It is indeed a Great Shave

I’ll be travelling all this week through various places in the Gulf and Cape York, so there may be fewer new posts on this site than usual. To fill the empty void in your life that this may cause, you might wish to look at sponsoring someone in the Leukaemia Foundation’s “World’s Greatest Shave”. I’d do it myself, but having a bald head in an election year is probably a bad idea, and I’ve only just got around to updating most of my publicity material from growing a beard last Easter, so I’m not going to shave it all off again yet.

Instead, I am nobly sacrificing myself by sponsoring someone else to do it, and I recommend you do the same. Long-standing (and heavily bearded) Brisbane blogger, Professor John Quiggin, has managed to raise $3000 thus far with his plan to shave off his beard. However, one member of my staff is not only enbearded, but has 22 inches of golden hair cascading down his back which he is prepared to dispense with if he can raise $1000 in pledges to go to the Leukaemia Foundation. As a former longhair myself, I am regularly consumed with jealousy at the sight of it – but it also makes me more aware of the significance of the sacrifice in getting it all chopped off.

So if you want to help raise money AND reduce my jealousy, click here to donate.

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  1. Oh my goodness! I know this person and I am impressed by his potential sacrifice!
    Best of luck. It is a very worthy cause and anyone who paricipates would have to be clasified as a caring human being….but why not just colour it?

  2. Most of the people I know may not be motivated more by spite than charity, but throwing a little degradation into the mix will definitely help to bring in more money than merely inconveniencing myself would.

    Sponsorship is now over $900 – I reckon that’s due to at least 25% spite inflation.

  3. I’d like to sponsor, and I would, but after paying the mortgage, electricity bill, rates, school fees, filling up the car, food (and we’re eating lentils more for economic reasons these days) I just don’t have much left.

  4. OT for Donna

    You might already know this recipe…

    1 and a half cups brown lentils
    6 cups water
    a dozen silverbeet leaves
    a quarter cup olive oil
    large onion, finely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste

    Gently simmer lentils until soft (1 hour). Meanwhile trim stems from silverbeet, then shred leaves coarsely. Heat oil in another pan, fry onion gently until transparent, add garlic and fry briefly, then add silverbeet and fry until wilted. Pour fried silverbeet, onions and garlic into lentils with their water, add salt, pepper and lemon juice. Cover and gently simmer 15-20 minutes. Serve with bread. Great for cooler evenings!

  5. Thanks Feral

    All ideas help.

    I have been making a similar recipe using Maharaj red lentils. The lentils cook in approx 15 minutes. I then add …

    One can of tomatoes
    A few cloves of garlic
    One onion
    Two celery stalks
    One large zuccini
    One large carrot …

    Have to ration my veges until my next pay rise.

    I try to avoid frying so that I can keep my sexy legs incase a cashed up polly needing a new staffer may want to save my from my D grade profession.

  6. Oh.Dear.Another of my posts disappeared.I dont want to undermine the well intentioned but,conservatism that is misplaced really makes life difficult.Unless my computer is playing up.I dont know why it is people rely on foodstuffs that are bought when they are close to being completely broke.I have discovered both nettles and other things that are sometimes considered unworthy.Stinging nettles ,not only will build up immunity often in kids for the reward of being stung,but teach kids how to deal with discomfort,and be brave until their irritation goes away.A good cry isnt being braveless,adults can make them see.I would like to see some research done on nettles and the subject of the Charity here.Nettles are good as a green and if cooked with the above recipe solutions to low income,means accepting old resources are still possible today.

  7. Donna – um, yes. With all that olive oil the lentil-silverbeet soup is more your hearty belly-dancer’s sort of food than leggy PA’s forage.

    Red lentils are great – so quick and easy. If you have an Indian supermarket nearby, also have a look for toor (or toovar) dhal. They’re like a small pale split pea that cooks nearly as quickly as red lentils. Different flavour and texture, and cheap too. Add a teaspoon of cumin seeds, a little turmeric and salt, some curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida, and Kurma Dasa would nod his head in approval. Black-eyed beans are also cheap, cook quickly, and go well with potatoes.

    I reckon that if Senator Bartlett can carbon offset his air travel, I can atone for being persistently OT on this thread by sponsoring his staff for the Great Shave. So I’m following that link…

  8. Philip Travers – Nettles and other ‘feral’ leafy greens are indeed an important part of mediterranean cuisine – good tucker too! – but might not be available in sub-tropical Australia.

    I can’t say that I’m in full agreement with you re stinging vegetables as a higher level of kiddy torture – they’ve enough to deal with WRT congenital legume anorexia IMO (see Ellenbogen’s ‘Oral Sadism & the Vegetarian Personality’).

  9. Feral

    What’s your opinion on fish and vegetarians?


    Interesting advice on Stinging Nettles. As Feral has pointed out, I don’t think their too widely available here in Brisi. And again, I’m not that courageous unfortunately to grab something from the bush and cook it in a broth.

  10. Donna, the leaves of some vegies (turnips, celery, beetroot) can be used as greens rather than discarding them. And if you have enough water, plant daikon or japanese turnips and harvest the leaves while they are growing. They’re quick and easy to grow, and the leaves are fine in soups.

    re fish and vegetarians. All a matter of degree I guess, and it also depends on the individual’s attitude to pain, suffering and sentience during food production.

    Its not unusual to find people who think vegetarians will eat anything except red meat. Several years ago I witnessed an argument between the chef at a major conference centre and several conference delegates who were complaining about the fish in the vegetarian meals. To the amazement of the vegetarian delegates, the chef was insisting that fish was an essential component of a vegetarian diet…

  11. Well done on the great shave, but if you get sentimental you should keep your hair for the grandkiddies! They will be amazed to have something like that.

    On the other hand, hair is great for the compost. There are great clumps of my husband’s curly locks throughout our compost!

  12. My dad wanted to keep the hair to replace the mane and perhaps the tail of an antique rocking horse that’s been in the family for a while.

    But I’ve broken his heart and mailed it off yesterday to a wig company who will donate the
    wig they make out of it to a cancer patient.

  13. Feral

    Thanks for those ideas … planting a productive garden is one of my goals for this year.

    I happen to live in a seaside community. So fish is pretty much a daily staple in our household. I would find it difficult to give it up.

  14. Donna – think of the mercury!

    Seriously, if you frequently eat fish, it might be a good idea to avoid flake, marlin and other predatory fish. Especially if you are anywhere near heavy industry or a large city.

    But since you live near the sea, try getting some New Zealand spinach seed (Tetragonia tetragonioides). From memory it does well in coastal areas.

  15. Feral

    I do think of the mercury. I don’t go for flake or Marlin, and yep, I live near heavy industry AND a large city. But, it’s just the thing to do around here.

    What am I to do with this NZ spinach seed? Boil it up in a soup?

    Talking of flake, someone caught a hammerhead in a dinghy close off shore recently. They transported it in a ute to the local fish’n chip shop.

    Thought I’d share that little anecdote for no particular reason.

  16. Donna – details, details…

    Plant the NZ spinach in your garden, then harvest the leaves when they have grown large enough. Use them just as you’d use English spinach.

    For the worst-case scenario on mercury poisoning via seafood, see the very comprehensive and quite shocking Wikipedia entry on Minamata disease. Also thumbnails of W. Eugene Smith‘s photographs of the calamity.

  17. Sorry Feral

    I had obviously had one too many Barossa’s (and it was only Thursday) before I posted. I thought I read ‘NZ seaweed’. And I also thought … Wow, Feral surpasses Phillip Travers and his stinging nettles with his NZ seaweed. And yet all you were talking about was conservative spinach. Silly me.

    I’ll blame the German immigrants for that one.

    I do know what to do with spinach, so please excuse my question.

    I just want you to know that I would be a vegetarian in a minute, if I could, but I have had this problem most of my life of needing pretty strong iron supplements.

    I strongly support (for both health and environmental reasons) the minimising (not removal) of red meat from the diet.

    I suppose I think fish (except for that pesky mercury poisoning) as bottom of the food chain. Of course I’m not happy about that large scale harvesting of the sea floors with industrial strength nets and trawler winches.

    I’ve just yet not been able to find a compromise of protein that will keep my iron levels acceptable, and not be vegetable based.

  18. Donna – I’m sure Barossa reds are an excellent source of dietary iron *ahem* But seriously, a colleague once received ‘medicinal’ Guinness courtesy of the Irish government while she was breast-feeding her child. Best days of her life, she says, oxytocin and alcohol.

    Iron intake can be a big problem. Easy enough to eat it, but we don’t assimilate it very efficiently. I’ve read somewhere that adding lemon juice to leafy greens assists iron uptake, but I’m sceptical given how acidic our stomach juices are.

    BTW I’m not a vegetarian myself; I usually cook meat about once a week. But I do respect people who choose to forgo meat, and I understand their reasons for doing so.

    “Feral surpasses Phillip Travers and his stinging nettles with his NZ seaweed.”

    !!!! I need a drink… but I shall excuse your question.

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