Sunday, December 09, 2007

Yoghurt Experiment

Whilst in the UK MB sampled the most delightful goat's milk yoghurt and was inspired by Elizabeth David (from her book, "Is there a Nutmeg in the House?") to try making this herself, especially as there doesn't appear to be anywhere in NQ that makes or sells this gorgeous product. All she needed was a thermometer and a wide mouth vacuum flask, the latter of which she had, so after purchasing a $13.00 thermometer at Robins Kitchen and a litre of fresh goat's milk she was all set.

MB boiled the milk down to three quarters it's original volume to create a creamier yoghurt, then let it cool to the requisite temperature and mixed in a tablespoon of biodynamic Mungalli Creek plain yoghurt as a starter. Then it was into the vacuum flask to sit for 4 hours.

When the "brewing" time was up MB was anticipating a tangy, creamy yoghurt but was terribly disappointed to find the yoghurt completely failed, it didn't take at all. Looks like it's back to the drawing board, might be an idea to try making it with cow's milk instead....

By the way the Mungalli Creek yoghurts are sensational. All of their products are made with biodynamic milk and their flavour and texture is far superior to any other yoghurts available. Best of all Mungalli Creek is in NQ so us Northerners enjoy very fresh product.

The Humble Crepe

Last week at the Wynnum Coles' supermarket MB spotted a box of frozen crepes made by Creative Gourmet. For years MB has been harping on about not being able to buy ready made crepes, this is a product that freezes so well.

Cooking crepes isn't so difficult but being able to buy a box of them, providing they are made with eggs and milk, would be incredibly convenient. Cooking crepes in the kitchen when it's 34C is no fun whatsoever.

MB isn't endorsing these crepes just yet but is very gratified to see somebody has finally taken the initiative to put them on the market. She firstly needs to ensure she can buy them in Cairns.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Zen Fungi

MDR & MB did a daytrip to Montville on the Sunshine Coast today to visit the Spiritwinds gang in their new digs located in a delightful bush acreage on the outskirts of Montville. Tony & Deb cooked up a storm for lunch with fresh Mooloolaba prawns and oysters for starters then barramundi for main, all topped off with some fruit mince tarts and liqueur chocolates bought from Aldi by MDR & MB, who also contributed a very nice organic baguette from the Northey St Markets in Brisbane which they visited prior to heading up to Montville. Mustn't forget the very nice stout too that Tony brewed up, went very nicely with the lunch.

The Spiritwinds gang are sharing their block with lots of wildlife, such as yellow faced whip snakes which like mating in the pool, blue tongue lizards, funnelweb spiders and a large goanna which enjoys eating all the scraps. Tony is also contending with a bat which keeps flying into the house to deposit little parcels of excrement everywhere, he is still working on a method to catch the little critter.

Tony has discovered in his meanderings around the estate, a Boletellus Obscurayadayada, which apparently has not been sighted in the Montville area previously. He has succesfully replanted the rhubarb coloured mushroom into a Bonsai pot. Unfortunately it's not known whether this fungi is edible, and no takers to date have been willing to test the toxicity or otherwise of this interesting mushroom.

The main street of Montville was jam packed with tourists and MDR & MB did a bit of a promenade to grab a Sunday paper. The street is lined with lots of shops selling souvenirs, trinkets and geegaws. One shop, called "Shabby Chic" had a refreshingly honest sign "Fine Purveyors of Shabby Chic Clutter". Clutter of course being an amazingly accurate description...

Afterwards the duo returned to Brisbane in very good time, 75 mins, and dropped into the Yeronga quarters of VT & Hana to take their favourite pooch, Oounoi, out for a walk through the local sportsgrounds to the Brisbane river and back.

The weather has been glorious, mid to high twenties with a lovely cool southerly breeze and relatively low humidity. Going back to hot and humid Cairns tomorrow is not a happy prospect.

Birthday Capers

For MDR's birthday on Friday night, VT & Hana offered to take MDR & MB to their favourite Indian Restaurant, India Kitchen in Westend. Hana was on call and sure enough just as the team left home for the restaurant Hana's mobile trilled and unfortunately she had to be dropped off at the PA Hospital for a medical emergency.
The India Kitchen is a gem of a restaurant with quick service and very reasonably priced and great curries, the breads were divine too. It's a very unpretentious place with two fabulous Indian ladies running the show. After the trio stuffed themselves with curry it was off to a little ice creamery around the corner, where MB sampled some unique Turkish Delight gelati which really did taste just like it's namesake. VT then took the team to his favourite coffee shop and Westend institution, Three Monkeys, for a late night caffeine shot.
After their bacchanalian revels the trio staggered back to the car and headed home. Fortuitously Hana called just before they got the Yeronga so they were able to pick her up en route.
Saturday night MDR & MB were able to return the favour and take both Hana & VT to MDR's favourite Thai joint in wacky Wynnum with the catchy name of "Thai Cuisine" (or "Thai Quisine" according to the menus). This is another cheap and cheerful spot with great Thai food. The dreadful exterior of this place has to be seen to be believed and MB hopes to get a pic in daylight before returning to Cairns.