The Castle, the Perfect Parmi and One I Prepared Earlier

Do you have a favourite dish that you continue to order in the hope that you won’t be disappointed, but…?

For me, it is the Parmi- Veal or Chicken Parmiagiana- a quintessential Australian-Italian classic (if indeed there is such a thing) which for some reason flourishes in the pubs and clubs of regional Victoria (I have had a particularly good one at the pub in Healesville in the Yarra Valley) and Melbourne (the pub on the corner of William St in West Melbourne springs to mind), but simply can’t seem to be replicated in quite the same way north of the border. And it isn’t for want of trying.

I have ordered the parmi in RSL clubs, Bowling Clubs, Sports Clubs, Pubs- all traditional purveyors of the parmi. I have held high hopes for parmi ordered in Italian Restaurants. There have been times when I have thought I have found it- a decent parmi in NSW- but have been disappointed all too often: the meat is over-cooked, the crumbs boring, the cheese overdone, the tomato straight out of a bottle…. the list goes on.

So, what exactly is a parmiagiana?  Essentially it is a fillet of (usually) veal or chicken pounded evenly into a schnitzel and crumbed before being fried. The crumbs are critical- preferably made fresh from sourdough bread with a touch of herbs (I use thyme and parsley). I also like to put just a smidgen of freshly grated parmesan in my crumb too. I also like to put my schnitzel into cornflour rather than normal flour before the eggy bready stage… no idea why… in fact, no idea if it even makes a difference.

The schnitzel should then be fried in just enough oil to leave a golden crust, ensuring the meat inside is still tender and not able to be used as a kitchen weapon. It can then be popped onto some kitchen paper to get rid of any nasty greasies, before being topped with ham, tomato & cheese… but not just any ham, tomato and cheese.  I use thinly sliced parma ham, which we just warm through a tad. Then some tomato is added, but again, not just any tomato sauce… a tomato sauce that is enriched with garlic, finely diced shallot and some red wine and then reduced until it will sit beautifully on top of the parma. The whole thing is then topped with sliced mozzarella and popped under the grill until the cheese melts. Served with steamed veg and maybe a couple of baby potatoes, this is the ultimate parmi.

In the Australian movie The Castle, The Kerrigan family (don’t write to me if I spelt it wrong) all sit around the kitchen table every night eating whatever has been lovingly created by Sal Kerrigan. Each night she puts a traditional homely Aussie meal on the table. Every night they have the same conversation- something like:

Darryl (who thinks the Sun rises and sets with his wife and family): So what do you call this love?

Sal (looking proud as punch): Lamb Cutlets Darl.

Darryl: Well, you’ve done something special to them. Kids, why do you need to eat out when you get meals like this at home?

Strangely enough, a similar conversation went around our table the other night after the creation of the perfect parmi… which leads me nicely into Venus in Cancer and one I prepared earlier… last year in fact…

This post appeared last year as “So Does This mean we Are Getting Married?”

There’s this little piece of astro humour (See Sex, Lies and Bodypaint) about the one line which each of the signs might say after a one night stand. For Cancer it might be “Does this mean we are getting married?”

If you have Venus in Cancer, you take relationships very very seriously, and are quite conservative in your attitude to love and romance. In fact, the whole idea of a one night stand line for Cancer is a bit of an oxymoronJ. Love is for life.

Like the other water signs, Venus in Cancer is all about emotion. Where Pisces is romantic and Scorpio sexual, Cancer is caring and nurturing.

It has been (unfairly?) said that Venus in Cancer can be nagging, clingy and manipulative. But consider the life of a Crab- it has to ride the tides of the ocean by clinging hard to rocks for its’ survival – so it is when Venus is in Cancer- it will cling on and on and on and on- often way after the relationship is dead and really starting to stink. Nothing you can do will shake them off. Nor will they leave of their own accord- after all, you need them, and Cancer needs to be needed! But unlike Pisces who will be all desperate and pining  and make you feel sorry for them, Venus in Cancer has a Mothers ability to produce guilt- without you really knowing why you should be feeling guilty- a talent indeed.  Venus in Cancer does not like conflict, so brooding silences and retreat are usually great indicators that things are not FINE.

What is fair to say, is that under the hard outer shell, Venus in Cancer is fearful of rejection.  This highly sensitive, maternal, compassionate and completely loyal sign will do anything and everything to protect and nurture its’ relationships. The more they do for you, the more you need them and the less likely you are to leave. It is well worth remembering this if your partner has Venus in Cancer- the occasional thoughtful gesture will make him/her feel loved, needed and cherished far more than will flashy bling- although, that is always nice as well…. Never ever think that you can buy them- with Venus in Cancer, it is all about emotion and feeling.

Although more practical than romantic, Venus in Cancer will pack your bags with your favourite things  (and snacks)before you go away and welcome you home with a hearty meal – proving that no one looks after you quite like she does. In fact, you will rarely go hungry if your partner has Venus in Cancer- although you may have problems in dragging your love out of their shell into the open- nothing beats an economical home cooked meal.  Venus in Cancer will be sensitive to your mood as soon as you walk through the door and act accordingly. Venus in Cancer will help out around the house- often without being asked… yep, even the men. In the workplace, even the most businesslike Venus in Cancer will understand if you aren’t feeling well and will genuinely be interested in your family and photos. Abuse that trust? Take advantage of that compassion? Venus in Cancer will forgive, but rarely forget.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, not only does your Venus placement indicate your preferred relationship style and what makes you feel good, but in a mans chart, the Venus placement will also indicate what he is looking for in a partner. If your man has Venus in Cancer, he will be attracted to partners with Cancer characteristics- perhaps someone who will look after him, cook for him, possibly even mother him. He will also be looking for a relationship that is committed, loyal and predictable.

Venus in Cancer? Get past that craggy shell, expect a little sideways dodging of issues, learn to read the different interpretations of FINE, and you will never be hungry again.