changeling: (Default)
From Cate's Cates:

Wasabi is much more burny than chilli – but it turns out that Wasabi is also an honest sort of assailant. It faces you squarely and hits you in the face, but then runs away, unlike chilli’s evil habit of sneaking up on you slowly, surrounding you, and mugging you when it’s too late for you to do anything about it.


It's trooooo.


As a sort of side note, I was pleased that I'd started using my Dreamwidth again. And then I started building 750 Words/morning pages into my day, and all my momentum disappeared, as I was essentially blogging there each morning. I had intentions to copy-pasta some of that over here, but obviously that hasn't happened. We'll see how this goes; I'm still bedding down that habit, and I would like to keep blogging here. I'm finally enjoying it again, instead of seeing it as something I "ought" to do.
changeling: An image of Hermes, painted by Dali (magic)
I finally got paid today, which was very relieving due to the fact that I was stony broke, due to unfortunate circumstances, slight mismanagement of money, a folk festival and CHRISTMAS. I also forgot, between the delicious organic BBQ chips & nachos for dinner that if I have too many chips with their salty goodness, I get a headache. But it was almost worth it.

Besides work, where I am working on a book I do not love, with software programs I really do not love (Dear Microsoft. I haaaaate you. And everyone who worked on PowerPoint. Ever), today was pure awesome.

Jess and I went down the street for lunch, where we sat outside in the shade and ate burgers, and got amazing gelati to eat on our walk back. I got lemon and blood orange, and the blood orange, MMm. Doing that again.

And then, on my way home, I read this fic recced by Copperbadge. I've never watched Merlin (or been a BNF in any fandom), but this isn't about Merlin. It's about fandom, and my gods. I've been part of LJ fandom since first year (of uni), which, for those of you that are counting, was ten years ago. I may not be active anymore, but these? These are my people. <3.

I got home, and did a half-arsed job of unpacking the groceries, and I watched the latest White Collar while making "dinner" and soup for later. AND LO, IT WAS AWESOME. Peter on a horse, people. This episode was everything I love about White Collar rolled up in a tight package and then dusted with, I don't know, crushed vegan tim-tams or something. (I've been eating them all week with my tea. Don't judge me.) SO GOOD.

And then, and then? The December edition of Omikuji by Cat Valente was in my inbox. And it was so amazing. My heart grew three sizes. Just, wow.

Also, I got a message from my girl today. And that was lovely.

See, I knew there was a reason I put on my pretty purple silk dress, and my favourite seamed stockings and my straw cloche hat today, despite being under the weather. Some days just need you to dress up.
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I've got to stop clicking on Warren Ellis's "Conan! What is best in life?" posts. Seriously. It's been years. I should know better by now.

...

Homemade ice cream is still one of the best things ever. Nom.

...

It's been so nice dogsitting the last week and a half. It's like a trial run of having my own dog. The Dog is very sweet and looked after me on Monday when I had a bit of a round of depression and wandered around the house crying at not very much at all. Since then she's tended to follow me around more than I noticed her doing before. I've moved one of her beds into my room until The Family gets back because it seemed nicer than having her curl up on the floor by my desk.

She's been seriously a bit crazy the last couple of days, though. Very hyper. And every time I pick up my keys she goes nuts, then runs to the front door and goes nuts some more. Apparently the only time I pick up my keys is when I'm going to take her for a walk. (Not sure this is true!)

She pulled like crazy for the first half of her walk today, which was very naughty and made my shoulders ache. I looked forward to letting her off the leash, and then the walk home, by which time she's sufficiently tired that she walks at a sensible pace.

We went to the further-away park today, where there are usually other dogs to play with. She was Queen of the Park today, with her retinue of two. They were completely fixated on her, and she'd play for them for awhile, then come over to me for some pettings, then run off for some more playing.

I'm sure I'll miss her undivided attention once The Family get back and I drop down in the pack hierarchy four places. :) I'll also be sad when I move out and I have to leave her behind. I've loved all the dogs I've lived with, and I still have fond thoughts of my ex's family's dogs. Miss them both, especially the lurcher.

...

Chris has very kindly given me another Steam game. Unfortunately for me, my laptop's with Raven as it and my mobile had a serious disagreement ending in some sort of hard drive problem in my shiny laptop.

On the plus side, this means that I have a bit more time in the evenings since I'm not immediately eaten up by the computer. Weeell, I do when I don't get home at 7.30 and spend 45 minutes walking the dog before even starting dinner.

Quiet day

Jan. 12th, 2010 08:51 pm
changeling: An image of Hermes, painted by Dali (magic)
Didn't sleep last night due to the heat and having a wee meltdown of my own. Went into work today for a meeting, determined that it'd be a brief stay; wound up being there for about four and a half hours. Which means that either tomorrow will be really short, or I can have short days for the rest of the week. Either way, this is a win. I should do this more often.

***

Came home, still hot. Fell asleep on my temporary couch-cushion bed under the air conditioner for two-and-a-half hours. Bliss. (Woke up a few times, but fell back asleep quickly, so who cares.)

Took The Dog for a lovely long walk to make up the previous two days. She was very, very excited. Guess she hated being cooped up yesterday, too. We walked to the slightly-less-near park, which is lovely and large and there were other dogs to play with. We both enjoyed ourselves immensely.

***

Delicious dinner. Two mini pizzas: one basil pesto with pumpkin steamed with balsamic, spinach & tofu, the other dill & chive pesto with eggplant, spinach & tofu.

.

I was very good tonight & cooked some extra eggplant and pumpkin to go in a salad tomorrow, and cleaned up the kitchen, which was starting to look messy. After everything was done, and tomorrow's lunch was packed, I went up upload the photos and realised I hadn't eaten dinner yet. It was still in the oven, which was luckily off. The pizzas were still warm & delicious. Nom nom. Totally doing that again.

***

In one of those good news/bad news things, my phone will not talk to my computer, then, when trying to fix that, my laptop stopped talking to me (briefly), then to its built-in keyboard, touchpad and fingerprint scanner. The last is the most annoying because if it were working I could work around the keyboard being broke. Still, Raven very kindly picked it up from work today and apparently it is nearly fixed! Hoorah! I don't hold out much hope for the mobile magically talking to it when it returns, though. We'll see. (Knew I should have got another E63. Stupid E71.)

***

This is ADORABLE:


I wonder if Evelyn Evelyn will come and support Amanda Palmer at her February gig (which, by the way, I have TICKETS TO and it's practically on my birthday)?

***

It's finally getting COLD now, and the air smells of rain. Time to shut up the house.
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Argh, I so have to upload more icons to my dW account. Not that I have many to play with.

***

Went to Daylesford today, to the yearly lavender festival my morris side dances out at. We worked out today that next year will be our tenth year of dancing there.

It was hot. It's always hot at this gig, but it hasn't been quite this hot for about five years (the last time was the year before my first time). Today it reached at least 39°C (102°F) where we were dancing. Later, when driving to the pub, Julie's car claimed it was 41°C outside (106°F). It was just stupidly hot. We danced very abbreviated sets, only two or three dances at a time, and made sure that there was always people not dancing. I was there mostly as a muso; normally I'd be trying to get some more dances in but today that suited me fine. As it was I got very nauseous with the heat towards the end of the day and felt like I was going to throw up.

***

Delicious food things (mostly from the market at the festival):
  • The provodore was there again this year. So for lunch I had trendy-cafe quality garlicky hummus, tomato and native oregano dip (also chickpea based, actually) and lightly fried bread with rocket (arugula) tossed with a little oil and salt piled on top. It was amazingly delicious and the salt was just what I needed.
  • Henry of Harcourt, they of the award-winning perry, were there again this year, and this year they brought apple juice. Since I'm not a big hard cider fan, this made me very happy. And it was amazingly good apple juice. Not quite as good as Kalangadoo (that apple juice tasted like caramel, I'm not kidding), but fantastic nonetheless. Also it was very cold, and you could have it over ice if you wanted.
  • The berry place was back again this year! Last year they'd just given a few berry boxes to friends who were going to be at the market. This year they had a full presence. No marionberries, alas (I discovered marionberries two years ago at the same festival. They are my favourite), but I bought a box of silvanberries, a box of boysenberries, and a box of blueberries. They'll probably go into my green smoothies that I have thankfully started having for breakfast again, now that I own a blender. Unless I turn the silvanberries into icecream, which is something I'm still tossing up about. After all, I've never had silvanberry icecream. OMG YUM.
  • I bought a loaf of sourdough olive bread from Himalayas bakery in Daylesford. So that's what I had for dinner: toasted sourdough olive bread with leftover dips from lunch. It was exactly what I needed on such a hot day; not too fussy. Thank goodness for Julie's esky...
  • I made friends with the sourdough bakers at the festival. We discussed bread and I admitted that I killed my last sourdough starter. I told the bloke, who was the baker, about my favourite and only bread book, and the delicious crumpets I made from it. He didn't have a recipe for good crumpets, so was interested. I discovered that they also run sourdough workshops, which you get to take home the starter you make. They're one-day workshops, run on a Sunday, so I'll probably go up the Saturday night (or day) and make a bit of an event of it. I'm hoping to go with Sean, because I know he'll get as much of a kick out of it as I will. So we'll see what we can organise.
***

It was lovely to have such a warm reception from The Dog when I got home tonight. I felt terribly sorry for her, being locked home by herself today. Worse because she was stuck outside (though The BOM says it didn't get much hotter than 30 in Melbourne, at least), but I didn't want to lock her inside for 12+ hours either.

She highly approves of the couple of crusts of my sourdough bread that she got tonight (no dips for her, though. Far too much garlic for dogkind, I think). She's wandered off to sleep on one of The Family's beds now, but for most of the first hour that I was home she was following me around a bit, to make sure I didn't sneak off again on a silly morris trip.

She was quite difficult to get outside this morning. She recognises morris kit all too well and knows exactly what it means.

***

Went to the supermarket on my way home tonight to get some icecream ingredients (soy milk being chief among them). I managed to get the candy canes I wanted, which is good. $3 for 100 small canes. I was nervous they'd have cleared out their stock already from Christmas. I hadn't had any this past year. This was doubly good since apparently no Melbourne supermarket stocks peppermint essence anymore. Why not?? Other essences are around, but I want PEPPERMINT. I am a peppermint fiend, dammit. Also peppermint essence is good to add to water to make up a little spray bottle for ant dissuasion in the kitchen. It's multipurpose! Can anyone else find any? I've been looking for a few years now, without success. (Maybe I only look when it's out of stock...?)

So, anyway, I will have chocolate icecream with chocolate chips and smashed candy cane, which will be nice (though not quite as nice as peppermint icecream with peppermint chips and chocolate chips). I also have biscuits for cookies and cream icecream, and enough milk for a third round of icecream, maybe my silvanberry. Of course, if I had remembered to put the silly icecream machine in the freezer, I could be making icecream right now, dammit. Oh well. It will be very nice to make it tomorrow morning, when Australia plans to move a foot and a half away from the surface of the sun and it will be FORTY-ONE DEGREES. Man was not meant for such temperatures.

Meanwhile, apparently the US (according to Neil Gaiman) and the UK (according to a uni friend, via Facebook) are reaching temperatures of about –25°C, which just boggles my mind. Surely you'd just snap freeze to the spot when it's that cold?

Sing it with me: CLIIIIMATE CHAAAAANGE.
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The household is going raw food for six weeks. There's a lot of reasons behind this. Part of it is that raw foods really are very good for you, part of it is just culinary experimentation. Another part is that Steph and I had both put on weight over the last year and a half (almost 10 kilos for me, slightly less for Steph) for varying reasons. And as I have stated before many, many times, I want to be able to fit all my clothes comfortably again. And I have never seen a fat raw fooder.

It's also a way of adhering to our favourite diet plan (eat lots and lots of low-calorie, high-nutrient foods until your stomach explodes). I have certainly found that I don't make proper dietary changes unless they're drastic, and Fuhrman is no longer drastic enough for me. (When we went vegan originally, we also went wholefoods at the same time. I lost multiple kilos when we did that.)

So far so good, although I find the raw food community's habit of putting fat (nuts & seeds or avocado, or out-and-out oils) in EVERYTHING very offputting. I'm used to Drs Fuhrmann, MacDougall and Esselstein, who are all very adamant in their NO OIL (except for 1 tB of ground flaxseed or small quantity of nuts for the fat-soluble vitamins and Omega 3s) message. And yet I'm losing weight, and largely enjoying it. I was craving salad on Friday at lunch, if you can believe that. (It had non-raw felafel and hummus dressing, but still.)

Cint and I went shopping to the Organic Wholefoods place on Lygon St, which I hadn't checked out before. It's very exciting, and quite large. We bought Maca and Lucuma powders, which I have never tried, and so am eager to use. I bet they'd be nice in baked goods once I'm not being raw anymore, too.

I also bought a sprouting greenhouse. Previously I had a hemp bag, which was quite good for sprouts rather than shoots, if I can make that distinction. This one is more geared towards shoots; it suggests only putting in about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of seed per each tray; I'd generally chuck 1 cup of dried beans or lentils in my bag (after soaking them first, of course). I'm planning on ignoring directions in my greenhouse for large beans/lentils/etc that I just want for sprouts, and using their small quantities for shoots. There are three layers to my greenhouse, so I currently have a layer of adzuki beans, one of quinoa, and one of cress. And I still have my hemp bag, so I might do another round of chickpeas in that for either raw hummus or an experiment in raw felafel. Because I will be able to get through six weeks if I am allowed to have hummus and felafel.

We actually made raw hummus yesterday (I plan ahead when it comes to my addictions). We found BLACK TAHINI at the wholefoods place, presumably from black sesame seeds. It really is black as pitch. When we're not eating raw, I'm going to make goth hummus with black beans and black tahini. It will be awesome. (I'd have a go at it raw, but apparently sprouted black beans aren't worth eating.) So our raw hummus is a kind of purply-grey, since we mixed some of the black tahini with normal tahini. Raw hummus, by the way, seems to need more flavourings like lemon juice and garlic, but that may be because Cint didn't measure the sprouted chickpeas, so there may have been more than we were guesstimating for.

So yeah, hurrah food experimentation! And hurrah for my new awesome sprouting greenhouse! (I like lentil sprouts. They are delicious.)
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I have had a rather wonderful day so far. I got myself in gear early – even though I was up late with class last night – and managed to pray in front of my shrine, which is something I haven't done properly in weeks. I also turned the affirmation I was given in Kinesiology class last night into a prayer, and I'll be using that for the next nine days.

I picked up Making a Literary Life, by Carolyn See, which my dad gave me a few years ago, and read it on the tram. I haven't read it all the way through before, and it tied in well with the later theme of the day. I also got to see my girl, as I was bringing in documents from home she forgot. She is feeling flat today, and I made her smile several times on the walk to her work, which was even better. Then, as there's a Westpac right near her work, I deposited my paycheque. *virtuous*

And I decided that I was sick of being upset about missing Anelisseia, especially since it involves Thoth, one of my favourite gods, and Hermes, who has been quietly moving himself to the forefront of my attention recently. So, refusing to wallow in misery any longer, I used my Reader's Feast voucher to buy a book on beginner's book of heiroglyphs published by the British Museum that I've been eyeing off (it's designed for kids and looks like a lot of fun), which is, unintentionally and unconsciously, for Thoth. RF didn't have any books on Greece that I wanted (they had Kerenyi's book on Dionysus, which I'm interested in, but felt a bit funny buying for Anelisseia), so I checked out their YA section and picked up a new-ish Diana Wynne Jones called The Pinhoe Egg, which I suppose is appropriately Hermean since it's about magic. I tend to associate Thoth with non-fiction and editing, and Hermes with the writing of fiction, so it worked out very well.

I went into Haigh's on Swanston St for some cheer-up chocs for Steph, and some ritual chocolates (a couple of dark-chocolate violet creams for Dj, a dark chocolate, bronze-foiled heart for Herm), and made a nuisance of myself asking which of the filled chocolates were dairy-free. There was one that seemed to be a new one, and the woman behind the counter couldn't find it in her book, and ended up ringing the Block Arcade shop to find out. While she was on the phone, the other girl behind the counter struck up a conversation with me. She was a little heavy and about my age. She said that the manager of the store's husband or partner (I forget) was vegan, so she knew all about which ones were safe, but she was on hols. I said I was vegan, and the girl was really interested, and wanted to know what I ate "as a replacement", and where I liked to eat out. She said she used to be vegetarian in her teens, but her parents told her it was too expensive (what bollocks) and put the kibosh on it. She had been vegetarian for animal-rights reasons, and asked why I went vegan. I said that Steph had eczema set off by dairy, and that the research we did caused us to believe that eating animal products isn't very good for people. I mentioned The China Study, and offered to write it down. (I wrote down Eat to Live, too, partly because she was rather heavy and I thought she might be interested, and partly because it's more layperson-friendly than The China Study. Steph refers to it as the "how-to guide" of The China Study.) She said that her brother and sister had really bad eczema, so I wrote down Eczema-Free for Life, which Steph found essential in finally coming to an understanding about what having eczema means.

Anyway, the other woman came back from her phone conversation, and I placed my order (as well as a couple of peppermint centres for me), and she was very stoic with the shopgirl chatting with me. Finally, as I was about to leave, the shopgirl said I had "lovely skin", which made me smile all the way back to work.

I set up an altar on my desk, where the books in their navy Reader's Feast voucher form an altar cloth, and the chocolates sat upon a CD-spindle pedestal. I've got a few important things done at work, which is nice, and as no-one is in the office at the moment, I performed a ritual in my lunchbreak. I read a hymn to Hermes, and a prayer to Thoth, skimmed through the heiroglyph book, read the first few pages of The Pinhoe Egg, and performed bibliomancy in same:

"I only came to find my cat, really," Marianne said.


... which is pretty revealing to me, for a YA fantasy novel.

So I've had a lovely Anelisseia, even ten days late.
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So, Steph and I are going to a ball tonight, which is a story that I don't have all the words for right now, because I'm tired and with low blood sugar because there was NO MILK when I got up this morning, so I had no muesli ...

... anyway. It's organised by her work, and its a (HORRORS) buffet, which means heaps more options for "normals", but anyone with different dietary requirements (coeliacs, vegans etc) is completely buggered. There's no "special plate for table 5" with a buffet.

Here's the menu (Typos are theirs, not Steph's, who emailed it to me):
Tasmanian Oyster Tower - mounted on creushed ice, lemon wedges, five dressings
Platters of 'Nori' Hand Rolls - tuna, crispy chicken, pickled vegetable
Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast - curried water chestnut salad, cranberry jelly
'Sumac' spiced Calamari Salad - on smokey babaganosh, baby cress
Baby Gem & Tandoori Chicken Caesar Salad - coddled egges, shaved reggiano
Roasted Plum Tomatoes - marinated in aged balsamic dressing, buffalo mozzarella, vigin olive oil & basil
Soba Noodle Salad - Milawa three seed mustard mayo, spring onions, grilled pancetta
Wild Rocket - jinki blue cheese, toasted walnuts, pached 'nashi' pear salad
Mixed Salad Leaves - wild cresses, champagne vingerette
Blackened beef & Singapore Noodle Box - cripsy shallots & coriander
Smoked paprika scented salmon - dried tomato & olive crushed southern
gold's char-grilled spring onions lemon & basil dressing

Traditional self-saucing chocolate pudding - whipped navilla bean cream
cold set raspberry cheesecake - raspberry salas, Persian fairy floss
'Sharp' possets lemon & lime
Strawberries rubbed with toasted coconut, Yarra Valley clotted cream


For those of you paying attention, Steph and I can eat ... the mixed salad leaves. And probably pickled vegetable hand rolls. That's it. We'll probably be able to eat the roasted plum tomatoes, providing the mozzarella hasn't been melted over them. For dessert ... well, if the Persian fairy floss is a separate dish, and not part of the cheesecake (hard to tell &ndash; is it bad formatting, or culinary design?), we can have that.

I suppose those of you who aren't vegan would be saying triumphantly here, "I bet you just wish you'd eat like a NORMAL person, instead of expecting people to make a fuss over you!" and I'd say, "Not really," although I might add in my head that it might be nice if a few more people ate like us.

Steph and I try to be accommodating. If we're going over to someone's place for dinner, we'll usually offer to bring a salad or something, partly to help out, and partly because it's nice to know that you'll be able to eat more than white bread, tomato sauce and lettuce for lunch*. This doesn't really fly with balls, especially since we've paid $55 each for the privilege of watching the fish in a wall tank.

Plus I'm tired and cranky, and just in the mood for a big bitch, but there isn't another food-freak in the office at the moment. Well, there isn't anyone in the office at the moment, but that's just points on a technicality. I shaved my legs for this, dammit. They feel weird in my trousers.


* True story.
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I have curried pea soup for breakfast. Yay! I like legumey porridges for breakfast. My usual default is a mild dhal, or kitcheree (as per Charmaine: 50% lentils, 50% rice). It's easy, because it just involves a cup of dried legumes and two cups of water, maybe some spices (I often just use cardomom), then you shove it on the stove and go check your library's catalogue online (or whatever).

I just don't like normal porridge at all. I think this might all tie in to the savoury vs sweet breakfast preferences, though I do like pancakes for breakfast. Perhaps that does not count. Do we not ALL like pancakes for breakfast? Especially with blueberry–maple syrup, or a berry compote. Mmm, berries.

I have been given an enforced day off. I'm only supposed to work four days a week, but I've been working five to finish off these books I've been working on, and Mark told me not to come in today because the new project won't be done. Eh. I wanted to spend one day this week in the State Library, continuing the reading I began on Sunday (Greek religion: archaic and classical, Walter Burkert, translated by John Raffan). I kinda wish the State Library was a borrowing library, and not just a reference library, but on the other hand, it would mean that the collection wouldn't be nearly as awesome. I hope today I get one of their comfy armchairs, or failing that, a chair at all. I didn't account for how popular the library would be on Sunday, and ended up sitting on the ground in the magazine section, with my back to the wall. That sucked.
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I've been re-reading Living the Good Life: How one family changed their world from their own backyard, by Linda Cockburn (and her accompanying website) I first heard of Linda back in July–August 2005, when Steph and I were babysitting a beautiful house in Kingsville (I want to say "cottage" – it was pretty small), living out of home together and for the first time, going vegan, and embracing wholefoods ... and losing weight without trying. There was an article on what they were trying to achieve in Gardening Australia's organic gardening magazine. Later, when the book came out (February 2006), I snapped up a copy and wolfed it down as fast as humanly possible.

The book charts Linda and her family's attempt to live for six months without spending a dollar (barring things like medical expenses and rates). And they succeed pretty well, considering they're in Queensland and it was one of the dryest six months on record in their region (and frankly, probably in the whole of Australia). I found it so inspirational, as if someone had just projected my desires into a book. THIS is what I want to do with my life.

I have since found Cauldron Farm and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who've also got pieces of the puzzle. These people are all so inpirational. I can't wait until Steph and I have enough capital built up to take our own step.

I just re-took the Global Footprint test online, and my results were pretty good:
CATEGORYGLOBAL HECTARES
FOOD0.4
MOBILITY0.8
SHELTER0.6
GOODS/SERVICES           1.1
TOTAL FOOTPRINT2.9


IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 1.6 PLANETS.

It's slightly bollocks: it didn't take into account (for example) that I eat organic food (fewer nasties getting into the environment, less water use); that we flush the loo with shower water (and sometimes with discarded laundry water); that we switch our appliances off at the wall to avoid phantom loading; that we only switch the TV on about once or twice a week (to watch Robin Hood), that we source our electricity from Green Power; that S and I try to shower together, and briefly, only every other day and that on alternating days we bathe out of a sink; and so on and so forth. Still, I got markedly below the average for Australia – 7.6 global hectares per person, meaning that if everyone lived like that, we'd need 4.2 planets.

Still, it gives us something to aim at, and we're improving, too. We're going to get rid of the car indefinitely in the next six months (the only difficulty will be intra- and interstate morris trips – there we'll either have to rely on other people's goodwill or V-Line) and replacing it with electric bikes. Mine will have to get another basket affixed to it, as my pushbike has, and possibly a basket in front, so that I can market shop if we move somewhere further away than we currently are from a market & public transport. Once we have our own place and are not renting, we'll be moving towards sourcing most of our food (we'll probably still be buying sugar and flour). We also plan on getting a composting toilet, solar hot water, and solar panels for electricity.

And we plan on moving out of the city. I want to smallhold (just like Hugh ...) The current plan is to move to Marysville (she says, having not yet visited it). It's sub-alpine, has more rainfall than Melbourne (currently a BIG factor), and apparently has four distinct seasons and tends to the COLD. This all makes me extraordinarily happy. I have planned on moving to England for years and years, but Steph was moved around a lot as a child, so the idea of permanently relocating again moves her to tears. This way I get an England-esque climate, not to mention RAINFALL, and we'll only be a bit further away from Melbourne than the distance between our parents' places.

I can't WAIT to get started. In the short term, though, we have a couple more pots that need filling, which we're going to tuck in to this weekend. (Hooray! Finally!) And I just might plant some basil in the backyard to let it grow wild.

Further inspiring links:
A cute mindmap of things you can do to lessen global warming (I've printed it and it's going on our fridge)
A link to an organic gardening how-to site (this is mostly for me)
A website giving tips on how to lessen global warming, based in Tasmania.
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Today was hot, yet I wanted to have stuffed (roast) capsicums. Using the oven on Hot Days is verboten in this house (understandable, I know). So, what to do?

What I did was bake them. I created no extra heat, and used no extra electricity or gas.

Want to know how? )
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I'll admit I've been looking forward for an excuse to go to the Hopetoun Tea Rooms for some time. Located in the genteel Block Arcade, I'd passed it with many a longing glance.

My main problem with the Tea Rooms is that they're not really very interested in serving tea. They have three types listed on the menu: English Breakfast, Earl Gray, and "herbal". Presumably I could inquire as to what herbal entailed, but I was here for old-fashioned English tea, and tea I was going to have. My companion, Ben, was quite disappointed that they didn't have Lady Gray, a tea that is reportedly difficult to find in the cafés of Melbourne. The Tea Rooms, I feel, have an opportunity to stock a range of actual teas, like Russian Caravan and the ilk, to distinguish them from many cafés, which will stock a wide range (well, a range anyway) of herbal teas.

The arrival of my tea came with two small metal "teapots" – the sort that look like the result of a sordid affair with a café milk-frothing jug, and the sort of heavy, thick, white china that one expects to see in a truck stop, or an airport waiting lounge. The fingerloop was too small to fit more than a finger and a half in comfortably, and the cup was too heavy to drink from delicately. It was definitely at odds with the décor. I felt that I was not being trusted not to break something and were Lady Hopetoun around, she would be outraged. I've been to several Asian-run tea rooms in Melbourne now, and they all trust me with a proper teapot and cup. In their favour, they at least used leaf tea instead of bags, and I don't think they were using Tea2, which use flavourings in their tea (chemicals; as opposed to infusing tea leaves with jasmine or bergamot, or adding whole cinnamon).

I also, in the interest of having something to eat (I could see no vegan options besides salad on the menu, and I'd already had lunch), I tried one of their cakes. It was supposed to be a flourless almond and orange chocolate cake, but it bore no resemblance to the either of the fabulous mudcakes I've made in the last while (I made one flourless with hazelnut meal, the other orange and spice flavoured). It resembled the packet mix cakes my sister makes – certainly not what I expected. They had drizzled chocolate syrup, and one taste sent me right back to my childhood – they'd used Cottee's chocolate topping. Another strike. The ganache was passable, though there was rather a lot of it (about a centimetre and a half – trying to make up for the cake?), and I wasn't really interested in eating chocolate-flavoured lard. I would have liked to be asked whether I wanted cream (undoubtably from a can) with my cake, so I could decline. I suppose that's too much to expect – many places only ask if they have the option of giving you ice cream instead. And – THEY WERE OUT OF SCONES. What is a tea room without scones‽ This must be a one-off, you say. But no, last time Ben was there they were out of scones too. Disappointed, Hopetoun. You're letting the side down.

On another point, I really hated the uniform the waiters wore. They wore collarless dark-green blazers as you might expect a bellboy to wear at the Highett, and they were shabby and looked as though they'd been kept at the back of the cupboard for years. Were I to take over the Hopetoun Tea Rooms (a fantasy that became more insistent the longer it dwelled) I'm not sure what uniform I would institute, but Highett Bellboy really isn't what I expected.

Overall, I am disappointed. I don't know why all the reviews I see online are so effusive. They all talk about "indulging in the whims of a more mannered era" (not actual quote) and similar nonsense, but as an anachronist*, they really don't do this. The staff don't show any of what Wooster would call "the feudal spirit", and they don't make you feel at home. Clearly the reviewers have never visited any similar tea rooms elsewhere – particularly in England, where they do quaint so much better than Hopetoun ever could.

* Word made up on the spot to mean "someone who indulges in anachronicity in dress or behaviour"

Oh NOES!

Nov. 9th, 2006 12:05 am
changeling: (Default)
I've put our Christmas puddings out of the way in our storage area under the stairs. However, since this storage area is adjunct to the armchair I sit on to use the laptop, it means that every time I sit here, I'm going to be smelling DELICIOUS, DELICIOUS Christmas puddings. How am I going to cope‽
changeling: (Default)
So yesterday I began on the Finnish Rye Bread as posted by [livejournal.com profile] wittgensteinian. This is the first bread recipe I've ever tried. I had a bit of trouble, needing to use 450mL instead of 300, though this may be because I stubbornly refused to use white flour and used wholemeal instead. I'm also not sure that I've used the right sort of flour. The only flour I could find in Macro that was listed as "bread flour" was the flour mixes, and seeing as slow food is what gets my juices flowing (salivatory, that is), I decided to grab the rye flour they had there that they claimed could be used for bread among other things, and use the wholemeal plain flour I already had. I also couldn't find muscovado sugar in Coles, and though I found it in a nearby foreign-food deli, it cost $4 and I just didn't have much money on me, so I decided to stick with plain dark-brown sugar for this time.

Bread goes against all my creative impulses. I like to throw myself into something for hours at a time, not surfacing, until finished. Instead I had to put the dough together, then I let it rest overnight. Doing things in sections like this isn't the way I work. It also put down my idea of getting it done in time for Liam and Hedda coming over last night. Still, they, Dave (who came over later) and my sweetheart were all introduced to my not-yet loaf, which made me pleased (I also introduced Dave to my bike. I don't know, I'm odd like this). This morning I squished it down, had most of the loaf stick to my hands and had to cover said hands with spray-on canola oil in order to knead it and then attempt to shape it, before putting it aside for more resting. I thought it would rise more than it did; it just seemed to grow everyway at once, so it's a bit of a discus-shaped thing. I don't mind, though, so long as it's edible.

I also don't know if I kneaded it for long enough yesterday. I have a piece taken out of one of my fingers on the knuckle, so I had to do what I could while avoiding using that finger. I'm pretty sure I didn't knead it for fifteen minutes, as I have since seen a recipe call for. I can only hope.

Anyway, it's baked (only took 45 minutes, which isn't much when you're doing other things) and now it's cooking on a baking rack. It looks very exciting, if not quite as neat as I would like. I can't wait until Steph comes home, and then we shall TRY IT OUT, ideally with some beetroot chutney, which I am not allowing myself to make unless I have got all my chores done, so I had better dash off.

... the beetroot chutney will also be an experiment. I want it to taste something like The Chilli Factory's beetroot chutney, but as I've never made any sort of chutney before, let alone beetroot chutney, and I can't find a recipe I like, I shall have to make it up. There will be no apple, though, but I might put in carrot as TCF does.
changeling: (Default)
I was out all day yesterday. First I went to Bridge Rd to practise Bikram Yoga with Issy, but the trams were slow, and then they stopped at Victoria Pde – there'd been an accident up ahead. I had to walk the rest of the way. I felt a bit like Kate at the beginning of The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul, that something was conspiring to make sure I didn't get there. Still, Issy and I talked and I said that I'd meet her afterwards, so I headed over to Macro to do some shopping (toothpaste, rye flour [for bread], amaranth flour [for fiesta], kombu [sea vegetable – also for cooking beans], pinto beans [another bean I've never used before – also for fiesta], some loose leaf raspberry leaf and nettle teas [for about a quarter of what I usually pay for half as much], seed packets for genovese basil and cress) and then hung out in the cafe with a juice (berries, orange, ginger and watermelon – I thought it was a nice combination, sheer genius, but I'm sure I could put it together better than they did) and my Blue notebook and did some writing until Issy rocked up.

We chatted for a bit. She was simultaneously yoga-chilled and exhausted, so mostly I nattered at her. We headed over to Brunswick St (corner of Rose St) where there is a pub (Bimbo) that does $4 pizzas at lunchtime. I had the Organico (or something) which was a thick layer of roasted pumpkin and rosemary and pinenuts, topped with some soy cheese. Very, very nice. I am a big sucker for both pumpkin pizzas and rosemary. The waitress drizzled olive oil on all the pizzas before bringing them over, which I found a bit weird. I tipped mine up and drained as much as I could onto my plate. Brilliant pizza, though, especially for $4. The base was clearly made on premises, which made me think (with all my bread obsession of late) that I could make pizza dough, and then Steph's and my pizzas would be even awesomer – especially with the tomato sauce she made that afternoon. Issy said it was easy to do with a sourdough starter instead of yeast, and that all I needed was to put a cup of flour and a cup of water in an icecream container for a week, then move it to the fridge and feed it each day with a tB of flour and then she kept explaining about proving and things, but I was out of my depth and didn't retain the rest. I shall have to get her to either write it down for me, or I'll have to call her with notebook and pencil ready.

She also showed me her sweetheart's wholefood/organic shop in Smith St, and I picked up (at her urging) some cleavers (which she says goes well with nettle) and some SEKRIT TREAT for after the diet.

I travelled home, stopping to pick up some glass salad dressing bottles (brilliant for fridge storage; we will use these lots) and glass apothecary jars for storing the tea in. I hadn't quite got home when I got a call from Steph to come and pick her up. I started unpacking, and she made herself an awesome pizza (I might have stolen a couple of bites) and then we had to head out again for our appointment with My Wonderful Kinesiologist for a Bowen treatment. It was very nice, but I'm supposed to not do strenuous exercise for the next couple of days, which means no trips to the supermarket on my bike. I may have to take my car. Boo.

I should go. I have Much to Do today, and it's nearly ten. I should at the very least see if I can find some chickpeas to soak ...

Our little dog Charlie's come in to say hello, and he's been sitting on my lap as I write this. It's very nice. He decided to rest his head on the crook of my elbow after awhile, which made reaching the keyboard a little difficult. I think he's actually dozed off a few times.
changeling: (Default)
Oh god, I'm really craving a good baguette, now. A really good crusty one. Why can't bakeries ever make decent crust-so-crispy-it-snaps bread any more? The best I can ever get is almost-crusty-so-it's-just-really-chewy. My dad used to bring us home a loaf of crusty bread from our local bakery every Saturday, and I suppose it may be one of my comfort foods. It really makes me want to experiment with bread making (Don't want to use a bread maker, though. 1) Don't have one, and 2) I hate the little hole that gets left in the bottom from the mixer. Also the bread's always a strange shape) so I could make my own loaf of crusty bread. Mmm, crusty.

I'm hungry this morning. I've eaten my breakfast, and now I've eaten my combined morning and afternoon snacks (watermelon, pineapple, strawberries and apple. Mmm) and I'm still hungry. I'm a bit concerned, because I've been on a "diet" (it's more accurate to just call it a lifestyle change; we're just being especially strict with it at the moment) and for the last couple of weeks I've put on a bit of weight. Daharja says it's probably in part due because I'm starting to get down to my ideal weight, but I suspect it's also due to the treats I've been having. I had a couple of treats yesterday at writing group*, but they were so awful that I really don't think I'm going to be tempted to have treats there again. I may bring along my own ingredients for a decent nachos: baked corn chips, home-made salsa & salsa cruda – essentially what I had, but it'll taste better and won't have all this extra oil and sugar. Who adds sugar to a salsa? I ask you. It should NOT have been that sweet.

On the other hand, it's bollocking cold, and Steph said she was hungry all yesterday because the house was so cold. I suppose I should just tell my stomach that it isn't getting anything until lunch, and it can just go and burn some of that fat and sugar I had yesterday (which are probably even now clinging to the slopes of my hips) and like it. And I might go and have another go on the exercise bike in an attempt to warm up.


* We've been having it in a food court because it's warm and one of the few places in the city open on a Sunday. Also, there are no waiters to guilt us into buying $15 entrees.<\small>
changeling: (Default)
I made a delicious Mexican lasagne last night. It wasn't my usual own-recipe Mexican lasagne, which uses layers of corn chips instead of pasta, and uses salsa and guacamole (made from scratch, of course!) instead of bechamel.

Instead it was a thick tex-mex style chilli for the base, with my new black turtle beans. I even used some of the TVP that my mother-in-not-law kindly bought for us, though you could barely notice it was there around the zucchini, tomato and sweetcorn. I bought some wholegrain lasagne sheets (this is the first time I've used wholegrain lasagne. It's nice), and made a Vegan-Planet standard white sauce with tofu and a bit of oat milk. I layered all those together (I made a special one for M-I-NL, who doesn't deal well with spice, and then added in globs of chili and cayenne pepper into ours), then topped it with a salsa cruda (instead of cheese) and popped it in the oven for a quarter of an hour, while I made up some guacamole, to be dobbed on top just before serving. It was delicious, and very, very filling.

Steph came home from work early yesterday (her new "workplace agreement" while lasting out the last couple of weeks in this temp job), so she and I went shopping together yesterday for the tofu and lasagne and lettuce and so forth, then she plumped down on the couch with my laptop and chilled out. She deserves it; she works pretty hard. She won't get away with that tonight, though! I'm going to need some help today so that we can get everything done nice and early as we're going to go out tonight (quite late!) to an event called "Spiral Moves". Tomorrow S & I are going with [livejournal.com profile] hollyhearth and [livejournal.com profile] shinyandnat to a beginning kinesiology workshop. I'm looking forward to it, since I've found so far that kinesiology is pretty much the only thing that has any lasting effect on my painfully-solid muscles.

I called up [livejournal.com profile] bare_feeted, an old friend who I'm crap at catching up with (the fact that she's now based in Ballarat helps my case here slightly) to invite her to Spiral Dance, but she won't be in Melbourne. We chatted for a bit, and she said that she'd been really enjoying my food posts recently, which was cool. Instead, I'm going to go to Bikram Yoga with her Monday morning. I like this. I'd much rather catch up with friends by doing something, even if it's just having a meal together, than going to a bar or pub. I can never talk – or breathe – in pubs.

That remark may seem to come from the left field, but S and I couldn't make it to Liam's new-work bash on Saturday night (good thing we didn't go, anyway; it sounds like it would have broken the bank unnecessarily) due to the fact that we went back to my parents' place (80k round trip from where we live), picked up my bike and bought me a new work suit. The acquaintance of ours who was formerly [livejournal.com profile] mjsax made a rude comment about how Steph and I never go out (I don't know where he gets his information from, as he's never asked me out anywhere besides his birthday celebrations – and Steph and I went to those), and apparently [livejournal.com profile] spirail thought it was a fine joke and joined in.

This seriously pissed me off. For a number of reasons, which I shall actually number for ease of wossname.

1. It seems that it's one of those little jokes that single people have at the expense of couples – yes, our social options need to be hampered because I need to cook lunches or Steph needs to do the washing, or whatever. Maybe we'd like some "couple time", or bang boots. It's none of their damn business what we do with our time, and once they are in a long-term relationship, they'll understand how their approach to time management can change. Must change.

2. I'm actually far more social than I was when I was single. I've been far better at catching up with those "sometimes" friends like [livejournal.com profile] barrington or [livejournal.com profile] bare_feeted than I was. *thinks to self* Now I just need to catch up with [livejournal.com profile] gadge and [livejournal.com profile] muzaken. Haven't seen them for yonks. I also now have to add "catching up with parents" into my social calendar, as well as my less-younger sister and her boyfriend. Just because I'm not spending time with you, it doesn't mean I'm not spending time with people.

3. There seems to be some sort of judgement on what "going out" entails, and it seems to largely do with [livejournal.com profile] mjsax's obsession with a mediocre cocktail bar on Brunswick St and a nearby pool hall. If I'm not consuming alcohol in some way, it's not going out. I go to morris dancing practice in a pub once a week, catch up with all my bell-wearing friends, work up a fun sweat, and fail to drink any beer. Once every two weeks I have choir, where I go along and (in the case of last week) eat some tasty chocolate loaf cake. Once every other week I go into the city, meet up with Jess and [livejournal.com profile] cupiscent in a cafe or somewhere, socialise and write a bit of novel. The last couple of months we've been going to [livejournal.com profile] daharja's for a weigh-in and a natter. In between there I might be, say, meeting up with my dad, going op shopping with [livejournal.com profile] daharja and [livejournal.com profile] burningskyfire, or going over to Hedda and Liam's to hang out. How do these activities make me a homebody?

In conclusion, FUCK YOU, [livejournal.com profile] mjsax and your capitalist lifestyle.

Phew, glad I expressed that. Maybe now my brain can go back to pondering things to cook for dinner instead.

Squidhat!

Jul. 5th, 2006 02:01 pm
changeling: (Default)
I wish I could knit, because I want one. Not for a kitty, but for me. I would wear it all the time. It would be AWESOME.
(P.S. Sylvia: http://squid.us/)


I went for a little trip yesterday, as I'd left my wallet and phone behind at my parents' (not the first time this has happened. GAH). I headed in to meet up with my dad in between his millions of meetings (my parents seem to spend all their time in meetings at their various jobs). He was late, but my essential items were retrieved, and I set off on a Tram Journey the like of which I have not undertaken for some time.

First was a trip to Bridge Road. Not knowing which route I needed to take, I hopped on a Swanston St tram bound for Flinders, figuring I could ask someone at the station. There was no need, though! I had carefully forgot that there are little tram maps in most trams, so I scouted out the route and discovered that it ran along Flinders St, so the interchange was straightforward.

I caught the tram along Bridge Road. [livejournal.com profile] bottleofred hopped on and we chatted for a bit. I accidentally gave him the cold shoulder in one of those "What's he leaning over for? What's going on? Oh, he meant to give me a hug. Whoops" sort of moments that you always feel vaguely guilty about. I was searching for the Mexican food shop that [livejournal.com profile] aphephobia had said was on Bridge Rd, but I confused all my geography, and when she said "Passionfruit" I assumed "Passion Foods", and then got Passion Foods (which is near South Melbourne Market) confused with Macro Wholefoods, and got off at (probably) the wrong stop.

Needless to say, though I walked quite a fair way up and down Bridge Rd, I didn't find the Mexican food shop. It was a bit of a mare’s nest, really. I mean, how was I going to find a shop I didn’t know the name of on a street I wasn’t even sure of when I didn’t know where on the street it was? Still, I got a look around Macro, which was very exciting. It was so nice to have a supermarket stock things I want to buy, like three types of dehydrated sea vegetable, and pomegranate molasses. I didn’t even know there was such thing as pomegranate molasses! I also bought my first black beans ever (very exciting as our favourite vegan cookbook, Vegan Planet, is American and uses them in half their recipes), and put some in to soak so I can use them today. I also bought a plain soy yoghurt, because I’ve been wanting to make Greek wraps for ages and no-one stocks plain soy yoghurt.

After exploring the breadth of Macro Wholefoods, I popped back on a tram and headed back into the city. I figured (remembering the “Passion Foods” clue) that the Mexican shop was probably near South Melbourne Market. I found out from the driver that I needed to catch the 112 tram to get there, and hopped off the tram by Spencer St, just in time to see the 112 glide up and await me.

The driver of the 112 was useless, and difficult to hear over the traffic noise, but an overly helpful woman told me that, yep, this was the right tram, and I needed to get off just here for the South Melbourne Market, or you could try the next stop, but no, this was best, and by the way, South Melbourne Market was closed today. I had an internal snort of annoyance, as last time I’d tramped down into South Melbourne (on a scorchingly hot day), SMM had been closed then, too. It seems unlike Queen Victoria Market, which is damn near always open (S-T-T-F-S, if I remember correctly), SMM has a more exclusive set of opening hours (W-F-S-S, and it’s only open until 4 on at least two of those days). Still, I was here to see Passion Foods, and possibly a Mexican Food Shop.

Although my Mother-in-Not-Law has been telling us to visit both Macro and especially Passion Foods for ages, I had no idea where Passion Foods was, except for “just by South Melbourne Market”. It wasn’t. I walked all the way around SMM, bladder fit to burst, and found no Passion Foods, and no way of getting to the number 96 tram (the other tramline that goes by the market) as it was up on an embankment. I stormed back around the market the other way, looking for the 112, little red warmths of pain in my right knee and ankle (I knew I’d been overdoing the walking thing at morris practice when I had constant twinges). I found the tram, but no Passion Foods, and no Mexican food shop (unsurprisingly, since I have since checked the comment and confirmed that yes, it was on Bridge Rd, though I still can’t search for it on the Yellow Pages or Citysearch until I have a name). It was a bit of a washout, except as an endurance test for my Iron Bladder, which made it back to Flinders St Station, and the appalling concourse toilets.

I then returned home, put the veggieloaf I’d prepared earlier, sliced up the pumpkin and potatoes for roasting (I was making a more “traditional” meal for the Not-In-Laws as apparently our love of spice had given M-I-NL stomach trouble) and cooked the strangely orange “brown sauce” Hedda had cooked for Yule (still very tasty. I love you, orange-brown sauce. I love you so much). I made it refined-fat free, too, with the addition of a little tahini in place of two tablespoons of margarine. It was all tasty. BOOYAH. Wer ist deine Hausfrau??

Afterwards, I used up some of our leftovers (some delicious chickpea patties from earlier in the week) and made up a vegan “chicken” Caesar salad for today’s lunch. It was very delicious, though I can’t vouch for its authenticity, as I’ve never eaten a Caesar salad, vegan or otherwise. I think the dressing was a stroke of genius. I’ll have to put the recipe up on my foodblog. Mmm. I’m still hungry. I should go start tomorrow’s lunches, though. Not sure I'm going to be able to top the Caesar salad, though.

Urgh.

Jul. 3rd, 2006 11:31 am
changeling: (Default)
Couldn't sleep last night. Tried to read for a bit; didn't work. Scribbled down menu plan for fiesta; didn't work. Tried to have a drink of water (dehydration can cause insomnia); didn't work. Eventually fell asleep, but had some sort of traumatic awful dream that meant it was a very rocky sort of sleep. Can't remember it now, but hey.

This is the third night in a row of bad sleep. Steph and I slept in something chronic on Sunday morning, and after we'd gone to bed at a sensible time, too. Don't know what's going on with my body and sleep right now, but I'd like it to stop, thanks.

Decided to sidle into the day, so got online rather than do anything productive. Discovered that although I updated my food blog yesterday (I'm seriously going to have to start taking photos – just as soon as I find the cable for my camera), blogger had deleted the post. This made me panic a bit, because I had the recipes saved on my computer, but not the blither surrounding it. Logged into blogger to work out what was going on, and discovered that it was saved as a draft. I could have bet the small dog sitting beside me on this bed that it had been published, but hey. It's still there, and that's the important thing.

Oh, and how much do I love Melbourne? It's just got everything cuisine-y. Apparently, according to [livejournal.com profile] aphephobia, there's a Mexican food shop in Richmond, near Passion Foods, which my Mother-in-NotLaw keeps insisting we visit. I want to check it out – maybe tomorrow or Wednesday this week. This is so full of awesome. Hopefully she can remember the name. That's going to make my life that little bit easier, even if I still have the Vegan Conundrum to struggle with. I think I've got a good draft menu worked out that is easily vegan, though. I just want to find one more "main" that I haven't cooked before, to keep it interesting.

Hoorah, food!

Fiesta!

Jul. 2nd, 2006 10:10 pm
changeling: (Default)
I'm going to have my birthday party in late August (it'll be my 23 & 6 months party), and I'm going to go with a Mexican Fiesta theme. It'll be fun and exciting for me, because I'm going to do some research and go as authentic as I can with the food.

On the other hand, it'll be difficult as all hell challenging, as much of Mexican cooking relies on meat and cheese. Some dishes I've adapted, but there's a whole lot (particularly quesadillas) that I haven't even tried yet. I don't think I've made a Mexican soup yet, but I'm interested in the tortilla soup (it's a dry soup, or pasta. I'm learning stuff!) I don't want to resort to pretend food like fake cheese or fake meat. I may recant this for the sake of trying out a vegan quesadilla, but I'd rather such a thing be a bonus rather than the main thrust of the meal.

The other problem is that there's stuff you just can't get here. I've never cooked with cacti for a very good reason – they're generally not considered food here. I've never seen a tomatilla. Hell, I've never seen blue or white corn, or green tomatoes. The chaps in [livejournal.com profile] mexicanfood mentioned a herb I've never heard of (epazote?). I don't really believe in importing food, or using tinned food, though I might see if I can get canned cacti (I forget the Mexican word for it and it's too late to look it up) from USA Foods. I'd like to make everything from first principles, as it were. So, I hear you ask, why make life so hard for yourself?

Because I love Mexican food. I really, really love it. I love a vegetarian chili almost drowning in cumin. I love adding cayenne, paprika and chilli. I love what a good combination of tomato, red onion and corn can do. I love tortillas. I love home-made salsa and guacamole. And I love challenging myself to find ways of making non-vegan food.

I already know I'm going to include sweet empanadas, in ode to the recipe I begged off [livejournal.com profile] saunteringdown and then didn't get around to cooking before she defriended me (all her posts are friends-only, so I just can't get back into it. Sigh). I've also got this idea for making chocolate-stuffed chocolate-covered chillis based on this recipe – though mine will be stuffed with some sort of chocolate mole, I think, and then half-dipped in chocolate the way strawberries are. And I'm going to make wholegrain Mexican wedding cookies as per 101 Cookbooks. I'm probably also going to make my orange-spiced dark chocolate mudcake, not because it's Mexican, but because it's bloody delicious, and made with freetrade Central American chocolate.

I have what seems to be a pretty good resource book in my Mexican Cooking book, by Roger Hicks (that I borrowed from my parents), but I don't want to rely on it for all my recipes. I'd like to get as many "authentic" recipes as I can, ideally from friends and so forth, especially since there seems to be a dearth out there on teh intarwebs, and on Livejournal (shock horror!).

Also the number of my friends and family that I invite will affect what I cook, and how much. I'd love to have a sit-down meal – based on what little I know of the Mexican comida – but that's obviously impractical since I'll be inviting more than four–six people. It's clearly going to be a stand-up buffet sort of thing. I'd still like some sort of concept of courses, though.

Steph said that the day of the party she and I should eat In The Mexican Way, complete with marienda (second breakfast – which always reminds me of Hobbits) and siesta.

And now a final thought from my love, who hijacked my computer when I went to turn off the heater and blow out the candles:
It's the sleepy time now so I have to go byebye and turn off the heater and come snuggle.

sleepying time.


I have to go. I have so many more ideas to note down, and so many more plans to make, but my love is mewing for me to come to bed, and I can't resist that. Not to mention the now physical as well as emotional pain that she's in due to work.

To bed.

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