourdan says:

    Perhaps Another Ian can cross post to JoNova.

    That would be best.

  23. andysaurus says:

    @Graeme No. 3 Queensland Mate. Too warm to do a decent Shiraz, though some cellar door wineries ship in grape juice. Probably good enough for my crappy old taste buds.

  24. Timster says:

    Friday just gone, made some great pizza in the Kamado grill, last night a range of Indian dishes using the tandoor for chicken and naan.

    Next Friday will be dropping some local 300g sirloins in the kamado and serving with simple sides – fries and coleslaw.

    Also, planning on opening a rather rare Penfolds Grange Hermitage from 1990, to celebrate its 30th birthday… I bought it for $125 back in the day, could probably get north of $1000 for it now… Bugger that, I’ve nurtured it so long, I want to drink it!. Should (hopefully) be a good evening :-)

  25. Another Ian says:



    ” “Friends Of Australia Friday #FCFriday”

    First party results”

  26. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Two types of Aussie food products are essential for tasting, because there is nothing better anywhere in the world.
    The Queensland Mud Crab, fresh boiled then cracked open to be eaten still hot.
    The South Australian crayfish, eaten cold after boiling in salt water, or hot with Bechamel sauce.
    These set the upper limit of excellence in all food, in my experience covering eating in a score of countries.
    It would be so sad if you cannot take sea food. Even the Coral Trout and Red Emperor fish from the Great Barrier Reef are up hear the top. Steak and Lamb of any quality are only md range. Geoff S

  27. E.M.Smith says:


    Love seafood! Next timd I’m there I’ll look for those!

    Don’t think I’ve seen them imported here though…

    When I was there in the 80s I loved the fish, but don’t remember just what bits I ordered. Often just whatever was the daily special. All of it very good. I had some surf ‘n turf in Melbourne at a high end place. In a converted warehouse with a traveling floor show going from table to table. The lobster was better than the steak, but the steak was very good!

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    The BevMo web site lets you search products. In the whisky category, you can narrow it by check box for country. There is no check box for Australia.

    OK, you need to get your Australian whisky in front of their buyers.

    IF theres nobody being a USA Rep. for Australian whisky I’m available to do it.

  29. Timster says:

    Here’s a good list of Aussie tipples to start anyone on their journey…

  30. H.R. says:

    E.M.: “IF theres nobody being a USA Rep. for Australian whisky I’m available to do it.”

    30 years ago, a fellow (friend of a sister-in-law of a friend of a… and so on…) was a regular in our social circle. I was in manufacturing and he was….. dum, ta-dum-dum setting up the US distribution network for Australian wines. I think the wine industry in Australia hired a half-dozen or so US citizens to get the ball rolling in our country.

    It’s quite lucrative and he had a blast setting up introductory type events to get the word out about Australian wines. Because I knew him by chance, I was an early bird to Australian wines. Quite nice. I heartily approved.

    Anyhow, if the OZ whiskey industry is looking for reps to spread the word about their product and are looking to gain some bit of the US market share (of course they are), I’d recommend you look into it to see if you can get a piece of the action. Fun, profit; what more could you ask? Did I mention fun? You have to throw parties and invite movers and shakers to sample free Aussie booze. Tough job, but I think you can handle it, E.M.

    This is the first I’ve heard about Aussie whiskey and their attempts to penetrate the Irish, Scottish, Tennessee, Kentucky, Japanese. etc. tooth and claw fight for their share of the US whiskey market..

    When it comes to whiskey, I recommend fighting on any side that is willing to pay you and provide unlimited free samples.

    Go throw your hat in the ring, E.M. There is no downside.

  31. beththeserf says:

    Let’s dance! :) oh my, Ginger ‘n Fred ! gplMujzQ
    If the chardonnay’s run out we’ll go get some more.

  32. beththeserf says:

    Music, Maestro!

  33. philjourdan says:

    @Geoff – I will try your crab, but I do warn you that while others have shouted the wonders of Dungenes and King crabs, they pale in comparison to Chesapeake Blue Crabs.

    But I have not found a crayfish that I did not love!

    So once this insanity is over, I will take you up on your challenge of the crabs and crayfish. Besides, Oz is #1 on my bucket list (Alaska #2 – I love salmon!)

    Will let you know once I have done a taste test!

  34. Chiefio, seems you are getting Aussie lamb cheaper than we do (not that I like lamb but wife does). Daughter had a cow killed so we are overloaded with beef but unfortunately the butcher was not much good. The mince had too much gristle and became dog food- the pouches loved it. I prefer Shiraz -the acclaimed and very expensive Grange is made from Shiraz grapes. Cab-Sav is also fine. Tried growing Cab-sav many yeras ago. Also going back decades I made some vine from Grenache and Gordo (used for Sherry) grapes. I remember the fermentation going on for 4 to 5 weeks. The wine was very raw but after about 10 years storage it could pass for a dry Port. I think the alcohol content was 18 to 20%. (the yeast must have been very alcohol resistant.
    I am not a fan of chardonnay or pinot noir (Champagne). Sauvignon Blanc is ok for a white white but I prefer strong reds which are also better for health.
    You do some good research how about a peice on Vitamin D (or sunlight) I note some darker skinned people are more likely to be vitamin D deficient and what about some of those ladies who cover themselves from head to toe. At least we have been able to go to the beach for a surf. Water temp. at start of winter is still around 23C but a bit cool coming out unless the sun is shining.
    Keep well

  35. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, tonight’s tipple is in fact an Australian Shiraz! See:

    I’m an equal opportunity employer of all things grape ;-) “It’s not bad, just different!”

    As per Vit-D:

    There’s not a whole lot more to say. Take 1000 to 2000 IU a day. If you are dark, it takes all day to make your full dose. If you are white, about 1/2 hour. (Full body full sun). Don’t bath right after the sun. It takes a day for the Vit-D made on the surface of your skin to diffuse into the blood.

    That’s pretty much it. Something else you wanted?

  36. Fine EM, I like most of your posts except I am not a computer nerd but I am interested in history, and economics beside engineering which you will see on the website I am engineer who has experience in heat transfer.
    Getting back to the Chinese viruses, I have been interested in various articles in a) how it can be avoided, b) early actions to prevent them and c) how they can be treated. I have not seen any article that puts it all together. I have seen articles about vitamin D and how it helps the immune system. There was an article from an Indonesian and one from Ireland using hospital records which showed that those who had a vitamin D deficiency. It appears that excerise out in the sun is benficial. Australia is general good in theat department except skin cancer is a bit higher in Queensland so people should not sunbake nude for too many hours. Just seen some articles on vitamin C which also helps the immune system. In Australia most states can grow organges, llemons, limes and mandarins ie citrus fruit which is cheap coming into autumn and winter. Austrlia also has the native finger lime which is great with food such as fish. Seen article on HDQ with inflamitaries and zinc. I have been drinking tonic water which has quinine for a long time. recently I found a bottle of Zinc tablets that I used to take and a also a bottle of Mg tablets which I taught may help my cramp. Tried the taking one tablet a night but I suddenly go a pain in my neck and down my back. I have Polymyalgia and take 2mg of steroids. I think the zinc and maybe the MG depressed the immune response. I have given up the zinc and MG and seem back to normal. I read that the virus can can the immune response hyperactive and the Zn can depress the response so that the immune system works properly but in my case it may have slowed down the natural steroid production which I need to attack the inflamation affect the joints ie osteo-arthritis.
    Anyway keep up the good work and keep healthy

  37. E.M.Smith says:

    Saw a news report that China has now said they will not be buying USA soybeans or pork.

    Aside from violating their trade agreement…

    My response is: Hey, Great! Maybe bacon prices will come back down now!

    So, to summarise:

    We’re in a global cooling crop failure mode. There’s a famine shaping up across south Asia into Africa from a plague of locusts. China has lost most of its pig population to ASF. They are not buying Australian beef or barley, nor US soybeans and pork.

    Why do I get the feeling folks in China are going to get real hungry?

    I wonder if they are running out of foreign exchange? Not much produced or shipped for 3 months? That’s got to leave a mark…

  38. p.g.sharrow says:

    “Saw a news report that China has now said they will not be buying USA soybeans or pork.”

    Sounds to me that they are trying to drive down the prices before a massive buy. Wouldn’t be the first time that tactic was used. They HAVE to buy or starve, Starvation and the resulting political unreast…pg is not an option for them.

  39. Pingback: Friends Of Australia Friday Tipple Report | Musings from the Chiefio

  40. Compu Gator says:

    Arrrgh!  Altho’ I confess to having made only a cursory effort, it seems to me that Cooper’s brews are not available for purchase in Central Florida. I conclude that because neither of these large liquor chains seem to stock it:
    • ABC Wine & Spirits;
    • Total Wine & More.

    A floor-worker at the latter said he’d heard of the brand, but had seen it no closer than in Georgia. Well, Hey-ell!  I suppose that that could be explained by the Dawg-State being so much closer to Australia than we here in Florida.

  41. E.M.Smith says:

    Since Total Wine in California has it, it is in their warehouse… so manager could likely order it…

  42. philjourdan says:

    @CompuGator – the whims of business. They stock what sells in each of their stores., What you got to do is import some of them Georgians!

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