Desert Days

centre of Australia:

Here’s that report I promised you from my weekend in Alice Springs. This ancient and mystical place is situated in the Northern Territory (NT) and right in the centre of the continent (see the red dot on the map above).

In this picture (Saturday) we pose in the comfortable lounge of our hosts Kaye and Eleanor.

a day in the desert:

I wanted to show you the beautiful remoteness of our Saturday venue. Note the wonderful wild flower display of the famous Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa) the floral emblem of South Australia.

Alice 1:

more desert pea:

Suzanne, Francoise and Eleanor work on the mis-en-place. Suzanne (left) was the organiser and convener of this whole event. My sincere thanks for her hard work in making it all possible.

getting it all together:

The weather was very pleasant, and typical of Australia’s desert winter. Zero degrees or less at night, and low to mid twenties (celcius) during the day.

Here’s our Sunday group sitting down for lunch at the home of our gracious hosts Greg and Jenny (pictured top right). In this picture we have just plated up our succulent chili-and soy-marinated succulent panir cheese steaks made from Paris Creek organic biodynamic unhomogenised milk, on a bed of hot buttered sweet potato mash.

We also cooked a wonderful Iranian saffron rice, Malaysian flakey vegetable-stuffed curry puffs, sweet, sour spicy and hot eggplant pickles, a Marathi coconut cream-infused spinach soup (palak saar), and a wonderful lemon-infused Dubai-style salad of fresh dates, toasted Turkish croutons, roasted almonds, bitter greens, fresh herbs & sheep’s feta cheese.

Our desert dessert was the all-famous juicy milk fudge (gulab jamuns) in cardamom, star anise, cassia and rose-scented syrup.

Alice 2:

I look back on my last 28 years of teaching. Since I first began in 1979, I have personally cooked with over 50,000 students.

This time I have again bared my soul, shared my realisations and intimate secrets of spiritual cookery with another one hundred inquisitive students.

And that wraps up my desert weekend, and my culinary tour of this very big country. I write this report as the Perth skyline starts to show its morning colours at the advent of dawn.

With every rising of the sun, another day closes (the Vedic day begins at sunrise). It’s been an awesome 5 weeks. Have I used my time productively?
Posted by Kurma on 5/6/07; 8:39:24 AM

Life and Travel

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