Jan 9, 2011

Rediscovering Donna's 'No Time to Cook'. SSG's She Shed. The Pool.

It's back on with Donna Hay's 'No Time To Cook'.

I just could not be parted with it today.  I took it with me to do the grocery shopping this morning.

So that I could plan the week's dinners and list all the ingredients over a coffee before hitting the supermarkets.

Then I took it to the front porch after lunch to keep me company as I appreciated something else I've taken too lately - my pot plants.  I think I've settled on calling the front of SSG Manor, 'porch'.  I've been through verandah, front bit, at the front door and patio but I think it's definitely a porch.

I was workshopping desserts.  I'm Entertaining on Wednesday night and the first option for dessert was as per the suggestion of the AWW's 'The Complete Book of Modern Entertaining'.  The nominated desserte was a mango and rice pudding affair.  Unfortunately, there aren't any mangos in Sydney at the moment.  I think it's the floods in other part of Australia that are the main reason.  So I've had to find alternatives within the pages of 'No Time to Cook'.  It was like Rachel Zoe and her 'sourcing the perfect  outfit for Demi/Kate H/Cameron' crises. But without a Hollywood presence.  We did have a touch of Rodger by way of Mr SSG but that was all.  The good news is, I have Options.  I will wait until the day to decide and expect Drama.  I might even dress the part with a large pair of Chanel sunglasses and statement jewelry while draining a large Starbucks (or equivalent).

It's all very exciting.  My first proper dinner party in ages.  I'm on holidays and thus Going All Out.  Mostly in the decor department, unfortunately.  Don't tell my guests, I'm hoping they will succumb to the combined allure of top notch champagne and the candle / large glass vases and tricks with water and rocks decor I'm hoping to execute.

Oh yes, this is the final plant population for the front porch.  I say final because I need to draw the line at the number of pots.  There's only so many I can be relied upon to water regularly.

My peace lily isn't in the photo.  It's behind the chair I usually sit on and makes a lovely leafy rustling noise when there's a breeze.  Apologies for the streaky potting mix all over the floor.  I'm messy with potting mix.
The front porch is now officially my She Shed.  SSG's She Shed.  That's a tongue twister for the younger generations at Speech and Drama class.  It's just beyond Mr SSG's Man Shed (the television and couch in the lounge room) so even when we're physically apart, we aren't really.

After a while, the sun came down a bit and we collectively tired of Shed Time.  It was time for a swim.

This is my favourite outdoor pool in Sydney.  It's 50 m, salt water and heaven to swim in.  There are extra wide lanes so that people can swim 2 abreast each direction.  There's a pleasant grassy area where people can stretch out and allow the water to evaporate from their skin (we don't say tan anymore in Australia, it is not PC).

Other benefits of the pool include the fact that it's on the Bay Run.  Which I have to run again one of these days.  Maybe Tuesday morning.  As well as Birkenhead Point a collection of clothing outlets.  In all my years in Sydney, I have never actually shopped at Birkenhead Point.  I never seem to quite get there when the clothing stores are open.

Iron Cove Bridge, 2008.

If you look upward from the pool, you can see the Iron Cove Bridge.

Iron Cove Bridge with its twin, 2011.

The NSW State Government may not have been able to build too many bridges with their electorates, but they have managed to build this concrete duplicte bridge over the river.  It's not actually functional yet.  But it's there.  Could this be the end of congestion on Victoria Road?  Time will tell.

Swimming is hungry work.  I had planned dinner this morning (when it was cool and rainy) which was Donna Hay's Pork and Sweet Potato Red Curry from No Time To Cook.

The need for grated ginger made me also rediscover my red Microplane.  I don't know why I ever ignored it.  It's perfect for grating frozen ginger segments.  Without grating my fingers.

The curry was delicious.  Very easy and on the table in under half an hour.  It's basically curry paste with browned onions as a base for a gravy of coconut milk and chicken stock.  Then, the red potatoes are added and left to simmer until nearly done.  The thinly sliced pork fillet goes in for 5 minutes and you're done.  The garnish of coriander and basil really enhances the flavours.

Have a lovely evening, everyone.  I don't know what I'm going to do with myself.  Don't have to go to work tomorrow.


  1. Aren't microplanes great? I just love mine to death! And have fun with Donna, I can't wait to cook from that book! :)

  2. Hi
    The best thing about the weekend is that you are allowed to do just what YOU want...

    And that curry looks really good...

    Have a great day.

  3. SSG, you need to plan a trip to Birkenhead Point asap! It's quite lovely now that it has been renovated and such. I think you'll find there are plenty of bargains to be had. Goodluck with your dinner party. Am looking forward to pictures.

  4. Enjoy your time off. The curry sounded very yummy!

    Take care.

  5. I used my rasp which is a cousin to your microplane for grating ginger last night...ginger mayo dip which I use for spot prawns...
    easy peasy 1/2 c real mayonnaise, 3 tsp soy sauce and 2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger...mix and put in fridge for awhile to let the flavours blend.

    Have a great dinner party and enjoy the no cook lifestyle while soaking up the view from the She Shed!

  6. Oh! I haven't been to Drummoyne Pool in years...not since I used to live in Balmain, and then Leichhardt. I used to love lying on the grass, letting the water evaporate from my skin! Too funny SSG.

  7. No danger of water evaporating from our skins in Brisbane - we are getting pruney from too much water :)


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