Above are people having a go at panning for gold in the diggings that represent the time when there were just tents and bark huts. It is best to go here first to get a sense of how it was in the early days of the gold rush. As with other part of the settlement, we were able to talk to actors who play the parts of people from the era to add to the authentic feel of the place.
E was really there for the rare chance (in Australia) to see a Mummers play. We sat in the foyer of the Victoria Theatre with a woman in a crinoline dress and talked to her about her costume. She reassured us it wasn't as warm as it looked. I had been in the theatre before but not to see plays. Winter really does send us hurrying indoors as much as possible.
We returned later for the pantomime, Beauty and the Beast. This was also hilarious. Not only did the actors play the pantomime characters but they also played characters that were actors in Sovereign Hill putting on a play. I loved the quirkiness of two of these 'actors' deciding they wanted to be a pirate and a witch, with no relevance to the story.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Celery and blue cheese soup and Open House Melbourne
Two years ago: Apple Spice Cake
Three years ago: Christmas in July Cupcakes
Four years ago: Balancing Soup and Scones
Five years ago: Paella with thanks
Six years ago: Lasagne and the Boy Wizard
Spiced Chocolate Shortbread
Slightly adapted from It Pleases Us
225g plain flour
170g caster sugar
1 to 2 tbsp mixed spice (or check out It Pleases Us festive spice)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 pinches of salt
210g butter or margarine (I used Nuttalex margarine).
Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, spice, bicarb and salt in a large mixing bowl. Rub into butter or margarine until it comes together into a ball of dough. Knead lightly for a minute or so until smooth. (Alternatively this can be done in the food processor.)
Flatten dough into one large or two smaller discs. Cover in clingfilm and chill in fridge for 1 hour. Before taking dough out of fridge preheat oven to 180 C. Then roll out dough to about 0.5 cm on a floured surface or if you prefer a cocoa and flour mixture so that white flour does not show on the finished biscuits. (I can't remember where I picked up the tip to use cocoa instead of flour for the colour but I used half and half.) Cut into desired shapes and place on lined baking tray - they don't spread much so just a centimetre or two needed between them.
Bake until the cookies change from shiny to dry. I baked mine at 180 C for 10 minutes on the hot side of my slow oven. (It Pleases Us baked theirs for 10-15 minutes at 175 C.) Mine were very soft and I wondered if they needed a bit longer. Their texture changes to more shortbread-like after a day or so.
On the Stereo
Fin de Siecle: Divine Comedy