Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Pussies are not doing their jobs!!

Ok .. this is wierd!

I was talking to P on the phone in the backyard soaking up some sun when I spied this cute little ball of fluff seemingly suckling on my trackkies!!

Is this a mouse? Its a cute little rodent whatever it is.

It certainly wasn't budging and we could get as close to it as we wanted to .... until I shifted my trakkies and then it did the most adorable hoppity hop out of the sidegate and cowered near the bins.

It dissappeared altogether soon after that.

I bet kitties would have just given it the side eye, yawn, scratched a non-existent ball and gone back to stretching out in the sun .. hopeless!!



dan cope wrote:

oh boy... Are you taking on more pets?
31 May

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Ok ... this is for MH! I think we both agree that Portishead's The Rip would have been our song of the year for 2008, so we have fav song covered by fav band ... what more can you ask for ... and its so heartening to know that they're music fans themselves.

And here's the original version:

For all the Haters out there

Ok ... lily allen has got to be good for something apart from wanting to stab Peaches Geldof in the ear!!

(did I ever mention that I had a mini-crush on her dad in his younger days?? No? Forget I mentioned it!)

"Fuck You "

Look inside
Look inside your tiny mind
Now look a bit harder
Cause we're so uninspired, so sick and tired of all the hatred you harbor

So you say
It's not okay to be gay
Well I think you're just evil
You're just some racist who can't tie my laces
Your point of view is medieval

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
Cause your words don't translate
And it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch

Do you get
Do you get a little kick out of being small minded?
You want to be like your father
It's approval you're after
Well that's not how you find it

Do you
Do you really enjoy living a life that's so hateful?
Cause there's a hole where your soul should be
Your losing control of it and it's really distasteful

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
Cause your words don't translate and it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch

You say
You think we need to go to war, well you're already in one
Coz there's people like you who need to get slew
No one wants your opinion

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
Cause your words don't translate and it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch



Temasek wrote:

And we love you!!!
27 May
dan cope wrote:

27 May

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Sugar and Spice and all things nice

Ok ... well thanks to Melbourne Gastronome's (happy 2 year anniversary C) expose on East Brunswick and Matt Preston's Epicure review, and also to an impoverished fridge and the obviousness of what is termed brunch, we girded loins and headed out to Sugardough (163 Lygon Street East Brunswick):

We were lucky enough to score a table - the joint was packed and the steady stream of punters queuing at the front never abated for the whole time we were there which was at least an hour. So mental note - go early. We got there around 11.30-ish.

Now don't expect anyone to be frying eggs and bacon in a pan - you're not going to get a "cooked" brekkie here - but they will serve you a breakfast style panini or tarte tartin. I was hoping for the former but they had run out so I tried the tart instead:

M ordered the chicken ceasar version:

These are the sort of meals that good Melbourne cafes do so well - dishes that are simple in execution - literally just stand back and throw - but complex in flavour - its using local and organic produce and using it well. I am not a fan of relishes and/or chutneys, but I practically inhaled the tomato version that came with my tarte tartin. And the pastry was TDF!! M's ceasar was a real ceasar in fresh bread - and by that I mean with anchovies!! In places like these its a given that coffee is going to be great, but the sheer number of choices where sweets are concerned and rang-tangled way in which said wares are displayed almost caused a gastronomic stroke ... but the salve that soothed the hyperventilating beast was the creme brulee - I think there were 5 choices in all - I opted for the classic - and it ranks up there with the jerulasem artichoke version at Ezards - M had the chocolate and raspberry:

Now I have a customer service story (I remember our Deli girl stories JD .. oh how we laughed!). M's meal came out along with our orange juice (freshly squeezed) and our coffees. I told him to start eating while its hot and that mine was sure to come soon. I wasn't really doing the whole meerkat thing, and was just chatting away to M, but one of the staff noticed that I had no food in front of me, so she came and checked.

A few seconds later, what could only have been the owner, came and apologised and said that they had forgotten and did I mind waiting another 5 mins. I said that was fine and she then returned with the $9 we had paid and said that it was unacceptable on their part. She even wanted to comp us for the sweets but we didn't think that was right. NOW THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT!!! If you made a mistake you should pick up on it quickly and make proper amends. We were suitably impressed and look forward to many more enjoyable mornings there.

(yes I live, eat, sleep, shit in this shirt - thanks CC)

So go already!!

Everyone's got the sads today!

Ok ... is it just my life or does anyone feel like everything's going wrong recently!

And everyone's got the sads.

Is it because the days are shorter and the nights are colder?
Is it because a little piggie sneezed and now the whole world is sick?
Is it because America sneezed and now the whole world is poor?
Is it because Korea sneezed and now the whole world is frightened?
Is is because I sneezed and now my heart is bleeding and raw on the table.

The bridge at my train station - foggy melbourne morning

There's a little child
Running round this house
And he never leaves
He will never leave
And the fog comes up from the sewers
And glows in the dark
Baby alligators in the sewers grow up fast
Grow up fast
Anything you want it can be done
How did you go bad?
Did you go bad?
Did you go bad?
Somethings will never wash away
Did you go bad?
Did you go bad?
(The Fog - Radiohead)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Lady in Blue

Ok .... finally a half decent album from our screwy little ginger megs - Tori Amos' Abnormally Addicted to Sin.

When I asked J from "you've done it again" about the album she said at least she's not suckling a pig on the cover ... and I said "yeah lets watch them walk out the door!!" Girlfriend still does not have a handle on the excess - brevity is not in this piggie's vocab. Having said that at least this does not irritate in the way that alot of her recent output has. The electronics still err on the side of 6th form experimentals, not too mention the lyrics ... and the chord progressions are very much vintage amos ... but I like this .. the shining lights far outweigh the overbloats ... and I can even forgive the stretched syllables because I am still very much a sucker for that cracked vocal.

Its probably still not going to appeal to everybody, and I doubt it will win her any new fans, but I've stuck with her through the last nine, yes even that Scarlett's Walk tragedy ... and I will continue to defend the covers album and beat down any Moders who harrangue her version of Enjoy the Silence!

Despite all of this, the album is not worthy of a capsule review on this blog ... but there's always a mood in one's life for a Tori song.

Monday, 18 May 2009

And how do you know P??

Ok ... happy birthday P!!

Thanks for having us for your natal celebrations ... your friends are lovely ... the wine was lovely ... Newtown Workers club is lovely .. expecially the Twin Peaks room ... the fried chicken and coleslaw was scrumptious at Southpaw ... and everyone had a name that required repeating!!

Oh and I loved B's story about the son/daughter(?) of graham greene's nephew who hired clarissa dickson wright as a cook who turned out to be a bad one ... and an even worse drunk!!

We really needed the distractionas me and M went 10 rounds with the boxing gloves only the night before.



dan cope wrote:

Crap.. I missed it again.
27 May

Proud to be an Australian?

Ok ... this movie has been hyped to the max ... and has the critics' artsy g-strings in knots ... and a 5 star rating from the inimitable David and Margaret ... now we all remember Russian Ark ... so as I have said before .. pinch of salt, pinch of salt!

HOWEVER ... Everyone should see this movie ... Everyone!!! You want to talk about indigenous rights ... or you have a strong opinion of what needs to be done ... watch this movie first ... and then lets talk!! Samson and Delilah!

Martha's Foolish Ginger

Ok ... what a weekend ... an absolute roller coaster of emotions ... and I'm not trying to sound too pat!!

Let me first begin with friday night's repast at Gingerboy!

We crashed the lovely K & M's date night and scored a near window seat under a gigantic hoop of red tassles.

K & M were both flushed from recent sartorial purchases, M with a snazzy modern revision of the dufflecoat and K in a stunning belted shirt dress.

Gingerboy is in one of Melbourne's celebrated laneways - Crossley Street - which runs between the top end of Bourke and Little Bourke Street. It houses not only Gingerboy but Von Haus, De Mille, a snazzy jewellers and a bespoke shirtmaker ... well you get the drift.

I have been wanting to go to Gingerboy for ever so long and was determined to not let anything bring the party down ... a boss' late hour tanty and the annoying 2 seating policy notwithstanding ... although I must say that the latter is really starting to piss me off!!! ... All we asked for was another 5 minutes to decide on the vast array of yummy choices on the menu .. and we got the whole "you realise that we have 2 seatings and that you have to vacate the table ... blah blah blah ... bitch please!!! So if you really want to enjoy the night hassle free .. try and get the later sitting. As we were planning to fit a movie in... this was perfect for us .. and the food comes out at a decent rate.

4 foodies ... all opinionated ... at one table and one menu ... with the clock ticking ... whats needed here is a little organisation and a firm hand on proceedings.

So what we first decided on was how many smalls and mains to have ... I chose the wine .. Gewurtztramminer ... fabulous!!

So for smalls we had:

steamed prawn and ginger dumplings, peanut chilli soy AND crispy chilli salt cuttlefish, lemon and roasted sesame

Let me tell you they don't scrimp on the spicy. If you are not used to South east asian food and are simply not that adventorous as far as your tastebuds are concerned .. do not come here!! Its as simple as that.

The flavours are familiar and authentic but there are accents too subtle to pick of the chef's skillful methods in fusion. The cuttlefish was like every other salt and peper squid variety but minus the sludge of msg and hitting the pallette with a freshness you rarely find in fat frying.

The steamed prawn dumplings tasted like the best prawns were used from the market ... the sort reserved for showpiece dishes rather than being ground into mere filling ... and the chilli peanut sauce was redolent of south east asian hawker food as a whole experience .. I know I'm gushing ... but this was indeed a memorable meal.

grilled wagyu in la-lot leaves, sour chilli vinegar

I thought that the la-lot leaves may have overpowered the wagyu, but you could still taste the sweet meatiness which was enhanced by the herby punch of the asian version of vine leaves. I'm still a big wagyu sceptic .. but I would have loved to have had just one more piece.

crispy pork cheek with asian vinegar salad - this was a special

Didn't really know what to expect with this one but the combination of flavours really worked. The pork cheek was coated in some kind of batter which obviously had some black flakes of something or other that made it look somehwat like a lump of truffle ... the vinegary salad certainly helped to cut some of the porkiness but this was something different and absolutley sccumptious!

We opted for 2 mains and as it turned out, it was sweet sufficiency .. even though I'm sure we could have kept on ordering:

red duck leg curry, shallots, thai basil and coconut cream

WF recommended the duck so I knew that this was going to be my choice. I took one mouthful and I was on the phone txting her my gratitude. Along with Longrain, this is another duck dish to add to an ever growing list ... although the braised duck at Tekka Market in Singers still wears the crown. It was just perfect ... there was just the right amount of the peanuty flavour and the right amount of basil and coconut.

Unfortunately, the chicken had to play second fiddle.
lime and galangal basted baby chicken, peanut tamarind caramel

This was a great dish too ... but I can't wax lyrical about this after the duck. I intend to try the tofu next time ... and let me tell you there is certainly going to be a next time. You should go in a group ... we ended up spending roughly about $50 each for the whole shebang!! They can put a banquet of sorts together for you at about $65 a head .. which is, for a restaurant of this calibre .. pretty good value.

Worried about time and with fairly sated appetites, we skipped dessert and it was choc tops at the Nova to see Samson and Delilah ... and what a downer that was!!!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Locked In

Ok ... I've recently watched the Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

I hate to admit it but I had weepy eyes!! This locked in syndrome thing sounds trully horrific, and I'm not sure I would have had the strength to cope, which makes this true story so wonderfully inspiring even while it is depressingly sad.

Jean-Dominique Bauby (or Jean-Do to his mates) was the editor of Elle magazine Paris. So he had the life!! And it was all taken away in a matter of seconds, what presented as a stroke turned out to be a rare condition called Locked in Syndrome. Effectively, Jean-Do was paralysed from head to toe. The only movement he had was in his eyelids. Hence the reference to a Diving Bell, which is what he likened his condition to. They had to sew one of his eyelids up as the lubricatry ducts were simply not functioning. Amazingly with the help of a therapist, they developed a means of communication, so Jean-Do winked a special alphabet, that resulted in his autobiography, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Julian Schnabel helmed this beautiful project with such finesse, grace and diginity, so many inspiring moments, like the icebergs melting, and Jean-Do talking to his father played with incredible authenticity by Max von Sydow whilst giving him a shave, his ex wife having to translate a conversation between the bedridden Jean-Do and the woman who came between them ... too good!!

I believe that Jean-Do endured this for only another 2-3 years before passing ... but what he left behind will resonate with us humans for a long time to come ... this is a story about the human spirit ... its not always pretty ... but it can be indomitable!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Joolry Joolry Joolry

OK ... shit ... finally something to get excited about musicwise this year.

Micachu & the Shapes

Jewellery is the name of the album ... check it out!


Gramatics may join this list soon enough but I will need a few more listens.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Not quite like winning the lottery

Ok .. my stimulation package arrived!!

Now will it be the french doors ... shelving ... or a kick arse LCD??

Happy Mother's Day

Ok ... P if you are reading this (silly question) I'm afraid our Tapas cookup has been hijacked somewhat ... not my decision so don't hate on me!!!

Right ... Happy Mummy's Day y'all!! I will be ringing mine shortly but as she is in a different timezone and will still be at church praying for my sins, I am unable to do it now ... so let me while away the hours by telling you about the Tapas party we had last night.

Spur of the moment thing completely, got a txt from K & M asking whether we were free Sat nite, and we said .. er .. yah!! Like we would be otherwise occupied?? We were relegated the responsibility of bringing the meat component .. I had already toyed with the idea of pork ribs in an orange glaze, and doing something with bacalao was a fait accompli ... but decided that our main contribution would be meatballs in a tomato and pea ragout:

When I was preparing the veal and pork mince I was concerned that I was over-spicing it, it had coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, cummin and all I could smell was a really heavy all spice flavour which I thought may overpower everything, but once it cooked in the tomato ragout, it both sweetened the sauce and turned just absolutely perfect ... simple dish but very proud making ... considering I shorthanded the piri piri mix by simply blitzing tomato and capsicum with a bit of vinegar and lemon juice.

The rib dish was a comparative failure, I was hoping for the orange flavour to intensify in the caramalization. But it was just too mild and parts of the orange sauce had turned slightly bitter ... I'm sure we can tweak some of the details when we do this next. I would certainly be doubling the amount of juice that the recipe required:

The crowning success was our Bacalao croquettes (and you can't have a Tapas party without some form of croquette!). I have done this before, difference this time was that we bought pre-soaked salt cod which was actually really really good! So in future bugger all that soaking and water-changing I say. The other difference was a bit of our preserved lemon went into the mix. These are so easy to make. You still need to soak the pre-soaked fish and change the water once, before you shred the flesh. It still a little too salty just using it as is. Combine this with mashed potato and whatever herb component you desire, we used parsley and coriander. You need a bit of paprika, salt and pepper, breadcrumbs to aid the binding and an egg to smooth the mixture out. Roll into oval pellets and deep fry.

Of course we didn't do all the work, the H's and sis J in tow made the following yummy treats:

Prawn cakes, smoked almonds, and a olive and chorizo salad which was lightly pan-fried

Potato croquettes and an Avo and rocket salad

We also had some scallops wrapped in Prosciutto and some cubed meat empanadas. All of this washed down by quite a few bottles of vino, including, you guessed it, a temparanillo, and a killer 2005 sav blanc from Voice of the Vine, and one of our russian roulette turra murra pinots ... which actually turned out alright.

And here's the next generation of Gourmands in the making ... I'm so glad that he's here to bear the flag for future times!



Temasek wrote:

Damn only just read your comment ... I don't really get them so I don't really bother checking. I'm glad you're in canberra! I think that was a wise decision on your part. I was sooo pumped about Master Chef starting and now I don't even watch it. They don't show enough of the food. Oh and Po is Sylvia from Shop Sui's friend. MISS YOU HEAPS ... COME BACK!!!
20 May

dan cope wrote:

Why aren't you on Master chef yet??? I just read some of your blogs.. Oh.. they are so good. I love your photos. I am stuck in canberra.. However i AM COOKING.. For 2 households.. It's freezing so, lots of soups, osso bocco.. can't spell, spanikopta.. stir frys.. more soups.. chicken leek and cous cous.. even desserts.. i am tired. Seeing lots of the family and trying to make the best of it all. We are moving here.. Too hard being so far away. LOVE your photos.. Say howdy to everyone.. MISS you. xx
15 May

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Jude the Obscure

Ok ... firstly I've been busted!! So how this will affect what goes on here remains to be seen ... but we all need to soldier on in these stirring times!! (by the way I was sucking a lemon as I typed that)

We have had the bro' and his b with us for the weekend. It was terrific!! We had a relaxing time just chillin ... no I mean literally ... we spent most of the time outside warming the cockles with some of our finer bottles and shortening lives with designer fire sticks!

It was great to catch up on familial goss and also to see pics of holidays and more importantly little vids of the recent renos ... and lemme tell ya ... its jaw droppingly beautiful ... and I can't help but feel a tinge of green devils coming on ... but we all have our lives to lead ...

It was also great to show off our part of Melbourne .. but I'm not quite sure how it all went down ... there was lunch at Trunk and then dinner over at Lucky Star (which I think did impress!) ... then there was brunch-tunch over at Birdman Eating and finally dinner at St Jude's Cellars.

Now let me just say that St Jude's was for me a bit of a dissappointment. When I looked up the menu online ... it was still structured as a series of sharing plates which was a huge selling point for me ... and then we rocked up we were presented with a chef's choice set menu of sharing plates and then an a la carte menu. Cheffy was having an one night methinks as the choices were a little too prosaic for the $55 price tag .... so this is what we opted for:

Entrees -

C & Me - Spanner crab, preserved lemon, basil, bread and french butter:

The crab was sweet and the combination of preserved lemon and butter on the bread was scrumptious - big big tick from me.

M had Hot smoked Brook trout, quail egg, and braised baby radish:

The combination of smoked trout, the soft quail's egg yolk and the mayo was TDF ... although a slightly stronger fish would have provided an interesting accent. One of the better smoked trout entrees around.

G had the Root vegetable, pearl barley and borlotti bean soup:

Good hearty soup - perhaps a little too homemade given its context ... but delicious - I would have added a bit of kale or mustard leaf to cut the sweetness ... oh listen to me I'm going all master cheffy now ... hope you're rolling eyes at the mo ... or giving the screen a side-eye!!!

As we had been drinking for the better part of the day, we slowed down with just one bottle - a temperanillo from WA - Bella Ridge Estate which we picked from the cellar itself. The prices listed are take away prices ... you add $15 if you're drinking in house ... you can order from the menu itself which has a vastly reduced list ... but the prices listed already include the $15 corkage.

After the such promising entrees, the mains were a bit of a letdown. Not that they were disastrously bad, but the flavour combinations just missed a little. I think mine and C's were the most successful.

I had Slow cooked pork scotch, pearl barley, cabbage and green sauce:

The taste of the pork was like a milder version of soya suace pork. It was just the right amount of tender and the cabage and pearly barley provided interesting texture and taste highlights ... the green sauce was tasty enough ... but I'm not sure if I would have missed it if it wasn't there.

C had the rabbit - Roasted rabbit, hazelnut, grain salad and cavolo nero:

It certainly looked great and M assures me that it tasted divine .. but its rabbit so I can't really comment.

Both G & M had the beef: Dry aged beef, roast jerusalem artichokes, king brown mushrooms:

For M it was a no-brainer as it came with Jerusalem Artichokes which he ranks up there with Black truffles ... unfotch no one else really shares his passion ... or at least no one else was as ebullient when they had a taste ... but this was the dish that marked the evening ... the beef was tough!! Too tough for these prices ... so I mentioned it to our friendly waitress who hopefully fed this back to the kitchen.

We couldn't stomach sweets so we went home for much needed respite! So whats the final word - good, but I wouldn't be hanging!
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