A Weekend in Alice Springs

Yes, thanks for all your emails, I did return safely from Australia’s centre. I’ve been rather busy, and thus have been blogless for almost a week, alas. That’s what comes of going green and not bringing my computer on the road. I won’t be doing that again. Publish, be damned! Now for the small photo essay of the weekend cookery adventure.

The local Pitjantjatjara people call this great landmark Uluru. It’s just a few hundred kilometres from Alice Springs, though I didn’t have time to visit; but I thought I’d include it here to show you what sort of desolate terrain lies in the central region of Australia.

the great uluru:

Uluru is one of Australia’s most recognisable natural icons. The world-renowned sandstone formation stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high (863 m/2,831 ft above sea level) with most of its bulk below the ground, and measures 9.4 km (5.8 miles) in circumference.

Uluru is an inselberg, literally “island mountain”, an isolated remnant left after the slow erosion of an original mountain range. A variety of Aboriginal legends account for the existence of Uluru and its many cracks and fissures. One tells of serpent beings who waged many wars around Uluru, scarring the rock. After one such great battle, the earth itself rose up in grief at the bloodshed, becoming Uluru.

It is often reported that those who take rocks from the formation will be cursed and suffer misfortune. But I digress…

Kurma with Oscar:

I couldn’t resist posing with Oscar (Wild) the 3-month old pet Joey (baby kangaroo) that ‘belongs’ to our Saturday hosts Greg and Jenny. Oscar was rescued from the back of a ‘ute’ belonging to some local indiginous Alice residents. Oscar’s mother had been shot, and Oscar, who was a tiny little fur-ball in his mother’s pouch at the time was destined to become live dogfood were it not for an offering of $10 to spare his life.

Oscar, who drinks milk from a baby’s bottle, thinks Jenny (below, pink top, white apron) is his mother and follows her everywhere; but by the time he reaches puberty in 9 months or so he will be set free, since after all, he is a wild animal. By then he will be very comfortable with humans, which might be his ultimate downfall; he may indeed meet the same fate as his mother. Such is the cycle of life. One living being is food for another.

Here’s our Saturday crew posing in the back yard of Greg and Jenny’s house.

gone bush:

Kevin and Tracey are absorbed in watching Anna meticulously slice cabbage for our North Indian Cabbage, Coconut and Peanut Salad (Kobi Pachadi).

Kevin Anna and Tracey:

Finally, the big lunch. And big it was! We always cook enormous amounts of food at my classes. I just can’t help it. ‘Generous’, I think the word is.

lunch at Greg and Jenny's:

Day #2 found us cooking a whole new selection at Cliff’s place with a completely different crew. Cliff is absorbed in steaming a wonderful combination that will become ‘Gujarati Green-Bean and Coconut Salad’.

Cliff and his magic wok:

And another groaning table brought us to the end of my third tour of duty in Alice.

Sunday lunch at Cliff's:

Om Tat Sat.
Posted by Kurma on 10/4/08; 5:31:11 PM

Life and Travel

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