Wednesday, December 07, 2005
* yoghurt with fruit salad, seeds, fruit salad & mint from some eco-tourism resort in QLD;
* seared scallops with cous cous salad, orange, mint & pistachios from a pub in Berry
* brown rice risotto with mushroom ragu, from the vegie bar, melbourne
* thai green papaya salad, my usual barometer dish at any thai place that offers it.
Okay, so the last dish isn't so simple, but I tried making it last night because it was too darn hot. I used the recipe from the hot pink thai food book. The worst bit was shredding the papaya. I pretty much shredded my hands using a cheese grater. The papaya was slimey in an oozing kind of way, and very hard to hold onto when i was trying to grate it. The potato peeler didn't really work in taking off the skin.... It result was tasty though! I only used 2x of the small thai scud chillies, but the sauce nearly blew my head off. Next time though .... less peanut in the sauce... more as an addition instead. And I'm quartering the papaya, removing the seed, & slicing it with the food processor. A pic when I can upload it.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
I was quite a fan of their take-away menu, more especially since I once tried to make seafood chowder. That took for bloody ever and next time I'd much prefer to pay someone to grind my prawn shells twice instead of doing it myself & covering the kitchen in pink bits of shell.
Then they stopped doing the take-away business & the show started on tv, and I couldn't get a booking at all, and I was deprived, *deprived* damn you all. But now all the foodies have moved on to the latest & greatest flavour of the month, so I can finally head there.
So I got to try:
* crumbed sardines (WA?) with salsa verda and mashed potato
* hirasama kingfish
* seared salmon with toasted pine-nut risotto
* seared barramundi with brussell sprouts and potato cubes
The kingfish had an almost sweet dressing - olive oil, lemon & sugar I think, and little baby salad leaves. The sardines - tasty.....but really tasted just like a sardine skin in batter.
The barra - well, if it wasn't for the barra, I think I would have said that I had arrived at Otto's pig-lovers 7 course banquet a little early. There were brussell sprout leaves which had had their edges crisped in bacon fat. There were little crunchy cubes of potato, made crunchy with bacon fat. There were itty bitty pieces of bacon, such as when you had fried bacon very quickly on a high heat & all the fat has melted away.
Salmon. Meh. Salmon Tasty. Pine -nut risotto though - wow! I'm going to have to try & recreate this one at home. Little triangles of pumpkin, toasted pine nuts- so moreish, spinach & stacks & stacks of cheese. And - not made with aborio! I don't like making risotto at home because you end up with a pot full of glug and a stomach that feels like you've eaten lead. But this - I gotta try making a risotto with long-grained rice instead. Seriously, it looked like rice that you've let soaking overnight in the rice cooker.
Gotta go back again. Deal! $35 pp for the pre-ritz (<7pm)>9pm) menu - and you get to choose 2 items. Mmmm, double dessert anyone?
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
1. Hid a take-away coffee from Campos in my handbag so I could get on the bus;
2. Bought two kinds of chocolate from Haighs - peppermint chocolate frogs and coffee crackle;
3. Started scrabbling frantically at the stickytape on the latter;
4. Realised that I was mentally chanting "chocolate now! must *get* at *chocolate";
4b. Slowly put the chocolate back into its paper bag;
5. Resolved to cut down on my caffiene related products again.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
the smh has decided to add a montage of faces, representing "some of the biggest names in australian music". The faces are of:
Sorry? Biggest names in music? I had to go look up who number (4) was , since I couldn't remember who he is from the picture. Since _when_ does coming runner up in a dreadful tv show based on how you look (rather than how you can actually sing) count you among "the biggest names in australian music"? When in fact, hmm, the show _itself_ is a ripoff of a tv show originally shown in the USA, and then your debut single is actually a cover of someone elses' work. Are you paying royalties, m'lad?
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
So today, for the first time in my life, I was offered a girl guide cookie.
I used the line. It got a chuckle.
It tasted awful.
I don't know how they manage to sell them, it tasted like fat (the choc coating), compressed sawdust (the biscuit bit) with a slight bit of texture. like those wheat cookies. but on the whole, awful. Not a minature girl guide to be seen!
I am reduced to sniffing coffee grounds at my desk utill the yawn attack passes.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Coffee: 2. Steps: unknown.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
2. The moon is yellow like cheese. Wallace & Grommit were right!
3. The guys at the observatory rock, to put up with idiotic geeks like us. I'm sure they've heard it all before.
4. The alternative scientist is vicious. The mouse that reckons that the super giant will turn into a blackhole: watch out for his 'spaghettification' demonstration, when he tries to show what happens near the event horizon of a black hole.
5. Play with the sound effects when in the telescope domes. Standing on opposite sides of the dome you can hear what someone on the other side is saying, but as if they're standing behind you. If you're in the middle, you can can hear all whispered conversations of everyone around the outside of the dome. They're out to get you. No, really.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Even unhappier Kim
Thursday, May 12, 2005
What is with these tax cuts? It is so much easier to keep tax at the exisiting level, and use this 'surplus' to fund worthwhile causes, or even stick it in the piggy bank, rather than try and claw it back next year in the form of increasing taxes to their previous levels, because you suddenly find a funding shortfall.
Things to spend a budget 'excess' on:
- Giving the money back to TAFEs instead of setting up your own, competing 'super skilled colleges' => part of a solution to solving this so-called "skills crisis"
- Funding for more nurse and doctor places at unis instead of forcing places like Sydney Uni to close their nursing courses because you like the sound of Notre Dame better.
- Give more money to hospitals! They can upgrade their equipment! Less waiting for elective surgery!Wow!
- Allowing those Asylum seekers who are all locked up and costing us $1000 per day to do so, out! So they can work! And then pay taxes! Which gives you more money to spend in the future! Gosh! That's supporting the future that is.
- Invest in infrastructure! A separate national freight rail network, so if a freight train breaks down, it doesn't affect ordinary commuters. It gets heavy vehicles off the road, and might even supply more jobs. Super!
- Support people who want to work part-time/flexi-time by rewarding companies who allow employees to do so, to do so! Its not a novel concept, it's called the carrot, and not the stick!
- Give grants and subsidies for people who install a FULL GREY-WATER-RECYCLING SYSTEM, so water can be re-used safely. Don't just rely on a water tank, which still relies on the skies being friendly and bloody raining.
- More full time child care centres! Hello ?! guys - remember basic economics. Supply will equal demand for a certain price. Since demand at the moment is more than supply, train more child care workers and pay them better, so that then the supply increases. Gosh darn it, the price of child care will fall. And people can then actually afford child care, head back to work, and pay more taxes yet again.
*Shakes head* I am so very very disappointed with this year's budget. It smells like a "Hey look at me, I'm so waaaaay for the people!" type campaign.
*If I could afford to have a goat to be got.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
I'm not going to make the same mistake I did last time, and try to give up all my vices all at once. I'm just going to give up two: sugar/lollies, and evil chippy snacky things (eaten mainly due to laziness). The coffee and the chocolate are non-negotiable. No really. No budgin'.
So I had a yoga lesson this morning - which was good, and the brisk walk to the train station made me chirpy.
After I got off the train, I went into the supermarket and bought juice, cherry tomatoes, rocket, corn thins and fetta. okay, so the only non healthy bit is the fetta because it's got a lot of salt in it - but it has calcium, right? And combined with the limes that someone has sooo kindly donated to work, I've had my cup of water (uh oh, it was supposed to be warm water, wasn't it? strike one down) with lime juice in it, also I have had two bottles of water, and am looking at the prospect of breakfast.
Reading Carrie's account of her unsuccessful detox is not encouraging. Oh dear.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
- amuse bouche: semi poached egg with sea urchin sauce and shiso
- soup: sesame scented clear broth with panfried snapper and yuzu
- sashimi: assorted 3 varieties of today's fresh market sashimi
oyster kingfish salmon
- seasonal plate (sushi): deep fried soft-shell crab tacos RISE style
grilled eel & bamboo shoot mixed sushi "inari" style sea urchin & finger lime sashimi
- signature dish: deep-fried "agedashi" hydroponic tomato stuffed with foie-gras
- main course: "gai-yang" style grilled corn-fed chicken
with ruby red grapefruit and spanish onion salad (plus pomegranate)
- rice dish: tuna sushi
- dessert: kiwi fruit granita and fruit flavoured jelly
- seasonal plate (sushi): deep fried soft-shell crab tacos RISE style
The semi poached egg was an egg yolk with the sea urchin sauce, some caviar, and little green tails (shiso?) served in a 3/4 eggshell and a little pepper filo/breadstick on top. That was P's fave.
The broth was good, although I couldn't actually smell the sesame scent. How would you make a clear broth without tasting the ingredients used to make it? Couldn't be dashi, cause you could taste it, couldn't be miso, because that is also very distinctive. It came with a gorgeous itty bitty baby carrot floating in it.
Sashimi. Perhaps I'm a heathen, but out of the first 3 courses, this was my fave. Well duh, of _course_ it tastes way different to a sushi train! The last batch of sushi train I had bought takeaway was at 8pm on a thursday night, and the kingfish was stringy and chewy, and the rice had gone crunchy. The salmon and the kingfish here were served in little shotglasses. The kingfish with a bit of ginger on top, the salmon with sesame oil. The oyster had a mild ginger...chutney?.. and a tiny leaf of coriander on top. Loved the salmon. Loved the Kingfish. Good meaty chunks cut evenly. The oyster was great in texture, but the ginger sauce hid a lot of the tastiness. I'm a purist, just love oysters by themseves with a tiny bit of lemon. And who would have thought, sesame seed oil & salmon? Tasty!
Not a bright yellow corn taco shell, but a white rice paper or pastry wrapper that had been deep fried & cut in half, the soft shelled crab had been dipped in a spicy batter and fried as well, and the whole lot had been assembled with a strips of cucumber and bean sprouts. This was great, and on par tastewise to the sashimi plate before. The other two items on the seasonal plate were also a surprise, the finger lime 'beads' looked almost like caviar, but with a citrus burst instead; the eel was wrapped in a white wrapper similar to the stuff used for the crab taco. Unusual and a favourite.
I had misread the menu, and thought I was going to get agadashi tofu, not tomato. The cubes of foie gras stuffing tasted like liver, and the whole thing was coated in a gelatinous substance that was sort of crunchy on the tomato bits, but gelatinous when not on it. The resident "I dislike tomatoes with a passion" person quited liked this one, but conceeded he could hardly get tomatoes with foie gras stuffing at his next bbq attendance.
A fruit granita and jelly must be the in thing of the moment, I'm seeing them everywhere i turn. This was fantastic, bits of strawberry and whole blueberries, nextling amongst a tart kiwi fruit granita, and I had to beat off desperate hordes to finish mine.
Sooooooo worth it. Sooooooo going again. Even the vego & the tomaoto-hater were happy. Plus they have a deal with the entertainment guide, so I'm going to try some other dishes next time at 25% off the total bill.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Upon arrival, we got told from a regular fruit & veg person that the mushroom guy hasn't been sighted for ages, and that they would usually stock more variety than the last packet of swiss browns we snapped up. Wandering around, I couldn't help noticing that a lot of the stalls were identical to the ones I usually visit at the Pyrmont Growers' ones, like Roche Brothers (the peach man!), Willowbrae Chevre, the Tobey's and Forsyth Coffee stalls, the Cootamundra Kid, and Lee from Kurrajong. So I whenever I saw something a bit different, I jumped at the opportunity to sample it.
Whitworths, well, I'm not sure what was going on here. I try and avoid all semblances of coffee on weekends, to prove to myself that I can do it dry, and that no, I'm not really addicted. But since I hadn't seen these guys before, I thought, well why not. There was a bit of miscommunication between the people working the stall. The girl taking the money seemed all too happy to assure us that the beans they were using in the machine were the Columbian blend. The girl doing the milk side wasn't sure what kind of beans they were using, and had to ask the barrista. The barrista replied that they were actually using the Costa Rican blend. Which I had just purchased 250g of. If I had been told that at the beginning, I would have purchased the Columbian blend instead! This already put us in a bad mood in which to sample the coffee. This is what it looked like:
Sunday, April 10, 2005
And what a shiny new toy it is. I feel guilty just filling up - and I've done it only once. Looking at those last few drops of liquid from the bowser, I made sure I got every single drop that I had paid for. Can you believe it, something like one tonne of fossilised and compressed plant material and dead dinosaurs went into making the one litre of petrol we are so cavaliar about combusting into nothing?
Already, I have used half a tank of petrol. In 3 days. Since I went and picked the car up, I've used it every single day without fail. And I'm going to use it for the next three days as well. Instead of thinking 'oh, i'll have a quiet night in', I went and drove across town to see a french film in leichhardt, and, because leichhardt is under the delusion that "kitchen open till late" means 10pm !?!?!?!?!, went to a friend's house and had take out pizza instead. Stayed until just after midnight, but the point is, if I hadn't had the car, I wouldn't have been lazy and driven over to leichhardt, I probably would have stayed at home and gone to bed. And even if I had gone, I would not have stayed so late. And what does that say? That the public transport system in this city is ROOTED, and it sucks that I can only get across town by going into the city and then out again. The public transport system resembles a spider: there is no way of getting from leg 1 to leg 5 without going through the main body. GRRR.
Anyway, back to laziness, and car dependance. Then, instead of riding across town again to meet my friends and go on a virtuous bike ride, I drove. Across town. With the bike in the back. In order to go on a "let's be healthy" bike ride.
I hang my head in shame.
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Thai Food book by David Thompson, the founder of the restaurant. Plus, it was rated one hat by the smh good food guide. The book is so gorgeous, bound in hot pink silk with two ribbon bookmarks (useful!), but I found it so dense with information and complicated recipes, that the only thing I have managed to make from it was Tom Yum Soup. Another problem I found with it is that the spelling of the dishes is different to the spelling that you see in the Thai places around Sydney, so even Tom Yum is not filed as such, but under 'dtom yam gung'.
The menu was short - one side for mains, another for the drinks list. Some of the items on the menu included:
· Pad Thai - stir-fried rice noodles with peanuts, dried prawns, and bean sprouts
· Som Dtam - green papaya salad with cabbage, coconut rice and bbq caramelised pork
· Raw Salmon marinated with chillies and lime juice
· Jewfish with large chillies & ..?
· Yellow chicken curry with mustard greens
My only complaint about the wine list is all the wines available were very young, with the oldest being 3 years old. But perhaps older, more complex wines aren't suited to the thai style of food.
Usually a risotto is my 'test dish' of any restaurant that I visit; hard to do well, but fantastic when it is. It looks like the green papaya salad has turned my Thai restaurant equivalent. So I ordered it. It came out very quickly, so I guess they had all the ingredients to hand & just had to plate it. The salad was very smooth, with crunchy roast peanuts, dried shrimp, a cherry tomato & raw beans. The coconut rice was topped with fried shallots, and had that nice glossy finish & a delicate flavour. The BBQ pork, however, was the star of the dish. Intense nuggetty little squares of pork, that must have been air or oven dried before roasting it again with a yummy sweet sauce - similar to the Chinese Char-Siew, but more like the flavour of beef jerky that you can buy from stalls in Chinatown. The whole dish was a meal in itself, and you had enough varied tastes so that you enjoy every bite. However, I found the salad a bit lacking. It seemed to missing one element, one edge - like just a little more crushed shrimp, or a tad more chilli, or a pinch more garlic in the sauce.
The second dish ordered was a yellow chicken curry with egg noodles. The garnish was different, deep fried egg noodles, and at first I thought that were all the noodles I was going to get. Thankfully there were also some served in the curry sauce, although it seems a strange concept. Curry is for rice, right? Good yellow colour, but I'm unsure what a yellow curry is supposed to taste like. Even squeezing in the lime segment, and adding a little of the black chilli sauce to the curry didn't seem to make a difference. I could taste top note of chilli, and a base note of a light coconut milk, but there was no depth, nothing in between. Unlike the salad, I think that with this one, the dish didn't seem complex enough to hold it's own. "Wagamama-Syndrome", I've nicknamed it, where the dish tastes boring and 'samey' all the way through.
Rice was served in a flat open bowl, and got cold very quickly.
Service was very quick, atmosphere was fun & communal. I kept wanting to reach over & try a little of the prawn spring rolls that my neighbours had ordered. Serving sizes were deceptively large. Total damage was $56 for two, with two dishes, serving of rice, and two drinks. Would I go again? Yeah, probably, but with a larger group.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
The original plan had been to head to the moonlight cinema at centennial park, and with the atmosphere of screaming bats, vengeful ibises and suicidal mozzies watch "The motorcycle diaries". We thought it would be entirely appropriate, watching a movie about the life of Che Guevara before he became 'Che' under the stars.
Firstly, it sold out. Okay, so instead we went to the Opera Bar for a pre-movie drink (How far the mighty have fallen), where M was in raptures of the G&T.
The movie was great. It started out quite slowly, with Fuser & his sidekick Angelo (who was sidekick, who was leader)? conceiving a mad plan to ride across South America, and 'get lots of chicks', before Angelo turns 30, and before Fuser starts medical school. Starting out on 'The mighty one', visiting Fuser's girlfriend, finally losing The-Mighty-One after one too many encounters with cows. You could see Angelo as the kind of friend that you both hate to love, and love to hate, as he gets you embroiled in one scrape after another. The film got a bit disjointed near the end, where Fuser turns from just the quiet thinker, the background man, into something to really step back and watch; moving from observer/empathiser of south american hardships to a sudden rousing speechmaker. That was a bit jarring, as though the director suddenly thought that they had to finish the movie, and now.
But it was really really good.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
And (OMG), I can't believe I did this. I re-subscribed to the STC, the one that all the bloody north shore john howard supporter types go to. *hangs head in shame*. Well....out of all the plays I saw last year, I enjoyed all but 2 from STC; and with the belvior I only _liked_ 2, and only didn't mind 1 of em. So that's 2/7 of belvoir that I liked, and 6/8 of the STC.
What on earth is going on? I'm a left-leaning greenie who supports independants, and I'm _supposed_ to like what the independants such as belvoir (although they do have nicole kidman & geoffry rush as supporters) present, but I didn't. *sob* I'm turning into a chardonnay swilling silvertail lah-de-dah.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
I was looking at the application monitoring bit for the past week or so, just to make sure I wasn't spending _too_ much time on email. Before it got installed, I even went so far as to write the most enormous sign to stick on my monitor so I didn't keep compulsively clicking on outlook to check my mail (& finding, disappointingly, that nobody loves me). And now? After so many complaints about email monitoring, computer usage monitoring, and how none of this crap was part of our contracts, they've disabled it. So I have no idea how much time I have spent frittering away on the 'net, on the email. And now I'm back to compulsively clicking on outlook, every 2 minutes, even if I've just closed the application. I guess I have an addictive type personality.
At first the budget was under 10k, but I couldn't find anything I liked.
Then I upped it to 15k, which, would just borderline, get me something decent. For some reason, people kept insisting that I get an echo, because it's such a good deal. But it's UGLY! How could I drive an ugly car? Plus I've been in them (which the friends recommending them hadn't), and they were very very small on the side. You have to be very good, very 'close' friends to be able to seat 3 in the back of the 'sedan' version. Even riding shotgun - and I'm a skinny linny here, I could feel that any larger personage would have an uncomfortable squashed ride. The only positive thing that I could think about the echo is the digital speedo.
So now I'm looking at new cars. I've done ecos, why the hell am I looking at new cars? I _know_ I'm going to instantly lose 20% of the value. But they're so shiny. I can't believe I'm thinking of dropping over 20k on a bloody car.
And don't even talk to me about insurance. Okay, so I'm an unknown risk. But a $4k premium for a 6 year old GOLF worth $15k does not make any !sense!. ARGH, I can't believe it. Okay, so I'm a young'un, but a premium that's 1/4 the cost of the car does not make sense.
Grr. So if anyone knows of a good surfboard deal that comes with a free car, please let me know.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
And then I remembered why I had enjoyed getting up so early once a month when I was young and stupid. Just the whole atmosphere, of people who enjoy food wandering around and talking to all the producers, who get up even earlier to tend to their geese or smoke their trout or turn their cheese. And this time I didn't encounter those incredibly rude pushy people who pushed in front of me when it was clearly my turn. Maybe somebody else had pushed them into the harbour as retaliation.
Unfortunately, the mushroom people weren't there, and I was a tad disappointed. I managed to resist the native jam man - hello, I _still_ have jars of stuff from 3 years ago that I haven't touched. but it should be okay, right? it's not as though I've broken the seal, and it's all sugar anyway so there is nothing to spoil. also resisted the lure of the willowbrae chevre, but got suckered in by the supreme tastiness of the SJ club blue (*aaaaaahhhhhhhh***), and a new cheddar......can't quite remember what it was. The jannai camerbert was diVine darls, so I suckered 3 others into buying it instead. I'll give it a shot next time, after all I already have a fridge full-o-cheese. And *squeal* you gotta get some peaches off the peach bloke if he's there next time, superb!
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
What is the point, labor party, of all this political infighting, of stabbing each other in the backs, of attacking each other through the media? What is the flipping point? Do you really think that all these sudden leadership changes, and all of the above will _really_ win you any votes? The whole GODDAMN point of having a leader is that you chose her/him, and you support them 100%. If they decide to quit, fine, if they get sick whilst on annual leave, fine. If they make some bad decisions, okay, that was a bad decision, but live with it, and you continue to support your *leader* in public. This a presents a nice cohesive, stable and UNITED front to us, your dear potential voters, and gosh-darn, we might even vote for you in the next election. But fuckin attacking Latham while he's on leave, through the media, mind you, and forcing him to resign, by saying "oooh, he's a bit sick", and "oooh, he's made a couple of bad decisions" and "oooh, do you really want to stay on as leader?" is *not* playing nice at all.
Think about it. If you were on holidays from work. And you happened to be sick, whilst on holidays. And sure, you had been sick once whilst working, but you took sick leave, and that's fine. Your company, not even bothering to call you first says , "oh, so and so is sick. i don't think they can do their job anymore", and starts recruiting for someone to fill your boots. Don't you think that you were just pushed?
Okay fine. It had been purchased under their budget. So please drop me a nice email asking for it back. Don't tell me how much it cost (which I quite frankly disbelieve, if the item cost that much, it would behind glass), and don't couch it in such rude language. As usual, the petty department serves only itself, and is incredibly territorial over its own very small domain. I had though better of them before, but this incident just reinforces my own impression of them as administrivia.