Wednesday, June 25, 2008


So, I ate Darwin and I am convinced that I have come back at least five kilos heavier.

The first time round, I was a bit of a sucker and ate at the beach instead of the markets on the Thursday night. This time, I was no chump.

And just to clarify, I went twice to Darwin in the space of four weeks. Don't ask. At least it is warm.

What is there to say? Hawker food is great there. Real, dirty, hawker food. They also have this amazing satay stand at the Mindal beach markets. They also have way too many juice/smoothie stands. It makes me happy that I only saw one Boost in the whole of Darwin.
I also did something I had never done before- camped and be whisked off to a Bush-Doof (dirty hippies and horny European backpackers camping at Lichfield falls, taking heaps of drugs while dangerously jumping into shallow waters from ridiculous heights and publicly fornicating).
Hmm, I am too tired to rave about it, but basically, I love parts of nature, and hate parts of it. THe feeling is apparently mutual, and if there were not bush fires there already, I probably could have lit the land on fire with my rage at filth and pyro behaviour. Cooking in the bush is interesting, to say the least. Eskies are awesome.
We also went to the only Vietnamese joint in the city. They're alright, nothing to rave about, but I don't think that the locals realised that they also serve chinese food there as well. They're a little outrageous though, with the prices of pho starting at the $10.50 mark. Ridicerous.
Nirvana is worth a mention. It is a restaurant/bar/venue that offers thai, malaysian and indian fare. Their menu is broken up into four parts, but don't go overboard with the offerings. This makes me feel confident that they know what they're doing. We ate lightly grilled oysters with a lime and their own chili sauce. I don't think that it needed grilling, personally. Then, we ordered a red duck curry, beef massaman, fish masala, water spinach cooked in bean paste and roti. The party opted for coconut rice, while I settled with plain rice. I think the coconut rice would have murdered some of the flavours. We had to stay safe as we ate with our friend's parents, and we may have freaked them out.
The duck curry had great flavours, but I was a little skeptical with the duck that was obviously bought from a chinese restaurant that had just been sliced into the curry. Maybe I was thinking too much about Gingerboy's or Pearl's version.
The beef massaman was surprisingly good and probably the best dish of the night. Meltingly tender, but still maintaining bite and with many layers of flavour.
The fish masala was good, nothing to rave about, but good. It unfortunately couldn't stand up to the other dishes, and the obvious fillet pieces made it evident that they bought the fish in fillets rather than slicing it off the fish themselves.
The roti was great, house made. Flaky, oily goodness without being too oily.
The water spinach was great, but it is hard to fuck that up.
There was something on the menu that sounded enticing. Bugs cooked in the shell with a coconut cream and "Nirvana" sauce. I love Morton Bay Bugs and it is great if they cook it in the shell, but drowning it in cream and a nondescript sauce made my friends and I leave that out, we kind of wanted to taste the bugs.
They also probably have the best drinks menu of Darwin. They had several pages of beers as well as wines and do pretty damn good cocktails. All I have to say, is that I was surprised that Darwin managed to get a place to sell Chimay or Duvel, let alone Singha. Hooray.
Also, note that beer is probably the only cheap thing in Darwin, or cheaper than Melbourne. At Monsoons on Mitchell st, we only paid $12 for a jug of Coopers.
That is all that comes to mind at the moment, the adventure was a big one, which made coming back to reality quite jarring.


I just walked past the local greengrocer. They're selling new season broad beans for $12 a kilo.

Get fucked.

As much as I like broad beans, I can wait. But, at least this means that spring is coming.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Emtyo el-fridge-o

So, unexpectedly, I leave for Darwin again a lot earlier than expected. But then again, this Darwin trip was quite unexpected. With invisible prodding and audible word-speak, as well as a sweet friend with travel points...Darwin.

-read: 35 degrees
-read: ozone
-read: Jess possibly exposed to nature
-read: best hawker food in Australia
-read: crazy, fun times
-read: fuck, I have to cook off most of the shit in my fridge before it goes to waste and I kick myself in the face.


So, I invite a dear one over for a meal and make something out of an idea of nothing. Too many conjugations? I believe so, but that just means I have already had a better night than you.
I get home from work and make a pizza dough, based off of the Donna Hay recipe that I have varied over time. My logic is that this neutral dough goes with everything.

After tearing apart my fridge for the perishables-within-a-week, I make somewhat of a mess, but not quite.

Something quite edible

1 quantity pizza dough
1 zucchini, shaved length-wise (organic)
150g button mushrooms, sliced (organic)
100g pine mushrooms, sliced (organic)
50g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced (organic)
3 leeks, washed and sliced (organic)
1 handful organic cherry tomatoes, halved
2 eggs, hardboiled and quartered (organic)
1 cup melting cheese, grated (I used a mixture of fontina, regianno and gouda)
6 kipfler potatoes, washed, boiled in salted water (organic)
unsalted butter
good quality extra virgin olive oil
garlic to taste, minced
1 chili, minced
balsamic vinegar

-Make the dough, punch down and allow to prove.
-Meanwhile, cook of zucchini in hot pan with oil, season to taste, splash with balsamic and cook off vinegars. Don't overcook.
-In the same pan after removing zucchini, cook off leeks and mushrooms in butter and oil, season and add garlic and chili.
-Preheat the oven to 220. Place in pizza stone on top shelf. Take hot potatoes out, leaving skins on. Smash lightly with a masher and season, add rosemary and drizzle oil over the top. Place in oven.
- Roll out dough in a long rectangle, around 50cm x 10cm. Layer the zucchini along the dough, leaving a couple of centimetres on the top and bottom. Then, layer the eggs, cheese, tomatoes and then the leeks and mushrooms. Season. Enclose by pinching dough together along the top and roll into a tire shape with the enclosed section facing the middle, pinching both ends together. Brush with oil. Place onto the heated pizza stone and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes, or till golden.
-Slice and serve with potatoes.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Not my thing. Usually when I feel the need to lash out and pay my torso's worth for an item of clothing or a week's groceries, I don't bat an eyelid. However, it has been assessment season, exam-time, somethingsomethingness...and I went to Darwin. So, in all of this, I have probably worked three days in three weeks.

Not a good move.

In addition to that, my fridge looks a little sad and I hadn't eaten a piece of fresh bread in about a fortnight. That, and last night's 'stay-in-and-write' turned into hell after a familial drop-in shat all over my mind-space.
I lost it and sent my (currently not so) Frequent Dining Companion a text saying, "Melbourne is fucked!" At least that made it to the centre of the Earth.

So, with the cash in my pocket, I managed to spend less than fifty dollars this week at the market. That's right...I only spent forty-two. Right on the dot.
God it was painful to walk away from cheese and produce.

My Bounty:
1 loaf sourdough olive Laurent bread
150g Reggiano
5 brown onions
3 spanish onions
1 bunch of celery
1 bunch of dutch carrots (organic)
2 avocados
1 punnet cherry tomatoes (organic)
1 punnet mini roma tomatoes (organic)
250g pine mushrooms
1 head of elephant garlic (organic)
1.5kg mandarins
600g assorted apples (organic)
500g rocket (organic)
2 leeks (organic)
1 bunch kale (organic)
1 bunch basil
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch chives
1 bunch sage

Thank god I still have some staples at home.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Durians. Darwin. Deleuze.

An insight to stupid language through malevolent fruit and dead philosophers from Darwin to Melbourne-town:

Note: A TLA exists in this conversation.

Note: TLA= Three Letter Acronym

Notable TLA: btw= by the way

[7:34:15 PM] Jess Ho says: btw- you'd agree with what D says on Proust in terms of signs in literature

[7:34:17 PM] Jess Ho says: maybe...

[7:34:28 PM] Jess Ho says: your fingers always do the walking

[7:34:32 PM] Jess Ho says: are you asleep already?

[7:34:34 PM] B says: sure....

[7:34:42 PM] B says: what says?

[7:34:48 PM] Jess Ho says: Deleuze

[7:34:58 PM] Jess Ho says: I’d explain, but I am too busy typing between the both of you

[7:35:18 PM] B says: yes I understood what the d was

[7:35:31 PM] Jess Ho says: haha

[7:35:32 PM] B says: cut and paste randomly when you feel like it

[7:35:32 PM] Jess Ho says: really

[7:35:40 PM] B says: he would like that

[7:35:45 PM] Jess Ho says: so it didn’t stand for durian or demitasse or dimple?

[7:36:05 PM] Jess Ho says: btw, durians=evil

[7:36:06 PM] B says: structure will dictate my understanding of your meaning thru the process of communication

[7:36:07 PM] Jess Ho says: pure evil

[7:36:11 PM] Jess Ho says: pure, stinky evil

[7:36:15 PM] B says: not when you cut them open... I hear

[7:36:33 PM] Jess Ho says: no, then their evilness is released in noxious fumes of farts, death and evil. Did I mention that they were evil?

[7:37:04 PM] B says: but then they taste lovely they say

[7:37:32 PM] Jess Ho says: they lie

[7:37:44 PM] Jess Ho says: they taste like creamy, milky farts, but my people liken it to vanilla ice-cream

[7:37:54 PM] Jess Ho says: my logic- why don't you just eat vanilla ice-cream??!?!?

[7:38:21 PM] B says: cos it doesn’t grow on trees

[7:38:34 PM] Jess Ho says: where do vanilla beans come from then?

[7:38:42 PM] Jess Ho says: cows and chicken come from trees as well

[7:38:48 PM] Jess Ho says: and sugar cane is a plant

[7:38:52 PM] B says: as does money

[7:38:55 PM] Jess Ho says: and there: ice-cream.

[7:38:57 PM] B says: well, when it was paper

[7:39:14 PM] Jess Ho says: Well, have you had a durian?

[7:39:23 PM] B says: not all the savages are as resourceful as little ms house proud yourself

[7:39:31 PM] B says: no I have not it is true

[7:39:53 PM] Jess Ho says: hmmm....evil

[7:39:58 PM] B says: sex

[7:40:05 PM] Jess Ho says: farts. Evil farts.

[7:40:09 PM] Jess Ho says: sex...yes

Conclusion from conversation

1 Durian.

Make sex, not durian. Durians are evil and will most likely make you want to kick yourself in the face after lighting your crotch on fire.