Lands of Red and Gold, Act II


I really enjoyed this short, introductory youtube video on pre-contact Aboriginal land management techniques. I thought it might be of interest to some of the readers of this fantastic TL.
 
Having reread the entire timeline (some parts several times over) over the last few weeks, I am reminded of a quote from some years back that I'm hoping we'll see the context to in the next sequence of posts:

Gurragang said:
“Now at last we can reveal ourselves to the Raw Men.”
- Gurragang son of Lopitja (grandson of Wemba of the Whites)
I remember reading this years ago and thinking how interesting it will be to see Wemba & Co's plan come to fruition - well, to whatever extent it does. One of the most compelling parts of LoRaG for me has been the Tjibarri response to the European imperialists. I won't bother guessing the broader context of the quote, beyond suspecting that it is part of the 9 years war, but after the Hunter incident seeing some more Gunnagal trickiness will be entertaining.
 
For the reader contest, since I've received very few entries so far, I'm extending the timeframe for one more week only. I'll choose a winner from amongst the entries I've received by then.
 
First off, entries for the contest have closed. I'll announce the winner after I've discussed it with them via PM (no PMs have gone out yet.)

I really enjoyed this short, introductory youtube video on pre-contact Aboriginal land management techniques. I thought it might be of interest to some of the readers of this fantastic TL.
Useful video; thanks for sharing. It does help to visualise how things worked.

I'm watching Pascoe's farming endeavours with interest, most prominently because I'm hoping to taste some of the output at some point.

I remember reading this years ago and thinking how interesting it will be to see Wemba & Co's plan come to fruition - well, to whatever extent it does. One of the most compelling parts of LoRaG for me has been the Tjibarri response to the European imperialists. I won't bother guessing the broader context of the quote, beyond suspecting that it is part of the 9 years war, but after the Hunter incident seeing some more Gunnagal trickiness will be entertaining.
I can say that the effects of that plan will play out in the sequences between now and the Nine Years' War. How many of those sequences will be here I'm still undecided on, as I've been spending most of my writing time lately polishing Book 2 (nearly done, just got to write about 3 additional chapters and then edit and polish the whole thing).

I can say that Book 2 is essentially the leadup to and then conduct of the Proxy Wars. This is approximately chapters #48-#84 of the original timeline, but some things have been moved around (forward and back). And, of course, it has various bits of new material added. The biggest part of the new material is there's now a storyline regarding a military leader who appeared briefly in the original timeline and had a slightly expanded appearance in Book 1, but now has a series of scenes showing a new (outsider's) perspective on Tjibarr, the Gutjanal front during Prince Rupert's War, and then a new front in the Proxy Wars showing what happens in the *Bega Valley on the eastern seaboard. There's also some new background material about the peoples who live in the *Bega Valley, a flash-forward to Solidarity Jenkins in the nineteenth century, and various other little additions.

Once Book 2's done, I'll look at moving the timeline forward here with the next sequence of chapters.
 
Well, I did it. After god knows how many weeks (Well over a month or two that's for sure) I have finally managed to finish off all of LoRaG up until this point.

All I can say is wow. This is genuinely the best alternate timeline I have ever read in terms of premise, research, writing and yet more fields besides. That it has been going on for over a decade only makes it the moreso. I look forward to seeing where it goes in the future!
 
@Jared I’ve finally bought some Sweet Peppers, the Tasmanian variety, and planted them in the garden. Why did you call them sweet peppers?! They’re very strong, and I can see why they displaced Black Pepper ITTL. I’ve got three female and one male so hopefully will get berries in a year, and otherwise will leave them alone so that they can grow. Any dishes in particular you would recommend with them?
 
Well, I did it. After god knows how many weeks (Well over a month or two that's for sure) I have finally managed to finish off all of LoRaG up until this point.

All I can say is wow. This is genuinely the best alternate timeline I have ever read in terms of premise, research, writing and yet more fields besides. That it has been going on for over a decade only makes it the moreso. I look forward to seeing where it goes in the future!
Gracias. Glad you liked it. There is of course more coming, although schedules are hard to predict these days. I can say that my plan remains to wait for sequences of linked posts and then publish in a batch, rather than having solo posts (except for specials and interlude posts and the like).

@Jared I’ve finally bought some Sweet Peppers, the Tasmanian variety, and planted them in the garden. Why did you call them sweet peppers?! They’re very strong, and I can see why they displaced Black Pepper ITTL. I’ve got three female and one male so hopefully will get berries in a year, and otherwise will leave them alone so that they can grow. Any dishes in particular you would recommend with them?
I call them sweet peppers because the first ones I tried (also the Tasmanian variety) had an initial sweet taste and then the tingling and more complex flavours follow. That's still generally the way I experience them, although some varieties are less sweet than others. I've seen similar descriptions from others who've tried them. It may depend on the variety (Tasmanian mountain pepper is quite a variable species in its characteristics, depending on the region it's from) or on how sensitive different people are to sweet tastes.

Dorrigo peppers don't have the same sweet aspect, at least not to me, but I figured that they would still attract the name since they are clearly related and Europeans would by then be more familiar with the Tasmanian peppers which they had seen first.

I use them in all sorts of dishes. Often I just grind them onto dishes in the same way where I'd otherwise use cracked black pepper, although that depends on how much culinary heat people can take (I've seem some sources say never to do that since it's too hot, and I was just going eh, what?" I particularly like it cracked onto any kinda of pasta dish or omelettes.

Otherwise, it goes well in any kind of soup or stew or related. Best added near the end as too much cooking on high heat destroys most of the flavour. I add it to curries fairly often too, particularly any curries with paneer or dals.
 
I call them sweet peppers because the first ones I tried (also the Tasmanian variety) had an initial sweet taste and then the tingling and more complex flavours follow. That's still generally the way I experience them, although some varieties are less sweet than others. I've seen similar descriptions from others who've tried them. It may depend on the variety (Tasmanian mountain pepper is quite a variable species in its characteristics, depending on the region it's from) or on how sensitive different people are to sweet tastes.

Dorrigo peppers don't have the same sweet aspect, at least not to me, but I figured that they would still attract the name since they are clearly related and Europeans would by then be more familiar with the Tasmanian peppers which they had seen first.

I use them in all sorts of dishes. Often I just grind them onto dishes in the same way where I'd otherwise use cracked black pepper, although that depends on how much culinary heat people can take (I've seem some sources say never to do that since it's too hot, and I was just going eh, what?" I particularly like it cracked onto any kinda of pasta dish or omelettes.

Otherwise, it goes well in any kind of soup or stew or related. Best added near the end as too much cooking on high heat destroys most of the flavour. I add it to curries fairly often too, particularly any curries with paneer or dals.
I tried a leaf from two different bushes and was very surprised at the different intensity. One was not particularly hot, and could be eaten as a snack, the other was equivalent to eating a reasonably hot chilli. I didn't really note sweetness in either, but I was more interested in how hot they actually were and did not want to take too many leaves off the small bushes, and won't have any berries for about a year I think. Do you grow yours?

The first thing that came to mind in terms of using leaves in cooking as in a casserole, similar to Bay leaves but with a very different flavour. Otherwise just adding them in where heat is necessary. I'm hoping to eventually be able to use them in conjunction with some other native food - I have a small amount of Murnong growing, but they're so low yield that I don't want to use them too often. I might look into a few other plants, and perhaps get some kangaroo meat as well. I planted a single kangaroo apple plant as well, which I've never tried, hopefully it will do alright.
 
I tried a leaf from two different bushes and was very surprised at the different intensity. One was not particularly hot, and could be eaten as a snack, the other was equivalent to eating a reasonably hot chilli. I didn't really note sweetness in either, but I was more interested in how hot they actually were and did not want to take too many leaves off the small bushes, and won't have any berries for about a year I think. Do you grow yours?
The sweetness is more from the berries than the leaves, which probably explains it. I don't really use the leaves that much, since I don't grow my own (very limited growing space) but just buy the finished product. I prefer to buy the berries since they keep for longer in whole dried form, and are easy to grind as needed.

The first thing that came to mind in terms of using leaves in cooking as in a casserole, similar to Bay leaves but with a very different flavour. Otherwise just adding them in where heat is necessary. I'm hoping to eventually be able to use them in conjunction with some other native food - I have a small amount of Murnong growing, but they're so low yield that I don't want to use them too often. I might look into a few other plants, and perhaps get some kangaroo meat as well. I planted a single kangaroo apple plant as well, which I've never tried, hopefully it will do alright.
They could probably be used in a casserole, but note that a lot of the heat and flavour will be lost that way, so adjust the amount of leaves used as needed.

In terms of combining flavours, they go very well with lemon myrtle.
 
Does the flavour/spice get leeched out in cooking?
Not exactly. Prolonged heat breaks down some of the compounds which give the flavour. Baking or frying are worse for that since they usually reach higher heat, but it applies to any prolonged cooking. I usually add them 4-5 minutes before the end with soups and curries.
 
Not exactly. Prolonged heat breaks down some of the compounds which give the flavour. Baking or frying are worse for that since they usually reach higher heat, but it applies to any prolonged cooking. I usually add them 4-5 minutes before the end with soups and curries.
Ah, that is interesting. I will keep that in mind, although it will be a while before I can actually use them for cooking. Hopefully the soils of the Mornington Peninsula are friendly enough to them, it has been a very wet year here.
 
What's the best way to get to the Mornington Peninsula?
Smart-arse answer: wait until the COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria finishes.

More seriously, it's south-east of Melbourne, and some of its towns are sometimes considered outer suburbs of Melbourne, so just get to Melbourne CBD and then head out as fast as possible. It's only a couple of hours drive from Melbourne CBD if you're outside of peak traffic times. And if you're in peak traffic times, the quickest way is to borrow Bronwyn Bishop's helicopter:

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What's the best way to get to the Mornington Peninsula?
It depends on where you're coming from. If you're driving to Vic from the north in the most efficient way, skirting the city using the ring road is easiest - if you're coming from the east you dodge the city entirely. If you're coming from the west there's a ferry between Queenscliff and Sorrento which takes cars. If you're flying, then you can still dodge the CBD. The tollways make it a very easy trip if you want to spend the dollars. There are some public transport options, but on the peninsula itself it's pretty sparse in that regard. Alternatively, boats will do the trick.
 
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