Split Second: Blog Thanks

This week there is a writing challenge going around based upon the question of,

“tell us about a moment when your life was changed in a split second.”

At first I didn’t know where to start, to be comic, to be heartfelt, to stick with the basis of this blog being centred around food and wine? When I got to thinking about this blog I realised that if I had not sat down in front of my computer just over a month ago and made an account and blog on wordpress.com then this blog would possibly have never existed. The chances that I’ve already have had thanks to this blog to meet people, go to events and try wines I would have likely passed by,and the potential to develop a hobby and a passion that can last a lifetime!So I would like to say thanks to the few who regularly read the entries (and often pick up on my spelling and grammar errors – thanks mum and dad along with a few others too!)

I know that there are many other aspects of my life that have been fleeting but lasting to me, but those moments are special because their meaningful to me alone or perhaps with a small few. And I’m not quite ready to put those aspects of my life up on the internet for anyone to read for eternity.

So I would like to dedicate this post to all the people who have stumbled across this blog and gotten something out of it! It’s nice to know that my reviews and tips are valued and that someone seems to think that I know what I’m on about!

Weekly Writing Challenge: I Wish I were drinking wine in Europe

This week the blog challenge of the week (found here) we have been asked to use the subjunctive mood to look back on our lives and say “I wish I were”. For me, keeping in the theme of this blog it would have to be ‘ I wish I were back in Europe, so I could try all the different wines!’

The first time I went to Europe I did so as a naive 18 year old who though spending more than 2 euros on a bottle of wine would break the budget. Having said that, my favourite bottle of wine from that trip is still the one which cost me 60 cents in Madrid, while my favourite drink overall was the homemade Sangria I had at the hostel we stayed at in Rome. The flip side of this regret is that if I had splurged on wines it would likely have been lost on me as I would not have been able to appreciate what I would have likely been drinking.

My second trip to Europe was a few years later and was a much briefer trip, however I went with the aim to try as much as I could in the way of European food and wine as well as attending a wine tasting class in Paris, of which I felt I succeeded at very nicely! This trip reaffirmed my love of European food and wine as well as confirming the fact that I would need to buy new pants every few months if I did live in Europe. This trip was just over a year ago and already I am wishing that I had tried a German or Austrian Riesling while I was there, though the beer in Munich was definitely a pleasant drink!

Since having become interested in wines it can often be quite frustrating to live in a country that is so far from the rest of the world and on top of that in the most isolated capital city of the country. It adds up to some expensive imported wines for sure! And unfortunately I have discovered that I tend to favour the more expensive imported wines (think $200+ French reds…). The positive of this however, is that I have turned those expensive bottles of wine into a good inspiration to save my my next overseas trip and the chance to really delve into the wines that Australia is producing to uncover some amazing boutique wineries!

I would love if you would share with me what is your ‘I wish I were’ and if you have a favourite wine or winery feel free to share it also!

Until next time!

Weekly Writing Challenge: Children in Restaurants

This week as part of Daily Post’s ‘Weekly Writing Challenge’ there is a poll going around asking people to think about their view on whether children should be allowed in adult-orientated spaces or not and then to explain their position in a post. I hate to say it but at first I was decidedly on-the-fence in regards to this topic and I think this is in due to being caught in a sense between child and parent phases of life.

The two options given in the poll are (results for poll are here):

a) Part of why I go to a nice restaurant is for the ambiance and to spend time with other adults. Get a baby-sitter.

b) Kids are people too. They should be welcome where an adult is welcome.

Firstly I would like to say that this poll will initially be answered by either your emotional opinion of the majority of children who are respectable and well controlled by their parents when at restaurants or the minority who make us all wish from time to time that children would not be allowed within 100 miles of the premise. Which ever you seem to come in contact with on a more regular basis as well as who has made a more impressionable memory for you upon your dining out experiences. And secondly it will depend upon what you define as your average dining out experience – ie. Fine Dining, a small family-run restaurant, Mc Donalds, etc.

Let me share with you my dining experiences as a child. I was first introduced to five star dining at the age of 12 (thanks to a very nice uncle who treated us while we were travelling – this is not something that my parents could have afforded on a regular basis with 3 kids). I know looking back that I was likely not the best behaved child (think elbows on the table and probably talked too loud – things I’ve realised I still do as an adult) but it was an experience of a lifetime to try such well made and presented food and to be exposed to a different level of dining to what many children of my generation are used to – the good old McDonalds, smaller restaurants and other forms of take-away dining. To have been denied such an opportunity may have denied me the chance to discover my love of good food and wine, as well as some hopefully decent table manners!

While I cannot comment from a parents perspective having never been one I do think that the onus is on them to make sure that their child behaves and does not disrupt the dining experience of other patrons within the restaurant. However in the more informal family-run restaurants, often the atmosphere created by large families and all the children and the ‘toeing-and-froing’ between the generations can really make the dining experience more enjoyable for me when I see others enjoying their food and company around me.

I guess from having spoken to a few university friends over the last day in regards to this topic I would have to lean more towards responding with let the children have a chance to dine out, whether for the food, to learn dining etiquette or even just to have a nice family meal/gathering (restaurant depending of course – I would not say a 5 star dining experience would be the best location for their first meal dining out). In the end I guess I have come to the decisions that children in general should be allowed into restaurants, which is the losing category of the poll (at the time of writing ~60% were in favour of leaving the children at home while the other ~40% said bring them along). Also I would like to note that there are plenty of adults that I have seen while dining out that could probably do with a night in with the baby-sitter from their lack of etiquette in both eating and dealing with the waitstaff. Perhaps that can be a topic for the following poll?

Obviously with such a generic question, as well as a quite biased response for saying no to children being in restaurants the general trend for the results to be leaning towards letting them stay home with the baby-sitter is to be expected. Again I would like to reiterate that many answers for this question will depend also on the ‘dining experience’ people had in mind. Let me know what you’re oppinion is but overall I would say that for a medium-priced restaurant, let the next generation of foodies who dream of more than a big mac be born!

Until next time!

Pink Dinner: Salmon and Rose

Dinner on Monday night consisted of a home cooked piece of salmon coated in butter and herbs and oven roasted. The piece of salmon was accompanied by freshly cooked asparagus, rice and a glass of Rose from Woody Nook Winery from Margaret River. For my first attempt at cooking salmon on its own turned out pretty well! However I sort of didn’t think the sides through so I ended up with some juicy green asparagus that mum had sautéed and coated in lemon juice – delish! As well as some leftover flavoured rice.

The wine’s label has a fascinating gimmick (shown in the image) that has the rose on the label change colour depending on the temperature. The deeper pink is when it is cold and the lighter pink is when it is warm (can be done by putting your hand over the label). What can I say but it won me over! Roses are a bit of a weakness of mine, whether is a vase or on a rosebush the fragrance from a rosebush brings me back to my childhood. The rose was nice, on the dryer side but it went well with the meal, especially the zing from the lemon juice on the fish and asparagus.

Definitely keen to try cooking salmon again, if anyone has a recipe for cooking salmon that they love feel free to share it!

Until next time!