A Birdie on the 18th Frog

Tuesday 12/4/2005

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Diary and Notes

When it comes to straight talking politicians the British are amongst the worst. We have nothing to compare to the Russians, who often get into punch ups on TV and in Parliament, or the fiery Latin types who are not averse to throwing things (not just insults) - but the absolute masters of honest, no nonsense, telling it like it is, are the Aussies. Australian politicians are a breed apart, no snobbery, no pretence, in fact they seem to make efforts to outdo each other in who can be the most common in order to make the electorate think that they are just like them and would be a good bloke to go down the boozer with.

It is with this in mind that I would like to mention the MP for Solomon, David Tollner, who recently reminisced about his childhood days and how he and his friends would use golf clubs to splat cane toads for fun and how this was good for the environment (cane toads are considered a dangerous menace and are destroying a lot of the indigenous wildlife). I'm not sure if he was actually advocating arming schoolboys with clubs and bats in order to help eradicate the manace, I think it was more a moan about how kids don't get enough exercise these days and should be out in the fresh air more often - a point well made I feel, but what of the toads?

Animal rights activists are incensed - how can he advocate young boys whacking toads with clubs, think of the suffering.

Of course there is no movement to protect the cane toads as they are an environmental disaster, what is being suggested are more humane methods of eradication, for instance, slowly killing the poor amphibians by sticking them in the fridge (as recommended by the RSPCA).

So a slow freezing is better and a quick thwack with a 2 wood eh? I'm not so sure. There are arguments that a strike with a golf club may not be enough to kill the frog outright but I think people just need the right club. David Tollner also recommended cricket bats (not that the Aussies need any more practice at cricket, they are good enough already thank you) and air rifles (more my style) - but again th RSPCA wont be having any of it.

What's their problem with using bats? Is it just some sentimental squeemishness or is it that they think it's unhealthy for young children to be hitting live animals with weapons? I myself have no problem with using children to eradicate these pests and think the government of Oz would be wise to offer a small bounty of say 10 cents per toad. That would get all the kids out hitting away, the kids would get some exercise in the fresh air, the toads would be almost wiped out in days (kids will work non stop for cash) and the golf club manufacturers and gob stopper makers in Australia will make a fortune too - everyone's a winner (except the toads).



I'm not an expert on Korean food and apart from my flatmate Cherry making me a Korean pancake (which was pretty awful - see 30/1/2005) I have never eaten anything Korean until yesterday when I had (what I think) was kimchi, with my dinner.

For those who don't know, kimchi is spiced, preserved daikon (or mooli or 'that big white raddish stuff you see in Indian supermarkets) and the stuff I bought to go with my Japanese mackerel yesterday was delicious. I am however confused as to what sort of kimchi it is as there are (according to the web) several varieties, none of which my kimchi resembles. I believe it may be Muuch'ae Kimchi (see Kimchi Types) but as everything written on the jar except ingredients (white radish, vinegar, oil, chilli and salt) is in Korean I have no idea what it actually is called.

I must confess to a love of trying strange things in jars that I have no idea what they are. In the past I've tried some odd Chinese dried fish, chickens feet in black bean sauce, weird fungus, crispy meat stuffs, spicy sausages that tasted of offal, smoked octopus (delicious if you can get it) and no end of unpleasant un-nameable horrors and I will no doubt try some new things soon too. I often find strolling around large Chinese supermarkets picking things up at random and going by the picture helps. You never know how to cook these things or what they are supposed to be but it's always fun and every now and again you get a real gem- like the kimchi - bloody marvellous.

Cake Blog

Russian Slice: I've no idea why this was called a Russian slice, it has, as far as I can tell, nothing to do with Russia at all. It looked good and tasted pretty bad. Half want in the bin.


  • Beansprout, Cucumber and Kimchi Salad
  • Seafood Cocktail with Chilli, Garlic and Ginger
  • Jasmine Rice


    Bean Sprout Salad
    Handfull of Beansprouts
    5cm Cucumber
    3 Mushrooms
    10 Pieces Kimchi
    tsp Rice Vinegar
    tsp Soy Sauce
    Pinch Sugar
    Toasted Sesame Seeds
    Seafood Cocktail
    250g Seafood Cocktail
    Peanut Oil
    1 Red Pepper
    2 Green Chillis
    1/2 Clove Garlic
    Slice Ginger
    3 Spring Onions
    Few Coriander Leaves
    tsp Thai Fish Sauce
    Squirt Lime Juice


  • Salad: Blanch the beansprouts and sliced mushrooms in boiling water for about 2 mins then plunge into cold water and drain. Slice the cucumber and remove the seeds with a spoon. Mix together and layer the kimchi on top. Dress with the vinegar, soy & sugar (mixed together) and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Seafood: Slice (thinly) the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry in a little peanut oil. Add the seafood cocktail (I bought this in a pack - it was a mix of mussels, squid and large prawns) and the sliced pepper, fry for about 3 minutes on a high heat. Stir in some fish sauce and lime juice. Garnish with coriander and chopped spring onion.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for a single person