Archives for category: Food

Christmas is over for another year and we had a stuffy Christmas Eve full of food and drink, rain all of Christmas Day (both presents for the Pok and the water kind), and Boxing Day was bright and sunny. But one of the most distinct traditions we have in an Australian Summer Christmas is a night raid of the Sydney Fish Markets. The markets are open for 36 hours straight and even at 11:30PM on the 23rd of December it was heaving.

The usual suspects headed out for the raid (i.e. my wife, brother and his wife), with cool bags in tow.

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The Police were alerted to our presence and were out in full force to placate the natives for our arrival (we walk there, while others join the massive traffic jam to enter the car park marshaled by the cops).

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The prawns were overflowing with multiple hands at work to dish them out. Our raid involve acquiring a few kilograms of this stuff.

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Crustaceans of all shapes, kinds and colours were on their best display for the evening. Even with the fake camouflage they couldn’t hide.

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Some fish were feeling special too…

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Mrs Clause couldn’t help but partake in some oyster shucking.

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And to think that this row of ocean fruit would all be gone in probably a couple of hours, replaced by the next batch.

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It wasn’t just seafood on sale, the deli was flogging off its fromage.

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And they also stocked all the colours of the rainbow of bottled goodness.

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The sushi reindeer were working overtime.

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And some of the salmon sold were longer than my arm.

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Hope you all had a good Christmas!

Why is it that the lead up to Christmas is always the busiest work time? For the last four weeks and the next couple leading up to Christmas it has and will be silly busy. So I am trying to squeeze in some time to continue my blog in the lead up to the festive break. And also make some time to read my fellow blogger’s musings, photos, and posts.

But the weekend is here, and the last Pyrmont Growers Market for 2013 was held this morning. It is one of the monthly events that we love doing as a family, and on the first Saturday of every month food growers and connoisseurs descend on the grass reserve at Pyrmont out the front of the casino. Being the December market we were also on a mission – stock up for Christmas!

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It was a glorious Summer morning, and I hope we get many more of these this Summer. We weren’t the only ones to descend on the market, and it was quite busy with people both shopping and wanting to grab a quick bite to eat.

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I love going and grabbing a roll stuffed with yummy meat. Next month I am hunting down this guy with his shredded pork rolls and crackling. Our very specific food mission was to find our favourite French chef, Stephane, to put in our order for a Christmas terrine that he makes to order for pick up before the 24th. His wares are delicious!

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The market merchants weren’t just selling food and drink, but also flowers and some other decorations too.

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Most of the merchants allow you to try their goods and this is music to “The Pok’s” (AKA my son) ears. He could eat them all under the cover just in the tastings alone. And he smiles at all of them too, so they can’t resist giving him seconds. Boy does he have this game figured out – God help us when he turns into a teenager chasing girls. I got to try some Christmas pudding before the big show.

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I was thirsty and so was “The Pok”. It was hot after all. We found a stall that was selling homemade lemonade cordial, and I picked up a bottle to make myself at home (maybe with a hint of vodka when the little ones are asleep). The lady was selling takeaways too so we couldn’t help ourselves.

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Most of the merchants focus on selling fresh produce which have as much natural good stuff in it. We picked up some grain fed beef and some vegetables without all the chemicals.

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“The Pok” was having a lot of fun in the sun.

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We found one of our favourite food merchants who sell these fantastic caramelised vinegars and oils – yum.

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The colours are great too!

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They had prime position on the waterfront. What I love about these markets is that they are a good leveler between all types – the rich locals and the plebs like us.

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And while we were waiting for “Mummy of The Pok” to put the terrine order in, acrobatics were the order of the day. All of this activity still didn’t wear him out for a midday snooze.

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Now looking forward to Christmas and enjoying the delights of what we picked up. And while we are eating, I will have the opportunity to ponder how fortunate we are to be able to have some small indulges.

Summer in Australia means many things, but one thing that I love about it is outdoor dining. Sometimes this means eating out, but more often than not it means eating in and a BBQ. We are so lucky in Australia that the quality of produce that we can get our hands on is excellent, and that the majority of Australians can afford to put a meal on the table. Add to that the vast diversity of backgrounds that make up modern Australia, and you get awesome times for lovers of eating (I am not a cook – but I am a great eater). I decided to shoot off a few snaps in between tall stories when I was invited to a mid-week meal down at my Brother and Sister In-law’s place in Melbourne (see Sal, told you I would give you a mention). Good times, and my Canon Powershot G15 is proving quite adept at low-light photography. One tip, don’t get your camera too close to the BBQ – you may get splatter on the lens. BTW all the photos link through to larger images on my Flickr photostream.

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So Australia Day 2013 is nearing an end, and we have enjoyed it in true Aussie fashion. This morning we headed to Balmoral beach and splashed about in Sydney Harbour. We were blessed today with some sweltering hot Australian Summer weather. Getting back home soon after lunch allowed us to have a lazy afternoon in the heat, and there may have been a snooze in there too. The Triple-J Hottest 100 countdown was blaring over the radio as the soundtrack for the day.

We kicked off the evening with a BBQ featuring lamb sausages (because Sam Kekovich told us too). I was incredibly un-Australian because I didn’t cremate them, they were cooked just right.

 

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We are lucky in that we are walking distance to the city of Sydney, and every year on Australia Day they put on a cool firework display at Darling Harbour. Of course it pales in comparison to the New Year’s Eve fireworks over Sydney Harbour, but it is fireworks nonetheless. It did not dawn on us until we got there that this was the first time the Pok (our 2 year old son) would get to see a firework show. I was not sure whether he would be dazzled or scared – as it turned out it was very much the former. Here he is getting ready for the show (and we had to equip him with a light sword of sorts).

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Of course he would assume his regular viewing position for the show, and I have to tell you that it is a bit more difficult shooting with 15+ kg on your shoulders. He later yelled out to us “I like this Daddy, I like this Mommy!”, which brought a big smile to our faces.

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It was quite busy with thousands of other Aussie revelers around, so most of the shots I got were with other people in the foreground. I think it adds a little to the effect, and the reality was that this was a celebration for everyone to enjoy together as Australians. BTW all the photos link through to larger images on my Flickr photostream. Happy Australia Day – to all the original Australians and all the rest of us “boat” people who came after!

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Christmas Eve is upon us here in Sydney, and one of the unique Aussie traditions – a visit to the Sydney Fish Markets. Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is in the middle of summer, and instead of Turkey many of us have prawns (and lobster, crab, Balmain bugs, oysters, salmon, along with anything else that swims or drinks salt water) for Christmas dinner. So the Sydney Fish Markets are open for 36 hours straight from 6am on the 23rd of December until 6pm on Christmas Eve. It is pandemonium and the busiest day of the year for the fishmongers. The queuing is so big going into the markets that the police manage the traffic into and out of the parking lots. We are fortunate in that we are less than a 5 minute walk to the markets, and observe all the mayhem with some amusement. Normally we go to pick up our seafood at 2am on Christmas Eve, but as we were still down in Melbourne at that time we had to delay our trip to 10:30am. It was very busy at that time, with some of the fishmongers having queues 3 deep from the stalls. Many fish lovers were walking around with esky sized boxes filled to the brim with seafood and ice. I had the Pok on my shoulders, and from his vantage point he was happily eyeing up the large selection of prawns on offer. One of the blokes even indulged him and gave him a king prawn to munch one – to which he shoved the whole thing in his mouth at once, grinning from ear to ear. Here are some of the photos I shot, with him sitting on my shoulders the whole time. It brings a whole new meaning to balance and stability for your shot.

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Now I am going to finish enjoying the rum that I have in my hand, and look forward to more mayhem tomorrow morning as my son tears into the presents delivered by Father Christmas. Merry Christmas to all, and peace to all men. Joyeux Noël.

Two of my three brothers won’t be at home for Christmas, though it could be said that they are spending Christmas in their new homes and with their adopted extended families. So we decided to go and spend some time before Christmas Eve with my brother and his wife who are down in Melbourne. They live in a pretty trendy part of town and are within walking distance of the Prahran Markets. I brought my SLR along with me to see what shots I could capture and I wasn’t disappointed. The Christmas food wares were out in force for all to enjoy, and the markets presented an explosion of colour. The market has everything that a food lover and chef could ask for, from many corners of the globe. Coffee and flower lovers won’t be disappointed either. And in true Australian Christmas spirit, the best seafood was on display too – after all prawns often replace turkey for many of our Christmas dinners.

Here are a my best shots from our day trip, and I must admit that I left the market feeling very hungry. Three more sleeps to go…

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Prahran Markets #7This last shot was a bit of a surprise with the butcher turning into a phantom while plying his trade. A circular polariser filter would have fixed this, but the effect is cool.

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