california omelete. a road recipe.
Henry married Alice and of their five children only Russell moved out of their small tenement in Redfern by choice after he gave away the Belushi* and married Helen before she bullied him into moving to Newcastle in 1961 because the steel mills were hiring at the time but when BHP finally gave it all up as a dead provincial loss all they had enough money for was to move up the coast to Hawks Nest and there it all but ended for them in a small caravan on a block of land just behind the low dunes at Winda Woppa.
Trouble was they had baby triplets at the time and every one of the red-faced noisy little demons was a boy and there was no doubting Russell’s despairing commitment to his family as he took aboard the frustration as the acting assistant casual groundsman and bandicoot controller at the local golf club for $5.50 an hour plus overtime where all the members pretended to be worth more than double of what they owed no matter that they all drank discounted schooners and watched NRL and ate the worst food in the world courtesy of the local caterers most of whom graduated from the poisoned hot oil dens of inner Sydney.
When the boys grew their bones and started surfing the local break just a little up the road mum worried about their stamina and skinny frames and would only let them go after breakfast which was always six eggs cracked and softly mixed into a frypan over four chopped up rashers of bacon and covered in grated cheese salt and chili pepper and placed in the grill to bake the top golden before the eggs were hard then served up on toast with a little chopped chives from her garden.
These days the boys are all professional fishermen and if you ever take the time to buy a few dozen oysters at the Nelson Bay co-op and find a sunny spot on a pontoon just beside the Police wharf on a Friday afternoon you might bump into a few of them as they set off for a night’s entertainment over the water at the Tea Gardens pub in one of their big-engined beat up old tinnies.
They don’t have a lot of time for tourists up there being a taciturn bunch of old hard heads but sometimes an oyster shared can lead to this and that and after twenty minutes a stranger in town might learn of wild places nearby that break in long fast lines under certain conditions only as long as he keeps it under his hat.