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The DressmakerWhen my sisters and I were little, sometimes my parents let us stay up late to watch an old black and white classic. Other times they took us to the drive-in. There we piled into the back seat in our pajamas with pillows and blankets, watching a double feature.

The three of us love to get sit back, get comfy and lose ourselves in a good flick. All kinds. So, when we had lunch together recently, one of my sisters recommended one she’d recently seen. She said it was great and loaned us her copy. She was right.

The Dressmaker is a 2015 Australian film written and directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, based on the novel of the same name, written by Rosalie Hamm. Kate Winslet plays a dressmaker, Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage, who returns to a small Australian town to take care of her mother. It’s a story of revenge and reckoning. Moorhouse has described the movie as “Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven with a sewing machine.

After being accused of being responsible for the death of classmate Stewart Pettybone, Myrtle Dunnage is sent away from her hometown of Dungatar. Twenty-five years later, she returns to take care of her mother and ends up unraveling the mystery of Stewart’s death.

The whole town is buzzing about Tilly, especially handsome Teddy McSwiney. It only gets worse when she fashions a beautiful dress for one of the local girls who successfully uses it to catch a young man’s attention. Soon, every woman in town is wearing a “Tilly original”.

The film was filled with funny as well as touching scenes. Judy Davis played her mother, and she was a wonderful character. Liam Hemsworth was good as well. And when Tilly ends up getting her revenge, you’ll want to applaud.

Thanks for the heads up Jo Beth. This was a good one!

Lamingtons – In the movie, Tilly’s mother made Marijuana Brownies, which were a hit. However, this is an authentic Australian recipe I thought looked interesting.

australian foodPrepare time: 30 min

Cook: 60 min

Serves: 6


  •   Butter – 1 cup + 4 tbsps (unsalted and softened)
  •   Sugar – 1 3/4 cups
  •   Vanilla – 2 tsps
  •   Eggs – 4
  •   2 1/2 cups flour
  •   Baking powder – 2 tsps
  •   Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
  •   Milk – 2/3 cup
  •   Buttermilk – 1/3 cup
  •   Salt – 1/2 tsp
  •   Coconut – 2 cups, for coating
  •   For Chocolate Sauce/Icing:
  •   Butter – 2 tbsps, unsalted and softened
  •   Milk – 1/2 cup
  •   Sugar – 2 cups, powdered
  •   1/3 cup, unsweetened cocoa powder
  •   Hot water – 2 1/2 to 3 tbspsPreheat oven to 350° Grease and line two 8″ cake pans with baking/parchment paper. In a bowl, cream butter, castor sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour, a few tbsps at a time. Use a wooden spoon to combine. Next add a little milk and stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk, ending with the flour. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool down to room temperature and store in fridge. Next day, prepare the lamingtons. Stir the mixture until smooth and a bit thick. It should not be a thick liquid as the cake will not absorb the chocolate coating. Once the excess sauce is drained which takes about 2-3 minutes, place each chocolate coated cube on a plate of dried coconut. Lamingtons can be stored in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
  • Sprinkle dried coconut all over the chocolate coated cake and allow to set for a couple of minutes and serve.
  • Once the cake is firm on touch and not crumbly, cut into small 2 inch square pieces. Cut each square in half, sandwich with jam or chocolate sauce. Use a fork or wooden skewer and dip each sandwiched cake squares in the chocolate sauce and coat well on all sides. Place on a cooling rack and allow excess sauce to drain by placing a parchment paper below the rack.
  • Prepare the chocolate icing. Place the icing sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk in a stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  • Divide the cake batter equally into the two greased and lined pans. Bake for 55 mts to an hour or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to combine. Add the buttermilk and beat for 10 seconds.
  • Sieve all purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. Add salt and whisk together. Keep aside.
  • Method for making Lamingtons

australian food