Month: March 2011

Greenhouse by Joost (and the pink umbrella)

A few weeks ago Mr G randomly heard about that foodie dedication to all things recycleable and organic,  Greenhouse by Joost and decided to go.  Fortunately this was before it appeared in the SMH and we got a table at 1pm really easily.  In Sydney this is completely unheard of.

The theme was organic.  They pulled it off.

The menu was typical of organic and seasonal produce restaurants, short and sweet.  And very, very good!

This was mullet with heritage tomatoes.  I don’t know how they get the skin that crispy but I’m sure it involves butter.  And the tomatoes were amazing.  My only complaint was that they served it on some sort of untreated recycled wood and the mullet soon tasted like untreated recycled wood.  It’s not the culinary experience you’d think it was.  But it just made me eat the damn fish faster!

Mr G had the wagyu steak and salad and wasn’t disappointed.

While we were there, one of the cruise liners decided to leave the harbour.  It was a bit surreal watching that giant ship move past the window.  A bit post-apocalyptic.  I half expected it to take off.

Then we drank coffee from recycled jam jars.  Post 90s organic recycled nu-hipster cred?  Tick.

And then there was a lady outside with a pink umbrella.

I couldn’t take my eyes off her, I was obsessed!  It was a dull-ish day and the pink umbrella seemed to light up everything around her.

I stalked her through The Rocks for a while before Mr G announced I was being creepy and to stop it.

Anyway, I recommend Joost – the food is good, so is the coffee.  No disappointments.  I saw a lot of people ordering the pizza – now this place grinds their own flour and makes their own.  As someone who makes their own pizza this can only mean one thing – tough and chewy.  Don’t go there expecting great pizza.  It’s organic, it’s wholesome, but I can guarantee you there are better things on the menu.  Like that lovely mullet!

Homefood, daywear or I found my camera cable.

I finally found my camera cable, had cleverly organised it into a nice little bag with other camera cables and forgot about it.  I found some pics of some cooking and a schlepping around my local shops outfit so I thought I’d share.  This outfit is pre-income and the whole thing totals about $50.  I’m pretty uniform with what I wear and fully condone large scarves – I’ll blame the keffiya for their oversaturation, but since the skin on your chest is the same as the skin on your face, I, like to keep that covered.  Excuse the unholy mess, this was post-creative flurry of design and printing some invites for my sister.  You can see my guillotine in the background if you look extra hard.

I’ve since upgraded the scarf, thrown out the shoes (destroyed), and bought a new handbag.  But the formula remains the same.  I’ll switch in jeans if it’s cold.  I know, I’m boring.

This has to be the best ever make-lots-of-and-eat-for-the-week dinner ever.  I found the recipe in Falling Cloudberries.  It’s called Tava and you pretty much just throw lamb, potatoes, red onion, cumin seeds, and parsley (I use rosemary though), and olive oil together, mix it up, and top the lot with tomatoes, then cook for 3 hours.  It’s perfect for nightshift – I put it on, sleep through the day (with the oven turned low), and when I wake up dinner is ready.  It keeps well and tastes amazing reheated – what more could you want?

Here it is with a simple salad of greens dressed with lemon juice and olive oil :

I know, no points for food styling.  Most of the time I don’t even bother taking a photo because I’m so hungry I just want to eat!

Recently Mr G cooked another recipe from Falling Cloudberries (okay, it’s probably the most heavily used cookbook in our place!) called Lahmacun, or if you’ve ever been down Sydney Rd in Melbourne, Turkish or Lebanese pizza.  It’s an aromatic mince + Lebanese bread served with chilli oil, parsley, and lemon juice.  And very very hard not to scoff all at once!

Don’t be afraid of cordial!  Food of the gods.  My favourite is Fruit Cup.  I was buying diet until I learned about diet soda leeching calcium from your bones with high amounts of phosphate.  I wonder if diet cordial is the same?  I’m not afraid of aspartame.

In other news, I bought myself a new iMac today.  Well almost new.  I couldn’t pass up a refurbished model for $250 below the new price.  And it’s community recycling.  And fiscally responsible.  So get ready for more blogging and more random pics!  Although I’ll change cameras and steal Mr G’s – this thing hasn’t been the same since it fell out of a high speed tuktuk in Siem Reap.

A time to live, and a time to…eat!

Recently I’ve noticed a foodie explosion amongst my friends.  They use words like ‘phenomenal’ when describing a chocolate pudding…sorry…fondant, and argue over the finer points of who has the better extra virgin olive oil.  While it seems that their foodiness is limited to contemporary Australian with the occasional grand adventure into Japanese, Thai if they’re feeling edgy (but never Chinese), I must admit, I have a confession to make.

I love food.  I’m not a foodie.  I love the wagyu burger at Rockpool.  I love a Hungry Jacks whopper junior with cheese with its mix of mayo and tomato sauce falling out of my hands.  I love Macca’s fries (when hot, fresh, and salty), and I equally love the polenta chips at Bloodwood.   Yes I’ve eaten that snow egg.  But I can eat a bag of assorted filled easter eggs from Woollies too.  And I love Chinese food.  And Vietnamese food.  And Nepalese food.  And Indian food.  In fact if it’s from a country I haven’t heard of, I’ll love it more.  One of the first things I ask someone from another culture is 1) what do you eat, and 2) can I have the recipe?  I have friends who stay away from ethnic suburb because they’re afraid of violence.  I will spend forty minutes on the train getting to said suburb in pursuit of it’s glorious street-food authenticity.  Forget growing the ingredients on the roof.  Forget blah-blah sourced from blah-blah and aged in a cave.  I appreciate all food for what it is – whether it’s fine dining or fast food, they all have their place.

And everything must be in it’s place.  For most of my life I’ve eaten fairly indiscriminately, making up large batches of cookies and eating most of them or ordering pizza whenever I felt like it.  In short, I had no system for eating and it takes it’s toll.  In spite of being 20kg lighter than I was 10 years ago, I still have a daily battle with myself over what and what not to eat.  There’s almost a sense of missing out and maybe I’ll never get it again involved with certain foods.  So I thought I’d make a time and a place for all the foods I love, so that I have permission when the time comes, and I’ll never miss out.

My rules for eating whatever I want:

  • Day-to-day:  I eat from the earth.  Fish, brown rice, vegetables, rice noodles, yoghurt, fruit.  Think Mediterranean food pyramid
  • Out to dinner:  Free reign to order whatever I want!  Forget the token salad to ‘trying and be healthy’
  • Bakery treats are for sharing!  I’m only baking if it’s for a group of people.
  • Chips/lollies/chocolate:  Easter, Christmas, birthdays…and night shift.
  • Pancakes/big breakfasts:  Birthdays, night shift, and weeks where I’m working 6/7 days.
  • Pizza:  For times of utter, utter acopia.
  • Alcohol – not so much of an issue, I hardly drink.  But when out, no more than 2-3 drinks max.

I wish I could exercise portion control and eat this stuff whenever I liked, but put a block of chocolate, a bag of chips or a packet of biscuits in my pantry and they are gone in 3 hours.  I don’t want that for myself.  I don’t buy that stuff anyway but this is even more impetus not to.

Some purchases – with pictures!

Still don’t know where my camera stuff is since moving, but since doing a rotation that is all shiftwork and all my free time being free when no one is around, I’ve done a ton of online shopping, so I’ll share the spoils.

Witchery sent me a $50 voucher recently if I spent over $100 so I obliged and bought this bag.  Their shipping rate of $17 nearly had me on the floor, honestly some US websites are cheaper, but I was glad when it arrived.  It sort of sits up and folds in on itself all at once and looks quite polished next to my old leather hobo that was used and abused for four years (which now gets resigned to travel-wear).  I don’t mind Witchery bags for day bags, this one is nice soft but sturdy leather and goes with lots.  Going from student to, well, [i]paid[/i], I’m starting by building up the basics first.  And apologies to the designer it likely ripped off, being Witchery and all.

Remember that craze for all things Parisian and French a year ago?  It was al about The Cherry Blossom Girl and superior French style and the amazing concept that you could wear designer shoes with chain-store fashion.  I didn’t have the money for designer shoes at the time, so I lived it through T2’s French Early Grey tea.  I’m sure it’s about as French as a French manicure (which is an American invention), but I drank my tea and bought fresh flowers and watched Gossip Girl and read French Women Don’t Get Fat and had a great time doing it.  I love T2 teas.  They always try to sell me canisters but I think their boxes look great stacked up so the tea just stays in the inconvenient plastic.  The website didn’t have a picture of the actual box.

Name says it all really.  I love Thai food, I love a coffee table book, and I love to cook when I have time – and COTD had it for $30 – what’s to lose?

I also bought a ton of books off Book Depository but that’s too many pictures.  Needless to say I’ll be reading up a storm.

Next pay, i.e. tomorrow, I’ll be investigating the exciting world of Shopbop and Marc by Marc Jacobs.  I have a lot of old worn stuff to replace.  But answer me this – if you buy a pair of mouse flats, how could you wear them?  Wouldn’t you want them to last forever?  I have been coveting these for years but I fear I would wear them to death in such a short time.  How do you not wear shoes?


I felt compelled to write, largely because my camera always appears to be dead, the connector lost, my dinners eaten before I can photograph them and my clothes being lost somewhere between the wash and my bedroom.  Then I decided I’m only slightly more boring without these things, so I’ll just post anyway.

And really it was all this talk of babies and homes and what-have-you on the Vogue forum.  I feel completely incongruous with my age.  I’m 31.  I’m 31 and I’m two months into my career job.  I had another which I hated, went back to uni, and got another one, which two months in am quite certain I love.  But all this talk of babies and houses!  I have neither of these things and feel more compelled at this point in my life to investigate my first MJ handbag than I do to think about bricks and mortar.  This is largely due to spending most of my twenties being a student.  Late bloomer develops into delayed responsibility.  And now it’s as if everything has backed up behind itself because much as I’d love expensive dinners and handbags, all that has to be crammed into a year or two, because, that tick tick is chasing me.

Still a year of dinners and dresses will be enough.  I have no regrets.  Just an abject lack of time.  Mr G and I were somehow graced with an endless supply of patience, and trust that these things will happen as they should.*

*as they should being before 35 😉