You know those phases in life when you're so busy and it seems that every waking moment is filled with a task or activity of some sort? Well, I'm not quite in one of those phases, but it doesn't feel too far off. And with Christmas breathing down my neck, it's probably not getting any quieter anytime soon.
So I'm taking the opportunity to clean out some of the random foodie experiences just sitting there like a tub of ice cream in the sun. Mmm, melted ice cream.
I love meals that are immediately associated with an event, especially when it's just some little, casual, impromptu activity. This was one of many dishes and containers of fresh cooked and raw seafood bought from the Sydney Fish Markets and walked over the road to the nearby park, to be enjoyed in the sunshine with a bottle or few of chilled white wine. This afternoon had it all, and it's one I look to re-enact rather soon.
To me, dumplings at home is simple comfort and synonymous with sitting at the kitchen table, often with another female, wrapping parcel after parcel of seasoned minced meat in thin, floury wrappers. Often, I'd feel like I'd been wrapping dumplings for ages, to then realise that the full tray will only feed two of the household's large appetites, and that there were a few trays to go yet. This particular version we normally parboil then panfry so the skin gets nice and crunchy. I seem to have never-ending stomach capacity for these dumplings - so very dangerous.
One tub, five spoons - dessert sorted. It's an easy, almost rebellious way of having dessert, but such good value fun among friends. The 70% dark chocolate ice cream is irresistably moreish. I'm not good with excess, but this is definitely an ice cream where I could polish off a tub, brain freeze and all.
Late on a Friday night after a few schooners here, a few jugs of sangria there, alighting a very steep few flights of stairs to play board games seemed a fantastic idea. A lengthy democratic discussion ensued and food, drinks and Pictionary soon follow. It's certainly a novel concept: comfy couches, a hoard of board games to choose from, and a casual, civilised environment to just chill out with good company.
After a long day tripping about Melbourne, we had gone for a quick and easy dinner at a sushi train near the hotel. Following the meal, a complimentary dessert plate arrived, looking tropically inviting with paper umbrella and white chocolate stripes on big red strawberries, garnished with... parsley. I didn't realise good old continental parsley was a herb to be used in sweets and honestly, I cannot confirm nor deny whether it is. Looks pretty, and I guess that's what matters here.
There really is something that feels uniquely Australian summer about sun, the beach, and fish and chips. In fact, on this occasion we weren't even quite at the beach yet, but inspired enough to have a fish and chip lunch. I like my chips thin but not too thin, my fish boneless and thinly battered, lots of juicy lemon wedges, and ideally, all of it wrapped in paper so you can then wipe your oily fingers on it.
Since getting my very own pasta maker, whipping up a lot of lasagne sheets or or pappardelle or tagliatelle is just moments away. Saying that, I always think it's faster than I end up taking, but I must admit some selfish pleasure I have in the process. I adore seeing the silky sheets turn out from what starts as a well of flour with a few eggs. I love seeing the machine cut perfect ribbons for me to make curtains or yarn-like balls. And it's pretty good exercise for the fitness-averse too, followed with obligatory carb loading.
More miscellany another time, I assure you, once I sort out the jolly mess that is life.