Out of the Cave
And we have lobbed into Bowen in North Queensland.
Finally, after several months of COVID-19 lockdown we have escaped Brisbane and the confines of our cave and departed for North Queensland. As have a few others it seems. We have started a trek to Cape York and ‘The ‘Tip’, will be away for about 7 weeks subject to the dreaded coronavirus.
A steady trip up to Cairns, along Highway 1, from where the trip in earnest will start. We stopped off for the night in free camps at Gympie and Calliope (near Gladstone) and then after 1000 km or so from Brisbane, the Palms Caravan Park in Sarina. The Palms was almost full and we were put on a small site overlooking a semi permanent van that had a sign out ‘beware of the dog’, it was a rather miserable looking small dog tied to a leash attached to the van. The sign was questionable, but the dog may have been hungry. Allthego did not tempt fate.
Entertained ourselves that night at the Sarina Hotel. Steaks in the bar, we were the only ones in the bar area for dinner. Social distancing was not threatened. Homealone decided to order the 110g grilled steak special, with salad and chips. An enormous plate of meat arrived, 3 steaks to the plate, you felt full looking at it! Allthego’s 300g rib filet was modest in comparison. The waitress later explained that a new Spanish chef had arrived and he was wanting to please. We bagged two of the excess steaks and had them the next night with some grilled onions and salad. Waste not want not! The dining room was not available for dinner as there was a conference in town and it had been booked out. A mob of accountants! No doubt discussing ways to make a buck from their clients out of the coronavirus.
My dear readers will know that Allthego likes to have a culinary challenge on these wanderings around the country. On this occasion we are on the lookout for the best vanilla slice sourced from bakeries in the towns along the way. Why vanilla slices? Well a week or so before we left Brisbane we had the most delightful vanilla slice from the Springfield Lakes GB artisan bakery. Here it is, a standout. The filling had a lovely creamy texture, pastry a bit on the crisp side but OK! Classic! Well done daughter Gillian! A benchmark for the journey ahead!
But what makes a good vanilla slice, probably 3 things. A pastry base that is firm but not too flakey, a filling that is creamy, not too sweet, and doesn’t ooze out the sides when one bites through the pastry. And the a layer of white icing on top with a swirl of chocolate to top it off. A major failing is a filling that is a slab of yellow gelatinous custard. We had our first taste test from one of the bakeries in Childers. Not bad, icing a bit thick, filling not creamy enough. The second effort was from a bakery on the way out of Rockhampton. This was from an enterprising baker, a DOUBLE DECKER. Quite good, a little oozy, but not too sweet either. Good effort. The GB artisan bakery is still in front!
Further entrants are eagerly awaited.