Tag Archives: chocolate

Weekend Coffee Share 29th May, 2016.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

As much as I love my morning coffee, this week I’m recommending you join me for High Tea Queensland style at the Teahouse Gallery in Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast Hinterland. You’ll be offered over 20 teas presented in little glass jars and you’re encouraged to take the lids off, smell and take your time making your choice. While you’re waiting for your pot of hot tea to arrive, you can admire each others’ vintage tea cups with their pretty patterns and gold trim. I collect antique tea cups, the way with Shelley and Royal Albert being my favourites. They remind me of cups of tea with my grandmothers who’ve since passed on.

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If things had worked out a bit differently, I could have offered you a slice of Nigella’s Nutella Cake. However, you know how it is when Lady Luck is working against you and every twist and turn doesn’t entirely work out and then all those mishaps seemingly fuse together into a veritable “catastrophe!”

Nigella Nutella Cake

An Earthquake Hit Our Interpretation of Nigella’s Nutella Cake. The lactose-free Cream was to “skinny” for the ganache, leading to “liquification”.

Well, that’s what happened with the cake. The minor mishaps along the way would not have been a major problem. However, we had great difficulty judging cooking times and whether the cake was ready. I needed to pick up my daughter and left my husband in charge. He kept getting mixture on the skewer (a sign that the cake isn’t cooked) but as it was starting to “caramelise”, he thought he’d better take it out. This meant the cake was somewhat burnt, dried out and the hazlenuts tasted bitter. However, a layer of cream, fresh raspberries, icing and freshly roasted hazlenuts almost resurrected the thing and we did enjoy a few slices. That was until our naughty little Lady dog was caught with paws up on the kitchen table, nose through the plastic bag and tail wagging until Geoff sent her packing.

I have been on the lookout for a good chocolate cake recipe to make for birthdays etc and thought this might have been the one. I’m going to give it another chance but suspect the kids would prefer one without the hazlenuts. All recommendations would be grateful received.

Anyway, we arrived home from our road trip to Queensland on Monday night. It was a huge relief to be home after our 2000 km round trip, even though it was hard to leave family and the North behind. However, once you’re in the car, you just want to get there.

If you’re interested in virtual trip to Australia’s tropical Queensland, here’s a series of links to my posts:

Driving To Queensland Via The Long White Line.

Sunset Behind Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise By Night

Bangalow Markets – Near Byron Bay

A Queensland High Tea

I hope you’ve all had a great week. What is the weather doing in your neck of the woods? We have two days left until the official start of Winter. That could mean anything. Yesterday, we had rain and a sudden cold snap. It was absolutely freezing, especially as our homes aren’t built for Winter and our Winter woollies are still in the roof. Indeed, the dogs are lucky to still have their fur coats. I was very tempted to take them but a dog on my lap is almost as good!

By the way, we go into denial around this time each year, thinking we live in a perpetual Summer. Then, we wonder why it’s cold and whinge bitterly.

Anyway, the sun is back out again today and although my toes are frozen numb, things are looking up.

I hope you’ve had a great week. It’s now Sunday afternoon here so we’re starting to get ready for another week.

This has been part of the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diana at  Part-Time Monster . You can click here for the linky to read the other posts.

xx Rowena

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share 22nd May, 2016.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share. I apologise for adding two posts to the link up but I added the Chocolate post by mistake and being well past my bedtime, I’ll have to leave it be.

This week I’m asking you to fasten your seat belts for what’s not quite a 1000km drive from the NSW Central Coast to Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast. We’ve driven up here for the weekend for Geoff’s sister’s 60th Birthday.

So, in addition to offering you the usual choice of tea or coffee, I’m also offering you a glass of bubbly sarsaparilla, a popular Queensland drink (which could well be root beer in the States).

However, before we get too settled on the Queensland side of the border, I thought I’d fill you in on the previous week.

Last Monday, I finally had an ultrasound done on the lump on my arm. While the lump felt noticeable enough, it proved quite difficult to pick up on the ultrasound, which is a good thing. It meant that it showed no sign of being a cyst and is probably a lipodema or bubble of fat. That was naturally quite a relief as I was concerned that a weird lump on the arm could be a secondary for much bigger troubles lurking somewhere else.

What a relief!

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A Cappuccino & A Mookie…What more could I want?

On Wednesday, I caught the train down to Sydney to for an appointment with my neurologist. That was all expected to be pretty routine. However, the appointment is not the story.

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Meeting My Mookie, Koi Dessert Bar.

Rather, it provided the justification for me to check out the Koi Dessert Bar in Kensington Street, Chippendale not far from Central Railway. Of course, I had to change trains at Central and so this provided the perfect justification for what really was quite a detour from my appointment in St Leonards, on the opposite side of Sydney Harbour and there are other, much more efficient stations for changing trains than Central but they didn’t have dessert bars. More to the point, they didn’t have a dessert bar run by last year’s Masterchef Dessert guru, Reynold, to tantalise their taste buds and lead them completely astray.

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Reynold…The King of Desserts.

Needless to say, I was completely blown away by my dessert experience which you can read about here: My Affair With Chocolate Mookie

After leaving Koi, I walked around the adjacent streets, photographing crumbling old buildings, posters, graffiti as well as checking out a few of the shops. This used to be the Tooth’s Brewery site and I still remember workers wearing blue singlets and Stubbies (shorts) pouring out onto George Street as I walked past on my way home from work.

The vibe around there is very different now.

It was quite a nostalgic journey and I would have loved more time to head down to Glebe and revisit Sydney University, where I did my degree. So many fabulous memories and seemingly no chance of going back.

Anyway, that was Wednesday done and dusted.

Friday, was spent in the car driving up to Geoff’s other sister’s place in the hinterland behind Byron Bay, which is our base for the weekend and we drive home Monday. We had a wonderful picnic in Surfers Paradise and went back to our niece’s stunning hotel win expansive view across the bright lights of Surfers and out along the beach. Brought back many memories of childhood holidays there.  I’ll be writing more about that during the week and for next weekend’s Coffee Share.

I also wanted to apologise for being a bit off the air of late. The A-Z Challenge took a lot out of me and writing about some difficult times for me, raised many questions and dragged me down further than I’d thought. It is great to be a survivor and overcome your hurdles but I am still human. That so-called process of “moving forward” is actually much more complex than we’d like. It’s great to get an ink pad and stamp “better” on our foreheads,  but perhaps “Work In Progress” would be a more honest and realistic descriptor.

It’s done me a lot of good to get away and have such a change of scenery this week.

Anyway, how was your week? I don’t have Internet access at the moment and am posting this by connecting my  laptop to my husband’s phone. I didn’t want to miss you all, even though I’ve slacked off lately.

Hope you’re all doing well.

This has been another Weekend Coffee Share. Please click here for the Linky

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

My Affair With A Chocolate Mookie.

Yesterday, I met my chocolate Adonais and fell deeply in love. Indeed, staring doe-eyed at his lush sensual exquisiteness, it was love at first sight. I was swooning.

Of course, I couldn’t dream of taking a bite and spoiling such untouched perfection straight away. Or, heaven forbid, brutally stab it with my fork.

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Meeting My Mookie.

Oh no! I had to wait.Soak it all up with my eyes.

A flawlessly smooth, dark chocolate dome with a purple pansy on top and a smattering of magic gold dust, I was in love. Not Tim Tam love, which I experience almost every night with my evening cup of decaf tea. No, this was something inter-galactic. A wild, unrestrained passion, which sent all of my senses into overdrive.

Indeed, my passion was so strong, that I even started to question myself. Blown away by feelings so far beyond lust, attraction and soul mates created in the same forge, I felt such a strong vibe between us. Yet, I am a married woman…a married woman with two kids, two dogs and a home. I had a lot at stake.

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So, naturally I had to wonder whether my love for this luscious chocolate creation called a “Mookie”, equated to a betrayal of my sacred marriage vows. Had I committed the ultimate, unforgivable sin? Me who puts such weight on the importance of good character and holds the Golden Rule as my personal holy grail? Would I now be going direct to hell, without so much as a stop at Go to collect my $200?

It was starting to look that way.

Yet, as I said, I still hadn’t taken a bite. I hadn’t actually crossed that line.

Then, my cappuccino arrived.

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It’s a sign….love on a cappuccino.   Photo: Rowena Newton.

That’s when I knew it was love. Not lust, fancy or a momentary lapse of reason but the real thing. There was a heart etched in the foam. It was a sign! We were going to be together forever and ever living happily ever after.

However, if our relationship was really going to kick off, I couldn’t keep sitting there goggle-eyed. I had to make a move, even if it ultimately meant my lover’s death, as we fused together becoming one flesh.

I wasn’t disappointed. Indeed, I could feel myself diving through his lush chocolate sweetness in the same way I’d paddled through that chocolate river as a kid watching Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. It was an out of body experience.

Adonais, who in real life goes by the name Mookie, could well be described as “a work of art”. However, paint never tasted this good. I savoured each delicate mouthful and then, as I’d long suspected, Mookie had a heart…a heart of rich, red tangy raspberry gel.

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Mookie’s Beautiful heart.   Photo: Rowena Newton.

What more could a woman want?

By the way, while I’m delving into Mookie’s anatomical details, I should also mention that he sits on a biscuit base, known as a chocolate sable (I cheated and had to ask. When it comes to food writing, I am very much a novice and could well have described it as a “whatsy-me-call-it” or “thinga-me-gig”). If you have ever watched Masterchef, then you’ll know that a sensational dessert has to have sweetness, creaminess, tang to cut through as well as that all important “crunch”. So, the biscuit provided the crunch, although I thought I also detected a subtle touch of crunch in the mouse but couldn’t be sure.

Naturally, when you fall so deeply in love, you want to spend the rest of your life together. Say “I do”. Walk down the aisle and head off together on the ultimate chocolate honeymoon.

However, I’m a married woman and there’s the added complication of my kids. How could I possibly run away from home? Leave Geoff and the kids, not to mention the two dogs, behind? Trade all of that in for a Mookie? Or, to to be precise, a succession of Mookies. After all, one Mookie could never be enough.

That was when reality threw quite a spanner in the works and I had to wake up.

So, that was it. I had to leave Mookie behind. Be responsible and call it quits. Of course, our final adieu was filled with such anguish but I took a deep breath and made the break. Toughened up.

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Delectable Delights!         Photo: Rowena Newton.

However, before heading home, I had to atone for my sins. Sorry, Mookie. I didn’t take you with me. Wanting to try more of the selection, I bought a Mango Yuzu (a mango mouse) and a Tiramisu for the family (which, of course, included me!)

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Heaven on Earth.

After all, the family would have killed me once I confessed to going to Koi, a dessert bar in Sydney’s urban Chippendale, not far from Central Station, and didn’t bring anything home.

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                Reynold Poernomo                                                  Photo: Rowena Newton

While you could wonder how my kids know anything about a dessert bar in urban Sydney, Koi is owned by the family of Reynold Poernomo who we all fell in love with on Masterchef 2015. Reynold made the most exquisite desserts, which totally tantalized my tastebuds. Indeed, I found out about Koi when Reynold returned to the show last week and the contestants had to make his dessert: “Moss”.

Indeed, as much as I LOVE watching Masterchef, it can be incredibly cruel watching all those scrumptious dishes on TV and you can’t taste a thing. It’s particularly hard, too, when you’re there eating leftovers and the hero of your dish is a limp carrot, which somehow responded to CPR when it should have been “retired” to the worm farm.

“Such is life”, Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly, said before being hanged at the gallows.

I know what he meant.

So, that is what took me to Koi while I was down in Sydney heading to a medical appointment on the other side of Sydney Harbour. It was to fulfil all of my unadulterated chocolate fantasies and I wasn’t disappointed.

Indeed, I know I’ll be back.

However, before I leave, I have one last wish.

I wish I could be a kid again and lick the plate. While it’s not a good look for a 40 something mother of two (that’s how similar acts of insanity are routinely reported in the news), leaving even those few last remaining crumbs, is such a waste!

I’m sure you’d agree!

xx Rowena

PS I will admit that after I finished my Mookie, I did consider buying a second dessert. I was there alone without anyone watching, pointing the finger or calling me a glutton. I could do whatever I liked. Moreover, it was lunch time and surely God isn’t going to strike me down if I have two desserts for lunch just this once…even if I do have a Vegemite sandwich from home stashed away in my bag. It wouldn’t be the first time that a sandwich has arrived home untouched… Thanks kids!! However, I behaved but only because I know I’ll be back!

Koi is located at 46 Kensington Street, Chippendale, Sydney.

Phone 02 9212-1230.

D- Roald Dahl’s Reply #atozchallenge.

No sooner had I pulled up in Mum’s Taxi after a bleary night conversing with a certain Dead Poet starting with E, than I found a reply from Roald Dahl.

No, it didn’t arrive in a model aeroplane . I didn’t find it wrapped up in a block of chocolate either. Rather, by some kind of miracle, he’d managed to sneak passed the dogs and into the  house and there in a half-eaten packet of Tim Tams I found this note:

Dear Rowena,

Get on with the You-Know-Exactly-Whatsit!

A big bang on the head, doesn’t have to be the end. Strangely, it can even be the beginning. However, you already know that. You just need to act. Move it!

By the way, I’m impressed with how you crawled inside my head. Quite frankly, I’d never thought of climbing through the ear to pull that off. Being so tall, I never thought I’d fit.

We must chat again.

Warm regards,

Roald Dahl.

PS If I’d ever eaten a Tim Tam, I never would have died!

…….

So, it appears my son is not the only one who can’t stop at one Tim Tam.

Of course, I know exactly what the You-Know-Exactly-Whatsit is. It’s my Book Project. I know it’s been in the pipeline FOREVER and keeps metamorphosing before it even goes into its cocoon.

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Writing on the window sill at the Hotel Henri IV, Paris  July, 1992…a very different version of me.

What’s been stopping me? There I was reading my poetry at the Shakespeare Bookshop in Paris in my early twenties. Since then, the entire river’s passed under the bridge. What’s holding me back?

Well, there was such a thing as having a career and trying to “find the one”, which was so rudely interrupted by a not insignificant neurological meltdown. Of course, this was followed by kids and then another near death experience this time resulting in a physical meltdown with all my muscles wasting away. That’s nothing to sneeze about either. Yet, while I was in rehab, my husband brought in my laptop and I started writing seriously again.

Anyway, when you’ve had so many ups and downs, it’s hard to work out where you are and how to make sense of it all. I’ve persisted but it now seems that there is no perfect sense. Not all chaos but that the answer is out there somewhere sitting on the fence.

Finally, I’m feeling that sticking with the questions is okay. That even if we don’t get answers to particular questions, that we’re still being fueled by the quest. We even wander into other realms we never knew were there.

As John Lennon said:

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Mind you, when undertaking such journeys to foreign realms it’s always good to be prepared. To not only take along your map, torch and compass but also some refreshments. A long piece of string never goes astray either. That way, you can always find your way back out of the labyrinth.

Anyway, here I go again waxing lyrically instead of getting on with it.

I need to move it! Move it! Move it!

xx Rowena

PS: How are you going with the A-Z Challenge? I you are participating or have found some great posts, please leave links in the comments.

 

Happy Easter: Church, Chocolate, Coffee!

Welcome to another Weekend Coffee Share and we wish you all a very Happy and Blessed Easter!

It’s already Sunday here in Australia. Would you mind please waiting for a minute. I’ve been to Church. Had a coffee but I need to bite into the Cadbury Crunchie Bunny that’s calling my name. Actually, that might be the other way round. After all, if I  was a chocolate Easter rabbit I wouldn’t be calling out to get eaten. Oh no! I’d quietly exit stage left without making a sound.

Yum! That’s soooo good. Nothing like biting a bunny’s ear off, although now that my daughter has live rabbits in her class room,  I’m supposed to be nice to rabbits. This is a crisis of conscience for me. As much as I love those cute fluffy bunnies as individuals, as a species, they’re not my friends. They’ve done catastrophic damage to the Australian landscape and are a pest. They do not belong here.

So what are you doing over Easter?

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What do you mean I’m only after your Easter Egg?

So, far we’ve been hibernating. I was going to try to work in some kind of scientific or technical term for hibernation but while reading through Google, I only confused myself and thought I’d better stick to plain English. Being Australian, hibernation is a foreign concept. That is unless you include falling asleep on the beach, which could be re-classed as suicide these days. People have been hospitalised for sunburn after falling asleep on the beach. In the longer term, Melanoma loves Australians and looking at the way Aussies bake themselves, the feeling is mutual.

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Oops! I almost forgot to mention that we went for an afternoon beach walk yesterday with the dogs. It was so good and I don’t know why I don’t get down there every day like I used to. It was right on sunset and while the sun doesn’t set over the water here, it was still very serene. We also came across three baby bronze whaler sharks lying on  the sand, which had been caught. We kept the dogs out of the water, not that they needed to be told. Lady occasionally goes for a brief swim but Bilbo not only stays out of the water himself. He also barks out to other dogs who are swimming and tries to round them up out of the water…without getting his own paws we…of course!

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The kids at the beach- Easter 2016.

This week, I’ve been preparing for the Blogging A-Z April Challenge. My theme is: Letters to Dead Poets. Like so many participants, April has crept up behind me and grabbed me by the throat when I was busy elsewhere. So, this week I’ve been head down, bum up and hard at it.

So, you could say it’s been an intense week but a rewarding one because a these letters are now becoming a book and I’ll put more abridged versions up for the challenge as these posts need to be a quick read. After all, the challenge is more of a blog fest where fidelity has nothing to do with trying to get around as many blogs as possible hoping some of these relationships will become an ongoing concern.

Are you taking part in the A-Z Challenge? If so, please let me know in the comments and provide a link through to your theme reveal. Here’s a link to mine.

Tomorrow, we’re all heading off to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. I’m really looking forward to it. This is the first time we’ve taken the kids to the Show.

Going to The Show was such a part of my childhood and I went every year without fail when it was out at the Sydney Showground which was out at the Sydney Cricket Ground. There are so many memories out there of the laughing clowns, Kewpie Dolls (which my husband just called crappy dools…Gee! No respect!) Dagwood dogs, Showbag Hall and walking around looking at animals and cattle, dogs, horses and seeing all those Christmas cakes and incredible embroidery. I can’t wait but at the same time, it’s going to be a huge day. It’s tiring for anyone but when you have a small engine, big events are daunting.

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Bilbo is not so sure about the kids’ engineering exploits. “Hey, trying to fight the ocean is futile guys!”

So, how was your week? I hope you’re had a great one!

The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster and you can click here for the “Linky“.

Love & Easter Blessings!

Rowena

PS Just found a great article: Life Lessons of a Speeding Train.

 

 

Cafe au Chocolat!

Welcome to another Weekend Coffee Share.

I hope you’ve had a great week and your sweet tooth is activated. The word for this week is chocolate. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! I know most self-appointed health gurus don’t class chocolate as a super food. However,that just goes to show they’re a bunch of quacks. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the ultimate super food. Indeed, super duper!

So, I hope you’re not on a diet. Even just reading this post, will pile on the kilos.

Our first stop is Max Brenner’s. Yummy! Max Brenner’s is a chocolate shop and cafe where chocolate seemingly oozes out of every nook and cranny and you could almost think you were in Wonkaland. I’m not sure whether I’d call death by chocolate a particular fantasy of mine but you could easily die a chocolate death in there, squeezing in mouthful after mouthful until ultimately exploding into a chocolate fountain.   Dare I mention Monty Python’s Mr Creasote  (who I must say I’ve mentioned half a dozen times on my blog)? That thought definitely puts an abrupt end to all my chocolate fantasies.

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Belgian Waffles at Max Brenner’s AKA Heaven.

When my cappuccino arrived, it was drizzled with luscious milk chocolate which I indulgently scooped up with the foam. Oooh it was good!!! Then, my Belgian Waffle arrived. Fortunately, it had a side-serve of lush fresh strawberries, just to create an illusion of health…too bad about the cream!

Although I’m shamelessly hedonistic at times, I must admit that I did feel a tad guilty indulging in Max Brenner’s alone. I’ve usually been there with Geoff in the past as a special treat. Instead, while he was slaving away at work,I was practically having an affair with this chocolate treat I had somehow managed to call “lunch”.

Yes, I can be absolutely shameless at times!

However, as if that wasn’t bad enough, on the way to my daughter’s doctor’s appointment, we stopped off at a French chocolate shop in West Pymble, Otello, which includes Du Plessy Praline. This inclusion is very important as its the chocolate shop I visited as I child every Easter, absolutely spellbound by the chocolate Easter rabbits. I don’t know the story behind the molds. The designs had to be French and I could have been skipping through the French countryside chasing the chocolate Easter bunnies. That is, if I wasn’t living in Sydney.

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My visit to Du Plessy’s triggered a creative frenzy. Exactly 10 years ago, Mum, the kids and I had visited Du Plessy’s just after my son had had his very first hair cut. He was 2 and our daughter was only 10 weeks old. Due to the haircut, I had my camera with me and while travelling down memory lane chatting with “Madame”, I plucked up the courage to ask her if I could photograph the kids in the shop. She agreed.

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Little Man and the chocolate.

So, while I was in the shop, I offered to email them through. While I was sending them, I saw the photos through very different eyes. I had forgotten that Madame had given our son a couple of chocolates while we were there. That doesn’t sound like anything special and yet it was. I don’t remember her giving us chocolates as children and these were special chocolates at that!!  It was also quite a risk too giving a two year old chocolate. I don’t need to describe chocolate spread all over a little face and hands. We’ve all seen it. The shop was the epitome of elegance…a look but don’t touch place and here she was risking an out-of-control chocolate terror leaving hand prints all over her shop. In retrospect, this was definitely a case of “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” Yet, she didn’t seem to mind. All these twists and turns of memory culminated in Le Petit Chocolat.

Anyway, I left Otello with a gift of chocolate hearts. A gift in anticipation of the photos and so I made sure I dispatched them before I forgot!! Eating too much chocolate isn’t my only bad habit!!

By the way, my daughter’s trip to the ENT specialist went well. The vocal nodules have gone. Hallelujah! Excellent news! Need to follow up with the speech therapist but it’s a real relief.

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Sydney opera House viewed from Kirribilli.

Last Monday, I caught the train down to Kirribilli again to see the dentist. We are getting to know each other too well. I have been experiencing sensitivity and while this might be a great quality for a poet, it’s not an endearing quality in a tooth. Due to my complex medical issues or perhaps it’s just me, sorting the issue out is not straight-forward but my dentist, bless his soul, is persevering.

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Ironically,these train trips have been very productive. What with a 1.5 hour trip each way, that’s a lot of reading, writing and more writing.

When I’m done, I wander around Kirribilli or even catch a ferry into the city before I come home. This time I walked down to the Harbour through Bradfield Park admiring the massive pylons which look like they’re holding up the Sydney Harbour Bridge but are purely decorative.My walk coincided with lunchtime at a local boys’ school and the boys flooded out onto the narrow streets lining with Victorian terraces. That’s when I saw a soccer ball whoosh past me followed by a gang of legs. That took me quite aback. Seeing young boys playing soccer in the shadow of the Sydney Harbour Bridge , flanked by those huge granite pylons just seemed absolutely timeless, like they’ve always been there.

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A bit too popular- names carved into a Moreton Bay Fig Tree, Kirribilli.

Speaking of things which has seemingly always been there but not, I was entranced by a Morton Bay Fig Tree, which had initials and all sorts carved all over its trunk. It looked cruel, disrespectful in a way and yet they told stories and bore testimony to some of what the tree has seen and been a part of. There were so many untold stories!

As for Mister and his poetry efforts, he is going from strength to strength. You may recall that he is having to write poetry for his English assignments. After launching himself with Through My Window, he has moved on to Haiku. He had to write 5 and I didn’t actually see most of them before they went but they were looking good.One I found particularly profound: Roses Aren’t Blue

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This frog looks like it’s eaten way too much chocolate or has a tooth ache.

All this Haiku writing was quite contagious and the house converted into a Haiku laboratory of sorts in between distractions (Grr! Minecraft!!!) He needed to write a series of four Haiku about the seasons. Rather than writing about what the four seasons are like overseas, Mister wanted to write about what they are like here. However, while this is fabulously patriotic, it’s a little hard to write about four seasons when you don’t have them. At least, not in the conventional sense.

Anyway, I wrote a series of Haiku about all four seasons at our beach: Haiku for Four Seasons

Last week, I participated in Charlie’s Flash Fiction challenge again. I don’t usually write a lot of fiction and was initially sceptical about the effectiveness of writing flash but am now a real convert.

Last week’s prompt was “Galloping”. I wrote  the Galloping Little Man the Galloping Little Man who breaks free from his mother’s grasp and goes running down the aisle at Church squealing “Gallop! It’s quite interesting to read this alongside “Le Petit Chocolat” to think about how adults respond to young children.

This coming week, our son celebrates his 12th Birthday. Now, there’s only one more year until he becomes a teenager. However, as he’s already started high school, I think he’s had a bit of a head start.

Anyway, I think that about sums up last week. Hope you had a great week and thanks for stopping by!

This has been part of the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diana at Part-Time Monster Part-Time Monster. Here’s the linky.

xx Rowena

Le Petit Chocolat.

This was determination. With a chocolate moustache painted across his upper lip, Little Man was stretching his tongue as far as he could, savouring each and every last smudge. Unlike his meals at home, none of this was going to waste!

Indeed, even as a rambunctious two year old, he knew there was chocolate and there was CHOCOLATE!!! This delicacy was so incredibly rich and creamy and as much as he loved his Freddo Frogs, this was an altogether different experience.

The older lady in the black dress had given him a chocolate. And then, even another!

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Wow! Little Man gravitated towards the shelves. There were chocolate Easter rabbits everywhere! He’d never even seen so much chocolate before in his life but the rabbits themselves also looked exquisite. It was almost like his magical picture-book world had suddenly sprung to life and he’d become absorbed into a chocolate fairytale. His big brown eyes were bursting out of their sockets. The smell was so intoxicatingly good, that even his nose was twitching!

Ooh, yes! Our Little Man didn’t need to tell me that he’d stumbled into chocolate Heaven.

I knew.

It might have been 25 years ago but I still remembered the very first time I walked into Du Plessy Praline holding my mother’s hand and experienced those chocolate rabbits myself. As a child, any chocolate is appreciated but this was pure heaven. The shelves were lined with an eclectic collection of handmade chocolate rabbits…racing car rabbits, a rabbit on a tractor. Indeed, there were rabbits everywhere . Of course, the rabbits for sale weren’t wrapped in foil like their poor relations at the supermarket. Rather, they were elegantly wrapped in clear cellophane, which was like looking through a window into heaven itself. Although I was definitely not allowed to touch ANYTHING, I could already taste all that divine chocolate.

Naturally, as much as I love that shop, it was also a hard place for a kid to visit. All of that chocolate and you’re under Mum’s thumb. I vowed then and there that when I grew up. I was going to buy and eat every single chocolate rabbit in the shop…even if it made me sick! After all, when you’re a grown up, you can do whatever you like. Mum can’t say: “No!”

Fortunately, the Easter Bunny had excellent taste and a Du Plessy rabbit would always arrive every Easter Sunday. Most years, it still does!

Du Plessy’s was nestled underneath Peterson’s of Pymble where we used to buy my school uniforms. Stylish yet simple in black, “Madame” was Du Plessy Praline. Naturally, Madame was French and in Sydney back in the eighties, that was synonymous with sophistication. Madame did not disappoint. In addition to their Easter chocolates, Du Plessy specialised in very thin, flavoured chocolate slices. This being the era of Red Tulip’s After Dinner Mints, needless to say, there was no comparison…only superlatives!

Madame’s understated elegance went way beyond the chocolate. Even the packaging was impeccable…an art form in itself. The box was meticulously wrapped in quality white paper etched with Du Plessy’s signature logo and tied with a piece of gold string. Looking like a little treasure chest, you could take that little white box anywhere on the North Shore and it didn’t need an introduction. It spoke for itself.

Although I knew her face so well, we didn’t know Madame in quite the same way we knew the butcher or the fruit man. No doubt, Mum had been in a rush on these visits, preparing for yet another dinner party. She’d pick up half –a-round of French Brie from Cheese Please next door and dart into Du Plessy’s for those inimitable after dinner chocolates. When you’re a kid, adults always move so fast. Even after all these years, I can still feel Mum’s intense busyness trying to get everything ready on time and that exasperating sense of impending doom. After all, who isn’t trying to raise The Titanic from the murky depths of the Atlantic, every time they have guests?!!

Indeed, when it comes to our place, The Titanic sank many moons ago and is long past resurrection. It’s gone!

These days, I still return to Du Plessy’s and its offspring Otello with my own children and the magic continues. While my daughter and I were in Sydney yesterday, we popped in. I was hoping to show her their Easter display but unfortunately we were two weeks early. We live about an hour away so it was unfortunate timing.

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Savoring A Chocolate Mouthful!

Remembering the photos I’d taken in their Turramurra shop, I asked whether they would like me to email them through. These were taken exactly ten years ago, as I mentioned, just after Mister had had his first haircut at Mum’s hairdresser.

It’s funny because I was a bit shy about mentioning the photos. I’m not sure why but I blame the usual self-doubts. However, who wouldn’t want to see photos taken in their family business ten years ago, especially when they involve chocolate?!!

Of course, they were thrilled. I was introduced to Madame’s daughter-in-law. As it turned out, they have no photos of that shop. I was so excited that my photos would at least fill some of that gap. This was almost like the return of a ghost, except unfortunately there were no photos of Madame. I’d had just enough pluck to ask her if I could photograph the kids in the shop but didn’t take that extra step. That’s an extra step you have to take as a photographer because more often than not, that is THE shot.

I really wished I had. Somehow, just having that picture of Madame in my head is no longer enough. She was such a uniquely special part of my childhood…the lady with all those magical chocolate rabbits! Who wouldn’t love her?

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Mister getting his hair cut.

After some searching, I finally found the photos. They were taken exactly ten years ago in Easter 2006. Our daughter was only 10 weeks old and Mister had just turned two. We’d just taken Mister for his first hair cut and the chocolate shop was just around the corner. Mum, the kids and I made what you could only describe as a pilgrimage to this very special place from my childhood so I could pass that magic on. After all these chocolate rabbits had become such a part of our family’s Easter tradition.

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Little Man with his letter sister and Grandma.

I often find revisiting photos rather enlightening. So often, I miss things at the time and it’s only when I come back, that I finally see between the lines.

In this instance, I found were photos of a lively, curious 2 year old boy feasting on chocolates inside the shop!!

That’s right. Mister is actually eating chocolates inside the “look but don’t touch” chocolate shop.

What was the meaning of this?

Well, Madame had given him a couple of chocolates…petits cadeaux!

That was really special and really touched my heart and unfortunately, I didn’t appreciate the significance at the time. That gesture of love and Madame’s appreciation of our Little Man.

After all, as you might have experienced yourself, little men usually aren’t welcome in shops. Or, for that matter, in a great many locations. They’re boisterous, loud and seemingly have more tentacles than an octopus, sticking their little fingers into everything. Even when my son was being perfectly behaved, he’d somehow get in trouble. It seemed being a little kid, especially a boy, was enough!!

However, obviously my son had found his way into Madame’s chocolate heart, which was melting all over his mouth, little fingers and creating a scrumptious chocolate moustache.

Now, that my Little Man is almost 12 and recently started high school, I understand why Madame cherished my son so much. I have no doubt that he reminded her of her own precious son who had well and truly grown up by then. This is the very same son who is now running the business continuing their family tradition of hand-making, incredibly scrumptious French chocolates under our hot Australian sun. More than 50 years later, Du Plessy still lives on!

Of course, he is carrying on so much more than just a family business!

After all, you never quite know when a chocolate heart filled with love, might just make all the difference!

I should know. I’m eating one now…a gift for the random photographer!

This has been such a beautiful trip down memory lane but I need some more chocolate!

xx Rowena

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Too young for chocolate, our very own Miss Bunny Rabbit, aged 10 weeks.

 

Sydney’s Lindt Cafe Siege…12 Months On.

As I gingerly entered Sydney’s Lindt Cafe yesterday, nobody handed me a bravery award, or even acknowledged the deeply troubled significance of my visit. That I wasn’t there for chocolate or even coffee.

A year after Sydney’s horrific terrorist siege in the Lindt Cafe at the heart of Martin Place, I was there to pay my respects.

Like so many, I had been glued to the TV screen during the siege. I’d broken my foot the day before. Immobilised and in pain, I vicariously experienced the horror, the not knowing and witnessed those gunshots which brought the siege to an end with three deaths and a blinding flash of light.

You don’t have to be there anymore to experience a sense of such trauma. Even if you have only half a heart, watching such trauma on TV, absorbing the aftermath of personal stories and being walked in their shoes, are enough.

As I said, you don’t need to be there.

Yet, for those that were, how do you ever move forward and yet they have no choice. Life goes on. It doesn’t stop. Pause. Hold its breath. It just keeps going and like running late for the train, you just have to get onboard.

I haven’t vowed never to frequent the Lindt Cafe but I still stand by what I said last year, with such a plethora of choice, I’d rather go some place else. Somewhere I can smile, laugh relax, write without being pursued by dark shadows.

As I said, I was far from being comfortable being in the Lindt Cafe. I could feel the gunshots going off and yet I couldn’t smell gunpowder.

All I could smell was chocolate. That intoxicating smell of chocolate and yes, that smell was very particular. It was Lindt chocolate. I was absolutely divine, heavenly and I can’t believe I resisted it all. However, it was such a hot day and I wasn’t going straight home so I didn’t even buy a drop. Even resisted all those gold Lindt teddy bears…two for $10.00!

When you enter the Lindt Cafe, there’s the chocolate shop on your left and you have to swing around to your right, to enter the cafe.

That was all fine. Didn’t affect me at all.

However, seeing the staff wearing the very same dark chocolate-coloured aprons which had been worn by the hostages,  triggered an awful sense of terror. The simple aprons made me feel ill.

It’s not surprisingly really. After all, the main images of the siege featured terrified Lindt employees wearing these very same aprons, escaping from the terrorist and running for their lives. There was one girl in particular. The horror etched into her face. She was running for her life… a survivor escaping a war zone.

You don’t forget that.

At least, I don’t.

I left without buying anything and would’ve liked to light a candle for Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson who were killed during the siege. I didn’t see anywhere I could do that but I did stop at a memorial out the front.

Yet, what can you say?

More and more I am finding words are so inadequate and like so many at Christmas time, I have no spare cash.

I walked out of the cafe and back into Martin Place.

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“Heartman” Drawn by Mister 2010 aged 6.

Not unsurprisingly, being around lunchtime, Martin Place was humming. It is the hub of Sydney’s CBD. Of course, the Christmas Tree was up and I was conscious that for a second Christmas, Katrina Dawson’s kids didn’t have their Mum. As a chronically ill Mum with two young kids, I feel that. We’ve had a few Christmases where my life was hanging in the balance and have had our own horror. Of course, I’m going to be mindful of those experiencing what I’ve feared with all that I am.

Yet, despite this churning vortex of intense, grueling emotion, I was strangely comforted by a classical guitarist performing in Martin Place. I noticed him a couple of blocks away and somehow the notes hooked into my heart. Like the children being lured by the Pied Piper of Hamlin, I felt myself being irresistibly drawn towards his melodious song. Quite often, I find myself drawn towards more melancholy music, but this was so upbeat, happy and just what the heart doctor ordered.

joseph

An incredible CD of classical guitar to lift up your soul.

Thank you Joseph Zarb! You can hear him  too at http://www.jose.net.au

Still feeling reflective, there was now a spring in my step.

Music helps the heart to heal and to hope.

Dancing_Man,_Australia,_end_of_World_War_II

This iconic photo known as “Dancing Man” was taken in Elizabeth Street, Martin Place celebrating the end of WWII on 15 August, 1945.

It is an intriguing coincidence that one of Sydney’s most iconic historical photographs, The Dancing Man, was taken virtually outside where the Lindt Cafe stands today. This photo captured the jubiliant excitement of the end of World War II. It doesn’t deny it’s horror but it does celebrate a better future…peace!

Jean Julien Peace for Paris

Jean Julien “Peace for Paris”

Since the horror of the Lindt Siege, there have been two major terrorist attacks on Paris and there’s a heightened level of vigilance and dare I say, fear.

However, that doesn’t mean we resign ourselves to the status quo. Stop fighting for freedom and that ultimate goal, which, even though it might sound rather cheesy and corny…world peace.

As John Lennon said: “Give peace a chance”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkZC7sqImaM

give peace a chance-yoko ono-lennon

xx Rowena

 

 

 

 

Boarding the Coffee Express.

Perhaps, if I had another coffee, I’d find it easier to rewind through the last week and actually remember what happened instead of feeling like I’ve been run over by by a huge truck with Christmas painted on the side. Actually, to be fair, I can’t really blame Christmas. It’s more the eminent end to yet another year when the end of the school year collides with dance, violin and school concerts and the Scout Christmas camp has been thrown in the mix as well. However, don’t let my rant deceive you. I love it all. I just wish I had more petrol in the tank or perhaps I just need the really good stuff instead of the budget variety. It’s not the time of year to skimp and use cheap fuel.

Rewinding to Wednesday, I caught the train down to Sydney to go to the Dentist at Kirribilli, which is just across the road from the pedestrian walkway over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After more than 2 hours in the chair where I swear he drilled deep into the foundations of The Bridge deep beneath the earth, I decided to spoil myself and caught a ferry across the Harbour to Circular Quay. It was an absolutely glorious Summer day and every time I take this trip, I love it just as much as the first time. More than simply being an architectural wonder, the Bridge feels like a part of me and has somehow woven its way through my memories and tunneled its way into my heart.

Speaking of The Bridge, on the train to Sydney I was reading a book on the history of The Bridge:

My Australian Story: Sydney Harbour Bridge by Vashti Ferrer
Published February 2012 Scholastic. I am loving all the detailed anecdotes throughout. I’ll be disappointed when it’s finished.

Arriving in Circular Quay with my mouth still paralyzed from the unaesthetic, I sought out soup and coffee and found myself in an authentic French cafe in The Rocks, which is located in the former Police Station. I sat outside but you can actually dine inside the cells. I am definitely heading back with the kids. They’ll love it. What an adventure!

As you’ll probably appreciate, this time of year isn’t just about Christmas or the Summer holidays, especially if it’s Winter at your place. It is also the end of the Australian school year and reports have just come home and speech day has been and gone. Both kids had great reports and received quite a few “highs”.

As we all know, it’s often hard to navigate your way through school report lingo which while intended to inform parents, inevitably requires translation in itself. I liked it back in the good old days when you had varying degrees of A B C D. We all knew what that meant. Our reports are Outstanding which apparently means you’re ahead of stage, High, Sound which is where most students will fit and thankfully I haven’t had to worry about the rest.

Anyway, Mister received a surprise award. Not from the powers that be but from last week’s Year 6 Fete. He won the award for “Being able to Stretch a Jelly Snake the Longest”. In fact, he told me through all his triumphant laughter and excitement that he was indeed the reigning champion because he’d also won last year. While I initially failed to appreciate the significance of his achievement, once he started explaining the science, thought and planning which had gone into his efforts, I was actually rather impressed. Apparently, you have to pull it fast to 25cm and then move slowly and if it starts to tear to go back to 25cm and start over. I actually wonder if there isn’t some complex scientific equation at work here. Sure, it might not be a cure for cancer but it made us both smile and that has to be worth something!

While we’re on the subject of awards, my heart goes out to all the BPs or “Quiet Achievers” out there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo9nWNxtAMo. So many of us conquer all sorts of incredible hurdles just to pull off the mundane pedestrian and yet these achievements go unsung and unrewarded but as far as I’m concerned, are a much bigger achievements than simply winging success through raw talent alone. I remember when I went to my 20 year school reunion after being diagnosed with my auto-immune disease and my big achievement was being able to sit on the floor and get up again. That simple movement had taken months of physio and incredible determination to pull off. No awards there.

I guess that’s why I love Mariah Carey’s hit: Hero: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgXw9YHpk1M

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Coffee at the Wyong Milk Factory, December, 2015.

Yesterday, my daughter and I traveled up to Wyong about 45 minutes drive North to enroll her in her new school and pick up her uniform. Miss has been selected to attend “Opportunity School”. These classes run for the last two years of Primary school and you have to sit an entry test. Miss was initially on a waiting list but quickly got through and we found ourselves saying goodbye to the kids’ primary school, which has been our second home for 7 years and we’re moving on.

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A rather reluctant chocolate tester at Luka Chocolates.

After picking up her uniform and having another look around the school, we headed out to the Wyong Milk Factory, which is home to the Little Creek Cheese Factory and Luka Chocolates. I’ve been to the cheese factory before and you can read about my Adventures of a Cheesy here: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/adventures-of-a-cheesy/

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Well, you can just imagine we were happy little mice!

Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before our son starts high school next year and his last days of primary school are running out.  I still remember when he first saw “Big School” and he said it was “too big” and absolutely refused to go through the gate, despite the lovely encouragement of the Year 6 student on the gate. He now tells me that Primary School is “too small” and I guess I’m pleased that he feels he’s outgrown it and is ready for the next challenge.  Tuesday, they have the Year 6 Farewell and then Wednesday…It’s all over red rover. The rest of the school forms a tunnel and Year 6 is gone.

Mister doing News at school in kindergarten, aged 5. He was talking about his Great-Grandmother’s funeral.

Jonathon

For those of you with an interest in education, I thought I’d mention that our son has been selected for the AVID class next year. I do intend to write more about it down the track but it really does sound like an exciting way of learning. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.  It’s focus is preparing students for university and they have uni students come  and work with them in the classroom. Apparently, it has achieved excellent results.

Meanwhile, while there’s a general preoccupation elsewhere with the number of sleeps before Christmas, we still have next weekend ahead. Saturday is the annual dance concert and today we had a rehearsal and tomorrow is photo  call. So, after dropping Miss off at rehearsal, I was off to stockpile bobby pins, hairnets, makeup and nail polish remover. Thank goodness all these hair dramas only come round once or twice a year and she can go back to looking like the Little Matchgirl afterwards. After the concert, she’s off to join her brother at the annual Christmas Scout Camp at the hall and Mum and Dad might even be sleeping over. That could be fun. It’s on the waterfront and we do have stretcher beds. All the same, I am concerned about how much sleep we may or, more likely, won’t get. Not that I’m one to stay up talking all night myself!

Did I mention the school carol service tomorrow night? Nativity Church service Friday night? We also have a dog walkers’ Christmas party at the beach. Oh yes…2 medical appointments in Sydney this week as well. I don’t know why I’m still out of bed!

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By the way, if you’re wanting to get into the Christmas spirit, you can visit Solveig Werner at http://solveigwerner.com/who has been running an Advent Calender on her blog featuring guest bloggers. I will be coming up on the 17th writing a comic piece about Christmas in the Australian heat. I have also reblogged this post about Virginia’s famous letter to the newspaper asking whether Santa is real. I also posted the words of a modern Australian Christmas Carol, Aussie Jingle Bells, which is incredibly cringe-worthy but I love it regardless.

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Speaking of Christmas, we buy a fresh Christmas tree every year and as yet, I have absolutely no idea how we’re going to fit it in and how I’m going to find the time to make room. Is it still Christmas without your own Christmas tree? The home made Christmas cake seems to be succumbing to a similar fate. Although I have bought the ingredients, I haven’t even boiled the fruit yet and it’s really been too hot. Ice cream anyone?

Golly, my Christmas guilt list is getting longer and longer!

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How has your week been? Hope you’re going well and I’m looking forward to catching up on your news.

This has been part of the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Part Time Monster and please check us out at the linky: http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=590391

xx Rowena

The featured image was taken in a French cafe in The Rocks, Sydney. That cappuccino was huge…almost a  goldfish bowl. Indeed, aren’t there days you wouldn’t mind being a goldfish swimming round in a bowl of coffee when you need that extra buzz!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate + Vegemite= ?

Rumoured as a hoax…a hoax almost as legendary as first reports of the duck-billed platypus, Cadbury has released its Vegemite-flavoured chocolate.

Cadbury made the announcement on Twitter, along with three other new flavour combinations: golden toffee, pretzel & peanut and salted caramel.This is part of its #ChocPlusWhat campaign, where it asks consumers what flavour combinations they would like to see.

Yet, although it’s called “Vegemite Chocolate”, the centre is actually filled with caramel but not the classic sort of caramel like you’d expect in say a Caramello. It’s almost like the texture of their Turkish Delight filling. Moreover, this caramel isn’t as sweet as a regular caramel and has been compared to salted caramel.

According to the ABC, Australian palates have grown more adventurous in recent years, with food mash-ups that would once be considered bizarre becoming ubiquitous — think the match-made-in-heaven that is salted caramel.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-08/cadbury-chocolate-vegemite-combine-social-media-food-mash-up/6454050

Despite all that media hype, I can still hear you ask: “Vegemite and chocolate????”  in utter disgust, confusion and dismay. Isn’t anything sacred?!! Yes, indeed. We are a weird mob! You do have to wonder what someone or someones were thinking when they came up with the stuff. It really does seem like the ultimate April Fool’s Day prank. Yet, it’s real.

Ad for Vegemite.

Ad for Vegemite.

Vegemite is more than just a household name throughout Australia. First developed in 1922, it’s become part of our psyche. Generations of Aussie school kids have been brought up on the humble Vegemite sandwich, which according to the song, turned us all into “Happy Little Vegemites” www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yA98MujNeM.

The most famous Vegemite ad of all time produced in 1954.

The most famous Vegemite ad of all time produced in 1954.

I have heard of Vegemite and cheese, Vegemite and lettuce sandwiches and even adding Vegemite to dishes to give added flavour but I’ve never heard of anybody mixing Vegemite and chocolate together before.Not even my kids and they’ve made some weird concoctions in the kitchen when the patter of little feet suddenly went eerily quiet.

That said, while I was living in Heidelberg Germany after finishing university, I was attending a Church picnic where someone put a Tupperware container filled with Vegemite on the dessert table. I think it was initially a bit of a mix-up. However, one poor unsuspecting American kid who thought it was chocolate sauce, ate an entire tea spoon of the stuff straight. Now, most Americans I’ve seen try the stuff barely dab their finger in the Vegemite and they’re writhing in agony on the ground like yours truly eating chilli. So, you could well imagine the look on that poor kid’s face. It was priceless. The prank worked so well that he just had to try it out on his unsuspecting sister…Ha! She smeared the stuff all over her choc chip cookie and ate it. Needless to day, her brother was lucky to escape with his life.

You really do need to be, in effect, “desensitized” to like Vegemite. Or perhaps you just have to be Australian…tough as nails and as mad as a cut snake.

Anyway, I don’t know how the whole concept of Vegemite chocolate was first conceived or what crazy notions were stirring in someone’s dare I say “lateral” imagination. What were they thinking? It’s seems like they were playing a game of mis-matched pairs! Yes, we’ll mix the parrot with the hippopotamous.  That said, tit could well be the result of a committee decision. That said, these weird food “mash-ups” do seem to be all the rage.

Regardless, it’s not a bad marketing strategy because  Vegemite Chocolate is attracting quite a bit of interest. Posts from brave and intrepid taste testers are appearing on Facebook and not being one to be left out of the action, I had try it out. Indeed, this was an experience the whole family could enjoy.

Despite my background in market research, I didn’t develop questionnaires to record all our responses but I did have Geoff filming and I really did anticipate a few “yucks” “Err yucks” and total revulsion.I truly was expecting it to taste so bad that it became some kind of “survivor” challenge where men, women and children all earnt bragging rights “I’ve survived Vegemite Chocolate!’. Yes, iyou defintiely had to  earn the T-shirt!

Taste Testing Cadbury's Vegemite Chocolate.

Taste Testing Cadbury’s Vegemite Chocolate.

However, to the perfectly honest the chocolate was a bit of a let down, Even though I quite liked it., I was looking forward to tasting the Vegemite flavour in the chocolate but I couldn’t pick it at all. For me, this wasn’t Vegemite chocolate but something else. Miss says it was “yummy” and that it tasted like caramel. Both Geoff and Mister could detect the Vegemite flavour but they don’t touch the stuff!! You see, I’m quite heavy-handed with the amount of Vegemite I smear onto my Saos each nigh so I must have built up some kind of resilience!

This is how I love my Vegemite. No wonder I couldn't taste it in the chocolate.

This is how much I love my Vegemite. No wonder I couldn’t taste it in the chocolate.

Vegemite Chocolate. It was out of this world!

Vegemite Chocolate. It was out of this world!

Now, getting on to the question Cadbury posed about potential chocolate combinations. I guess I really should come up with something. Chocolate with potato chips? In the interests of combining health with chocolate, apple chocolate or indeed “Diet Coke Chocolate”. Yes, that’s the suggestion I’ll tweet through to them. I can see “Diet Coke Chocolate” being a winner! After all, how often do you see people drinking diet Coke with something utterly fattening like a greasy hamburger, KFC or chocolate.

Yes, Diet Coke Chocolate definitely has my vote!

Have you tried the Vegemite Chocolate? I’d love to know what you think. Also, could you please let me know if you spot it overseas.

Bon Appetite!

xx Rowena