I’d always wanted to try cooking an artichoke, but found it all very confusing. What part do you eat?? Scott’s dad gave me one of his homegrown artichokes to experiment with, and well, I’ve finally figured it out.

This be yer artichoke.

Pull off all the tiny leaves at the base, and discard. Also use a vegetable peeler and peel off a few layers of the stem. Cut the stem shorter too.

Use scissors and cut all the tips off of the petals. I guess sometimes they are pointy? They weren’t sharp on this babby artichoke but I still did it, I dunno.

All trimmed up.

Use a knife and cut off the whole top of the artichoke so it’s flat. Then steam it flat side down. Mine was pretty small so I only steamed it for 15 minutes, but more normal sized ones would take 20-30 minutes. You can tell when it’s done when you can easily pull out a petal.

It’s ready! To eat, you just pull off the petals, dip them in butter or aioli or whatevs (seriously, artichokes are pretty much just dip vessels) and scrape the white soft stuff with your teeth. Don’t expect to get much from the leaves.

As you get closer to the center the petals turn into these weird thin white flaps. We didn’t eat those. Just keep pulling them off.

And eventually you’ll get to the crazy looking choke part.

Thankfully you aren’t supposed to eat the hairy bit. Just scrape it off with a spoon. The part that is left is what you can buy in jars from the supermarket. This was a bit of a revelation to me.

Slice it up and you can eat that part too.

Done.

“These things are just plain annoying. After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead.” – Miss Piggy

I had a serious fish and chips on the beach craving last weekend. We were going to drive down towards Brighton, but there was a race going on and the traffic was nutso. Thankfully we live a 10 minute walk from St Kilda beach, where you can find Paper Fish, a trendy fish and chippery.

We got battered gummy and grilled blue grenadier, with chips and tartare sauce. It cost a bit more than I would have liked for the size, but it was nice quality. We especially liked the blue grenadier, and the cajun-ish seasoning on the fries.

Paper Fish Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

HULLO AGAIN.

As you probably already heard, I passed my exam. What a relief. I still think about it sometimes and revel in the amazing feeling that I don’t have to become a taxi driver.

But funny (?) story, I got another email last week from my new case officer that said “as your application deadline is rapidly approaching and you still haven’t told us if you passed your exam, do you want to withdraw your application?”. WAT!!?! I did not think that I would have to tell THEM that I passed THEIR exam. But apparently I did, and then my registration was finalized a couple hours later. Ah bureaucracy, so fun.

And then speaking of silly bureaucracy… I got a letter from the Australian Electoral Commission saying that I was not registered as voter at this address. Umm duh. So then I had to send THEM back a form telling them that I’m not a citizen! WHY ARE THESE THINGS MY PROBLEM??

I wonder what else I haven’t notified people about.

Anyway so I’m finally able to apply for jobs. I applied for all three that are posted right now. I have absolutely no clue how much competition there will be. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long for me to get a job.

It was real hot today. 35ºC. And the forecast for tomorrow… 16. Melbourne, you crazy.

Some pictures:

We had some friends over to watch hockey a few weeks ago. I made Nanaimo squares for the first time ever! They turned out DELICIOUS! Although Scott and I agree that the middle layer should be the thickest, not the bottom layer, so I would probably adjust the ratios when I make them again.

I used this recipe, but had to use smashed up cookies instead of graham cracker crumbs because they don’t exist here.

L-R: Kathy (aunt), April (niece), Brett (bro), Beau (nephew), Vicky (mum)!

April had her 3rd birthday party at a park. It was watermelon themed. There was a bbq, and footy kicking, and presents galore! I think she had a good day.

We also went to Blairgowrie for a night, way down near the tip of the Mornington Peninsula, on the other side of Port Philip Bay. We stayed with Shaun and Karen and baby Archie, and the boys went golfing one afternoon. We got to try fresh abalone that their friend caught that afternoon. I didn’t take any pictures the whole time though, whoops.

That’s all I can think of right now.

A couple weeks ago Scott and I went to Dexter in Preston for a BBQ dinner. The restaurant has a 4.9 rating on Zomato so I had very high expectations, and it lived up to them! It was delicious.

Coleslaw, brisket with bone marrow mash, pickles and slaw, pigs head croquette slider, and fried chicken slider. We ordered way too much, since I expected the sliders to be smaller.

The brisket was super duper tender and delicious. The bone marrow mash potatoes were soooooo rich and amazing, with crispy garlic on top. The slaw was fine, but we wouldn’t have ordered it if I had realized the meat would come with slaw too. Too much slaw. The pork slider was our least favourite, it was a little dry, but the fried chicken slider was a super crunchy flavour sensation, my favourite dish of the night.

If When we go back, I will order the fried chicken slider with a side of mash, and that will definitely be enough for me, as their sliders are almost full burger size!

Dexter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Apparently Scott is not sick of papaya salad, because last weekend he spent $8 on a green (unripe) papaya. We used it to make a buttload of papaya salad, with basa filet mixed in. It was incredible.

It was easy to shred the papaya with our Thai vegetable shredder thingy. And I used our pressure cooker to perfectly cook the fish and green beans in 4 minutes.

I didn’t really have a recipe, I just mixed shredded green papaya, bean shoots, steamed green beans, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, and the basa filets, plus a sauce made from lots of fish sauce and lime juice, and a bit of brown sugar, chili flakes, sesame oil and salt. It was great.

I made mango shakes to go with our papaya salad, to complete the holiday experience. Frozen mango cubes, mango juice, ice cubes, simple syrup and water blended up until it’s silky smooth. So good.

A 15 year old Melbourne kid named Morgan spends all his free time making doughnuts. School is out this week so he had a pop-up shop all week in Windsor, near where we live. I’d heard about him from a bunch of different sources so I went to check it out this morning.

I forgot my phone in the car so I couldn’t take a picture of the exact descriptions, but clockwise from the top: Cookies & Cream with custard syringe, Cinnamon Nutella, Lollies with strawberry filling, and Vanilla Chocolate Glaze with raspberry syringe.

The doughnuts are soft and fluffy, not oily at all. I liked that the glazes are made of chocolate. And the fillings are generous, there must have been a few tbsp of Nutella in the cinnamon one!! My favourite was the Cookies & Cream.

Bistro Morgan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato