TBT: Bowls and BBQ

Lawn Bowls Lawn Bowls Lawn Bowls Lawn Bowls Lawn Bowls Lawn Bowls

Today, and every thursday, I’ll be throwing it back to the good times.

We’re taking it back to a time when the sky outside was not solid grey, but bright blue and crystal clear. A time when it was so hot that wearing a hat was necessary for sun protection but impossible due to the level of sweat emitting from the forehead. A time when “of course we’re having beers at 12pm – It’s freaking hot” was totally acceptable and “maybe I’ll just take my clothes off” went through your head as a plausible option. During this time, summer in Australia, having to go out to get supplies for a makeshift BBQ was no problem and lawn bowls was the sport of choice.

It was a damn good time!

Tourists love Addict Food and Coffee

Addict Fitzroy Addict Fitzroy Addict FitzroyAddict Fitzroy Addict FitzroyAddict Fitzroy

I got married.
It was incredible.
I will show you pictures soon.
I think you will love them, but! you have to tell me what you really think.
We absolutely adored every second of the day but we’re totally biased.

A total of 12 people (who will be referred to as “The Tourists”) came to Australia for the wedding and stayed for at least 2 weeks. The number 12 may seem small – “oh, so much closer to 1 than 100” – but it’s big. Huge! It means 3 cars for transportation, 1 extra large house for accommodation, a late departure from said XL house every morning, and a look of panic from every restaurant staff we walked up to.

Thankfully we found one cafe that kept it’s cool. Addict, in Fitzroy, became The Tourist’s go-to breakfast place. It’s no secret I love Addict – I’ve written about them before – but they deserve a huge round of applause and a million thank you’s for the way they hosted my family and friends during every visit. There were many.

Expectations were high since The Tourists had heard so much about “Australian breakfast” and Addict absolutely ripped those expectations to shreds (probably shreds of ham because, okay – have you tried the eggs benedict!!). There’s no better place for a combination of lovely staff, good looking AND delicious food, lively atmosphere, great coffee and a large communal table.

So thank you, Addict, for showing my group of tourists what Australian breakfast is about.*

Addict Food and Coffee
240-242 Johnston street Fitzroy VIC 3065

*And for your patience.

P.S. Can the Olive Bread special stay around for a very long time?

 

The Social Kitchen at Queen Victoria Market

The Social Kitchen Queen Victoria Market The Social Kitchen The Social Kitchen thesocialkitchen Strawberry Bruschetta The Social Kitchen The Social Kitchen Fisher & Paykel kitchen Pan Seared Duck Keith Jackson Deconstructed Pavlova

I know what I want for Christmas.

No, that doesn’t mean that I think Christmas is all about presents. It just means I KNOW it’s a tiny, little bit about that. I so enjoy buying a present for someone that totally and completely excites them. And who am I to stand there, arms crossed, looking all grinch-y and say that getting a present for myself is silly? This is Australia’s silly season after all.

Now that I’ve completely justified it to myself – I’d like to ask for another cooking class at The Social Kitchen, please. And thank you.

This past Saturday was my first.

Parking at Queen Victoria Market is easy at 9:30am and finding your way to the all-black, pop up cooking school is even easier – head towards the corner of Peel and Victoria Street and you’ll spot it. Make your way through the sliding glass doors and you’ll be greeted with a smile, a name tag and a request for a coffee order.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the room is beautiful. Straight out of the set of a cooking show, except better because there are no cameras, lights, or audiences crowding the room. It’s just you, your new friends (“I swear I’m not looking at you boobs, I’m just trying to read your name tag”), the fresh food from Queen Victoria Market, the kick-ass Fisher and Paykel appliances and your chef.

Half the fun of the class is the chef. The Social Kitchen offers a full range of classes and a full range of chefs to choose from. We’re not talking any old chefs, we’re talking the heads of the most delicious restaurants in Melbourne. Our chef was Keith Jackson. He is a hands on, do it to taste, do-what-you-want-as-long-as-it-tastes-good type of chef and I absolutely loved it. Keith danced from cooking station to cooking station making sure we were heading in the right direction with our recipes. He didn’t even get angry when I burnt the meringues courtesy of the white wine I couldn’t stop consuming. It was about 10:30am.

What I loved most is that we didn’t just have fun trying to follow recipes, we learned valuable things. For example:

  • The correct way to chop onions (I went home and tried it that very night and did not cry one tear. Jack was very impressed.)
  • Simply chopping a garlic will not do a thing, you must smash it to pieces and then do what you will with it.
  • MSG is not all bad, it’s the fake MSG that gets you because, okay, there is MSG is parmesan cheese, and tomato sauce, and anchovies.
  • We cannot taste salt past a certain level in the air.
  • Scones are actually the perfect meal.
  • I desperately need a new kitchen with all Fisher and Paykel appliances.

I’m sorry I’m bombarding you with information, but I just had SO MUCH FUN that I needed to share. In the end we made strawberry bruschettas, pan seared Duck in shiraz with garlic spinach and raspberries, and a deconstructed smashed pavlova. YUM!

I wish there was some sort of monthly membership to The Social Kitchen. It would be such a better gift to give myself than only one class. Oh well, I just really hope I like it.

Pan seared Duck, Shiraz and Raspberries recipe after the jump!

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The Art of Eating Hobart

Hobart, Tasmania

In my time stalking Hobart I realized there are two ways you can go about visiting – you can either make it a foodie trip or a sight seeing trip. We wanted a sight seeing trip that offered good food when we desperately needed it. It wasn’t the easiest task to find recommendations for food in Hobart so I thought this might help anyone planning a trip over there soon. OMG! You’re going this weekend? Excellent! Read below carefully.

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If Only You Were Here!

Bourke St Melbourne

Above you will find me being a total tourist in the middle of (don’t try this at home) the 86 tram line on Bourke St in Melbourne’s CBD. This is where a lot of “shopping” and “fun” and “people watching” happens; it’s also where you can find “live music” and “buskers” and “tourists”. I sometimes, usually on Thursday and Fridays when the shopping is open late, take the long way home from work to be amongst it all. Weekend strolls are the best though.

The well behaved extras came courtesy of an unexpected weekend event. The photo comes courtesy of my iPhone 4S – I am not ashamed.

Hobart: So much to do, so little time! Part 2

Tasmanian Coastline Tasmanian Coastline Tasmanian Coastline Tasmanian Coastline Freycinet National Park Freycinet National Park Freycinet National Park Wineglass Bay Wineglass Bay Freycinet National Park Wineglass Bay Freycinet National Park sea kayak Sunset in Tasmania

 

There is a very obvious and resounding theme of blue going on in the collection of images above this writing and that’s because we came across the most beautiful Sunday while in Tasmania.

I’d been prepared for nice weather, but not weather that good. The people of Coles Bay agreed. “You picked an awfully perfect day for sea kayaking”, they’d say to us. We perked up in our orange life vests and proudly agreed, “perfect weather indeed.”

We woke up early to stop by Jackman + McRoss for some fuel before heading off on a two and a half hour long drive from Battery Point to Freycinet National Park. It’s an easy, gorgeous, quick drive that no one should feel overwhelmed by.

We would hike the rocky trails of the National Park, have lunch with our toes in the sands of Wineglass Bay, admire a lone dolphin showing off for the crowd and meet a wallaby. Best of all, we would go late afternoon sea kayaking on the serene and clear blue water of Coles Bay as the sun came down.

Blue is quickly becoming my favorite color.

What we would do shortly after all the magical moments Freycinet National Park offered was race back to Hobart Airport after sunset to catch a 9:30pm flight home. Apparently, that’s when wallabys tend to turn into quick, bouncy zombies who follow loud sounds and head lights and gravitate toward cars.

I can proudly say no one was hurt in the journey back to the airport.

Phew! What a day.