Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Adelaide Central Market ~ South Australia

I'm really glad I broke my journey to visit the Adelaide Central Market. (I was travelling from Perth to Sydney on the 'Indian Pacific' train zipping right across the The Nullarbor Desert ~ another story in itself ~ on the world's longest straight stretch of railway track. A staggering and bumpy 3 night train sleepover of 4352 kilometres!)
Adelaide Central Market
Anyway, the market was far better than I had ever expected. Not only a showcase for exquisite local fruits, produce and veg, but I found a variety of cooked meats, fresh fish, game, flowers and a whole load of sweet stuff that I never knew existed. Fragrant and aromatic this mostly indoor market of Adelaide Central is the maker and breaker of a lot of lives. Buying or selling, it's diversity cannot be argued with.
I was surprised to see a smooth custard coloured Mimolette cheese for sale. (Annato used here.) It was perched high on a counter top so far away from it's French and Danish heritage @just $73 a kilo. Gulp. Not safe on a hot train ~ so I just tasted it, expectantly nutty and sweet and would have been perfect with a sliced Corella pear. (In a later blog I'll put up a picture of a Mimolette we were gifted at Christmas. A speechless example of cheese excellence.)
Snapper heads @Angelakis Bros.

My favourite stall here was Angelakis Bros. and I've added an iphone shot of their snapper heads in this article as I was thinking of a nice soup or even they could be a very expensive crab pot bait. Row upon row of fresh fresh fresh, could have splashed out on organic skinned rabbits if only I had been near home. (Briefly I wondered where they had ended their days.) Hmmm rabbit pie. If only. Famous for it's chocolate (Haighs) German influenced baking, wines and more, I could have spent another year in Adelaide. (I once did the Penfolds Barossa Valley wine tour with friends. It's where you make and blend your own Bin 138 from Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre ~ laboratory style ~ for just AUD$65. The wine is later presented back to you in a labelled bottle with your name on it as the Penfolds winemaker. Pretty novel and a cute idea for a fun day out if you can handle all the tastings. (Must be booked in advance.) There must be a zillion other wineries to visit in South Australia.
I found an amazing sweet and lolly shops down central arcade, and it were as if I were back at school again. Coversations from sweet love hearts seen here along with old fashioned aniseed balls and rhubarb and custard drops. Back on the train I had collected myself a mixed selection of goodies to eat on the way to Sydney. The only thing I missed out on was a selection of really good fresh spices.

Forever in search of the best saffron!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Organic and loving it......

I hadn't actually planned a visit to our organic depository today but the need for a kilo of dried mango persuaded me to venture from my Saturday plans. I did have a long swim first though as the summer looks like it will soon be stormed out again. It's been a wild season.
There is an eerie sense inside this particular store. I have driven through the local escarpment to get to this place. Can't put my finger on it but it starts even at the parking area where there are power sockets for electric charge at dollars a surge......I can only suppose its for some cars or scooters for the disabled. No petrol in sight. Healthy air.
The aisles inside the warehouse style slabs of bare concrete hold thousands of items. Its an enormous store. Daffodil essence, melaleuca spray free honey, goat bloat soap and crimson cabbage are mortgage worthy in price. You name it they got it. Massive quantities of spelt flour and preservative free condoms stare back at me. It's all so earthy in here and even more glaring is the hundreds of people buying up big time. La la la la la. I need to sing or hum urgently. Packed out. This is not a criticism just an observation from me. All squeaky and healthy. Seeds are by alphabetical order and health giving teas fill three rows of this store. I see ruddy cheeks and hessian hair bands, glove style shoes and hairy armpits. Meatless pies, laxative juniper drinks giant celery. Luscious berries are for sale alongside fat free possum cheese. Deodorant? What deodorant?
Carob has done a runner - organic unbleached white chocolate is in the front row.
The dried mango is a gift for an old lady. I am the gift provider and my friend is the flying deliverer. Australia to the UK...easy as.
Manoeuvring around the numbered bins it appears that the bags are also organic. The old brown paper bag trick. Fill it - find the unleaded pencil - write on the product number and pay. All Immensely frustrating. One kilo of dried mango doth not fit in a small paper bag. I eventually pay $80 for the days purchase and learn that I get 1 point for every $1 spent. If I ever reach GO I can collect a $10 voucher but only after making up 1000 points. Not in my lifetime...
The dried mango is absolutely delicious. No chemicals 100% organic. I feel guilty.
I have repacked it in an unhealthy plastic zip lock bag for its safe travelling.
Tomorrow it flies to that dear old lady ~ I hope she really likes it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Back to blog @random

It's been a partial eclipse since I continued my first attempts at amateur blogging.
Now with a re scrambled and multi filed brain I want to try and continue some writing with my own photographs. (Doesn't nearly everyone?)
I am more than ever acutely aware of my elephant memory especially in the long term department. (Should have been a policeman.) It now seems right to share some of it with photographs, as a journal, to read perhaps when my own memory does fade away.
If it is only read by me...that's fine too. I will ramble. I will jump subject. I will recall some of the past.
I will...

My photo today is of a sliced cucumber. My fresh start blog pic. Beautifully created vegetable - complete with life giving fluid. Of not much calorific value. Tastes amazing. Causes burps in some. Sounding more like a crossword puzzle...but the image was produced in my kitchen and looked worthy of a quick shot with my small camera the Canon S95 Power Shot. AF sunlight only. I submitted it to Food Photography (a google+ group.)

Time for another Arpeggio coffee......preparing my brain for blogging.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Spiced Life...: Potato dosai and traipsing through Delhi.......

A Spiced Life...: Potato dosai and traipsing through Delhi.......: To see the sights of Delhi or...?...I decide to hit the food court of the stunning New Delhi Imperial Hotel. A crackerjack of a hotel wi...

Potato dosai and traipsing through Delhi.......

To see the sights of Delhi or...?...I decide to hit the food court of the stunning New Delhi Imperial Hotel. A crackerjack of a hotel with amazing walls of so many pictures!!! You'd need to first try to understand just how much I crave the taste of an authentic dosai. Filled with chicken masala or potato cooked with black mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaf, fresh coriander, onion, garlic, chili, ginger, and turmeric ~ all wrapped up in a crispy pancake of expertly rolled and fried semolina ~ this dish alone is worth flying thousands of kilometres for. It came served with a bowl of roasting hot sambal, coconut and red chili chutney...I am in my element. So good.....
(Note. Drinking bottled spring water in most of India is a must even to clean teeth and gargle.) Out on the streets Delhi defies any pictures I have seen before and its looking smart, with the centre roads surprising lined with bright rows of tulips and spring blooms. Sadly I can eat nothing from the food vendors in the street as even though everything looks fresh and good...I know that even my tough western guts are not impervious to Delhi belly. The rows of sweet galabi, gulab jamun and halva's drive me to near distraction and a quick cheap taxi ride in a sweaty no aircon "Hindustan Ambassador" car diverts me to the "Haldiram" centre (the Indian KFC) which is nicely indoors at the Gucci style "Ambience Shopping Centre." The traffic is totally horrible but my bag of goodies keeps me patient. My driver tells me he is from the district of Punjab. I hear about his entire family life while he practises his English on me. I give him some sweet morsel and we natter on like old buddies.
At "India Gate" inner park these sweet women pictured below call me over and pose for me, displaying their henna tattoos and toothless grins. So happy are they very smiley as they touch my arms and cackle amongst themselves. I laugh with them - for me it's a magic moment. They point at my blue eyes. 
They all freeze frame for my camera. Just like me they are from out of town...just visiting Delhi. A visit to a mosque in Old Delhi finds me shoeless along with thousands of other stinky, sweaty feet and we all trudge along scalding our feet on the slabs of stone. Gandhi's grave and a zillion sights later ~ it's really time for some kip. My Indian friends only pay 10 rupees to retrieve their shoes but I, as a visitor must pay 100! This happens everywhere I go. When in Rome I guess. My sandal strap breaks after so many steps - amazingly just two Aussie dollars gets it repaired perfectly. My dollar is worth so much here....I find it funny that people are taking my photo, not because I have any fame but just because I am tall with light skin.
 ....Next stop train to Jaipur!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Back to Hurghada with grit and saffron..............

Leaving the lush green slopes of the River Nile, hearty tagine stews, palm trees and the sugar cane of Luxor ~ it's jet flying back to El Gouna, Hurghada, flying over and around the Red Sea once again. What a crusty dust bowl Egypt is from the moon view. Testimony to that is my face tan, sand blasted sunnies. Despite, I have a deep internal satisfaction that I walked, saw, felt, ate and devoured all that the secret ancient tomb world had to offer me. Ever memories. Thankful. Bye bye little jet. Back in town the spice market tugs me to my senses and I find I'm longing for the dirt and smells from the sacks and baskets that line my current favourite store in El Gouna. Egypt imports many of it's spices from India and Africa but its freshly harvested but dried hibiscus flowers makes a great tea. I love the yellow flowered one best. Cumin seed sits fragrant in a huge basket on the path but the most expensive spice in the world - saffron - is inside the store high on the shelf. I see that it's not the purest of stuff. The best is really behind the scenes for the more discerning buyer. I just love this shop. Just running my fingers through the cinnamon and fennel seed is so calming. The store owner calls me Mama but his eye is on my cash and I know it. I buy a few treats for my chef friend. I laugh and laugh as the trader offers me free five hours worth of "hubba hubba" for my husband!! (It's was actually a fake aphrodisiac in the form of "root" ginger.) He winks.....I tell him "We're all good thanks". Now he laughs like a drain. No offense between us and I tell him I'll see him again (maybe) if the price improves on the cassia bark. Back for dinner I sip a local red wine with a toe tingling meal of lamb and lentils topped with brilliant wild basil and parsley. The night is chill and I inspect the dark red soft lamb leather holdall travel bag that I bought for just $33 Australian. So many zips and pockets but made in Egypt.....bargain for me. I pack up every item I own to travel next to New Delhi, India.