The Post with the most!

It’s rare for me to write a post that ticks all 3 boxes but here’s a wrap up of yesterday…

EAT – to start with…oven baked sourdough and prosecco, moving onto fresh, clean tastes in salads such as  yummy Insalata Caprese with ripe red thickly cut tomatoes and creamy mozzarella slices, tuna nicoise salad with poached eggs, bresaola with rocket and shaved pecorino, cucumber ribbon, pine nuts and ricotta and warm stuffed eggplant. Pasta was next with a bolognese penne and a seared tuna and parsley orecchiette before mains arrived of seared swordfish with tomatoes, capers and extra virgin olive oil and crispy pork belly accompanied by lemon wedges and rocket. Dessert could not be forgotten and for Mr ELG and I, this was arguably our highlight….Eton mess with dollops of cream, fresh vanilla bean and plump sweet strawberries followed by a selection of cheese; both creamy and hard with pear and crackers. A cappuccino finished me off!

LOVE – family on hand to look after MM (BIT’s new codename aka Mini Mister), sharing a table with 14 closest and dearest pals over a long Sunday summer lunch where conversation flowed, laughter was bursting at the seams, yummy food was there to be divulged and life couldn’t be sweeter.

GO – Cafe Sopra above Fratelli Fresh on Danks Street, Waterloo Sydney. The private room where the Italian feast never stops.

Crunchy eating

Day 4 on detox and I realized today at lunch that there really is a lot of crunchy texture when eating foods on the “food you can eat” list. As there certainly is nothing one can describe as “creamy” although I am still dreaming of golden gaytimes and now creamy rice pudding has entered the dream!

Out and about on King Street in Newtown, 12.30pm had just passed and boy was I feeling ravenous. With oily chicken and kebab shops surrounding me, I wondered what else could satisfy my detox requirements and feel like a treat? Aaahhh, but of course – Vietnamese!!!

Rice Paper, on the Southern end of King Street closer to Sydney university opened nearly 6 months ago after the chef/owner had years of success in Strathfield. And I am now onto my second hand when counting how many times I have been since its arrival! It doesn’t help that it’s only a ten minute walk away from home but in a way, that’s also a comforting thought to know that damn good Pho and young Coconut drink is only ten minutes away! So today when I went in, knowing that today Pho was temporarily blacklisted, I ordered a Green Papaya salad.

As it was laid in front of me, I was immediately hit by the fragrance of the dressing. There was the scent of sweet lime, pungent fish sauce and notes of lemongrass. What a delicious treat!! As I took my first mouthful and crunched through the freshly grated granny smith apple, chopped peanuts and shredded carrot and slurped up the long strands of green papaya, a little part of detox-me was in seventh heaven.

Rice Paper as a restaurant ticks all the boxes for me. Clean, close, friendly service, reasonable prices and most of all, some of the best pho I have ever eaten. The bowl is big, steaming hot with broth that is rich and desirable in flavour. When I first took Mr ELG there, I remember his wide eyes after his first spoonful of Pho asking me why it took me so long to bring him here?!

3 days left of this crunchy eating…can’t wait for the cream!

Rice Paper @ 131 King Street Newtown NSW 2042

How to talk to a Widower

I finished this book yesterday. I can’t remember how I came across it but it was one of those funny, random reads and while the title sounds extremely depressing; it actually had a number of laugh-out-loud moments! Written by Jonathan Tropper, the whole story is from the point of view of Doug Parker whose wife has just died in a plane crash. He’s 29 with a dysfunctional family knocking down his door every second to check he’s ok and lives in middle class suburbia in upper state New York.

Without giving anything away, there is this one scene where he’s on a date and because Tropper writes so exceptionally well in first person, you feel like you ARE Doug on the blind date and sitting in front of you is this nattering, nervous ninny who talks a mile a minute and won’t let you have a word in sideways. His paragraph writes so there are no pauses or breaks and you feel like saying to this date “just take a breath will you!” This was just one of my many laugh-out-loud moments.

Totally recommend this book. LOVE

Time for tea and no oranges

After 2 weeks of solid eating and no holding back for another golden gaytime, extra dollop of custard or another piece of cheese; it’s now time for tea and no oranges. In other words; I am on a detox. I have chosen the Quick Cleanse 7 day version and Mr ELG and I are on day 2. So far so good and no major headaches or withdrawals. To put it simply, it’s unlimited fruit and vegetables with oranges omitted, no coffee or caffeine-related drinks, no meat or chicken, lots of water and raw nuts, fish every second day, unlimited tofu and lentils and vitamins three times a day. Yes, I could do this without buying into the program, but at this time of year structure is welcome to get the body back into gear.

So last night in front of the telly when all I could think about was Lindt passion-fruit intense chocolate, I begrudgingly went and made myself a herbal tea. My only saving grace for the next 5 days.

Since having BIT, I have never consumed so much tea as I do now. I don’t know what changed as I still drink coffee (when not on detox) but suddenly herbal tea is no longer reserved for librarians and old ladies. I do have a preference for chamomile, peppermint and ginger and am still not swayed by the berry blends. When I was breastfeeding, a friend recommended the Weleda nursing tea and who knew if it was actually contributing to the supply, but I found it to be a supremely calming ritual at the time much to Mr ELG’s dislike who used to always comment the house smelt like Chinese medicine.

I took this photo of tea being brewed at Revolver Cafe in Annandale. A friend ordered peppermint tea and I love the way so much effort is put into one cup of tea complete with its own minute timer too.

And yesterday amongst all of the tempting madness in a shopping centre where I looked one way to see hot churros rolled in cinnamon or the other way to see chocolate ice-cream; I was a very good girl and took myself off to T2 to order a takeaway herbal tea. It was an iced Turkish Apple and Rose tea – all pretty with the rosebuds floating on top. And if I just closed my eyes, it tasted just like a golden gaytime! Don’t worry, I know I’m dreaming!

Revolver Cafe @ 291 Annandale Street, Annandale NSW 2038

New year, new loves!

8 days into the new year and I have a few new loves to share with you.

One of Mr ELG’s Christmas presents this year was the same as every other year that I’ve known him…brand new shirts. This year I bought him an orange and white striped one. With its crisp cotton and the sun kissed look he has from our week at the beach, the look is somewhere between the Amalfi and Lake Como; sophisticated, summer, Sydney. LOVE

BIT needs a new name as I looked at him today and thought “when did my baby grow up?!” Nearly 9 months, he is raring to go and as cheeky as they come. Like a lot of other mums cruising the cityscape; what was once retail therapy for me has quickly become scouting for him in as it excites me to find the latest toys to stimulate and entice him. However despite all the fandangle with wooden versus Fisher Price plastic, walkers versus bouncies, trend after trend after trend; I love that one thing has remained constant throughout the generations and that’s of the simple nursery rhyme. Singing to BIT about incy wincy spider’s wall antics or reciting about the piggys’ adventures while squeezing his little toes one by one has him amused longer than any of his wooden ring towers or colored cotton reels. Humpty Dumpty’s fall, the description of a round old teapot and singing about bus parts when he’s squirming on the nappy change table has an immediate calming effect. So this Christmas for BIT, I bought him a little book of nursery rhymes with all the classic ones included. Albeit it’s not your average golden book but a quirky material book with handles and moving parts and hopefully likes its nursery rhymes will too be passed down a few more generations!

Since meeting Mr ELG, we have been collecting blue and white Cornishware. We try and source the original English TG Green stuff and where failing, have picked up some of the newer pieces too. As we travel and explore; whenever we come across an antique store, Vinnies or bric-and-brac market, my eyes scan the place for the blue and white stripes.  In Tassie while we were honeymooning we found a gorgeous teapot and in Arrowtown, just outside of Queenstown, NZ we found a mixing bowl. For a birthday, one of my gorgeous girlfriends sourced some original egg cups for me so the collection is coming along nicely and growing steadily as we go places. On my kitchen bench, I have a couple of pieces out…a bowl storing grapes and another storing parsley, dill and coriander. I love the country feel it gives the home and the memories they stir whenever I gaze in their direction. LOVE

I’ve just returned from a week away up the coast and “away” time at this time of year means one thing; reading a good book or two if you’re lucky. Henry Porter is the author and A Dying Light is its title and it’s a fabulous read full of suspense, quick page turning and left me thinking afterwards. LOVE

And finally while up at the coast, I took my first swim in the ocean. Lost in my own moment, I love a new year as it stirs something fresh, gives me renewed hope and the thought of clean beginnings. Happy new year everyone!

Meanwhile I’ll keep thinking of a new nickname for BIT…suggestions?