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Monday, 31 July 2017
Open House Melbourne 2017
I was curious about this progressive school because the blurb described it as being child-led architecture. So I was surprised to enter and see an elegant olde worlde drawing room with shelves of old books and an open fire. Apparently this was part of the old house from when the school was founded in the 1930s.
This is a girls Catholic school run by the Loreto nuns. The original hall is a nineteenth century mansion and this is the part of the school open to us. I confess to running after small child and not having much time to focus on the history of the building.
My dad was interested to have a look at the Victorian Artists Society. The 1890s building is quite impressive and all the more so for housing a building that counted some of Australia's fine artists among its number.
Open House Melbourne requires great planning. So many interesting buildings but it is a tyranny of choice, and a matter of mapping times and locations. This has been made even harder because now a lot of the popular buildings require booking. I looked at booking some of these on the day after bookings opened and many were already booked out.
One of the buildings that interested me and required a booking was Newman College. I snaffled one of the last tickets for tours for the Sunday morning. The tour was taken by an architectural historian. It was great to see some of the beautiful architecture by Walter Burley Griffin from the early twentieth century and hear of his fine design. But I really would have preferred more social history.
As I was close by, I went to check out the Kathleen Syme library and community centre that opened in 2015. The building had originally been built in the 1870s as the Faraday Street State School. I have been curious to have a look inside since its reopening 2 years ago.
Meanwhile I really enjoyed Open House Melbourne. As always I wished I could visit more places. However the ones I saw were a great peeks into some Melbourne icons that gave some insight into the rich history of our city. I have listed past Open House visits in this index.
Friday, 28 July 2017
A stew of leftover gravy, with some school holidays reflections
After making the stew, I got into the car to take Sylvia to swimming I found the battery was flat and then when I got to swimming we found that her lesson had been changed without notification. Thank goodness that the swimming coordinator was really helpful and we had a delicious stew waiting at home that night.
Minion fever, Sylvia was excited to see the new Despicable Me 3 movie. She was so excited that Mr Cuddles was dressed as a Minion. I thought that the movie wasn't as good as some of the previous Minions movies but was still fun. Sylvia loved it and even was tempted to get the Minions happy meal from MacDonalds. Her dad ate the burger and she had the 3 potato Minions. I was shocked to see how few she got and you just don't want to see the ingredients list.
these dumplings but lacked the energy. The stew went very well with brown rice.
I am sending this stew to Meat Free Mondays.
More winter stews at Green Gourmet Giraffe.
Bean and beer stew with dumplings (v)
Chickpea, potato and tomato stew (gf, v)
Coconut black-eyed bean stew (gf, v)
Coconut vegie and tofu stew (gf, v)
Honeyed beer and barley stew
Prune and bean casserole (gf, v)
Tempeh vegetable stew with dumplings (gf, v)
Gravy, pumpkin and parsnip stew
An original Green Gourmet Giraffe recipe
1-2 tsp oil
2 large parsnips, diced
1 zucchini, diced
handful of mushrooms, chopped
1 cup thick gravy
1 cup red wine
2 cups water
large wedge of pumpkin, peeled and diced
400g tin black beans, rinsed and drained
400g tin lentils, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp seeded mustard
1 tsp Vegemite
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1-2 tsp salt, or to taste1/4 - 1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste
Cook parnsip in oil in a stockpot until they are softening. Add mushrooms and zucchini for a few minutes until they soften. Mix in remaining ingredients and check seasoning, however remember that the stew will thicken and sweeten once the pumpkin is cooked. Bring to the boil and season about 15-20 minutes until pumpkin is soft. Check seasoning again and serve hot.
NOTES: You could still make this without the gravy but you would need to brown onions, add some extra liquid and seasoning and a bit of flour to thicken the stew. I didn't weigh my pumpkin - I guess it might have been 600-800g before peeling. If you don't have vegemite, you could use other yeast extracts or a stock cube. This stew lasts well for about 5 days in the fridge and can be frozen. It is good served with rice and could be served with dumplings or toast.
On the stereo:
Christmas in the Heart: Bob Dylan
Monday, 24 July 2017
The Snug in Brunswick, with Christmas in July - CLOSED
UPDATE: The Snug Brunswick (and St Kilda) is permanently closed
We had a great meal at The Snug in St Kilda some months ago. It has taken us so long to visit the Brunswick sister pub that sadly in the meanwhile, the St Kilda one has closed. The Brunswick pub has some fine vegan offerings but not as extensive a menu as over the other side of the river but it feels far more like a pub than the St Kilda one.
Cindy had alerted me to the the Snug having vegan breakfasts.
Kudos to the Snug for this impressive plate. I enjoyed it but I did find the silken tofu scramble a bit soft for my liking and the facon a little too like bacon for me. On the other hand I loved the crunchy hash brown and the Tofurky sausage. In retrospect, I think I might have enjoyed the corn fritters more. Next time. Sylvia had a sausage, hash brown and beans, She wasn't into the sausages which were slightly spicy but she loved the rest of it.
Faye's advice that the meals were huge. She was right. I was there because I had the opportunity rather than because I was starving. Then I found myself faced with a huge pile of mashed potatoes, two large Tofurky sausages, a pool of onion gravy and a truckload of peas. It didn't take me long to fill up.
I was very grateful that the landlord passed and said it could go home in a doggy bag. I went home with some very good side dishes and some leftover sausages.
As well as Christmas jumpers, there were fairy lights, the festive aroma of mulled wine and Irish music from a man in a santa hat with a guitar in the corner. He sung a pleasing gentle mix of modern Christmas and Irish folk.
The meal was huge. The ham was like little orange-pink round of vegan sausage and not too bad. I could not eat the huge slice of turkey which was just too like meat for me. (I know some vegans miss turkey but I never have.) I am not so into boiled carrots and missed the roast pumpkin that we have always have at Christmas. On the other hand, I loved the stuffing and gravy which I often don't get at a roast dinner. And I enjoyed the sprouts. E loved his meaty roast dinner. We ordered roast potato and battered vegan sausage for Sylvia. She was not keen on the sausage but I thought the crispy batter was very good.
I love the ambience of The Snug and that they cater so well for vegans but I wish it has more vegan food without mock meat. The corn fritter brunch is the exception that I must try. Not much else. However the staff are friendly and it does well to feel like a cosy pub without being a caricature of an Irish pub. I miss the extensive menu of its former St Kilda sister pub but I hope it does well because I hope to drop back in when I can.
UPDATE: The Snug Brunswick (and St Kilda) is permanently closed
The Snug Public House
68 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Open: Mon-Thurs: 3pm ’til late, Fri: 12pm ’til late, Sat-Sun: 11am ’til late
(03) 9388 8756
Saturday, 22 July 2017
Christmas in July - nut roast stuffed apples
read in some recipes that you can scoop out the core with a spoon. I did need a sturdy spoon as the first spoon I used started bending out of shape. Above is a step by step photo of the process. I think the advantage of an apple corer is that you don't have the stem left in the bottom of the apple. But leaving the stem intact means the stuffing doesn't fall out of the apple. Though I did have an apple or two that split down the side.
Vegetarian Times recipes. However as a nut roast enthusiastic, I swapped out the quinoa for finely chopped nuts and breadcrumbs. I kept the wild rice and brown rice. It was a bit chunkier and crumblier than most of my nut roasts but by no means inferior. Cutting the middle out of apples is not for huge gatherings. Once I had stuffed six apples I baked the rest of the stuffing in a loaf with an extra spoonful of chia seeds.
The stuffed apples weren't to everyone's liking. E said he didn't like the crispy topping. I suspect it did not appeal so much either as he is not really into fruit. Once everyone had their apple they were all quite happy to have a crumbly slice of loaf. The loaf wasn't as pretty but it seemed more popular. Though it needed a bit more binding whether an egg or a vegan flax "egg". However I suspect this one of those nut roasts that will not slice really neatly no matter how much binding.
I am sending these stuffed apples to Meat Free Mondays.
More festive nut roast recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chocolate nut roast
Cottage cheese and walnut nutloaf
Festive nut roast parcels
Lentil and walnut roast
Parsnip, cranberry and chestnut roast
Stilton nut roast
Stuffed nut roast roulade
Stuffed apples with wild rice, mushroom and cranberry nut roast
Adapted from the Vegetarian Times and the Vegan Society
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium sized red onion, finely chopped
1 parsnip, finely diced
8 button mushrooms (a handful), chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
150g finely chopped walnuts and cashews
2 tbsp ground almonds
50g (2 slices) breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cranberries
1-2 tbsp of freshly chopped parsley and thyme
1 tbsp brandy
1 to 2 eggs or flax "eggs" (for a loaf)
1/4 cup of water, as required
12 red apples (optional)
Firstly cook wild rice for 15 minutes then add the brown rice and cook another 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Fry onion and parsnip in olive oil until soft. This took a while, at least 15-30 minutes over a medium low heat with regular stirring. Add mushrooms and garlic cloves and fry a few minutes until mushrooms soften. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients except eggs, water and apples. If you want to make a loaf add the eggs but if you are stuffing apples it is optional. Add some water tablespoon by tablespoon until the mixture clumps together. Check and adjust seasoning (I used about
If you wish to bake as a loaf, spoon into a lined and greased loaf tin, press down firmly with the back of a spoon, and bake for 35-45 minutes at 180 C until firm to touch and browned on top.
If you wish to stuff in apples, use a sturdy spoon to scoop out the insides of each apple leaving the core intact at the bottom and about 0.5 cm of flesh around the outside of each apple. Stuff with as much nut roast as you can press in. Place in an oven dish and pour 1-2 cups of water into the bottom of the dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 180 C for about 45 minutes or until apples are soft to touch.
Or do as I did and make half apples and half nut roast.
On the stereo:
Write about love: Belle and Sebastian
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Christmas royals - a simple pudding idea
More cute Christmas eats on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Christmas cupcakes: reindeer and holly
Candy cane pizza
Flatbread Christmas trees
Gingerbread Christmas tree
Mashed potato snowmen (gf, v)
Nut roast parcels
Snowman sushi (gf, v)
Zimsterne (cinnamon stars) (gf, v)
Adapted from Kidspot
12 chocolate royals
100g white chocolate chips
12 red smarties
6 spearmint leaves, cut into 4 slivers
Melt white chocolate for about 45 seconds in the microwave and stir well. If a few chocolate chips are not quite melted, heat another 15 second intervals and stir well again. (And repeat the 15 seconds if needed.)
Drizzle or pipe white chocolate over each royal so it looks like custard on a pudding. While white chocolate still soft, press a red smartie on top and two little slivers of mint leaves on the side of the smartie. Let chocolate set (you may need a fridge if you do this in a warm Aussie Christmas).
On the Stereo:
The Best Aussie Christmas