So, I happened to be on a few weeks leave and a friend asked if we would come up to Broken Hill to collect him and his bike. Sure, why not!
Took us awhile to get going in the morning, whatever, no rush. The usual “boring” drive that is the new hunter Expressway. I’m not dissing it, it’s great that it’s such a boring road, but it makes it difficult to a) stay awake and b) stick to the speed limit! Good roads like that deserve higher speed limits! If only Australian drivers could handle such things….
Once we hit the Golden Highway, there was a fair bit of giving way to Oversized vehicles – either mining vehicles themselves or trucks carrying huge pieces of mining equipment. One time the police even cleared three lanes for one truck! No photos of the glory that is open cut mining in the Hunter, I couldn’t bring myself to look at the vast holes long enough to snap a picture.
Swan Hotel, Dundedoo.
We took regular stops and driver swaps on the way. I eventually got brave enough to cruise at highway speed on the undivided roads! *clunk* goes the trailer. I also didn’t hit any roos, though there was one dumb sheep that walked in front of me deliberately I swear, and a couple of roos on the way home that seemed to have death wishes.
I didn’t know there was soooo many goats out there!!! So many cute baby goats following their parents around. So cute. I wanted to steal one! The goats were way smarter than the sheep, always running away from the cars rather than towards. There was also a few cows that just stood there and watched us go by, knowing they could cause us all manner of grief if they could be bothered to walk onto the road.
We stopped for the night at Dubbo as the the sun was going down. Booked us a room at the Ibis Budget Dubbo. I booked through Booking.com while parked on the side of the road, and got us a room for $79, including Continental buffet breakfast! They normally charge $9/head for that.
So the breakfast spread included the usual cereal, toast and spreads, along with youghurts with fruit, juices, tea and coffee. The room was “okay” . I found the bed quite comfortable, but Bruce found the foam mattress topper overheated him. The curtain main have come down while we were trying to adjust it, but ok well. We also had wifi in our room even though it’s meant to be only accessible from the common areas, because we were on the ground floor near the pool. I also got all classy and drank the wine I’d brought from home in the plastic cups provided in the room. ;) Oh they had good biscuits, as did the other two place we stayed. You know those prepaced two bikkies you get in your tea and coffee making facilities? Couldn’t fault any of them!
We wandered down to the Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant (36 Victoria St, Dubbo NSW 2830; ph (02) 6882 6663) as it was the Chinese restaurant open on a Tuesday night (our first and third choices were both closed Tuesday nights). We had fried rice, garlic chicken, and the above sticky, shiny fried pork. I swear it was like eating Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs with the stickyness in the teeth. Apparently there was meat in there! But we got through it, our wine, and promptly fell asleep back at the ibis after watching Blades of Glory, that I happened to have seen at work, well parts of it, a few days earlier!
Classic country town Chinese restaurant stylings
Ready for bed!
After breakky and trying not to yell at the morning television that was screening in the cafe, we found some decent takeaway coffee at Grapevine near the courthouse and then were back the road by eight, aiming to reach Broken Hill before the roos got suicidal again.
There was a lot of…. not much. Wide, flat, open. And driving. Much driving.
Dinner was found at Alfrescos Cafe (397 Argent St, Broken Hill, New South Wales 2880, Australia +61 8 8087 5599)…. so, while wrapping out heads around the half hour time difference, we nommed down this HUGE platter. So very very full! Which meant that the pizza we ordered, though a little over-cooked, was saved for breakfast and snacking on the next morning’s drive.
Full tummies and a few glasses of wine made the bed at the Hilltop Motel (271 Kaolin St, Broken Hill NSW 2880 ph (08) 8088 2999) inviting enough, watching the ABC on whatever timezone we were in and it’s usual Wednesday night satire until I couldn’t fight sleep any more
Silverton and the Mundi Mundi Lookout were about as touristy as we got.
Vast spaces of nothing, views to the border and relics from the days of the silver mine (hey creative name for a town right?) and Mad Max.
Just so damn open.
Our aim for the drive on the Thursday was Cobar, so I booked a couple of rooms at the Cobar Central Motor Inn (18 Murray Street Cobar NSW 2835 Phone: 02 6830 2000). There was this weird system where you checked in at the motel across the road.
The rooms had this funky lamp, and pre-marked bedspreads and walls. Classy :)
The shower was hot and the bed comfy and I slept like a log after the boys brought me back Subway.
Daily Grind Cafe in Nyngan (97 Pangee St, Nyngan NSW 2825) was our breakfast/coffee stop for the morning on Friday, toasties all round and some nice coffees to sip while seeing the other side of the railway station and the helicopter.
Of course there was just the fun to be had of being in the Bogan Shire. Yeah, not much excitement :p
I have to say the only other pauses of note that day were the big billy!! And getting back to Tronno and getting back home for my birthday the next day!
We’ve gotten food from My BBQ at Glendale a few times now – Chinese takeaways with rice or noodles beds, steamed dumplings, and delicious roast duck!
Last night we had a Guitar Hero night with my sister and her boyfriend, and got two $10 takeaway tubs with rice and noodles, along with Mongolian beef, chicken satay, honey chicken, oyster sauce stirfry, mixed veges, beef n blackbean, plus a tub of 10 seafood dumplings for $9.50.
There’s nothing like a meat pie with tomato sauce. And I’m always happy to try new sauces on my pies and in my dishes, so when it was suggested I try the new Good Choice sauce range from Fountain, I was more than keen. Products with no “added” sugar are all the rage now, and the Fountain Good Choices sauces either have no sugar – like the Gluten free Soy sauce which has 50% less salt than Fountain’s regular soy sauce – or are sweetened by the apple puree and Natvia (which I’m not usually a fan of to sweeten things like drinks or baking, but I couldn’t taste it in these sauces).
The range includes a Tomato Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Sweet Chili, “Hot” Chili (which wasn’t as scary as I thought….) and the Soy Sauce. All are naturally gluten free, and on their own taste quite like their equivalent “normal” range sauces.
So, let’s use them in something!
A few weeks ago, I made a Beef Chow Mein from my Hello Fresh box, so I thought I’d tweak their recipe a little and use a few of the sauces I was sent, along with what veges were on special at Woolies (which, incidentally, is where you can buy these Fountain sauces online or in store)
As pictured, the ingredients are (roughly) as follows – this will serve about 6 people. I went overboard, but the leftovers were appreciated by all, including my cat – see the picture at the bottom of this post!)
200g rice vermicelli noodles
500g lean beef mince
1 red onion – diced
1/4 red cabbage – roughly chopped
1/4 green cabbage – roughly chopped
handful green beans – ends cut off and halved
bunch broccolini – cut into 2 cm pieces
1/2 bunch spring onions – thinly sliced
lashings of canola oil
2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 tablespoons Fountain Good Choices soy sauce
1 tablespoon Fountain Good Choices Hot Chili Sauce (it needed more…. probably 2 for me, 3 for most other people!)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Fountain Good Choices Sweet chili sauce and soy sauce, to serve
1. Place noodles in a heat-proof bowl with boiled water and some salt for 5 minutes. Drain, rince with cold water, then chop roughly with scissors – set aside for later.
2. Heat a splash of oil over high heat in a large frypan or wok. Add the red onion and begin to fry. Once it starts to soften, add the beef mince, and keep poking with a spatula to separate it out into crumbly bits and it is cooked through. Stir through the 5-spice with a tablespoon of water. Remove the mince mixture from the pan and set aside for later (to save space on the bench and washing up, I just dumped this on top of my resting noodles, along with the chopped spring onions – that way I mixed those three all together before re-adding them to the stir-fried veges later!)
3. Combine the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, hot chili sauce and soy sauce in a mug
4. Heat some more canola oil over mid-high heat (about 7-8) and add in the cabbage, broccolini and beans, toss around a bit in the oil, then pour the sauce mixture from #3 over it. Keep tossing for about5 minutes until the veges are cooked to your liking. Re-add the beef, noodles, and the spring onions and stir to combine.
5. Divide the yummy noodles and veges into serving bowls (be wary, this stuff is filling and you can ALWAYS go beak for more). Serve to your guests with spoon and fork, and offer sweet chili sauce and extra soy sauce for them to add to taste (+/- the hot chili sauce, depending on your audience!)
Enjoy with a lovely glass of red, or a local ale!
Oh, and share with your cat!
Edit: ooooooo so Mum just told me she loves the BBQ sauce – she and Dad had it with Kanga Bangers (Kangeroo Sausages) and she loved it!