Monday, 12 October 2020
I gave up on trying to find anything that I personally wanted to make in that stupid Delicious magazine, but today I found a reasonably normal looking non-vegetarian recipe and immediately assigned it to Jon to make for him and Jett.
Of course the necessary ingredients weren't all in the house so I did have to go to the shops and buy a few things including sunflower kernels and carrots. Not just any old carrots of course, but Dutch Carrots. And of course, being bilingual, they cost 10 times per kilo as much as regular carrots.
I reckon Jon did a pretty good job. I tasted the carrots before the chicken landed on them and their little dutch selves were totally delicious. I'm so glad that we will be moving on (the same can not be said for the magazine which will be moving out very shortly - it's just lucky we don't have household incinerators anymore).
Friday, 9 October 2020
Back at home I've been busy working, studying, and watching Alone on SBS (a wilderness survival reality show). I worked a few times from the studio in town this week which meant I was able to go for a hike on my way back to the car. The recent rain has made the nearby waterfalls particularly pretty:
In the meantime Pinto has been busy snoozing on every lap that will have her:
Even when I make her wear a beanie:
We have stalled a little on the recipe book challenge. I blame the one we are up to - a Delicious magazine with next to no vegetarian dishes and recipes with unheard of/unavailable ingredients. As an example, one of the desserts (caramel custards with grilled banana) requires crushed yellow rock sugar, palm sugar, a piece of fresh tumeric, a pandanus leaf and 6 duck eggs. I kid you not. I might just have to make something from one of the advertisements.
Many of the orienteers who came up for the week also took their mountain bikes as St Helens is now a fantastic place to ride. So we went riding nearly every day and it was great. There are heaps of trails now, including a huge one which opened the day we arrived.
It was particularly great getting Jett out on his bike as he doesn't get out much, but it was also nice getting out for a ride with orienteering friends which we don't get much chance to do at home.
Meisha and I got ourselves dropped off at Loila Tier so that we could do the long and fun journey back to the trail head. This is a photo from right before my well captured stack..
This is my stack:
And this is where my bike ended up afterwards.
A few people have asked why Meisha was filming me, given she (presumably) didn't know what was going to happen. It's not really possible to see from the footage but I was attempting to get over a tricky (for me) section of track. I'd already stopped and walked over it before deciding to give it a go on my bike. So while I took myself back up the track to get a run-up, Meisha got in position to take photos of me victoriously overcoming the obstacles. Unfortunately the spot where I got on the bike didn't give me enough lead-up momentum to clear the last ledge bit in the track, but fortunately Meisha had decided to film the event rather than take photos!
And amazingly, apart from some grazes and broken sunglasses, I was pretty much fine. Which is more than Jon can say after a much less spectacular fall on the Bay of Fires track that we rode a few days later! He was so concerned about his deepish graze that he visited the fancy new St Helens hospital to make sure it didn't need stitches. In fact a lot of orienteers visited the hospital that week as a result of various misadventures, the most mundane of which was someone cutting their thumb very deeply from opening the curtains in their accomodation and hitting the rough corner of a brick on their follow through!
It was really lovely riding with Jett (and a shame that Zali isn't interested in riding - although to be fair her last new bike was when she was about 12).
We rode down from the Loila Tier a few times together and he also rode with his friends. Jett, Jon and I did the Bay of Fires track with Meisha's family, ending up at Swim Cart beach where we had to wait a while for our personal shuttle busses to arrive.
It was blowing a gale that day so it wasn't pleasant to wait on the beach unless you wanted to have a few layers of skin sandblasted off!
Unfortunately by the next day the wind had picked even more so the orienteering was cancelled and bush fire alerts were in place for a burn-off that hadn't been put out properly earlier in the week. After sitting at home smelling the smoke for much of the day we eventually went for a walk at Binalong Bay which was nice. The next day we were able to run at the last event of the week before driving home.
All up it was a great week. We had such a fun time hanging out and doing things with all our orienteering friends. We are very lucky to live here and have a great orienteering community where everyone is pretty much up for any adventure.
Last week was supposed to be the Australian Orienteering Championships in and around St Helens. Both Jon and I would have been busy with our volunteer roles and the kids would have been immersed in the Australian Schools Champs which are a portion of the event.
Of course that's all been cancelled, but we still had accommodation booked (funnily enough I booked it for our interstate friends who couldn't make it into our Tasmanian fortress), and there were some alternative orienteering events and activities on offer, so we went up to St Helens for the week anyway. I did a few hours of actual work each day but generally we were just on holidays.
The cool thing about St Helens is that there's so much else to do, and so many beautiful places.
We did a few hikes with the kids and some of their friends:
Beer Barrel Beach at St Helens Point
And I did a few jog/hikes on my own and with some of my friends:
and because we were amongst the lucky few to score travel vouchers, we visited the newish Serpentarium which was filled with snakes. The kids had a chance to hold 'Cuddles'.
During the week we also had some orienteering training sessions which were fun. Two of them were based at this weird shell-dump landscape that the boys enjoyed exploring.
The kids also spent time building jumps at Peron Dunes, but because I only picked them up I didn't get any photos but it is here. We hadn't been there before
So it was pretty nice.
In fact it was lovely. And that was just part of it.
Saturday, 26 September 2020
And in much more delicious looking food, here's a batch of loaves I made last week.
So there's stuff in the newspaper (again) about McDonalds complaining that Hungry Jacks are illegally calling their new burger the Big Jack. McDonalds are specifically saying that it's misleading, and confusing for consumers.
Every articles is illustrated with the same side-by-side comparison of the two burgers. And the thing that I notice is that neither of those burgers looks like what you actually buy in store. So in reality, they both mislead consumers in a much bigger way. How is it possibly ok?
So I thought I'd do my own side-by-side comparison. While Jett was subbed off at a Glenorchy soccer game I went to McDonalds, then to Hungry Jacks, and spent $15 on the two burgers. Back at the soccer ground I photographed them in the car seat.. This is the result.
Exactly. I posted the comparison on facebook. Of course the joke was on me (the vegetarian) because I had to suffer the overwhelming smell of those two burgers in the car for the rest of the soccer game. And you can imagine Jett's surprise when he jumped in the car at the end of the game and I offered him not one, but TWO fast food burgers. He took a couple of bites of both, then we threw them into the back of the car.
Tuesday, 8 September 2020
It feels like we're stuck in the middle section of the book shelf at the moment with a long way to go. This week's book was another one more suitable to warmer climates - I think we got it when we were in Sydney after a hot weekend at Hardy's Bay. It's mostly filled with salads, cold meals and hardly any vegetarian dishes. It was a bit behind its time really!
So it took me ages to find something that looked do-able, and when I found something, I couldn't find the corresponding recipe to the picture so I just had to muddle through. I think I did pretty well though. Here's the picture:
And here's the final result when I served it up.. to tell they truth they both look a little ungrateful.
So, feeling the effects of their icy stares (see what I did there), I had another scour through the book. I settled on this:
and while I had a uni lecture, Jon turned this:
and it was pretty delicious. The only problem was that it had raw garlic in the salsa verde - it tasted good at the time, but when I happened to wake up at 4am the taste of garlic in my mouth was so strong it was hard to go back to sleep! So my conclusion is that this book is a bit of a waste of space. I'd be more likely to keep it if it had more than about 4 vegetarian options but it doesn't, so it's going onto the 'out' pile.
Every year at her annual checkup, Pinto's vet tells us that she's put on a few hundred grams since her last visit, so after last time we (Jon) finally got stricter with her food, in particular reducing her supper rations from a full scoop to a half scoop.
In addition to dieting, we've tried to rouse her from her day-long snoozes and send her outside for some exercise when the weather is ok. And she doesn't seem to mind being kicked out when we do that.
This is clearly why..
She's found a nice soft cat nest (with a view) outside the back door and she's simply taken up outdoor snoozing and looking at us like we were morons who should have known this would happen from the start. Hmmph.
Wednesday, 2 September 2020
I know I've mentioned this before but Women's Weekly recipe books set a new standard for recipe books back in the late 80s and early 90s. Every recipe had a photo and each book or magazine-style edition was jam packed FULL of recipes. This classic edition has 15 different fruit cakes, and 7 different carrot cakes (none of which I am ever going to make). And that's just from one small section.
My copy is very stained and worn and so I've definitely got my money's worth since I bought it in 1989 (I know this date for sure as I copied out some recipes to take with me to Norway in 1990).
Finding something new was a small challenge especially as I wanted it to work for Family Dinner dessert as well - eventually I settled on 'Lucious Lemon Coconut Meringue Slice'. I love coconut and lemony flavours so this turned out to be perfect tasting and really easy to serve.
Another Women's Weekly success!
Despite my lack of posts we have still been working through the recipe challenge. In fact, a few weeks ago we were up to this book:
I'd been looking forward to this one for a while - the main challenge was finding something that I hadn't made before (that also didn't have joke ingredients like prunes or raisons). I settled on the mocha roulade. And I think I did a pretty good job:
It was suitably delicious and well received. If I'd had time and a pastry brush I'm sure I could have made it look even more like the picture. Actually I should also mention that once we got up to this book (which I have vague recollections of getting from the Royal Easter Show in Sydney one year), Zali instantly made some brownies from it. Which were good, but we didn't get any photos, so it couldn't count.
Tuesday, 1 September 2020
What a cutie!
Jett requested a birthday cake that was caramel or honeycomb or orange and Zali and I spent ages creating this caramel cake with italian meringue icing. In hindsight we should have spent our time doing absolutely ANYTHING else. Despite the flashy appearance, the cake was beyond underwhelming and was approaching inedible. Jett was good humoured about it but we ended up tossing most of our own slices, and the entire remains of the cake, into the bin.
Wednesday, 19 August 2020
I've been continuing to walk the long way back to the car when I finish my one day at work in the studio.
Last week I went the particularly long way home and jog-hiked all the way up to Ferntree before returning to the car in South Hobart - well and truly finishing in the dark.
It constantly amazes me how beautiful the tracks are so close to town.
In the above photo I'm happy. A selfie two hours later would have looked quite different as I was well and truly sick of jog-hiking in the rain (and then dark). Luckily I only stopped for a photo of this bush.
and then I rewarded myself with takeaway for dinner.
Monday, 10 August 2020
Changing things up again, Jett was in charge of this recipe from a pretty much unused smoothie recipe book that Zali persuaded me to buy one day from Big W.
Unfortunately for Zali most of the recipes contain at least one thing she doesn't like - things like almond milk, yoghurt, fruit or nuts (there's really a very very large set of things Zali doesn't like). This particular recipe featured a banana and yoghurt so Jett was making smoothies for himself and Jon on this occasion.
I thought they looked pretty good but Jett only rated the result 6/10 so I guess that book needs to prepare itself for another long stint of inactivity.
It's been great having long time buddy Jo trapped in Tasmania during COVID. Clare and I have dragged her out for all manner of adventures and exercise related suffering.