December 24, 2009

taipans schmaipans, it's the cattle you gotta watch out for

Last week, Vincent and I went to Barrington Tops to stay at a rainforest/cattle farm retreat. I wanted to see koalas and platypi and Vincent...well, he wanted me to be happy. But apparently it's quite rare to see koalas and platypuses in the wild, so we had to settle for some very cute and curious possums and a brush turkey. There were also quite a number of rosellas flying around which made me happy*.

We did lots of hiking on really wild and crazy trails. One through a gorgeous rainforest/other kind of forest.

And another trail took us seriously up the cliff face of a mountain (well it wasn't really a cliff, but it was at least a 70% grade). The whole time, I was pretty sure I was going to fall off. I think Vincent was pretty sure I was going to fall off too.

But in the end it wasn't the steep mountain or the poisonous snakes that got me, it was the flippin' cattle. Yeah, you read me right. The flippin' ::insert expletive:: cattle. No one warns you about them because everyone is more concerned that you will get eaten by a giant crocodile or bit by a mini-spider with venom so strong you are unconscious in 5 seconds. Yes, they forget to tell you about the cows that are 1000kg and who will chase a poor girl down a gravel road on her early morning run. They forget to mention that these "docile" beasts are a curious sort and that they snort and have huge horns which they point at you when they have you surrounded with no escape. As a result, how does one know whether to run or to stay put? Does eye contact propose a challenge? Questions, questions--all of which were running through my head alongside flashes from my former life as an un-trampled and alive PhD student.

So, my advice to you friends is that when you come to visit, don't worry about the taipans, don't worry about the salt-water crocs or the great whites. Don't even worry about funnel-web spiders killing you in your sleep. Really, the only thing you gotta worry about is the cattle.

* Although not as happy as I would've been if I saw a koala or a platypus.

December 20, 2009

linzi makes pasta?

My awesome friends George and Agnes got me a super cool make-you-own-pasta machine (because they secretly have faith in my ability to learn how to cook food). This was then supplemented with some extra parts by an acquaintance of mine down the street. In the hopes that I could actually make some home-made pasta for Vincent's parents come to visit (which is tomorow by the way), I went ahead and gave my pasta-making-aptitude a try out.

1. Mix eggs and salt with flour.

2. Knead the resulting dough.

3. I said KNEAD IT!

4. After leaving the dough for 15 or 20 minutes, take bits of it through 'The Flattener' several times.

5. Put these flattened strips then through pasta shape maker of your choice. I decided to go with a fettucini-like style:

8. After the noodles have dried- cook as usual!

Both Bec and Vincent ate some and BOTH went back for seconds. I cried a little.