Sunday 7 June 2009

The Humble Lamington

I do love the occasional lamington, but have never really wondered about how these fabulous morsels came into being. Luckily, the SMH answered my unanswered question yesterday. Although The Age has an online version that includes a picture of the alleged creator, Armand Galland.

Galland was a French chef working for the Governor and Lady Lamington in Queensland's Government House just before the time of Federation. He used the French technique of dipping cake in chocolate and is thought to have been inspired by his French Tahitian wife to add coconut to his creation. Whatever his inspiration, it was truly divine, and I thank him for it.

Friday 5 June 2009

Birthing Rabbits

You'd think that the craziest stuff ever is happening in the modern world, but well, you'd be wrong. There's been amazing stuff going on for centuries. I love reading the Body Parts You've Never Heard Of column by Dr Adam Taor in the Weekend Australian. Sadly, I do think he's only ever come up with one bit that I'd never heard of. It's always Fascinating though, check it out. It is a bit buried, it's in the Health section which is at the back of the Professional section, which I would otherwise turf straight into the recycling with the sports and cars sections. Dissapointingly, it doesn't seem to be online. Any quest for enlightenment does involve some work.

I just read the column from 18/4/09 about the Pouch of Douglas. I'd never really thought about who Douglas was, but it turns out James Douglas was a Scottish Obstetrician in the early parts of the 18th century. Another of his claims to fame, apart from his eponymous pouch, was exposing Mary Tofts birthing of rabbits (yes rabbits!) as a hoax. You really wouldn't credit that it would take a team of experts to prove that a woman who delivered such objects as bits of rabbits lungs and a cats leg as well a loony, or attention seeker at the very least. Mary was apparently an illiterate maid who claimed that she was pregnant with rabbits, after craving roast rabbit during her previous pregnancy. She kept up her story and apparently produced multiple bits of mangled rabbits until she was threatened with exploratory surgery at which time she cleverly gave up the game. What can her motivations have been? Money? Fame? Infamy? A rather wobbly grasp on reality, and a lot of unfortunate bunnies?

There's quite a bit about her out there on the internet. She has her own page on wiki, and this is another interesting page with a picture of our Mary and a very scared rabbit.

I think she's become my new hero. At the very least it's a fantastic story. You never know where the next little fascinoma will pop up do you?