Archive for November, 2010

It’s Time For a Count Down

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

If you hadn’t realised already, I love counting down to things. Let’s do it.

  • One month until Christmas.
  • 67 days, or 9 weeks and 4 days, or 4 pay periods, until I leave for France.
  • 37 days until New Years.
  • 1158 days until Australia Day in 2014.
  • 280 days until my birthday.

Hooray!

Like a Gazelle

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

My parents are going on a two-week cycling tour of Holland next year as part of a project to stimulate discussion and change to cycling in Australia. By going to one of the world’s most bike-friendly countries, there’s hope that Australian governments will realise that bike lanes ARE a good idea and will instigate them in our cities. As a bike rider myself, I’d much prefer to have a safe path to ride on rather then being squashed under a car by a loser driver who is impatient to get to work.

The trip will be filmed by two of the bike riders in the group of 30 and they’re currently looking for monetary support. If you pay them enough then you’ll get a free bike! AWESOME!

Look close enough and you’ll spot my Dad. I’ll most likely write more about the trip next year in May when it all happens.

Delicious Slop

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Sunday morning came around again and Tom suggested we be adventurous in our breakfast locations and so we headed to Fidel’s Cafe in Fremantle. A relaxed joint offering organic and healthy food, free wifi (!!!), and a great courtyard out the back, Fidel’s certainly a carefree cafe. I suppose it reflects the Fremantle attitude and way of life – good food in a relaxed atmosphere. The breakfast menu is probably the reason to come to this place although it does offer some interesting lunch options and is open for dinner over the weekend. You can choose your usual egg-options (which as a non-egg-lover I ignored) and they have a good range of gluten free dishes. Their main selling points are their crepes and pancakes. You pay a low price for a basic pancake and then for each topping you add it costs you $1. Not bad really, unless you want a pancake with EVERYTHING in which case you should make it at home.

I chose a crepe with mixed berries, maple syrup and banana and it was mostly good except the berries were frozen (although in Perth I don’t expect anything more) and they had chosen to drench the crepe in berry juice. This resulted in a very soggy crepe which I really don’t like. I’m one of those people who likes eating dry bread, dry crackers, plain rice, no sauce, no flavourings. Nothing. So the same goes for my preference for crepes but if soggy crepes are your thing then you’d probably love this one! Tom put strawberries (fresh), syrup, banana and ice cream on his crepe and it was much more my style. Both were well cooked though, which is a relief as Australians tend to fail at crepe making.

Crepe

Sloppy.

The coffee was good, the service was slow. But if you’re not in a rush and you’re not really starving (it was late in the morning… I was hungry and therefore grumpy. The slow service didn’t improve my mood.) then it wouldn’t matter! Not the most amazing place in the world but not bad either.

Fidel's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Up and Etsy

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Yes folks, the time has come. I now have two of my sock creatures up for sale on my etsy store. Come one, come all, buy lots, buy all! Exciting times! Can’t wait to see how it goes…

Hello Russia!

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

I was just looking at my Google Analytics for my website and discovered that two people from Moscow in Russia have visited my site! HELLO MY RUSSIAN FRIENDS! Sure, they left straight away, and they probably weren’t even real people. But I am just proud to have received interest from that vast land. Maybe I’ll go and visit them when I’m in Europe! Russia is definitely on my list of places to go.

Food, Food, Glorious (Sydney) Food!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

What would be the point of going to Sydney and not eating delicious things? Sure, I might come away  with a visa for France, but where’s the fun in that? My friend Gill took me to the GPO Cheese and Wine Room, aka the cheese temple, on Friday night. It is located in the fancy grey-pants zone of Martin’s Place where all of the money people work. Located downstairs in the GPO, the cheese room is quite amazing. SO MUCH CHEESE! You can choose from one of their suggested combinations or pick 50 gram serves from their range of cheeses. We chose to do the latter.

Cheese

Someone invent a time machine – I need to get back to the cheese!

What a night. We choose three cheeses – an italian washed rind, an amazing blue, and an ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT French soft cheese with truffle. You can tell which one was my favourite. So so so good. We drank a bottle of New Zealand Pinot Noir and chatted for a few hours, stopping every now and then to remind each other how good the cheese was. Since living in France I have become quite picky about cheeses and always search for strong flavoured cheeses that leave you with bad breath. The stuff in Coles just isn’t cheese. I wish to live in the GPO Cheese Temple and become Jess – Queen of Cheese.

While I’m living in Sydney, I may as well also become Jess – Queen of Cakes. I ate some cake on the weekend as well. Nothing particularly breathtaking but the winner was definitely a pistachio and chocolate tart from the cafe at Alliance Francaise. We were served by an adorably French waiter who was overly polite and had the NICEST accent in the world. I fell in love with him briefly (sorry, Tom!) and turned into a giggling 13 year old every time he brought us food. Anyway, back to the cake. Gill and I shared the chocolate cake and a tarte tatin, a classic french dessert that is always a winner. Both were scrumptious and clearly made by French people who actually know how to make French cakes. I get sick of eating ‘french food’ that was cooked by someone who has never even been to France. I’d just like to say – there should never, EVER, be custard in an almond croissant. It is disgusting, wrong and should be illegal.

French cakes

Les gateaux

LEGAL

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

This post will be written predominantly in uppercase.

I JUST RECEIVED MY VISA FOR FRANCE WHICH MEANS I CAN GO AND WORK AND LIVE IN FRANCE FOR A WHOLE YEAR AND THEY WON’T KICK ME OUT UNLESS I DO SOMETHING STUPID WHICH I WON’T!!! This was the final piece in the puzzle! All I have to do now is pack my bags and wait another 76 days!

Well That Was a Short Wait…

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

My doorbell isn’t working and it appears the postman tried to deliver something in a platinum Express Post bag. THOSE DAMN FRENCH PEOPLE MAKING ME GO TO SYDNEY FOR AN 8.5 MINUTE INTERVIEW AND THEN SENDING MY PASSPORT BACK ON THE SAME FLIGHT AS ME! GRRRRR!!!!!!!!! Thank you :)

The Waiting Game

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

I have returned from my weekend in Sydney and my adventures with the French Consulate. Oh how joyful I felt having flown all the way to Sydney for an ‘interview’ at the Consulate where the guy behind the glass barely spoke to me and, having arrived 10 minutes before my appointment, was all over approximately 1.5 minutes before my interview was technically supposed to start. So a total of 8.5 hours flying in planes for a total of 8.5 minutes standing in front of a glass panel. I must admit I did smile and do a little dance about the fact that the frenchman DIDN’T say, “You can’t get a visa. Go away.” I take this as a positive sign and will now wait anxiously for the postman to bring me my passport.

French consulate building

St Martin – Patron saint of all things French (this is where the consulate is)

Resolution.

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Last night I decided that I need to go out for dinner with my friend Simone more frequently. The reason? Not for our intellectual conversation. Not for Simone’s charm and wit. Simply because every time we go somewhere we eat AMAZING desserts. Previously we went to Meeka in Subiaco and I ate the greatest chocolate fondant ever. Last night we tried Cantina 663 in Mt Lawley and WOW. Allow me to go into great detail…

Cantina 663 is hidden away on Beaufort Street up past the Astor theatre. I had been meaning to try it but it isn’t the cheapest, more accessible restaurant in Perth so it’s a bit of a ‘special occasion’ type place. The food is made from organic produce and the restaurant oozes sophistication and warmth – lots of wood, blackboards with descriptions of wines chalked on them. I arrived early and read the wine descriptions (and prices) and their wine list features bottles from Spain, France, Italy and a few Australian names get a go as well. Listening to conversations of people who seemed to actually know about wine (I’m an eavesdropper) they were clearly impressed by the selection. I just thought it was amazing due to the price factor and where the wines were coming from. Plus they all sounded delicious.

The food menu was short but delicious – a few dishes to share or have as entrees plus about six mains. Simone and I decided to share a few dishes and as she is vegetarian we picked out the very few vego options available. It was a very meaty-menu but the Spanish influence explains that. Despite the lack of choice the food was brilliant. We had a snow pea, fennel and broad bean salad which was full of flavour thanks to the finely sliced fennel. Then some grilled asparagus with parmesan and orange and some crunchy, toasted bread with a very yummy olive oil. We choose the only vegetarian main dish to share as well and MY GOSH IT WAS AMAZING. Gnocchi with aparagus and blue mauri cheese, with a capsicum sauce. Sosososoosososososososososoooooooooooo good. We both bit into it, looked at each other with wide eyes and nodded. In life there’s food you eat in order to not be hungry, and then there’s FOOD. Pure brilliance.

Of course, then it was time for dessert. Simone chose the selection of homemade ice cream and sorbets – chocolate, mango and lime. I tried them all with the lime sorbet being an absolute hit. Flavoursome and powerful. I went all out and ordered the chocolate parfait with caramel walnuts and pear. Not sure what happened to the pear… it seemed to turn into grapefruit somehow. That was disappointing because if there’s one combination I don’t like it is chocolate and citrus. It should be outlawed. But the caramels were awesomely gooey and more-ish. And the parfait… wow. Really there are no words other than – rich, thick, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth, sticks to your lips, made-me-feel-sick-it-was-so-good. Absolutely to die for. In fact, if I had had a heart attack due to the excess cream in the parfait I wouldn’t have mind and I’d be quite content.

Service was efficient, friendly and easy. Not excessively friendly but if you needed something they were there. I like that. Very noisy though. But most restaurants are.

Cantina 663 on Urbanspoon