Galley Gourmetwith Captain Chaos 

Chaos gets cocky

The Easter Show in Sydney takes me away from boats and the sea and reminds me of days when the sideshows were a place where people tried to kill themselves. For example the motorbike riders in the wall of death, as well as the young and not so young trying their luck in the boxing tent against travelling fighters that were hard to beat. It was times like this when your mates set you up by yelling to the spruiker out the front of the boxing tent that you were unbeatable and would take on the meanest and toughest of the fighters.

I remember a time at Cloncurry Rodeo when after the steer riding event and being able to stay on I got a bit too sure of myself.

A mob of us stockmen were having a couple of beers while sitting down on the banks of the river it was early afternoon. I was just sitting up against a stump when a boy came down riding bareback on a small black mare.

“G’day mate that looks like a quiet pony for a young bloke to ride,” I said as he rode past.

“Bet you can’t ride her!”

“What! I ride horses for a living. I’m a stockman,” I replied heatedly, feeling a little putdown.

“Well I’ll bet you can’t ride this one … I’ll bet you five quid.”

I jumped to my feet and pulled out a fiver. “You’re on!”

“Not here! Come up to the end tent later this arvo. I’ll let the bloke at the door know you’re coming,” the young bloke said. Leaning down he grabbed the fiver out of my hand and rode off.

I turned to the mob who were watching, and laughingly said, “That’ll be the easiest fiver I’ve ever earned.”

I couldn’t understand why they were all falling around laughing at me.

“That boy is sent down so one of us will fall for his spiel. That mare is known throughout Queensland as Black Satin.

It was late afternoon when I made my way down to sideshow alley. I was trying to think of some way to get out of this ride. Suddenly I was in front of a large tent with a spruiker yelling.

“Come on youse blokes. You reckon you can ride?” he yelled. “I’ll pay anyone one hundred pounds if they can stay on for five seconds.”

With the crowd out the front I thought I might slip away when out of nowhere a voice called "There he is! The bloke who said he could ride her.”

The young fella was pointing at me. With that the mob started to all yell about how good I was and that I could ride anything. I got led into the tent where in the middle was a round yard made of gal piping. The sides were about eight foot high. On one side was a chute, the seats around this yard started to fill up while the young bloke led the small black mare down into the chute. I checked out the mare and thought I might have a chance because she looked so quiet and docile. With everyone yelling, I climbed up to the chute.

“You can take off your spurs, you won’t need them!”

I lowered myself onto her back and took the halter rope in my right hand. The mare just stood placidly. The spruiker was gathering side bets. The mare was getting the most and he was having trouble getting any on me. Then he climbed up and asked if I was ready. Unable to talk, I just nodded.


The gate flew open and the mare turned into something possessed. She swung out climbing for the tent roof then with a mighty buck that nearly had her hitting the far side, she disappeared backwards leaving me in midair heading over the top rail. It wouldn’t have been so bad if my foot hadn’t caught the top rail. I was left hanging looking through the fence straight into the face of the black mare. I’m sure she was laughing at me.

“Come on Chaos stop hanging around! Let’s go and get a steak. You must have been on her back for all of a second!”


Fillet steak with Bacon


4 pieces of fillet about 5cm thick
4 bacon rashers
olive oil
salt and ground black pepper


Wrap a piece of bacon around each fillet, secure with a tooth pick. Preheat grill, brush each fillet with oil. Grill for about 3 minutes each side or a little more if you want the meat medium. Serve with new potatoes, mushrooms or a salad. Garnish with parsley.