Thursday, January 21, 2010


i have been meaning to try sprouting seeds for a couple years but never got around to it until last week. i can't believe how easy it is. i looked for instructions on several websites (some more complicated than others) and ended up mostly following this site which has very simple instructions. i got some alfalfa sprouting seeds from the organic shop because they're cheap to try and they're one of the quickest and easiest to use. i used an old tahini jar and a small piece of muslin. the photos in the collage (soaking until 1/2 sprouted) were all taken in about a 52hour time frame and i had ready to eat sprouts in about 72 hours from starting. i only soaked my seeds for about 4 hours (the packet said about 4, websites suggest overnite. i think smaller ones like alfalfa are fine with just a few hours).

jar of sprouts from one heaped tablespoon of seeds:
(yes, the photo is sepia because i forgot i had the white balance on a weird custom setting for our lounge room and took a very blue-toned photo of the sprouts which apparently i never looked at after i took because i didn't notice until the next morning when i uploaded the photos to the computer and the sprouts were no longer in the jar and some were eaten. sepia is the easiest way to fix the problem)

i don't get it

this week we run a holiday program for children who were at kinder last year and are heading off to school in a week or so. this morning one of the children told my co-worker that his water bottle was filled with cordial and he wasn't supposed to tell us (we only allow water at kinder because it's much healthier for teeth and body than the juices/cordial that a lot of them would probably bring). near the end of last year his mum had given him cordial one day, which we told him he could have when he goes home and we gave him water for the day. his mum is a pretty sensible person so i'm not sure why she would give him cordial again, knowing we don't allow it (and i'm sure she knows water is much better for him)-- especially since she told him not to tell us (and every 5 year old is going to tell us things they have been told not to tell us, that's what they do). it was a HUGE bottle of it too (if it had been a tiny drink bottle that was in his lunch and he'd had a separate water bottle for the day i probably would have just let it slide since it is holiday program and these children are heading off to school where i'm sure half their lunch boxes will be filled with the junk that we discourage at kinder. i don't get why a parent would do that-- it's not helping their child out at all and none of them have any problems drinking just water at kinder. it's good for them.

Friday, January 15, 2010

getting brave

i don't know why but after days of not seeing other dogs when i take wombat for a mid-morning walk before it gets hot we ran into a few this morning. i hate running into other dogs mostly because it's embarrassing for us. she looks so tough and she's muzzled so people probably assume she's a horrible dog and why would anyone want a dog like that? her first reaction to other dogs is fear. she tries to run away (which is a bit hard when she's attached to a lead but she tries and it makes us look stupid as we stumble a step or 2 while we yank her back to our side). we've found that she's ok if we just sit her as another dog passes (on the other side of the road-- she gets very nervous if they come less than a couple metres or so away). she'll whimper and watch them pass and then when she's sure they aren't gonna turn around and come back to get her, she'll get up and walk off happily with us (although she often picks up her already fast pace to try to get away from them as fast as possible). i had an incident a couple weeks ago where i came to an intersection and saw a small dog coming at us in the direction we were going to turn. i decided to try to cross wombat over the street before it got to close but wombat was panicked and i got to the middle of the road and she froze (25 kg of muscle is hard to pull if she doesn't want to come). i just sat her in the middle of the road and talked softly to her (people probably think this is ridiculous when they here us softly saying "you're ok, he won't hurt you" to a dog 4 times as big as the one coming at her). she was fine until the dog was passed and my leg blocked her view of it. then she went crazy. this involves her growling, barking, jumping, twisting (and we're usually holding her collar as well as her lead at this point so she looks absolutely horribly aggressive). as soon as she saw the dog was definitely gone, she went back to her normal (but extra pully) self. i'm sure the woman with the small dog was thinking to herself "why would anyone have a dog like that that needs to be muzzled and is so aggressive?"
this morning i was so proud of her when we came across our third and forth dogs (2 poodles) at an oval. the dogs had already barked and chased another dog on the road before coming onto the oval and since i'd seen and heard them coming i had started to get wombat off so we could leave when they were fully on the oval. i got wombat up to the covered viewing area/toilets and she watched one of the poodles chasing a ball on the oval and was fine. the other poodle spotted us and came to say hello. the woman started calling "oscar" but he ignored her. i just held wombat's collar while she sat and watched him. he came less than 2 metres from wombat and started barking. she just sat while i held her, rubbed her chest and talked softly to her. i was sooo impressed with her. the woman was walking over to get oscar and wombat was great the whole time. i actually got explain to her that wombat was terrified of other dogs and aggression was her last resort (hence the muzzle). if she'd been able to grab oscar at that point i think it would have ended up being a really positive experience for wombat but before she grabbed him he decided to go around the back of wombat and me while the other poodle stood in front. wombat lost it then and just started trying to spin and bark. the woman managed to scoop up her dogs and said "we'll be going home now" and walked off across the street to her house. poor wombat took a few minutes to calm down and be able to somewhat heel (she never properly heels but it took a while to get her to the point where she wasn't ripping my arm off trying to hold her next to me).
i think that's the longest she's ever stayed calm with an unrerstrained barking dog that close to her. maybe there is a bit of hope for her yet cuz she's a really good dog, it's just her one flaw makes us look stupid for caring for her and it makes her look like a horrible beast that will attack anything (which is NOT her at all).
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

cozy little beast

the dog is a bit spoiled. after 2 days of laying out on her side panting and trying to get comfy and cool, last nite she tucked herself into a tight little ball between us on the couch trying to stay warm. i felt bad for her so i pulled out her blanket and put it over her. pretty soon she had stretched out (being warm under the blanket) and taken over most of the couch. zac and i ended up sitting squashed together trying to read while she stretched out over more than half the couch and comfortably slept. when we got her we'd said no dog on the furniture-- how did we end up with her taking over it?
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010


i made some of colby cheez based on the recipe here but when i went to put the paprika in (and i'm sure all those options listed with the paprika are to make the cheeze orange more than flavour it) i realized we only have smoked paprika. i decided to go with the smoked paprika cuz carrots in cheeze don't really soound nice (even if i'm sure they don't really alter the flavour much). the smoked parika is AMAZING in the cheeze (but i like pretty much anything with a smoky flavour). the cheeze so good in black bean burritos (with homemade refried black beans from the really easy recipe in hot damn and hell yeah and fresh salsa). i halved the recipe when i made it but we've already gone thru half of it since last nite so i'll be making a full batch in the next couple days.
for dessert last nite i decided to try banana soft serve. sooooo good and way too easy to make (and what better way to endure a 43C evening). i even made the chocolate syrup which was really nice too. i'm gonna have to make some more cuz want to try it with passionfriut on top (one of my favourite fruits).
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it hasn't been below 30C since sometime yesterday morning. they're now saying its supposed to get back up to 40C today before the cool change comes in. i don't think i slept much and its still to hot to sleep. i wet my hair down a couple times during the nite. now my pillow is wet and uncomfortable (it did cool me down a bit though). tomorrow's maximum: 23 (i'll probably freeze in that after this). the dog is coping but you can tell she's uncomfortable. we just keep wetting her down when she seems too uncomfortable and reminding her to keep drinking.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

up and down

it got to 38.4C today (and that would have been right about the time we walked up to get coffee). i did say to zac when we were about 200m from our house on the walk home that the breeze suddenly felt a bit "cool" (meaning the breeze didn't feel hotter than the sun). it dropped pretty quickly to a pleasant 29C and now it feels cold to me when i tried to sit outside still in my singlet (tank top) but apparently its 21C. the house still feels hot though. mostly cuz our house is stupid and the lounge room only has 1 window that opens in it(and it's less than 3m away from another house so there's not much air blowing in through it). tomorrow is supposed to be just reasonably hot (33C) and then we're gonna get over 40C on monday. i think i prefer this to freezing in canada though.

120 cafe

it's the closest cafe to our house but we'd never been until today (they have only been open a few months and i'm pretty sure they aren't open sundays because we noticed they were closed a couple sundays that we wandered past). we only got coffee but i think we'll have to go back for breakfast or lunch at some point. there's only a couple vegan options but they sound good: for breakfast they had toast with avocado "120 style" and for lunches vegan panini on offer with any 5 ingredients and vegan cheese available (for an extra $.50). when i ordered my "ice coffee with soy milk and no ice cream but ice cubes instead" (my standard hot day coffee) i did hear one of the girls say to the other as we sat down "we should get some soy ice cream" (i'd probably become a regular there on hot days if i could actually get my iced coffee with ice cream).
120 cafe is at 120 nicholson st east brunswick (just south of blyth, across from RRR)

Thursday, January 07, 2010


my coriander that i raved about didn't end up lasting very long-- i think it may have been my fault though so i'll try once more. i ended up having a bunch of it to use up yesterday before it completely wilted. i thought it was more than would go into a batch of salsa (it turned out it wasn't much more so i could have just done salsa) so i started looking up other things to do that required a fairly big amount of coriander (cilantro). i came across a recipe for cilantro pesto in vegan planet and decided i'd give that a try even though i've never really wanted to try any pesto recipe that didn't involve pine nuts (this one had almonds). i ended up having to quarter the recipe because there wasn't as much coriander as i thought but my little batch of pesto is really nice on crackers (and i might make a small serve of pasta for lunch to use up the rest of it). at least now i have a good way to use up coriander.
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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

yea for velo

i took my bike in for a long overdue service today. i booked it in at velo bike hub-- one of the newest bike shops in the area and the closest to home (less than 10 min walk). that was my first time there (other than a quick gear cable replacement one afternoon) but zac has had a service with them before and was impressed. i brought my bike in probably about 9:45am and they spent a few minutes looking over it with me to see exactly what needed to be done on top of a service so they wouldn't have to call me to ask permission to replace the brake pads or anything. they also have a deal on that they set you up with a free water bottle and rack (which i needed) with every service so that was good. they also provide you with a free courtesy bike or metcard while your bike is being services. i took the courtesy bike-- it was fun to ride around (and came complete with pannier rack so i could attach my pannier bag for a trip to c.e.r.e.s. market). i got a text less than 2 hours after i left my bike saying it was ready for pick up. that was quick service! they're quite busy in there too (i did have my bike booked though so i'd assume that gives me a bit of priority over walk-ins). now i have a smoothly running bike with good rear brakes again and properly inflated tires-- so much nicer to ride!
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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

yong green food

we went to yong green food the other day kind of for a late lunch/mid afternoon snack. unfortunately no pictures because i don't often carry my big camera (maybe 2010 will be the year my mobile finally dies and i can justify getting a new one-- with a camera). zac got the korean bbq. i had a little taste of the "meat" and it had a really nice flavour to it. zac just thought it was ok. i got the fishball wrap. the "fish" pieces were nice but not "fishy" tasting like i was hoping for. the sauce was also a bit bland. the best part of the meal was the plate of kimchi that came with zac's dish. great flavour and just the right amount of heat. the prices seem a bit steep (or is it just me?) but we will be going back (i'm intrigued by the rawsanga).

crazy dreams

we went to a late screening of avatar last nite. it was really good (although i did feel a bit motion sick about 1/2 way thru but fortunately the feeling passed pretty quickly and without seeing dinner again). the only thing was that we got home and pretty much went straight to bed. i ended up having really weird dreams all thru the nite that were mixed up 3d movie things combined with outside sounds (at one point in my dream people were stealing zac's bike from out front--we don't even keep them out front overnite any more since mine was stolen 18 months ago--and we ended up chatting to the theives after i caught them). i also think that zac and i were actually talking to each other in our sleep at one point until i woke myself up (i've seen friends do this before when a bunch of us shared a room at camp and 2 of us were insomniacs-- we listened to others talk in their sleep, sometimes we'd talk to them and a couple times we actually heard 2 of them talking to each other-- it was weird). i was so exhausted this morning that i actually fell asleep right away every time zac hit his snooze alarm (usually i'm half awake by the second one and fairly awake and just resting by the time he gets up). i really liked the movie though (zac came out saying "that was soooo stupid! entertaining but stupid").

Monday, January 04, 2010

the glow before the storm

i took this photo the other evening not long before some good thunderstorms hit. that is pretty much the colour of the sky and everything else (it took a while to actually get the right colours on the camera, i had to play with the white balance and metering a bit). everything was just really yellow for a long time and then as evening started, the storms arrived. i didn't bother taking photos of the storm but i sat just inside the laundry door watching the lightning and listening to the thunder for a long time until the rain actually started to fall, hitting our corrugated iron roof and drowning out the thunder. we also had good lightning storms new years eve and right through into the new year (we were upstairs at our friends place watching the fireworks in the city about 10km away and as i walked back downstairs a big flash of lightning flashed outside the window i was passing-- it was much more impressive than the fireworks).
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