Thursday, August 27, 2009

Whale Frolics Fitzroy Island

A work colleague of MB's captured this great pic whilst out fishing near Fitzroy Island last Saturday. This whale was one of a group of 3 whales frolicking quite happily near colleague's boat.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chandler Markets, Brisbane

MB stumbed upon a huge market at the Sleeman Sports Centre in Chandler early on Sunday morning when she dropped MDR off at the Aquatic Centre for the Qld Underwater Hockey Championships.
She was just leaving and saw a vacant car parking slot near the entrance so decided to stop and do a walk through. The markets are a great mix of farmers market and second hand. One chap was selling a fantastic selection of heritage tomatoes which MB couldn't resist, so she bought one Black Krim & one Black Russian for a taste test with MDR. The Black Krim won hands down, a nice meaty tomato with lots of flavour.

Rocklea Markets, Brisbane

The dynamic duo arrived into Brisbane early on Saturday morning, the pefect time to visit Rocklea Markets with Hana.
After checking out some pretty heliconia plants and nice produce with Hana, MB thinks $2 for a lovely fresh cauliflower is amazingly cheap, the pair stopped by the Fromart stand where VT is moonlighting to sample some superb swiss cheeses, some made locally and a couple of imported ones - including a nice raw milk cheese.
MB was hoping VT would have the Raclette burner there so she could gorge herself on fondue, but not to be. Alas she'll have to wait for a dinner party invitation. She did however find a Hungarian food hero making fresh Hungarian donuts which were lovely, very light with a subtle taste of orange.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cadbury Backflip

Readers may be aware that Cadbury recently "dumbed down" their chocolate products by replacing cocoa butter with palm oil and reducing the block size. The paper wrap packaging was increased to a cardboard package to disguise the 10% decrease in size - whilst keeping the retail price the same.
The inclusion of palm oil has infuriated conservationists, particulary those concerned with orangutangs losing their rainforst habitat in South-East Asia to palm oil plantations. Cadbury claims the palm oil is from some sort of "eco-friendly" palm oil source.
Cadbury's lame and insulting excuse for the reduced block size is that it reduces one's "DI" or daily intake of a calorie laden food.
Needless to say all of the above has whipped up a storm amongst Cadbury consumers and today's press reports that Cadbury has backed away from using palm oil.
Picture above is a scan of an old paper wrap.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

One of Marc's colleagues tragically lost his beloved pet cat this week. Due to the cooler weather the cat had taken a liking to climbing onto the roof of the house to sun itself. One morning colleague heard some commotion on the roof and raced out to investigate. He was completely taken aback to see a hawk carrying off kitty. Colleague was completely helpless and unable to do anything. Unbelievable but true!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Peter & His Droughtmasters

MB, plus 4 female friends who were visiting from Japan, were very lucky to visit Peter & Maureen at their sugarcane farm near Mossman on 23 July. Peter & Maureen are growing many acres of sugarcane not only in Mossman but also at their second property in Julatten, just up on the tablelands behind Mossman. After a lunch feast prepared by Maureen, Peter took the 5 girls on a tour to the Julatten property, over one hundred acres with 3 creeks and a beautiful rainforest backdrop. Peter also has a herd of Droughtmaster cattle there which he started in 1979. When the cattle realised Peter had arrived they bounded up quite happily to the gate and Peter gave them all a treat of molasses to slurp on.
Peter is a great racontuer and had the girls giggling all afternoon.

Food Hero Discovery

MB was pretty chuffed when she stumbled upon a stall at the Cairns' Rusty's Markets selling locally grown organic vanilla. She had quite a chinwag with the grower, Russell Spanton, who with his wife, Mary, grows the vanilla in Port Douglas and are the first commercial vanilla growers in Australia.
Russell has had the vanilla tested by the CSIRO and was told it has 4 times more vanilla content than any other beans tested, including beans from Tonga, Tahiti, PNG and Madagascar.
Russell also shared some of his colourful experiences with other local vanilla growers, lots of argy bargy going on. Up until encountering Vanilla Australia ( at Rustys Markets MB had no idea any vanilla beans for commercial sale were even being grown in FNQ.
MB did of course purchase some beans but as yet hasn't used them. She's planning to make some crème brûlée soon and will report back.