Product Recommendations- Doritos Wasabi

I’m not sure if this is a Product Recommendation? Or just a Product Review? As would you recommend a product to others, which you think you’ll probably never willingly purchase ever again?

That goes for Doritos Japanese Wasabi corn chips!

Picture those Asian Wasabi pea products which you can buy from an Asian grocery store? You know the ones, those little dehydrated peas coated with a smear of yellow mustard, then dusted in more mustard flavouring? If you know what I’m talking about, you know how hot those little suckers can be! Then imagine an isosceles triangle corn chip, and picture an entire side of that tortilla covered in that mustard powder flavouring! That’s a lot of corn chip real-estate to cover with hot powder! Nose-rushingly hot! Right?!

On the packet it already warns the consumer that it’s going to be hot, 3 red chilies emblazon on the packaging. But how hot can it really be? Right?

“Woew!” After corn chip 1, it already gives you that wasabi nose rush! And wasabi isn’t one of those hot spices which gets more tolerable after your tastebuds get used to the flavour. It’s smashing you in the face all the way till the end, and don’t even consider breathing in when you’re mid-chew, as any air current will send those vapours/wasabi powder right to the back of your throat = tears, coughing fits, or a choice expletive or two!

I’m a chip-monster, and I can easily smash a packet of chippies on my own in one single sitting – but today? I had to admit failure, raising the white flag…… tapping out at the 4/5 mark.

Is it tasty? Maybe? If you can see past the overwhelming flavour of wasabi?

And the question, what am I going to do with the final 1/5 of the bag? My wife definitely doesn’t want it, after 2 corn chips she was already out. Just thinking about it, gives me both a sense of fear, and a sense of excitement – I guess in equal parts measure.

Definitely a snack to be shared with others! If you dare, you can find Dorito Wasabi 150g bags at your local supermarket for $3.29. Only for a limited time!

Audiobook Review- Lolita

I don’t know why and how I manage to add Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 novel Lolita to my audiobook wish-list. But a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to clean-up my horribly oversized wish-list, working my way up from the bottom – I ended up downloading this book to my phone.

Big mistake?

After the first 30 minutes, I told myself I wasn’t going to listen to this anymore. As after the foreword and first few minutes of the narrative, I knew that morally this was not a book or topic I wanted to be engrossing in. I’ve admitted in the past that I virtually listen to anything and what I am is an eclectic reader- but a story of hebephilia?

But curiosity is the darndest thing, knowing that I shouldn’t be doing something? So I found myself sneakily listening on, until my wife told me that she had already read-up on Lolita from Wikipedia (btw I tell her everything) and she was aware of how the book was going to unfold and  left me with a warning to not get too caught up in it.

I’m not going to recount the novel, as it contains R-levels of adult themes, but at least the book does not contain actual sex scenes like modern day books – just hints and some seriously heavy adult themes.

The audiobook which I listened to was read by Jeremy Irons, who captured perfectly the neurotic nature of Humbert Humbert the protagonist of the novel. Aside from the themes, the novel isn’t an easy read either, with much word play, double entendres, multilingual puns, anagrams and the use of made-up terms (which has become apart of our modern day language) – therefore there are parts which required much concentration to be able to follow on with Humbert’s crazed narrative.

But what the book Lolita did get me thinking about, was the concept of attraction, or the more sinister term……. Fetish. How strange it all is, how and why people are attracted to what they are attracted to. It was the first time I’d heard someone explain why an adult could be sexually attracted to an early pubescent teen. According to the book, Humbert as an early teen had fallen for a girl his own age, but she had died that same year from a disease (which we have now eradicated in the modern day). But due to this early impression on him, Humbert finds himself attracted to other early teenage girls he meets in the future who reminds him of his first love. And the sad thing for him, was that as the years went by and he grew older and older, the source of his attraction still remained the same age. A seemingly innocent thing when you’re 14 years of age, but something oh-so-illegal in all 50 states when you’re 40-50 years old.

For me, seeing things through this perspective, gave me a slightly new insight into monsters like paedophiles and hebephiliacs. You have to feel the slightest sense of pity for these people if you think about it. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have our ‘fetishes’, don’t we? Be that an attraction to blondes, or Asians, or knee-high boots or whatever? But for the majority 99% of us, we have to be thankful that our attraction remains on the right side of the law. So you’d have to feel some sorrow for those poor sods who find themselves like Humbert Humbert, horribly attracted to something which society condemns. I don’t like what you’re doing Humbert Humbert, and that’s just not right. But I can’t judge, ‘he who is sinless, cast the first stone’.

Lolita is a strange book indeed, not a book that I’d happily recommend to others, but surprisingly thought-provoking and a bit of a page-turner.

Protein & Beta Carotene Congee Recipe

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

3 Baza fish fillets

200g Fish balls

2 Carrots

500ml Fish stock

4 Cups water

2 Cups brown rice

Apparatus: Thermal cooker

Directions:

Step 1: Place 2 cups brown rice and liquids (500ml Fish stock and 4 cups water) in the thermal pot, and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Meanwhile, prepare ingredients by peeling and chopping carrots into rough pieces, slicing fish balls into quarters, and cutting fish fillets into large pieces.

Step 3: When the rice has been boiling for 10 mins, add carrots, fish balls and fish fillets to the pot. Cover and allow to boil for a further 15 minutes (stirring occasionally).

Step 4: After 15 minutes, place pot into thermal shell and allow to cook for 5 or more hours.

Step 5: When ready to serve, remove pot from shell and bring back to a boil for 5 minutes to complete the cooking process. Serve among 4 bowls.

Comments:

After the hours of cooking, the rice, fish and carrots will break-down into a thick congee, leaving you with a protein and beta carotene-laden meal!  

Album Review- Joshua Band

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I attended a friend’s wedding and during their reception they had a non-stop playlist going on – made up of Christian songs we were familiar with (Hillsong stuff), but all of which was sung in Mandarin! Crazy! And the surprising thing was this, the recordings, vocals, and bands performances  were just as professional/high quality as Hillsong’s! So throughout the banquet, we were bopping along to music we were familiar with, but less familiar with the lyrics being sung (neither of us can speak Mandarin).

At the end of the night when we were saying our congratulations & goodbyes, we asked the newlyweds, what was the playlist they were spinning all night long? Was it Hillsong branching into the largest growth market? But the answer was no, the group is called ‘Joshua Band’, a Taiwanese Christian group who performs covers of popular English Christian songs, but all of which are re-written in Mandarin (we were told that they have permission from the English artists to do so).

So the last few weeks I’ve had Joshua Band on in the background all the time!  The Spotify playlist is utterly huge! I’ve had it on during breakfast, when I’m cooking, even when I’m working from home! It makes for an awesome background playlist when you’re doing other things. It’s like Mandopop meets Hillsong!

If you’re interested to check out brilliantly recorded, melodic, and I’m sure lyrically meaningful tracks.……..Check out Joshua Band! Just ask your smart speaker to “Play Joshua Band on Spotify!” Enjoy!

Perhaps even recommend the playlist to your Mando speaking friends? As I’m sure the songs will be more meaningful if you can actually understand the lyrics? Haaha.

October Festivals and Things to Do!

Oh my gosh, it’s already October! It’s all gas, no brakes to the end of the year! Here are my top things to see and do for the month of October in Ol’ Sydney Town!

Balloon Aloft Hunter Valley Fiesta- 4 Oct – 7 Oct

2457 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

Do you need to get out of Sydney for some much deserved R&R? On the Labour Day long-weekend, sees approx. 30 hot air balloons take to the skies, gliding across the Hunter Valley at sunrise! Check them out as either a passenger or a land-dwelling spectator!

For more info, click HERE

Sydney Night Noodle Markets- 11 Oct – 18 Oct

Hyde Park  

For one week only, the Night Noodle Markets is back for the Good Food Month! Enjoy a Cheese Burger Spring Roll from Chur Burger; a Peking Cluck Bao from Bao Brothers; a helping of Paella Bali from Fusion Flavourbombs; and for dessert you have a choice of a Vietnamese Condensed Milk and Crushed Oreos fried ice cream from Fry’d Ice Cream, or you might opt for a Leche Flan Donut Burger from Donut Papi, or you might choose both of them! Your call, at Sydney Night Noodle Markets 19!

For more info and menus, click HERE!

Oktoberfest Sydney- 1 Oct – 27 Oct   

The Bavarian World Square, 680 George Street, Sydney

Steins of beer? Haus (baked pretzel)? Crackling pork belly? Smoked sausages? Roast pork knuckle? Crunchy schnitzel? Sauerkraut? Apple strudel? If you answered yes, yes, yes to the proceeding list of German classics? Oktoberfest at one of many German restaurants in Sydney is where you wanna be in the month of October! I know where I’ll be! Prost!        

For more info and to book a table, click HERE!

Rites of Passage Tattoo Festival- 25 Oct – 27 Oct

International Convention Centre, 14 Darling Drive, Sydney

Have you ever considered getting ink done? Or you’re already a well-known repeat customer? Or you just want to admire art and talent? Check out Australia’s largest celebration of tattooing, with over 250 Australian and International Tattoo Artists tattooing live at the ICC! Check it out! “What’s that noise? A swarm of bees!?” “No silly, that’s 250 tattoo guns firing at the same time!”

For more info and for tickets, click HERE!

Soy Candle Making Class- Anytime

Annandale

Learn how to make 100% Vegan and environmentally friendly Soy candles! Join a 3 hour public or private class, go through the basics of making your own candles, choose from 30 different fragrances and you get to take home all of your creations! One large candle with wooden wick (check), one medium candle with cotton wick (check), and one smaller tin travel candle (double check)! Pretty cool hey?

For more info and to book, click HERE!

Product Recommendations- StrongBow Blossom Rosé Sparkling Apple Cider

Here goes, fourth time lucky!

Here is my fourth attempt to draft a product recommendation after consuming a bottle of Strongbow Blossom Rosé Sparkling Apple Cider! Don’t be fooled by the some what girly packaging ……. This drink definitely packs a punch!

I can’t say it any better than the below, so here is a copy-paste from the Strongbow web-site:

“Inspired by the beauty and elegance of apple blossoms, Strongbow Blossom Rosé is a high alcohol, sparkling apple cider.

INGREDIENTS

A delicate blend of hand-picked apples, tart berries (elderberries) and fermented with wine yeast.

AROMA AND TASTE

A perfect complement to the soft rosé colour is the blush pink foam. This lightly sparkling rosé cider delivers an aroma of juicy toffee apple notes, while the initial sweetness on the palate is delicately balanced by a crisp apple tartness, followed through by a light, lingering dryness in the finish.

FOOD MATCH

Kingfish carpaccio, light pasta or risotto, fresh chicken salad. Perfect hot weather drinking.

ABV: 8.2%”

Yep, you read right! 8.2% alcohol content level per 330ml bottle! No wonder I’m feeling DIZZY!!!! And barely able to put together a coherent sentence….. 

It tastes like a cross between red wine and apple cider, and surprisingly fizzy each mouthful, right to the very end. Strongbow Blossom Rosé Sparkling Apple Cider is a fun Spring/Summers drink, a case of 24 330ml bottles will set you back $58.00 from Liquorland.    

**Note: Always remember to drink responsibly. Yeah?