Can you teach an old dog new tricks? The Press Club and lemon curd in the microwave

Firstly, a massive apology for my absence – my excuse is that I (in some state of madness) decided to enrol in a couple of university courses which put everything else on the back burner for a while.  It wasn’t meant to be that way. I had thought the whole studying process would be fairly straight forward and would slot in easily with the rest of my life… in fact I may have actually stated: “How hard can first year be? I’ve done it before and I know so much more now!”

In my defence, I have done a lot of study in my time and so I would like to think that I was not being entirely arrogant in making such a claim. However, I had notably underestimated what studying at my age would actually entail. I certainly envisaged only having to spend a couple of hours a week studying – the reality was that ‘free time’ was no longer a phrase in my vocabulary… I think that it was my age (or perhaps maturity would be a better description?) that made the difference. The work itself is not hard per se, but the approach I have to study now is very different to the first time I went to university. I don’t recall doing much work the first time around, and I actually used lectures as a time to catch up on my reading of novels.  I argued that I was learning by osmosis – being in the lecture theatre with the lecturer would result in a natural transfer of information from high concentration (i.e. lecturer) to low concentration (me). This combined with the mantra: “P’s make degrees” probably contributed to my attitude towards study at that time.

The thing is, as a ‘grown up’ I am no longer content simply passing my subjects – I want to aim high! Furthermore, since I feel like there is no time available, I want to make sure every micro-second is being maximised. In combination, these mean that I will speak up and even argue with the lecturer (or anyone else) should the situation arise. This new-found approach to study resulted in EVERYTHING being put on hold – I cancelled social engagements, stopped cooking, stopped posting on this blog, etc  – in essence I gave up everything I enjoyed doing, partly because I knew that I would feel guilty the entire time I was not studying (and ‘should’ be) and would not really enjoy it (it is a perverse cycle).  I am dedicating far more time to this course than I probably did for my entire undergraduate degree. So much for cruising though it!

I’m sure this rant is bringing up images of the mature-aged students you may have encountered in your studies. Yup… I am one of THOSE students. Gone is the naive, wide-eyed 18 year-old – she has been replaced by the cantankerously stubborn 32 year-old who vehemently disagrees with the lecturers and refuses to adhere to the instructions for the assignments (because quite frankly they are wrong!). One key issue is assumed knowledge.  As someone who has established a career in a related field, I have a specialised understanding about certain things which a first-year student is unlikely to have (and in some cases even the lecturer will have limited knowledge about).  This causes two problems:

  1. When in a situation where I know that what we are being told is not the most up-to-date or what is globally recommended, I feel that I should say something. In fact, it makes me quite angry that we are being taught the ‘wrong’ thing. And no, I do not appreciate being told that I must do things a certain way particularly if I know that is not the best way to do it.
  2. I also make assumptions about what is considered basic knowledge – which is likely to result in markers comments such as “you need to explain what recall bias is”. Argh!!!

Perhaps that adage is true: you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Okay, rant over. On a side note, Ms TT has dared me to start raise my hand in a lecture and begin my question with: “In my PhD dissertation…” It might be worth doing for the laughs – what do you think?

Anyway, speaking of old dogs and new tricks, I visited the Press Club (72 Flinders Street, Melbourne) for dinner recently. Apparently, the whole place is about to have a massive shake up, with a new restaurant where the Press Club currently sits, the Press Club moving next door to were the bar (Little Press Club) is currently located and a new small dining room will be created for special meals where certain guests are invited to try out new food ideas (which may or may not include plate smashing according to our enthusiastic waiter)…

In commemoration of the impending close down, the menu was a ‘tribute to the past’ type of affair where all the old favourites were back. Ms TT and I  opted for the 7-course degustation – a erroneous decision as we were bursting-full at the 4th course. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely got to the end (we ain’t no quitters) but the 5-course option would probably have been far better for our waistlines. The decor is not very funky – though perhaps it’s not meant to be. The staff are to be commended – they are absolutely delightful and obviously love food (which I will leave for you to use the pictures to pass judgement).

Press Club

My favourite dish of the night was the palate cleanser, followed closely by the lamb. The cod roe butter is also worth a mention.

Though the food  all tasted delicious, I guess I expected more – I expected at least one dish that would have me raving (perhaps because of my very high expectations). Overall, It was an enjoyable night out, the food was nice and service excellent… but none of this really matters as it’s getting a revamp so we will see what George Columbaris comes up with next!

This is an extra long post (driven by my guilt about my long absence) with both a review and a recipe. Today’s we have a new trick to make an old favourite – making lemon curd in the microwave – absolutely amazing!!!

Microwave lemon curd

Adapted from Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

5 large lemons – zest and juice (300ml)
100g butter
300g sugar
2 eggs
6 yolks

  1. Place the juice, zest, butter, sugar in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Take it out and give it a good stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved and butter melted. Allow to cool just slightly.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and yolk. Whisk well (you don’t want stringy bits). Pour the eggs into the butter mixture, whisking as you go. Once it’s all combined, pop the bowl back into microwave.
  3. Microwave for 30 seconds on high, then stir. Another 30 seconds on high, stir again. Then 1 minute on high, take it out, and give it a really good whisking until it becomes smooth and lemon curd like. Repeat the 1 minute process twice more. If the mixture is not curd like, repeat the process again in 30 second lots. Pour it into sterilised jars or a prepared pie crust and pop it in the fridge to set for a few hours.
This entry was posted in Food, Gluten-free, Review, Sweets, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Can you teach an old dog new tricks? The Press Club and lemon curd in the microwave

  1. Katie says:

    Double dare! Can’t wait to hear the result “begin my question with: “In my PhD dissertation…” It might be worth doing for the laughs – what do you think?” Pure gold!

  2. EQ says:

    OK, so now I have another reason for you to come and visit and ‘play’ with my Thermomix – you can make awesome lemon curd in it without having to separate eggs or do the whisking yourself!

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