Category Archives: Food

Daz’s Cricket Sandwich

wpid-20131227_142645.jpgpicklesWhether or not you like cricket, it is an intrinsic part of Australian culture. Every summer around Christmas time ye olde Channel 9 will broadcast it in some for or other.

Everyone who has grown up with cricket in their lives is likely ( especially since the 80s) to have some kind of tradition about watching it at home on the telly during the holidays.

With permission, I give you Darren McLander’s Cricket Sandwich recipe. It’s an unique variation of the ol’ Ham salad sanga, which was always popular with my own family.

Ingredienhamts:

   Fresh White sliced bread. Make sure it’s the softest you can find.

  Leg ham off the bone. About 2-3 slices per sanga.  ( Being Xmas you may just have an     abundance of this)

 Fresh Truss tomatoes. Jarlsberg Cheese. Roquette. Spanish onion.

  Three threes Sweet Mustard Pickles

Pasta salad from the supermarket deli. ( You may also use Coleslaw, Potato salad or just mayo)

Tinned Beetroot slices ( Daz tells me he traditionally uses Golden Circle, but of late their slices have been becoming smaller and smaller)

Vegemite. Yes indeed.cheesetomato

The construction is very considered:  Remove the slices that you’ll use on the bottom first.  Leaving the top slice in the bag helps it to retain it’s softness and so it doesn’t dry out.

Spread a generous amount of pickles onto the slice. Next arrange your ham slices on top of that.

Have a swig of your beer. Or if you’re feeling very nostalgic. Your Creme soda with ice.

Next layer your tomato slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. He likes Tomato more than your aonionverage person, so about 4 or 5 slices of a largish tomato. It’s important that they are hydroponic or truss tomatoes that are good and red. ” No one like crunchy green tomatoes that taste like water”  Nicely ripened home grown ones would be the best for this if you have them.

The placement of the tomato within the folds of the ham and Cheese minimises the soggy bread syndrome which is often the bane of a good Salad sanga.   So clearly next placed is the cheese. About 2 slices on each sandwich

In this order then comes Onion cut into half moon rings, Beetroot, Pasta salad and the Roquette.  You can heap the construction as you like it, but remember you’ll need to squash it down a little.

Remove beetspastathe top slice from the bread bag and smear it with Vegemite to taste.

Place on the top of your creation and press down.  Daz likes it “uncut”  I prefer it cut in halves.

Bon apetit. You wont be disapointed.

Salad

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My Beefs 2013

Rants.  I like ranting in itself, however…

If you are going to rant, rant loud and rant often. The odd, occasional rant runs the risk of tarnishing an otherwise rant free reputation.  When you rant a lot, you get good at ranting.

People will either agree with you, or regretfully call you a friggen dickhead. I have personally found that the people who call me a friggen dickhead, often have a preconceived expectation, that I should agree with them about things. If it has got to that point,  I usually do not.

I can handle being called a friggen dickhead if I know I am factually correct with my ranting.

If you are going to rant, check your facts, check them again, compare them and then rant. This will make you troll proof both IRL and online.

If you must rant an Opinion, be prepared to be lambasted. It comes with the gig.   Most rants are exactly that. An Opinion. An opinion backed by facts and statistics is very hard to argue against.

Having said that, I like to think that I am a licensed, card carrying troll buster.  My favourite thing to do is lob in to an online debate ( debate meaning it has started out rationally, and then quickly deteriorated into an emotional one) leave a mind bomb which will cause agitation, and then sit back and watch… never. commenting. again. The agitator or person who feels that they have been the most “shit on” will eventually have a brain fart and quit just after invoking Godwin’s law. ( Of which I am usually the first to point out once they’ve left in a huff)

If you must rant, be good at it. Get some practice,

Anger ( especially keyboard warriors)

Everyone is angry about something.  The Labor supporters are angry at the Liberals who are angry at the Greens, who are getting preferences from the Independents.

Women are angry that men still don’t understand that skirts don’t rape women, men do, and men are angry that they are getting “Shit on” by women. Which may be why so many want to vote in a government that will send us back to the 60’s.

Some people are angry that middle class, hetero, white guys still don’t understand that they can’t really be upset about things unless they have done it to themselves because western society has made everything easy for them.  ( I bet that made some of you angry.. am I right?)

Since as a society we don’t tolerate actual fisty-cuffs to have out our beefs any more, as per our evolutionary “fight or flight” response, (and it’s not like people actually think to simply just not read about things that enrage them on the interwebs), flame wars have become the norm.

If you’re going to be angry, also be angry in real life ( IRL) and follow through with your convictions.  In the word’s of Kylie Minogue.. “It’s one thing to say you love me, and another to mean it from the heart. If you don’t intend to see it through, why did we ever start?”

I’m not saying come out swinging fists like a cave-person, but keep the strength of your convictions. Figurative guns a blazin’, and standup for what you believe in at all times.  Anger is then seen as courage. Courage = Care bears and shit like that. People love care bears.

Snake oil.  ( peddlers of bullshit)

I know we all gots to get paid. Even Shakespeare had to.   I believe how you make your money is a measure of your character.

You can see that there are thousands of insecure ( convinced by social conditioning through both media and hundreds of years of lovin’ the oppression we’re in type scenarios ) men and mostly women who are hating on their own bodies.  Even if you try to be untouched by the scourge of body image oppression, at some stage, most people will have it creep in to their lives.

If you have to make money out of a culture of created angst, which can lead to mental illness, depression and even death, then I reckon you’ve got a lot to answer for, even if you are a T.V celebrity.  Even if you are Michelle Bridges. Charging over $100 for an online, virtual fitness and eating plan that is only ever going to work if the self control of the participant is greater than the urge to scoff down KFC on the way home from work, getting in at 8pm to your 2 cats and a pile of dirty laundry to do.  I reckon it’s set up to fail. Meanwhile, uber fitness idols are just rolling around in the Benjamins on their black satin sheet clad water beds, while you weep into your Ben and Jerry’s over failing, yet again to lose 1 single kilo this week.

Get into fitness, for sure! You will feel both mentally and physically more sound. But if you want to pay a hunjy big ones, join a gym, or a bootcamp or get a real life PT. And for god’s sake don’t buy any herbal pills off the internet. Dont expect at age 35 to look like a 16 year old Jeans west model. That aint gonna happen.

Want to combine Ranting and Anger and shaming snake oil peddlers? These guys are doing it right:  (warning, bad words)

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Thick girls

I like social media sites where all you do is post pictures. I also like social media sites that allow commentary of the pictures. I’m an ex-art school degree carrying, sometime internet aficionado, who likes to think of herself as a geek, of a kind.  Im not a ‘Big Bang Theory’ nerd.  I can’t maths very well, but thanks to technology ( See I told you so, Dad) I don’t really need to do much trigonometry myself. I can, actually  just fucking Google it. That, or ask one of many in my network of nerd friends, who I ave purposely surrounded myself with.   I don’t purport to be an expert in much, ( except aquarium keeping, ask me anything)  but I’m a ‘Jill’ of all trades.  I’m also, I think slotting into a new niche.  What the internets has coined a “Thick” girl. Not Thick as in stupid, or Thick as in a few palings short of a fence or Thick as in a 6 pack short of a carton.

I learned this through online social media, other than Facebook.  Mostly from Tumblr.

Firstly let me preface this, with the idea that it is up to the individual if they want to define themselves as a type. If you want to be labeled as  what I think is a great 2010’s era*  phenomena, then take a look here…. This term obviously applies to body type.  As western society is obsessed it seems, with the body beautiful, so has an ‘alternate’ example of the body beautiful emerged.   It isn’t just “thick” girls.  In fact there is quantifiable debate as to what actually falls within the new categories. It’s almost like purebreed dog breeders arguing over the specifics of a breed.

Thick. It means you have a big, round arse and legs like a front rower for the Warratahs. It is referred to by Sir Mix-a-lot’s song “I like big butts”. She’s little in the middle, but she got much back.  The arguable ideal “thick” girl has a slim and toned waistline,  and a huge arse.  This of course is a body type Unicorn. Generally speaking if you have big, thick legs and arse, you probably have some muffins baking on top  to go with that crumpet. ( Unless of course you are genetically predisposed such as my African, or indeed Pygmy counterparts)   You’re by no means a slim super model type person, but you definitely kick those curves all the way to Hong Kong.  In the words of Robyn you are gifted, all natural and burstin’ the seams.  I rejoice!

When I was growing up,  and even into my mid to late 20s, I had always been taught  by the powers that be, that being rounded in the rear, or having too much motor in the back of your honda was not at all a desirable trait. You are, for all intents and purposes, fat. You’re a fat arse.
Perhaps modes of infiltrating our minds with body image ideals, by fashion and large corporations have changed so dramatically that is has out paced the effects of bombarding every individual with the brain washing.  These alternate worlds have sprung up and usurped that notion that you ought to fit into a size 12 aus, or less.  Or maybe… the real world has just poked it’s nose through the loop hole.

In reality there is the term the internets also like to call “fetish”. Really this just means you prefer something to something else. It’s a preference.  People who have put a good deal of effort into achieving and maintaining their exterior appearance to fit into society’s status quo  like to call it a fetish because, who could possibly prefer that?  Well.. let me tell you. A LOT of people.

Other niches include: Voluptuous. Youre a bigger girl than a thick girl and you rock that body. and BBW. Youre a big beautiful woman.  and then SBBW. Youre a real big curvy and glorious goddess.  Whether you’re hetero or gay, there are people out there who only dig you.   Thankyou men and women of  Tumblr. We owe you our mental health.

*With the exception of Turn of the century women, who’s curvaceous bodies were a symbol of affluence.

Part 2. Bali

The Best beach buskers in town

The best beach buskers in town

You already know what Im going to say.

 Yes, Bali is Australia’s play pen. Yes, Bali plays host to a ridiculous amount of walking stereotypes who hail from Australia.   Perhaps this is where they ran to when Southern cross tats, frangipanni stickers and Bintang singlet tops were no longer considered kinda cool. Back to where they bought them from at “special morning price” from that shop in Kuta down the road from Skygarden night club, and the Bali bombing memorial. Or  at a pinch, maybe it’s a show of somewhat distorted solidarity for the fallen brethren. We shall not be beaten. We still wear our Bintang tops and Havianas with pride, we’ll still flaunt our badly scratched ink from that Tat shop called “Heaven’s Angle” and there is no Balinese bomber on earth who can stop me. In the sense that people from the Shire are synonymous with waving the Australian flag in all the wrong ways.

  If you want it to, your trip to Bali can be just like a trip to Surfer’s Paradise.  In fact it’s hard to tell the difference in some places. It’s just 10 times cheaper and the taxi drivers are more dodgy. ( This adds some Tabasco to your Bloody Mary, you see)   Aussies can act up and act superior to people who are desperate for their “Millions”.   Aussies can go there and feel like they’re doing something exotic, but still have all the things they are used to.  They can still go to McDonald’s if they get tired of Mi-Goren and Otak Otak.   Some Aussies may disagree with my perspective, but you must understand my opinion is objective. I was a  35 year old Bali virgin, until now.

For me the tourist aspect of Bali was not and at the same time just like ( Sama, tidak berubah)  something I had experienced before. I knew that it was a popular spot, and I can see why.  It’s Asia for Beginners. It’s cheap as chips.

For instance if you have hollow legs like Mr. P, a 500ml Bottle of Bintang costs you the equivalent of $3.20 Australian, sometimes cheaper depending where you go.  The most expensive cocktail I had was at the Hard Rock Cafe ( I didn’t even know they still existed) and it was about $11 Aus.  You can easily have 24 liters of beer on the cheap. It was done my friends. It was indeed done.

 People want your cash, and you are effectively a Millionaire: On our Arrival at Denpasar airport we instantly had 2 officially uniformed porters, take our bags and push in front of everyone at customs and get us through quickly before we knew what had gone on.  After leading us through, they took us straight to the Money exchange.  Mr. P said “No only Singapore dollars” and gave them each 5. One was pushy and asked for more. We told them to piss off and kept walking.  Mr. P observing that they would likely have taken us then, to their taxi driving mate, and so on and so forth down the line until they had all been paid in some way.  Shows what a noob I am. Had I been alone I am sure I would’ve had to pull some ‘Cowgirl special’ moves to get out of that one. Interestingly they were 100% less interested in helping out when we were on the return trip. Funny, that.

Doing it tough

Doing it tough

 Resorts are super cheap I must admit that for a full 24 hours the first day we didnt leave the pool side of the Mercure Resort at Sanur, where we were staying. That shit was inviting as hell. Deck chairs ( some already reserved by the Germans/Dutch) fountains, a bar right next to the pool, pool side lunch, ping pong.  Did I mention it was stinking hot? Even the pool water was like a bath.  There was none of my usual sense of  shit I must go out and make the most of this, that is usually looming over me on holiday adventures.   We frolicked. We got sunburnt. We got pissed. We drank about $50 worth of that cheap sweet Bintang. We put it on the room. Why wouldn’t an Aussie tourist love that?

 But not to fully take away from that aspect,  that’s not really what I’m interested in when Im over seas. I really like the culture and the art. We learned from an Ex-pat friend that the next day was a Holiday for most Balinese.  I believe it is called Galungan or more exactly Kuningan which marks the end of the Holiday time.  Then most of the shops were closed, markets closed and there were people marching up the road with Barong (  a little like the Chinese dragon you see on Chinese new year) I had been completely unfamiliar with Balinese tradition up until visiting the place. ( I hadnt watched Eat Pray Love, so I was clearly behind the 8 ball right?) I have since learned it is about finding harmony between good and evil, and the spirit and the real

Barong Celeng is the Boar version of Barong.

Barong Celeng is the Boar version of Barong.

world, and that there are many different spirits representing different sides. Like Star wars.. Dont go to the dark side…  there is the force in all of us.. just gotta learn that it is stronger in some and how to control it.  You know.

In all fairness I wasn’t in Bali long enough to make one of my usual swathing cuts of cynicism, aside from that about the Aussies. People there are just doing what they need to get by.   The first night in Jimbarran Bay I was introduced to the whole concept that people will do just about anything for a buck. From the lady who was raking the sand flat for the party I was attending, quite literally changing hats  ( From a Coolie hat to a baseball cap) and becoming a pedlar of wares. She knew the deal, she knew we didn’t know the deal quite yet.  We did get some lovely beaded necklaces ( Mr.P got a Man bangle. So trendy) . I asked her whether she had made them herself and she laughed and gestured as if to say “Aint nobody got time for dat!” We paid her far too much by Bali standard, but then, what is far too much? If I pay 150,000 for 3 items that’s about $15 Aus.  I’d spend that much on Coffee in half a week. Seems pretty reasonable if she’s gonna use that money to buy food for her family. At least, that’s what she said it was for. Who knows? She may not have had a husband. That’s a pretty big deal in Bali.  We ladies have got to help our sisters. In my opinion.

That night also saw the encroaching presence of a somewhat slapped together Indo Beach busker band  ( See first Photo) who covered just about any pop song you’d care to name with varying degrees of correct  lyrics. We were there for a party so they were paid to hang around. Probably enough to have let them go home and not work the next day between them.  They were actually pretty great, and I laughed pretty hard at some of the mashed up lyrics. Ive heard worse in Bars in Sydney, though.

We were also treated to some traditional dance. I managed to video this little guy:

We saw Ubud. We could have been in Byron Bay in some parts. There is a Monkey park, which we didn’t visit. Outside there were tables of bananas that tourists could purchase to feed them. “Official Monkey park bananas” O.K. 
~Im told the Monkeys are a bit sick of people coming to stare at them. 
Who can blame them really?
 This part of the Island has been made famous by the fore mentioned  Hollywood film adaptation of  Elizabeth Gilbert’s
Eat Pray Love .  Did I mention Eat Pray Love? Seems like everywhere in Ubud there is Yoga, Organic, some more yoga.. I even saw a shop that claimed to do “Organic ear plugs and piercings” I half expected Julia Roberts’ Lips to stroll out of a temple. Apparently  Bulai ( white people) have been coming in droves for ‘enlightenment’ since the 2010 movie. I suppose it’s good for tourism since the Bali bombings probably all but destroyed it back in 2002.  I was surprised at how long ago it happened.  You can see the memorial in Kuta. The lot where it happened is still just an empty block of land enclosed by a tin fence.

All in all I enjoyed Bali. Were I to go again I could safely say Id venture further north and check out some of the more wild places. The tourist spots you need to experience first hand because it is all part of the journey, man. Just dont buy a Bintang singlet top. I will openly judge you.

Terima Kasih.

You can’t impress me, cos I’ve been to Bali too. Part1. Singapore.

The National Orchid Garden

The National Orchid Garden

NOPE.

I’m not going to give you a day by day blow of everything. I have read other people’s not so succinct diaries of their travels from Australia to Bali and the like, and I didn’t like their tone, nor their references to “Brown girls” putting ear candles in their ears. Come on Aussie, come on. You’re better than that. You can’t fool me, cos I’ve been to Bali too.

Recently Mr. P and I left Australia’s shores for a one week holiday that included Singapore and Bali. Neither of  which I had visited personally.

I have one most vital thing to say about both of these countries and that it they are STINKING HOT.  Singapore, oppressively so. If you plan to go anywhere where you  really want to pack light, this is it. Thongs, singlet tops and shorts. And if you want to go out, something a bit nicer but still on the light side.  It is more humid than a plumber’s proverbial crack. Warmer than a Duck’s armpit.

You will want to go out. Singapore has a couple of past times, the most prevalent of which is eating. If you’re a food lover like me, you’ll also spend half the time peaking out about chilli crab, variety and how much “Fusion” food there is over there. Fusion means the possibilities are endless. I came away wishing I had opened a small bar in Sydney just so I could put some of these things on the bar menu.

All lines lead to Singa

Mr.P and I traipsed all over town mostly by foot, in thongs or by the super efficient MRT. Something Sydney’s “shitty” Rail could learn a few valuable tips from.   Yes it is true that Singapore is a “Fine” city. No eating or drinking at all on the platform, ( ironic for such a foodie town)  or indeed in the terminal at all.  As hard line as it seems to us. It makes for a damn clean station and pleasant travel.  It’s not hard. The people of Singapore that I spoke to along the way don’t see it as oppressive, but something to be “respected”. If you don’t “respect”  the rules, you get fined or sometimes Gaol, or your license revoked and what have you, it’s as simple as that.  NO biggie. Though I have to add, the cops there must be good, as I only saw about 4 the entire time.  We all just wanna get along.  The only real douche bags I encountered were some American Navy guys. Very young and self important and probably didn’t really “get it” there.

This safety aspect, made it easy for taking some back streets to see a little bit more of ‘Singa’, than the usual sites. I wasn’t worried about being accosted by dodgy brothers, or hassled by street beggars.  (We’ll keep that for later adventures in Bali.) We had a $5   ( for 2 people) steamed pork bun breakfast in the Singa equivalent of a 7 eleven, corner shop. We wandered back through Arab street and Little India. We caught cabs and trains and felt no distrust.

Following a tip from Anthony Bourdain’s Singapore Layover episode I demanded to Mr. P that we head out in search of famous traditional Peanut pancake from a Hawker center, out off the main drag called Tanglin Halt. Forgetting to remember that you really need to get there before about 10am. Only to finally arrive and the lady serving to simply tell us “Sorry. Finished”

Fuuuuu! moment if ever there was one.
Never the less, we partook in some interesting Malay/Chinese food from one of the Hawker center’s food stalls that was actually open at 11am. Things seem a little less anxious to open around here,  than the ridiculous hours we like to keep in Sydney. I call that keepin’ it real. Do you actually need to shop for things at 8am?  This was my first pondering and perspective aligning moment of the trip.

Hawker Center food.

Hawker Center food. If you like it then you should put some chilli on it.

Hawker Centers are basically like street food that has been rounded up and put into the corral. There are hygiene laws, and people are encouraged to “Dob in” offenders or rule breakers. The basic rule of thumb when choosing which delicious food to try is: Is there a 30 people long queue in front of it waiting to be served?  If so, join that queue. The food there is thus considered the best at the time, and for 3 Singapore Dollars. ( about $2.80 Aus) you can have a plate of Hainanese chicken rice for lunch. Simple yet delicious. Sit at one of the tables if you can get a seat, and enjoy!  This is one of the greatest contrasts I noticed about Singapore. You can live VERY large. Try $80 for breakfast at the “Boomerang bar and cafe” ( Yes I cringe that we went to an Aussie place in another country, but I was hanging for bacon and eggs) and you can live very very cheaply in terms of feeding yourself if you really want to.

Highlights and recommendations:

The Wine Connection in Clarke Quay.   Wine and Cheese bars are all over town. They are the new Black.

Jumbo’s Seafood Restaurants  We went to one out at an old Army Barracks called Dempsey. Get the obligatory Singapore chilli crab with steamed buns to soak up the sauce. Magnificent. Get your bib on.

Red House Seafood Restaurant Have the White Pepper Mud crab. But make sure you bargain with the waiter for Market price on the crab. And check your bill. We accidentally were additionally charged for someone else’s meal on top of ours.  But it was all sorted out eventually. A good reason to Keep all your receipts, and use cash if you can.

Stacked Dim Sum Bar  If only it was open for breakfast. The Fusion style Dim sum here are amazingly tasty.  If only I owned a bar!

Singapore Zoo Best. Zoo. Evaaaaar. The Orang Utans can climb all over the joint if they want to. You can ride an Elephant if it is within your ethical stance.

Singapore Botanic Gardens Let’s face it. Shit just grows better on the equator. Go and see the National pride, the Orchid garden. I was blown away by how well they grow here.

Orchard Road   If you like to shop, how about 22 Shopping malls and 6 Department stores?

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