Green Papaya Salad

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Brisbane is in the humid sub-tropics. Word on the street is that there are over 300 days on sunshine a year up here. Feels about right. Of course, it being the sub-tropics, in the summertime those sunshine-y days are interspersed with raging thunderstorms and torrential rains. Since we moved here, there were the crazy floods during the summer of 2011 that saw the Brisbane River break its banks and wreak all kinds of havoc, then the wild storms that hit us last year smashing windows and roofs and cutting off power to half of Brisbane, and this weekend just past two massive cyclones hit the Queensland Coast pulling houses into the ocean and devastating the mid-coast.

We were lucky here in Brisbane. The cyclones petered out before reaching us. What we did get, though, were the rains. At the moment damp is everywhere. It’s infiltrated the foundations. At first the cool weather was a welcome break from the blazing sunshine. But soon the wet started to take over. S and W went walking on Friday morning just after the cyclones made landfall – W now has a cold and S’s sandals sprouted a fine covering of pale green mold overnight. The water has seeped in under the house and through the floor, soaking the rug. Nothing dries; our towels are perpetually damp, as is the washing. Mold has started growing on the walls. Everything smells… wet. Continue reading “Green Papaya Salad”

Roast Veges & Millet with Thyme Lime Pesto

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How did it get late so soon?
– Dr. Seuss

Time is a tricky friend. It speeds up and slows down with no accounting. Some mornings stretch into a peaceful endlessness, only for evening to come around in the blink of an eye. Other days hours pass by so fast that breakfast suddenly becomes bedtime. Some days all of the plans to do this and that fall by the wayside. Other days so much gets done, with time to spare. It’s the ebb and flow, I guess. Continue reading “Roast Veges & Millet with Thyme Lime Pesto”

Turmeric & Ginger Juice

turmeric-ginger-juice-lime

Ubud has a whole raw, organic, health food thing going on. Fueled, I imagine, mostly by the expat community and the tourists coming through, the town has yoga studios, health food stores, organic restaurants, and raw food cafes. While I generally eschewed the raw food restaurants in favour of actual Balinese food, one of the health food drinks on most of the menus, which I love, wass turmeric juice. It was prepared in different ways in different places – sometimes as part of a smoothie, other times just as a juice.

For the last year or so I’ve been loving this turmeric tea of a morning. At the moment though, Brisbane is going through a crazy heat wave. Too hot to be drinking hot drinks. But I wanted to keep drinking my turmeric tea, so I recreated the cold versions that I drank all through Ubud. It is actually really easy to make – it is just a matter of preparing the ‘syrup’ ahead of time, and away you go. The style of turmeric juice I enjoyed the most in Ubud included a mixture of coconut water and lime juice, which I’ve replicated here. Continue reading “Turmeric & Ginger Juice”

Soba Noodle Salad

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It’s been rather an unusual weekend. For starters, Brisbane has been in the midst of a crazy heatwave (it is still 36°c and it is 7:30pm in the evening as I write this). Our lovely Queenslander house atop the hill usually stays pretty cool, but on a weekend like this, with not much of a breeze to speak of, it is like living in a sauna. Plus being seven months pregnant doesn’t help the situation at all. So basically it has been too hot to go out, and too hot to stay in.

The second thing that made the weekend unusual was the fact that Brisbane is hosting the G20 summit. We live only a few minutes walk from where all the action is going down, and between the police presence, the near-constant helicopters, and the road blockages, going out was a bit of a saga. S did have to head into the city on Saturday morning and alas, a trip that shouldn’t have taken more than an hour ended up taking almost three as Obama was driving through to the summit centre right at that very moment, and S got caught in the street shutdown. Continue reading “Soba Noodle Salad”