Saturday, June 12, 2010

To Market To Market!

Okay, so no-one likes the biting winter cold. Waking up freezing and debating whether to get up and brace the cold, or just stay in bed! But Winter does have its charms. For me, there is nothing better to warm me up than a delicious soup, stew, risotto, or any other veggie-laden Winter dish. Surely, this is the season when a day spent indoors cooking up a storm is entirely justified.

All those apple are only $2.50 a kilo, bargain!

With this interest in mind, each Saturday I brace the cold and head out the the Canberra Region Framers Markets, out at Exhibition Park. And I'm not alone! Between 8 and 11am every Saturday the epic centre is a buzz with people buying and selling delicious, local produce. Fruit and vegetable abound - it is very difficult to pick which stall to visit. On top of this, there are loads of different food stands - Asian food, fudge and cake, tea, fresh honey, homemade chutneys and dips - so you can do most of your weekly food shop there. For you fellow caffeine addicts out there, there are two coffee Batista's (which is really the most important thing when you're up that early.)

I bought these to make Esther's grilled vegetable couscous salad

The best thing? Well there are two - the price is generally cheaper than supermarkets, and the quality of the fruit and veg cannot be better. You will never buy a supermarket apple again after tasting the one's at the Farmers Markets. And another plus - buying produce at farmers markets - no matter where you live - supports the local industry. So really, its all win-win.

For more info on the markets, check out the website:

Now to make some delicious soup!



Sunday, June 6, 2010

Violet Songs

It is about this time of year when the you just want to stay indoors, rug up and relax. For fellow uni students, it is also the time of year when a little distraction is just what the doctor ordered. A few weeks ago someone special introduced me to The National's new album 'High Violet', which has proved the perfect winter album.

The American indie rock band has eclipsed their success with this wonderful album. Their 2007 album 'Boxer' a few years ago received critical acclaim, with 'High Violet' the band's much anticipated follow up record. Fans will not be disappointed by the calming yet sombre album the National released last month.

'High Violet' moves in perfect sequence from track to track, taking you on an acoustic journey. Opening with the melancholy 'Terrible Love' and 'Sorrow', the album draws you in to the tales of heartache, fear and sorrow that fill the tracks. My favourite is 'Afraid of Everyone', with its haunting backing vocals making for one beautifully sad song. 'High Violet' is one of those rare albums that compels you to listen to the very end, with each track complementing and seeming inseparable from the whole (I wish more albums were make like this). While a few upbeat tracks are included in the album, the darkness of the work pervades. The band's fifth studio album is one of maturity, both musically and emotionally. The hauntingly distinct vocals of front man Matt Berninger bring the intense tracks to life. The melancholy sound of the album is perfect for those grey Wintry days when you just don't feel like heading outdoors, and need a little distraction.

If you've never listened to The National before, then 'High Violet' is a great place to start.



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Winter is... cool.

(Snow covered sheep. Hilarious.)

I am a fan of winter. This may have something to do with the fact that summer is not really that great for skiing. But really, I think it's more than this. Here are some of the reasons why I think winter is... cool:

- Legitimately hibernating inside.
- Ice-kingdom frosts on the lawn in the morning.
- Skiing (ok, it was an important reason).
- Deciduous tees look beautiful (in a gothic kind of way) bare-leaved against grey skies
- Clean, sharp tasting air (and, as a bonus you can pretend you're a dragon when you breathe out) (though, currently I get this effect in every room of my house...)
- People start baking (honestly, who wants to bake on a 37 degree February day?)
- Men look sexy in scarves.

Any other reasons for why you think winter is great?

Esther xx