“Access to Fashion” Show

Screenshot of the image header for the event: it's purplish-mauve with white writing saying

Hi all. My friend Carly Findlay is organising a fashion show as part of Melbourne Fashion Week in September. I love the idea! Disability is very underrepresented in fashion and in the media. From the ticket link:

Access to Fashion – Disability on the Runway is a Melbourne Fashion Week event that endeavours to solve the pervasive issue of disability exclusion in the fashion industry. The event which will be comprised of a panel discussion and runway show featuring disabled models, and will emphasise the need for accessibility and authentic representation, and highlight change makers and activists within the disabled community.”

The event aims to “make a statement about disability access and inclusion” as well as showcasing “disability pride – disabled people coming together to celebrate themselves and each other”.

This is a topic close to my heart. It sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun, and tickets are cheap. Only $15 for a bit over two hours of fashion – there’ll be a parade, then some nibbles and a panel discussion. The event is accessible, with wheelchair access, Auslan or open captions and hearing loop. Buy your ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/access-to-fashion-disability-on-the-runway-tickets-46837473143 

The Melbourne Fashion Week link to the event is here: https://mfw.melbourne.vic.gov.au/event/access-to-fashion/ 

It’ll be held at Library at The Dock, Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands VIC, Australia.

See more information about the event on the website, here:  http://disabilityontherunway.blogspot.com/ 

Contribute to the fundraiser to help make the event a success here:  https://www.gofundme.com/access-to-fashion (you can also contribute time, resources and sponsorship – see the main details link above!)

There’s a Facebook event too. See here.

It’s exciting!

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Tomatoey Lentils and Veg with Rice

I made this last week but unfortunately didn’t written anything down until I wrote this post, not even a title or recipe link saved on my phone. So I’ve had to take a bit of a guess at things.

Ingredients:

  • Onion
  • Tomato paste
  • Water/ vegetable stock
  • Vegetables – e.g. bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushroom
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Spicy sauce (optional – just something I had in the fridge, consists of a stir-fry sauce with chilli and garlic and mixed herbs)

Tools:

  • frying pan
  • saucepan
  • kitchen spoon
  • cutlery and crockery

Method:

  1. Chop onion and vegetables
  2. Put lentils in the saucepan on a low heat, in water. Add chilli sauce if desired and cook.
  3. Fry onion and mushroom in the pan until onion is soft and mushrooms are starting to turn golden.
  4. Add other vegetables and fry for a minute or two, then add mixed herbs and tomato paste with vegetable stock.
  5. Let simmer until vegetables are done (sauce will reduce, so top up with extra water as needed.).
  6. While vegetables are simmering, add noodles to a pot of boiling water and let cook.
  7. When vegetables are almost ready, add lentils into the pan and stir to combine.
  8. When noodles are finished, drain them and tip into the pan with the vegetables and lentils.
  9. I “fry-steamed” a couple of Brussels sprouts to go with this, just because I felt like it. They take 8 or so minutes in a small frypan.
  10. You’re ready to serve. This will make leftovers.

Flavoured Chops with Veggies and Noodles

Hi all. Here’s another recipe post.

The other night, I had chops, veg and noodles. I started out with a simple idea of dusting the chops with mixed herbs, then frying them with some garlic. A usual thing for me. But when it came time to cook, I didn’t want to have steamed veggies with it. So I did things a bit differently.

In a deep black frying pan are chops in a red tomatoey sauce with carrots, corn, bok choi and cauliflower with noodles stirred through

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 small chops
  • 1 clove garlic*
  • 1 tsp dried ginger*
    NB. Or whatever variations of garlic and ginger you have.
  • 2-3 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1/4x onion
  • different veggies – as you can see in the picture, I used carrot, cauliflower, corn and bok choi
  • Water
  • Tomato paste (to taste)
  • 1x serving of noodles
  • Cooking oil

Tools:

  • 1x frying pan
  • 1x small saucepan
  • 1x kitchen spoon
  • 2-3 teaspoons
  • 1x tongs
  • cutlery and crockery for plating & eating

Method:

  1. Chop vegetables, onion.  and garlic clove.
  2. Take chops out of its packaging and chop off excess fat
  3. Fry the onion with garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes in oil.
  4. While this occurs, scatter a teaspoon (roughly) of mixed herbs onto each chop and ensure both sides are coated.
  5. Fry chops in oil with the garlic, ginger and onion.
  6. When both sides are browned, turn heat to low and add chopped vegetables.
  7. Give that another minute or two, then add water mixed with tomato paste. This shouldn’t cover the vegetables or meat but just create a nice sauce for them.
  8. Cook noodles in boiling water. Once done, stir them through the frying pan mixture.
  9. Plate up and eat.

Yum!

 

Life, and…

Hi all.

I’m writing this on Sunday evening after a nice weekend. Fun, but tiring.

I spent Sunday afternoon reading through a book called Space Opera. It is Eurovision in space, where the stakes are high and Earth’s hopes for their first (and possibly last!) entry rest on a couple of misfits.

Utter ridiculousness ensues, with the small semblance of plot finding time to make broad geopolitical commentary amidst heady descriptions and a dizzying pace.

I expected a light-hearted romp featuring a starry-eyed main star and got a tragicomedy drama with a bunch of cynics. Also, unexpectedly, quite a lot of feels.

Hoping that this week’s literature search for the project is a bit easier than last week’s.

I’m halfway through my second-last uni subject! Wow!

 

Meatloaf with mushroom sauce

This week has been busy! Yesterday was a real doozy. Something that keeps me grounded is my cooking.

On Monday evening, my partner came over and we made a meatloaf with mushroom sauce, steamed veg and noodles. It was really good.

Ingredients:

  • 2x serves of mince (we used 1x roo mince and 1x Adani Kofte-flavoured mince) – about 200g?
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp of Vegemite (or equivalent malt/ yeast spread)
  • 4-6 button mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4x onion
  • vegetable stock
  • cooking oil
  • extra veg, for steaming
  • noodles or another carb, to serve

Tools:

  • 1x medium to large mixing bowl
  • 2x kitchen spoon/ spatula/ stirrer
  • 1x baking tray
  • 1x steamer pot
  • 1x saucepan

Method:

  1. Mix mince, breadcrumbs, egg and 1 tsp Vegemite in the bowl.
    NB.   You can add extra flavourings (e.g. mixed herbs, garlic) and/or extra veg (e.g. carrots/ celery/ zucchini, chopped finely), but I had no carrots in the house, and as we were using already-flavoured mince, extras weren’t really needed.
    NB#2. The Vegemite tip came from my dad – it gives the meatloaf a really nice subtle “extra” flavour.
  2. Drizzle a baking tray with oil, or cover it with baking paper. Shape the mince mixture into a rough log/ loaf and place onto the tray, then into the oven it goes. We put it in for 35 minutes.
  3. Chop the veggies for steaming then place them in the steamer pot. They’ll take about 15 minutes to cook – remember to time it so that they’ll finish at the same time as the meatloaf.
  4. Prepare the noodles for cooking and time this to the finishing time of the others.
  5. The last task is to make the mushroom sauce/ gravy. You’ll want to chop up the mushrooms quite finely and dice the onion.
  6. Put these into a pan over medium heat and let simmer for a few minutes, stirring, until the mushrooms start turning golden. Add either a tsp of Vegemite or a dash of soy sauce in at this point.
  7. Keep stirring and add a bit of flour, then veggie stock, then flour, then stock. Do this until you’ve reached your desired consistency, depending on whether you’re making a sauce or a gravy.
  8. When everything is ready, serve it up and dig in!

 

Spicy black bean and mushroom stew

Hi all. This was last night’s dinner – I was very pleased with it. It was a case of “a little of this, a little of that”, made using a few things I had in the fridge and pantry. It made two servings – so I’ll get to enjoy it again another day. Yay!

On a white plate with green rim are the pasta with the stew on top - you can see the black beans, cauli, Brussel sprouts and peanuts clearly

Ingredients:

  • 1x can of black beans, drained
  • 3x Brussel sprouts (1 large, 2 smaller)
  • 1x large floret of cauliflower
  • 2x choy sum leaves
  • 6x button mushrooms, small to medium sizes
  • 1/3x onion
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • A generous amount of chilli (whatever suits your spice levels)
  • A dash of pepper
  • A sprinkling or two of mixed herbs (mixed herbs go with everything!)
  • A glug of honey-soy sauce
  • 1 – 1&1/4 cups of veggie stock
  • Oil for frying
  • Optional: a sprinkling of fish sauce and a dollop of oyster sauce (I used these because they were available – if you’re really vegetarian, sub in something else, even another glug of the honey-soy)
  • Optional: a decent handful of peanuts
  • Optional: a couple of dollops of cream or milk
  • pasta (or another carb) to serve with the stew

Tools:

  • 1x large flat-bottomed frying pan
  • 1x kitchen spoon
  • 3x teaspoons
  • 1x strainer
  • 1x small to medium-sized pot

Method:

Note: I tried to watch the clock with this so I could say how long everything took, but I got distracted by the cooking process, cleaning up as I went – and by listening to a podcast from Conversations, which is a regular mealtime activity if I’m by myself. All I know is that cooking took about half an hour all up.

  1. De-shell peanuts, if required and set aside
  2. Chop up mushrooms into very small pieces
  3. Thinly slice the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts and roughly chop the choy sum
  4. Chop onion roughly.
  5. Fry onion in hot oil. After a minute or two, add garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir around to coat the mushrooms and make sure nothing is sticking. Give it a couple of minutes.
  6. After that’s cooked for a bit, dump in the mushrooms and peanuts, if using. Mix around to coat and let them fry for a bit. Maybe five minutes?
  7. Put on the pasta to cook according to packet instructions – if it finishes before the stew, just cover it and turn the heat off.
  8. Next, tip in the drained black beans. Mix them around to allow them to soak up the flavours. Give it a couple of minutes.
  9. Add the sauces and stir, then give it another five minutes or so.
  10. Add the rest of the veg, with the cup of veggie stock. Stir it around and add some mixed herbs and pepper if desired. Cover and let it simmer away for another five minutes or so.
  11. Take the lid off and stir the mixture around. You can add a few dollops of cream (or milk) here if desired – I had some in the fridge thanks to a dinner gathering I went to earlier in the week.
  12. Let it simmer away for another few minutes until the veggies you added in Step 9 are soft and everything is combined nicely.
  13. Serve it up and EAT!

Here is the process in pictures:

“What do I need right now?”

The following link landed in my inbox last night. I needed to hear it. So I’m passing it onto you, in the hope it helps someone else.

Simplify Self-Care 

Week 4 of the project, and I’ve rediscovered one of the more challenging aspects of literature searches: broad topics! Oh well. I’ll be working on that today, and other elements of life are going well.

Here, have a photo of a rainbow I took on the weekend.

a rainbow stands out against dark sky, with trees and green grass in front of it. It's visible through a window.

 

Fandoms, Updated

Hi all. In the first few months of this blog, I posted about my fandoms. It’s a category all of itself on this blog because I’m a voracious reader who also watches a few different shows/ movies from time to time. I thought it was time to redo the actual fandoms post, instead of just editing the original – as I’ve done a few times.

Image taken from the header of this post via Google. Image is white writing on black text and reads: keep calm and join fandoms

Potential spoilers in the links and also a content note as I have to mention why I’m glad the Dr Blake Mysteries was removed from the ABC.

The link to the original is here. In it, I describe my love of Harry Potter (JK Rowling), Tortall and Emelan (Tamora Pierce), and a huge list of others, ranging from the well-known to the more obscure.

I’ll get to the old favourites in a minute, but first I want to celebrate two new ones. The first one is a series which has its first book in my original fandoms post. I’ve now read the second and discovered that not only is there a third book due out this month, but that the collection has a name: introducing the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers. The two books so far are A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit, and the third book that’ll be released soon is Record of a Spaceborn Few. I can’t wait! Becky Chambers has a really good way of worldbuilding her stories, and the story of how she became published is interesting. Books in the series have won some prestigious awards as well.

The second series I am adding to my Fandoms wall is, as promised, The Chaos Walking. I gushed about it a bit under a month ago, but I really like the character development of Patrick Ness’ stories, and the way he asks questions about human nature.

I’m going to also promote The Moorehawke Trilogy here, because while it was first placed in the “read once, really liked it, searched for more” section of this post, seeing it on the list made me realise I hadn’t done the final part of that. Celine Kiernan has other works out too, and judging from my memory of Moorehawke, they should be good.

Now, onto the “old favourites and other things” section of this post.

I separated Harry Potter and both of Tamora Pierce’s series from the rest because I think that they’re the ones I keep returning to. HP was my first major (second remembered) fandom and I love it for that, and the depth of many characters, and the idea of the magical world existing beside our own. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to critique it, when I see ways it could be better.

Tamora Pierce’s Tortall and Emelan worlds are put here because they’re fun mediaeval fantasy – that has lots of diversity, magic, and deep world-building. The Tortall world has had some new books come out relatively recently: Tortall: A Spy’s Guide and Tempests and Slaughter (book 1 of the latest series, the Numair Chronicles). I engage with her series’  critically as well, when I need to.

Some of the series on the original list I liked more when I was a teenager than perhaps now. I’ll still enjoy them if I pick them up but perhaps some of that is nostalgia.  LIke Rangers Apprentice, Deltora Quest, Rowan of Rin series, Rondo trilogy, Saddle Club, Warriors, and books by particular authors like Roald Dahl and Jackie French.

Some titles on the list, I’ll keep being involved in the fandom even if they’re not my primary ones at present. Most of the ones on the list fall into this category: Star WarsStar TrekHunger Games, DivergentTo Kill a Mockingbird, LotR and The Hobbit, His Dark Materials, Doctor WhoChronicles of Narnia* and Call the Midwife. Also to a certain extent it includes ones I read/watched once and liked, and maybe looked at the other works by the authors for a time: Earth’s Children series,  New Tricks, Vera, Dr Blake Mysteries*.

Two in that list have asterisks next to them because as I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy my fandoms with a critical eye, and for those two, in particular, there are parts of their stories that are uncomfortable. With Narnia, it’s CS Lewis’ treatment of Susan in the later books that gets my goat (as well as certain preachy elements). With Dr Blake Mysteries it’s that, while the show was fairly decent (especially series 1-3, and parts of series 5), the actor who played Dr Blake (Craig McLachlan) turned out to be Not Nice behind the scenes. (There was a big expose on that at the start of this year/ end of last year.)

 

Reblog: Top 5 tips for Living Healthily on a Budget

Check out the latest post from Jack Monroe. I might use their method to do a kitchen audit, and chat more about my thoughts about this, later…. once I’ve made more progress on my project proposal, that is. The flexible deadline is tomorrow (Friday), but given tomorrow’s schedule, I want to get as much as possible done today! So this busy bee needs to get buzzing.

Here, have a picture of one of my latest “creations”: lentils and veg in a store-bought-on-special teriyaki sauce with rice. It was quite nice actually.

On a white plate with green rim sits white rice with lentils and veg in a teriyaki sauce around it on the right side. A fork is partly visible next to the rice.

Whose Priorities?

I was sitting in class earlier today. We were talking about health priorities, on a macro level. I.e. what can governments, organisations, etc. do to increase health and wellbeing? (Rather than what can individuals do themselves?)

There are lots of different initiatives being talked about, and the whys and hows they’re meaningful. If people are interested, then look up sites like VicHealth or the National Health Priorities.

Anyway. During the break, an article about recycling caught my eye. Its basic premise is that households aren’t the biggest source of landfill in Australia – that title goes to comercial and industrial sector. So, how do we make it a “macro-level priority” to reduce waste and increase recycling in the commercial and industrial sectors?

Hmm….