Cookies and Markets…

Markets have this down-to-earth ambience, where strangers are but friends, live music is for free, fresh produce is available straight from the farm and cookies are baked from the heart. The way the world should be.

In a venture to make some extra cash, my friend and I decided to rent a stall at our local market. I certainly have a new appreciation for market folk. When I initially entered into this enterprise, it seemed like a piece of cake. That, it was not.

After committing to a stall, we started to plan. So came the question, what to sell? Well my friend’s sister is a chef and makes the most scrumptious white chocolate and macadamia cookies on the planet. so we decided to ask her if she could spare a recipe for some market noobs.  Luckily she was kind enough to lend us the recipe (thanks Nicky). So then we got our bake on.

We made slight renditions to the original cookie recipe and created a batch of trial cookies. We picked only the best flavours and agreed on sizes. It was necessary to taste test them frequently to make sure they were perfect. There was often the odd-looking cookie which  needed to be eaten, the marginally cooked one that needed to be eaten, the slightly over cooked one that needed to be eaten. The ones that looked too delicious
that needed to be eaten. They all wanted to be eaten but with great effort we restrained ourselves from eating the warm, chocolate melting, cakey, cookie goodness. It
wasn’t easy.

After eating numerous batches of cookies, we were all cookied out and could begin cooking the cookies for our market stall (oh yea that’s what we were doing). We were
up till 4 in the am baking our little heads off. And then to wake up at 7am to set up shop? What had we gotten ourselves into? We were tired zombies but made it to the market armed with delicious cookies ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

It was fun, it went well, and who knew you could make money just from baking cookies. With a bunch of lovely friends to lend a hand and a sure-fire recipe in our pocket, it was hard not to be a success.
Olives x

Macarons! the new cupcake…

So once upon a time cupcakes were the latest craze. And like any fad, it is short-lived. Some get into it and some get over it. But the truth is, cupcakes have definitely outlived the standard attrition of a fad. What could possibly take the focus off of cupcakes? Macarons! that’s what. A macaron is like a small round, cakey, meringue-like cookie sent from the heavens.

My friend suggested we try some macarons from Lindt, and I wasn’t interested. For some reason I felt like I had tasted macarons in the past and wasn’t impressed. And the thick plottens =) My mum confesses making some bad macarons in my childhood, so naturally I was resistant to try them in my adult life. I remember them being hard and weird tasting, overall not enjoyable. So we try these macarons and to my delight, they are the best damn thing since iced cupcakes.

So I start raving about these macaroons and people inform me that it’s actually macaron and that there are other places that sell them. Apparently there are heaps of places in Melbourne to find them. Some amazing ones (La Belle Miette), some not so nice (Laurent), some with wonderfully creative flavours (EARL Canteen).

Why had I not seen them before? Having that first macaron ignited my sixth sense, ESPM – Extrasensory perception for macarons. It sparked my awareness and I started seeing macarons everywhere.They were floating around my bakery, my local coffee shop and even some big department stores. Everywhere I looked there was macarons. Not to my dislike of course.

Head-hunting the best macarons is my current mission. There are some crazy unimaginable flavours out there and I am keen to try them all. Also I am soon to attempt making them myself (I’ve had a pack of almond meal sitting in my pantry for weeks). All in good time.

With macarons you really have to take your time and experience it in its entirety. So when something new takes your fancy, embrace it with your whole heart so that you can unlock it’s true flavour.

Olives x

Wherefore art thou appetite?…

Every foodies nightmare is losing their appetite. Losing their sense of taste and smell and basically their whole sense of life, is devastating. Over the last few days I have been bed ridden with a virus that has stolen my appetite quite suddenly without warning. I didn’t even get to quickly eat something yummy before it started. It has been horrible I tells ya…just horrible!

And of course when this happens, coincidently someone in your house has cooked your favourite meal, it’s the weekend your friends have planned a dinner at your favourite restaurant and someone returning from a birthday party, pops by with some leftover cake. Oh the pain!

So the virus was stealth in the beginning, no sign of headache, fever, or muscle aching. But I did notice there was something wrong when I woke up that morning, saw pancakes for breakfast and declined them. Hmmm that definitely sparked some caution. The second clue was that my friend brought over chocolate and jam fairy cakes to eat with tea and I said I didn’t feel like it. I thought that was strange but continued business as usual. And then BAM! massive fever, colossal headache and my body was aching all over. All of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle came together and presented me with a monstrous virus. It went a bit like this.

Bang! A Virus. Directed by Olive Sundays

A painful story of a foodie falling ill with a virus, then longing for her long-lost appetite to return (tragic! I know).

Act I Scene I     A creeping virus.
[Enter MEL and VIRUS, mel waking in the early morning oblivious to the virus’ presence]

MEL – (Yawn) Ah what a lovely morning. Is that the fresh scent of buttermilk  pancakes my nose detects?

VIRUS – No you must resist madam, let them be left alone. I can assure you, pancakes are not what you want.

MEL – I must deny thy pancake today, perhaps for another morn.

Act I Scene II     Afternoon Tea.
[Enter FRIEND]

FRIEND – I come bearing chocolate and jam fairy cakes.

VIRUS – Refuse thy offer, as the sweets are not to your liking.

MEL – Oh friend, I must decline, for I have no interest in sweets today.

FRIEND – Really? That’s odd, but okay whatevs.
[Exit FRIEND]

Act I Scene III     The illness prevails.

MEL – Why don’t I feel hungry? Appetite, Oh Appetite! Wherefore art thou appetite.

VIRUS – It has been I, who has convinced you all along, that the flavours of delicious food are no longer important. You are doomed to eat only ever for survival and never for pure indulgence again. Muahahahaha.

MEL – Nooooooooooooo! (Sadface)

[MEL falls upon her bed and lays there for days until better]

Fin. The end.

It’s a really strange feeling when your life revolves around food. Usually I’m eating food or talking about food or dreaming about food or writing about food. So to not even want to think about food, was very distressing.

So maybe it’s important not to take things for granted because sometimes they disappear abruptly without notice. At least if you appreciate the moment now, you won’t have to regret the moments passed.

Olives x