Category Archives: Road Trip

Road Trip: Day 3

It was kinda sad that our holiday was coming to an end. We were woken by the kids once again and it was fun to play with them before breakfast. I made oats with stewed fruits for breakfast, which kept us warm and full until lunchtime.

Porridge with stewed apples and cranberries

We had so many people we wanted to catch up with but time was limited. We asked all our friends to come to a big lunch get together at yum cha so we would have a chance to see everyone. It was sensational fun and great to see everyone.

Yum Cha

I’m a bad blogger… I didn’t get photos of the feast. Lets just say it was delicious and leave it at that. I introduced my friends to some of my favourite yum cha foods including mango pancakes.

After we had lunch and did a little shopping in the Asian supermarkets, it was time to say goodbye to Brisbane and start our trip home. It was pretty straight through sailing with only one stop: Ikea. I have always wanted to go to Ikea. I have heard some great things about Ikea but just had to experience it myself. Our time was limited to only one hour, so we had to move fast.

I want this walk in pantry! Look at how organised everything is? Roller shutter doors hide it when necessary.

Joe discovers a lazy susan in a corner shelf which would optimise storage. I would definitely opt for this. Joe makes notes for when he builds me my dream kitchen.

Ikea has the idea of optimising the use of available space. Splash backs have these brilliant rails which allow for hanging utensils and potted herbs. This would definitely be a feature in my dream kitchen.

I had to laugh when I saw this sign.

We were home by 8.30pm and unpacked within the hour. The washing machine and drier are running as I type (Its raining again). The household has almost been reset with only tiny tell-tale signs of the adventure we have only just completed.

I’ve had an absolute ball this weekend, and just cant wait to repeat the experience next year.

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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in Road Trip


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Road Trip: Day 2

Our day started nice and early courtesy to two little people. I adored having the kids around and after a night of sleep, the kids were bright as buttons and happy giggling souls. The 10 month old baby Eleanor reached for my hand and in doing so, took her very first ever unassisted steps. She took three steps and as if to prove how easy it was, she did it again a few minutes later. This little action would be a highlight for my trip.

After a delicious breakfast of pancakes provided by our hosts, we started to make our way north. The Festival is about an hour north of Brisbane and we decided to travel in normal clothes, opting to dress in the car park on arrival. It seemed to be a popular choice as we were not the only people tugging dresses and amour on in the car park.

Dressed and ready to go; Joe (left) Brittany (right) and me (centre)

We timed it perfectly and arrived before the gates opened. Having prepaid our tickets, we were in the express lane for when the gates opened. Or so we thought. There was some technical issue with the scanners which saw the prepaid entering later than the cash people. Nevertheless, we only had to wait about 40 minutes before we were inside.

First Joust for the day!

First on our agenda was the joust. Tickets for the joust sells out early and we were lucky enough to see the first of the three jousts. While we queued for the joust arena to open, Joe decided to pose for a photo. It was funny to see people crowding in when he got down on his bended knee. I think they expected a proposal.

Joe on bended knee

While we were standing in line, I noticed this gorgeous creature and had to go take a look.

A tame owl checks me out while I check it out.

The joust was fast and exciting. The rider in green is the good lady Sasha and I cheered loudest for her.

Sir Justyn (red) defeats Lady Sasha, despite my screams of encouragement

After the joust, we were free to explore. Really, it should be done over two days and the weather hampered our adventuring. Nevertheless, we did find so many things of interest.

Pork Sausages braised and stewed with apples and onions in a cider based gravy. Look for this recipe in coming weeks!

A whole pig is roasted on a spit over hot coals, turned by hand by this fair maiden.

Roasting meats was common through the different troupes and re-enactment groups. The scent of roasting meats hung in the air and as the day progressed, the smells teased us. The fires over which they roasted were warm and inviting after each down pour and rain shower.

This medieval sample kitchen was complete with fox kits, small wild fowl and fresh herbs.

One of the many feasts for participants. This feast was provided by a medieval troupe that featured the fresh produce that would be fairly common for the era.

I am not sure though if this antipasto would be common back in the day.

Kitchen and feast displays were common amongst the troupes that tried to display sample living for their own demonstration eras. Some seemed obvious while other displays asked questions.

Not to be outdone by the neighbours, this dark age troupe put a lamb on the spit.

This dark age troupe had a brilliant display but I was fascinated by this venison jerky and salami, fresh herbs and drying washing!

This table demonstrates regular dark ages feasts. Fresh and dried fruits and vegetables, duck and chicken eggs, dried fish and meats, raw honey, salt and berries. Pine needle tea was common as was heavy unleavened breads.

Brittany finds herself a husband in the form of this Templar (right)

Brittany had a ball. So many handsome men in shiny, shiny suits!

Amongst all the steel suits was this amazing leather amour.

And Brittany finds a steed…

The Dark Ages Troupe demonstrated bread and cheese making, baking both in this clay oven.

We were grateful to find an undercover chair to sit in while we had our photos taken at the head of the grand table.

It’s a shame my humble camera couldn’t handle the low light of the evenings festivities. We got to witness a gorgeous gypsy wedding, a brilliant fire display and some outstanding trick horse riding.

We were exhausted, cold and wet by the end of the day thanks to the unpredictable weather. It was fantastic though, and we will definitely be back next year.

Tomorrow, the final day of our road trip.


Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Road Trip


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Road Trip: Day 1

Road Trip: Day 1

Each year, a Medieval Renaissance Fair is held about 350kms from home. Last year, Brittany and I adventured north to experience the awesome that is Abbey Medieval Festival. This year, Joe took the weekend off and we made a mini holiday out of it. We were gone for three days and did a lot of exploring and adventuring which I will bring to you over the next three days.

Day 1 begun quite early. Before we left home, we tidied the house and did a general clean up after having left the house in disarray from packing. Even with doing such tasks on a day of leisure, we were on the road by 10am.

First stop for us was about an hour up the highway. I stopped in to see some wonderful dear friends whom I don’t get to see very often. Brittany had baked a coconut cake the day before to share with our friends Genevieve and Georgia for morning tea. I do love spending time with friends, and this visit made me realise I just don’t see my friends anywhere near enough.

Coconut cake made by Brittany and enjoyed by us all.

We left the girls early afternoon and decided to find some lunch. There were two must do’s for this trip – Sushi Train and yum cha. These are both luxuries we don’t get to experience at home. Although I do make similar foods, it’s never quite the same. Lucky for us, Sushi Train was quite nearby.

All aboard the Sushi Train! Next stop; flavour central!

The Sushi Train gets its name from the conveyor type system that runs around the stores main island delivering large quantities and varieties of sushi to its guests. The centre of the island is where the sushi chefs work their magic.

Oh happy day. Tamago and Inari on one plate!

My Sushi Train experience often starts and ends the same. Tamago (right) is a sweet omelette which is a delicious way to start the feast. Inari (right) is a soy pocket filled with rice, honey and sesame seeds. It makes a convincing dessert.

Panstickers aka five fold dumplings are one of my all time favourites.

I do make Panstickers on occasions but nothing compares to these beauties in terms of cooking perfection and presentation.

Potato and Tuna Croquettes

I never really get the fried foods at Sushi Train, but we were curious when we saw this dish for the first time. The filling is a potato and tuna mixture with a crispy crunchy outside. The best way to describe this would be to say it was a croquette.

Chicken Caesar Sushi

This style of food / flavour has just started to pop up everywhere lately and it seems sushi is not immune. This is a Chicken Caesar Sushi. Inside the roll is chicken that is topped with lettuce, smothered in mayo and topped with bacon bits and cheese. The flavour was very much as you would expect.

Asparagus Tempura (back), Pumpkin and Carrot Tempura (left) and Kakiage Nigiri (right)

And finally, my favourite. I always order these hot when I sit down, and they are generally one of the last things I eat because of the time it takes for them to be made. At the top we have Asparagus Tempura smothered with a rich teriaki style sauce. Bottom left is my second favourite sushi; Pumpkin and carrot tempura. To the right is my all time favourite; Kakiage Nigiri which is a grated vegetable tempura.

After saying farewell to the Sushi Train, we finally made our way to Brisbane. I had placed an order the night before with Allsop and England Butchers. They were the suppliers of the goat we recently stewed and I decided to take the opportunity to buy direct and in bulk. I ordered a few kilos of their delicious organic goat, a kilo of their organic free range pork and lamb and a sample of their pork belly and bacon. All in all, I am sure it was money well spent and you should see it featured in some delicious recipes over the next few weeks!

We arrived at our final destination for the day at around 5pm. Our gorgeous hosts were Renee from The Accidental Hippy, her husband Steve and two beautiful daughters Claire and Eleanor. We had a barbecue for dinner that featured some wonderful goat sausages I got from the Butchers to sample and I must say, they were divine! I also made a potato salad that tasted good after travelling 300kms in the icy esky.

As you can imagine, we were pretty exhausted after our big trip and sleep was not an issue. And we would need it… tomorrow is Abbey Medieval Festival day!


Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Road Trip


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