Monday, June 24, 2013

I just want to put you on my gluten free cracker

A few months ago my lovely blog friend Dorothy from Far From Kansas offered to send me cheese! CHEESE from the Netherlands.

Which leads me to say a couple of things about things.

1. I love that blogging can make people from across hemispheres connect over something like cheese and get onboard to help each other out in their crazy dreams (in my case, my life list where I want to try 1000 cheeses).

2. People are just lovely. Dorothy is simply a lovely person who wanted do something nice to a stranger, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to have her as a friend.

3. And this one goes without saying. Cheese is good.

4. The first challenge for Dorothy and I was to find out if it was actually legal to send cheese via the mail into Australia (and with a helpful tweet from Australian Post) and some sleuthing we found that yes, yes it was.

And so, that brings me to last Monday. I was about to rush out the door to meet Inspector Climate and some friends for dinner and as I opened the door I saw a package. Why the post man didn't bother knocking I'm not sure, but who cares because it was cheese!

I wish I could've captured my face when I saw it, but it was obviously unexpected.

So I've reenacted it for you:



I probably wasn't wearing glasses.

I immediately popped it into the fridge (the whole package because I was running out the door).

But when I opened it the next day this is what was waiting for me. Some smoked goat's cheese.


I've been cutting of chunks of it to eat with an apple for lunch. Heavenly.


To the lovely Dorothy, thank you so much! I didn't think there was anything that would make me smile last week, and yet...you did!



This makes cheese number 59 on my quest to sample 1000 cheeses.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Oh, I do {d}eclair

Why yes, it did take me the whole hour long trip back from Kirsti's (there was a car accident - I was on public transport not near the car nor the accident, this is one long parenthetical comment).

So, dessert day.

Usually when Kirsti and I are trying to decide what to make for dessert day we send about 14 emails back and forth and discuss the merits of certain desserts v. tastiness v. challenge factor and then come up with about 3 recipes.

We decided to take charge and make a google spreadsheet for dessert day, I know. However, I think it was actually more overwhelming because so many options!

For this dessert day we decided on gluten free eclairs and gluten free orange, chocolate cookies.

The eclairs were the real challenge. They involve choux pastry (which I frankly think should be shoe pastry and then while you're stirring it you should waddle around like Charlie Chaplin...) (You can tell I'm feeling better because my imagination has started running a little wild).

We ended up using creme patisserie for the filling of our eclairs instead of vanilla pudding because seriously people, on dessert day we make things from scratch.

My love for all things that ooze continues.

We basically followed the recipes exactly - so I'm not going to share them with you on here.


Inspector Climate loved the eclairs he thought they were a total win and even said "this pastry is really good" which if you're gluten free you realise is A GIANT WIN.


The cookies were way crunchier then we anticipated and I'm not sure if that's because we over baked them or not. However as Kirsti mentioned in her post here that the cookies go great with hot chocolate. I found that they went exceptionally well with an afternoon cuppa (I'm assimilating, bitches).



It was basically a perfect dessert day; it was the perfect challenge. Now I think we should make profiteroles and a croquembouche what do you say Kirsti?

What's been your latest food challenge?

Monday, June 17, 2013

While I was sleeping

My grandfather's funeral was on Friday in the US. Which meant that it happened in the middle of the night while I was sleeping. I had a terrible time going to sleep. I sobbed and sobbed, I'd realise that I hadn't taken a breath and then my body would convulse into another giant sob. I felt  feel so guilty that I was sleeping through the service, through my parents grief, through my grand mother's heart ache - I cannot even imagine losing the person I'd been married to 65 years, my partner since I was 17.

Having attended both of Inspector Climate's grandfathers' funerals, I know that I would have learned so much about my own grandfather. I could have heard stories about his time in the Navy during World War II, how he was as a business man, uncle, and a young man.

I've spent the weekend feeling fairly desolate; I'm exhausted from loss of sleep and grief, and then there is just the general sadness of it all.

-----------------------

Unrelated (completely and utterly), last week was also Inspector Climate's 29th birthday. We had a gift certificate that I had won from Nuffnang to go to restaurant at Crown Casinos. We chose to go to Bistro Guillaume - because when you have a gift certificate why not get all fancy pants. I had called ahead because I wanted to make sure they could make me something gluten free and vegetarian, which is often a tough call at fancy establishments and they said they could. I'm writing about them because they had super good service and continually checked in on this allergic eater. I appreciated that. So here is some food pictures:

They also had these crazy skirt-light things which were pretty awesome.

Why yes, this is just a plate of vegetables - while I greatly appreciate their great service and attentiveness to my food allergies, I don't quite understand why just because I'm a vegetarian and gluten free all they can serve me is a plate of veggies.

The dessert was the highlight. Hello, creme caramel with passion fruit and grapefruit, let's meet again sometime.

Waiting for the train! Happy 29th birthday, Inspector Climate.



On Thursday I had a job interview (so far job interviews seem to happen after traumatic days. Like the time when I was up vomiting all night. Or the day after my grandfather dies). I pregamed for the interview with a delicious hot chocolate.

On Saturday, I spent the afternoon cuddling with my friend's puppy. Puppies make everything better.



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Updated: He tapped his foot along to Michael Jackson, but preferred Frank Sinatra

This is isn't the post I planned on writing today. This is a post I knew I'd have to write someday, but secretly hoped I'd somehow escape without writing it at all.

My grandfather passed away today. He was 91. He'd been in and out of the hospital for the last 3 months on the precipice of death but holding on.

My grandfather didn't show affection the way most people do. We had little in common and he didn't understand me at all. He didn't understand why I would major in something like Physics - didn't you know there was no MONEY is that?!

But the truth is we shared more similarities than either of us would like to admit.

He was horrified that I'd want to move away from my family and friends to far off places like Australia. Except he himself moved half a country away from his family. I've watched since I was a little girl my grandfather's anxiety and worry eat away at him, and now I watch it do the same to me. I watched him so stuck in his own paradigm that he was unable to imagine other ways of living, thinking, being and I see myself stuck in my own paradigm (a world away from his, but a paradigm all the same).

He held old fashion values that men (ie my brothers) should do well at business, make money, support their families. Women (that's me!) were to find a man. That's not to say he wasn't proud of my accomplishments - he was proud when I worked at the liquor store, that I was a working a girl.

When I was 24 and unmarried, my grandfather became concerned that I was never going to find a man. I was past my prime and no one would have me. So he came up with this ingenious but completely horrifying idea. He wanted to throw me a debutante ball - he'd invite all the Jewish Harvard Businesses men and Harvard Doctors and by hell or high water he'd find me man.

He became obsessed with the idea, which is pretty much the worst thing I could imagine for myself.

Lucky, I few months later I met Inspector Climate. All was well in the world, he was thrilled when we got married, that his grand daughter would now be taken care of forever. I'm so happy that in the last few years of his life I got to fulfill his greatest wish for me (well you know, even though Inspector Climate isn't Jewish nor a business man, and while he is becoming a Doctor - not quite the kind that my grandfather envisioned).

I'm not going to be able to go home for the funeral - tickets are about $5000 for such short notice, plus I'll be home in a month and a half - and in truth I feel very alone and very far away from the rest of my family.

Update! I skyped with my family today and my mom showed me her favourite picture of my grandfather and I when I was almost two. She told me he liked to carry me around and called me his "little popsicle" for reasons unknown. Excuse me while I go cry now.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Profound

I sometimes drift along with blinders on not noticing things around me and then some little idiosyncrasy will be pointed out (or I'll suddenly notice it) and then it's like that thing is lit up in Broadway style lights and it's all I can see.

It happened to me once in high school when my math teacher said 'mmmkay' about 35 times a class. It started to be all I could hear.

It happened to me again while I've been reading a book aloud to Inspector Climate. It's this incredible story about a guy who works on every continent in the world, It's called Hap Working the World by Hap Cameron. The story is incredible, however the writing has it's ups and downs for me.  I'd definitely recommend reading it though particularly if you like travelling or have ever considered working overseas.

Reading a book aloud makes me acutely aware of language and how sentences flow together (or if they're obscenely long, I like to breathe). I have to read every word, not like when I read to myself and my brain can skip over a few articles or conjunctions because I can get the gist without them.

In the case of this particular book, my eyes have been open to the ridiculous of what I've come to call "Profoundity." Profoundity is the act of describing what are probably truly profound feelings in the most cliche ways possible.

Example:

In one part of the book, Hap is riding his bike ALONE in Africa for 2,500 kilometres. He repeatedly mentions that riding his bike alone in Africa makes him feel alone and vulnerable.

He injures his back while in New Zealand and while he lies on the forest floor wondering if he'll regain the use of his legs he contemplates that life is short and so it's important to try to achieve your dreams and goals.

I have no doubt that while biking alone in Africa one would feel alone and vulnerable. But suddenly re-realising this every few pages is not profound, it's Profoundity.

Tell me your most recent life lesson is as much Profoundity as possible.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Holes

After writing the title 'holes' I've been contemplating the little word. Trying to make a little joke about being Whole except for the 'w.'

I've been toying with a very unconventional fashion post for a while, but it's just not my style (where as writing bad jokes about holes is clearly right up my alley).

The truth is I want you to meet someone (not  lion cub. or a puppy, or a kitten, or baby. Seriously people. If there was a lion cub in my life I'd be Whole.)

No, I want you to meet my yoga mat.

I've been using this yoga mat since I came to Australia. I've had it for 5 years, and use it on average 5 times a week. Although I think you can say I've just been using it a lot because as you can plainly see, it has a few holes in it. In fact, while the one shown is the largest, it's not the only one. There is a hole where each of my feet and hands go. I still use it. I promised myself when I got a job I'd buy myself a new yoga mat.

And these? Well, these are my favourite yoga pants that I got in 2003. And that's my finger poking through the seams. I was cool with having some holes down my thigh, but now there is a giant hole in the crotch and well, I draw the line at wearing them now.


I have a pair of green striped men's boxers that I bought myself as jammies in 2003. I brought them to college with me, to Australia, back to college, to India, to Australia, to Colorado and back to Australia. They've been around the world and one day as I was getting changed the door bell rang and I had a package! I rushed to put on the nearest item of clothing which happened to be my boxers and as I put my foot through I heard a rip - knowing if I dilly dallied they'd leave with my package I went rushing out the door wearing boxers that had ripped completely down the front.

So, what's my point?

Why am I telling you this. Because I'm feeling a bit like swiss cheese myself. Full of holes. I'm trying to  fill up with things that make me happy (skype dates with my best friend, knitting adventures, yoga, cooking), I'm applying to jobs and using my networks - I'm putting my best foot forward!, I'm taking care of my body by eating right to minimise my Endo and conquer Jorgita (bitch). I'm trying so hard. And I can see the holes.

As a separate note and a complete aside, I took these photos on my way home from yoga today. I love Australian trees, their seed pods are like little alien creatures to me.


I think that bird is a king parrot, but I'm not really sure.


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Adios, Arrivederci, Avocados

I just wanted to share this little bit of joy with you - although you've probably already seen it, like a baby goat.