Sunday, 13 November 2011

Weekend Adventures

Saturday was spent at work, 6am-1:30pm no break, I could certainly get used to being home by 2pm, imagine how much more personal time I could have. Unfortunately the service industry demands sticking to business hours (mostly).

Today was quite productive, went to the markets at 6am, they were packed full of people walking really slowly. grr. Then home to make a Maple, Cinnamon & Pecan Cheesecake with the leftover gingerbread house as the biscuit base.

After lunch we headed into the city to see Trolljegeren at the Tribal Cinema (which still smells like a toilet). It was good to see it on the big screen, but it didn't look as good as the Blu Ray rip I saw about 6mths ago, will definately have to buy it on BluRay.

Now we're off to see Voyager!! and Children of Bodom, I have my standards set very low, so maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised :)

Monday, 24 October 2011

A weekend of stitching

Not a particularly eventful weekend. Saturday was spent cutting out the decorations for my skirt, and Sunday was spent starting the massive task of hand-sewing the decorations onto the skirt. I could not have undertaken a more ridiculous project. Including a couple of extra hours tonight, I've now spent about 11 hours sewing and I'm barely half way through the front side of the skirt. The original plan was to decorate the entire skirt, this has now been scaled back to just the front, with the remainder to be finished after Halloween.

I also attempted Couch to 5k day one again, hopefully I'll be able to continue this time... 4th attempt lucky :p. Loving my new Garmin GPS watch thingy, it is strangely motivating.

Very much looking forward to Halloweeen next weekend! end non-exciting weekend update.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Oktoberfest weekend

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to go meat shopping at Yatala. First stop was the Super Butcher, $150 later we left and went to Gรถtzinger where we spent $110, but got a discount and only paid $100 :D. Then we had Yatala Pie (nom) before coming home. With our freezers packed full of delicious meat I headed off to high tea with my uni friend. It was reasonably delicious. There were a few stand out items: the lemon curd tarts and this weird fruit (which tasted like an apple/pear and looked like a cherry) sitting in white chocolate custard.

I pre-ordered Eragon book 4, and got what I thought was a super dodgy childrens book about the world in which Eragon is set for free. It's surprisingly good. Children's pop up books are fantastic! Kids these days are so lucky, I was flipping through the book pulling out all the pop up stuff and things in envelopes before Robert yelled at me to save the suprises for while I read it. What a party pooper! (He was right, but that's irrelevant).

Oktoberfest was awesome fun, I can't believe I was totally cool with being the only person (out of 18) who dressed up. The sausages, potato salad and sauerkraut were delicious! Everything was eaten except for three Nurnberger sausages, two of which I ate for lunch today!

Today has been spent starting my halloween costume! The hat is done, except I'll probably have to glue down a few sections if they come loose during the week (it looks awesome! maybe slightly out of proportion to my head (too large, but that's better than it being too small)).

I have changed my mind at least a half dozen times about what my skirt will look like/ be decorated with, finally I decided on the type & colour of skirt, and as a result it's currently sewn up to the point just before the elastic casing is done. I hate elastic, personally I think is dodgy and a bit bogan, but sometimes it can't be avoided :/.

Every night this week and next is probably going to be spent adding elements to the skirt - and the end product is going to be a surprise, even though I'm dying to tell you what it is :p

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Another semi-productive weekend

I started out with grand plans to make feta this weekend. It didn't happen, which is disappointing, however after picking up a few essential stainless steel utensils I'm now only 1 large stainless steel pot away from being able to make most cheeses. I doubt I'll feel like it after Oktoberfest next weekend, so in two weeks plus four days aging I will be snacking on homemade feta.

The weekend wasn't a waste though, I made lasagne meat sauce yesterday and the whole thing is currently in the oven, doesn't look too bad considering I lost my recipe and had to wing it. I even went to the market specifically to buy eggplant and mushrooms to go in it, yet came home with everything other than those two items. frowny face.

This weekend also saw our first attempt at infusing alcohol with fat molecules (thanks The Geek Cookbook). I added melted butter into a cup of rum and let it sit on the bench over night. It then went into the freezer so the fat would solidify and then was filtered through a coffee filter. It smells amazing, but we haven't tasted it yet.

This afternoon I started on my Oktoberfest costume. I SEWED! For the first time since home economics in 1998. I'm disturbed by how easily I remembered everything, it's like because I'm female I'm genetically wired to know this stuff :p. I managed one perfect seam (the first one) then everything went to shit, everything that could go wrong went wrong, 20 minutes later I finished the second seam (a straight line about 1 meter long *rolls eyes*). I had to stop because somehow the threads around the bobbin got caught and had to be cut, but I couldn't remember how to re-thread it. A you tube video later and I'm good to go again. However, I did successfully re-thread the top thread without you tube. A couple more seams, a gathered top edge followed by attaching a ribbon and it'll be done! So excited.

I have also decided upon my halloween costume. It's random but cool. It will also require the acquisition of new craft skills.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A surprisingly productive weekend

I set out with a long list of things to do this weekend.

When a cycle meet interrupted my plan to go rollerskating at the rec reserve at 6:30am Saturday morning I was disheartened, so I spent all day watching How I Met Your Mother. Late afternoon I felt less mopey so I decorated the living room for Halloween. I love the decorations, they make me so happy.

This morning was take two at rollerskating, it was a success. I decided to test the theory that I would be better at downhill rollerskating since I'd just been skiing. It seems to be a valid theory. Still can't go up hill, but with more regular practice I believe I'll be whizzing around the rec reserve, up and down hill in no time! It's so much more terrifying skating on bitument compared to skiing on soft snow!

I then spent a few hours researching registering a company, and trying to find out whether it should be set up with debt or capital. It was frustrating and boring, and half the research I did just made me miss working in general tax.

Then onto the most exciting part of today, cheese making! After sifting through the recipes included with the kit and my new cheesemaking book, I decided upon making Lemon Cheese since it took the least amount of time, ingredients, utensils and experience. Turns out I didn't have enough stainless steel equipment, nor enough time that many of the cheeses I wish to try. For many cheeses I will need to start on a Saturday and finished on a Sunday.

Lemon Cheese involved heating 1.9 litres of full cream milk to 180-200 degrees F then stirring in the juice of 2 lemons. I then let it form into curds & whey before pouring it into the cheese cloth and hanging it to drain for an hour. I thought perhaps an hour was too long for draining, despite the recipe suggesting 1-2hrs draining. I then salted it. It made 300g of something similar to cottage cheese.

Todays flavour experimentation of Truffle Oil & Chives was a winning combination. I can't wait to try adding garlic to another batch.

I think I will try Feta next weekend.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

NZ Ski Trip

2002: I traded schoolies for the school ski trip. I loved every second. I vowed to go skiing every year.
2011: I finally made it back to the snow. I still can't believe it took 9 years. By this stage I was frightened that I'd built the awesomeness up in my head and that I'd be disappointed.

September 4th. off to the airport for a boring and uneventful flight to Queenstown. The view out the plane window on the approach to Queenstown was breathtaking, I couldn't believe NZ could fit so many mountains, they stretched as far as the eye could see. We arrived in the afternoon, checked into the hotel and wandered into town, which was a 25min walk each way along the lake shore. The town itself is pretty small and seemed to only contain restaurants and touristy shops. We had dinner at a lovely pub.

September 5th. Robert & I went out to breakfast at the pier, and had the nicest breakfast I've ever had. The mushrooms in creamy garlic sauce were the most delicious thing I've ever tasted, I seriously considered drinking the leftover sauce, despite it being a reasonably fancy restaurant. A happy medium was struck by dipping every single other thing on my plate into the sauce.

Lunch was Fergburger, which was as tasty as everyone said. Definitely worth a visit to anyone going to Queenstown. The rest of the day was spent in the hotel staring at the breathtaking view.

September 6th. Our first day of skiing. We headed up to Coronet Peak & Robert & I had a run down the beginner slope and it turned out to be just like riding a bike - I remembered almost everything and Robert was instantly awesome at it despite it being his first time (what a jerk). The subsequent lesson was a great refresher and we spent until about 2pm skiing, at which point my body hit its exhaustion limit. Back into town to pick up some booze and have a cruisy afternoon of relaxation.

September 7th. Muscle death. I hobbled about all day barely able to move. Excluding the few muscles strengthened by my last minute crash course of squats, crunches & push ups, every other muscle hurt more than I'd ever experienced. We still managed a walk into town.

September 8th. Went on the Lord of the Rings tour. It was awesome. Turns out no major scenes were filmed in/around Queenstown. First stop was looking across the river at the mountain used as Amon Hen (private property), then off to where Frodo & Sam saw the Oliphants. Then to where Faramir & rangers of Gondor escorted Frodo & Sam to the hideout behind the waterfall. We drove past Deer Height Park where they filmed the exodus of Edoras to Helm's Deep (also now private property). Then off to the pillars of the kings, then the river area where Isildur was ambushed. Finally we stopped next to a goregous lake where we got to admire the amazing limited edition collectors weapons. The guide was full of LOTR gossip and interesting facts. It was super nerdy.

September 9th. Finally back to Coronet Peak for more skiing. Another lesson and up the chair lifts to the more difficult green run. It hadn't snowed for a while so everything was super icy. In fact it was like trying to ice skate with skis, but it was still great fun. The last part of the lesson was spent crossing over into a blue run, which was exhilerating. Robert fell over but I didn't. Go me.

September 10th. It rained and the others didn't want to go skiing. Lazy day ensued. I was unimpressed, despite it being a sensible decision.

September 11th & 12th. Both skiing days, this time at the Remarkables, which was at least a billionty times better than Coronet Peak. The green runs were more interesting and the blue runs weren't as difficult as those at CP, and thus achievable by the 12th. Plus it snowed during the night on the 10th, so there was snow instead of ice. It also snowed during the night of the 11th. Skiing through a lot of powder is difficult, it caused a couple of stacks, but at least they didn't hurt. The 12th consisted of an all day snow storm. Visibility was non-existant, but it was the most fun day of all. It was also our final day of skiing. sad face.

The 12th we went to a restaurant called the Cow for dinner, which was an amazing woodfired pizza place. It was a little stone place that looked like it might originally have been a barn. The garlic bread was genius, and have since replicated it at home. Win.

September 13th. We took an all day bus tour out to Milford Sound, which was exactly as beautiful as everyone says it is. The scenery was just amazing. It even snowed just before we went through the tunnel which leads to Milford Sound, it was lovely soft snow, not crazy snow storm snow. The tour included a 2hr boat cruise around the sound, which was beautiful. It rained a bit which made everything so much more picturesque.

September 14th. I decided to try snowboarding, Robert thought this idea was made of fail. It probably was, especially considering how crap I was at it, and that he aggrevated an old injury and had to stop about an hour into the lesson. However, it mostly satisfied my curosity. Skiing is definately better, though I wouldn't mind trying snowboarding again next year. I fell over more times than I can even count to, and ended up so exhausted I almost cried, but I still had so much fun. I piked after the first lesson to keep Robert company, and even though it was the right thing to do I still wish I'd done the afternoon lesson too.

We went to a tappas place next to the lake for dinner and then went to a pub which sold cocktails in teapots. It was deliciously awesome.

September 15th. The worst day ever! It was time to come home, which was disappointing in itself, but I had been looking forward to going back to the place with the amazing mushroom sauce for breakfast, but allowed myself to be swayed to trying somewhere else. It was bloody awful. This was followed by a 6 hour wait at the airport. Boring!

However, crappy last day aside, it was a fantastic trip, and I can't wait to go back. Skiing at the Remarkables sounds like the perfect way to spent two of my annual leave weeks each year.