NIBBLES: Food or art?

IS it art? Or is it food? Perhaps it is both.

Guests taking part in the next Underground Epicureans dining adventure will be questioning whether to eat, or not to eat, the pieces on display at the This Is Not Art festival (TiNA) fund-raiser.

Nelson Bay’s Ritual Restaurant will prepare 14 edible ‘‘installations’’, which will be interspersed with artwork at the interactive Art Feast dinner on September 27.

Guests will discover art on the walls, in their own hands and on their taste buds.

They can create a masterpiece under the direction of Ann from The Drawing Room, and test the truth of their tastebuds with Ritual’s ‘‘Lab Rat’’ experiment.

But as with all Underground Epicurean experiences, guests won’t know exactly where they will be dining until the day of the event.

Merging food with art and science, Ritual chef Carl Kenzler and wife Kelie have become known as the Hunter region’s answer to Heston Blumenthal.

‘‘At each of Ritual’s installations, guests will get to experience something really quite special,’’ Underground Epicureans’ Neroli Foster told GT.

Tickets are $122 via the website thisisnotart.floktu杭州夜生活m/register.

Landmark Brasserie

THE Landmark Brasserie opened its doors at Charlestown on Friday night.

The owners, chef Adam Gibson and manager Joel Danet, will use their combined 25 years’ experience in the industry to breathe new life into the site formerly occupied by La Vespa and 5th Element Restaurant, Bar and Cafe.

Watch this space for further information.

Subo’s two hats

SUBO’S Beau and Suzie Vincent continued to fly the flag for Newcastle dining at last week’s SMH Good Food Guide Awards.

The husband and wife team, along with the talented staff at their contemporary Hunter Street bistro, earned two coveted chef’s hats from reviewers in the prestigious annual awards.

The two-hat rating is an accolade only once before received in the region.

Before closing in 2011, Hunter restaurant Rock had collected two chef’s hats for three years in a row.

Newcastle’s Restaurant Mason, as well as the Hunter Valley’s Muse Restaurant, Muse Kitchen and Bistro Molines, all earned one chef’s hat in the awards.

Subo’s success follows its recent ranking in the top 100 restaurants in the Gourmet Traveller Australian Restaurant Guide.

Calling all beer lovers

AUSTRALIAN craft brewer James Squire is offering Newcastle’s beer lovers the chance to put their passion into practice.

The ‘‘You Brew’’ competition will pit teams of aspiring brewers from around Australia against each other to create their own beer.

Aspiring brewers can enter via jamessquire杭州夜生活 until September 16.

Hollywood Nights fund-raiser

EVENT Cinemas Glendale is hosting a formal Hollywood Nights charity fund-raising dinner on Monday, September 16.

Guests will be treated to champagne and canapes, and a sit-down meal and fashion parade before watching one of eight films.

Tickets are $99 via proticket杭州夜生活 Proceeds will go to Ronald McDonald House, Hunter Life Education and Camp Quality.

Ritual Restaurant will provide edible installations for Underground Epicureans.

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Health of man allegedly bullied by Ray Hadley deteriorating, court hears

Sued: Ray Hadley. Photo: Louise KennerleyThe staff member at radio station 2GB who is suing talkback host Ray Hadley for workplace bullying is allegedly suffering from an ongoing medical condition as a result of his treatment and his health has recently deteriorated, a court has heard.

But the announcer does not want the basic details of the case released to the media, opposing an application by three media organisations for court documents.

Richard Palmer is suing Mr Hadley for damages resulting from the psychological harm he allegedly inflicted during an incident on February 7.

The statement of claim in the matter has not been released, but it is understood Mr Hadley called Mr Palmer into his office because he was unhappy that the digital content manager had not uploaded a podcast of the Ray Hadley Morning Show quickly enough on to 2GB’s website.

Mr Hadley allegedly began verbally abusing Mr Palmer, with the latter reportedly recording the interaction on his phone.

The radio host was temporarily stood down over the incident after the recording was played to Macquarie Radio’s managing director Rob Loewenthal. But he was then quickly reinstated following intervention from higher up the chain.

Mr Hadley reportedly apologised to 2GB staff over the incident, but Mr Palmer is suing him for damages in the NSW District Court.

On Tuesday the young man’s barrister asked that the hearing be brought forward because “my client’s medical condition has regressed significantly”.

Fairfax Media subsequently confirmed that this alleged medical condition is directly related to the alleged psychological harm he suffered at the station.

Counsel for Mr Hadley, Sandy Dawson, later told the court that they wanted Mr Palmer examined by their own medical expert.

He also opposed, on behalf of his client, an application by Fairfax Media, Channel Seven and Channel Ten for access to the statement of claim and defence in the matter.

He said it was standard practice for such documents not to be released until a matter had concluded because they may contain “untested allegations”.

The matter will return to court for legal debate on this issue next month.

with Jonathan Swan

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Baking for the cake stall

Coconut ice, pretty for the school fair. Photo: Melissa Adams Coconut ice, pretty for the school fair. Photo: Melissa Adams

Coconut ice, pretty and easy for the school fair. Photo: Melissa Adams

Coconut ice, pretty and easy for the school fair. Photo: Melissa Adams

Cool … Copha-free coconut ice. Photo: Melissa Adams

Coconut ice. Photo: Melissa Adams

Spring is here and with it a fresh round of fund-raising fetes and cake stalls. Some parents will dread finding that notice in their children’s school bag and pulling on an apron, under pressure to produce something that will sell at the school or sport club stall.

But those in the know say mums and dads should keep it simple, because old-time favourites often sell best.

Suzanne O’Connor has a son at Canberra Boys Grammar School and for the past two years has run the cake stall at their annual fete. She says that while some more complex baking, such as biscotti, sells well, tried and true recipes – think chocolate cupcakes – are usually the most popular.

“The things that sell the best are the really old-fashioned basic stuff: Anzac biscuits, chocolate cakes, tea cakes and fruit cakes. Another one that’s a really big seller is coconut ice,” she says.

O’Connor says to remember to bake both for people who want a snack at the fete and for those who are buying to take home.

Gluten-free options tend to get snapped up, O’Connor says. “We often have one section that’s gluten free and that’s usually gone by 11 or 12 o’clock,” she says.

One of her regular bakers, Kacy Grainger, echoes the message. “I can only give one tip: Bake gluten free. It may be a little more expensive but you can charge accordingly and people will love you for it. Think rustic macaroons, gluten-free brownies and biscuits galore,” she says.

Samantha Walker of Amore Cakes regularly sells her cakes at the Capital Region Farmer’s Market and with primary-school-age children has done her share of school baking.

She also suggests that parents make old-fashioned cakes, nothing too complicated, and recommends keeping ingredients at a reasonable cost. Apples, oranges, dates and coconut are good cheap ingredients.

“We don’t have to go for 20-year-old scotch whiskey or anything like that. We’re trying to keep it as basic and as simple but as beautiful as possible,” she says.

Walker encourages parents to avoid icing that is likely to melt on a warm day. Fresh cream is not allowed under food regulations.

“You want toppings that are fairly sturdy and non-perishable. You don’t want to put fresh fruit on the top. For example, strawberries might look great to start with but by the end of the day they look terrible,” she says.

“You could do some sort of icing if it’s firm, but generally just a dusting of icing sugar on a simple cake or a crumble topping always looks really nice, and there’s not much that you can go wrong with there.”

Walker says parents could consider making nicely wrapped packets of shortbread and chocolate-chip biscuits.

“They last for a long time, you don’t need plates to eat them and everybody likes biscuits,” she says.

One cake that ticks all the boxes (not expensive to make, good keeping qualities, no ingredients that perish quickly and a durable topping) is her old-fashioned “lumberjack cake”, for which Walker shares the recipe (on page 11).

The old adage that we eat with our eyes holds especially true at a cake stall, the women agree. O’Connor says that when she and the other parents set up their stall, they put the cakes at different levels so they can be seen, and they decorate the table with flowers.

They buy cellophane in bulk, and as the parents drop-off cakes, biscuits and slices in the morning, they are wrapped and decorated with ribbons in the school colours.

“We have labels that are heart shaped, all that kind of stuff, so the package looks pretty when you’re selling it,” she says. “If it’s just basic and it’s sitting on a plate with Glad Wrap over it, it might not sell as well as if it’s in a nice cellophane bag with a ribbon.”

Rosemary Thompson, who runs the sweets stall (selling lollies and homemade fudge) at the boys’ grammar school fete, agrees. She sets up in a shaded spot and uses a red and white striped tablecloth to attract customers. “We make it feel warm and friendly, and affordable for people too,” she says.

Walker suggests organisers consider finding jobs for parents not confident with baking. They could write labels, design the stall, wrap cakes and write ingredients lists, she says.

“As parents, we’re all busy, so I think what we’re looking for is minimum effort and minimum cost to get the maximum output,” she says. “We want to make a good impact and make the stall look lovely, so I guess it’s the trick of trying to put as little in as possible but make it look like you’ve put a lot of effort in.”

Bev Carroll is a food technology teacher at Telopea Park High School, where students in years 8, 9 and 10 bake chocolate-chip biscuits, hedgehog, lemon slice, chocolate slice and banana cakes for the annual fete.

Carroll says it would be too difficult to have all of the students bake on the day before the fete, so they do their cooking ahead of time and freeze the baking, which works well. The students make 80 to 100 servings of food, which they package themselves.

She says when baking for a cake stall it’s important to be economical.

“When we use a bar [cake] tin, for example, you can get more out of one mixture than a standard way, and then you can cut slices up into smaller packages,” she says.

Walker says that when setting prices, estimate how much has been spent on ingredients, then double it.

“You shouldn’t under sell these things, there’s a lot of effort and ingredients that’s gone into them, so ask a reasonable price, don’t just give them away,” she says.

But if the idea of baking for a crowd still seems unpalatable, “give it a miss, come buy something and spend your money,” she says.

Tips for cake stall baking

■ Keep it simple – traditional cakes, biscuits and slices sell best

■ Don’t use fresh cream or custard

■ To avoid a Friday night rush, bake ahead of time and freeze your cake for the day

■ Use sturdy toppings, such as icing sugar or crumble, which won’t melt

■ Beautifully presented items sell fastest

■ Label all your ingredients

■ If baking is not your thing, volunteer to wrap items, decorate or staff the stall

What to cook?

Tea cakes, lemon syrup cake, banana cake, orange poppy seed cake, fruit cakes, cupcakes, brownies, gingerbread, chocolate-chip biscuits, Anzac biscuits, macaroons, coconut ice, jam slice, lemon slice, scones, and gluten-free anything. Check the goodfood杭州夜生活 recipe database for ideas.RECIPESCoconut ice

This recipe has no copha. Using copha makes a firmer coconut ice, which stands up better at a cake stall (recipe below).

300g (2 cups) pure icing sugar

¼ tsp cream of tartar

395g can sweetened condensed milk

3½ cups desiccated coconut

6 drops pink food colouring

Brush a 30-centimetre x 20-centimetre rectangular slice pan with oil, and line with non-stick baking paper.

Sift the sugar with cream of tartar into a bowl. Add the condensed milk and coconut and stir well. Place half the mixture in a separate bowl. Add food colouring to one bowl and stir well to combine. Press the uncoloured mixture into base of pan, levelling well, then top with the pink mixture, pressing firmly.

Refrigerate for an hour to set. Cut into rectangles, place in cellophane bags, tie with ribbon and label.Coconut ice with copha

300g (2 cups) pure icing sugar

100g sweetened condensed milk

1 egg white

90g copha

250g desiccated coconut

6 drops of pink food colouring

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the condensed milk, egg white, melted copha and coconut and stir well. Continue as for above recipe.

>>  Recipe from Canberra Boys’ Grammar parents.

>  Recipe from Samantha Walker.


The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Tour of the old suburbs

Declan King and Anne Latham in their vegetable garden in Braddon. Photo: Jeffrey Chan Declan King and Anne Latham work in their vegetable garden at their Braddon home. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Declan King and Anne Latham have lived in Braddon since 1979, after coming to Canberra to study at the Australian National University in the early 1970s.

They lived on an adjoining block in Elimatta Street for 30 years, then bought the 1930s cottage in the next-door block, so they could build from scratch. They built a new environmentally sustainable house in place of the cottage, saving two 60-year-old camellias for the new garden.

The garden is open on September 22 as part of the Down the Garden Path Ainslie Primary School annual fund-raiser.

They brought in tens of cubic metres of forest mulch from Canberra Sand and Gravel and Corkhill Bros to replace topsoil lost where the soil had been scraped back to clay. Home-made compost and the family’s chooks have been indispensable in enriching the new beds.

King and Latham like the quote, ”try organic food – or as your grandparents called it, food”. Both their families were gardeners and it seemed natural to them to grow food and keep chooks, to recycle from kitchen to garden to table. When their children were small, they bought day-old chicks and raised them, sometimes keeping six or eight layers, but now they have just three hens, all hylines. They use crushed eggshells around seedlings to discourage slugs and snails.

On a recent two-month cycling holiday in France, the couple passed vegetable plots on the fringe of most towns. They observed the way gardeners there used branches pruned from fruit trees to support vegetables, rather than using tomato stakes or frames.

They have three espaliered fruit trees which are crosses between apricots and plums, sold by Fleming’s Nurseries. Cot N Candy is an ”interspecific” apricot, that looks like an apricot but it said to have a slight plumy aftertaste. Flavor Rouge is a red-skinned plum, and Marcia’s Flavor is a medium to large hybrid plum, all three of them crossbred by hand pollination between apricots and plums.

King and Latham also grow apples, persimmons and pomegranates and had a small harvest from an olive tree they bought from a gardener in Gowrie, who opened her garden for the Open Gardens scheme, and planted five years ago. They have gooseberry trees, from friends, and raspberries and blueberries.

King tends to graze as he walks the garden, eating an instant garden salad by pinching tops of broad beans and field peas (grown as a green manure crop), outer young leaves from self-sown curly lettuces and the tops of garlic plants. The many rows of broad beans add nitrogen to the soil and Latham uses the crop in a broad bean and haloumi quiche.

They grow most of their vegetables from seed, including non-hybrid beetroot, carrots, and peas from Eden Seeds, and rocket, lettuce, tomatoes from seeds collected at home or from friends. Rhubarb, red onions, garlic and many herbs are staples, and they have not long harvested kipfler and Dutch cream potatoes. They also grow silverbeet with red, orange and white stems.

They grow bee-attracting flowers such as poppies, cosmos and marigolds, which they germinate inside in seed-raising trays.

>> Declan King and Anne Latham’s garden is open for Down the Garden Path on September 22, 11am-3pm. The event, raising money for an Ainslie school food garden, is a walking tour of old, established gardens and modern water-wise gardens in Braddon and Ainslie. Tickets (adults $5), with map, from the school in Donaldson Street, Braddon. The Baker Gardens Preschool sells soup and cakes, and private homes will hold cake stalls along the route. Talks on keeping bees, backyard chooks, and heritage homes (from ACT Heritage).

>> Susan Parsons is a Canberra writer.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Lithuania through to second round despite loss

Lithuania advanced to the second round of the European championship despite losing 78-72 to Bosnia-Herzegovina, while Germany knocked out Israel.

Bosnia needed to win by 10 to squeeze out Lithuania and led 72-58 after Mirza Teletovic knocked down a 3-pointer with 5:22 left in the game.

Teletovic finished with 31 points but Lithuania cut the deficit and went through. Linas Kleiza had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Lithuania.

Croatia advanced by beating the Czech Republic 70-53.

Germany, already eliminated, prevented Israel from advancing by winning 80-76. That outcome sent Belgium through.

Earlier, Ukraine and Latvia also advanced to the second round.

The Ukrainians beat Britain 87-68, getting 11 points each from Ihor Zaytsev and Kyryl Natyazhko. Latvia, which got 15 points from Kristaps Janicenoks, defeated Macedonia 76-77 and eliminated a team that was in the semifinals two years ago.

On the final day of group play, defending champion Spain won its fourth in five by beating Georgia 83-59 to reach the second round. Ricky Rubio led Spain with 16 points.

Also, Finland beat Greece 86-77 in a match between two already qualified teams. Petteri Koponen scored 29 for Finland, while Nikos Zisis had 19 for Greece.

Italy, which beat Sweden 82-79, finished on top of Group D, with Finland second and Greece third. Italy is the only unbeaten team, with five victories.

Ukraine dominated from the start to win its fourth in five games.

“They (Britain) had a chance to advance depending on what happened but we also wanted to advance, and it was important to our players to advance by winning,” Ukraine coach Mike Fratello said. “Now we’ll move on and try to keep going.”

Spain trailed by one with just over three minutes left in the second quarter when Rudy Fernandez made a three-point play to put his team ahead by two. Spain then went on a 15-2 run to put the game away.

“We were aggressive on defense and found easy shots on offense. I think we did a good job on defense and that gave us consistency in the game,” Rubio said.

“We always try to impose our pace, but of course that’s not possible at all times. We know that we have had a good first round, with one lost game against Slovenia, so we know that we have to correct some things and we are ready for whatever is about to come.

Latvia outscored Macedonia 27-16 in the first quarter after starting the game with a 12-0 run.

“The plan was to be real aggressive, play aggressive defense. Because of that we got so many fast breaks,” Latvia point guard Dairis Bertans said.

“We haven’t been (to the second round) for so many years and we had a really tough group this year.”


The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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