Archie applied for the course he wanted to do for 2012 but wasn’t accepted. They still think he’s too young and still want him to gain more life experience before allowing him to do the three-year degree.
Of course Archie was fine about it. He said, ‘It’s okay mum, I’ll just go to Uni and start a business degree and get a part-time job so I can support myself’. I wish that’s what he said. What he actually said was, ‘Don’t worry mum, I don’t need that college owning my life for the next 12 months, now I can get my motorbike licence and I’ll be able to put my band together and I’ll go around Australia gigging in pubs’.
But I will let that worry me.
It is such a shame these colleges don’t interview the mothers of these boys and ask, ‘So on a scale of one to 10, how well do you think you’ll survive the next 12 months if we don’t take your son?’
And on that basis Archie would be enrolled right now. Instead he’s researching motorbikes, which isn’t good especially as I used to work in Orthopaedic Theatres and saw many Archie’s, being pieced back together with plates and screws and glue and grafts and sutures. And those were the lucky ones. The others were in Anatomical Pathology which is the polite and discreet name for the hospital’s morgue.
I came home yesterday and I couldn’t enter my lounge room because there was a 200-year-old German double bass and its case lying across the room. I had no idea a double bass was so large. And there was a tiny pretty wee thing standing beside it and Archie said with huge enthusiasm, ‘Mum, this is Natalie, she’ll be playing double bass in my band. We’ve been rehearsing all day. Come in Mum and listen to this’. So I fought my way into the room and listened to an impressive repertoire all the time being grateful that for the moment Archie is passionate about the tones of a double bass and not the rev, rev, rev of a motorbike.
Spicy Hoisin Chicken Balls
Tonight Carl and I are taking Alfie to Carols by Candlelight. These chicken balls, although better served hot, are excellent picnic food.
This is a recipe I’ve had for quite a few years. I found it in the December 1999 issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly. Back then the recipes were all contained within a tear-out section of the magazine so you could rip out the supplement and file it away without having to keep the entire magazine. Why did they stop doing this?
Because some of our friends joining us at the Carols are gluten free, I have substituted the bread crumbs for cooled cooked quinoa. This has meant the mixture was slightly softer and therefore the balls were not as round as I would have liked.
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: Minced chicken is inexpensive so this is an affordable appetiser to serve with drinks
Makes: About 60
The chicken balls can be made a day ahead. Reheat them for about 10 minutes.
1kg minced chicken
3 cups stale breadcrumbs (for gluten free substitute cooled cooked quinoa)
1 small brown onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tbspn soy sauce
2 tspns grated fresh ginger
1/2 tspn sesame oil
1/4 tspn five spice powder
1/3 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
2 tbspns white vinegar (I used coconut vinegar)
2 tbspns chopped coriander
Combine chicken, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, egg, auce, ginger, sesame oil and five spice in a medium bowl and mix well. Shape level tablespoons of the mixture into balls.
Heat peanut oil in a large non-stick pan. Cook the chicken balls, in batches (shaking the pan to keep the round shape until browned all over; drain on absorbent paper. Transfer them to an oven tra;; bake, uncovered, in a moderate oven (180°C/375°F) for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with the Dipping Sauce.
Combine ingredients and mix well.