Christmas

Another year eh?

By all accounts it was a good one this year. I got some peace and quiet. Sure I had the parental obligations but apart from that, I got my summer hibernation.

Sydney is really too hot for turkey. But I just had to do it. My first turkey roast ever.

p1030943

Pretty good for a first attempt I reckon. Though now I’ve come to the conclusion I really don’t dig it that much. And it has nothing to do with dad’s salty but otherwise tasteless rolls of meat he gets from the supermarket every year. Turkey is actually that tasteless. I skipped the brining so at least I’m not dying from sodium overload. Jointing a turkey seems easier than a chicken, but the connective tissue is tough. Not a fan. And the weird thing is I never realised there was such an obvious distinction between light and dark meat on a turkey. Chicken is much more subtle.

So the past few days have been either cooking, eating or dreaming about food. I dreamt someone made a salmon sashimi cake and damned if I didn’t want it when I woke up. It’s not as gross as it sounds. Just a whole heap of salmon arranged into a round cake shape. Man to have that much sashimi… *drooling*

Apart from food I managed to snag myself an early xmas present a few weeks ago. Gotta love them Black Friday sales from across the seas.

p1030940

Such a fancy box. The device isn’t half bad itself. But man the bargain price… about US$250 inc shipping. Sorely in need of a tablet upgrade for a while. 1.5gb of RAM just doesn’t cut it these days. Especially when you have multiple tabs open on Firefox. The damn thing just keeps crashing.

p1030941

I think my main petpeeve with all the 8inch tablets these days is hardly anyone does 16:9 screens anymore. I want to hold it properly in one hand damnit. That and bezels. The fact that this one has thin ones makes it perfect. The screen is nice and sharp. The fingerprint sensor is a novelty, my phone still doesn’t have one. Great speakers. Awesome battery. Only thing that annoys me is EMUI but nothing a new launcher won’t fix. I haven’t gotten around to rooting just yet. Can’t decide if I want to go down that route or not. These days since most things are customisable it’s becoming less and less relevant. The perks of having control and managing backups still has me on the fence. But more so for a phone than a tablet so I guess I’ll see when I upgrade the phone.

Have to put it the Huawei. Maybe it was prejudice but I never did expect to see something of this quality. Still can’t get over how well put together the box is. Though it did take me forever to find the screen protector.

p1030942

Seriously, of all places you snuck it there? Well it was a pretty good hiding spot I have to admit.

So now all that xmas-ey stuff is over. Only a couple more days until the end of the year. Yay? I haven’t decided yet…

Advertisements

Harvest

Is it still called a harvest when you get produce one at a time? The tomatoes are slow at ripening. And the plant I think is dying from the crazy high 30s temp we’ve had recently. I’m trying to remember to water often but hey who has time for all that? Obviously not me who keeps making excuses. But look…

P1030902

I did get something. And aren’t they so cute… Must say having better luck with the strawberries. They seem to cope better with some neglect. Even watering every few days I’m getting a whole heap of flowers sprouting up.

P1030907

The strawberries coming out aren’t huge. Nor are they super sweet. But they do pack a punch with flavour which is awesome.

P1030908

Check out that nice blush. It is a bit slow collecting as I’m getting one every few days. Definitely not at a rate fast enough to make anything out of it. Hopefully the next batch of flowers will fruit at the same time. Not that things ever do what I want. Take for instance the sweet potato I was going to bake.

P1030903

Umm ok then… sure go nuts sprouting. Figured I may as well take advantage and chuck a few eyes in a pot. Not quite sure how sweet potato grows in pots. I’m guessing not that well considering my pots ain’t that big but gotta be better than nothing I suppose. Apparently the leaves are edible so there’s always that.

For some reason I though herbs would be easy to grow. I’m not sure if it’s the heat or me forgetting to water but they don’t thrive. They sprout up for a bit, grow a few cms and then nothing. The basil is doing a bit better than the coriander and parsley but not by much. Sigh, I suppose on that note I should go and water something.

Growing Stuff

So since the last post I’ve been trying not to kill things. But I think the crazy heat fried the cucumber plant plus I had these little mite thingies that demolished all the leaves so yeah, I give up on cucumbers. On the plus side I have strawberry flowers!

P1030898

I guess time will tell if I get berries. I think I got a single berry last year. Though at least the plant made it through winter and it’s still alive. And I got it for something ridiculous like $2 because someone marked it as “potted colour” instead of strawberry plant.

The tomato plant is sprouting like crazy and then I spotted this.

P1030899

I really did not need presents. Especially not in the form of caterpillar poop. It does actually look kind of gross. This is coming from someone that normally extends out the 3 second rule to about half a minute and half the time can’t be bothered washing hands before eating. Well I washed my hands today.

P1030900

I spotted the cheeky bastard hoeing into my leaves. Well he was one of two. Both got to keep their stash of leaves as I snipped them off and threw them over the balcony. Go eat someone else’s tomatoes. But talk about perfect camouflage, took a while to find even though I knew it had be somewhere above the droppings. I suppose him moving around a nibbling on the leaves helped to give him away.

P1030901

They’re tiny and green at the moment. They haven’t really changed in size for a week. I wonder if I’m going to have a chance to eat them before something else does. Or the plant dies. Or god knows what. Meh I’ll just call it practice for when I eventually get it right. Trying for some more rocket and spinach as well. Since I kind of forgot to water the last batch enough. I’m hoping if I sink terracotta pots into a tray with a few cm of water it can kinda self water for a while. If not I’m buying a bag of rocket and spinach leaves from the shop.

So far 2016 is shaping up to be ok.

Hibernating With Onions

Hibernating… so hibernating… I would never survive anywhere that had temps in single digits longterm. Hell I can’t even stand it for the several weeks of really cold winter. I can barely stand “mild” winter. God, I’m hopeless. If I’m ever rich, I vote changing hemispheres every 6 months. Or just have in floor heating. Like I get how pretty snow is but oh my god, if I ever had to deal with a season of it, I’d rather literally hibernate. As it is, when I’m not working I’m spending almost 12hrs in bed. I have a massive pet peeve with not being able to feel my toes and fingers. So bed means from neck down I’m warm and toasty. At times when I feel like suffocating, my head is also warm and toasty.

So yeah, currently I either stay under a blanket, near the heater or keep the stove on. And since I ended up with a kilo of onions it seemed like the right time to huddle over the stove for about an hour.

P1030889P1030890

Who knew that a bunch of boring white onions could turn into something that smells and tastes so damn good?

P1030891

I guess all you have to do is add the word caramelized in front of anything and that makes it awesome. But it’s true. I may or may not have gone through half the jar in a week. Makes the kitchen smell real good too. At least now I know what to do the next time I find buying a bag of onions is cheaper than just buying two of them. Which is kind of the same problem I’m having with tomatoes as well. I suppose a pot of bolognese is in order. Maybe the next time I’m in need of warming my hands.

Peanut Butter Pie

To whoever first thought about putting peanuts and chocolate together, thank you. You are awesome.

P1030888

And to whoever doesn’t love the peanut choc combo, well you’re missing out. More for me. I picked up a pie dish just cause it was on sale. So naturally I had to make something in it to justify buying it. Unfortunately I don’t really have an excuse to justify eating it. Well I didn’t eat all of it by myself. I did share.

Though soon it’s going to be more hot pie weather. Dreading the end of autumn. Mid autumn is cold enough thank you very much. Can’t quite work out how I’ll survive winter. Yes melodramatic much. I survived last year, no reason not to survive this year. And end of daylight savings has made it marginally easier to get up when it’s not dark in the morning. Though that’ll change over the next few weeks. Why is hibernation not a legit lifestyle choice?

I really should learn not to complain about winter. Considering I do it every year. Bad habits die hard I guess. Only good thing about winter is the snuggling in bed part. Everything else just plain sucks. Well, maybe a hot apple pie don’t suck that much. One can keep dreaming…

Burning The Food Processor Out

Ok fine I didn’t. But I started with this:

P1030873

Half a kilo of cashews ready to be pulverished into mush.

P1030876

Of course you need to get past the rock hard concrete stage. So watching the food processor whir around getting stuck and spinning slower and slower while it got hotter and hotter. But damn it was worth it.

P1030878

I’m a sucker for peanut butter and would do anything for it. But cashew nut butter is awesome in it’s own right. I could just keep licking this off a spoon. And well ok… I have been. It’s not quite as smooth and creamy as commercial peanut butter but still damn good. And cashews have that slightly sweet more subtle taste to it compare the full on hit of peanuts.

I’ve got another half kilo of cashews sitting in the pantry. I’m thinking of trying hazelnuts next. Mmm homemade nutella. Damnit now I’m hungry just thinking about it.

Ugh Eggnog

Omg… I can’t believe I still have eggnog. Ok you know what, the rest of it is going down the sink. I give up.

P1030871

Though I suppose at least that still looks heaps better than them failed cookies. They were embarrassing. And yet I still managed to offload them at work. Well, there you go.

Also, how did we manage to get to February already? I can’t work out if that’s a good or bad thing. Good that I’ve already gotten through another month of work this year without killing myself. Bad in that… are you kidding me that there’s only 4 weeks of summer left?!?!?!

My balcony is still as bare as ever. Except that mini lime tree I bought right after the new year sales. Surprisingly it’s still alive. Strangely enough. I have a bloody black thumb here. Even my aloe vera plant which is meant to be tough and hardy is looking a little tired. It has never been the same since Sherlock knocked it down and had a chomp on it sometime last year. It’s not dying but it just isn’t quite thriving either. And none of the pups it produced ever made it. Kinda sucks as I was hoping was little baby aloe vera by now. Guess not.

So right. Game plan. Need to go get me some reed screen to cover my ugly balcony. And knock together a frame for covering the ugly air con. Yeah, everything is ugly around here. But come autumn I’m gonna get me a pretty balcony.