Serving size …

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For lunch I was looking forward to a sandwich of cheese with tomato & basil from my garden……

One ounce of cheese is not very much if you want to follow the “official” serving size listed on the pack.  As soon as I cut it I knew it was not going to work….IMG_1206for that one ounce of cheese, even thinly sliced,  didn’t cover my bread!   IMG_12121

Luckily the rhubarb & ginger jam, purchased from my local Farmer’s Market, didn’t come with a label so I was free to slather it on unhindered by a dietary guideline.    IMG_1213

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Treats……

I took a different route back to the "compound" and found a little treasure almost overwhelmed by a post office on one side and a take-away on the other.

Riviera's is full of delectable looking homemade treats made on the premises (you can see into the sparkling kitchen from the counter).   They have only been open for 7 months and everything is made from natural ingredients – no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives – and they have some gluten-free goodies as well.

After ordering a cappuccino and selecting a lemon pie and a little pastry filled with baked ricotta & nutmeg I asked the very friendly lady behind the counter if I could take a photo and she called out to ask the Managing Director, Pat Riviera, if it would be okay  -  then I felt a bit silly and quickly rushed off a couple of photos.


On the counter side not in the photo they have beautifully presented gift bags & boxes, tied with ribbons, of Florentine's, Melting Moments, Amaretti and Almond Meringues.

I put an American quarter and an Australian 10 cent piece in the photo to show the size of the goodies I bought.  They are not super-sized – they were just really delicious morsels!  And, the cappuccino was very good too!

So ….  if you find yourself near Five Ways in Eastwood look for Riviera's in Corunna Road.

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Couldn’t resist posting this… Australians, who we are..

Published in The Sun-Herald, 13/1/2008 by David Dale.

"Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are," said the French philosopher Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1826. "A strong cup of tea and an iced Vo Vo" said the Australian politician Kevin Rudd in 2007, suggesting how to celebrate Labor's election victory. So that's what he thinks of us?

Well of course not. Rudd was parodying the traditional teatime of the 1950s for which John Howard held such nostalgia. If he'd meant to describe this nation in the Noughties, Rudd would have said "a skim latte and two Tim Tams".
bikkies.jpg Our coffee consumption (2.4 kg per person per year) is more than double our tea consumption. The Tim Tam (invented in 1964) outsells the Vo Vo (invented in 1906) more than ten to one. In fact, Australians eat 380 million of the insidious cuboids a year.

But that's not to say we're a nation of bikkiephiliacs. Our annual consumption rate of 7kg of biscuits per person falls well behind the American rate of 9kg per person. Nor are we a nation of chocoholics — the average Australian consumes 4.4kg of chocolate a year, while the British eat 9.2kg each a year and the Swiss consume 11.3kg each.

So if we're not chocolate biscuits, what are we? According to a survey of 1700 eaters by the economic analysts Bis Shrapnel, we're sangers and chips. Look at this chart:

Australia's most purchased takeaway foods: 1 Sandwiches; 2 Hot chips; 3 Hamburgers; 4 Cakes/ pastries; 5 Chinese food; 6 Pizza; 7 Fried or grilled fish; 8 Ice cream; 9 Meat pies; 10 Filled rolls.

Apparently every Australian buys 20 sandwiches and 18 orders of potato chips a year, as part of an expenditure of $9 billion on 1.4 billion takeaway meals – up 3 per cent on the early Noughties.

To me, this news is more depressing than the notion we might be the land of tea and Vo Vos. I've nothing against the chip, but I must confess a bias against the sandwich that began when my mother got into the habit of sending me to school with white bread slices squashed round spaghetti from a tin.

Spaghetti sandwiches have no swapping value and by lunchtime they're so soggy your thumb goes straight through them. Now that I'm grown up, I will never eat a sandwich again, not even when it's disguised with a trendy name like focaccia.

pt_doughnut.jpg Obviously millions of Australians were never traumatised by their school lunches. The only good news in the Bis Shrapnel survey is that over this decade our consumption of sandwiches and chips has remained static (the way they do in the gut), while our order of Chinese takeaways has risen from six a year in the early Noughties to nine now. Chinese is apparently most popular with eaters over 35, while sushi is the Asian choice for people aged 18 to 24 and Thai for people between 25 and 35. That sounds pretty progressive.

Now back to the bad news: Hamburgers are declining in popularity, while rolls are rising (reflected in Subway outlets – 851 of them — now outnumbering McDonald's outlets).

I don't care how they dress them up, filled rolls are still a form of sandwich. It would take only the slightest hint of economic downturn for unscrupulous operators to start filling them with tinned spaghetti. And then society would be on the toboggan.

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Going downhill …..

Last night (New Years Eve) we had lovely lobster tails for dinner along with coconut crumbed prawns with apricot & wasabi sauce served with champagne.

I cooked them on the snazzy grill thing on my stove top…

The first dinner of 2008 is the last  (thank God) of the left over turkey made into a curry, served with beer!!

The wings are just in there for "garnish" …..

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My neighborhood Supermarket

I went to the local supermarket yesterday – this is only my second trip since moving in to the neighborhood and the first one was an in and out trip for milk. Yesterday I had more time to look around.

 

This is a major chain supermarket but it is more like the corner rip-off store in selection, prices, out of date items and general appearance.  But, under a huge sign proudly proclaiming “Lunch Meats” is the most amazing choice in pre-packaged, sodium, potassium & chemical laden lunch “meats”!!   The area is about the same size as other supermarkets devote to their entire dairy section.  Despite the attractive array I did not see anything I was remotely tempted to try.  

 

Then, in just about every other supermarket I have been in here, the pharmaceutical type items are right there on the shelf with the toiletries etc – but not in this one.  Here they are locked up in their own room and things are dolled out by the pharmacist and his assistant through a meshed up security window!   I am not talking about prescription items or even “pharmacy only” items but things like Claritin,  eye drops and nasal sprays.

 

The hand lotions, like Lubriderm and Nivea, and liquid soaps have stickers all over them with the store's name and a blurb about how they are sold in this particular store and if they are found in any other store you should call a 1-800 number and report finding them!

 

So, things were a little different to what I am used to but I have to say that the staff in this store were the happiest and most friendly I have yet met in retail.

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