Sunday, March 27, 2011

Don Gato the Cat

Melbourne, March 2011
You roll the dice when you fly Tiger. I chanced it last minute to pop down to Melbourne and surprisingly everything went smoothly. There were other interstaters in town and much merriment followed. As usual I got a little overexcited at the amount of old friends in one place and peaked too early but by now we're all used to that. The next day we headed back to Giz's to inspect her prized capsicum plants. Much to her horror, her bumper crop turns out to be something other than capsicums...most likely weeds. Fertilised, stalked weeds. The best loved weeds in Melbourne I'd say. After this crushing revelation she kindly humoured me to some homemade spaghetti and we sat outside, staring at the capsicums/weeds. I left out some key ingredients to the spaghetti but it was a lovely all the same. 6.5/10

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Milk and Honey

Mullumbimby, March 2011
Milk and Honey was brilliant yet again. Close your eyes and think you're in Italy kind of brilliant. With the right balance of fresh flavours, it's certainly making up for a few bad spaghetti's I've had along the way. This particular Thursday was St Paddy's Day. We headed into Byron for a few afternoon pints and this was the perfect way to finish things off on our way back to the farm.  8/10

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Home grown, home made

Mullumbimby, March 2011
We often talk the veggie patch talk but to be honest, I know little about it. I didn't think vegetables and herbs would be so fussy. They want to sit next to a certain vegetable, don't like another one, prefer spring, only bloom once, go to flower. It's exhausting keeping up with them. I see why farmers stick to one thing. As a result, Ricey is into all sorts of thing and I tend to focus on one vegetable and make that my prized crop. At the moment it's cucumbers, they literally form overnight - very satisfying. Did you know they have spikes when they grow? As a result, they haven't been nanged on my little creatures. I've also been allocated a citrus tree that I've been pruning. I just want to prune everything in sight but apparently that's a winter thing, pff, so I've been let loose on one tree. We're not even sure what it produces - either mandarins or oranges. Either is fine by me. The pesto for our spaghetti is home made from the patch. Most meals have something from there in them, whether it's a herb, an eggplant, some zucchini, just something little. It hit the spot this particularly evening. 8/10

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hugh Mackay

Lismore, sometime during 2010
There are some really good things in Lismore. Unfortunately the kids spaghetti at The Lismore Workers Club isn't one of them. But that's not what you go Lismore for. Apart from all the 'big shops' we don't have in Mullum, there are also great vintage shops and an art deco cafe called 'Mecca' with old school booths. What drew us there on this particular day was Hugh Mackay giving a speech for the launch of his new book 'What makes us tick'. If you're not familiar with Hugh, he's a social researcher full of interesting observations. Like Seinfeld humour, a lot of what Hugh says is right in front of us everyday but we just don't see it for what it is. He used to come and speak at Clemengers when I worked there years ago. I'm glad we made the journey, even though the Spaghetti was soggy the Workers Club was buzzing. 4/10

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another excuse to eat Coopers Shoot Tomatoes

Since our trip to Spain last May, we've been pestering our spanish friends to send us a traditional gazpacho recipe from their relatives. Rosh and Javier finally pulled through with the goods last night which coincided with our trip to the Mullum farmers markets this morning. With our beloved Coopers Shoot Tomatoes you can either get squishy souping ones or hard ones perfect for bruchetta. The gazpacho was came up really well (not that I have actually eaten it before). We used red vinegar instead of the recommended white which may have been a slight error but it was good all the same. Here's the recipe in Spanish if you fancy making it yourself.

1 Kilo de tomates (rojos y blanditos)
1 cebolla mediana
1 pepino
1 pimiento italiano
1 diente de ajo
1 vaso de vinagre
1/2 vaso de aceite de oliva
Agua (aproximadamente un litro)
Una pizca de sal
Se pelan los tomates y se trocean.
Se pica la cebolla una vez limpia y se trocea.
Se le quitan las pipas al pimiento y se trocea
Se pela el pepino y se trocea
Se pela el ajo.
Una vez limpio y troceado todo, se pone todo en un recipiente para triturarlo con la batidora y se añade el, agua, el vinagre, el aceite y la sal y se bate todo bien, hasta que quede todo liquido. Se prueba. (si esta muy fuerte se añade agua y si esta flojo se pone un poquito más de vinagre y sal).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Booking made for 6:15

Brunswick Heads, February 2011
Somehow we ended up at dinner on a Tuesday at 6:15 and were those people who knew what they were having before the menus arrive. Granted we'd skipped lunch but it was a little too 'we're forty three and drive a station wagon' for my liking. This potentially affected the score, as did the scattering of parsley throughout which I can't help but associate with the 1990's. Mushy pasta didn't make things better but the sauce was tasty. We'll have to go back to this little local spot and give it a second go with a cocktail to start. 6/10

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Guest Blogger speaks his mind. "It's not that I'm angry….I'm just disappointed….”

Brunswick Heads, February 2011

I’ve seen a lot in my job as a spaghetti blog photographer. Terrible lows (please refer to “Ewww Shudder” July 2010), quizzical looks from chefs as they hope that 3 fingers is a funky new version of a peace sign as opposed to the tearing down of their nonna’s nonna’s recipe and new dining companions declaring: well, Sophie, I’ll have to make you MY spag bog; to which I interject: no pig and no cheese; and think: let’s give you a 7 to be polite right now.

The rewards for my toil are making the one I love happy and (usually) 2 beers to cleanse the palate, the lion share of a bottle of red and if I’m lucky a cheeky little glass of port to finish with.

I have, however, always hoped that I would be there for the elusive and much spoken about 10. Alas, I was at home on the farm looking after our new kitten, Buttons, while this magical mark was reached amidst much partying in Sydney.

After much ranting about my disappointment, questioning the validity of the score and suggesting that the city smog had a played tricks on her new found country girl sensibilities said blogger has appeased me with my own blog entry so here goes:

Sophie came back from Sydney having revived her youth. Hanging out in large groups, partying until 5am and saying things like “off the richter”. Imagine her disgust when we turned up to a local Italian, Dominic’s in Brunswick Heads, at 6:15pm on a Tuesday. Since it was maybe the second time in our relationship I had suggested we eat pasta her disgust vanished quickly.

Dominic’s is consistent with a lot of the restaurants in our area: low-key surrounds (please see photo-they don’t get too much more low key than a guy with a rat’s tail next to a guy with a mullet) with tasty food due to fresh local ingredients.

My meal was the slow cooked lamb with gnocchi. 6/10.