Some of my food and drink outings over the past three months. The concept of an ‘unblogged’ post is inspired by Sarah Cooks.
Every second Monday morning at work, we hold a quick “Sydney Team Meeting” where all twenty-odd of us get together and talk about a highlight from our weekends, and what we will each be working on over the next two weeks. It’s a really quick and easy way to keep up with everyone’s different projects and understand larger organisational priorities outside of our own work, given that many of us work in very different areas. We take it in turns to provide nibblies for each meeting. Most people settle for bringing in some shareable fruit (strawberries or grapes) with some fruit loaf from Baker’s Delight. One colleague however, decided to set the standard higher and created some elaborate antipasto share platters with some of my favourites (brie cheese, avocado, salami, stuffed peppers). It was a completely decadent feast, and has certainly set the bar quite high for future team meetings!
I remember when Krispy Kreme first opened in Melbourne all those years ago, and there were queues snaking around whole city blocks of people desperate to get their hands on an Original Glazed. Now of course, Krispy Kreme is everywhere in Australia and you can even pick them up at petrol stations. Nevertheless, they’re still a very special treat so when one of our vendors brought a box of Krispy Kremes into the office, we all descended to the kitchen like a large mob of rabid Homer Simpsons. Needless to say, the box didn’t even last half an hour before crumbs were all that were left.
K’s grandparents are in their nineties and like many older people, are very much stuck in their habits. They have a handful of restaurants that they visit, where they order the same dishes and insist on paying for the whole family. We usually see them on Sunday for lunch, and any deviation from this routine is resisted. One weekend we managed to turn this around though, and invited them to Costa do Sol in Petersham for Portuguese food – and managed to pay for the whole family as well without them putting up too much of a fight! These croquettes we ordered as an entree were just lovely – stuffed full with herbs and simply tasty.
Yes, this might look like plain water with ice…but it’s actually glazed donut flavoured schnapps! I’m not one for schnapps usually, but as K and I were dining at Essen with some friends, I thought I should order something vaguely Germanic in nature given the meals we were ordering. As I read down the list of flavours, I glanced past the standard apple and peach flavours and locked my eyes on the glazed donut flavour. It was an amazing drink – it actually tasted like the Krispy Kreme donuts I’d eaten only days before, and was very drinkable.
In mid-August, I attended a special cocktail evening at Simmer on the Bay with Maker’s Mark chairman Bill Samuels Jnr and some of Sydney’s hippest and coolest people. I’m not sure how a geeky self-confessed Directioner like myself found myself there, but there I was! K and I got to sample some delicious cocktails made with their latest brew. These fruity cocktails belied the punch of strong Maker’s Mark 46 that really hit you half an hour after you finished the drink. We also got to enjoy some great live jazz tunes, as well as some Southern-style nibblies like corn fritters and shrimp cocktails. For more details on this event, Corinne of Gourmantic was also there and at some other Maker’s Mark events as well and she writes about her experiences here.
Working in a generalist Marketing role in a small organisation often means that I do everything from managing our website to designing brochures and in this case – manning a stand at a conference at the Convention Centre in Darling Harbour for three days straight, speaking to people who work in our key communication channels. Having lived a primarily sedentary and office-based lifestyle for the past five years as I left retail work and my university days behind me, spending three days straight on my feet was hard work! By the end of the third day, my colleague and I needed some strong drinks at a harbourside restaurant to celebrate the end of the conference and a job well done – I went with my usual mojito (or two!) and she chose a Cosmopolitan (or two!).
I’m still using the same plain white crockery set I bought for $30 when I first moved out of home five years ago. There’s a few chips in some, and others have shattered along the way, but as a set, it’s still holding strong. The frugalista in me can’t justify buying a new crockery set while my current one is still serviceable, but when that time comes, I think I’ll be buying gorgeous ornate plates like these! These belonged to one of K’s ex-colleagues, who invited a whole bunch of people over to her house for a South American fiesta including some delicious home-made feijoada.
Finally I managed to get my hands onto some cronuts – or should I say zonuts? I’ve read so much about the craze that’s swept the food world, and finally K and I decided to drive to Rozelle on our two year anniversary to indulge in some Adriano Zumbo goodies, walk along the water, and shop at the Rozelle Markets. Can I just say – these zonuts were simply heavenly? The creamy custard inside, the flaky pastry outside, the crumbled honeycomb on top…simply decadent and a real sugar hit that left us buzzing all day. I highly recommend everyone try it at least once!
K is a keen baker as he’s quite analytical and enjoys the science behind baking bread – what quantities to use? What ingredients? How does the amount of protein in a particular brand of flour affect the end result? He’s been wanting a stand mixer for the longest time, and I’ve been wanting an ice-cream maker as I’m a greedy guts. When we saw the Breville Scrape and Mix on sale at Target recently with the Freeze and Mix ice-cream bowl for only $250 combined, we decided to buy it as a bit of an anniversary gift for ourselves. This is our first attempt at chocolate ice-cream – it ended up being a really rich ice-cream. The consistency was excellent but it was a little bit gritty as I think we used too much chocolate. There’s lots of room for improvement, and lots of opportunities for test batches of ice-cream!
How appropriate that I end this post with more ice-cream! On the very last day of September K ans I went to a special (free!) screening of the new movie Rush with Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl at George St Cinemas in the city. As we walked out and back to our car, we walked past numerous groups of people holding large green soft serve cones, and I decided that if it was good enough for those people, it was good enough for me! I tracked the soft serve to Chanoma Cafe in Regent Place and went in for my own cone. It’s a really great dessert alternative for those people who don’t like overly sweet dessert – the slightly bitter flavour of matcha helps make this a rather savoury ice cream treat.
With a few trips back to Melbourne, my birthday, and Christmas coming up in the next three months, I think the next quarterly post of ‘unblogged food’ will be jam-packed!