Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous/Quirky’ Category

OMG!!!  After years of dealing with the Australian immigration, we have now been granted Permanent Resident (“Permie”) status!!!  It has taken nearly 8 months since we applied for it and after 3 different visas prior to this and thousands of dollars later, we have the right and privilege to come and go freely from this beautiful country!!  I really can sympathize with people who immigrate to any country now and can understand why there are so many illegal immigrants.  It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure.  Going through this process has been one of the most trying, frustrating, hair-ripping, financially-draining things we have had to do but it was worth it in the end.  I just don’t know why they make you suffer so much before you get your prize…especially since Australia NEEDS more people.  The thing I am grateful for the most is that I can now get access to great medical care for free, if I need it although most people (including us) have private health insurance as well to cover extras.  Still, it is something that I hope that Americans will have access to some day.  The U.S. being the only industrialized nation without the right to free medical care is sad to me.

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Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that Andrew Wheeler, co-contributor of Very Good Taste blog in the UK thinks that every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food – but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it.

Here’s what to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

I was surprised that I am only missing 24 items – not bad for someone who isn’t an offal or “strongly tasting meat” fan.  I think my multi-cultural upbringing and friends helped me to eat many of these things. The mixture of foods are quite interesting – from the gourmet and ridiculously luxurious to the more mundane and downright strange.  It was fun taking this quiz.  Tell me what you would eat or not and whether you have a good story for any food items here!

♥ Indicates that I LOVE it!

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding (just not a fan of offal)
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
(have been known to search far and wide for a bowl – even in Paris)
13. PB&J (Peanut Butter & Jelly) sandwich (I really hate these – too sweet)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
(with extra relish!)
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns (especially the Shanghainese ones)
20. Pistachio ice cream (my favourite!)
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans

25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (why?!)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters

29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas (my dear friend Bill’s favourite!)
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (I always get the sweet plain one but not tasted the salted yet!)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
(made them for my 4th of July party here)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
(Chinese-style Oxtail soup is a childhood favourite!)
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (ate it at the end of my entymology class at UCD)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu (intriguing but not sure I’d risk it)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel

49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (has to be hot!)
50. Sea urchin (not a big fan)
51. Prickly pear
(taste so…unexciting)
52. Umeboshi – great with some green tea to soothe an upset tummy
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
(yes, I will admit that I occasionally like a fast food meal)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini

58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (looks intriguing but probably couldn’t eat a whole plate)
60. Carob chips (don’t like the texture)
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (Clay?? But why?!)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (there are many varieties. I ate one from Borneo that didn’t stink and was bright orange)
66. Frogs’ legs (I really want to though!)
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain

70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (I would if I was lost in the Outback and was desperate)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (ate them as a kid, tastes too artificial to me now)
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini

81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
(Love the one with lots of almonds)
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant (most recently at the Fat Duck in Bray)
85. Kobe beef (Real Kobe beef from Kobe, Japan? No, haven’t had the $$$. Wagyu “Kobe” grown outside of Japan but marketed as Kobe – YES, many times.  I wouldn’t be surprised if many people say yes because they ate Wagyu)
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate (I’m not sure…I have had so many great chocolate and it could’ve been one of them)
91. Spam (I’m from Hawaii…every respectful Hawaiian eats Spam)
92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa (I’ve had harissa but I’m unsure what rose harissa is)
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
(this Mexican co-worker of mine used to sell his mother’s mole, it was the best!)
96. Bagel and lox
(with capers and thinly sliced red onions please)
97. Lobster Thermidor (it’s ok but I like my lobster less complicated)
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

100. Snake

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One day, I’ll take a picture of a Ring-tailed Possum.  There is a whole colony that lives around here and they let us know it by leaving lovely droppings all over the place – on our fence and near the plants.  I just sweep them up and throw them in my plants as fertilizer.  These are Aussie Possums – very cute and marsupials.  They are not the weird-looking Possums you get in North America.  I wonder why they are both called Possums?  I once saw one on my fence with a baby on her back…if only I had my camera!!  Cute as they are, they wreak havoc to any garden with succulent shoots – oh and yes, they loved my David Austin roses!!  Because I hate losing my plants, I have them in pots (they look sad because it’s winter) and they are fully covered by a bird net:

My pots covered in bird netting

My pots covered in bird netting

Anyway, here is another parrot – the Adelaide Rosella, that was in my garden over the weekend while I was trying to plant bok choy, sweet peas, green onions and peonies.  Adelaide Rosellas are a cross between Yellow Rosellas and Crimson Rosellas (bright red & gorgeous).  This guy was eating the red berries in the tree next to my fence.

Aren't they pretty?

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Thousands of people including myself have been following veteran American journalist Leroy Siever’s daily blog “My Cancer” on NPR (National Public Radio) in the U.S. and around the world.  His daily journals on his struggles and thoughts about his cancer formed a community – a community of so many people around the world who have been affected by cancer.  He brought solace and support to more people than he probably imagined it would.  Just reading comments left by readers is amazing how much of an impact he had by writing this blog.

Leroy passed away last night and I write this with a heavy heart.  Although he was told he was only going to live for 6 months, he lived for 2 1/2 years.  So many people got used to reading his daily emails and like me, probably wished for a miracle that his cancer would stop growing.

I contemplated for a few seconds on whether I should write about this on a FOOD BLOG.  But then, I thought about it and realized that this is MY blog and although food is my passion, fighting cancer is equally important to me also.  During this past year, THREE very close people to me have been fighting advanced stage cancers and it is a disease that does not discriminate and it is very sad.

This Friday, 22 August 2008 is Daffodil Day in Australia and 29 August in New Zealand.  Please buy a bunch of daffodils for $5 and/or donate to your local Cancer Council or Cancer Society.  There will be many volunteers (including myself) this week selling Daffodil Day items so look out for us please!

Links to some cancer organisations:

Canadian Cancer Society

American Cancer Society

Cancer Research UK

Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research

Cancer Society of New Zealand

Cancer Patients Aid Association (India)


Wiki Cancer – Stories, Support and Information

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So in my first post on weird ads for hospitality jobs, I mentioned both a position catching chickens and being a “glassy” here.  What I found hilarious about the “glassy” job was that it required a resume and preferably previous “experience”.  I am not mocking the job at all as it is an integral part of running a bar smoothly but come on, it’s not exactly really hard nor technical.  The Aussie slang for a glass collector is what makes me laugh and requiring a resume blows my mind…really, who cares what schools you went to when all you do is collect empty glasses and clean them in a bar?

Anyway, I found yet another add for “glassies” but thank goodness this bar has simpler expectations – they just want applicants to ring the bar and better yet, no experience is necessary.  Maybe I should apply for this job just to see what a real “glassy” does.

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