I’m sure there have been worse ideas

but after having tasted Vegemite chocolate yesterday I’m hard pressed to think of them.

I think it’s something people will either love or hate. I bit off half a square and then spat it out so I’m in the hate camp, my husband would have eaten the whole block (if I hadn’t of thrown it in the bin).

Now I don’t like Vegemite but even so I just wasn’t expecting it to be so Vegemitey. I thought they put on the pack that it was Vegemite but inside it was really going to be gooey sweetness like salted caramel or something but it was like chocolate with runny Vegemite in it. I was definitely wishing I’d bought the new pretzel one instead.

Cadbury-vegemite

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Won’t you go, a sloppy joe

Sorry, Australian cultural reference there. An old ad campaign from here in the 70s – Won’t you go a Chiko Roll. (Picture young bronzed Aussies gallivanting about the beach eating about 5000 kilojoules of deep fried – who ever knew what was in them). A popular deep fried takeaway food item available from every milk bar during that era they were sort of like a massive spring roll and the ends were delicious and crunchy but the centre was full of some dubious mix that included cabbage and other soggy things that burnt the shit out of your chin if they dropped onto it.

Anyway back to the sloppy joe. What’s the go with them? We don’t eat them here but I look at a lot of cooking sites and they show up all the time. As far as I can tell they’re mince on a roll and they always look kind of, well sloppy and messy and hard to eat and I can’t see the appeal of them. So what’s the story behind the sloppy joe? Where did the idea originate, does everyone in the USA really eat them, is there an occasion where you especially eat them and how the hell exactly do you eat them?

don’t judge a book by it’s cover

So they say, however the cover of this new cook book is not going to entice me to buy it.

Even though the pony tail here does belong to the chef who wrote the book, there’s just something wrong about associating hair with food. Especially when it’s laying on top of the tea towel like that. Is he going to go and wipe my plate clean with that cloth now?

cooking

Snap!!

Funny how sometimes you haven’t seen someone for years and then you see them every couple of days for a week or so. Or you’ve never heard of something but then once you have you see or hear it popping up everywhere.

Well, a couple of days ago Leendadll mentioned Irish Nachos and I’d never heard of them before and then I met my daughter for lunch yesterday and snap! there they were on the menu.

Now I don’t know what California nachos are – I always just thought nachos were nachos, I didn’t realise there was a range. By the way, what makes a bit of chicken buffaloed – never known that either.

nachos

Junk Food Junkie – it’s all about the chips

What’s your biggest junk food weakness? Tell us all about it in its sugary, salty, glory.

For me it’s all about hot chips. Not fries – chips. Fries are what you get at McDonald’s or KFC or other places like that and they’re just little worms and scraps that are usually either too soft or too crispy. Chips come from a fish and chip shop, or a corner takeaway or from the kiosk at the beach. They’re thick and actually have potato in the middle and they come in a cardboard cone and they’re good with just a bit of salt. My daughters like to cover theirs in tomato sauce or gravy, gravy is ok but you have to be in the mood and it has to be good gravy – not tinned stuff.

These ones came from Nobbys Beach kiosk and had a bit too much salt and a few too crunchy but they did the job. I had some really good ones a few weeks ago from Bar Beach Kiosk – they were really chunky, lots of potato.

hot chips

Deep fried mac and cheese

We don’t really eat mac and cheese here in Australia. Well I don’t and no one else I know does and you don’t see it often in recipe books or magazines so we don’t eat it seriously, not like you guys in the USA seem to. Maybe it’s because we don’t have that yellow cheese here, maybe that’s the secret to a good mac.

However I’m open to new ideas so when I saw a recipe for brie mac and cheese I thought I’d make it. Well it wasn’t very nice and I ended up with bucket loads of it. I don’t eat or cook a lot of pasta so maybe it was the fault of the cook that it was a bit bland but I wasn’t prepared to throw away so much food the next day so I had to decide how to make it more interesting. Having had three kids I knew from experience that a surefire way to get something eaten is to either wrap it in puff pastry and bake it or crumb it and deep fry it so I rolled the mass into balls, double crumbed them then deep-fried them and they were pretty damn good I must say. I still had a lot of the original mix to throw away though – my eaters draw the line at third night leftovers.

brie mac and cheese balls

The 20Q Meme

From Bzoink

1. When you buy a greetings card are the words or the picture more important to you?
I make my greeting cards so it’s usually all about the picture. Although I did go through a stage of making up Dr Seuss style verses to put inside and they were pretty cool. Or I thought so.
2. What’s your favorite kind of cake?
I’m not much of a cake eater but probably just plain old basic chocolate.
3. Do you ever make gifts for people, if so what, or do you buy them?
I make lots of gifts for people – usually using a photo I’ve taken or one of Papas. If I buy something I put a lot of thought into it and consider who it’s going to.
4. You are chosen to have lunch with the President. The condition is you only get to ask one question. What do you ask?
I wouldn’t choose to have lunch with the President. I wouldn’t choose to have lunch with our Prime Minister either. Why ruin a good lunch with politicians.
5. Which do you dislike most: pop-up ads or spam email?
Pop ups I guess – I don’t get much spam email, my filter must be pretty good.
6. What was the best party you’ve ever been to?
It was a fondue party in about 1985 that one of my friends threw for some reason. He had about twenty fondues set up with all sorts of things to dip, sweet and savoury, lots of cheese. Lots of loud music and the alcohol was flowing – it was a pretty fun night.
7. Which is worse, being in a place that is too loud, or too quiet?
I don’t know anymore. Since this tinnitus developed they’re both awful, I just like moderate constant noise. Too quiet and I concentrate on the crazy chirpy ringing noises in my head but too loud drives me to distraction and I can’t concentrate on what anyone’s saying. Especially scraping noises – cafes with tile floors and chairs dragging in and out and coffee machines blasting – ahhhhhhhh.
8. You are offered an envelope that you know contains $50. You are then told that you may either keep it or exchange it for another envelope that may contain $500 or may be empty. Do you keep the first envelope, or do you take your chances with the second?
I’m not a gambler, I’d keep the first
9. Do you wish cellphone etiquette was a required class upon purchasing one?
No really. People on phones don’t bother me, I can block them. People with no manners need etiquette lessons in all areas of life not just in phone use. The ones who do annoy me are the ones who walk along the footpath looking at their phone and not where they’re going and assume other people will move out-of-the-way but I don’t, I just push them.
10. What’s the most messed up food combination that you’ve had that was actually good?
I think people are usually surprised about vegemite and avocado toast or egg and vegemite toast. It’s the contrast between the creamy and the sharp that works.
11. What’s one of your most random pet peeves (something that annoys you)?
When you tell someone something and then they come back a couple of days later and tell that same thing to you as if you weren’t the one who just told them.
12. When is the last time you had home cooking?
Last night – I have it every day.
13. If you could be a fictional character from a book who would you choose?
Well I always fancied being Sugglepot or Cuddlepie (gumnut babies)
14. If you could be in a television sit-com, which would you choose?
None – I don’t watch them.
15. If you could be any animal or creature for one day, what would it be?
Chicken Little – just so I could know what goes on in that little head.
16. What’s your favorite girl’s name?
Well probably the ones I chose for my daughters but I do like the name Eadie for a girl and I didn’t get a chance to use it as my third baby was a boy. It was the name of one of my grandmothers friends.
17. What’s your favorite boy’s name?
Lloyd. It’s always cool to meet another one, they pop up every now and then.
18. What’s your supermarket of choice?
Wherever things are the cheapest and not many people go to.
19. If you were to attend a costume party tonight, what or whom would you go as?
I don’t know – I really don’t have many dress up supplies in the house and I’m not going to the shops. There’s an afro wig up in the spare room.
20. What is your concession stand must-have at the movies?
Nothing!! All food and drinks should be banned from the movies. Unless it’s oatmeal or something soft like that. I have never understood why people can’t just sit for two hours without having to eat and drink. I mean seriously – is there anything more annoying than the slow chip packet opener cracking open that packet second  by slow second in an effort to be quiet.

Cruising: the good, the bad and the boring

I’ve been home for a few days now but I’ve been in bed with a head cold, a throat infection and a weird rash. Now I’m not going to come right out and blame it on ship germs but well, you have to be suspicious. Actually I must say that the ship was very clean and they were all over hygiene. All the eating places had hand sanitiser at the door and the toilets had paper towels to open the doors so you didn’t have to touch the handle then bins to toss them in and they were constantly sweeping up and wiping down. So what I mean is people germs on the ship.

The Good.
I didn’t feel sick at all, in fact I never even felt slightly queasy. I was left thinking that people who do become sea-sick must have some sort of inner ear problem because I just can’t see how people could get as sick as they do.

I didn’t once think that I might die at sea in a ship wreck. Not even when we were in the middle of a massive lightning and thunder-storm in the middle of the night. It was just one of those things that’s so far out of your control that there’s no point worrying about it.

The rooms were a good size – bigger than most motel rooms I’ve been in and it came with a balcony and a good sized bathroom.

The Bad
Just about everything else. The sea is big people and it’s kind of boring, it just goes on and on and on. We went three days before we saw a single thing which ended up being a pod of dolphins and let me tell you it was an exciting moment; you’d of thought people had never seen a dolphin before by the way they were oooing and aaaing over them. Well actually, maybe they hadn’t, who knows where all those passengers came from. Anyway prior to that excitement there was nothing – not a fish or a bird or a turtle or a shark. My nephew told us he saw a shark but I’m pretty sure it was because he missed seeing the dolphins. You missed seeing the dolphins! That’s ok, I saw a shark just before. Says he, nibbling away at his – high tea at sea macarons and cakes.

I can see how/why people love cruising and become addicted to it but it’s just not for me. I felt too confined with too many people – 2600 of them in fact plus the staff. If I could get off the ship every day at a different place I think I could handle it but just being on it day after day would do my head in. I still think one of those river cruises would be nice or one where you flew to Hawaii then went around the islands.

I think you need to like eating a lot to enjoy cruising – you can literally eat for 24 hours a day. A couple walked past me and one said to the other – how many days have we been on this boat and the reply was, I don’t know but we’ve eaten a lot of meals.

They needed more happening throughout the day besides gambling, bingo, 90’s music trivia, a mature age meetup and other such frivolity. They had some good shows on at night and good live music but they needed that happening through the day as well.

We were a group of five adults and two kids and I think it’s good to go with a group as you can always find someone to hang out with if someone else wants to have a lie down or hide for a while. I saw a few party groups on board; a hens party, a 21st party, a 50th party and a wedding anniversary party and I think that could be a fun idea.

But be warned people – drinks are not cheap and according to the information book they put in your room, Australians like to drink. I wish I’d taken that book with me now, they had a list of differences between American and Australian passengers and the number one difference was the amount of alcohol we drink – you pussies. I remember it said that (and I quote) American passengers like to wait until 5pm to start drinking whereas Australians like to start early then keep up a steady pace for the rest of the cruise. LOL. The bar staff must be shaking in their boots waiting for us to arrive. I must say though that they do make excellent cocktails. Terrible coffee though. Apparently (the book told me) they sent the staff to Barista school three times to learn how to satisfy the Australian need for good coffee but I think they need about another two lessons. The other one I remember is lamb – apparently they don’t put lamb on the American cruise menus but we get it and wine is more popular with Australian passengers. Not too popular with me mind you being $13 a glass!!

Don’t worry I didn’t sit around crying all weekend, we had laughs but I can cross it off the list and know that it’s not something I’ll be doing again. Kiss that 18 day cruise to Hawaii goodbye mother. Although now I think about it, my sister (not Emjay) went cruising to Vanuatu and enjoyed it, she said she wouldn’t mind doing another one so there you go, whatever floats your boat.