Two thumbs up for the excellent new Adam Sandler flick.
That was an incredibly stressful and scrappy second half… hand ball, three yellow cards, but who cares?! We’re through!
Just realised I finally hit 4000 posts a few days ago (the 4000th post was the bunch of quicklinks on the 14th).
Australia takes on Croatia in Stuttgart early tomorrow morning. Can’t wait.
The Guardian has a pretty darn eclectic list of things foodies should do (before they die, presumably). I’ve done 18, 23, 32, 48 and 50, but as I’m not really a foodie, have no intention of filling out that list (except maybe 6, 17 and 25). It’s a pretty Euro-centric list, but I suppose that’s because it’s The Guardian.
Just got back from the live screen at Circular Quay. What an atmosphere. It was an incredible game. I’ve lost my voice. Australia started off well, but an early questionable goal by the Japanese set the scoreline against us. Then as the missed chances started to pile up and the seconds ticked away, there was an increasing atmosphere of nervousness and depression all the way up to the 84th minute when Cahill sent the ball into the back of the Japanese net and the Aussie crowd into the atmosphere. A second and third goal sealed the match and everyone was rapturous. 3-1. Absolutely bloody fantastic.
When my parents first migrated to Australia, they were put up by a nice Aussie couple while they found their feet. The couple (now a family) have since moved up to Gosford, but my parents still keep in occasional contact with them. It was from them that mum learnt how to make a pretty darn good Pavlova. The recipe is fairly easy to follow.
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
0.5 teasp corn flour
0.5 teasp vinegar
1 teasp vanilla essence
300mL whipped cream (you can whip fresh cream yourself)
3 teasp icing sugar
0.5 teasp vanilla essence
1 large passionfruit
strawberries, kiwifruit, etc
- Beat egg whites (with a mixer) until quite stiff.
- Add sugar in little bits at a time (maybe one fifth of a cup at a time),
beating well after each addition.
- Mix in the cornflour with the last amount of sugar which is added in.
- When the sugar and cornflour is all added, fold in the vinegar and
vanilla essence. This mixture is the meringue casing.
- Put greaseproof paper on a greased baking tray and sprinkle the paper
with cornflour so it reduces the case sticking to it.
- Dump all the meringue made onto the paper into one big dollop and, using
a spatular, gently shape it. Typically, it’ll be into a circle about 20cm in
diameter. Note that the meringue will expand a fair bit in the oven, so take
that into account.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 120-130°C (for a fan forced oven. Try a
slightly higher temperature for a conventional oven). Leave for 1.5 to 2
hours or until meringue is crisp.
- Turn oven off and allow casing to cool. Loosen the casing from the paper.
- Mix the icing sugar and vanilla essence with the whipped cream and spread
on top of the meringue.
- Decorate with sliced fruit and passionfruit pulp.
Cooking time: 2-2.5 hours, including waiting time
Refrigerate to keep fresh. If bringing over to a friend’s house, make the case
first and only top it once over there.
I got a call from Shen late last afternoon saying that he’d just found out that day that he had to leave for Africa soon. Soon being 7.30am on the next morning. At such short notice, he was understandably flustered about having to pack, make sure his business was in order, and tie up a few other miscellaneous loose ends within the next 12 hours, so I headed over to his place after work with a few other friends to help him out. A very quick dinner was in order, and after hearing him complain about the lack of meat he’d be eating there over the next month, I got in my head a pretty twisted notion. First:
The girl at the register initially retorted to the order with a “you’re not serious”. After Shen had convinced her otherwise, she called the manager over and they debated whether (a) the order was allowed; (b) they had entered the correct amount of patties into the register; and (c) whether they were violating any health laws in the process. I think the manager was in shock – the expression on her face was rather priceless. Anyway, after they took the order she turned around to talk to the guy behind the grill. In a rather elevated tone of voice, she announced our order to the grill guy in much the same way a check out person would request a price check for a pack of condoms bought by an embarrassed teenager. There was a splutter of indignation from behind the grill. “Nah, I’m serious! They ordered eight patties, man!”
She turned back to us… “uh, we’ll bring it out to you”.
I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
The burger required three sheets and two cardboard rings to wrap up.
In all its semi-congealed glory.
Shen and the store manager posing with the Double Pounder
Just to clear things up, that obscenity fed the whole group of us. We had to ask for forks and knives.
Pilu at Freshwater, selected as 2006’s best new restaurant by the SMH GFG, overlooks Harbord beach, in Harbord. I had never even heard of Harbord before tonight (it’s in the northern beaches area and is a bit remote for anyone coming from south of the harbour). Pilu opened up about two years ago when its owner decided to move from his old restaurant down near the Spit Bridge. The restaurant is converted from a beachside house and they’ve turned what must have used to be the outside balcony into part of the interior so there’s two mismatching decors to the restaurant. Unfortunately at night there’s no view outside, but I imagine during the day you can see the beach and ocean.
Pilu serves solid, good tasting Sardinian cuisine which hasn’t been modernised by zealous use of food processors or courses embedded with unidentifiable foods you’ve never heard of before. They offer an “off-menu” 6-course degustation menu at $100 per head, but they are also happy to let you construct your own tasting menu. The latter option allows the opportunity to try out more dishes at a cheaper price, but may be unwieldy if you have a large dining party. There were only two of us, so we selected a seven course meal consisting of five entrees, two mains and a side salad. We decided to skip dessert (they seemed to be pretty standard fare). Oysters started the meal, followed by whitebait and prawns, deboned quail, saffron pasta with clams and chilli, ravioli stuffed with boar which was apparently cooked for three hours beforehand, slow roasted pork and 150-day aged beef with Jerusalem artichokes and caramelised onions. All excellently done. I would highly recommend the saffron pasta! In a bit of gluttony (a phenomenon Chinese call “wide eyes, tight stomach”), we had ordered one dish too many and finishing the last course was an uncomfortable struggle. Serving sizes are fairly large, again debunking the myth that fine dining equals miniscule portions.
The restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere and the service is informal, relaxed but professional. Our waiter patiently took our order, and divided some of the dishes we ordered at the table (eg, they have to cook the beef as one chunk, and they carefully carved the chunk into two pieces for us after they brought it out to our table). The only issue was that at about 8pm they dimmed the lights so that we almost couldn’t see what we were eating (we were in the balcony area, the main area was still well lit).
The seven courses, one side and drinks were $96 per person (plus tip) which is clearly better value than the degustation menu. A big thanks to my cousin for shouting the meal for my 25th!