Friends and co-workers know I can disappear cake faster than you can say ‘Seconds?’ But this Daffodil Day, I was met with stiff competition from my fluffy-walled podmates who didn’t PAUSE while I went to get my camera-phone. I HAD to share this day with you, because it was so inspirational and involves lots of cake.
Cake Girl is a Brisbane-based business.
You know it’s been a wet year when high-end fashion houses start selling plastic shoes.
Isn’t the Brisbane City street art gorgeous? Sandstone carved with an image of a traditional ‘Queenslander’.
Scandals plague the olive industry from time to time: be it oil that isn’t what it’s claimed to be, or Aussie farmers being bought out by Chinese business interests. Now, more than ever, it’s worth knowing who’s growing your food and where it’s actually coming from. Buying local isn’t a quaint legacy of a 1980s green-and-gold advertising campaign; it’s actually smart, environmentally sensible and fair (if you believe that what goes around, comes around).
But this is a good news story, so let’s get to the good bits.
The property is near Ipswich and has bounced back remarkably after Queensland’s devastating floods of 2011. If you’re a dedicated foodie, you should contact the Mahon family by email and request an invitation to their next Olive festival. Entry is free, but unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait a year.
I had the pleasure of attending on 11 March 2012: the day was a stunning success, beautiful food and scenery. Be sure to get a tour of the olive and lime grove. And instructions on how to marinate your own olives.
Some of the delights of the day…. There were products featured from other locals, including sheep milk cheeses, honey, natural soaps, woodturning pieces, to name a few.
What came home with me….
The sheep-milk cheese was a lovely surprise, quite unlike cow or goat milk products. It made my Sunday night ironing in front of the tv something special, along with a few olives, figs and dark bread.
A tip for using limes: the green ones are best for your Coronas (beer) and other drinks; the yellowish ones are sweeter and best for marinating fish. A tip for storing limes: freeze them either whole (wrapped in plastic) or squeeze them out and store the juice frozen in ice cube trays.
I’m going to have a lot of fun cooking with my variously infused olive oils. They’ll make great gifts for the people I most love to visit at dinner time, also. Just sayin’.
Looking for a new place to eat in Brisbane City?
Opened 8 weeks ago, aja coffeehouse offers a fresh and well-priced menu of Asian-fusion dishes, Aussie burgers and continental breakfasts or simply a place for coffee and a dessert.
Service is quick and professional and the premises are spotless. You could go there for a work-lunch (as I have done, several times), girls’ catch-up, brekky or casual date and feel welcome.
I’ve taken some of my fussiest friends there, and aja hasn’t missed a beat. The salt ‘n pepper calamari is unbelievably good and the presentation, lovely. Take my advice: Say YES to the fries (crispy, salty, sweet and spicy!). Your low-carb day can wait.
aja is located at the Charlotte St entrance to Elizabeth Arcade and is open Monday to Thursday 7am-6pm, Friday 7am-9pm and Saturday 9am-9pm (closed Sunday). Catering is available with 48 hours notice ph. (07) 3161 2691.
Opening a business in this economy is gutsy. Aja is a young, family outfit and they’re really very good. Give them some love, Brisbane.
I love my latest book-ish thing…
It protects my precious books in transit.
Order yours from http://www.olvarwood.com.au/gifts.html
And, because caring is sharing, here’s a quote from the book I’m reading (The Story of a Novel). These words of Thomas Wolfe were originally published in 1936, but the feeling still holds true for those afflicted with the need to write. At pp.36-7:
It seemed that I had inside me, swelling and gathering all the time, a huge black cloud, and that this cloud was loaded with electricity, pregnant, crested, with a kind of hurricane violence that could not be held in check much longer; that the moment was approaching fast when it must break.
Bridesmaids was a great movie; unexpectedly so. I was anticipating Hollywood same-same, but what I saw was a more mature (and simultaneously, immature) group of fantastic comedy actors blitz a script and win over a cinema full of women. I counted only seven men in the audience. The humour was face-splittingly good (although, I would issue a warning about course language and crunchy blankets… Don’t take your son with you to see it. Might be awkward.)
So, what do you do when your life is falling apart, romantic relationships seem hopeless and your best friend gets engaged and asks you to be maid of honour? What happens when you’re thrust onto a bridal party of people you don’t know, who seem alarmingly weird (the bride’s future sister-in-law), competitive in a sociopathic way (the bride’s other, newer bestie) and are otherwise wrongly-wired in a more harmless way? Well? Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper made for the funniest bridal party.
I, for one, have been on such a bridal party (although, they weren’t intentionally funny). I’d bonded to the best of my abilities with people I’d never otherwise come across in life, through strip shows and arguments over dresses, heels, hair and makeup. The movie allowed me to laugh about it, in retrospect. Call it therapy. Every girl should go through it. It’s character building.
Annie (Kirsten Wiig), is asked to be Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) maid of honour. Annie is stuck in a sex-with-no-strings-attached relationship and is privately devastated that her best friend is getting married. However, she does her best to be supportive. Unfortunately, everything she does goes horribly, horribly wrong. Some scenes are dry-wretchingly reminiscent of American Pie. Everything the new, other best friend does, trumps poor Annie’s thrifty and well-intentioned attempts.
Being Hollywood, there is a happy ending. Go see it with your best girls.
It’s almost Easter, so it’s time to share my latest seasonal treat.
How do you make chocolate hot cross buns in 3 steps (and 30 seconds)? I did this at the office, because someone donated the ingredients and someone else made a wise-crack about combining them. (I seem to have this face that says, ‘give me food – preferably with chocolate’.)
Start with a hot cross bun and some Easter eggs from the bottom drawer…
Fire up the office toaster…
Chocolate lava-centered hot cross bun… Tastes WOW.
Tip for young players:
Don’t try this first time just before an important meeting with your boss, lest some of that chocolatey goodness should squirt out of your bun and all down your skirt. My director happened to come past in time for me to give her a big, brown grin. And I’m not at all being naughty.
Thanks to CS for the bun and YD for the awesome suggestion.