The Organic Challenge: Shopping in Sydney

So I decided to go online shopping to see how ‘organically’ we could live for a week. As I’ve said we spend around $200 a week on food (we love to eat), but I thought I’d try $100 ~ say you’re a single person who loves to eat.

And this is what we got from Abundant Organics delivery service in Sydney, had we decided to press the checkout button.

You can see what we had in the basked more clearly by clicking on the two images. There certainly wasn’t going to be a lot of meat eaten this week. That’s okay.

The premise was there should be something to add to all this left over in the store cupboard at home, just like next week there’ll still be rice.

I feel like I’m playing ‘Ready Steady Cook’ but here’s what I’d do with this lot.

I think one could make Osso Buco using the meat, the carrots, the onions and maybe add the cannelini beans, a zucchini frittata, a risotto with the pumpkin and feta and herbs. And then there’s still the chicken to do something with. Perhaps on the barbie, with some grilled red capsicum and a Greek salad with some more feta, cucumber and tomatoes and any parsley that might be hanging around. There’s not a great deal of fruit in here. But I think maybe you could get five lunches and dinners from it with the addition of bread for sandwiches. And to continue on the Greek theme, perhaps devote a potato or two to making a skordalia (We surely must have garlic and olive oil in the store cupboard.)

The pros of this site: a big range in all departments.
The cons: I would rather be able to order a number of lemons (say 5) than a percentage of a kilo.

AND I really would have liked to have had a whole chook on offer, because then I could have used the bones to make stock to use in the risotto.

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Please visit

Yes, another new blog. Please come and visit at organic australia. It’s devoted to discussion and resources of all edible organic things produced and consumed in Australia.

As part of this blog though, let’s do the organic challenge. Find an online delivery service, buy $100 worth. I certainly don’t expect that we can eat 100% organic/sustainably produced, but I’d like to see how to utilise the delivery services for a week. Will it be enough for two? Will we be too many potatoes? At least, given it’s summer here there should be some interesting fruit. I get very tired of apples and pears in winter. Will we able to afford any meat. We’re going to interrogate organic delivery in each of Australia’s capital cities. Want to try?

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We’re Off To Vietnam

Here’s something a little spooky.

My name is Kerrie, I live in Kepos Street. Kepos in Greek can mean garden, and is where Epicurus took his students… With me so far? But have a look at the picture. Is it Kerrie or is it Kepos? You decide.

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Significant Birthday with the Significant Others

We’re off too Hanoi. I’m having a significant birthday in November and have decided to spend it in Vietnam. It will certainly conform to an Eating Year, as I plan to scoff my way around the country. (With the exception of Thit Co ~ I’m sorry I just don’t think I could do it, what with my own two pups waiting at home for me.)

I’m hoping a gang of friends is coming to join S.O. and I for dinner. I rather like Sticky Rice’s Moon River review. I’ve become an avid reader of the Stickyrice blog.

I’d love to hear from anyone who reads this blog who have had some really special food experiences whilst in Vietnam. Restaurants, Pavement food, Markets, products. Anything really.

I’m going to use this blog as a bit of an info site for those who are joining us, which some links that I’ve found that look interesting.

For instance, HanoiKids, a group of college and uni students who’ll show you their home town. I’ve got in a request for them to take me to the market and reveal the food secrets.

I’ve been dealing with the lovely Nhan at Footprint Travel who is very helpful. Even did an online chat with her on Saturday arvo re our plans. My Asian technology has changed since I last visited.

And for the first week we are staying at the Hanoi Elegance 2 [That’s 2, not 1!]

Would appreciate any food ‘must-dos’ from anyone who stumbles across this blog.

Details for my friends:

We are arriving morning of 21 November, CX flight.
Staying at Hanoi Elegance 2 (subject to confirmation of numbers… come on, hurry up)
Dinner on 23 November maybe at Moon River. (The Egg Hating Vegetarian Coeliac, who I hope is coming on same flight as us… and Jan and Andre will check it out).

S.O. is a huge fan of the Vietnamese chicken baguette, so I’m sure he’ll become the expert on those while we’re away. While the look of that crab thrills me to the socks.

Hen Gap Lai!

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Delizie Di Casa

Sometimes the opening of a small, unpretentious eatery can make a difference to a local community. That’s what Delize di Casa has done for East Redfern.

It’s a very Melbourne kind of place. (Well, actually it’s a very Italian sort of place, but it has that real local ambience that I’ve found isn’t as easy to find in Sydney as it is in Melbourne). And it smells fantastic.

Daniel opened his deli just before xmas, and the impact on us locals has been fantstic. It’s a true neighbourhood eatery, and I think I speak for all his customers when I thank from the bottom of my heart for his

Great coffee
Sublime Lasagne
Soup of Day
Marvellous pizza bases
Delicious Italian sausages
and truly gorgeous range of italian small goods and cheeses.

And I hear a rumour there’s an Osso Buco pie in development. Bring it on ~ family sized thank you!

Daniel, Jo and V know all their customers by name. And while sometimes, in this hurried, harried world of ours it’s too easy to think the service could be a tiny bit faster, you realise that the gang’s commitment to the finest produce and not cutting any corners in its service means you get to chat to your neighbours, you hear the local goss, you meet new neighbours, you spend quality time talking about important things like food with the crew from Vine, the bottle shop. (Needs an entry of its own).

It’s the principles of Slow Food and buying local at its very best. I have never felt so welcomed and respected as a customer. It’s a warm and enthusiatic and big hearted place, so much bigger than its not so large square metrage.

I love having my morning coffee there, and even call in after work (they’re open til 7 most nights) just for a catch up. See what’s gone on during the day.

Go for a visit and buy yourself a Delizie showbag. I recommend:

Some italian butter
Slices of San Daniele Prosciutto
A fresh lasagne
A couple of pizza bases
Homemade gnocchi
Some olives
a tub of eggplant

oh, and Daniel’s tuna dip… oh, and the artichoke and cannelini bean dip.

A good crusty loaf and you’re good to go. And go you will ~ back and back.

And a Waste Not, Want Not tip for all you dog loving foodies: Did you know that the skin of a leg of a prosciutto, scored with a sharp knife and slow baked on a rack in the oven til crispy, makes the most delicious doggie treat a canine ever had. Ask you local deli for their ham and proscuitto rinds to make your doggie a happy chappie. (I have even known S.O. to get stuck into them before they reach the pooches).

I for one look forward to the day Daniel opens his pizzeria. In the meantime you can find him at:

Shop 2B, 780 Bourke Street, Redfern 2016. Tel: (02) 9699 9413

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Sweetie Darling

I know this blog’s neglected, I know. It’s because I’ve discovered the horsies. No, not to eat, to wager on. I was about to give up on this one… It was just something I discovered in an article, when it came third. And I love a grey. Had a good day today. S.O. cooking dinner while I listen to racing. Oh well….

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Autumn is here.

I dunno, I just can’t get so excited by summer food as I do eating in the other three seasons of the year. Maybe that’s why this blog has become a wee bit neglected of late. Sure, there was the great Asian ‘slaw, of which we ate a lot, there were many bug tail barbies, there was the ricotta hotcake Xmas breakfast and S.O. even glazed a ham. Kibbeh, tabbouleh and hummus made with just a touch of preserved lemon also featured heavily. (Note to self: Asian slaw and tabbouleh look alike. What’s that about?)

It always takes me months to get over the excess of Xmas, not that we went overboard this year. Just S.O. and I home, with some of the family joining on Boxing Day. But it seems to me that we never start preparing dinner until way too late in the evening ~ I blame daylight saving ~ having had too many beverages to really pay attention to the cooking process.

I must prefer easter. Four days off, great autumnal weather, no pressure ~ an altogether much nicer time, I think.

More cookbooks have joined the library. And I have discovered NPR’s Hidden Kitchens series which is the most marvellous series of podcasts. It’s just fantastic, and I urge you to subscribe. It’s not a cooking show, but captures people and kitchens “under the radar”.

We have a lovely new Italian deli opened in our ‘hood. Great people ~ Daniel, Veronica & Joanne ~ really wonderful quality Italian cheeses, meats, pastas. So good, that it smells like Melbourne! More about them later.

20 kilos of tomatoes have been turned into sugo, chicken stock has been made. And we’ve discovered a laden guava tree around the corner ~ who would have thought in inner city Sydney ~ with very generous owners, who put out bags for anyone to take as many guavas as they would like. Love that sort of behaviour.

My friend T and I are investigating a plot at our local community garden.

Excellent Thursday ~ the day before Good Friday ~ is a significant one for S.O. and my’s relationship, so will be having friends around to celebrate it. It’s our favourite entertaining night of the year, as you know there’s another 4 days of R&R following. No long drives or rushed air trips but a long, languid magazine reading, pod listening, book reading, DVD watching , dog walking food fest. Gee, we might leave the house to see a movie, but it’s doubtful. And it’s even greater to know that our non-Christian cafe owners and restaurateurs in the area are open to cater for us if we get bored with our own company. Couldn’t be better, I say.

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