Friends Of Australia Friday T-bone Chops & Cabernet

It’s once again an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!

Tonight we’re having T-bone lamb chops. Yeah, those little expensive ones. Cut thick, I put them in a cast iron skillet in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes on 350 F. Yes, I like them cooked through. Those liking red in the middle, use a lot less time :-)

The spouse gets hers plain, mine get a small sprinkle of garlic granules when they go in, salt & pepper when the come out. I don’t salt meat before it cooks. Why? The salt draws the moisture out and you get a tougher less juicy result, plus the salt then washes off into the pan.

The side vegetable is Acorn squash. cut in half and seeds removed, put cut side down in a roasting dish with a few cm of water in the bottom. Cooked at the same time as the chops.

I made home made bread yesterday. We’ll either have a slice of that one tonight, or if it runs out, I’m starting a new batch soon! The way I make it is here:

Current batch made with 6.5 oz of bread flour and 2 oz. of instant mashed potato flour.

The wine tonight is a 1.5 L bottle of The Original Martin’s Pickup Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 vintage. A bit young, yet remarkably smooth and drinkable for that (lack of) age. I’d guess grown in a very warm region so tannins are less and not left too long on seeds or stems. It’s “nice in the glass”, but really wants some crackers, cheese, or a big slice of roast lamb to go with it ;-) Cost was way too reasonable at about $11 at Total Wines.

In Other News

Australia is once again approaching a clear status on Chinese Wuhan Covid. Those inside Australia think this is a great thing. Their quarantine and isolation from the rest of the world are working. Some outside of Australia hear of plans for 2 more years of isolation and quarantine and think it a bit daft, especially for the damage to tourism. But hey, IF I could be there instead of here, I’d do it in a heartbeat!

I don’t have much other news from the Indo-Pacific, as everyone is just counting days until Brexit is done and we know what can happen next with Australian / UK trade; and days until we know if the USA comes roaring back or Biden wins and we become the Satrap of China throwing Australia to the wolves of Asia. Tick Tock…

Your neighbor, New Zealand, is now proclaimed the high point of the 8th continent. Zealandia. Go figure.

Zealandia is arguably a continent in its own right. This was the argument which made news in 2017, when geologists from New Zealand, New Caledonia, and Australia concluded that Zealandia fulfills all the requirements to be considered a continent rather than a microcontinent or continental fragment. English-born New Zealand geologist Nick Mortimer (in German) has commented that “if it wasn’t for the ocean, it would have been recognized as such long ago”.

I know, not Australia. But they have sheep and wine too! (And are also likely getting a cold shoulder from China…)

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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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32 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday T-bone Chops & Cabernet

  1. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    If there is a continent of Zealandia, millions of publications will become dated and need revision. Cost = $$$$

    I’ve missed the significance of this.
    What, how, who will benefit?

    If it wasn’t for the ocean, we could recognize Bahamalandia.

  2. H.R. says:

    @N&JH – I haven’t watched the video yet, but I suppose the geologists are just going by a definition of a continent as a tectonic plate, distinct and separate from any other plate. Looking at the picture at the start of the video, it looks like Zealandia fills the bill. It just happens to be mostly under water, though.

    What I found interesting was your comment on the Bahamas. I didn’t know that they are on their own little plate. Izzat so, or was that just a bit of tongue-in-cheek commentary?

    The Wikipedia article also refers to continental fragments, which I take to be little raggedy bits that have been broken off of one of the main plates and were clearly just a fragment of the larger plate.

    I really like geology, but there are only so many hours I’ll have in my life, so I just pick up on bits and bobs of the topic when they come by. Otherwise, I’m occupied with wood projects or fishing :o)

    This article just reminds me of how little I know of the many arguments I’m sure are raging in the geology community. I suppose when a controversy like this arises, the geologists pick sides and throw rocks at each other ;o)

  3. Tonyb says:

    My sister who lives in Australia tells me of increasing tariffs and the banning of some goods by china

    Whilst australia grows most of their own food she says there is a growing problem with getting people to pick the fruit and veg due to high social benefits and Lack of Inclination to get hands dirty.

    There seems to be a virtual ban on travel there until 2022 unless you quarantine.

    They will lose a lot of money from tourism and students coming from overseas especially china. On the other hand locals will spend far more on internal tourism

  4. philjourdan says:

    As Zealandia, it will only be the second continent not to start with the letter A. Europe being the other.

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    I thought North and South didn’t stsrt with “A”…

    Just call me Chain Yanker ;-)

    But an interesting observation about A prevalence.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @N&J H.:

    I think country economic zones have some provision for continental shelf as a boundry. This would potentially make a lot of fish and natural gas off limits to China and exclusivecto the islands.

    Ah, here it is:

    States also have rights to the seabed of what is called the continental shelf up to 350 nmi (650 km) from the coastal baseline, beyond the exclusive economic zones, but such areas are not part of their exclusive economic zones. The legal definition of the continental shelf does not directly correspond to the geological meaning of the term, as it also includes the continental rise and slope, and the entire seabed within the exclusive economic zone.


    It also depends on type of rock (density) and thickness plus area. Zealandia is only a little below water and was above water during glacials.

  7. John Robertson says:

    South Pacific land going cheap.
    Some landfill required.
    All hail Zealandia.

  8. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    There is a complex geology of the Caribbean area that shows as a “plate” on maps.

    The Bahama region is north of that but has sedimentary rocks and no plate boundaries.
    Suspect shallow sea deposits. There is what is called the the Blake Plateau.
    If one looks at the water depth in the area, they measured in 10s and 100s of feet, an order of magnitude less than the Zealandia under water parts.
    So yes, tongue-in-cheek. I didn’t want to try for Caribbealandia.
    _ _ _ _ _
    E.M. – – Good idea about the “economic zone” and the the coastal baseline, beyond.
    Any time a subject such as this comes up I think of a younger friend.
    Link: David J. Bederman
    Scroll down to the gray box with is name. He died in 2011. Parents still live; father – best teacher my wife ever had, and good family friends.

  9. H.R. says:

    @N&JH – Hey! Thanks for the graphic!

    Now that I think of it, I’ve seen that as part of larger maps of what the N/S American Continents’ shorelines were like during the glaciations. But I’ve never looked at that small area in detail, so thanks again.
    It’s really interesting. Lots of stuff going on in that relatively small area, though I suspect you are correct in that, aside from the volcanoes, a lot has to do with sedimentation and how squirrelly currents affected that.

  10. billinoz says:

    New Zealand has a national election yesterday.The Labor party lead by Jacinta Adern was re-elected in a landslide with just over 50% of the vote. ( And 2 million people voted by mail in because of the Covid pandemic)

    As of last February Adern was on the nose and facing an election loss. The turn around came due to the way she handled the pandemic with the tight lockdown and quarantining of all incoming travellers. Here is a link to that story :

    I think the ‘Zealandia continent’ theory is also an attempt to explain why certain species of flora ( and fauna ? ) in New Zealand, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Lord Howe island etc. seem very close genetically – despite the huge water gaps between them all.

    But do I think an area which is covered by water to 1000 + feet is a ‘Continent ‘ ? No I don’t. It may have been once. But it is not now.

    Meanwhile here in Oz, things are improving even more. Melbourne, today is gradually moving out of the strict lock down as detected infections have dropped to just 2 for the past 2 days while regional Victoria is advancing to life which is even more normal All the other states & territories ( except NSW ) do not have any local Covid transmission now. And frankly life is pretty much back to normal. For me that means shops and busineses are operating as normal & I’m back dancing tango and going to the gym. Travel within South Australia is normal.
    In NSW there has been an outbreak of local transmission is South West Sydney. Once again in an area with high migrant concentration though it is not PC to point that out here in Oz.And the actual data about who has got infected is of course suppressed for ‘privacy ‘ reasons.

    It may be late 2021-22 before travel overseas is permitted again or tourists allowed to enter Australia without quarantine. But there are advantages : no Covid and not many other infectious diseases either by the way.

    And no folk rocking up on tourist visas and immediately claiming to be ‘refugees’… Ummmm ? That was happening a lot before the inbound traveller ban From places like Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Turkey, China etc.. Of course they were welcomed with open arms by the Refugee Lawyer mobs who make their living from government/public funding. The more customers the better was their motto, But now that way of operating has been tossed in the garbage.

  11. philjourdan says:

    @EM – technically true, But they are referred to as the Americas

  12. H.R. says:

    O,K. It’s way past Australia Friday, but tonight at the H.R. household it was Dinner On A Stick.

    I put on a nice hardwood fire in the fire pit, cut some green and red peppers and onions into squares between 1″ and 2″ rough squares, simmered some sweet Italian sausage in beer until it was just cooked through and all fat and juicy.

    Then the Mrs. and I threaded all that onto our long-handled hot dog skewers and roasted them over the open fire until everything was nice and crispy.

    Yum! Slide that onto a plate and release your inner caveman… fire!… meat!

    The Mrs. made a S’more for dessert (graham cracker, hot roasted marshmallow, Hershey chocolate square sandwich that’s all melty, and gooey). I had to pass on that to keep my sugar down. Bummer…

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    One could also make the case that North and South are adjectives and America is the noun, so name…


    I made home made bread. Then shrimp sautéed in 50/50 butter and olive oil, baked acorn squash, and brown rice. We eat healthy stuff at least once a week ;-)

    Yours sounds tastier…

    Spouse is still having some mouth discomfort, so I’m still limited to softer stuff… but I’m thinking of firing up the BBQ anyway and going red meat 8-)

    Sausages? Sausages. Sausages are “soft”, aren’t they? 9-)

  14. H.R. says:

    E.M. – I snagged these sweet Italian sausages at Costco. The brand is Primo and they are top quality They are probably tender enough for Mrs. E.M., but would be for sure if you skinned hers after cooking.

    You might want to look for them on your next trip. Not only are they first rate, but they are very reasonably priced compared to other brands. Hey, I’m cheap; tighter than tree bark.

    Anyhow, fire roasted any food on a stick is deeeeelish! Well… except ice cream. Haven’t quite yet figured out how to pull that one off 😜

  15. Power Grab says:

    @ HR

    Glycemic index of:

    Marshmallow = 59
    Graham cracker = 74
    Chocolate = 43

    Hmmmmm…. ;-)

  16. E.M.Smith says:


    Is that milk chocolate or dark chocolate? It was my understanding that very dark (and not very sweet) chocolate was not very glycemic… Back in a mo…

    Glycemic Index of Dark Chocolate

    Dark chocolate has a GI of 23, according to the University of Sydney GI Database. These GI values fall in the very low glycemic index category, which means eating dark chocolate won’t make your blood sugar levels peak, then crash a few hours later. Rather, dark chocolate — chocolate with a cocoa content of 70 percent or higher — will help you stabilize your blood sugar levels if eaten as part of a low glycemic index diet.

    Milk Chocolate

    Regular milk chocolate has a slightly higher glycemic index, with values ranging between 34 and 49, which also falls in the low-glycemic index category. The low glycemic index of chocolate, whether it is dark or milk chocolate, is mainly due to its high fat content, which delays gastric emptying and therefore slows down the digestion and absorption of the sugar it contains. Although milk chocolate also has a low GI, it contains a lot more added sugar compared with dark chocolate, and the latter is a healthier treat for your low glycemic index diet.

    Go Dark Chocolate!!


    Yeah, I think I’ve bought those at Costco before. “Sweet Italian” or some such.

    When in Florida I’d regularly by the “mild” Italian Sausages at Publics. Somehow haven’t done much sausages this year… I think it was the whole Chinese Wuhan Covid Lockdown thing. Lots of canned ham, Spam, canned a bunch of chicken, and tuna cans by the dozen… Then I’ve mostly had bacon, fish and chicken in the freezer. Buying the lamb fresh though.

    I think it was that bacon fit more in a freezer load. Plus the canned pork & ham stuff. Together it filled up the “Pig” part of the meat inventory. Haven’t bought any pork products in, well, in a long while… (Still have a half dozen of the 1 lb canned hams that are just right for 2 people, and maybe the same of SPAM). So all the “new buy” has been to replace freezer stocks, that’s been mostly the fish and chicken…

    I think I need to get my brain out of Prepper Dinner Mode and back into BBQ On The Patio mode ;-) I really liked doing a platter of chicken legs & thighs with sausages on the grill, and ribs… (Didn’t stock up on ribs as too bulky for efficient freezer space use).

    Damn! I think I just realized I missed summer grilling season! Lucky for us, grilling can happen any month of the year when it’s not raining ;-)

  17. Another Ian says:

    Re Zealandia. Well I guess if Norway can stake a claim for the North Pole?

  18. billinoz says:

    E M, New Zealand has also had a hard lockdown & border quarantine for all incoming travellers. And thus for weeks it’s Covid infection rate has been zero. So EM New Zealand is a good alternative to Oz if you can managed the high cost flights and the 2 weeks quarantine.

    BYW, That ‘zero’ was broken today by a single Covid infection. The person found infected is a ‘sportsman’. There has just been a series of international rugby matches between Australia & New Zealand in New Zealand, with team members coaches & other support staff and cheer leaders. So it’s is highly likely that the infected person is from Oz and got infected in Sydney before arriving in Kiwi land as part of the sports rugby feast.

    PS the New Zealand All Blacks won as is ( ahem ! ) normal in rugby.

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    @Bill In Oz:

    I spent a week in New Zealand, decades back. Drove around the whole North Island. Loved the place. Wish I’d had time to get to the South Island…

    BUT the flight from here was a killer. Something like 24 elapsed hours and 16 in the air? Whatever… I vowed that “next time” I’d schedule a one day layover in each of Hawaii and a “Pacific Island to be named later” – perhaps Fiji or …

    While I’d love to go down under again, it isn’t likely. Right now it’s “Get out of California” when reasonable, and then it would become a flight from Florida. Add ANOTHER 5 hours?! (Or maybe not, it’s sphere and maybe being more south matters more than being more west…)

    I dearly loved that New Zealand did not have those damn flies that buzz around your face in Australia… but they need to import a few kangaroos and koala ;-)

    Australia reminded me of California, but on a continental scale; where New Zealand was like Oregon but the size of California. Both were just wonderful. But Australian red wines are more robust than Kiwi Reds, and New Zealand whites can pull off a great crisp German Style that Australia is just too hot to do. (So drink some of both!)

  20. philjourdan says:

    @EM – our back and forth on the names of the continents is more grammar than the average student gets in a year!

  21. philjourdan says:

    Never got into German wines. That is kind of like English beer. Just does not go together.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @Phil: LOL! Twice!

  23. H.R. says:

    When I clicked to check in on new comments here, the bread recipe jogged my memory of what I did for a bit about 20 years ago.

    I was missing hot out of the oven, bread slathered in butter. I noticed in the freezer section at the grocery store that they had frozen loaves of bread dough. They were quite inexpensive. IIRC there were 3 loaves in a bag.

    All you had to do was grease a bred pan, set in one of the frozen bread doughs, let it thaw + rise for a couple(?) of hours, and then bake it. It was good, not great but good, bread with minimal fuss and of course, warm out of the oven with butter it was very good. The remains? Not so much, but at the time there were enough of us that “next day” wasn’t an issue.

    I’ll try to remember to look for thaw-and-bake frozen bread loaves. I’d be curious if it’s still even available and if they have added some better grade options. I’m not strapped for time any more and could take the bit of extra time to make up bread from scratch, but I do like the idea of having some dough that’s ready to go if the urge strikes.

    We don’t do bread much at all here any more, but I’d consider having some fresh-baked, no fuss bread once or twice a year.

    @E.M. – Random thought hit just as I was about to hit Post Comment. Have you ever tried making some extra loaves and then freezing them right away before they rise? I’m guessing that is all they do for those thaw-and-bake frozen doughs.

    Anyhow, you would have better breads if you used your favorite recipes over the limited choices in the stores. OTOH, maybe it only works with certain flours and yeasts. I dunno, which is why I asked if you ever tried it.

  24. billinoz says:

    E M I grew up with those millions of those tiny ‘bush flies’ around.. It was for a long time standard feature of much of Australia. But in the last 15 years or so the numbers have dropped a lot – at least in my part of Australia.
    Why ? A couple of real scientists from CSIRO did some real research and discovered that there were no dung beetles to recycle all the cow pats pumped by all the cattle here. The native dung beetles have evolved for kangaroo, wombat, koala etc but not for cows, horses, donkeys, buffalo etc.
    And the bush flies breed on the cow dung pats…So huge bush fly populations resulted.

    So they went looking for dung beetles in Europe, Africa and parts of Asia and brought back about 20 different species of dung beetles. And after checking them out through quarantine, released them on farms all over Australia. I know this because I arranged for the two organic farms I managed to get colonies of them.

    Organic farms were more successful at breeding up the new dung beetle species populations as we don’t use chemicals jetted into the mouths of livestock ( vermicides ). Those chemicals pass through into the dung and also kill off dung beetles.

    But now I think the message has got through to almost all livestock farmers in Australia.. And as introduced dung beetle populations have increased, so the bush fly have decreased.

    Just a curious info tidbit for folks amusement. :-)

    PS Enjoyed my lamb steak with a glass of red for dinner !

  25. H.R. says:

    I’d imagine those dung beetles were very thoroughly vetted, Bill.

    What Australian can forget what happened with rabbits?

  26. billinoz says:

    And cane toads and camels and cats and sparrows and starlings etc etc !

  27. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    phil writes: “ more grammar than the average student gets

    This week I went to a story from San Francisco about Maki, an arthritic Lemur:
    Police said Friday they arrested a man suspected of stealing a ring-tailed lemur from the San Francisco Zoo, where officials rewarded a 5-year-old boy who helped recapture the endangered primate with a lifetime membership.

    My first thought was that Maki already had a lifetime membership at the Zoo. I think I’ve figured it out, though. In high school we would diagram sentences. So as I thought of Maki with the lifetime zoo membership, I decided that I would not have written as the reporter did.
    I need another glass of Cabernet.

  28. E.M.Smith says:


    You can freeze dough before baking or freeze bread already cooked. I’m less keen on frozrn bread as it seems drier to me…

    I have bread pans in 4 different sizes, from big full loaf (rarely used now) to medium and half loaf sizes, and small individual loaf size (about a six ounce loaf) mostly used for my corn bread substitute made with millet.

    My usual loaf is about 12 ounce (half sized pan) loaf. It uses 8.5 ounces of flour. Usually very little survives the day…

    You can still buy the frozen bread pigs, but I found I could mix fresh faster than they thawed…
    I just put the bread maker on “rise”, dump in a premix jar (6.5 oz. wheat flour, 2 ounces potato flakes or powder, 1 Tbs sugar, 1/2 tsp salt) then add about 7 oz water, tsp yeast, Tbs oil or butter), and hit start… 1 hr 20 min later, dump into a floured pan, do the 2nd rise, and bake. 325 F 45 min.

    I’ve done this with dry yeast in the jar, but it keeps longer in a separate jar in the fridge. Buying the pound size bag at COSTCO reduces yeast cost dramatically and it is the major cost if bought in foil pouches…

    Tapioca flour works well instead of potato. Other flours too, with various interesting flavor effects.

    But yeah, you can make a 5 lb. batch of dough if you wanted, divided into loaf pigs, or even walnut sized bits for yeast clover rolls, and freeze it. Make any size loaf you want from 2 lbs down to one dinner roll. I think I froze it before first rise, but after punch down ought to work too.

    These folks say to use higher protein flour and more yeast, but I’ve never had a problem with bread flour.

  29. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – I went to a grocery store web site and they still sell the frozen “Homestyle White Bread,” 5 loaves for $4.99. I didn’t like that the ingredients listed high fructose corn syrup, so I’ll not be buying them.

    Oh, and they did not have artisanal choices yet. Low demand I suppose. I guess people would rather get the take-n-bake versions of them out of the bakery department. Those are quite good, but pricey.

    Nice to hear you didn’t have any problems freezing your regular recipes.

  30. philjourdan says:

    I will hand it to my ex wife, she was a good cook. She could bake Chocolate Chip cookies to die for! And I almost did. My current wife is a damn good cook as well (and cooks my favorite foods – Mexican – her spanish rice is to die for!)

    Sadly, my doctor says no starches (pre-diabetic) and my Rotor Rooter doc says no fats (IBS). If my heart doctor takes away beef jerky, I am just going to eat myself to death! After I show my wife where the insurance policy is.

  31. philjourdan says:

    @Nancy & John Hultquist

    I use to feature headlines like that in a blog I was on – News you do not need to know of the day.

    Sadly, it is all too common. But this one definitely makes the cut! LOL

  32. E.M.Smith says:

    BTW, cookie dough freezes just fine too.

    Spouse uses a small ice cream scoop to make walnut sized rounds. We freeze 6 to a small baggie. Cooked in a tray in a small toaster oven, 350 F 10 minutes. I just finished eating my nice plate of 6 fresh chocolate chip cookies 8-)

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