- Stargazers and night sky enthusiasts are calling for Dunedin to become the world's first "dark sky city". If the city's street lights are replaced by less light-polluting options (than the proposed LED ones), then it would be possible to see the Milky Way and auroras from all of Dunedin. I know a 6-year-old who would be ecstatic at that prospect!
- The talk was held on a Wednesday night yet attracted a capacity crowd of 900 people (split over two back-to-back sessions at the stadium). That's almost 1% of the city's population! I love that Dunedinites are into learning and finding out about new ideas.
- There is so much astounding beauty surrounding this city. Some of the jaw-dropping aurora photos featured at the talk were taken just a few minutes drive away from the city centre. And as Jordy puts it, in Dunedin, you just have to look up to be able to some spectacular sights. <3
Two nights ago, Jordy and I went to a talk about the Aurora Australis organised by the Otago Museum. It was interesting on so many levels, and really brought home why Dunedin is such a great place to live (and grow up in, lucky kids!):
Jordy got an oyster mushroom growing kit for Christmas. We set it up on Boxing Day and for weeks, nothing happened. And then overnight, from nothing, came a series of spectacular blooms. It took about five days to go from tiny mushroom stems to these amazing beauties here.
We ogled them for a few days, then, when the tops of each mushroom began to crinkle, we knew it was time for the harvest. But what to do with our splendid pickings?
After lots of Googling, I decided to make a version of crumbed mushroom tenders.
It was really easy to rustle up and the end-result was truly spectacular. The kind of spectacular where the kids were fighting over the last bits and Jonah said "more fish and chips please!" As a recently converted carnivore, I was amazed at how meaty each morsel tasted! A lot of it has to do with the lovely, firm texture of the oyster mushrooms in the first place, but I think the parmesan just gave it that added oomph.
Parmesan Herb-Crusted Oyster Mushroom Tenders
Bite into one and shake your head in disbelief at how good it is.
One of my favourite snacks in the world is grilled seasoned seaweed. The crispier and saltier the better. While most people bring popcorn into cinemas in New Zealand, in Singapore, it's anything goes as far as theatre snacks go. We do have the popcorn brigade, but in equal numbers you have the smelly-foods brigade: fried fish crackers, tiny anchovies, preserved prunes, and yes, grilled seaweed!
What does this have to do with kale?
Well, after harvesting my first lot of curly kale, and staring at it with no idea what to do, I did a bit of a search online and found that kale chips are actually a thing. And when I tried airfrying some, I realised that they are a damned good thing too. They taste really similar to my beloved grilled seaweed. Now all I need is to invent some kind of tom yum spice powder to sprinkle on top.
Air-fried Kale Chips
I recently served some at a family brunch and the main comment I got was "I can't believe something so good for you can taste so good."
I may have been a bit skeptical about the whole kale-is-a-superfood thing. It seemed rather faddish, like quinoa, chia seeds, and the paleo diet. However, after seeing how kale chips are so quick and easy to make, I am converted!
I used to think my favourite colour was yellow. I was wrong. It's clearly green. I mean, look at this harvest of curly kale. Just look at it!
Was it Cicero who said that if you have a garden and you have a library, then you have everything you need? By his terms then, I can say that at this point in time, I am completely happy and not yearning for anything. A rare state of being for humans, no?
I still can't get over how addictive gardening is. It's like watching a high-stakes nature documentary unfolding in front of your very eyes. And I don't mean the bamboo sticks supporting my tomato plants...
Just yesterday, I discovered a couple of aphids on one of my broccoli plants and immediately felt a primordial rage bursting forth from deep within. "Get off my plants, you little beasts!" I ran back into the house and immediately started Googling ways to get rid of them. I could feel the seconds ticking by, each moment bringing some horrible image of my poor plants being sucked dry of their vital vege juices.
I decided to make nasturtium spray (boil nasturtium leaves and water, cool, strain then spritz!). Just sprayed very liberally all over my vege patch, and am keeping all fingers and toes crossed that it works.
This is the view from our local cafe. It's located in what used to be a fire station, and has some of the friendliest staff in Dunedin.
We've been here about four months now and really, I think Dunedin is one of the greatest small cities in the world. Here are three reasons why:
"I started this blog to chronicle my family's adventures in Hobbit Land. There's rather a lot of pictures of garden vegetables in it. And food, lots of basic, honest, homemade food. Come on in!
ps: No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Those are radishes. I haven't gotten around to planting turnips yet!"
mrs turnip in the media
Asian Scientist Magazine parenting column
Dunedin TV story: "Local six-year-old attracts worldwide attention for nature documentaries"