I just realized that I never actually posted my 2016 video on here. I spammed it everywhere else, but not on the ol’ blog. So… here it is! What an epic year it was.

My favourite clips are Feb 29th, May 12th, and May 21st. :D

This year I got myself a cider advent calendar, because… Treat Yo Self. I figured it would be a great way for me to try out a bunch of Aussie ciders and hopefully find some new favourites! It was mostly great, there was only one that I couldn’t finish (why would someone make a cider with hops in it?? blech). And it really was a fun way to count down until Christmas.

Here are my thoughts, mostly for my records. Note: I prefer very very dry ciders.

  • 1. The Hills Cider Company Apple & Ginger – quite gingery, not too sweet 7/10
  • 2. Bilpin Blush Pink Lady Cider – really tasted like pink lady, a little sweet 6/10
  • 3. The Apple Thief William Pear Cider – fine 6/10
  • 4. Pipsqueak Apple Cider – not too sweet, yum 8/10
  • 5. Woolshed Utopia Hard Lemonade – not too sweet, but not a cider! 6/10

  • 6. Napoleone Apple Cider – standard, not too sweet 8/10
  • 7. James Squire Orchard Crush Pear Cider – tasty 7/10
  • 8. Batlow Premium Cider – pretty dry 8/10
  • 9. Pagan Cider Apple –  nice 8/10
  • 10. Crushed Pear Aussie Cider –  generic, bleh 5/10

  • 11. Treehouse Cider – nice 9/10
  • 12. Tuckerbox Premium Apple Cider – also nice 8/10
  • 13. The Apple Thief Pink Lady Cider – meh 7/10
  • 14. Willie Smiths Farmhouse Perry – different 6/10
  • 15. Batlow Cloudy Cider – good 7/10

  • 16. Golden Axe Apple Cider – Jemma drank this one ?/10
  • 17. James Squire Orchard Crush Apple Cider – one of my pub favourites 9/10
  • 18. Australian Brewery The Fresh Press Cider – kinda gross 5/10
  • 19. Crisp Draught Aussie Cider – fine I guess 7/10
  • 20. Pagan Cider Cherry – I don’t like cherries 4/10

  • 21. Woolshed Brewery Utopia Apple & Pear Cider – literally tastes like juice 7/10
  • 22. The Hills Cider Company Hop Edition – why would I want a cider that tastes like beer 0/10
  • 23. Napoleone Cloudy Cider – not too sweet, nice 8/10
  • 24. Willie Smith Bone Dry Apple Cider – very dry! 8/10
  • 25. Forbidden Fruit Cider Original (unpictured) – smelled like body odour 4/10

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.


“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


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.