Wednesday, 31 July 2013

London 2012: The Olympics

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Can you believe a year has past since the Olympics were on?  It really doesn’t feel like that long ago I was queuing for tickets, painting my nails green and gold and cheering on the Aussies, and all other teams.

I never really blogged about it at the time (like so many things in the last 12-18 months) but I was able to head along to the Olympic Park for three events: basketball, hockey & swimming. A year on, those events still remain fresh in my mind, such an experience.
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I remember walking into the park of the first day of competition. There was such sense of pride in the park, how good it look.  Some incredibly good looking stadiums with valleys of meadow flowers in between, everyone smiling and so helpful.  London is sometimes known for a lack of compassion, of kindness.  Nothing could be less true inside that Olympic Park.  There was an air of excitement and pride.

Australia had mixed results in the events I was able to see.  Our ladies basketball team (the Opals) dominated again Great Britain on opening night whilst our ladies hockey team (Hockeyroos) went down to our archrivals, the Blacksticks (New Zealand) on the Sunday morning.  Always strong in the swimming, 2012 was our softest performance for some time in the pool.  On the Monday night session, we had one silver medal.  Whilst I would have loved to hear Advanced Australia Fair, the night itself was still incredible.  Swimming is a sport I associate so heavily with the Olympics. 

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Three days in to the Olympics and I’d been to all three thing I’d secured tickets for.  From then on, I was cheering Australia a and all comers on from the couch, or some of the live sites around London.

It’s been a year but I really think those three days I was able to go will stick in my mind for quite some time.

Have you ever been able to attend the Olympics or a large sporting event?

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{L-R, T-B: The basketball arena, the velodrome, the main stadium, the basketball arena from further back, viewing point, the swimming pool}

Monday, 15 July 2013

Made by Me: Pulled Pork Tacos

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Even before my recent trip to Central America and Mexico, pulled pork has been my go to meat.  In the year or two I haven’t been a vegetarian, it’s pig products I gravitate towards, especially flavoursome ones.

Having enjoyed pulled pork out and about and thinking of making it for a long time, I finally tried it out.  I tried it and I liked it.  I’ve seen quite a few recipes for it and some seem more involved than others, so much so that I was a bit scared to try.  It was only when I got to the markets yesterday afternoon that I googled a recipe and settled on this one.  Cooking time is 2 hours total, with 90 minutes there in the middle that require little to no attention.  Good time to watch a movie or something really.

The recipe I followed is this Mexican pulled pork one from Taste.com.au. Pros include that that it was not too involved and didn’t require hours cooking (not an option when you don’t buy the meat until circa 3pm) or a slow cooker (we didn’t have access to one yesterday).  Cons include that as yummy as it is, I like a smoky or bbq flavour as well.  I’m pretty sure I’ll make it again, but maybe just adding some bbq sauce to the pork whilst it cooks, or might garnish with chipotle Tabasco if I can find it or something similar here in Australia.

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We had it with mini tortillas, sour cream, corn salsa, guacamole, green chillies and Tabasco. I didn’t make the salsa or guac to a recipe but those links approximate what I did (sans tomato in the guac).  That said, if you only wanted to make one side, this charred corn guacamole that Amy over at The Anxious Hippie has posted about today sounds delicious.

From the fun of finding the ingredients at the market to prepping and then eating, this was a wonderful dinner.  I’d happily eat it again and again.

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Oh what’s that?  I did today, for lunch.  There were no tortillas left but cos lettuce leaves work just as well and are a decent GF option.

Are you a pulled pork fan? Or have any go to taco filling recipes for me? 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Weekend Tales; The Great Ocean Road



This weekend just past, I road tripped some of the Great Ocean Road with a dear friend of mine (hello @PenskiiPoo ) who was willing to indulge me.  See, ever since l saw Krissi’s pictures of the 12 Apostles at sunset, I’d wanted to see it for myself.  I’ve been to the 12 Apostles countless times over the years but I don’t think I’ve ever been there at sunset (and if I have, I don’t remember so it doesn’t count). 

This iconic part of the Victorian coast line is a good couple of hours west of Melbourne, quicker via the inland route but more picturesque along the Great Ocean Road.  With only two goals for the weekend, we went along the Great Ocean Road.  We stopped for surf outlet shopping in Torquay, coffee in Lorne and to check in to our hotel & enjoy lunch in Apollo Bay. Being that it’s mid winter, sunset was right on 5pm and we arrived just in time.
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Watching the sun set with the waves crashing and the wind howling made me feel so small and insignificant in this world, but in the most peaceful way. These apostles are sandstone that has over time, being eroded until they’re no longer attached to the cliffs behind them.  Wave after wave washing over them.  It will not be so long before I return to this part of the state.

The second goal of the weekend? To enjoy breakfast at a brewery.  That we did, sampling all their beers and enjoying a hearty feed at the very welcoming Forrest Microbrewery.  Forrest is about 30minutes inland from Apollo Bay and I’m sure it’s a picturesque drive as well, when not covered in cloud as it was for us.  Beyond that, the weekend was just a good old girl weekend catch up - coffees, beers, wines, gobstoppers and bouncy balls.