Sunday, April 20, 2014

Quilty crafty Sunday

I am in the mood for sewing, cooking, sunshine and craft - so it's a good ting I've got five days off (then another long weekend after only two days back at work). I took myself off to Spotlight with the other million people who decided to do exactly the same thing on a Saturday and got some cute fabric.

I also got myself an 'spare' sewing machine - as my old 1970s Husqvarna needs a service real bad. So for $139, I got a basic Elna with a five-year warranty, which is pretty good I thought. It sews ok, I really just need it to sew plain stitch in a line, but the difference in quality is so obvious. It's just cheap looking and feeling and I don't like the way the bobbin spools. The Husqy is so much better.

If you're looking for a machine, a retro Elna or Husqvarna is the go - and they look cool!







Sunday, March 9, 2014

stamps, post a letter quick smart

So the price of posting a letter to yo mumma is going up - from 31 March the 60 cent stamp will make way for the new 70 cent postage stamp. So if you've been meaning to write someone a letter, post a card or just send a random item under 500g and no more than 20mm thick then it's your time to shine. 

Get posting people ... use up those 60 cent stamps and share some 'ohh mail' love. Everyone loves getting mail. Start your own 'Happy Mail'  project or just write to your nan.



Saturday, March 8, 2014

international women's day 2014

One woman is killed every week in Australia by a current or former partner - Australian Institute of Criminology. Read more about taking a stand against domestic violence here.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Why are we waiting ...

Slowly dehydrating. So, I bought a dehydrator. Not your $79 round Kenbrook model, I went all out, lentil-eater-mental and bought an Excalibur (they're over $300 eek). It's part of my 'take your lunch to work' ethos - and I'm trying to stick to it. 

I have been buying fruit leather to snack on, but it's so expensive, especially the stuff that's 100% fruit. The day my new gadget arrived I took myself off to the fruit barn and purchased a crap-load of cheap fruit to make into leather and also to dry. 

So far so good ... mango is my favourite, but peeling and slicing it is a bitch! I might try berries next as they shrivel up nice and sweet and chewy.


Apples and a strawberry and yoghurt leather...


the apples after drying and some banana...



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

pickle, pickle, pickle

I love pickles. I've done a pickled tour of the Trans Siberian - which entailed eating pickles and seeing pickled communist despots. So I was pleased when I recently tried my hand at making lacto-fermented vegetables.

I saw a post on Facebook from my arty-farty aunty (that's a compliment in my family, we're a very arty-farty lot) and I just knew those Fowler's jars I scored from the Tip Shop were worth the 50 cents each I paid for them. 

I took a little advice from here and then some from here - and then basically just sort of made it up along the way ... three days later I was snacking on carrot and daikon pickle as an accompaniment to homemade mutton dumplings. It's delicious, crisp and smells a little bit like fart when you open the jar. You need to try it.



Carrot and daikon lacto-fermented pickle ... 
  • 3 carrots 
  • one daikon
  • spices (whole) if you're that way inclined 
  • a tub of yoghurt (you only need a tbls of whey from the top)
  • salt (not iodised)
  • water
  • cider vinegar - can be omitted.
Peel and dice the carrots and daikon (you can get these at most fruit barns or markets) and add to a sterilised glass jar - fill the jar about 80%.

Add any spices you want - I used black mustard seeds and some slices of ginger.

Dissolve salt in water - I used 1 big tablespoon per No. 31 Fowler's jar - the water should be salty, not too salty you can't drink it without your eyeballs receding into your skull, but salty.

Use a tea towel or muslin cloth over a glass to collect the whey - just tip the top of the yoghurt tub into the cloth and it will drip through - it's clear and kind of goopy - add about 1 tbls to the salty water.

Fill the jar with your brine/whey mix (you can add a dash of vinegar if you like vinegary things) and seal with clingwrap and then pop on the lid and let sit in for two-three days. Keep them in the coolest part of your kitchen.

A few days later - crack the seal, smell that fermented farty goodness and chow down!    

My pickles ... and some more pickle porn from Pinterest here...


Peppered pickled carrots here ...


Dill pickles here ...


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Don’t give stupid this Christmas

The power of ‘give’. That’s what Myer is toting this festive season and it’s a nice line. Except that it is the kind of materialist ‘give’ that totally gets my festive goat this time of year. 


Why give just because it’s Christmas? Why give your in-laws a kitchen gadget they’ll use once and then throw out or put away never to make another air-popped snack again? When I saw the ‘power of give’ ads on TV my first thought was ‘fucking bollocks’ followed closely by ‘landfill’ and then ‘what could that money be better spent on?’

In the manic orgy that is last-minute Christ-idiot-mass preparations, I see people filling trolleys with food for feasts and a whole heap of crap they don’t need. But it’s Christmas so I must buy you gifts to prove my; 1. love for you 2. generousity of spirit.

This year, I’m bah humbugging it up a notch. Not only am I continuing on my tradition of losing my shit in Woolworths and muttering ‘I hate Christmas, I hate everyone in this store right now’ but I’m going to giftwrap nothing – nada- zip.

By nothing I mean no gizmos, no hotdog makers, no chintzy jewellery, no delightfully fizzy bath bombs, no naa-zing.

I will however take Myer up on their ‘power of give’ by buying nothing from their store and spending my money on the actual power of give. Sorry Bernie I know you’re already worried about all those people with disabilities taking your money!
Through Oxfam you can give a family in need a goat or a duck ... 
who wouldn't want a duck for Xmas, seriously!

In 2013 I donated to ovarian cancer through Frocktober, cervical cancer through the UQ Diamantina Institute, this guy who got dealt a shitty hand, the Asthma Foundation and probably some others I can’t remember. You donated too (you’re awesome) - a $2 raffle ticket a pin for legacy and so on and so forth. In 2012 we (Australians) were the best givers – boo yah! But we’re down to 7th place now, but don’t be sad that’s still pretty good. 

I’m no Chuck Feeney, I don’t have millions to give away (what an awesome guy, seriously) but my $10 here and $5 there adds up and can make a difference. Giving actually makes you feel good, that’s Christmasy - happy faces.

I mostly donate to research, as clever people who work their arse off to help people who have shitty, shitty things like cancer inspire me. A few science boffins who I’m crushing on right now include Ian Frazer and Goli Samimi. Ian is the guy who helped engineer Gardasil, the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer and Goli is working on the world's first early detection test for ovarian cancer.

I also like these guys over at Thank You, they have pretty tasty muesli bars that are good for people like me who go all weird and fainty if I don’t have enough breakfast and someone in need gets breakfast too.

Who inspires you and how would your donation help more than a yonana? Seriously, I so nearly bought this yesterday.

Scientists are amazing - they help cure cancer and breed unicorns in captivity.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Shady Palms Cafe

Yum! We are two of Brisbane's fussiest breakfast gourmands going and so many cafes we've been to latley have just missed the mark - not this one. After a 18km ride on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (we went in the AMs but it was stil so hot) we were pretty hungry - eat the arse out of a low flying duck kind of hungry. For some reason the Shady Palms Cafe popped into my mind so I Googled it and we stopped in on the way home. 

We were after lunch, but it was only 11am so the breakfast menu was still on order - fear not hungry brunchers - the Shady Palms has your needs covered - in chimichurri sauce. We ordered the  pulled pork soft tacos with chimmichurri and the arepas. It was seriously good, it was delicious, I will go there again, you need to go there. Unfortunately today a very dead possum was festering away in the 30 degree heat nearby and wafts of putrefying mammal came in and out with the breeze - but even this didn't put me off.

I didn't have a camera and felt like too much of an arse-hat to instagram my brunch so I have borrowed some other clever peeps' pics for this post - link to the original source from the image.


The tacos ... oh yum!
Love this table from recycled timber - we are so making one too (The Street Photographer)
Shady Palms ... thanks Miss Foodie
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