it's about life, my life, quilts, midwifery, and whatever else occurs to me.

13 January 2009

I said Do you speak-a my language?

In my recent post discussing brekky in Oz, I neglected the most important breakfast item of all: Vegemite. It's not just for breakfast, of course, but it's frequently offered with toast. And just to be clear: I have NOT tried it.

11 January 2009

Time to shop

Since we're moving into our new and unfurnished house on Thursday, it was time to buy a few necessary items. I did my homework ( and off I went to The Good Guys, our local Best Buy equivalent. Ordered our washer & dryer, and came home with our new microwave, toaster, electric kettle, iron and hand mixer. The coffee machine, vacuum cleaner and possibly food processor are yet to be acquired. Prices are well below retail; these good guys do deals!

I also found Homemaker City, a wonderland of big-box stores selling sleep sets, furniture, BBQs (yes, there are whole stores devoted to the BBQ), lighting, curtains, carpeting, housewares, etc. And this shangri-la is right down the road from DFO -- Direct Factory Outlets -- that looks like it will take another whole day to discover thoroughly...

The Oz series, #1: food/breakfast

I've been giving some thought to what people might actually want to know about life here in Oz, from the warped perspective of a Yank of a certain age. I've decided to do a series of posts on everyday items or experiences, starting with food.

Let's take it meal by meal and then we'll do snacks, perhaps with a trip to the supermarket.

Breakfast: anyone who knew me well enough in Cambridge knew I was a big, big fan of maple oatmeal scones from Darwin's Ltd. I'd have bite-size shredded wheat, Grape-Nuts, or granola some mornings, but I had a serious 4 to 5 scone a week habit. Sometimes, it would be bagels on a Sunday morning, or cinnamon rolls at Carberry's.

Here, you can get a pretty decent croissant and pain au raisin (French boulangerie style) in some of the local bakeries. Scones, however, are limited to the English/Bisquick style with raisins or sometimes dates & raisins. Muffins exist but are not very appealing visually. Donuts -- worse than Dunkin. As for bagels, I'm told you can get decent ones in Melbourne but they haven't made it to Brisbane yet.

I recently discovered unsweetened big (not bite size) shredded wheat -- all the minis have sugar added (go Kellogg's) -- at the supermarket. My vote for favorite breakfast item is cafe-style raisin toast. The cafes all serve this fluffy (not Wonder-fluffy, more like Arnolds or Pepperidge Farm) raisin bread sliced thick (about 1" per slice) and toasted. You can buy this bread in the supermarket under the brand name "Mighty Soft." Toasted at home and topped with some butter & cinnamon sugar, or pb & jam (you can get Bonne Maman jam!) it's about as good as it gets. For company, I make buttermilk pancakes using a very good recipe from, accompanied by real maple syrup imported from Canada, naturally.

For breakfast ("brekky") out, beyond the aforementioned raisin toast, there will usually be muesli with yoghurt & fruit, oatmeal, and plain toast on offer. Those who want the classic Brit greasy fry-up can get it: eggs, bacon (American-style is called "streaky bacon"), hash browns, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast are the building blocks of this artery-clogger.


That could describe what I've been doing vis-a-vis this blog for the past 4 weeks. But I personally have been busy, of course. Phil & I were busy for a week on holiday at Byron Bay!