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10 March 2006

Friday review - Food

On this week's Friday review, we'll go back and have a look at the theme of the week - food.

We had stories on melons, chillies, and even some cakes. First up today, let's have a look a look at the melons.
MEGAN MAGILL: Like so many people in Chinchilla, Dennis Dickman is obsessed with melons. So you think this is a potential winner Dennis?

DENNIS DICKMAN, CHINCHILLA MELON GROWER: Megan, it's not a bad one. There's two or three good ones here and it's probably got another big brother down the road here.

MEGAN MAGILL: The second-generation grower is tipped to take out this year's giant watermelon competition for the fifth time. How much do you think this one will weigh?

DENNIS DICKMAN: Oh, about 68 kilograms.

MEGAN MAGILL: That's a little bit light isn't it?

DENNIS DICKMAN: It probably is a little bit. There are a few big ones they tell me coming in from Bundaberg and some other growers in the district - so we'll see how we go this year.

MEGAN MAGILL: Adding weights to the competition some young blood from the local primary school.

DARREN ICON & CORRIE WEST, CHINCHILLA STATE PRIMARY SCHOOL: We reckon this is one of our biggest melons and it weighs about 40 kilograms. So, if there's anyone out there, we reckon we can beat you.

MEGAN MAGILL: The students have been tending their crop since last October. And while the delicate melons need to be protected from the sun their prized patch is impressive.

So the story was about melons. A melon is a large round fruit with hard skin. It has sweet juicy flesh and a lot of seeds. There are many different types of melons. Some common melons in Australia are watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons, like these. The students in the clip have been growing melons. The reporter says they have been 'tending their crop'.A 'crop' is a group of plants grown in one place. You can grow a crop in a patch. A patch is small area of land where vegetables are grown. In a vegetable patch, you might grow chillies. Here's a clip from the story about a man who makes chilli sauce.
LUISA SACCOTELLI: In business terms we're out in the boondocks here. You can't get enough power to run anything much more than a household here. But that hasn't stopped one former outlaw motorbiker from going into the food trade. Condiments are his thing. Mind you, he can't get into the supermarkets, find decent distributors or even manage to stay on the local tourism committee. Despite that, he's doing it his way.

VICTOR VOGT: I like to play with my customers. It's just like an addiction. If you come into my establishment, you're fair game but the thing is I want you to try different things. The customer is always wrong. I mean, just because it says it's hot doesn't mean it's hot. Everyone uses spices right throughout the world. They think I'm a pain in the arse too. But so be it, I can't help it.

LUISA SACCOTELLI: Out in these remote Victorian hills, Victor Vogt has left his outlaw biker club days behind. His allegiance now is to the redbacks, Redback Chilli.

VICTOR VOGT: I started cooking as a level two cook, which is a bit better than a pot washer. But after the hotdog stands I learnt different types of ways of doing our sauces. A lot of people used to come out and say, 'Give me the hottest thing I've got.' So I thought okay I'll kill two birds with one stone, a nice little layer of pleasure and pain. And they couldn't eat it, so they came back for their second. So I had two sales instead of one.

Victor makes chilli sauces. A sauce is a thick liquid that you put on food. It adds flavour to food. The most common sauces are tomato sauce, soy sauce or barbeque sauce. Victor's chilli sauce is made from very hot chillies. He says people use spices all over the world. Spices are also things that you add to food to give extra flavour. But spices come from certain vegetable plants, and are usually added to food in a dried form. Pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cloves are all different spices. You might here someone say food is 'spicy'. This means it has strong flavour of spice, sometimes it's hot like chilli. Many people love to cook spicy food. Right now, we'll watch our last clip, on some people who love to cook just about anything. And they love to enter cookery competitions.
INTERVIEWER: Can you take me through the process of actually making an orange cake?

BILL: Mine is interesting because it's a very old recipe. So it's a case of sometimes trying to judge what will actually be the same in metric. Getting all the ingredients, mixing them up right, then putting them in and cooking and letting it cool so you can ice it. This year it worked out all right. The one I did before, it was lovely and cool and I was about to ice it and the cat walked across it. So, yes.

INTERVIEWER: So how do you make the jam. Is there a secret?

KAY: Marmalade there is, because you need to soak the fruit overnight to get rid of the bitterness. A lot of cutting up, a lot of fine cutting and be very watchful when you cook it. It's trial and error.

INTERVIEWER: And what about sultana cakes.?

KAY: Okay, the sultana cake, a lot of that is in the baking. You have to be very careful there's no cracks on top. You have to make sure it's cooked in the middle but you can't put a skewer in to test it so it all becomes trial and error, and tap on the top and hope to God it's worked. You don't know until they cut it how well it's done, so it's trial and error.

Bill and Kay are talking about their recipes. A recipe is a set of instructions you use to make food. Bill needs to change the recipe to metric. Metric is a system of measurement. In recipes, you will find liquid measurements in litres. It might be expressed in millilitres or portions of litres. In the metric system, weight is measured by grams. You will often see grams or portions of kilograms in recipes. Sometimes you find measurements given by cups or spoon sizes. You might need a third of a cup, or a whole cup. Sometimes you'll need spoon measurements - a teaspoon, tablespoon or even a dessertspoon. Bill's recipe uses an older system of measurement - the imperial system. The imperial system uses of pounds and ounces for weight, and pints and gallons for liquids. It takes Bill a while to work out how much these imperial measures mean in today's metric measurements. And that's all for this week's English Bites. If you want to see any of the stories again, ask us a question, or use our great library filled with information, just go to our website.

story notes

Chinchilla is a town in Queensland, not far from the capital, Brisbane.

That means his parents grew watermelons, too. This is the second generation of people in Dennis’s family who‘ve grown melons.

Tipped means guessed or expected.

The large red-fleshed melon is what we call a watermelon.

To tend something means to look after or watch over it.

A crop is a group of plants grown in one place.

 prized patch
If something is prized it is considered valuable or important . And a patch is a small area.

 out in the boondocks
Boondocks is a slang term used to describe a remote, undeveloped place. To say you’re out in the boondocks means you’re far away from the city, way out in the country.
Example: You're not going to find a café out in the boondocks.

was once; used to be We use former to say that someone used to do something, such as a particular job, in the past.
Example: The former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, is doing a lecture tour.

A condiment is a substance that you add to food to improve its taste. Some common condiments are salt, pepper, sauces or things like jam or marmalade.

 mind you
The expression mind you is used for emphasis.
Example: When I was young we used to walk, walk mind you, all the way to school every day.

 pain in the arse
Someone or something that is a pain in the arse is a nuisance or very annoying. This is not a polite expression, so use it with caution. A milder version is pain in the neck.
Example: He's been a real pain in the arse lately.

Here thought is the past tense of the irregular verb think. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: think

 kill two birds with one stone
To kill two birds with one stone is to get two things achieved in one action.
Example: I'll kill two birds with one stone by visiting my parents and going to the conference while I'm in Sydney.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

Metric is a system of measurement. It uses metres and litres as the basis of measurement. Bill’s recipe uses an older system of measurement - the imperial system of pounds and ounces.

 trial and error
Trial and error refers to a way of working something out by doing something again and again until you find the right way.
Example: I didn't know how to do it at first, but after a bit of trail and error I learned how.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.