Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yes, I Cook.

Yesterday I was lamenting the lack of any decent gluten free roti (Indian flat bread). I know there is a good range of gluten free products available these days, but if anyone knows where to get wraps that are free from gluten, dairy, eggs, yeast, and added sugar, which neither fall apart nor resemble card board in any way, well, I'd really like to hear from you.

Anyway back on track. So hear I was, wishing I had decent wraps to eat my aloo saag with, when I decided I would try to make some, so with no recipe and nothing in mind other then the notion that there couldn't be much to it, after all the base for roti is just flour and water right? So out came the gluten free plain flour, the sifter, and the mixing bowls. I started by combining flour and water until I had something the consistency of a good pancake mix (which turned out to be roughly half and half), then I added a bit of oil and salt and beat it all into submission, before cooking it like a pancake. The end result wasn't too bad, a little bland, but no more so then any of the options commercially available to me. The main thing was it held together well and was suitably pliable for the purpose of picking up curry.

Today I decided to give it another go, this time I replaced the oil with melted [dairy free] margarine, and I threw a handful of cumin seeds in the pan while it was heating up. Once they started popping I added them to the mix and started cooking. This time the end result was a bit thicker and stickier, but better tasting and still well suited to its intended purpose.

I intend to experiment further with this, I'd like to try it with different flours (chickpea for example), and also I'm going to try it with rice milk.

Whether or not I make this when I am also cooking the main meal (which I do from scratch) rather then just having leftovers will probably hinge on whether I have time to do it in advance, since [a] the stove can't accommodate that many pots and pans and [b] most Indian recipes require very close attention in the initial stages or the spices will burn.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dollars and sense

Ok so in all fairness I have tried to blog a couple of times and had my posts swallowed by the Internets, but mostly I just haven't felt like, or had time to, post. I've been sick, had a death in the family, all that fun stuff. Also had good stuff, like games nights, movies, an afternoon at fed square listening to the jazz festival, and a night out dancing to Frankie Wants Out at their first weekend gig in ages.

The latest news is that I put my car in for a service and repairs yesterday, and found out today that she could cost in the area of $2500, and will take a week. The work is badly needed, and she's otherwise a good car which once fixed up should last me a good long while. The head gasket has been leaking for a while, which I knew I would eventually have to get fixed but had hoped it would last until I was ready to get a new car. There are some other problems, which the mechanic will suss out and fix up as he comes across them when he rips the engine out. I had to get her in for repairs quickly because in addition to getting more sluggish lately I also had a 100km drop per tank in fuel efficiency between one tank full and the next, despite brand new tyres. We are talking about a small tank so that's a very significant amount. At least my mechanic knows I'm not overly wealthy and has said he will absorb costs where he can.

After Chris and I dropped the car off yesterday we caught a bus to Knox to do some much needed clothes shopping, and I also bought a wheelie suitcase which I need for going to sunny Queensland next month. Thankfully we managed to get a quite good one which should last years, on sale for $80 (loose change compared to other prices we'd seen). After we got home I went to wash the jeans we'd bought (2 pairs each @$100 for 2), only to discover that they had given me 2 pairs the same instead of the 2 different pairs I'd tried on. A shop assistant had gotten me a pair from out the back as my size wasn't on the shelf, and as I'd tried on a different colourway of the same cut I didn't try them on. The woman had gotten me the wrong pair. We caught the bus back to Knox, exchanged the offending pair of jeans, and decided to see what was on at the movies. We ended up seeing 'Iron Man', which was quite good, different from your average comic book movie, then caught a late bus home. Obviously we are going to have to watch the expenses for a while, but apart from the movie we didn't buy anything we didn't need. At least our holiday shouldn't cost excessively much as far as such things go.

That's it for now


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Canasta in the Dark

Doesn't have quite the same ring to it as murder in the dark does it?

8pm to 9pm last night was Earth Hour, a global event in which households and businesses in cities around the world turned off their lights for one hour to conserve energy. This was the 2nd annual Earth Hour, and the first to take it to a global level.

Last night also happened to be our turn to host games night, and so by 8pm Chris, Nat, Brett, Cass, Dave and I were gathered around the dining table playing canasta by candlelight. How romantic! We also played crazy eights once the lights went back on, which is essentially uno but with regular playing cards. A fun night all round with lots of laughs.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I had a little trouble in tinting class...

This year I decided to celebrate Easter by dressing up as an egg...

Well no, not really. Its actually for the Leukaemia Foundations World's Greatest Shave. Yes, I know I could have just sprayed it purple for the day, but what would be the fun in that? I used fudge 'raspberry beret' on top, and wakk 'purple' underneath. The colour in the photo isn't quite accurate, the top colour is slightly more purplish, but you get the idea :) Both colours are designed to last 20-30 washes, although I know from seeing it on other people that it will tone down a lot in the next couple of weeks. To get the colour this bright I first had to bleach it, which took alot out of my hair so I gave it a couple of weeks to recover, with the result that my roots had a chance to grow out, but I'm happy with the result.

I did the dying on my own, as Fi wasn't able to make it. This meant parting my hair horizontally across the back of my head, which takes some doing, - I ended up hanging a small mirror over the door opposite the bathroom mirror so that I could see the back of my head, and even then there was much trial and error, - whacking the top section in a pony tail and covering it with glad wrap while I dyed the bottom, and then once the bottom half was done and washed out, repeating the process with the top section. Fairly time consuming, but well worth it I think.

If you would like to sponsor me it's not too late, visit my shave page, or bpay biller code 939488, ref 20198156. Please let me know in comments or email if you donate via bpay so that I can include it in my totals, and let me know if you want me to send you a receipt.

Have a safe and happy Easter everyone!

Extra - just because the [American] spell checker is having conniptions - colour colour colour colour colour. Just as well I used glad wrap and not aluminium! hehe.
I'm sorry, I'm in a cheeky mood. Fiery even.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


As my hair and scalp are still recovering from bleaching, my stylist [i.e. Fi] and I have decided to push back the colouring date a week, so at this stage its looking like being next Saturday.

Yesterday was spent doing all those little things that pile up; the day started off with getting the car checked at 9.30am, then cleaning, mopping, washing, picking up a ring that I had resized, shopping, lunch, canceling gym membership, and bringing in the washing off the line, and then a cold shower to recover from doing all this on a 40C day. Then I picked up the boy from uni and we went to see Fi. We drove the less then a k down to the shops (see above comment on the weather), checked out the bead shop and a few other places, stopped at a cafe for cold drink and I had a yum gluten, egg and dairy-free yo yo biscuit (not sure on the sugar content but no adverse effects). Then hit some more shops, dropped Fi back and headed home to have dinner and fall in a heap.

Today I worked 7am- 3pm, just got home and am picking the boy up from work in just over an hour, then tonight we have games night at Nat's place.

Thats it for now,


Thursday, March 13, 2008


I discovered today that some [insert obscenity here] has done a hit and run on me when the car has been left parked. The passenger side of my bumper dented, thoroughly scuffed and scratched, and is hanging loose. My car is built like a tank so it would have taken a fair amount of force to do that kind of damage, there is no possible way that the person responsible couldn't have noticed or that their car got off undamaged. So now I'm stuck with a demerit point. Mum has kindly offered to pick up the $500 excess, for which I am very grateful, but I'm feeling very dejected and unimpressed with the human animal at the moment. Originally I thought it must have happened in a shopping centre carpark, but the thought occurred that it may have happened when the boy borrowed it for uni, which at least gives me specific time and place to hunt up security footage. I'm taking her for a quote tomorrow morning.

BTW for any overseas visitors who don't get the reference in the title of this post, the phrase originated in a phone directory ad and quickly became a popular Aussie colloquialism. Not sure if its used anywhere else. Probably not.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Last call for sponsorship!

You'll have to excuse me for not posting, I seem to have suffered from an attack of blondness.

It's almost time for the world's greatest shave; come Friday I will be colouring my hair bright purple to raise money for leukaemia. To sponsor me, or to find out more about the event please follow the link in the side bar. Apparently some people have had trouble with the site accepting donations, so please let me know in the comments if you want to sponsor me and can't. Thanks!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sums it up

Monday, March 03, 2008

Meet Buster

I mentioned a while ago that Kylie, one of the ladies who does night shift at work, cares for orphaned wildlife. This is one of her current charges, Buster. Buster is a male grey kangaroo joey, and cute as anything. We had a nice cuddle the other night during handover. Kylie is planning on keeping him.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hang in there

Ms Rosie is not a well girl. In fact she is so not well that the vet is amazed that she is still with us. She is slowly getting better day by day, but it will be a long time before she is really out of the woods.

Some people seem to have difficulty with the notion of nursing "livestock" back to health and spending large amounts on vet bills, but Rosie is a much loved pet, not livestock, and part of a family that takes pet ownership very seriously. She may not be allowed in the house, but that does not make her any less part of the family then the feline occupants.

Get well soon Rosie.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A mad month in bullet points

Ok yes I know I haven't been blogging, February has been absolutely mad, on those rare occasions when I've had a spare minute to scratch myself ('scuse me), I've been more inclined to fall over than to blog. I'll go over the highlights in more detail later (promise!) but for now here are the highlights.

  • Sunday 3rd - Gay Pride March. I was called up on Saturday night and informed that I was going to the pride march in St Kilda, so I met up with Ross, Fi and Rach in the city, and we found ourselves a good spot on a balcony to watch the parade, before heading down to the gardens for the after-madness.
  • Saturday 9th - My birthday party at Witches in Britches theater restaurant. Fi stayed over the night before and we took 5 hours getting ready. Everyone got into the spirit, dressing up witchy-goth. An awesome night.
  • Monday 11th - Met up with Chris' folks, down from Townsville, QLD, and his aunt and uncle from England. Went on Puffing Billy (tourist trap old steam train) for the first time (only grew up 10mins away from the foothills).
  • Tuesday 12th - My 26th birthday. Chris got us a king corner suit on the 41st floor of the Sofitel Melbourne (swanky!), and we spent the day exploring our fair city. We had a lovely dinner at Cafe La, the hotel resturant, and a complimentary cocktail each, normally $18 a pop, at the fancy bar, because they'd kept us waiting 2 minutes when we checked in.
  • Wednesday 13th - After breakkie at the hotel restaurant, we met up with Chris' rellos by the yarra and went for a cruise to Williamstown for the day.
  • Thursday 14th - Valentines Day - Went for a pleasant drive in the Dandenongs. Watched a pair of Wedge- Tailed eagles circling while having coffee on the veranda of a nice cafe. Saw 'Juno' at Knox cinemas then had a nice dinner at Kazanna Indian restaurant.
  • Saturday 16th - Sat with Dave while mum went to the Opera, mum and Dave stayed the night.
  • Sunday 17th - Left with Fi for Wilsons Promontory, stopped at Loch for lunch and stopped in to say hi to an old friend. Ross met us at the Prom.
  • Monday 18th / Tuesday 19th - Enjoyed the pristine beaches, scenery and wildlife of the prom.
  • Wednesday 20th - Got rained out, packed up and headed home.
  • Thursday 21st - Discovered the stone had come out of my nose ring and went to get it changed. My piercer was on holidays so had to go to someone else who did a botch job and made it bleed, and who seems to have given me a ring designed for the other nostril. Not happy.
  • Friday 22nd - Back to work. Boooo! Went to visit nonna and my uncle after work, came home and cooked my famous (in the world according to Chris) aloo saag and aloo gobi (Indian veg dishes that, in the way of Indian food, taste A LOT better then they look)
  • Saturday 23rd - Games night in Pakenham.
  • Sunday 24th / Monday 25th - Most likely going up to mum's in Castlemaine to help out with ailing goat.
Detailed posts soon, with photos. We've gone over our download limit for this month so it'll have to wait until the speed picks up again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Torchwood's started up again!

First ep guest stars James Marsters. Yum. Looks like he's set to return in at least one more episode to.

Looks like it could be a good season from the teaser trailers.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Shave for a Cure

I'd like to take a moment to talk to you about something serious.

After many years of saying I'm going to do it, but leaving it to late, I am finally taking part in the World's Greatest Shave, an annual event to raise money for leukaemia, lymphoma and related conditions. While I have not had much experience with these particular types of cancer, I know how devastating they can be for those affected. Cancer is a very personal issue for me, and I'll do what I can to help find a cure. My hope is that advances towards a cure for specific types may help advance the cause for others.

Money raised will directly help patients and their families, as well as fund research for better treatments and cures, so please dig deep. You can sponsor me online at my shave page, and also see before and after photos, leave comments, etc. I know some of you may have misgivings about making donations online but please rest assured that it is a very secure, professional site. I'll put the link in the side bar as well so that you won't have to dig up this post if you get back to it later.

The event itself runs from the 13th to the 15th of March, so please donate before then. If you can't spare much, that's OK, but remember every little bit helps.

Thank you.

Swing in the City

Don't you just love those spur of the moment things? Yesterday I was out shopping when Ross called to ask if I wanted to go see a band in Fitzroy, so Fi, Ross and I met up at Parliament station and headed down to Fitzroy gardens armed with picnic blanket, drinks and nibblies. The afternoon started off with live music until 7pm, which was followed up by a swing dance class on the grass. At 7.30 things really heated up with awesome Melbourne 9 piece swing band 'Frankie Wants Out' [check out their myspace for music samples]. Frenzied dancing ensued, to the point where my calves are still offering half-hearted protests (they aren't fooling anyone). They played until 9.30pm, and Ross and I covertly bought cd's [the organisers weren't allowing sales as it was a free event], then the three of us returned to our picnic blanket to recuperate and reflect for a little while before making our ways to our respective ends of the city.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Peace offering

I know, I know. I haven't blogged in ages. I would have on my night shift, except Internet access has now been restricted at work (boooo!). The rest of the time I've either been busy, or its been far to hot to be bothered, we've had several days over 40C, and one night where it didn't get below 30C. New Years eve got to a scorching 42C, and was spent with friends in and out of the blow up 3m x 1.8m pool that I got for Christmas, and have now been told nicely by the local council that I can't have without a pool fence.

A few things worth blogging about have happened while I've been slack: New Years, Games nights, BBQ's, but the moments have passed now, so instead you get what I did last night, which was last minute babysitting of my nephew Riley, so that mum and dadada could go to the movies.

Master Riley was very good apart from grizzles around nap time, and we had lots of good play time. He has hundreds of toys, so naturally he spent large periods of time playing with his remote (no batteries) and a can of coke. He also seemed fascinated by Chris.