Paddock Soup

30 Jun


This photo shows the bouncer from the Port Macquarie Bowls Club pretending to chuck out my grandfather, Jack Weeks. It’s clearly a set-up shot but there’s a few details I like. The list of club dignitaries, the christmas tinsel that has yet to be put away and Poppy’s terrifying forearm and cocked fist. If you needed holes punched in concrete, he was the man for the job.
Jack and his wife Ivy enjoyed their later years in ‘Port’ having moved from Yass where my mum grew up. He’d been with the 18th Field Ambulance stationed in New Guinea during the war and worked for the Main Roads Department when he got home.
Over the years, we enjoyed the regular arrival of things that, literally, fell off the back of trucks although we wished he hadn’t brought home the huge haul of hotel-grade bogroll that crackled like greaseproof paper.
The old bloke ‘babysat’ my brother Mush and I whenever we spent the weekend in Yass. This meant him being repeatedly paged by the scottish doorman at the Soldier’s Club and handing over more coins for us to feed into the pinball machines at the disreputable ‘Fireball Club’ around the corner. This arrangement was kept as a private matter between the three of us and allowed him more beer time with his cronies.
When Nanny’s stove needed firewood, we’d go out to neighbouring farms and help stack the wood Poppy cut. She’d make us a thermos of soup and because we worked out in the paddock, it was called Paddock Soup.

Take 2 litres of water and bring to the boil in a large pot. Add 500 grams of bacon bones and simmer for 90 minutes. Remove bones from the pot and strip the meat, chop meat roughly and give the bones to the dog. Return the meat to the pot, adding a large finely diced carrot, 2 sticks of diced celery, a diced swede or 2 parsnips, a chopped potato, a diced onion, a few pinches of black pepper and 200 grams of rinsed pearl barley. Add 5 tablespoons of Worcestershire or ‘black’ sauce and simmer until barley is completely soft. Add handful of washed and finely chopped parsley. Season to taste.


2 Responses to “Paddock Soup”

  1. Powell June 30, 2012 at 5:03 am #

    I don’t read much… but thiz shiz makes me wanna, y’know? youz Lawlers are good crack. FACT!.

  2. Michael Harris July 9, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    So, I used to know a Pete Lawler in Canberra many years ago (whose younger brother had a nickname — Mush!). Coincidence, surely!

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