Paradise has a name ... Riverbend


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Friday, January 25, 2013

Riverbend's Theme Song

We're still trying to get Dominic to do a live performance at "Riverbend" Cottage ☺


Sometimes this crazy world can make us all feel bad
I sit and watch the news and just get mad
We need to stop and smell the roses in the ground
So get out today
Spread a little love around

Talk to your neighbour
Volunteer a favour
Help out a stranger when his car's broke down
Give your wife a kissin'
When your kids talk - listen
It makes a lovely sound
Spread a little love around

You know it don't take much to make somebody's day
A kind word or tender touch goes a long way
We can change the whole world if we start in our hometown
So get out today
Spread a little love around

Tell your mom you love her
Bearhug your brother
Treat your sister to a night out on the town
Throw the ball for Rover
Wrestle in the clover
Put a smile on that old hound
Spread a little love around

A little tiny kiss and hug
Everybody needs that stuff
Turn a frown upside down
Spread a little love around
When this world gets you down
Spread a little love around

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's good-night from me and it's good-night from him

Click on image for a cute close-up


After a great night out with our guests at the Catalina Country Club, it was a quick feed for the possum and a quick dip in the river to cool down after another hot day before hitting the pillow for my usual night-cap, Late Night Live with Phillip Adams on ABC Radio. Good-night!

Colour-coordinated fishing

Well, if this doesn't get them on the hook, then nothing will! Just in case nothing does, Kath and Phil, we'll prepare some spring rolls and wonton for your lunch - “eating clouds” is the literal Cantonese translation of the word wonton but of course you already knew that!

Kath & Phil have safely returned home from where they emailed us:

"We're home and sending thanks again for another enjoyable break. We had a great run home - no traffic, fires, smoke or delays and it took only 3 1/2 hours from door to door. Enjoyed a friand on route and many thanks for those and all the other gifts you spoiled us with, including last night's dinner; we really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Wishing us all some cooler weather and RAIN!!! Philip & Kath, Sydney"

For more testimonials - or, as we call them, 'beautiful lies' - click here.

The world is your oyster

From sometimes being the only source of protein for poor people throughout history to being served in the top restaurants of the world - what’s so special about the oyster?

Well, nothing as far as we're concerned as we like to know where we stand and don't eat anything which doesn't know whether it's Arthur or Martha (or Steve or Eve or Jerry or Kerry although the proper term is hermaphroditic) but for the true oyster connoisseurs, "Riverbend" is Paradise as the oysters are growing right on your doorstep. We even provide you with a proper oyster knife!

You can eat oysters without any accompaniment - traditionally straight from the shell: slip in a knife to ensure the meat is detached completely from the shell - then just pour the oyster and its juices straight into your mouth. Talk about a taste of the sea! Savour and swallow those seawater juices but don’t swallow the oyster just yet - rather press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue and, as it collapses releasing even more flavour, THEN swallow. Wash it down with a crisp white wine, a dry rose, champagne or a pint of Guinness - avoid spirits. It's heaven! (or so we are told ☺ )

Here's what you do:

1. Pick the oysters

Pick a winner: Fresh oysters should be closed tight. Never select shellfish that are open! A slack-jawed mollusk has passed its prime, and very likely has gone bad. Is it still fresh? Sometimes one or two may be open slightly, especially if they are sitting in water. Test them by pressing the top of the shell near the opening. If the shell closes immediately, it's all right.

2. Put 'em on ice

Feed your oysters. If they must wait for more than a few hours, try the trick that restaurants use. Put down two or three oysters between layers of crushed ice and sprinkle cornmeal on top. As the ice melts, the cornmeal dissolves, and nutrient-rich water drips down to the oysters. This keeps them alive and fresh. Check them periodically and add more ice as necessary.Oysters can keep in this manner for a few days. Watch for spoilers. Remember: Once they fall open, they've gone bad and must be discarded. Eating spoiled shellfish can produce severe food poisoning

3. Set your workspace

Shucking oysters can be messy work. Set up a place of operations: in the kitchen, behind a bar, or at the end of a table if you are at a picnic.

4. Clean 'em off.

Caution: Oyster shells have wavy ridges which are extremely sharp. To avoid slicing up your hands, put on some gloves or hold the oyster in an old towel as you work. Grab your first oyster from the ice chest. Use a stiff brush and a bucket of water to clean away any seaweed or sediment that may be on the shell. Stuck? If other mollusks are attached you can knock them off with the handle of the brush.

5. Unlock the hinge

Look for the hinge of the shell. It should look like an exposed seam which wraps around a smooth corner. Work the seam. Insert the oyster knife into the seam, with the blade parallel to the seam. Use the point to do this, gently but firmly rocking the knife back and forth. Insert and twist. Once the knife has been inserted, you can twist the blade to open the hinge a little more. Repeat this process, gradually inserting the oyster knife until you have cut the hinge completely.

6. Cut the cord

Now slide the oyster knife along the inside edge between the shell and the meat. As you work at this step, try to keep the oyster level so that the liquid inside doesn't spill out. Some oyster eaters consider this liquid, or liquor, to be the finest part of the oyster-eating experience. Find the muscle. There's one muscle, which looks like a thick cord, that holds the shell tightly together. Use the knife to cut this cord at the point where it adheres to the shell. This can be done in a sort of scraping motion with the knife angled against the shell. Once the cord has been cut, the two halves of the shell should fall neatly apart. Discard the empty half-shell and place the full one on the serving platter

7. Serve with the oyster lover in mind

On behalf of true oyster connoisseurs, don't spill the juice! Set the opened oyster down gently, cradling it in the bed of ice so that the juice doesn't spill out. Many oyster purists enjoy their oysters neat, which is to say, unadulterated. But generally one should serve them with fresh lemon wedges and a dipping bowl of cocktail sauce. You may also offer hot chili sauce, horseradish or barbecue sauce on the side.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Progress Report

Early morning at "Riverbend" as I get ready for another day of toil on the construction of the Nelligen Yacht Clubhouse.

The guests in the cottage are still sound asleep ...

... and the possum sticks its head out of its penthouse, wondering what the noise is all about.

The willy wagtail in its nest is getting a bit stressed, too ...

... and so, by midday, having framed up the corner posts, I let them have their peace and quiet again.

To be continued.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How relaxed can you get?

                                                     ... to this!

The magic of "Riverbend" at work once again! "Dark blue is the river; Golden is the sand; It flows along forever; With trees on either hand..."

Cath and Graham emailed us from home:

"It was such a surprise to arrive for the first time at Riverbend and find such an idyllic tranquil setting and the loo placement was not a hindrance in any way - in fact probably worked better than if it was part of the apartment. This way we got to see the clear skies and stars in the middle of the night when otherwise we may not have ventured out at all. Cath and I enjoyed your company and hospitality. Thanks also for the use of the canoe. We'll be in touch no doubt. Take care and all the best and thanks again for a lovely week. Sincerely Graham and Catherine, Sydney"

For more testimonials - or, as we call them, 'beautiful lies' - click here.