Thursday, 26 June 2014

Awesome Melbourne tourist attraction!

Check it out, it's a rock! Actually it's a super cool glacial Antarctic rock, brought from Mawson station and put here to commemorate the centenary of the Victorian Royal Society. That was back in 1959. I worked across the road from here for years, and I didn't come over to read the plaque until much later when I was visiting the city with the kids.

It's on the corner of Exhibition and LaTrobe streets, so go and see the Antarctic rock!

Tasty lunch on a park bench

At last I get to try Miss Chu rice paper rolls! I've got takeaway here, and I'm eating outside the Royal Society of Victoria. The rolls are yum, and the sauce with them is not only delicious, but comes in a darling little bottle I'll probably keep! There is an awesome tourist attraction just near me ...

Go to the Myer toy department!

There are some cool Lego models, including this excellent Flinders St station.

Outstanding view

From the ladies loo! Well, just outside it. Old and new Melbourne.

A very Melbourne mural

Loving this artwork on the wall at Emporium Melbourne. It's made of photos from Melbourne's history. Some I recognise - the triangle in the bottom left corner is the Hopeton Tea Rooms, where Jeff's Nana worked many years ago.

And if you like Zentangles...

... you'll be grabbing a pen about now. Zentangles are a drawing method based on finding cool patterns and incorporating them into drawings. This is the sort of pattern you'd go mad for!

Winter day joy

There seem to be a lot of rainbows around Melbourne at the moment.

What have they done to the GPO?

It's become an H&M store. Happily, they have kept those lovely arches. I used to do my posting here, when the GPO was a GPO.

A day off in Melbourne

I'm starting my day off with a stroll around Melbourne. It's been a while since I visited the city. The one problem with Melbourne is, it's just so hard to get a coffee. I can't have seen more than two to three thousand vendors since I got here, several hours ago. This is from Earl at Emporium Melbourne. That's a friand. Friands are nice.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Catriona's new wardrobe

Young Catriona is scoring well in this renovation. The room we are cleaning up for her has a walk in wardrobe and an ensuite. They needed major sprucing up though, and that's well underway now! Cabinets went in today.

Look at my new little room now!

Here's what my room looks like now. Builders are at work turning what used to be a hallway into a nice room I can use as a study/play room. It's adjacent to the parents bedroom, so of course Jeff will be allowed in, but kids will have to ask permission. The nice big gap is my pretty window, and Benedict is just exploring outside. Since we took this photo, they've started on the roof too!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

I finally worked out how juice fennel

First of all, why did I want to make juice out of fennel? Fennel is tasty to eat, but not one of the popular juicing vegetables. Well, if you'd read Jim Lahey's book, My Bread, you'd see that for some of his bread recipes, he substitutes other liquids for the water. The carrot bread, for example, has you juicing carrots. I tried that, and it was excellent, so I was keen to follow the recipe for Fennel Bread.

The first time I tried, I used a little juicer, which did not like job at all. It hopped all around the benchtop. It was hard work getting a trickle of juice.

But now I have a Bellini - that's the poor cousin to the Thermomix, which is a super-powered blender, among other things. The Bellini can turn most things into atoms in no time flat. Hmm.

So I took my fennel, and chopped it very roughly...

... and let it have a turn in the Bellini.

Mere seconds later, we have this - severely smashed up fennel.

Now, remember, blenders and juicers do a completely different job - one smashes up the fruit and vegies, and the other separates the pulp from the juice. Blenders are in the smashing business. So, we need to separate this pulp and juice.

Squeezing it through a cloth would work, but let's have some fun with kitchen appliances...

... and here's my other great appliance, the Kitchenaid mixer, with straining attachment. It lets you push your pulpy mixture in the top, and it presses it through a sieve, using a cool gadget that looks like a drill. It forces the dry pulp out, so nothing gets clogged, and you can keep separating for ages if you want to do a big batch.

Try not to snigger as the squeezed-dry pulp gets extruded out the nozzle here... the juice is gathering in the silver bowl.

And here's the end result. One large fennel bulb turned into 250ml of juice, and a nice plate of pulp.

I used this juice to make a delightful loaf of fennel bread.

At last, I have worked out how to juice fennel!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Lots to see at the winery walkabout

... Not least, this cool little hopping mouse. There was a band playing, a crowd of people, most of them in cool dress ups, and much good wine to taste and buy, but at Buller's winery, we entertained ourselves watching this little guy. Very tame, definitely a hopping mouse, not a regular mouse.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

More chocolate and whisky

The Corowa shire sold the unused flour mill (for $1) to the people who run the Junee liquorice factory further north, knowing that they'd work to turn it into something nice. So far, a very nice cafe, chocolate sales, and whisky tasting. Every time we visit, they've improved this great site.

So, go and visit the chocolate and whisky in Corowa!

Here, have a desktop

When I take photos these days, I look for things I will enjoy as wallpaper on the PC, the Mac, the iPod, or the iPad. Here's one. I have a landscape version too, of course. This is the Corowa Chocolate and Whisky Distillery. We had the chocolate, not so much the whisky.

And also goats

Our motel has goats. I will ask for goats every time in future.

At the winery walkabout

We've decided to leave great, drizzly Melbourne behind for the long weekend, and come to Rutherglen for the Winery Walkabout. This is how we do things now ... A glass of "After Dark", a semi-sweet durif, and a rich chocolate brownie studded with cranberries macerated in After Dark, from Scion Winery, one of the smaller wineries. Now that makes a very nice visit.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Hey, we've got a new room on the house!

Well, not quite, but you can see where it will be. This used to be a small walkway and a bit of garden. That panel on the right used to be a window, but will now be wall. On the left is the parents bedroom, currently boarded up! The photo was taken at dusk, which is why it's so dark ... The days are pretty short in Melbourne this time of year!