Archive for May 2019

How to eat like a cricketer (if you so fancy)

Good Food. Jill Dupleix Hot Food Column. Jan 8. Cool Food/SummerPages. Plum Chicken.Photo: Edwina Pickles. 6th Dec 2012.What is it?

Crumbed, fried chicken with a plum dipping sauce, a legend in its own lunchtime in Australian Test cricket circles.

Where is it?

It’s the single most requested dish by Australian Test cricketers in the players’ dining rooms at the Adelaide Oval. Former Test cricket captain Steve Waugh started the craze, insisting the chef put it on the players’ buffet as often as possible. When Waugh announced his retirement in 2003, the then-chef, Maurice Maffei, announced the retirement of plum chicken in sympathy. It was not to be. Brought back by popular demand, plum chicken is now a permanent fixture on menu rotation. And let’s face it, anything we can do to keep our cricketers on form should be considered of grave national importance.

“Everyone loves it, for some reason,” says the executive chef of the SACA’s (South Australian Cricket Association) Adelaide Oval Function Centre, Hamish Robertson, who oversees the serving of 750 to 800 meals a day during the season to cricketers, committee members, police and media. “The nutritionists only allow us to serve it once a week to the players but we usually sneak it into the dining room twice a week.”

Nor do you have to wear whites and slog it out under the sun all day to develop a passion for plum chicken. It is reportedly enjoyed by those hard-working commentators as well, hence the rather long and meandering on-air segment devoted to the subject on ABC Radio during the second Test between South Africa and Australia late last year. You could sense the communal craving for that crisp, crumbed, tender chicken and sweet, sticky plum sauce through the mikes as it neared the lunch break.

Some commentators, such as Channel Nine’s Mark Nicholas, think the dish might have had its day. “A lot of cricketers play on long after they should have retired,” he says, adding quickly that he’s not having a go at anyone in particular.

Why do I care?

Because nine out of 10 cricketers can’t be wrong. Can they?

Can I do it at home?

As a recipe, it’s as easy as pie. Easier than pie, actually. Pick up some chicken tenderloins or cut chicken breast into chunky strips, then crumb, and fry. If you have time on your hands, marinate the chicken in garlic and olive oil for a few hours beforehand. If you like things spicy, add paprika and cayenne pepper to the crumbs. If you have plums, make your own plum sauce. And if you’d rather watch the cricket than cook, open a jar of sauce instead.

Adelaide Oval’s famous plum chicken

1kg chicken tenderloins

200g plain flour

3 eggs

300ml milk or buttermilk

400g fine breadcrumbs or Japanese panko

1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp sea salt

100ml vegetable oil

100g plum sauce

1. Remove any sinews from the chicken. Set out three bowls in order to coat the chicken. Place the flour in first. Whisk the eggs and milk together in the second. Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley and sea salt together in the third.

2. Coat each piece of chicken on all sides, first in the flour, then in the egg wash, then in the crumbs.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy-based fry pan and cook the chicken on both sides until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel, and serve with plum sauce for dipping.

Serves 4

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

EDITORIAL: Spending on health services

HUNTER ambulance paramedics, represented by the Health Services Union, have traditionally made their voices heard when services to the region are threatened.

The latest point of difference between the ambulance paramedics and the state government relates to overtime.

The union says the 60,000 extra hours worked by Hunter paramedics last year shows the service is under-staffed and over-worked.

Figures obtained by the Newcastle Herald show that overtime accounts for more than one-fifth of the ambulance service’s salary bill. All up, Hunter paramedics earned more than $5million in overtime payments last year, which their union says is enough to employ another 50 paramedics.

The union says its members are so exhausted by the relentless calls to work extra hours that the Hunter service is sometimes running five ambulances short because of management’s inability to provide staff.

The government sees things differently.

It says rural areas that cannot justify 24-hour ambulance stations still need coverage, and that this is best provided by putting paramedics on stand-by and paying them penalty rates for call-outs.

Even so, the amount of overtime being worked in the Hunter ambulance service appears to be out of line with most other industries.

That management is apparently unable to recruit enough paramedics to do the lucrative Sunday night shifts is compelling evidence that more officers are needed.

Soon after taking office in March 2011, the Coalition government commissioned a review of the ambulance service, and a report from this exercise was unveiled on December 18 by Health Minister Jillian Skinner.

As a result, the government has promised to integrate the ambulance service within the broader health system, and to separate inter-hospital transfers from urgent medical retrievals to enable the service to concentrate on its core role of dealing with emergencies.

Even so, no organisational shake-up will work if staff levels or funding are insufficient.

In a similar vein, the government must ensure that airconditioning problems at Maitland Hospital are fixed, and quickly. In this week’s heatwave conditions, a hospital is the last place anyone would want an airconditioner to fail.

Maitland MP Robyn Parker was very upbeat last month about the $20million being set aside as planning money for a new Maitland hospital. In the meantime, the people of Maitland would be much better served if the airconditioners worked in the existing hospital.

Walk on wild side as Handel and Westwood collide to take a closer look at climate change

Idiosyncratic … soprano Aleksandra Zamojska during a fitting of her Vivienne Westwood-designed costume.GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL was certainly not thinking about climate change when he composed his baroque opera Semele in the early 18th century.

But fashion designer Vivienne Westwood sees direct parallels between human-induced global warming and the German-born British composer’s opera about his protagonist’s self-destructive quest for immortality.

”For her, it’s also a story about global warming and the way we are with climate change,” said the director of the Sydney Festival, Lieven Bertels.

The 10 models in Semele Walk, an 80-minute version of Handel’s opera that is part of the Sydney Festival, will have climate-change slogans pinned to Westwood’s costumes as they sashay down the catwalk in Sydney Town Hall.

Just in case the message is not clear, the 71-year-old designer has recorded a video for the Sydney Festival that sets out her views on climate change and how it ties in with the production ”in her own idiosyncratic, crazy Westwood way”, Bertels said.

”It’s 80 per cent about climate change and how passionate she is. She starts telling why she’s wearing a very particular Indian headdress she’s received from an Amazon woman she’s met, then she goes on about why it’s important to her.”

Westwood’s head of couture, Brigitte Stepputtis, said the outfits worn in the opera, which include Marie Antoinette crinolines and gold-sequinned platform boots set off with kabuki make-up, were inspired by the fashion designer’s passion about climate change.

”The models will be wearing slogans, the hair will be on fire,” she said. ”The whole impression of the clothes will have to do with ash and glow and heat, which again comes together with what is happening in the opera.”

Stepputtis said there were parallels between Semele, played by soprano Aleksandra Zamojska, and Westwood.

”She is an independent designer with a strong imagination and is, in that sense, similar to Semele and her non-compromising way of going about things,” she said.

Semele Walk features outfits from Westwood’s 2011 Get a Life collection, which was inspired by the destructive effects of climate change, as well as new fashion created especially for the Sydney Festival, with all singers, chorus and orchestra dressed in Westwood outfits.

Austrian countertenor Armin Gramer described his role as Semele’s lover, the god Jupiter, as ”a little bit schizophrenic” but is more concerned with Westwood’s outlandish costumes, which include a sequinned kilt and Swarovski crystal-encrusted stockings. ”It really is like Christmas,” he said.

Gramer said the stockings were a challenge to put on because they were so heavy and had to be bound tightly to his legs.

”They are three kilograms. It’s like wearing cement cubes on your feet,” he said. ”But they look so nice so I will suffer for it.”

Gramer said Westwood’s creations were perfect for a baroque opera: ”I think it’s fabulous for this story because it’s about the vanity of Semele and this goes well with the fashion business.”

Semele Walk has only been staged once before, in a castle at the KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen in Hanover, Germany, in 2011.

Bertels said the prospect of staging the show in Sydney during summer had convinced Westwood and the performers to stage it again.

”Without wanting to annoy anybody, it’s a different proposition if you say, would you like to come to Sydney after Christmas, than saying, would you like to go to another Australian city in October or March,” he said.

Semele Walk is on at Sydney Town Hall from January 11 to 15.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

Access fears for new Glebe Island exhibition site

Plans reversed … “It became clear that safety was an overriding issue…” a spokeswoman from Infastructure NSW said.THOUSANDS of visitors descending on Glebe Island for major exhibitions will be barred from walking or cycling through the site, prompting claims the plan was devised ”on the back of an envelope”.

The events industry has called on the state government to ensure NSW’s $100-million-a-year exhibition industry is not jeopardised, saying public access to the site is critical.

A temporary exhibition centre will be built at Glebe Island, in the inner west, while new facilities are developed at Darling Harbour from December to late 2016.

It would host major events such as the Sydney International Boat Show, which attracts 70,000 visitors over five days, the Good Food and Wine Show and the Reed Gift Fair.

Submissions to the proposal show Sydney Ports, which owns the land, threatened to withhold support unless authorities withdrew plans to allow pedestrian and cycle access through the site, citing serious safety concerns.

Glebe Island is a transport hub and one of Sydney’s key sites for moving and storing dry bulk goods.

More than 650 vehicles move through the site each day.

In response, Infrastructure NSW was forced to reverse plans for pedestrian and cycling activity, including pram ramps and refuge islands, before submitting a development application.

”It became clear that safety was an overriding issue given that Glebe Island remains a working port,” a spokeswoman said.

Would-be walkers and cyclists will be required to take a shuttle bus from the site’s perimeter. Others travelling to an exhibition will be confined to charter buses, private ferries and limited car access. By comparison, the existing Sydney Exhibition Centre is further serviced by light rail, taxis, pedestrian and cycle links, plus rail access from Town Hall and Central.

The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority expressed concern over the plan, saying it ”would increase demand on a constrained transport network”.

It called for pedestrian and cycle access to be reconsidered. The authority said the plan did not address the likelihood of longer traffic queues at local intersections and ”insufficient information” was provided on access requirements for cars and buses.

Clarification was also needed on the feasibility of multiple ferry movements during peak events, the authority said.

Leichhardt Council expressed ”serious concerns about flaws in the planning” which it said could jeopardise the centre’s functioning and impact on local roads.

The mayor, Darcy Byrne, said the disused Glebe Island Bridge should be opened to allow pedestrians and cyclists access to the site, adding ”the plan … has been drawn on the back of an envelope”.

The Planning Department is assessing the proposal. Based on the low number of objections received, it is likely to be determined by a senior departmental officer rather than the Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard.

A spokeswoman for Infrastructure NSW said it would address the issues raised.

She said further work was being carried out on traffic flows in and around the precinct and event-specific traffic management plans would be developed.

The general manager of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia, Joyce DiMascio, said the government and the facility’s operators must ensure seamless public access to the site.

”We’ve got to get this to work. If people don’t have a good experience in the first year of operation, neither exhibitor nor visitor will return,” she said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

Greens’ praise for anti-coal hoax proves their extremism – Abetz

THE Coalition has labelled the Greens the ”epitome of extremism” for the party’s support of the anti-coal hoax.

Leading the attack, the leader of the opposition in the Senate, Eric Abetz, also said the Greens had a ”disrespect for the rule of law” for congratulating an activist being investigated for a hoax that temporarily wiped more than $314 million off the sharemarket value of a coal company.

”It’s taken less than a fortnight after supposedly revising their platform for the Greens to again reveal their extreme political tendencies,” Senator Abetz said in a statement.

He linked the Greens to ”extreme elements with communist connections”.

”With the Greens it is always a case of the ends justifying the means,” he said.

On Tuesday the Greens leader, Christine Milne, and her colleague Lee Rhiannon endorsed a controversial hoax, in which an anti-coal mining activist, Jonathan Moylan, issued a fake media release from ANZ Bank pretending that the bank had withdrawn a $1.2 billion loan facility from Whitehaven Coal because of ”unacceptable damage to the environment” caused by the company’s Maules Creek coal project.

Mr Moylan says officers from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission have raided his camp in northern NSW and seized his laptop and phone. He is now obtaining legal representation.

He has admitted that to highlight environmental concerns he tricked investors by designing a fake ANZ press template, website and dummy email inbox online and by impersonating a company spokesperson.

Following the prank, shares in Whitehaven, which counts struggling coal baron Nathan Tinkler as its biggest shareholder, quickly fell from $3.52 to $3.21 before the stock was put into a trading halt.

Asked if he had qualms about lying, Mr Moylan, who belongs to the anti-coal mining group Frontline Action Coal, said: ”Our primary concern is the impact of this mine on the environment at the end of the day.” On Tuesday, Senator Milne described Mr Moylan’s hoax as being ”part of a long and proud history of civil disobedience, potentially breaking the law, to highlight something wrong”.

Her comments followed a tweet by colleague Senator Rhiannon, who wrote: ”Congrats to Jonathan Moylan, Frontline Action on Coal, for exposing ANZ investment in coalmines.”

Senator Milne’s statement and Senator Rhiannon’s tweet come as the Greens try to appeal to new constituencies and recast themselves as less ”extreme” in an election year.

Last month, the party revealed a new platform of policies aimed at presenting a smaller target to critics.

Senator Rhiannon stirred controversy over her support for an anti-Israel boycott policy in the 2011 NSW election. Last year she apologised after it emerged she helped to ghost-write an article, attacking her party for accepting a $1.7 million donation from the web entrepreneur Graeme Wood.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.