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Cool Summer Favourites
While it has been a cool summe
r for campers down south, who are more likely to suffer from hypothermia than heat stroke, Queenslanders have been sweltering in hot, humid conditions, while the poor people in NSW have been ravaged by devastating bush fires.

Hopefully the southern states will warm up over March and people who have the opportunity to spend some time out in the bush will enjoy the cool summer salad below, quaffed down with a cold, refreshing, easy ginger beer drink.

oriental fried noodle saladOriental Fried Noodle Salad

This recipe comes from the back of a packet of ‘Chang’s Fried Noodles’ ® and is simple and delicious. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t really enjoy it.
1 pkt (100 gm) Chang’s Fried Noodles (Egg Noodles fried in vegetable oil)
1/2 to 1 Wombok (Chinese Cabbage) – finely shredded
6 spring onions – finely chopped
100 gm toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts (1/2 to 1 cup)
1/2 cup castor sugar (I like to reduce the amount given on the packet)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tblspn soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tspns sesame oil (optional – but gives the dressing a lovely flavour)
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar, shake well and leave until the sugar is dissolved.
In a bowl, combine all the salad ingredients and add enough dressing to suit your taste – more or less depending how much you like throughout the salad. Mix well and serve immediately. If you leave it too long the noodles will go ‘soggy’.
Variation: Add some sliced cooked chicken or meat to make a complete meal.

Sparkling Lemon/Ginger Beer
This is a very refreshing drink, and makes a lovely change to cordial and the like. Even those who aren’t particularly fond of ginger will enjoy it.
2 large knobs fresh ginger root (about 10 cm / 4 inches long)
4 heaped tblspns dark brown sugar (or brown sugar)
3 lemons (peel 2 of the lemons – don’t get any of the white pith, as this will make the lemon rind very bitter
1 x 1.25 litre bottle sparkling mineral water
Roughly peel and coarsely grate the ginger into a bowl. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it is going to be strained anyway.
Add the brown sugar, peel of 1 lemon and juice of 3.
Using the back of a large spoon, press the ginger and lemon peel down to help combine and release their flavours.
Add the bottler of mineral water and give the mix a good stir.
Into a large drinking container, add the peel from 1 lemon, fill it up with ice and then strain the ginger/lemon/mineral water mix into the jug.
Give it a light stir and serve.
(Don’t discard the ginger/lemon remains, you can add another 1/2 bottle of mineral water, stir and strain again and top up the remains of the first jug. It will be a lot weaker in strength, but still very thirst quenching on a hot summer’s day.)



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