About a month ago I had a very bad case of analysis paralysis. As I often do, I frantically messaged Rosemarie.

She helped me solve all my little problems, and also figure out that in general I need to:

  1. Do more new and scary things.
  2. Meet some more people.
  3. Take more advantage of only working part time while it lasts.

Isn’t she wise.

So I did! I’ve got a few new things on the go at the moment.

First I signed up for a picture framing short course through Scott’s mum’s work. I thought it might be useful because all my cross stitch projects come out in random non-standard sizes, and as a result almost all of my finished stitches are rolled up in a box under my bed instead of displayed.

The first class we learned about materials and cut mat boards, second class we cut more mat board bevels, and foam core and mounted things together. This week we cut the wood for our frames and glued them together, and the last week we cut the glass and put everything together. It was fun! I finished two frames. The instructor is very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of info. The tools to do it on my own would be a bit of an investment though.

Have you ever seen 2.5 kg plates before?? Lol.

Second I joined an Olympic weightlifting club. It is very intense and scary there. Everyone is extremely strong. There are people training for the Commonwealth Games and stuff. The first night I went, THIS GUY was there!! He is so awesome. Anyway so now I have a coach who is teaching me snatch and clean and jerk from scratch. It’s very cheap and I can go as much as I want, which is pretty cool. And everyone I’ve met so far has been very friendly. I think it will be good for me to have some goals again, now that I don’t have skeleton in my life. Hopefully I can do some local competitions at some point.

I also thought maybe I could try and cook more elaborate meals? These were homemade pork and shrimp siu mai. They were yum. I got a library card too so I could get a bunch of fancy cookbooks for some new ideas. Any ideas for labour intensive but not cost intensive meals would be very welcomed! (Just typing that out makes me realize that I should make perogies v soon, especially since they don’t really exist here.) (brb crying)

So life is very busy these days. This is good.

Next weekend I’m going to Adelaide for Cassia’s baby shower. I don’t think they actually expected me to accept the invitation but flights were only $33!!! So… YOLO, I’m going.

And then a couple days after that we go to Ottawa!!! We are very excited to escape the cold here and get some quality family/friends/cottage/Canada time in.

PS fish and chip shop deep fried Mars bars are amazing. We shared a few at work the other day. :D

 

Not dead, but yeah…

I’m just going to do a point form recap of the last couple months.

  • We went to Ballarat for an afternoon to hang out with Jono, and two fellow KJ’s, Kirsten and Kiera, who were visiting from Scotland. Was fun.
  • Jess and Michael and Ava came to visit. Twelve of us went to go see the Lego Batman movie. We took up an entire row and the movie was actually really funny.
  • Scott got his sleep apnea machine and now he doesn’t twitch every 30 seconds while sleeping.
  • Scott and I, and Jemma, Damien and April drove to Sydney for Easter weekend family shenanigans. We ate lots of delicious foods, did some touristing, lots of playing in parks, a bit of shopping. It was a fun long weekend.

A & A on the ferry to Manly.

This statue was actually burning hot.


Scott and I did a small chunk of the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. We planned on doing more but forgot about things like sunset and darkness. At least we got some nice pictures in the magic light and the part we did walk was very nice.

  • I had a pretty good interview for a full time job at a different hospital but didn’t get it. :(

  • I babysat April while Scott, Damien and Jemma went to the rugby on Anzac Day. We played some games and read some books and watched videos on the iPad. I got her to go to bed but she didn’t sleep. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Still getting the glitter from her boots out of the couch hahaha.
  • We bought a BBQ.

  • Scott got us tickets to watch footy in a VIP box through work. It was awesome!!! I drank all the free ciders and we ate all the food. Dees won too, although apparently it was a terrible quality game (didn’t notice/care). A+ would VIP box again.

  • It was also one of those rare times you get to go out on the oval when the game is done for a kick to kick. There are footies flying everywhere and it’s hella scary. But you do what you gotta do for a selfie, right?
  • Scott had a couple interviews and got a new job!!! He is much happier now. And he gets free juice!
  • I hosted a Stitch and Bitch at our (tiny) apartment. It went well though. I made (pressure cooker) pulled pork, and mac and cheese for lunch, and finished a few more squares for our granny square blanket.
  • We went to my friends 30th birthday party and ate her amazing chocolate cake and hung out with my new friends.
  • Many many trivia nights.
  • Many many yoga classes.
  • Masterchef AU started again so that’s television sorted every night. It’s on five days a week this year, but each episode is like 1 to 1.5 hours!!!!! The team challenge episode that we went to was on the other night but I couldn’t see myself. :(

I have a few more recent things to talk about but this is getting long so I will leave it for another post. It’s already written though so it shouldn’t take two months to post this time. :D

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.

Canadian Thanksgiving is long over, but I still think about the turkey we made all the time. It turned out SO GOOD. And it only took 80 minutes to roast a 16 lbs bird! Rosemarie declared that she’s never eating turkey again unless it’s spatchcocked, hahaha. Anyway since American Thanksgiving and Christmas is coming up, here we go.

Look how beautiful it turned out!!

I used the Serious Eats set of instructions. They promised that spatchcock (aka butterflied) would ensure that the breast AND thigh meat would cook at the perfect rate and result in a perfect flavourful juicy turkey.

They recommend a dry brine, which is excellent because it’s stupid easy: Wash & dry your (defrosted) turkey, mix up 1/2 cup kosher salt & 2 tbsp baking powder, sprinkle the mixture over all sides of the turkey. Leave the turkey uncovered in the fridge for 12-24 hours. That’s it.

Thanksgiving Day I picked up Leslie and some shears and we got to work. Warning! Gory raw meat pictures ahead! This slideshow was extremely helpful for the prep and the carving.

First cut up one side of the spine.

Then the other side.

Remove the spine and cut off the plastic leg holder thingy.

Flip the bird over and press down hard on the sternum to crack it so you can make the bird as flat as possible. I was not strong enough to do this so Scott jumped off a chair and did a sweet wrestling drop. It cracked.

Just like this.

Cut off all the extra bits of skin around the neck and the… butt?

Flat Stanley. With tucked in wings.

Pop it onto a wire rack on top of vegetables on top of a baking sheet. PS I love our enormous baking sheet. I sprinkled on a few herbs. No butter or salt. And bake! At 450ºF.

There wasn’t much drippings, I guess because we removed a lot of the extra skin and didn’t use any butter. Healthy!

We baked our 16 lbs bird for 80 minutes and honestly it probably only needed 70 minutes, because when I checked the temperature in the breast it was already higher than 150ºF. Whatev it still turned out extremely moist and flavourful. Like a 9.7 out of 10. Rosemarie said she ate 4 times as much meat as she usually does.

Next time will be 10 out of 10. :D :D Can’t wait.

After 3 months, 61 episodes, 22 eliminations, (+ 2 days of complete social media ban) it was time for us to watch the Masterchef Australia Season 7 finale. We had Rosemarie and Lauren over for a 4 course team challenge finale watching dinner where we all made fancy things from the show.

Lauren made salad rolls with shrimp and a dipping sauce.

Rosemarie made sesame beef tataki with gochujang aioli, pickled vegetables and puffed rice. Plated up in modern, negative space style.

Scott made meat pie with homemade crust, and homemade tomato relish (ketchup, hehe).

And I made lemon & thyme ice cream sandwiches with a lemon thyme syrup. Let’s not talk about the TWO glass bowls I shattered while double boiling, or the ummm… XTREME DARK CARAMEL syrup that fused itself to the pot…