There’s no need to worry about Miss Arabella.
Recovering swiftly from her setback it was, ‘Don’t worry, mum; I’d gone off that course anyway. I’m going to do Law instead and be a barrister’.
‘But you didn’t get enough marks for Law’.
‘Yeah, but I’ll start with Arts and if I get a credit average I can switch to Law’.
‘Oh, well that’s good. I think you’ll be a great lawyer’.
‘I’m not going to be a lawyer; I’m going to be a barrister and specialise in Criminal Law and I’ll prosecute all the crims. I’ll love it’.
‘You’ve never yet lost an argument – you’ll be very successful’.
So a sense of calm was restored to the house and I went to bed in a state of peace.
But it didn’t last. Because the next morning Arabella asked if we knew of a real estate office where she could get some work experience. ‘Why do you want to work in a real estate office?’
‘Because I’m going to do Land Economics at Macquarie’.
‘I thought you were going to do Law; to be a barrister; to lock up all those criminals’.
‘Yeah, but you know how I love houses. I’ve always loved houses. I want to have my own real estate office’.
‘Oh, well that’s good too. So you’re not going to be a barrister?’
‘I think I’d like to run my own real estate business.’
‘Well one night. When he’s not working. Will you be nice? Because he’s nervous about coming here because he knows you don’t like him’.
‘Why would he think I don’t like him when I’ve never even met him’.
‘You have met him.
‘Only briefly so I didn’t even have time to form an opinion’.
‘Mum, he says I centre his universe?’
‘He doesn’t have a universe; we all share it’.
‘Mum, stop being so nasty; that’s not the point. Don’t you think that’s a nice thing to say?’
‘What does he eat; in his universe?’
‘Don’t do too many carbs’. And there was a refreshing moment of silence but then, ‘I think I’m going to do Psychology’.
‘You know how I’ve always been interested in mental health? When you do psychology you can specialise in mental health and I think I’d like to do that. I’ve got enough marks. I’d like to help people with mental health issues’.
I could be her first customer.
Pear, Rocket and Blue Cheese Salad with Walnut Praline
A few posts ago I showed you our family’s Boxing Day celebrations and how everyone brought a dish to share. My cousin, Pippa, made this salad and after I posted an image of it, a few of you asked for the recipe. I went back to Pippa and begged her for it and Pippa explained she’s an intuitive cook (aren’t they the best kind?) and so I’ve taken her notes of ‘a bit of this’ and ‘a bit of that’ and formulated a recipe for you.
Serves: 4 as an entree; 8 as a side dish
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: Fairly minimal as the ingredients are mostly standard. Blue cheese can be up to $100/kg but a supermarket brand like Blue Costello will be just fine.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 slices prosciutto (parma ham)
- 2 bags rocket (about 100gms), washed
- 2 pears, washed, cored and sliced finely
- 200g blue cheese, room temperature, broken into bite-sized bits
- lemon juice (to squeeze over pears to prevent from browning)
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar (if using a cheaper balsamic, just add a tsp of brown sugar to cut the acidity)
- freshly ground black pepper
Cover a tray in baking paper. Scatter walnuts over tray.
Heat a medium sized saucepan over low heat. Add sugar and agitate the frying pan, without stirring, until sugar has melted and turned golden brown. Pour over walnuts. Be careful not to touch the toffee as Pippa can tell you this leads to a very painful burn.
Clean frying pan. Return to medium-high heat and add prosciutto. Cook until crisp then drain on paper towel.
Take a large platter and scatter rocked over the dish. Add pear slices that have been sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent from browning. Scatter blue cheese and prosciutto. Break up praline with a knife into bite sized pieces (or gently whizz in a food processor) and scatter over the salad. Pour over dressing.
Combine ingredients in a jar; shake well and pour over salad.
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