Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Best Kind of Money In The Bank

There's a line of thought that says 'if you want a different kind of result, then don't do the same thing you've always done'. Or something like that. I may have scrambled it up but you know what I mean.

Its been something that's been on my mind - this different results business -and how the changes in the outer world begin with changes in the inner. Its been leading me to look at other ways of achieving things that I haven't managed to achieve as yet.

One of the things I've been looking at is how we can raise some funding for Three Stuffed Mums. For those who don't yet know we're premiereing at the Adealide Fringe in 2011, and its a comedy cabaret with original songs and standup comedy all on the theme of Motherhood. We're a self-produced show, and happy to be so, but when my son found the Fundbreak ( I couldn't help but be intrigued.

Fundbreak is a site that uses the phenomenon of crowd funding - where many, many people can make contributions that are as little as a dollar and as large as you like - to help creative projects get off the ground.

What I like about it is that on the one level, there is a possibility that you might actually make the money you need to get the show off the ground. But what I really really like about it is that it allows people who wouldn't normally call themselves patrons of the arts to make those small contributions and actually feel like they're part of the project. I'm a sucker for 'we're all in this together' situations.

One of the catches is that if you don't make your budget target, you don't get anything and the supporters don't have to pay anything, and we just shake hands and walk away. In that case, Three Stuffed Mums is lucky, as we are three rather than just a solo act and we'll get the show on the road one way or another.

What's really exciting about Fundbreak is that it might save some important projects that would otherwise never come to the public eye. Projects that can represent minority groups, the overlooked in society, the causes that are too new, too out there to make the journey if the gatekeepers are solely producers and promoters. However if a project can talk directly to its audience at a very early stage it can have a snowball effect that may give them the money they need, but more importantly can prove to the artists that their intuition was right, that there is an audience for what they have to say or show and that they're right to be promoting it.

I firmly believe that if a project is meant to be, and the passion of the artists and the interest of the audience is there, then the money will appear from somewhere. In the meantime, have a look at - you can click on the link to the side of this - and the projects that are there, including ours, that are looking for a way to hit the stage, film or art galleries.

If you're inclined to support any of them, that's great. If not, that's also great - its all about choice. But I would ask that if you see a project that sparks something in your heart, leave a message of support for the project organisers, because those words of encouragement will surely be some of the best kinds of money in the bank.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

That's the Way My Cooking Crumbled

I used to be able to cook not too badly. Indeed, I was, for one summer as a student, employed as a part time housekeeper to a trio of priests, which included me providing their evening meal each night, and while I never had any complaints, there was a certain build up of anticipation towards Fridays and Bolognese night. My Bolognese was an exotic hit with the Fathers.

It was actually a lovely time that summer with the Fathers. I was introduced to Gilbert and Sullivan, could actually afford my car insurance and gained a lifelong appreciation of Father Ted.

As the years went on and I became a wife and mother, cooking became a chore and the weekly trot around the supermarket for the shopping was torture. So you can imagine my joy to find that my new husband not only loves cooking but would rather take on that particular domestic burden in our household. As I discovered more and more just how good a cook he is, I cooked less and less until for the past year or so I’ve hardly cooked anything.

What I have cooked hasn’t had great results: the muffins turned out chewy, soup was like putty and the scones, well, even the dogs wouldn’t eat them.

Somehow my cooking gene had been extracted, never to be seen again.

But today I decided to venture once more into the culinary realms. I’m no fan of cooking for cooking’s sake, mind you. Can’t see the point in Masterchef if I can’t taste any of it – how do we know it’s good? You certainly can’t go by how it looks. I once produced a mocha chocolate pudding at school that got an A, but the teacher didn’t taste it. It was only after my mum spat it out I realised that I’d mistaken the rock salt for sugar.

So, today, I’m in the supermarket and was so totally overwhelmed at the amount of everything in the heaving shelves that I couldn’t even attempt a weekly grocery shop. So I just grabbed some chicken, fish and lamb and hightailed it home.

Made lamb curry for dinner for son and I. Check – turned out very nice.
Put the chicken in the new slow cooker with some veggies, coriander, garlic and tomatoes. Check – again, very nice and will freeze that for lunches during the week (gone off sandwiches. Bread is so overrated).

One thing I did realise is that slow cookers aren’t as slow as they used to be. My old one back in the early 90s needed a good 10 hours to produce the results my new one did in four hours. So it’s not so much a slow cooker as a medium cooker. But then again I guess life is at a faster pace so it’s all relative.

Anyhow, for hubby’s dinner I decided to cook veggie sausages. They were the usual shape – kinda tubular – and occurred to me that it is the most useless, stupid design ever.

With minimal contact to the frying pan, one cooks sausages by singeing a tiny segment at a time – theoretically. But our high-tech frypan isn’t totally flat so they go rolling around and by some bizarre law of physics, no matter how you turn them the same singed, blackened strip continues to frazzle while the rest of it sits pink and raw.

I think its about time we introduced to South Australia more of the sensible Scottish Lorne sausage - or as its colloquially known ‘skwerr slice’ – a square sausage that cooks more or less evenly (despite growing an unexplainable bulge in the middle) and can be quickly and comfortably whacked onto a plate or roll.

I was off work in August for a couple of weeks due to some kind of flu thing. I was so ill back then I did something I never normally do – I watched daytime TV. And the thing was, everyone was cooking, but nobody was eating. Strange.

Ah well, after tomorrow we’ll be back to the normal routine with hubby at the helm. He can heave a sigh of relief that he’s survived another bout of my cuisine and I can go back to doing what I do best – pouring the wine.