Monday, July 30, 2007

Rockin' Out

Bazu, in a fit of meme-ing, tagged me with the Rockin' Girl Blogger title. A few weeks ago, Kristy gave me the same title, but I didn't follow up and tag new people.

Now, I think you are both totally freakin' rockin'. I love reading your blogs, and looking at your pictures, so I'm honoured that you think I'm rockin' too!

It is now my turn to tag 5 fellow Rockin' Girl Bloggers. In random, non-hierarchical fashion, here are my picks:
  • Amy, the Iron Chef Vegan, an Aussie vegan grad student like me who posts delicious looking food photos, many of which feature a Hello Kitty toaster.
  • VeggieGirl, a young vegan blogger. Her meals look great, and they please her non-vegan family, and really, what more can you ask of vegan food?
  • Vegetation, who somehow manages to raise a family, accommodate a non-vegan partner, take care of a few companion animals, and still cook delicious looking vegan food. And, she makes me laugh.
  • KleoPatra, hostess of Pisces Place, whose compassion radiates from the computer screen whenever I read her blog.
  • Lelly, a crafty, Scottish, Vegan Freak whose meals have inspired me on more than one occasion.
There are heaps of other rockin' vegan girl bloggers that I would love to tag, but I know that some have already been tagged, and others will be soon! So, Amy, VeggieGirl, Vegetation, Kleo, and Lelly, it's your turn to tag 5 rockin vegan gals. Or, if you don't feel like it, just bask in the glory of being rockin!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Some pictures of food that got stuck on my camera when the batteries died.

Some Sunday Market Bounty. Conjoined twin capsicums...

A bowl-full of mandarins, some freakishly large carrots, and a butternut pumpkin.

A pile of eggplants for only $2.

The butternut pumpkin was diced and mixed with maple syrup, cinnamon, and nuttlex (vegan margarine) to become this delicious side dish.

It accompanied some pasties, which were one of our many attempts to empty the fridge and freezer before we moved. We had two sheets of pastry, and Andy was bored. The results:

Inside, they were chock full o' curried eggplant with heaps of sesame and cumin seeds, carrots, and capsicums.

Here's a photo from ages ago. Tomato, onion and basil flavoured veggie sausages. I forget the brand, but they come in those plastic trays. Tasty, but the texture is mushy and horrible. Topped with sautted onions, mustard and tomato sauce, however, they made a good and simple meal.
With the sausages, we had a BIG salad that Andy made. It featured lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, beetroot, sprouts, and heaps of herbs, including our new Perennial Coriander plant, which is very cool.
A different pumpkin was roasted and tossed with pasta, thyme, and bread crumbs to make this interesting dish. It was good, but I doubt we'll make it again. The bread crumbs made it super dry.
And finally, some hang over food. Don't make this unless you had waaay too much wine the night before. It's grated sweet potato, which I started to cook but then felt sick. Andy took over and added capsicum, tomato, spices, and a tin of spaghetti. Then he put it on toast. I took one bite. He ate his whole plate, took a nap, and then ate my whole plate. I had cereal later in the afternoon.

From now on I'll be posting new pictures of new food from my new house :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Human Battery Cage

Yesterday the Human Batter Cage was in Townsville, so I brought some cookies and hopped in. I was in there for six hours, but we could get out to stretch our legs and go to the toilet. Aside from being a little cramped, the thing I noticed most was the wire on the bottom. I really feel for the chooks!

The public reaction was positive, for the most part. I even met another Townsville vegan. Of course there were a few jackasses, but that's to be expected. And I don't know how many people made jokes about us laying eggs. Most people agreed that battery cages are awful and said they only buy free-range eggs... Media coverage was pretty good, too. Win News came over, though I didn't get to see what the story was like since I don't have a TV. The Townsville Bulletin printed this story, and they 'interviewed' me for about 10 seconds to add the local flavah.

Basically it was a really fun day, and I got to hang out with some cool people, raise awareness about an important issue, and avoid working on my lit review for the day. I'm a little sore today, especially my tailbone from sitting on the wire, but I don't have time for pain--I'm moving house in 10 minutes!

**Update** I just found this article from the ABC Online. The text is based on an interview with Shane, the mastermind behind the Human Battery Cage. I think it's heaps better than the story from the Bully. Plus, there's more photos.

Two days on, my ass still hurts, and my back is bruised from leaning against the bars, but I've got it easy. I only spent six hours in there. The other five people in the cage with me have been going for up to 5 months. And, of course, the chooks are there for life.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I've been tagged by Bethany over at Vegology.

The Rules:
1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.


Random fact #1: I've always had a fear of escalators. When I was little, I heard stories about a mystery kid in some mystery town who got his shoe laces stuck in the escalator and he was literally torn up and had to get millions of stitches. Ever since then, I've been super-nervous when I get on and off escalators.

Random fact #2: I'm trying to write a lit review on social movement theories. I don't want to do it, so I waste time looking at blogs and checking my email every 5 minutes.

Random fact #3: I hated onions until I went vegan.

Random fact #4: For the past few weeks, I've been going to bed with socks on every night. But at some point I get hot and kick them off, so there are a few pairs of socks between the sheets at the end of the bed.

Random fact #5: I've never gotten my driver's license. When I turned 21 I had to get my permit renewed so I would have ID to bring to the bar. I ride a hot pink and green bike that I got for $15 instead.

Random fact #6: Andy and I have been out to dinner 1 time in 2007. Townsville isn't terribly vegan-friendly.

Random fact #7: My kitchen is still pathetically understocked. I don't own a muffin/cupcake tin, potato masher, rolling pin, or any other fancy gadgets. It was only two weeks ago that I bought a (second-hand) mixing bowl, and a month before that we got a cookie sheet.

Random fact #8: I'm 22 and working on a PhD, which doesn't seem that weird to me, but nearly all of my fellow students are old enough to be my parents!

I'm going to ignore rules 5 and 6, and not tag anyone. I have seen this meme around at most people's blogs, but if you haven't participated yet, consider yourself tagged!


At the International Feminist Summit yesterday, Catharine MacKinnon sat down next to me for one of the sessions. Then, I went on the balcony to have lunch in the sun, and there she was. We talked about pornography and prostitution and patriarchy and capitalism.

But she was wearing a leather jacket, and eating non-vegan quiche.

How can someone be so switched on to one form of oppression and exploitation, but be so clueless about another?

(I didn't have the guts to ask her that...)

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Townsville isn't famous for it's beaches. The Great Barrier Reef blocks most wave action, and Magnetic Island finishes the job. Plus, the city and its beaches are in between two different capes that stick out and block much water movement. The result is silty, low energy beaches. City council has tried to remedy that by building up 'The Strand', which is the main city beach. There is a foot path, a rockpool, a few kiddie water parks and playgrounds, and some fountains and stuff like that. And they truck in sand every now and then, to make it nice for people to lay on. I hate the Strand. It's so phony, and feels too commercial. My favourite beach is definitely Pallarenda.

Just a bit further along from the Strand, Pallarenda is naturally sandy (Though it's still mucky past the low-tide point). Dunes separate the beach from the street. A doggie friendly, off-leash area where people can come play with their pups. Look to the right, and you see Townsville city surrounding Castle Hill...

And a bit further along is Cape Cleveland.
To the left, Cape Pallarenda and the tip of Magnetic Island.Straight out, Maggie is green and inviting.
The perfect place to spend an afternoon reading social movement theory, even if the water was too cold to jump in!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Supa-chunky gravy, filled with borlotti and cannellini beans, carrot, capsicum, and spinach, as well as tons of parsely and oregano. Yep, and that's garlic bread in the background.

The mashing of the potatoes was a team effort--Andy used the slotted spoon, and I used a fork. The result was pretty lumpy, but they were made with love. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a potato masher next time I'm at the Op-shop, though. Mashing potatoes with a fork really tires your arm out!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Maya Gold Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(I know the name is a mouthful, but holy crap these cookies are good!)

2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c. golden syrup*
1/2 c. grapeseed oil
1 orange
1 t. baking powder
100 g. Green & Black's Maya Gold chocolate bar**

Heat the oven to 180 (350 F). In a small-ish bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set it aside. Using a veggie peeler, peel the zest off the orange. Chop it up pretty finely. Then, cut off both ends of the orange and cut off all the white stuff, so there are no membranes. Cut the flesh (is that vegan?) out of the orange, in between the little membrane partitions. If you've ever watched food network, you probably know what I'm talking about. Blend up the orange flesh, then mix in baking powder. In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, golden syrup, oil, and orange puree. Add half the dry ingredients. Mix until it's just blended, then add the other half of the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. If it's too dry, add a bit of orange juice. If it's too gooey, add some more flour. Chop up chocolate bar, and fold in the chocolate chunks and the orange zest. Make sure you get all the little chocolate dust that sticks to the chopping board. Drop teaspoons of cookie dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on the cookie sheet for a minute, then dig in (careful not to burn your mouth!).

* Golden syrup is this super sticky, sugar+water thing that is used in Australian baking. If you can't get any, I would use maple syrup, but you can try any other sticky liquid sweetener, like agave nectar or something.

** You can use another vegan chocolate of your choosing, but Maya Gold really is worth its weight in gold. Orangey chocolate that is laced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and some other mysterious flavours... Buy two bars, so you have one to eat and one to bake with. So good!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Warming Winter Food

I realise that the cold I complain about is 10 times warmer than most people experience in winter. But you'd be surprised how quickly you acclimatise to warm weather. To beat the chill, we've been having lots of oven-centred meals.

Like these wraps.

Some sauteed mushrooms and red capsicum, paired with...

Roasted potatoes with eggplants. They were wrapped up and topped with avocado and creamy tahini-lemon-garlic dressing.

Tater tots are a delicious, comforting, soul-warming food. They make a perfect side dish to any oven meal (so long as it doesn't already feature potatoes).

We had the tater tots with these medfounas, or Moroccan-style pizzas. I got the recipe from a cookbook in the library, The Vegetarian Table: North African Cuisine. Next time I'll roll the dough out thinner, and leave them in the oven to get a bit browner (we were hungry!).

Curry noodles. Coconut milk, beetroot greens, carrots, mushrooms, and potato came together with fresh hokkien noodles and green peas in this spicy dinner made by Andy.

And now, for a kitchen disaster story. Though Andy usually hates pumpkin (aka squash in North America), on Saturday we both felt like some pumpkin soup. We got a butternut pumpkin, and boiled it till it was soft. I mashed it a bit in the pot, then mixed in some silken tofu to make the soup extra creamy and rich. I put it in our mini chopper (we don't have a blender or food processor), and pulsed for a second, but it squirted out the sides at me! Where the lid meets the bowl, apparently there isn't a very good seal. It made a big mess, with pumpkin soup every where.

I wasn't brave enough to try it again, so the soup was chunky and the tofu unblended. I tried my best with a slotted spoon to make it smooth, but this was the result.

At least it tasted good!