Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rant about avocados [edit: compared with mangos]

WTF is with the price of avocados? I swear I will never buy another again unless it's $2 or less. They are the whiniest, reverse Frog Princesses of the fruit world! How do you keep them happy? Why are they so pricey? They promise beautiful green butteriness but forget to add them into your salad as intended and leave them on their own for a few days and they turn nasty - into a revolting, squishy, grey-brown mess.

Replies on FB:
KP: WA avocados have been affected by disease and east coast (qld) ones not ready yet, might explain price
JO: Also most of the east coast is under metres of the old water...
JJ: I agree I haven't bought one for ages.
Me: Well that is an explanation for the current price thank you KP and JO... but even those factors notwithstanding they are expensive for what you get. Mangoes get cheaper as the season progresses but are grown in a similar climates have a better shelf life and each one - if chosen by gently cradled scent - is a handful of pure bliss and sunshine! A reliable, nutted fruity thing, the best thing about Summer. They are good value and I am all about value. Have you ever thrown out a bad mango? Hell no. But an avocado? Many a time.
JO: Deeply true.

After some research the truth is revealed about the current avocado prices in Australia : NZ are out of the game this year and - no thanks to the flooding in QLD - WA farmers will turn a very tidy profit this year.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Penne with salmon, mushrooms and bocconcini

I intended to revisit my mushroom and salmon dish but the bocconcini turned up and there were fresh herbs in the garden - including some dill going to seed - so I ended up with this. I think it's better! You can use bigger bocconcini but you will need to cut them up smaller.


Penne with salmon, mushrooms and bocconcini

1/2 cup bambini/baby bocconcini, halved
500g penne
1 clove garlic, crushed
100g smoked salmon, sliced
250g button mushrooms, sliced
3 sprigs dill
3 sprigs oregano
5 basil leaves
olive oil
canola oil
ground pepper
chicken salt

  • Cook pasta. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.
  • Finely chop herbs.
  • Fry garlic in a little olive oil.
  • Add more oil and button mushrooms.
  • When mushrooms are almost cooked, add salmon and herbs. Stir occasionally until salmon is cooked.
  • Add cooked mixture and bocconcini to warm pasta. Season and stir through.
  • Serve warm immediately or refrigerate and serve cold.


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Toy to the World

The Toy to the World biennal features customised vinyl bears from both Australian and International artists. Entries from almost 100 artists will go up for auction to help fund Victorian HIV research.

This is my contribution to the Toy to the World project, and my first customised vinyl bear:
Le Fils de l'ours : The Son of Bears, after Magritte.
More images here.

In association with the Midsumma festival
Under the umbrella of Queer City's 2013 show, Play-Full

Spring Street Convention Centre
1 Spring Street, Melbourne
Australia 3001
Enter via Flinders Lane

Opening night: Tuesday, 15th January 2013, 6pm
Exhibition/Silent Auction Runs: 15ths Jan - 1st Feb
Mon - Fri: 9am - 5:00pm

Register to bid at the venue and bid on Item 74!
In the next few days you will also be able to bid online at the Toy to the World Facebook page.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Amicable Green Grocer Cicada

Walking through the front garden I heard a buzzing, whirring sound like clockwork. I turned back to find a cicada struggling to right itself on the concrete. Naturally I picked it up gently and it made itself very comfortable indeed - so much so that I went inside with him to get my camera and out again to take these shots.

First we sat down and I marvelled at the three reflective dots on his head. They seemed a lot like eyes but they are clearly quite different from the prominent compound eyes on this Green Grocer Cicada.

Some later research revealed that they are dorsal ocelli (oh-sell-ee). They are a 'simple' - as opposed to compound - eye on the top of the head. These ocelli are very light sensitive and quick, and it is theorised that they allow flying insects to maintain stability in flight.

He reminded me of a frog - the way he clung to my hand, his green compact body and his bulgy buggy eyes. Cute...

...But I couldn't sit there all afternoon holding him so I tried to convince to get on to the magnolia tree...
...but he wouldn't have it.

After attempting to move him to my left hand I noticed he preferred to move backward rather than be prodded forward thus - success!
Such an amicable chap was he.

"This is LaTegra. It's a little bit softer - I use this one for catolog shots a lot." *

I hope he fares alright. His rumpled wing edges might be why he struggled a bit.

*Zoolander quote C/O my BF, J.