1. Like that it is in both English and American… now some one needs to translate it into Australian, speaking of odd foreign languages! And what in the hell am I supposed to do with this kangaroo once I tie him down, sport?

    • I could do it, I’m multilingual! We Aussies are raised as kids on a steady diet of US and UK TV programs, so have no trouble with the language(s). I remember well when I was in Viet Nam that Americans had trouble with my Aussie vernacular. I once landed on the top of Nui Ba Den in a US Army Huey, and there was a US radio relay station there. I was told that the guys there would pass the time listening in to the Australian radio traffic (from Phouc Tuy province down south), since they found the accents and vernacular highly entertaining. Was not sure if I should have been offended or not!

    • Excellent observation! Almost all parts of a kangaroo ( or nearly any other animal for that matter ) is delicious. You just have to understand the properties of each cut and prepare them accordingly. Kangaroo tail became a delicacy for the same reason alligator and crocodile tails did — they are all convenient and easy to prepare, which suits the restaurant industry and its profit margins vis-vis time and labor costs. As good as they are, there are many other cuts that are better, but which involve more work to prepare, eg., one of the best parts of an alligator ( or crocodile ) is actually the sirloin. The Japanese, Chinese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Indians, Malays and numerous other ethnic groups recognized a long, long time ago that all parts of an animal ( fish and fowl included ) are edible if prepared correctly, which is why you will find an incredibly wide diversity of national and regional dishes from all these groups covering relevant recipes. One such example is “Toro” or raw tuna belly, which is more prized than the regular flank cuts of tuna in sushi and sashimi cuisine. It is fattier ( in a good way, natural Omega-3 fatty acids and all that included ) and more tender, and almost literally melts in your mouth. The numerous ox-tail dishes from many different cultures are another mouth-watering example.

      • The oxtail is probably my favorite cut of beef (and I grew up in my dad’s slaughterhouse and custom processing plant, so there aren’t many cuts of critter I’m unfamiliar with.) Oxtails – because of the fat and marrow – are the base for a lot of your better Continental soups and stocks. And here is Houston there is a strong East Texas traditional-Southern cuisine, especially in the black neighborhoods, so there are oxtails on every steam table. We have a lot of Jamaican immigrants – all of whom open hole-in-the-wall restaurants – and oxtails are a staple in that culture as well. I’ve only had kangaroo once – tenderloin, I think – and the guy cooking it didn’t understand how lean/ dry the meat is so it was a tad overcooked. Of course Houston has a huge Asian population as well, resulting in some interesting food. A lot of the Viets lived in Louisiana for a few years before coming to Houston, which results in some fantastic chow. Probably the best alligator and crawfish I’ve eaten were in Vietnamese seafood places – Cajun seasoning with a Viet kicker, some serious spices!

        PV – When were you in Nam and which corps were you in? I knew there was a considerable Australian presence, but I’ve never talked to anyone who operated with the Aussies. A Marine friend of mine has some hilarious stories about spending a week with a ROKMC unit (for his money, Korean Marines circa 1969 were the toughest troops he ever saw.) I spent a few nights out on the town with some Australian submarine sailors who were taking some classes in Connecticut and that was some wild times. But if you got to the point where you could understand what they were saying, it was a sign that you had had enough beer.

        • Hi, Jim :

          Thanks for sharing your experiences with multi-ethnic cuisines. I grew up in Singapore and Malaysia, so I learned to appreciate a great diversity in cultures and foods from all over at a very young age. I have lived virtually all my adult life in Florida, and although I am in a largely rural county with very small towns, there is still a surprising amount of similar diversity in cuisine here. Plus, the multi-cultural influence of South Florida ( especially Miami ) is only a few hours’ drive away.

          It’s also great to read about PV’s experiences — looks as if he’s “knocked around” quite a bit!

        • Jim,

          To answer your questions, I was there from Feb to September ’71. I went there as a volunteer medic and joined a team of 7 others in and around Bien Hoa, based at the provincial hospital there. We were there to provide care to the locals, who had little access to decent medical/surgical services. We lived and worked in the open, with the local people. In his excellent book ‘A Bright Shining Lie’, Neil Sheehan described the provincial hospitals as ‘charnel houses’ – that about sums it up. Since this was a US area of operations, I spent quite a bit of time with US forces and in US aircraft, usually in the gunner’s seat of Hueys. I made a number of friends amongst these guys, and sadly lost 2 who had become close friends (one KIA, one MIA). They were great guys and I won’t forget them. And you are right about the ROKs – tough b*stards, in my experience!

          • And I almost forgot – the beer – our US buddies were very partial to our Australian beer, which at the time came in much larger cans than the US brands. But of course we did not tell them that, also, ours had twice the alcohol content, ie when they first tried it. But, being good blokes, we always helped them up off the floor!

  2. Another interesting fact about this manual is where it was produced.. Central Ordnance Depot Weedon. Now closed, it used to be one of the main depots for ordnance stores after Woolwich and the Tower of London. It lies east of Northampton on the junction of the main canal system linking the midlands with London and the south. Many of the technical and weapon spares manufactured in Birmingham and the midlands industrial towns would have been assembled there before being distributed to the Empire..

    If you search for “Weedon Bec” on Google maps, you can see some of the beautiful early victorian military storehouses by the canal basin.

    • Yes, thank you for providing the Google Earth map search term. I did a Google Street walkaround the area and viewed the solidly built warehouses–albeit from outside the gate–and the high brick armory walls. This was a very secure facility in its day. The canal basin is an interesting part, since it has been preserved. Many of them have been filled in. Walking on Harman’s Way, you can see what remains of the canal tunnel through the armory walls.

      Weedon looks to be a very middle England community. The Google view was taken in summer, so you can almost feel the heat and hear the birds. It looked like the MoD may still have some kind of interest in the property; there was a police car on the premises, which appeared to be undergoing some kind of roof renovation.

      Anyway, thanks for the reco; it was a nice online British diversion. –PB

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