Showing posts from March, 2016

Toilet with a view

When visiting Tasmania, it is a must to go to that museum, MONA. Take the ferry from Hobart. I notice the new book titled Toilets: A Spotter's Guide (Lonely Planet, $14.99). A lovely coffee table book. Anyway, one of the Aussie toilets featured is a public toilet at MONA. That toilet has an array of mirrors in the pan to enable you to see what is happening down there. There's a warning about ... 'Things you'll have trouble forgetting once seen'. For more information Google MONA toilet. The shop at the museum also has a range of unusual soap for sale as a souvenir. Certainly a conversation piece. Again, use Google to get more information.

Chicken chatter

Found this on Twitter from Dr Karl ... Chickens have an ~20-word language (e.g., different words for "intruder at ground level" & "intruder flying above". Next time I must listen to the hens' clucks more closely.

Gold nuggets

Just found a bowl of salted lime (and lemon skins) in the cupboard. I knew that they were there, it just took some months to get around to washing them (in vinegar) and then packing them into jars with olive oil. They had been in rock salt for 8 months. When I scooped them out they were a nice golden colour and the skins was bubbled by the salt; and very dry. Now they're in the cupboard and will last for years. Ideal on meat; they just melt; or in salads and couscous. A simple pleasure of life; and from the garden.

French Australia, just imagine

Just image what might have been, back on 08 April 1802 in South Australia. We may have become French. They say it might have just been a matter of 5 minutes sailing as to who won the rights. The French explorer Nicolas Baudin encountered and met ship to ship with English explorer Matthew Flinders. It was a harmonious encounter and Flinders was the victor. The French, despite having a strong historical claim (for Australia) lost; they walked (or sailed) away and Flinders took the credit and became a hero; and we became English. But just imagine if Baudin had pushed his case and convinced Flinders of the French claim. Today in South Australia (and the rest of Australia) we would be French. We would be a republic, we wouldn't have an issue with our flag or national anthem etc. For breakfast we would drink hot chocolate and coffee from bowls (and not from cups or mugs) followed by croissants. Every day, in the morning, we would go to the local baker and buy baguettes and then visit

Salty Capers

A friend has a caper farm in the foothills of Adelaide. I visited a couple of weeks ago and picked a few ice-cream containers full of capers. These were soaked in water and washed daily. A strong, very strong unpleasant smell for a week. Then the smell changed to a strong herbal scent. The capers are now in jars in a strong, very strong brine solution. I decided not to use vinegar. Should be ready for tasting in a month. Hopefully they will last and remain fresh over the coming year. more information about preserving capers

Pomegranate juice

This year my small pomegranate tree had a huge crop; the fruit was so large and juicy. Yesterday I used a hand press to squeeze out the juice. Hard and slow work. I ended up splattered with pink juice; it's a task that you do outside. Tip: wear old clothes. The juice is in the fridge and some has been frozen to enjoy over the year. Fresh seeds were used in a couscous salad; a nice touch.

Riverland Red

The other night I was at a mate's place. It's custom to take a bottle, so I packed a decent bottle of red. On arrival there was a bottle of red wine in a brown paper bag on the table. I was asked to assess it; 'tell me what do you think mate'. Knowing that my friend buys good red wine at the right price, usually for no more that $15 a bottle, I swirled and slurped and gave it the nose. Absolutely superb. My assessment was that it was good, damn good and should fall into the price range of $19-$20. The bag was removed and I was looking at a South Australian Riverland red that cost $10 delivered. I was staggered that it didn't have that over-ripe, hot and plummy taste that often comes from the Riverland. I went home and ordered some online. Do yourself a favour and get some. Here are the details: Growers Gate 2014 Shiraz Riverland Red CCW Cooperative, Berrie, SA $120 a dozen, delivered

Destructive Greed

I admire cartoonists for their ability to so simply get their message across. Here's a favourite that I recently found. No more words are necessary ...

Quince time

It's Autumn and that means Quince season. Actually it's still a bit early; at least for my Champion variety Quince; it'll be another month or so before they are ripe. I bought the Champion because it has a big fruit with a brilliant dark red coloured fruit when cooked; some of the Quince varieties are a bit dull and only a pale pink. It's a young tree; the first year with a decent crop. Maybe the fruit is larger because my young dog pruned all the fruit trees of fruit up to a height on 1 metre; nothing like a green chewy ball to pick and play with; and then pick another one. How to use quinces: Paste to enjoy with cheese; freeze for serving over the year; my fav :) Jelly or Jam; can be a bit running Poach with a vanilla bean Stew; have with muesli Add it to a Middle Eastern stew Endless possibilities ... More information about quinces

Tassie trust

I have just bought some food products from Tasmania following an email exchange. The cost (of which I have a reasonable idea how much) with free shipping is attractive. I did a good deal. Importantly the other party was willing to do the deal. Just received an email saying that the goods will shipped tomorrow and I will be invoiced later. I was staggered by their trust that I would pay. Just so Tasmanian! In my travels across Tassie during a recent holiday, I found the locals very down to earth and a pleasure to meet and talk with. The friendliness of the locals is a reason to one day go back.

Harmony Day 2016

Harmony Day at Unley Council last night; in the Town Hall. This year it was to recognise the Italian community. A fantastic night of music, dancing and wood fired pizza; washed down with local wines. It was a good night of the community getting together. A diverse group of people. I met up with Simon, a Nigerian who is studying agriculture in Adelaide. He said that we were the best dressed there; or at least we had the loudest shirts in the room. Here is a photo of us taken in front of the red spot light.

Why am I here?

It's called the doorway effect. Open a door and you easily get distracted and forget why you opened the door; you forget the purpose. How often do you open the refrigerator door, gaze inside and realise that you have no idea why you went to the refrigerator? Here's why our brain gets confused


Last night I went to see the Adelaide Fringe show Showtime @ Gluttony, East End of Adelaide. Absolutely fantastic. I rate it 9.5/10. It was a mix of circus, magic and music. All great acts. The magician was just, magical. And then there was the lovely (stunning) French chanteuse Rose who wowed us with her big and sexy voice. I was privileged to be invited onto the stage to accompany her on a drum. Took me back to my boyhood drumming days. The task I was given was simple - just beat the drum in tune with her gyrating 'ips'. I think I did ok. Just had to concentrate on those 'ips'.

Berry nice

Just back from a long holiday in Tasmania. Took 3 weeks and slowly travelled from Launceston via the Wild West to Hobart. In the Tamar Valley I discovered the Hillwood Berry Farm and bought 2 jars of their raspberry jam. It was superb. One and half jars were consumed on our travels. Half a jar came back home. It was so good, just so berry nice that I have placed an order for quite a few jars ... to be eaten over the coming year. Go to their website and check out the products ... If you get to Tasmania, then visit the farm.

Papaya for brekkie

That holiday in Port Douglas and Cairns last year was just so fantastic. Tropical fruit for breakfast and prawns and seafood for lunch and dinner. The red pawpaws (or papaya if you prefer) were superb. I prefer the red to the yellow fruit. Richer and more complex in taste and flavour. They do taste better in Queensland. However, to keep the memories alive I occasionally buy a red pawpaw from the local green grocer at Goodwood, Unley, SA. From experience, the best are from the Skybury plantation near Mareeba, high up on the Tablelands above Port Douglas. If you're buying one, select from the Sunbury brand and get one a bit green so it can ripen to your taste. Tip, drizzle some lime juice on it. Yum!

Lingering holiday

Just back from a holiday in Tasmania. Fond food memories are smoked Atlantic salmon and Leatherwood honey. Smoked Tassie salmon can easily be found in home town Adelaide. I brought some leatherwood honey back home with me. Superb on toast for brekkie. I have found a supplier of Tasmanian leatherwood honey in the Central Market. So the Tassie holiday memories will linger. It's important to not lose those memories.

Yoga Santosa

I'm not really into Yoga; and maybe I should be. I was pleased to discover that one of the teachings/disciplines is SANTOSA ... defined as the practice of being happy for no particular reason at all . So simple and beautiful; a simple goal to achieve. Thinking about it, I'm happy for no particular reason.

Fruit leather rollups

It's that time of the year, or actually just past it. The time of the year when you have too much fruit ripening in the backyard. What to do? Next year plan on making fruit leather roll ups; yummy snacks to have in the months ahead. The fruit mash can be dried in the oven or in a dehydrator; maybe it's time to invest in a dehydrator. Get the missus one for her birthday; she'll love it. Here's a link to the full story on making fruit leather rollups ... making fruit leather rollups

Chinese trekking poles

Just back from a holiday in Tasmania ... or Tassie as we affectionately say. A fantastic place to holiday. It would be paradise to live there. I was walking around Lake Dove @ Cradle Mountain. A long enjoyable walk at an easy pace, other than the up and down bits. There were a lot of Asian (mostly Chinese) tourists. Only a few Aussies. Quite a few were sporting trekking sticks/poles. They had been well briefed to be prepared and had their sticks. A pity they didn't also have decent hiking books. Most of the footwear were inappropriate. Anyway, I was taking a breather; the excuse was to take in the sights as you should do; not just hike along at the fastest pace possible like some do - and see nothing. An elderly Chinese family came along; most with trekking poles. Friendly as usual, I passed some comment and pointed at the poles. I don't recall what I said. Anyway, this elderly Chinese woman (with poles and inappropriate shoes) smiled and offered me her poles; or on

Tassie drivers

Just back from a holiday in Tasmania ... The locals are bloody terrible drivers in the CBDs and towns. Like a bunch of rednecks. They are highly aware of and respectful of pedestrians, but they screech to a halt at the lights and take off with speed. But, get them out of their cars and talk with them, the locals are nice people. I had many a long chat. They do look after the tourists. Tourism there is a huge revenue earner and job creator. They are so lucky to live in God's country ... if they are lucky enough to have a job.

Pickle of a week

The past week has been a tough one for Unley Council in the media. There was: The unfortunate paid parking meter saga where the meters and parking spaces were on State Government land The Mayor of West Torrens John Trainer was a bit cranky about A-frames on the corner of Arthur Street and King William Road obstructing line of sight; he lives nearby But moving on to a new week and a new media cycle ... What fantastic news that the Sneaky Pickle food truck is removing its wheels and setting up shop in Unley. Sneaky Pickle (the shop) is located on Goodwood Road, just past the Goodwood Underpass. Opening hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 5:30pm to 9:30pm. I will now no longer have to follow their food truck around the CBD :) I will lobby Unley Council to get Sneaky Pickle to cater for some Council functions ;)

Electric buses

The proposed extension of the tram network beyond the Adelaide CBD to Unley, Norwood, Prospect is long overdue. However, the associated infrastructure will have an adverse impact on the local roads eg. Unley Road, Norwood Parade, Prospect Road ... On Unley and Prospect Roads, it will have a severe impact and hamper the smooth flow of traffic. Local retailers will suffer. It will be a mess. It will remove a lane of traffic. At Norwood, they've just realised that the streetscape will be devastated by the loss of a parade of magnificent trees. Such is progress in re-installing a tram network. Retro-fitting it where there are now obstacles. But it doesn't need to be. Rather than a new tram network, I propose a network of electric buses; in addition to the current fleet of diesel and gas powered buses. When on holiday in Wellington NZ, I was impressed by their electric buses. They were zippy and really moved along (compared with the slow pace of trams in SA). In places they us