March macaron madness – a memory for now

If you just happen to be reading this in Paris, head to Place de la Madeleine and make a beeline for Laduree. Hmmm limone et chocolat. However, if in Sydney forget about Zumbo in Balmain as the best macarons are at Baroque; the new French bistro in The Rocks, Sydney. Here, don’t just salivate over salty caramel but buy a dozen and all your Christmases will have come in March.

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 12:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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the song list

Like Fred Astaire or the Tapdogs; one of our wishes for April 10 was to get people footloose and on their feet, shaking their tail feathers and ultimately, dancing like no one was watching. Music and copious amounts of it is around me daily whether it’s a tune I am humming to myself or a shower song I am belting out to reverberate off the tiles or if I am winding down after a day’s work singing along to Sophie Millman. And most people have a song they groove to where the electricity flows out of their feet and gets the blood pumping as the beat takes over. You might be swaying from side to side, moving your head in a ferocious manner or just jiggling your right knee. Know that feeling? Well, my song is the MJ classic Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough. A hint of the the sound of that intro gets me up in a heartbeat and dancing around like no one’s watching and I love it.

So to choose music for April 10 was more than just choosing an ad out of Bride to Be and ticking a box. A song list was chosen first and every song on it was one that had a memory attached to it in leaps and bounds. There was no limit and with pen to paper, the list kept growing and getting more colourful as it moved through the genres. Next a decision needed to be made between a live band or a DJ. Both presented pros and cons but despite my in depth search, I could not find a band who’s singer sounded as deep as Barry White, had the same melodic tones as Norah or the quick beat of Stevie.

To the DJ we chose, we added the element of spontaneity of a saxophonist who fired up the night with short sharp bursts in all of the right moments. And when the bouquet was being thrown backwards into the crowd, nothing could compete with Beyonce’s All the Single Ladies other than the fighting hands of Kate.

The final song list I look at now and I love the memories attached to each song both before and now after April 10.

  1. Sex bomb, Tom Jones
  2. Ain’t no mountain high enough, Sister Act soundtrack
  3. I wanna dance with Somebody, Whitney Houston
  4. Moondance, Van Morrison
  5. The Way you look tonight, Tony Bennett
  6. Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours Stevie Wonder
  7. Unchained Melody, The Righteous Brothers
  8. Midnight Train to Georgia, Renee Geyer
  9. The Nearness of You, Norah Jones
  10. The Way you make me feel, Michael Jackson
  11. Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, Michael Jackson
  12. Come Fly with Me, Michael Buble
  13. My Baby just cares for me, Nina Simone
  14. Best of My Love, The Emotions
  15. Get up (I feel like being a) Sex Machine, James Brown
  16. Love X Love, George Benson
  17. I heard it through the grapevine, Creedence Clearwater Revival
  18. Chan Chan, Buena Vista Social Club
  19. Dancing In the Street, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas
  20. Can’t get enough of your love, babe Barry White
  21. Ain’t nothing like the real thing, Aretha Franklin
Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 11:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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If this is on the menu it’s my first choice

I know some people can’t stand to do this. They would rather order something else or even ask someone to do it for them. If you spend too much time thinking about it then yes, it can be disgusting and overly fiddly but my love for them is too great and everything becomes a journey to reach a destination especially when it comes to eating. I’m talking about prawns, fresh ones and the art of peeling them, either by hand or if the flavours are so great and cooked Chinese-style with lots of garlic and shallots then, in my mouth. I think my man thought it was some sort of party trick at first! However, there is nothing I love more than to go to the Fish markets, lining up and buying a kilo of fresh tiger prawns and sitting outside with my sleeves rolled up to peel and eat every one there and then. Lemon, mayo or not, it was a love that Dad introduced me to when I was around 4 years old and I have never looked back. Last year for Christmas I made a huge tray of prawns which were skewered and to prepare for the BBQ were doused in fish sauce, ginger, garlic, fresh baby chillies, soy sauce, palm sugar, coriander and lime zest. I did have help this time to peel 5 kilos of prawns (from my niece – it’s obviously in our blood) but it was by memory, a relaxing afternoon and golly, the end product was magnificent.

Day 1 we arrived into Hobart late afternoon and were famished by 7pm when we waltzed into Flatheads after a recommendation from Hotel Islington. Located in South Hobart, 5 minutes drive from the hotel it is a spot we were told where locals like to frequent and our immediate sight was the fresh seafood that was presented in more of a fishmonger style than fine restaurant. But all the same the fish looked fresh, had ample colour and plumpness and there was a huge variety to choose from. Our menu informed us about the 15 or so types available to eat from the more common barra to a childlike character type called Snotty Trevally (aka Blue Warehou) to one that seemed more like a fundraiser called Pink Ling. Our waiter demonstrated a good knowledge of what was in season, how it was to be cooked and matched our order to a fabulous local wine from Bream Creek.

First up and the entrees presented themselves to be Abalone cooked in a mustard seed-star anise broth for my man and 6 fresh prawns for me with a garlic toastie and aioli. Not the slightest bit fazed, prawns were peeled in a flash and sweetness was instantly savoured. Mains were equally as delightful (my Bouillabaise was the perfect choice for a cold first night) and we left Flatheads with full and warm bellies.

And if there is Spaghetti Marinara on the menu; it’s my first choice. The best so far was from an Italian restaurant on Hastings Street, Noosa QLD. It came with fresh papardelle in a steaming hot paper bag. Once ripped open, the tomato aromas awash with the fresh fragrant seafood was heaven in a bowl.

Flatheads @ 4 Cascade Road, South Hobart 7004.

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 10:03 am  Comments (2)  
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