How to make Coke Chicken

We can’t believe that we helped bring Dean Lahn’s Beat Heat Eat recipes to the public. Coke chicken?? Really??! What’s even worse is that the damn thing tastes delicious …

Dean Lahn's Beat Heat Eat

You’re not going to find this dish in any self-respecting kitchen – that’s why you are going to make it in yours. Give in to the Dark Side.


(A) 1 litre Coke
(B) tomato sauce (optional)
(C) 4 chicken breasts
(or similar quantity of drumsticks and/or wings)

Pork chops can be cooked in the same way.


PREP TIME: 5 minutes

COOK TIME: Somewhere between 45 minutes and 1 hour


(1) 1 large pot


Mix together the Coke and tomato sauce in a large pot. Use 2 glugs of sauce for each chicken breast or 1 glug for each wing or drumstick. And 1 for good luck.

Dean Lahn's monstrous cooking: Coke Chicken from Beat Heat Eat

Heat this on the stove top on high until it bubbles, then turn it down to low.

Throw in the chook and poke it about to cover it in the liquid.

Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Don’t worry about this being soupy at first. The Coke thickens as it cooks.

For this and more abominable recipes from Dean’s kitchen, grab a copy of Beat Heat Eat here.

A Very Italian Drive to Work

This is a laugh: an Italian drive to work, according to Vincenzo Cerami’s by turns witty, delightful and vicious A Very Normal Man, translated into English for the first time in 2015 by Isobel Grave.


Giovanni’s 850 was parked at an angle over the footpath outside UPIM, a big department store. He had to be in the office by half past eight. The Ministry was only a short distance from Rome’s central station and since Giovanni lived at the far end of the Tuscolano district, he would come as far as San Giovanni in Laterano, from there he’d cross Piazza Vittorio and then skirt the entire length of the station from the regional lines to the terminus. Once he’d crossed Piazza Esedra, he was at the Ministry.

That morning was not the same as all Giovanni’s other mornings. Normally he’d be swearing from the second he got into his car till he was inside the doors of the Ministry. He’d bawl out drivers and pedestrians, lean on the horn furiously, deal out vicious abuse to anyone he thought was trying to get in his way, rant and rave against everything and everyone—the Council, the National Roads Board, the government and the nation.

But that morning he kept to himself, nice and quiet, and made the trip in an orderly manner—no horn blasts left, right and centre, no yelling, all traffic signs observed.

This was behaviour to incense other road users: distorted apefaces screamed abuse at him from the small but comprehensive morning rush-hour repertoire. Inside his little metallic refuge Giovanni was blind, deaf and dumb, oblivious to everything, not of this world.

On either side of him score on score of cheap runabouts ripped past at full speed, mounting the curb freely, driving along the tramlines, young thugs at the wheel in a breakneck charge, horns blaring as if they were delivering road victims to Emergency at San Giovanni.

The old man felt confused. He kept thinking about his son and the dream he’d had the night before …

An Italian drive to work, from A Very Normal Man by Vincenzo Cerami, trans. Isobel Grave

Read more here.

Friday funday!

Okay guys, it’s been a while since we’ve done one of these, but it’s Friday funday! That’s a thing, right? Anyway, there’ve been some pretty cool links around recently and we wanna share.

First, we have the ultimate test of Aussie English. Okay, so it’s Buzzfeed, which means it’s a laugh, but there are some little beauties on this list – or should we say bloody rippers?

Next, to take it up a notch, Merriam-Webster have a quiz to test how strong your vocabulary is. You only have ten seconds to answer each question, and it’s bloody stressful. Especially for editors. We have a lot riding on this, guys!

If you actually want a good read, rather than endless quizzes (not that there’s anything wrong with quizzes!) trundle over to the Guardian, where there’s a piece about 2016’s word of the year: post-truth. Perfectly apt, given the situation in America at the moment (and elsewhere). Still, take us back to last year, when the word of the year was an emoji. Ah, simpler times …

And last but certainly not least, the Bad Sex in Fiction awards are back! Some of the quotes will leave you breathless – in a bad way:

I spill like grain from a bucket

My whole body had gone inside her. … My body was her gearstick.

The act itself was fervent. Like a brisk tennis game or a summer track meet, something performed in daylight between competitors.

Oh, bless. There’s nothing like a brisk game of tennis.

And now, to welcome the weekend, to pay our dues, in memoriam, and just because he is/was/will always be the best, we’ll leave you with some Leonard. A man whose lyrics were never, ever, nominated for a bad sex award …

Paul Hansen’s Orange Cake

One of the many great stories in Liz Harfull’s The Blue Ribbon Cookbook comes from Paul Hansen, and his delicious orange cake:

You would be hard-pushed to describe Paul Hansen as a typical show cook. Born and bred at historic Kulcurna Station near Lake Victoria, Paul counts taxidermy, song writing and photography among his many skills. He also makes a mean orange cake. Although he has been known to whip up a six-course dinner party for 80 people to raise money for the local gun club, his training for the task was far from conventional. ‘I work away a lot in mustering camps and I am normally head cook and bottle washer for eight to ten people, but there is not a lot of cake cooking,’ he says.

Paul Hansen with his orange cake

Like many country show towns, Renmark has introduced a men’s only cake competition in recent years to generate fresh interest in cookery. The contest is fierce in this Riverland version, which celebrates local produce by insisting the blokes make an orange cake using a recipe provided. Paul won first prize in 2007 with a cake decorated by torchlight on the bonnet of his ute; he had to do it at the last minute after being held up organising entries for the wool section, which he convenes. ‘I don’t take it too seriously. I just came in after work one evening, threw everything into a bowl, mixed it up, put it in the oven and off we went,’ he says. ‘I just did what they said I had to do in the show book.’

Paul has also been known to enter taxidermy in the craft section. He studied the relatively lost art by correspondence about eighteen years ago, and has sometimes been asked by wildlife services to help preserve animals and birds for display. ‘I don’t know what got me into it,’ he confesses. ‘But I don’t do heads on walls. I am more interested in preservation.’

Through his volunteering and competing at the show, Paul is following a long-standing family tradition. His great grandfather exhibited at the very first Renmark Show, and the society is due to hold its 100th event in 2010. It comes at a time when the show society is gaining a new lease of life, winning a Community Event of the Year award and drawing more patrons. Among the most popular attractions are the vintage tractor and stationery engine displays, a ute muster, native animal displays, and a giant sandpit for the children.

Orange Cake from Liz Harfull's Blue Ribbon Cookbook blue_ribbon_cookbook_image_p143b blue_ribbon_cookbook_image_p143c

Paul Hansen’s Orange Cake

85 g butter (or margarine), softened
3 eggs (50 g each)
114 cups SR flour, sifted
12 cup castor sugar
90 ml orange juice
grated rind of one navel orange

Preheat the oven to moderate (180 ºC in a conventional electric oven).

Grease a 20 cm round cake pan, and line the base.

Put the butter, eggs, flour, sugar, orange juice and rind in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch.

Holden in a flood

Don Loffler must be one of our most prolific authors at Wakefield Press, and he’s one of our most popular, too! His books on the early Holdens and their history have been read and reread, printed and reprinted, with the sixth in the series released late last year. With each book there’s a flood of interest and new material for Don to work with – he’s got several more books in the pipeline. Below we have a wonderful example of a photo telling 1000 words – a Holden in a flood – from Don’s latest book, Holden Snapshots.


Holden Snapshots by Don Loffler

‘My late dad, Noel Kenwery, used to carry a camera with him at all times. Here is a photo of an incident in Footscray in the mid 60s. Victoria Street underpass often flooded (and still does) in a heavy rain period. Often car drivers would “risk it” and drive through the water, not knowing the depth. In this case an FE Holden didn’t make it and is seen floating around in the water. I’m not sure if it is the owner of the car inside or not. I seem to recall my dad saying it was his dog! The old army Chevy truck which has been converted into a tow truck has arrived. The towie driver has stripped down to his underwear and is about to wade in and attach a cable!’ Noel Kenwery, courtesy of Paul Kenwery