On the radio

This is a photograph of a Dog staring behind a tree. It looks like a pointer. It's tail is at a 45 ° angle and the dog is standing erect.

On the radio

So today I was on the radio. Regular readers here and over at Yummy Lummy will know of my love of the iconic Australian pastry treat, viz., the Vanilla Slice. I joined Jolene Laverty on Lish Fejer‘s Sunday Brunch show on ABC Canberra, and we talked about our love of vanilla slice.

As an aside, Who listens to the radio? by The Sports was one of my favourite songs growing up.

I mentioned Jolene earlier in January after she wrote a brilliant piece for The Guardian and she was kind enough to mention my vanilla slice review on Yummy Lummy. Lish reached out to Jolene to appear on her show and she generously extended the invitation to me too. I had a lot of fun. I’ve appeared on radio and TV before when I was working in Darwin, but this was my first in-studio experience.

Jolene had made some vanilla slice after she wasn’t able to buy any at her chosen bakery yesterday. I brought in some from the new Dobinsons Bakery Cafe at Westfield Belconnen. I really liked the flavour of Jolene’s slice. It had a lovely caramel flavour to it and the pastry was thin but it held enough without being friable.

This is a photograph at ABC studios Canberra of Vanilla slice from Jolene Laverty and Dobinsons Bakery cafe. I was on the radio.

The Dobinsons slice was really very good. I brought it in because Jolene had mentioned she hadn’t tried a slice with passionfruit icing. The custard of the Dobinsons’ slide had a near perfect consistency. It was soft and tongueable. As Goose would say, these are the ducks guts.

It was fun eating and talking while on the radio.

Hear me on the radio

You can hear the fun we had from about the 35 minute mark. Click on the link and it opens the ABC site and you can listen to Lish’s entire show from today. We even had the High Commissioner from New Zealand telling us about his favourite vanilla slice too.

More cooking news

This week I received in the mail two products (which I paid for) to help me cook meat. The first is a MEATER® thermometer and the second is an Anova Culinary precision cooker.

MEATER® thermometer

This is a very fancy meat thermometer which despite oven temperatures can communicate via Blue Tooth or Wi-Fi with a smartphone app. While I do own an old fashioned meat thermometer, I like the idea of using something that I can read in real time without having to open the oven door. I’ll be writing a proper review for Yummy Lummy soon.

This is a photograph of my new MEATER probe in its box.

I like that with meat thermometers I won’t overcook my meat. I just need to get the internal temperature to the desired temperature, remove the meat from the heat source and then let my meat rest.

My default for cooking chicken has been to cook for an hour at 200 °C. The meat was always moist but I always wondered if I could cook the muscle for a shorter period. Obviously, cooking chicken requires some care, so getting the internal temperature of the largest muscle bundle to 75 °C is paramount. The MEATER® turned out to be a great aid. I was able to more than halve the cooking time. The flesh was juicy, moist and tender. The juices ran clear and I felt safe.

Last night I cooked a piece of Scotch fillet steak in the oven using my MEATER® and it was delicious. I even went to the extent of searing the outside with a kitchen torch.

Sous Vide Everything

Over many years I’ve contemplated sous vide cooking. I know it’s recently become a fad and up until recently, I had assumed that unless I used old second-hand laboratory equipment I’d be up for a really expensive closed system. I didn’t realise I could purchase a water recirculator and a plastic bucket to do the job.

This is a photograph of the box containing the Anova Culinary Recirculator on a window sill

I’ve been watching Sous Vide Everything on YouTube and the hosts (who are South Americans living in Florida), have convinced me there is an affordable and space conscious way to cook sous vide.

One of my major concerns was where to set up a cooker in the one bedroom flat I rent. There is barely enough space for the bench top oven and induction hob I use. I see that with a detachable water recirculator I can use a plastic bucket to store things and put it away after each use.

While the recirculator arrived this week, I’m still waiting for the plastic bucket and lid. I bought the container via Amazon Australia and expect delivery later this month. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m excited about cooking salmon and red meat sous vide.

What else happened this week?

Not much really. That said, I did break the 79 kg barrier that I’ve been sitting on for so long. I expect after today’s vanilla slice extravaganza though, I may be approaching 80 kg when I weigh in tomorrow morning 😳 😜

Graph of my weight loss since October 2017

This is a graph demonstrating my weight loss since October 2017. It's a graph of time on the X axis and weight on the Y axis.

What I ate this week

Monday dinner

Baked salmon and a colourful fennel salad

This is a photograph of Monday dinner. Baked poppy and sesame seed, chilli crusted salmon and lime flavoured fennel and radish salad. This is a really colourful photograph.

Tuesday lunch

Leftover salmon

This is a photograph of Tuesday lunch. Leftover salmon with fresh garden tomatoes. You can see the beautiful sweet globes with the leftover salmon.

Tuesday dinner

Chicken Maryland cooked with the help of the MEATER®. The tomatoes were a gift from a workmate. They were amazing.

This is a photograph of Tuesday dinner. Poppy and sesame seed crusted Chicken Maryland with fennel and tomato lime salad. It's really colourful.

Wednesday dinner

Chicken Maryland cooked with the help of the MEATER®

This is a photograph of Wednesday dinner. Celebrating breaking through the 79 kg barrier with #meatermade Chicken Maryland and fennel and tomato salad. Using my MEATER thermometer, I cooked the chicken until it reached an internal temperature of 75 °C and allowed it to rest for 5 minutes. The meat was moist, juicy and delicious. The salad contains fresh garden tomatoes from a work mate, lime zest, lime juice, fennel, radish, red onion, capers, parsley and dill. #weightloss #lowcarb #igfood

Thursday dinner

Baked speck and vegetables

This is a photograph of Thursday dinner. Baked speck and vegetables with cream and cheese. It's still in the oven-proof dish I cooked it in.

Friday lunch

Chicken schnitzel with chips and gravy

This is a photograph of Friday lunch. Chicken schnitzel with chips and gravy. I ate this at the Canberra Hospital and Health Services tuck shop.

Friday dinner

Speck and fennel salad

This is a photograph of Friday dinner. Speck and spicy fennel salad with radish and lime zest. It is a colourful salad.

Saturday breakfast

Crispy bacon and poached eggs

This is a photograph of Saturday breakfast. Worcestershire flavoured poached eggs with crispy bacon.

Saturday lunch

Macca’s Nugs and mustard

This is a photograph of Saturday lunch. Nugs and mustard from Maccas.

Saturday dinner

Scotch fillet steak cooked with the aid of the MEATER®

This is a gallery of photographs showing a sequence of what I did to prepare the steak. Click on one photograph and scroll through each image.

Sunday breakfast

Coon cheese and sesame seed omelet

This is a photograph of Sunday breakfast. Coon cheese and sesame seed omelet served with a slice of lime and a caramel cream coffee. I love lime juice.

Sunday lunch

I ate vanilla slices

This is a photograph of Vanilla slice in the display cabinet at Dobinsons Bakery cafe, Westfield Belconnen. This is a photograph of Vanilla slice from Dobinsons Bakery Cafe. I shot the photograph at Westfield Belconnen. It shows a tray of four slices in a cardboard box. This is a photograph at ABC studios Canberra of Vanilla slice from Jolene Laverty and Dobinsons Bakery cafe. I was on the radio.

Final words

I’m not sure if you’ll ever hear me on the radio again, I hope so, it was a lot of fun.

I’ll be enjoying a pork chop for dinner. I’m not sure if anything exciting is happening in the week to come. I hope you have a good week and eat well.

Ducks guts

A great piece of Australian slang and best epitomised by one of the best sequences of cinema ever made. In fact, I prefer watching this than anything else I’ve ever seen at the movies including Star Trek movies.

Hear Goose at about the 1 minute mark but better yet, watch the entire clip.

NATIONAL CLUBS GYMNASTICS CARNIVAL 2017 MY JOURNEY TO AND FROM BENDIGO

This is a photograph of Metal straws and a straw cleaner because I hate that plastic straws are killing marine mammals and reptiles.
I like metal straws because I hate what plastic straws are doing to marine mammals and reptiles.

 

No 1206 2CC AM radio for a year

Mind the dust. I should have dusted before shooting the photograph.

No 2CC AM radio for a year

For nearly my entire adult life I’ve woken up in the morning and turned on the radio. When I was growing up in Brisbane it was 4QR (which is now better known as 612 ABC Brisbane). When I left home I listened to ABC’s Radio National mainly to get a more national perspective.

Between 1996 and 2007 in Darwin I listened to 8PNN (Parliamentary News Network) on the FM spectrum. It was a new news format and the presenters were interesting. It also pulled in feeds from the BBC (UK) and NPR (USA). I preferred it to Radio National which had a lot of boring programming that I couldn’t give a toss about. Mostly the music and arts stuff which held no interest for me.

Radio in Canberra

When I arrived in Canberra in September 2007 I thought I would change from ABC News Radio and try something local because I had little understanding of Canberra and the local scene. I first listened to 2CN (666 ABC Canberra). I can’t remember the host of the breakfast session but he was boring and uninteresting. Watching paint dry would have captured my attention better. Within a few days, I had switched to 2CC (1206 Talking Canberra). The breakfast host was Mike Jeffreys and he had a terrific rapport with the newsreader whose name was Jane. I liked the talkback format and being able to listen to what Canberra people had to say on various topics and issues of the day.

Mike Jeffreys was replaced by Mark Parton who brought a different style and approach. It took a while but I got used to Mark and we remain connected via Twitter. He’s a member of the ACT’s legislative assembly now so I avoid contact unless it’s purely social with no political dimension. Before Mark embarked on his political career he resigned and was replaced with Tim Shaw. Tim is a very well known personality in Australia), famous because of television advertising in the 1970s and 1980s. He’s a very capable and impressive breakfast radio host too. I grew to enjoy listening to him and his producer, Geoff Koop, as well as the various news readers on the program.

Up until 31 December 2016, I’d been happy waking up every morning, turning on the radio and listening in while I went about preparing for the day. Last year, I had a thought, what if I gave up something I was used to doing. What effect would it have on me? What could I give up?

I felt guilty giving up radio, it was like unfriending someone on Facebook or blocking someone on Twitter for no good reason at all. When 01 January 2017 clicked over, I didn’t touch the radio in the morning. Not even in the car driving to work. I haven’t listened to breakfast radio for an entire year.

I have listened to radio though during the day but it’s only been the Parliamentary News Network when the Australian Parliament has been sitting and when something I’m working on or interested in is being debated by politicians. Otherwise, radio is pretty much dead to me.

What effect has this had on my life?

The immediate effect was the silence. The only noise was from the kettle or food sizzling in a frying pan. The sound of water when I wet my toothbrush, the sound of water in the shower, and the sound of the toilet flushing. Otherwise there was silence. It was strangely peaceful. I felt more peaceful and relaxed.

I found I got through my morning tasks more quickly. I found I was arriving at work earlier because I was ready earlier. Rather than listen to the radio when driving to work, I listened to podcasts. Sometimes, I would drive with nothing playing, no radio, no music, no podcasts and no audio books. It gave me time to contemplate things. Contemplate life. Contemplate my day. Sometimes I found that depressing, other times it was nice to day dream about something I’d like to happen.

Will I go back to morning radio?

No, this year has been a revelation. I’ve enjoyed the time saving and the learning from podcasts. That’s not to say I’ll never listen to talk back radio again. When I’m 70 I will retire to the life of a curmudgeon. I look forward to insomnia and listening to the radio all night and calling in and arguing with the host and criticising others. I have opinions and when I’m free from various workplace codes of conduct I look forward to letting loose.

What else happened this week?

My ill relative has begun a slow recovery after some initial postoperative complications. The road to full recovery will require inpatient rehabilitation and then a lot of work at home to regain fitness and mental agility.

I returned to Canberra this week and missed being in Brisbane immediately on landing. It was good spending some time with my daughters in Brisbane and other close family members. It was also good being able to get around in shorts, T-shirt and thongs the whole time.

A week in Brisbane

The Last Jedi

I went and saw the latest instalment of the Star Wars franchise. I really enjoyed it. It will certainly make episode 9 in the series very interesting.

The weight situation

The good news is that while I was in Brisbane I could maintain my low carb lifestyle even though I was also cooking for someone else too. When I measured my mass on Thursday morning after returning to Canberra, my mass had not changed. Better yet, on Friday morning, I measured myself at 79.9 kilograms. I’d temporarily broken through the 80-kilogram barrier. Of course, on Saturday and Sunday after some indulging, my weight was >80 kilograms. The trend remains though in the right direction.

What have I been eating this week?

Celery sticks

Celery and cheese products are a nice refreshing low carb snack.

Celery and cream cheese
Celery and cream cheese
Celery with salmon and avocado with a little cream cheese
Celery with salmon and avocado with a little cream cheese

Eggs

Cheese and herb omelettes are a great breakfast as are poached eggs with crispy bacon and avocado. It’s also hard to beat scrambled eggs made with just eggs and butter.

Cheese and herb omelet
Cheese and herb omelet
Cheesy scrambled eggs and crispy bacon
Cheesy scrambled eggs and crispy bacon
Relaxing Sunday breakfast. Poached eggs, crispy bacon and avocado.
Relaxing Sunday breakfast. Poached eggs, crispy bacon and avocado.

Crusted salmon and chicken

I’ve become quite a fan of encrusting salmon and chicken with a dry rub made from crushed nuts, iodised salt, black peppercorns, chilli flakes, paprika and onion powder.

Chilli crusted salmon with stir-fried kale coleslaw with horseradish cream
Chilli crusted salmon with stir-fried kale coleslaw with horseradish cream
Herb and seed crusted salmon with stir-fried kale coleslaw with horseradish cream
Herb and seed crusted salmon with stir-fried kale coleslaw with horseradish cream
Spicy nut crusted Chicken Maryland with pumpkin and cauliflower with cheese
Spicy nut crusted Chicken Maryland with pumpkin and cauliflower with cheese

Steak

Because I’m now a first degree relative of someone who has had carcinoma of the bowel, I’ll cut down the amount of red meat but every once and a while I’ll enjoy steak. I crusted this one with crushed Queensland nuts, almonds, iodised salt, black peppercorns, chilli flakes, paprika and onion powder.

Chilli, herb and nut crusted rib-eye fillet steak with kale salad stir-fried with horseradish cream
Chilli, herb and nut crusted rib-eye fillet steak with kale salad stir-fried with horseradish cream

Christmas lunch

I’ve posted about Christmas lunch elsewhere but it was too good not to show again.

A coffee tamper makes for a useful tool to crush nuts
A coffee tamper makes a useful tool for crushing nuts
Roast lamb, roast chicken, king prawns, pumpkin, onion, and coleslaw
Christmas lunch. Roast lamb, roast chicken, king prawns, pumpkin, onion, and coleslaw.
Pavlova with whipped cream and mango
Pavlova with whipped cream and mango

Coffee

I’m letting myself have the occasional milk-based coffee. It’s so good.

Flat white coffee
Flat white coffee

Double shot latte

Treats and temptations

When I broke through 80 kilograms I had six nugs (McDonald’s McNuggets) and blogging friend Mabel tempted me on Instagram to have a bucket of KFC popcorn chicken. I didn’t go a bucket, just a regular box.

Nugs or McNuggets from McDonalds

Nugs or McNuggets from McMcDonald’s

KFC popcorn chicken
KFC popcorn chicken

A mistake not to be repeated

On Saturday I felt like making myself a refreshing drink. I had some frozen strawberries and mint. I also had some bird’s eye chillies. I’ve been eating these chillies pretty regularly lately so it didn’t dawn on me that putting them into a drink would be a problem. I’ve been eating at least two a day with dinner for a few months and have enjoyed the extra flavour these small chillies add to my meals.

I had not thought that adding two raw bird’s eye chillies and blending them into a drink would intensify the heat. OMG, I was in extraordinary pain for 30 minutes. My lips and tongue swelled, they became a bright red and they felt like they were raw and on fire. I treated the pain by applying ice wrapped in a washcloth to my lips.

Never make the mistake I made. Chilli mint strawberry drink.
Never make the mistake I made. Chilli mint strawberry drink.

Last supper before 2018

I wanted a Moreton Bay Bug Thenus orientialis but had to make do with lobster.

I cooked a piece of Chicken Maryland in the oven and served it with some stir-fried kale salad mixed in with the lobster meat and flavoured with horseradish cream and Dijon mustard.

Chicken Maryland with lobster and Queensland nut kale salad with horseradish cream
Chicken Maryland with lobster and Queensland nut kale salad with horseradish cream

Resolutions for 2018?

Do I have any resolutions for 2018? Not really. I hope to stabilise my weight around 77 kilograms. I hope to see my daughters more often in 2018. I hope to be a better public servant and work harder. I hope to increase my professional development as a pathologist and attend a couple of relevant conferences.

I also hope to be more consistent with blogging and podcasting. I’d like to see this diary blog maintain a steady weekly schedule. I also hope this year to add some more reviews to Yummy Lummy.