Friday, May 5, 2017


Before Australia  enthusiastically  embraced  the  disgusting  habit  of  finger  lickin'  en masse   , the American  Women's Club of  Sydney  in 1962  issued  a  recipe book ,   Star  Spangled  Cooking  , above ,  a copy  of  which  was  served up  to  this blog  , a  fast food perusal  failing  to  find   any  mention  of  Kentucky fried  chicken . Anybody  for  Kentucky  strawberry pie ?

(The  first  KFC  store  in Australia  opened  in 1968 in   Guildford , Sydney . Now it claims  2 million customers  a week  pass through its more than 600 stores .)

Compiled by members of the  American  community in Australia , the  recipe book  was edited  by  Mrs (Anne)  Rush  Clark ,  wife of  the US Ambassador,   Ed Clark , during the  Vietnam War years .

Nearly 40 years after the assassination of  President  John F. Kennedy , a  sensational report  in the  Sydney Morning Herald    said the  latest conspiracy theory   was  that  JFK had been killed in a plot  by his successor Lyndon Johnson and  there was an Australian  link .    Gerard Noonan  wrote  that  in  a  book  about  to  be  published, Blood, Money and  Power .  How  LBJ  Killed  JFK,  the  main  informant  in this top secret revelation was   LBJ's close Texan friend , personal lawyer  and all round ole boy, Ed Clark , the  former   US  Ambassador  to  Australia in the Vietnam War .  Noonan   continued  : 

Known as "Mr Ed" after the talkative horse in the TV series, the talkative and rambunctious Clark had wowed the Australian diplomatic circuit in the mid-1960s  with   his howdees and   ya'alls  and  yellow roses of  Texas, disguising a wily  and  manipulative  foot  soldier  of   Johnson's  Great  Society dream.
The American Women's Club   of  the American Society   , designed to   help  Americans   get  acquainted with  the  community , seems to have  been established  as early as 1946 . The recipe  book was dedicated to the long suffering husbands and  families  whose "cast  iron constitutions" ,  through trial and error , had  enabled  the  contributors  to   reach  perfection .
As mentioned at the  outset of  this post , there was no mention of   Kentucky fried  tucker  in  the poultry section ,  although  there were  tantalising dishes   such as  Tipsy  Duck ,  Porcupine  Meat Balls , Russian  Rum Cake , Snickerdoodles , Hootenholler  Whisky Cake   and   Mrs Eisenhower's Cookies  .  Aussie  fare  included  trout  and   Pavlova  and  a  reference to  a shrimp dish  is obviously  good  old  Aussie  prawns .  
One normally associates  Americans  with   being great coffee drinkers  , but there  were instructions   for  making  COCOA   for  80 , which involved  the use of an egg beater  . Instructions   for   coffee  making   provided  only  up to  50  cups .  Tea  making   for   100  involved  placing  two  cups of  tea leaves  in  sheer muslim   bags -the forerunner  of  tea  bags ?     
After  slaving  over   a  hot stove preparing a mess of  Snickerdoodles ,  a   cocktail  called  White  Cargo , made  from  gin  and   vanilla,   was  suggested . 
Mrs Clark wrote a  book about  her time Down Under  called  Australian Adventures : Letters  from  an  Ambassador's  Wife .
 In it she outlined here travels about the nation ,including the  Northern Territory (specific mention of  Darwin  , Tennant Creek, Brunette  Downs ) , Coral Sea Battle   anniversaries  , mixing  with   prominent  people , including  Lady Mary and  Sir Warwick  Fairfax ,  Sir  Warwick    probably revolving  in   his  grave  right  now  over  what  is   happening  to  Fairfax   publications .    
People who had   taught her  much  were  Lady  Casey (wife of  the Governor-General ), Lady Winton , Lady Johnston,  Lady Waller,   Dame  Pattie  Menzies, Dame Mabel ,  Betsy  Phillips, Jodie Lydman, Dottie  Cronk, Marg Martin , Betty Smith  and Marjorie   Turbayne . The last named person in this list was  the wife of spook Keith Godfrey Turbayne, director general  of  ASIO  the night in 1973   when  Attorney-General Lionel  Murphy raided the Melbourne  office,  convinced he was  not being informed about Croatian  extremists  in  Australia .

 Following the raid, Turbayne, who admitted taking his children with him when he  was on a spying missions , said  ASIO  had  investigated  Murphy as a  possible KGB  agent !!! as  his  first wife  had  been   Russian . Britain had also  asked for a check on  him , which  found nothing untoward . 
Mrs Clark  expressed the hope   that   in a small way she had contributed to her  country's welfare  as  she  tagged along  behind her  energetic husband , though sometimes  " he  was  dragging  me  footsore  and  protesting ."  There was also a wish in her book  that she would return  for a second  spring  in Western Australia, for another flutter on the Melbourne Cup , to hear an opera  from the Sydney Opera  House , for another  plate  of  Sydney rock oysters , to hear again the  reassurance  "Not  to  worry, Mrs Clark ."