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.
I'd been looking forward to getting to the end of the long string of vegetarian recipe books and doing something different, so the Womens Weekly Celebration Cakes was a welcome relief. I mostly used this book for Cakewoman purposes, and it contains my key recipes for fruit cakes and carrot cakes and that sort of thing. It contains some good decorations too - there's one cake in particular that I took a lot of orders for (on right below)
This time I decided to have a go at the star shaped cake below. Mostly because it simply looked delicious.
I knew the chocolate rolls would be difficult. The recipe included about 2 lines of instructions on how to do them, which I suspected wasn't going to be enough - kind of like getting two lines of instructions for landing a plane. Working with chocolate is tricky, and even if you know what you are doing some chocolate works a lot better than other chocolate. And sure enough, despite following the instructions, Zali and I had next to no success, but a lot of mess with the rolls. I managed to get one single usable curl though.
So we resorted to doing what we knew worked - chocolate curls with the vegetable peeler :
and the end result looked almost as good as the picture:
and tasted delicious of course.
Sunday, 9 August 2020
Hot off my last (and first) hike to the top of the mountain a few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to do it again this weekend for two reasons; 1) I hadn't been for my normal midweek long hike due to the bad weather and 2) the aforementioned bad weather had brought snow which I thought would be fun and pretty to hike through.
So after cajoling Clare to accompany me (who in turn cajoled her father Greg), we set off at a brisk pace off from Cascade Gardens at 7.30 on Saturday morning.
Clare wasn't convinced that a snow hike would be that much fun and Greg was a definite NO, so once we reached Junction Cabin he peeled off for his own loop while Clare and I continued on and up towards Pinnacle Road via Hunters Track. By the time we got there we really were hiking through snow, so it was a relief to pop out onto the cleared and sunny road. It was also great that the road was closed to cars at that stage, so we had the place to ourselves and just a few other hikers/trail runners.
Up on the road the weather was amazing, the views were fantastic, and compared to the previous 90 minutes, the walking was easy:
We reached the junction to Panorama track and quickly discovered that Clare's shoes were not going to allow her to make any forward progress on the tightly snow packed trail. I had my orienteering spikes with me and I was still keen to get to the top - so we temporarily separated for her to return to the springs via the Organ Pipes track while I went up to the top then down via the Zig Zag track. My spikes were great and gave me all the traction I needed on the narrow trail through the snowgums.
The Panorama track meets the Pinnacle Road about 500 metres before the top so I just had a bit more road to go before making it.
Along the way I noticed that the branches of the trees by the side of the road were encased in ice, making them sparkle like chandeliers - there must have been quite a wind up there in the previous days.
Once I made it to the top I didn't really have time to visit the shelter (I would have had it all to myself), but I did visit the fancy new toilets - which are HEATED! It was like walking into the aquatic centre !
As I started towards the Zig Zag trail I noticed that the rocks had horizontal icicles sticking out from them. I didn't get a good photo unfortunately but the formations were absolutely incredible.
From there I headed down the Zig Zag, scooting past a train of reluctant hikers who had been stopped from driving up at the Springs by the closed roads. I had the best grip in the world, while they were slipping about like crazy.
I met Clare back the Springs where she was waiting (and monitoring my progress on google maps) and she had also ordered me a perfectly timed hot chocolate. From there we continued down the mountain meeting up with Jo on the way who accompanied us all the way back to the car. It was a fantastic trip out in incredibly good weather - once again making it obvious how lucky we are to live in Tasmania.
Oh and the accident? Well, after climbing 1200 metres all up, and covering 22kms of technical and partially snow covered trail, I tripped over my feet about 50 metres from the car, ON THE PAVEMENT - ripping my tights and banging my knee.
As we were in South Hobart a lovely passer by stopped and offered to do Reiki treatment on my injury to which Jo and Clare enthusiastically accepted on my behalf. It turned out to be pretty good and although my knee (and tights) wasn't completely healed, it was good enough to get me back to the car!
Monday, 27 July 2020
Day 3 of our lovely trip to Coles Bay was the first serious statewide orienteering event since March. This event was also Clare's baby - while I was putting out my controls the previous day, she was recovering from lugging hers to the far corner of the map.
I don't have many photos but it was a lovely day and everyone enjoyed the proper orienteering. It was so nice to be back doing normal (well for us anyway) things.
After the event I helped get in the controls and we drove home to family dinner at Denny's place. What a perfect weekend.
On Saturday morning we sent the kids off in the charter boat with some other friends to Cooks Beach. With the intention that they'd find their way home. Or not. Whichever.
Once again it was an incredibly calm day, so their journey would have been pretty smooth.
While they motored to the end of the peninsular, I went with Jon to Wineglass Bay Carpark where he set off for his own run of the Freycinet Circuit, and I ambled back along the new track that connects the town to the carpark which is a great addition to the area.
Once I got home I did some uni stuff then I started to put out the 30 controls that needed to be in place for the night event I was organising. It took a long time to get them all out there, but it was a nice place to be wandering around!
While I did that the kids were trekking home. They had decided to head over Mt Graham which meant an 18km hike with plenty of hills, so they were fully cooked by the time they got home! Luckily they (and Jon) had time to recover for a few hours before fronting up to my event.
While their broken bodies lay strewn around the cabin I did the final setup for the event and waited for the sun to go down (conveniently early compared to the original pre-covid date of this event). Just after sunset 60 or so runners fanned out through the Coles Bay township to visit as many controls as they could in 45 minutes.
Paul and Jon both did pretty well overall (surprising given both of them had covered 29k hours earlier), while the kids looked like they had lots of fun. We've been able to use our fancy head torches a lot this year which has been good.
With the event done and dusted we collected up the controls pretty quickly and then the Mitchell & Hawthorne families came over to our cabin for an indian banquet. It was the perfect way to end a fantastic day.