Vintage Sacrilege [ˈvin-tij ˈsa-krə-lij]
1. The violation or injurious treatment of a mint-condition vintage item.
I love all things vintage, however it’s recently occurred to me that some of the behaviour I exhibit towards my vintage collection may be a little less than admirable. Today, in the spirit of honesty, I reveal my top six acts of vintage sacrilege.
3. Drilling holes into the bottom of tin kettles to convert into plant holders.
My deepest apologies to any lovers of vintage offended by this post.
Several years ago I attended the Newtown festival on an incrediblly hot day and was blown away by a stall selling 100% pure fruit ice blocks. I immediately went home to experiment with my own version. After a little trial and error I realised that the secret to making a good ice block was to create a mixture that doesn’t ‘separate’ as freshly juiced fruit is prone to do. The trick I came up with was to puree the fruit to mix with vegetable juice. This ‘fluffs’ up the mixture and creates lovely even ice blocks. With the warmer weather upon us, I thought I’d share my simple instructions for homemade ice blocks. These are pure wholesome goodness and the kids love them. The only drawback is the amount of equipment you need in comparison to your available bench space, but it’s well worth the time and mess to stock your freezer for summer.
Ice Block Moulds (these are a few dollars in K-mart or discount variety stores)
1/4 cup of water
1) Peel and chop apples.
2) Steam apple pieces on stove-top until soft (approx 15 minutes)
3) Place apple pieces in a food processor and blitz until thick and smooth. Set aside.
4) Juice carrots.
5) Combine pureed apple with carrot juice. Add water to dilute a little.
6) Pour into ice block moulds and freeze.
Makes approx 6-8 ice blocks depending on the size of your moulds.
I discovered this crocheted blanket at a little church run op-shop. It’s one of those op-shops that’s only open one morning a week and only the locals know about it. I was told that the lady who made this blanket passed away peacefully at home two weeks ago at the age of 83. She had kept active with her crochet and was quite renowned for her handiwork in her church community. It’s nice to know the story behind a blanket. My son keeps producing the most extraordinary lego creations. For some time he followed the instructions meticulously…but like every great artist has kept his style evolving. The past few months have been an era of unbridled creativity. His vehicular creations have extraordinary names like “The Flying Audiologist” in a homage to a recent medical check-up. Our mint plant was on death’s door so I gave it a generous scoop from our compost and a good watering. There’s obviously something magical in our compost, because here it is a few days later completely reinvented with a new lease on life. My daughter has become quite attached to this stuffed cat and sleeps with it every night. It’s called “Kitty” and is getting pretty worn and smelly…but I love this thing.
This is a wholefood version of a Golden Rough. It’s completely natural, raw, organic and vegan. But don’t let that put you off…it tastes amazing. I will be posting the recipe soon. These past few weeks I have been quietly amassing a little stash of books and get a ridiculous amount of pleasure at the thought of reading these. There’s nothing more decadent than ignoring the 1001 things that need to be done and reading a novel in bed.
And finally…watching vintage sheets hanging on the line in the sunlight. And how do you know that a gorgeous little floral number is vintage?
Check the tag. Made in Australia’s the giveaway.
August is a special month for me as I celebrate both my babies’ birthdays. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we celebrated their last birthdays. It’s been an unexpectedly sad time thinking about my mum who is not with us this year. So we kept it low key, with the exception of a little bit of kitchen bling in the form of my new beverage dispenser. I saw one of these (with watermelon punch) featured on Like Giants and have loved the idea since. I did the lazy mum’s version with Nudie Juice and some sliced fresh fruit.
There’s a wonderful quote from food writer Micheal Pollan: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. These past few months I have been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my life. I find meat to be quite filling, so the challenge has been finding ‘hearty’ vegetarian options that are not too overloaded with carbohydrates. Mushrooms and cheese seem to fit the bill quite nicely. It’s hard to classify this little number…perhaps because it’s not quite substantial enough for a meal. I like to think of it as a wonderful entree preceding the starring vegetarian main or a moreish snack. I’ve made it a dozen times now and each time I love it more than the next. Recipe adapted from here.
Baked Mushrooms with Blue Cheese
4 large field mushrooms (stems removed)
150g blue cheese
Handful of crumbled/lightly crushed walnuts
1 small chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
A large sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
Baby spinach leaves for serving
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Lightly fry onion in a small saucepan. Add garlic, chilli and rosemary till aromatic. Remove from heat.
- Add blue cheese and crumbled walnuts to the onion mixture in the pan and mix together to form a lumpy paste.
- Spoon mixture evenly into mushroom cups and smooth down.
- Place mushrooms on a tray with baking paper and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes in the oven.
- Serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves. This cuts through the richness of the cheese and catches all those wonderful mushroom juices.
Down our street and around the corner is a rather majestic Lilly Pilly tree, whose branches hang over a little lane-way. Many Lilly Pilly trees are native to the East Coast of Australia and carry striking pink edible fruit. This vitamin-C rich fruit formed part of the diet of coastal Aboriginal communities. The fruit is quite acidic and tangy…I would describe it as being similar to a not-yet-ripe green apple with the texture of crisp watermelon. I’m surprised that my children snack on the fruit straight from the tree, undeterred by the sourness. While eating native foods is becoming much more common in Australia, it’s still not very widespread. Given the overabundance of this little native fruit in our lives recently, I’m pleased to present my top five ways with lilly pillies.
2) Lilly Pilly Smoothie. Pictured below is two freshly juiced organic apples, a small organic banana and a cup of pitted lilly pillies blitzed in the food processor.
4) Lilly Pilly Muffins. I adapted Donna Hay’s recipe for Blueberry Muffins to make the Lilly Pilly Muffins pictured below.
A note on cooking with lilly pillies