A new thing I have been trying out here is dumpster diving. Before I tried it I had the same idea that I am sure many of you have – the image of opening up bin bags and rooting around between someone’s half eaten curry and Sunday lunch leftovers for that one still edible banana that got thrown away. Pretty grim right?
In reality its nothing like that. You only dumpster dive in places where you are going to get a decent haul – supermarket, shops and market bins – so there is rarely any going through normal rubbish. As it is I have only been dumpstering in Queen Vic Market, where stall holders sometimes even leave stuff out for us. It is genuinely awful how much edible food is left. Last week I managed to get four broccoli heads and there were so many more left its tragic. There are always tomatoes. I’ve got garlic, bread, lemons, salad, avocado…. Truly all sorts from the market.
However, I am not here to talk about the boring everyday dumpster diving finds but the fun ones. My friend was going past an independent bakery when she saw them throwing out a whole entire box (one of those really big cardboard boxes) full of laminated dough. This was the plastic bag full of pastry that I got from her:
This was about a sixth of the original amount. I made over 50 pastries and I still have more in the freezer. It was fun to be able to make up some pastries without all the hard work (and money!) that goes into laminated dough. So, truly, you never know what amazing stuff you will find if you don’t keep an eye out.
I can’t believe I’ve been here for 2 months already! And been at uni for nearly 6 weeks, when everyone at home still hasn’t started yet. Crazy times! I feel like every month though I’m going to feel like this. So, without further ado:
I’m massively enjoying getting settled into my new flat. And cooking for myself again! Although I have become vegetarian so that is a new experience in and of itself. As many of you know I have many ideas about things but don’t end up doing them so I still have bits and pieces to finish/start in my room….Better get on that soon 🙂
I have had a very settled month – it really feels like things are becoming a bit more ‘normal’ but with the occasional wtf I’m in Australia. Its nice to have fairly regular plans.
The weather is starting to get warmer….I’m still wearing a coat but hopefully not for too much longer.
Job hunting….enough said!
The one downside of feeling more settled is that its also very easy to ‘waste’ time so to seak so this month I need to challenge myself to make better use of the time I have off – which is quite a lot actually!
Favourite Day Out: Well it was basically a gorgeous weekend when I went to both Toolangi and to an Oxjam gig.
Favourite Food: I haven’t been brunching so much this month (or maybe not taking as many pictures). I did have a fabulous nutella cheese cake the other week though – by the time the phone came up all that was left was a bite:
Thinking: About travel plans – I’m off to Canberra and Sydney at the end of the month!
Song of the moment: I had a great night in by myself watching Hairspray so…. ‘It’s Hairspray’ from the musical Hairspray!
This brunch came about solely because I was too lazy to cross the road to the supermarket for bread. I then decided I wanted to put off my essay and cook breakfast so pancakes was an obvious plan. Unfortunately I also didn’t have any milk so I google-fu’d my way to this recipe. I needed a smaller portion, plus I never add sugar to my pancake recipes (I find that toppings are enough) so I edited down to this bad boy below.
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup of water
1/2 tbsp oil
I whisked this all together with a fork and then cooked them up using a cooking spray. Add some Greek yogurt, honey and almonds and you have a protein rich breakfast without any of the savoury.
If you are bothered about these things – and I am – they came out at 28 cals per pancake, making 8 from the mixture. They definitely aren’t sweet and don’t have much of a flavour in and of themselves, but I’m more than happy to slap on the toppings.
I am part of the Melbourne Uni Food Co-op at uni and it is a wonderful space. Cheap, good food. Bulk buying….They even have veg boxes. As a move to develop the space as being about more than just food, the collective has decided to introduce workshops. So yesterday I went to a Sourdough making workshop run by one of the bakers Maikeli. Sadly, my phone died so I didn’t get any action shots, but I already have my starter grafting away in my fridge, so I will show you more soon.
As it is, Maikeli had made a loaf the day before, so our first step was to put that in the oven and we were able to try it at the end of the workshop. We then made up a dough and were able to take that home with us to start our own bega and make up a mini loaf. I decided to fashion it into a forcaccia. This turned out rather yummy and I happily nommed away while watching Mad Max.
Apologies for the particularly poor pictures this week – my phone isn’t great at the best of times and was feeling especially unhappy yesterday!
The sun was shining as a friend and I walked to the Oxjam gig in Abbotsford on Sunday. It was the first time when I actually started to get the feeling that Australia is a generally warmer country than the UK, as we had 16C in the middle of winter.
It was the perfect day to sit out in the sun, drink a few beers and listen to some music. And this is what Oxjam provided us all with, on a rooftop to boot. It is definitely one of my dreams to live in a place one day which has a rooftop garden. Sadly they are somewhat hard to come by in the UK but it will provide impetus for gallivanting abroad no doubt.
Last week was crazy busy. I moved house. I did a presentation in class. I organised a bake sale. I helped cook a veggo meal. And it looks set to continue – I’m off to a gig this afternoon, I have my first essay to hand in, I have several birthdays and nights out. All of these things are good things, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I’ve been on high in the tumble dryer for quite some while.
So it was wonderful to go out yesterday to Toolangi Rainforest in Victoria. It is an incredibly beautiful place and it was wonderful to get out of the city. The air was so fresh and clean. I. Could. Just. Breathe. While not exactly what I expected – it is a cold climate rainforest after all – it was much more lush than any forest I’ve been to before. If you are in the Melbourne region I would definitely recommend driving out for a trip.
Unfortunately Toolangi did have its dark side. There have been unsustainable logging practices carried out, particularly since the Black Friday fires, which are threatening the habitiat of the endangered Leadbeater’s Possum. These creatures need the old trees (around 150 years) with hollows to provide habitat for them. Unfortunately, despite the destruction of so many trees in the fires, the logging companies want the same amount of output, meaning that they are using much less sustainable practices. The carers of the rain forest are campaigning to have the area recognised and protected as a national park. If you would like to find out more or support the establishment of Great Forest National Park please follow THIS link.
Some photos from my day trip along the west coast of Port Phillip Bay. We managed to get to Torquay (and break down of course!) which is the start of the great ocean road. Can’t wait to do the whole thing some time this year.
Time flies! I can’t quite believe I’ve already been in Melbourne for a complete month. It genuinely only seems like yesterday when I was running around trying to sort out my 21st party and panic packing. I’ve had so much fun this month, traveling to new places, meeting new people and getting to know a whole different world. I’m even enjoying uni, although I have a LOT of reading to do at the moment. So here’s my monthly round up (I’ve also basically stolen the format from The Student Travels so go check them out!):
Walking around the city, particularly the suburbs of Fitzroy and Carlton, and starting to get a feel for the place. I love that I can round pretty much any corner and come across some graffiti or an interesting shop
I’m really enjoying all my modules so far. As I said before they are all very reading heavy and its been a bit of a pain to get concentrating but the content is all fascinating.
My birthday 🙂 I was a bit nervous before I came because I was worried that I wouldn’t know anyone and I would spend the day alone…and…and… I actually haven’t put together a blog post yet but I went out for brunch with a great group of people then partied my way into the night!
I still haven’t found a house yet. And it sucks massively. I can’t properly concentrate on anything because I keep worrying about viewing housing or sending messages. Hopefully I will find somewhere soon.
I also haven’t met many Australians. Such is the way of a year abroad that I mostly spend time with other international students so it gives a slightly warped view of Melbourne. On the plus side though, they are all lovely and want to have a good time!
Favourite Day Out: I also having blogged about this yet (slacker!) but I had a great day out last Sunday with a few friends who had a car. We drove down to Geelong and then along the coast some to Torquay. The sea was utterly magical and peaceful. Favourite Food: I actually think my favourite meal was my first brunch out at Young Blood’s Diner. While there its also nice and easy to hop over to the Rose Street Market. Feeling: Cautiously optimistic about finding a house soon…
Thinking: About all the feminism. Two Gender Studies classes this term wo/man!
The great thing a out living in a city is that there is always something going on. On Monday this, like many of my favourite things in life, involved food – free food. The team at Oz harvest had put together a free lunch using reclaimed food, to highlight the amount of food waste in Australia and world wide.
Its pretty shocking to learn that around 1/3 of food produced for human consumption is thrown away every year. Especially when confronted with the fact that so many people live in poverty. It really challenges me to think about the best way to buy and create food – while simultaneously tucking into a yummy lunch.
It has already come to the attention of my new friends that I like food very much. Anyone following my blog probably already knows that as well. And because tradition is always a good thing, a second Sunday brunch occurred.
This time we went to Industry Beans. I thought it was a bit more expensive than last week but I’m still trying to work out what ‘decent’ prices are. It was an incredibly hipster cafe, right up to the fact that we the herbal teas were serves with artfully placed, but completely useless, herbs in a jar – both us and a pair of girls also at the cage had to double check what we were supposed to do with them…..
Anyway I had beans and quinoa with a poached egg, avocado and tomatoes. The real innovation of this dish though was that they had green and red chilli’s in it. The green chilli’s were a bit too spicy for my liking but the red chilli’s were beautifully sweet and perfect. Totally blew my mind as a food idea!
We then went off to explore a few if the venues of Open House Melbourne, which opened up many of the buildings so that one could see the architecture. We went and saw the living wall of the Medibank building.
The most interesting place however was the Docklands Community Library. It was beautifully designed with lots of wood cladding, photography exhibition etc. but it just had so much going on. A 3-d printer, games rooms, cafe and so on. I’ve already signed up for a free robotics class!
Pancakes at the Pancake parlour then completed the day – a lovely day to end the holidays as lectures start today. Ta-Ra,