Thursday, October 30

What we did on our holidays - Day 3 ...

... We drove to Melbourne, via Ballarat.
During this particular drive (which we've done together so many times) I've always found the opportunity to comment, "country Victoria is so much prettier than country NSW, the towns are just nicer" (it really is. The spa region, for instance, shits all over the Blue Mountains region). I managed to bring this point to Mr Brown's attention twice this time.
Even the dirt is pretty, and it gives the local sheep a charming pinkish hue.
We drove-by/stalked 2 of the 4 places I used to live in. (Gentrified to the nth degree but still recognisable.) We couldn't find the first one (a flat in Mt Clear) and the last place was too ugly (a flat in Lydiard St, near the cemetary).
Lunch time sprang upon us and we tried to find the Golden City Deli (which used to make the most amazing sandwiches, huge bastards, enough for 2), it was gone so we popped into the Golden City Hotel bistro thing, a mistake really. We were surrounded by calisthenics girls (and their mothers) all talking in that "look at me, notice me" way that teenage girls so often do. It must be eisteddfod season or something.
I really don't understand why the girls are always made up to look like hard-faced, bitter, middle-aged women. Youth is beauty, why hide it under all that terrible make up?
We discovered, afterwards, that L'espresso WAS STILL THERE! It was there nearly 20 years ago when I lived there, it was sooo terribly sophisticated way back then, a little bit of Melbourne in Ballarat. And the toasties were mighty fine too.
We hit the road for Melbourne, Mr Brown's Blackberry (we call it Jeeves) got terribly confused and couldn't find our hotel. Lucky we managed, using the lost art of map reading (Mr Brown was a cartographer once upon a time).
We dumped the car and hit the National Gallery of Victoria. The Australian collection in the "new" building. I hate the new building, it's all about the building which is distracting. Also, personally, I think it's ugly.
I much preferred the old building but apparently they buggered it up, so a visit there would only have depressed me more.
Mr Brown got a little grumpy, it being several hours since we had eaten anything, so we had a dainty snack and a glass of wine here - go on clicky, it's a little virtual tour of the cellar bar at Grossi Florentino.
Dinner at Trunk was great. and now I know what "funky" means when used to describe a restaurant, it means loud. Still, the food was beautifully cooked and presented and the waiter, cute as a button and charming with it. One dish I remember was zuccini flowers on a smokey eggplant puree (we call it baba at home). I'm breaking out the smoker and whacking a couple of eggplants in it come the weekend, I've simply got to get that smoke flavour intensified in my baba. And then, this ...That was some bed, and all these long thin pillows, perfect for the dancingmorganmouse method of comfortable sleeping - build a little nest of pillows and jam yourself in.


Pink Granite said...

Hi -
I always slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. Then I place it cut face down on a foil covered metal sheet pan. I then make two shallow cuts lengthwise, a few inches long into the eggplant skin. I pop it under the broiler set to high. I also open a door and turn on an exhaust fan! Then I keep setting a timer and rotating the pan every few minutes to keep getting the skin evenly charred.

When the eggplant begins to smell amazing and seems to be starting to collapse a bit, I shut off the broiler, shut the oven door and let the eggplant cool and continue to cook, as the oven cools.

Then the Baba Ganoush making begins: the smokey flesh of the eggplant plus garlic, lemon, sesame tahini, salt and YUM!
- Lee

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Thanks for the baba hint, I think I'll do it in the bbq or smoke box though, with all the doors and windows shut (we don't have an exhaust fan that actually takes the smoke OUT of the house - madness I know!)