Friday, June 29, 2012

the conference

Just got back from a conference. I think I'm getting old. I used to be much more social at these events...going out for dinner with large groups of grad students/colleagues and maybe even going dancing at a bar afterwards. This time around, I opted for quiet dinners with the colleague with whom I was staying. I better lift my game for the big international conference in Europe in August. Start banking sleep now so I can have the stamina to dance the night away.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fad food

I will never forget the first time I visited Mexico. Everything was a revelation: the people, the culture, and above all, the cuisine. Mexican food in Mexico was like nothing I had tasted before, from the tamale I bought from a vendor while waiting at a bus stop to the stewed pork and rice I ate in the family kitchen of a 'restaurant' in the village where I was working. Authentic Mexican cuisine absolutely trumps the stuff that is passed off as Mexican food outside of Mexico. was with absolute anticipation that I set off from work on Friday with plans to join Nathan, my sis and brother in law for dinner at Mamasita in the city. Everyone, it seems, has been raving about this place...including Mexicans. But alas...dinner at Mamasita never eventuated. It seems that the rest of Melbourne (in its typical faddish way) has also discovered the delights of authentic Mexican...and Mamasita in particular. Even at 5.30pm, the place was absolutely packed and there was a 2.5 hour wait for a table (I love real mexican but i don't love it that much). And it's not like we didn't try to book a table beforehand but the place is so popular that they have a very strict reservation policy (reservations for groups of 8-10 only and even then, the conditions are stricter than Australia's mandatory detention policy). Alas, authentic Mexican will have to wait another night.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Very slow cooked lamb shoulder

I've had lamb shoulder on the mind ever since our last visit to Cumulus Inc. So...when I saw lamb shoulders at the local woolies yesterday, I grabbed one with the intention of slow cooking it for lunch today. The preparations began last night. I had no idea how many hours I had to cook it for (should really have checked the internet for such things BEFORE I start cooking). Anyhoo...a whole two hours into the cooking process, I decide to check the lamb. The thing was still stone cold. Bloody fan forced option on the oven is not working. Panic. Fortunately, I realise that the 'bake option is still working fine so problem solved. A few more hours later, I go off to bed and switch the oven off. It is back on again this morning. The lamb bloody better be 'melt in the mouth' by lunch.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I can't believe my luck. Yesterday, when I was on my way to meet a friend for lunch, I decided to drop into the Chapel Street Bazaar. Lo and behold, I see a pair of orange vinyl dining chairs that look identical to the ones I have at home...except you can actually SIT on them! Of the four I have at home, one has a broken leg, and two have broken backs. For quite a while I've thought about tossing my old chairs out and buying new ones but ever since the photo shoot for The Age (and all the positive feedback from friends and strangers alike), I've been reluctant to let them go. Now, I have the possibility of buying two replacements and to send two of the broken chairs into storage (until such time that I can get them restored). Hmmm...I just hope I haven't tempted fate by not buying them right away (just had to confirm that they were, in fact, identical).