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.