More about the talented Mr Ingersoll at Danks Street…

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Jared Ingersoll

Following on from yesterday’s post about ‘Ted’ (the sculpted bear from Brenda May Gallery in Waterloo), Jared Ingersoll of Danks Street Depot and the Cotton Duck now deserves a little more air time on my blog. When I thought about it some more, I realised his food has had a bigger influence on me than first thought.  His food has developed something of a following in this neck of the woods.

Danks Street Depot continues to be one of our ‘go to’ brunch spots in the weekend  (particularly with the recent closure of Alex Herbert’s Bird Cow Fish).  Slightly more up-market Cotton Duck provides great food and great service in an unpretentious style that appeals.

Danks Street Depot Cookbook

Danks Street Depot Cookbook

The Danks Street Depot Cookbook continues to be a staple in my rather extensive collection.  Particular favourite dishes are:

Danks Street Deapot Corned Beef

Corned Beef with Buttered Vegetable

– the Corned Beef, which even Jared calls the ultimate nana food!  There’s usually enough left over to make some great Reubens.

Danks Street Depot Trifle

Drunken Aunties' Trifle

– the Drunken Aunties’ Plum Trifle.  Best with plums fresh from the tree, if you happen to have a plum-tree handy! I discussed how much I loved this dish with our waitress at Danks Street one time, and she said “Oh!  I’m Jared’s niece.  They’re my aunties, too!”

Danks Street Depot Spaghetti

Spaghetti With Cauliflower Strascicata

– the Spaghetti with Cauliflower Strascicata.  So, so, SO good!!!  In fact, it’s so good, here’s the recipe (directly from the Danks Street Depot website)…

Spaghetti with cauliflower Strascicata

Serves 4 (generously, I think)

At first glance, it looks like there is way too much chopping in this recipe and the fried cauliflower may seem strange to some people. But as soon as you start cooking and all of the aromas come together, you’ll find it very difficult not to start eating it straight out of the pan – the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan are best eaten in greedy solitude.

Ingredients

400g spaghetti

100ml extra virgin olive oil

1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into thumb-sized pieces

3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

3 anchovy fillets, chopped

2 large red chillies, chopped (keep the seeds in if you like a little more heat)

50g salted capers, rinsed and chopped

100g pitted olives, chopped

1 bunch of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped

60g toasted sourdough breadcrumbs

200g Parmesan cheese

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Method

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, then cool; while cooking drizzle with a little olive oil and gently toss.

In a large, heavy-based frying pan, heat the rest of the oil over a medium heat, add the cauliflower and fry until they just start to change colour. Add the garlic mix well then the olives, anchovies, chilli and capers. When the cauliflower starts to become tender and take on a rich, golden colour, add half the parsley and the cooked spaghetti. When the pasta is hot, add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and remainder of the parsley.

The Parmesan will start to stick to the pan; use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan (this is where the term ‘strascicata’ comes from, meaning ‘to drag’). Remove from the heat and serve immediately with a wedge of lemon.

You can buy the Danks Street Depot Cookbook here.

PLEASE let me know if you make the Spaghetti.

Update: Jared has announced the Cotton Duck will close its doors on Saturday 31 March.  Danks Street Depot will remain open (Phew!!!)

A bear with a very little brain…

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If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.  (A. A. Milne)

My Ted

My Ted

One of my very favourite presents ever, and one that has given me much happiness is my ‘Ted’ sculpture (complete with his stuffing coming out), by Australian artist, Jonathan Leahey.  I was going to give you a wee exposé on Jonathan Leahey but I couldn’t readily find much information on him.  Bah humbug!  

No matter.  I have my Ted and I love him.

My Ted was acquired from the very fabulous Brenda May Gallery in Danks Street, Waterloo (that’s in Sydney, for all you out-of-towners).   There is often something quirky or fabulous at Brenda May’s, and always somebody willing to have a chat about the art on show.

Here are a couple more Ted’s from the Jonathan Leahey ‘Soft’ exhibition:

Ted 4

Jonathan Leahey's Ted 4

Ted 3

Jonathan Leahey's Ted 3

Danks Street is a fab’ wee spot for a bit of weekend wandering if you’re in town.  The gallery is right beside Kiwi Jared Ingersoll’s ‘Danks Street Depot’, one of my long-time favourite brunch spots (Try the slow-cooked broccoli and eggs.  Yum!).

Squint and you’ll miss it…

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Squint Wing Chair

Squint Limited Wing Chair

I (electronically) popped into one of my most covetable retail spots today. Imagine my wonder when I saw they now have such a following, they ship internationally!

Squint Limited is a most fabulous furniture design company which produces wonderfully colourful bespoke furniture and home accessories.  It’s unique. It’s joyful.  It makes me smile just to look at pictures of their creations…

Squint Large Baroque Mirror

Squint Limited Baroque Mirror

Squint French Chaise

Squint Limited French Chaise

Squint Limited is the brainchild of the very clever and creative Lisa Whatmough.  She clearly has a love of textiles and couples this passion with a modern take on British decorative furniture.  The end result is the very recognisable Squint signature style.

Squint Chandelier

Squint Limited Chandelier

Squint Armchair

Squint Limited Armchair

Wouldn’t you love one of their pieces (or two or three?)

Homage to Roald Dahl

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Roald Dahl Stampset

(source: Royal Mail)

Have you seen that the Royal Mail has brought out a “Gloriumptiously Collectible” series of Roald Dahl stamps reflecting some of his most popular characters?  Each stamp features illustrations by Roald Dahl’s long-time friend and collaborator, Quentin Blake.  How gorgeous do they look?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Fantastic Mr Fox

The Hollywood movie adaptations – notably ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Fantastic Mr fox’ – have brought more recent acclaim to Roald Dahl’s work, but if you are not familiar with his fabulously imaginative story telling (where have you been?) or, if you think you might like to revisit them, I urge you to either pick up some of his stories for little people with BIG imaginations or, a collection of his short stories for adults.  They almost always have a sting in the tail.

One of his most famous adult short stories, ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’, tells of Mary who beats her husband, Patrick to death with a frozen leg of lamb and then roast the murder weapon and serves it up to the policeman who comes to question her.  It was later adapted for television by Alfred Hitchcock.  It’s leave-the-light-on stuff, yet beautifully told.

Roald Dahl Short Stories

Roald Dahl Short Stories (one of my favourites)

AND, his books are all available on Kindle if you are a more modern kind of reader!

Don’t forget to leave the light on…!

Seriously Good Chocolate

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Conscious Chocolate Cacao

Conscious Chocolate (Cacao)

I live with a chocoholic.  Dinner is not complete without some form of sweet-something after the evening main course.

And by sweet, I mean chocolate.  In a pinch, ice cream.  Fruit won’t cut it (unless it’s in the form of a trifle or cheesecake or the like).

I have learned that resistance is futile.  If I don’t bring home the chocolate, he will.  In his defence, he never scrimps.  It is always good chocolate.  I have no doubt he has a mental catalogue of all the quality chocolatiers between his office and our home.

And, did I mention that I am weak?  If there is chocolate in front of me, of course, I will want to eat it, too.  Who doesn’t like chocolate?

So, I have made it my mission to find the best-est, healthiest chocolate out there AND I THINK I HAVE DONE IT!

Let me introduce you to Conscious Chocolate.

Conscious Chocolate

Conscious Chocolate Stack

Conscious Chocolate’s promise is that their chocolate is:

  • raw
  • organic
  • handmade
  • low GI
  • no dairy
  • no soy
  • gluten-free
  • free of added sugar
  • made in Australia

And I can promise you, it is SERIOUSLY GOOD CHOCOLATE.  In fact, it’s so good the Chocoholic reckons’ he doesn’t need to try any other chocolate.  He’s found his chocolate.

You want to know something else?  They deliver!  For a flat fee of $5.50, the team at Conscious Chocolate will deliver anywhere in Australia.  You can check it out here.

This is beginning to sound a wee bit like an ad’ (and the team at Conscious Chocolate has yet to give me any payment in the form of their yummy chocolate), so let me give you the bad news.

  1. I’m not sure you can get this chocolate outside Australia.  The website encourages international enquiries accessible here.
  2. It’s a wee bit pricey at $6.25 for a 45g bar (that’s 6 pieces).  I figure it’s a form of portion control!

I’m off to walk off last nights seriously good chocolate…

Did you know Alan Cumming has his own fragrance!

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Alan Cumming image

Alan Cumming (Broadway.com)

I have long been a fan of the very funny and clever (not to mention camp) Alan Cumming.  He performed brilliantly at the Sydney Opera House in 2009 with his cabaret act ‘I bought a blue car today’.  He seems to have this uncanny way of following projects that interest him, allow him to have fun and (appear to be) commercially successful.  Perhaps it’s a Scottish trait?

He has become more widely known in his role as Eli Gold in The Good Wife BUT did you know he also has his own fragrance range, appropriately named ‘Cumming’?

The promotional video is hilarious.  A parody of celebrity fragrance marketing…