* Finally managed to bribe my kids to accompany me in seeing The Jungle Book, but only one of them so far is admitting that it was an enjoyable movie. (The other is deliberately depriving me of the pleasure of saying "you were right: I did like it.")
It's hard to believe that anyone could really take a positive dislike to it - it has charm; looks great; the animated animals do such good animated animal acting (it really is amazing to think how much the people who create these in the computer must think about it - they sometimes just convey meaning through the slightest movement of the eyes, for example); and it has a certain gravitas that I like to see in children's movies. If any reader does see it, you must also stay during the credits to listen to some good versions of the songs which play on over them. I was very impressed.
* Made good osso buco in the pressure cooker. This is easy, but my special ingredient is - when frying off the meat (liberally dusted in seasoned flour) in the pressure cooker first, near the end throw in a teaspoon of fennel seeds, and maybe half a teaspoon or so of cumin seeds.
The rest of the recipe: take the meat out, then fry up some diced onion, celery and carrot, as well as cup or two of skinned diced roma tomatoes. (I think fresh tomatoes give a nicer result than canned, but of course, they'll work quite well too). Then put the meat back in, top up the liquid with some wine (a cup or so?), put the lid on and cook at pressure for 30 minutes or so. Very tasty.
By the way, it was on some cooking show by an American Italian mother (I forget her name) that she recommended a bit of sugar when cooking tomatoes into a sauce. Helps bring out the flavour, she said. I tend to do that myself now, but on Saturday, I also used a not very dry rose for the osso buco - a somewhat sweeter wine than would usually be recommended for cooking meat. But maybe that was why the sauce seemed to come out particularly nice this time? I'm not sure...
* Election round up - I heard it said on Insiders that polling for Labor in Queensland is not looking good. Can this account for why the betting markets seem increasingly sure of a Coalition win, but Newspoll keeps showing a very close result, with national TPP in favour of Labor?
Why would the Queensland voters have turned strongly against Labor? It's not as if any defence spending has been thrown Queensland's way, and how can Labor take the blame for Clive Palmer's failure to keep his plant open in Townsville? I have long said that voters in Queensland are just weird and fickle. They can never be properly understood.