Saturday, December 31, 2011

Little mini fur pigs

Why didn't anyone tell me how cutes these little critters are?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Salted brown butter biscuits

I spent all christmas calling these salted caramel biscuits. Turns out I was wrong. Maybe it was all the butter going to my head - because I just can't stop eating these biscuits... which is okay because they cover about 1 food group - dairy, oh and energy (is that a food group?). Recipe found by chance from here: Best biscuits ever.

Here is the recipe as modified by me.
250 grams unsalted butter
130 grams dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste
350 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons Fleur de Sel de Guérande or Murray River Salt

Preheat the oven to 180℃.  Line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper.  
Cut the butter into pieces and Place butter in a saucepan over a low heat.  Melt the butter and cook until it starts to brown and gives off a warm, nutty aroma.  Stir from time to time to make sure the butter browns evenly.  Remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl.   Set aside to cool slightly and then refrigerate until it starts to set again but is not too firm.  
Add the sugar and vanilla to the browned butter and whisk or beat until very light and fluffy and the sugar is dissolved.
Finally, add the flour and salt and mix to form a soft dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (don't go any longer - I did and ended up with cement like discs)
Roll out the pastry to about 4mm thickness and cut into cookies using your favourite cookie cutter. Place the cookies on the baking sheets and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Prior to baking, lightly sprinkle a little extra Fleur de Sel de Guérande or other salt on each cookie.  You can lightly press the salt into the cookie to make sure it adheres to the dough properly but do this gently.   Bake the cookies for about 10 – 12 minutes.  You may need to rotate the sheets half way through baking to make sure they brown evenly.  They will be a golden colour when cooked. Remove from the oven and leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.   Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Homemade soft flour tortillas

I used a mix of wholemeal and white flour:
3 cups self raising flour
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons olive oil
Extra flour for rolling
Mix the ingredients in a bowl, and roll little balls of dough - about the size of a peach
Put some flour on a board and roll out your thin tortillas. Cook on a non stick fry pan - about 40 seconds each side. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas #3

I usually have a third Christmas on boxing day with my brother, sister in law and Frank. This year we'll miss this dude.

Before and after - christmas lights


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I was given a bike for my birthday, well 80% of a bike, in a big big box.  

A friend of mine helped me put it together of a few lunch breaks, and now I'm part of a rad bike gang.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Fighting League Album Launch

Last night The Fighting League launched their album Tropical Paradise at the Phoenix in Canberra. The clips are shot on a super 8 which I then treated to look like they were shot on a sony cybershot without any lighting.  Maybe watch the videos with your eyes closed. First is Assassins 88 supported covering the Fighting League (She Takes Medicine). The second one is The Fighting League covering Bruce Springsteen.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's hard when friends break up with you

I gave this to someone who doesn't like to hang around with me no more. I hope she still likes hanging around with deery lou. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Seasons somethings

So I tried to get into the spirit of the holiday season and I put up my tree. Well a tree. Well a series of copied bits of paper to represent a tree. I showed it to the gypsy girl in London, who pointed out that while I was trying to get into the holiday spirit, I had placed my christmas tree where it would be completely blocked due to the placement of my front door. I could move it....but I probably won't.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Elvis is not a noob, but sometimes I am

I'm thinking of entering the art competition as part of the Elvis Festival held at Parkes. This is where I would normally include the link, but I'm doing this one on the fly and you may have observed, posts have been a bit infrequent of late for a number of reasons for which I won't bore you. Geez after all that I could have just linked....What a *noob!

So thinking about my awesome Elvis artwork, I remembered a previous drawing that is too hideous not to share. I believe it was around year 9 in high school...picture with dog is purely to indicate scale.

* noob is my new favourite word courtesy of a non noob work friend. It means noob.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Porn for women


I had dinner with the Russian gypsy last night. This shouldn't get confused with the other two gypsy friends I have, because this third one is a real gypsy.

Anyway we were talking about crushes, and you know...I have not had a solid crush since the Belgium...actually that is a lie because there was one other crush but we don't talk about him (Taffy Bubblegum especially does not talk about him). Taffy performed valiantly as a wing man on that one, but it just wasn't meant to be.

So as we were swapping crush stories, it became apparent that she had no idea about the Belgium. Which is odd, because nearly all my friends at some stage have gone to Fyshwick Markets so that they could see the Belgium. Have I ever told you about the Belgium? Worlds most misdirected crush. The Belgium and I flirted madly over deli items for months. Spoke in German from time to time...talked about food and truffle infused cheese. Turned out he lived around the corner from the yellow house, and he would ride past my house on his rickedy bike...oh heart be still. Then, as a result of some sleuthing, it was discovered the Belgium is gay. A nice gay man who likes to be charming. Damn you Belgium!

It is sad to be crushless, so the Russian is hell bent on finding me one - though after her story I'm not to sure. It went like this. "I had a crush on a man for weeks, and then one day I put on my glasses and it turns out he was old".

Monday, November 28, 2011

Top 100 - Be Mine, Robyn # 7

Story by Anon

I love this song. In fact I love this whole album. I listened to the album a lot for basically my entire HSC year. The album and song have a certain amount of specialness on that basis alone, Year 12 is a good year. 

But that's not the end. There's a girl (there's always a girl, isn't there?). 

This girl was pretty special. We went to primary school together, I guess I had a little crush on her even then. We were friends in primary school, for as much as that means. But things happen. I hadn't seen her between Year 6 and Year 11 and then happened to stumble upon her at the end of Year 11 at a train station. 

I was getting on the train back to school, she was picking a friend up from the station. She'd just been named School Captain, I was on my way back to be be named prefect (a rank lower than school captain, but my school was better so let's call it even).I was wearing a uniform with blazer, she was wearing a flowery dress. I was pretty excited to be honest. We chatted. It was nice.

For some reason it didn't occur to us to swap phone numbers. Like six months later or thereabouts we 'friended' on Bebo.  Then we reconnected in earnest. Chatting heaps, texting, whatever it is that teens do on their various forms of social media.

We then met up in the last holidays of Year 12. Our first meeting was at some temporary ice skating ring (why it was there I will never know). It was rad.  We hung out heaps, cruising around as 18 year olds do. Went to gigs, parties etc. 

Went back to school for the final bit. Then, post HSC, we spent a lot of time together. Almost everyday we'd be hanging out. We'd be out 4 or 5 nights a week. We played pool regularly during the day, there were a lot of parties on. I don't know exactly what we did, but there was a lot of it. Yeah we were pretty tight there for a while.

I guess I played the role of 'best male friend who wishes it was more than that' to cliched perfection. I could never work out if she was 'interested' in me or not. And I really did find her friendship to be very important and didn't want to fuck anything up.

She drove five hours with me to go to a New Year's / 21st party in Wellington. We hooked up that night. In that most innocent of ways - we kissed. 

She was moving to Melbourne like one week later, I was also moving a couple of weeks later. Nothing eventuated. We never even talked about it again.We kept in contact for a while after moving. Initially a lot. When I realised that Robyn was coming to Australia I was crazy excited. We went to the gig together in Melbourne.

This is where the song comes back in.

It was a pretty small venue, absolutely packed, with my then favourite artist playing, hangin'  with one of my favourite people. So that was a pretty good moment. But at this point I'd pretty much come to terms with 'us' as not going to happen. And Robyn played Be Mine. I loved this song.

I'm not one who listens to lyrics that closely, so having reviewed them prior to writing this it seems I was probably desperately clinging to any sense of relevancy, but if you extract just a few lines, as 18 year old me did in his mind, it certainly seemed pertinent:

Just a sweet pain of watching your back as you walk away / As I'm watching you walk away...There's a moment to seize every time that we meet / But you always keep passing me by / But you never were and you never will Be Mine.

When I hear this song I still think about her a bit. Not a vivid specific memory. More conceptual.

Artwork by Karin

Tropical Punk

It's true. Tropical Punk hits JJJ. Read how the Fighting League began their band as they saw a major need for society to understand the full consequences of sexual driven tropical PUNKS...all from Canberra the tropical capital of the entire world. The Fighting League, Triple J unearthed artist of the week:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

All horsies go to heaven

A little while ago my friends horse died, and on that day I walked past my fridge and spied this little painting I did a few years ago. I meant to post it earlier for my gypsy friend and her horse....but here it is now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Top 100 - Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana # 6

Story by Alex

My first ever surf trip we camped on the beach at Bicheno. It was cold, it rained, the tide washed away our stuff while we were asleep, the campfire burnt down our tent and sleeping bags ... and we listened to Nirvana and drank vodka to keep warm.

Artwork by Karin

Bill Cunningham - New York

Do you know anything about Bill Cunningham? I didn't, and my goodness what a story about a wonderful, gentle, inspiring and generous man. Credit to Richard Press who captured Bill with the sensitivity he deserves. A wonderful documentary - go see it at the cinema for this film is a thing of beauty.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Balloons and confetti make me happy

Who cares that it was like the gig in 2009. I could see this show once a year for the rest of my life and be mesmerised with happiness each and every time. Such a thing of beauty, the sky raining with colour, and beautiful lyrics filling the air. The Flaming Lips are generous, creative souls and there is a lot to be said for spending your life making people happy.

Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun don'-go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round