Red Umbrella Day

J.F. Archibald used to say that what Australia needed most was a Minister for Red Umbrellas - meaning someone representative of the gaiety and colour of national life

Red Umbrella Day Activities

When twilight comes and night finally descends, mark Red Umbrella day by doing something that is a little outrageous.

I daresay you will not be tempted by the Red Umbrella day menu at the Soul Food Cafe but we could throw some sausages on the barbie and sit in the candlelit cafe with some cold tinnies. (cans of Foster's Beer) and listen to one of Anita Marie Moscosso's ghostly yarns. This might just get you into the mood to write your own ghost story.

Ghost Stories

Eventide at the Soul Food Cafe
by Anita Marie Moscosso.

Write a Ghost Story.

I drove rapidly. A desire filled me and pulled me towards Italy, towards that small village, towards the proof of the legend that was for me a living truth. It was more than a desire, because I felt vaguely that a force outside myself was pulling me there.......

Continue the story weaving in the fact that the narrator is going to an old, abandoned house to learn the truth of the family named Montresor.

For Inspiration Visit

This is where the guys who wrote the X-Files went for their story lines

Tales from the Gaslight Era...tales of the strange, of the mysterious and the supernatural. Great but not light reading.

A research must: the Library of Congress.

I'm not into the world of goth, but this site is great for those of us who have herb gardens. The strange and the wonderful. I've used some of these ideas and they are pretty darn great

Compliments of Anita Marie Moscosso

Red Umbrella Day Menu

Santa Joseph's Xmas Roast and Mixed Grill


1 reindeer, appx. 125-175 lbs., skinned, dressed and head mounted if you so desire.
6-9 Christmas elves cleaned and finely diced,
appx. 8 lbs. useable weight.
8 lbs. frozen celery, finely chopped.
8 lbs. frozen onions, finely chopped.
8 lbs. frozen carrots, finely diced.
1 gallon vodka (to numb the elves before you peel them and dice them).
32 lbs. dry pine needles.
3 gallons reindeer stock.
de-icing salt and Spruce pepperberries, to taste.
Fresh toadstools, 1-6 lbs. as you desire.
3-4 gallons of cold pressed
Elf oil for basting the roasting reindeer.


Saute the onions, carrots, and celery in a large pan, using some cold pressed Elf oil, until tender. Brown the diced elves in the same pan until lightly browned. Mix the vegetables, elves, pine needles, and the reindeer stock, season to taste with pepper, salt and toadstools. Stuff the dressing in the reindeer, then sew the deer shut. As for roasting the whole reindeer; it is usually difficult to find an oven large enough to do the job, so you will have to be creative. My personal favorite is to prop the reindeer up on a neighbor kid's wagon. Then roll the whole shebang into your favourite irritating neighbour's garage and set fire to the garage. If you can keep the local fire department at bay for 3-4 hours the reindeer will be perfectly done. This recipe will serve 175-225 hearty alternatively inclined diners.

P.S. Never hunt elves in the same area each year. They have long memories and they won't fall for the vodka trick two years in a row.
from the kitchen of Anita Glenn

Delicious Aussie Side Dish

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it.

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.

Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

courtesy of Sylvia Kleindinst's amazing network.