Sunday 22 August 2021

Cauliflower, Zucchini and Butter Bean Gnocchi and Covid Vaccination

During the week I made a rather good gnocchi with vegetables and beans.  I wasn't going to share it but I decided to jot down the recipe to remember it like the old school blogger that I am and then just prattle on about vaccinations.

It has been a crazy sort of week that started with a couple of long 2 hour walks with friends (one each day with masks).  One friend told me she went to the doctor a few days before her second Pfizer when a nurse asked if anyone wanted an unused Pfizer shot.  On Monday I had my second vaccination jab.

I returned to the splendid Royal Exhibition Buildings where I had my first jab.  It was such a pleasure to spend time in this heritage building that became a hospital during the 1919 Spanish Flu epidemic.  (Actually many years ago I liaised with the management to organise a tour of the tower. and once posted about a visit to The Taste of Melbourne in the main hall)  It was convenient to work when I booked it but it ended up being as close as I got to a day out when I went there in lockdown.  Unfortunately they did not have a piano player there when I was there unlike a friend.

The government is really ramping up the vaccination program with lots more venues.  For example the Royal Melbourne Agricultural Show has been cancelled this year but the Showgrounds are being used for testing and vaccinations.  Hospitals, GPs, pop up clinics and pharmacists are all offering vaccinations.  It is beginning to feel more hopeful but we still have a long way to go and many infections to battle.

Our choices in Australia are the plentiful Astra Zeneca and the highly sought after Pfizer that is slowly making its way to our shores.  We knew months ago that we could have a winter surge but there was terrible complacency mixed with great confusion about Astra Zeneca.  I have had so many conversations about Pfizer versus Astra Zeneca.  When I got my second AZ jab, I was really happy to be told that I had a 1 in three million chance of blood clots and 92% protection against infection.

After I had my jab - which was done so well that I didn't even feel it (which made me happy because I hate needles), there was the 15 minute waiting time.  When I had my first jab it was so much quieter that this area full of chairs for people to wait was just empty space.  But it was busier this week.  I had to check in using my phone for the QR code about 3 times.  On my third check in I could not find my phone and was relieved when the staff member produced it because someone had handed it in.  Phew!  It took me about an hour to go through the whole process including waiting times.  Which was much better than a colleague who took 2.15 hours the following day at a health centre.

On the way out, there is a selfie wall.  I would have preferred a selfie with the gorgeous murals but I understand there are privacy concerns about the people who are being vaccinated.  I was really pleased to get my second jab as it was that day that my brother also got his 2nd jab, which meant all my parents and siblings are now double vaccinated.  In the same week my 19 year old niece and 12 year old (Irish) nephew had their first vaccination.  So now the next generation of my family is starting to be vaccinated.

It is a great feeling to be fully vaccinated.  Especially as covid cases are rising in Melbourne (65 today) and the exposure sites are growing at an alarming pace.  There are too many around me in familiar places.  In fact on Friday a friend told me that our local supermarket was an exposure site.  I was sent a screen shot of the times I had been there and advice it was tier 1.  I had terrible visions of 2 weeks in isolation not leaving the house and then the fear that I would test positive and have to tell the dentist, the neighbours and the friends who picked up a book for their child to read.  

On Saturday morning another friend sent me a social media screen shot of time and advice it was tier 2 and I just needed to get a covid test and isolate until I had the result.  So I queued in a drive through testing site and had a man in swishy blue PPE push a stick up my nose.  When I got home and finally saw the offical time on the government exposures website, I was most displeased to find the exposure times were different to social media and to my attendance.  It was a lesson about not trusting social media and about the peace of mind a vaccination can bring.  I was so happy to get a negative result this morning and be able to ride along the newly opened Upfield bike path to enjoy a walk in the sunshine with a friend.

More gnocchi recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Baked gnocchi with radicchio, gorgonzola and walnuts
Beetroot Gnocchi with Pea Pesto
Gnocchi with Mexican corn (v)
Gnocchi with pesto and asparagus (v)
Panfried Gnocchi with Cauliflower and Peas
Truffle gnocchi (v)
Walnut and tomato pesto with gnocchi, broccoli and feta 

Cauliflower, Zucchini and Butter Bean Gnocchi
An original Green Gourmet Giraffe recipe
serves 2

250g cooked baby gnocchi
2-3 cups cauliflower florets, lightly steamed
2 cups zucchini, chopped and lightly steamed
400g tin of butter beans
1 clove garlic, crushed
olive oil
1/3 cup piemento stuffed olives, sliced
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp sour cream
juice of 1/2 lemon

Place gnocchi, cauliflower, zucchini and butter beans in a saucepan, drizzle with olive oil and mix over medium heat for about 5 minutes until warmed through.  Mix in olives, parmesan cheese, sour cream and lemon juice.  Serve warm.

On the Stereo:
Sing about Life: Tiddas

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