Tuesday, July 30, 2013

burger queen

If you follow my instagram feed @sallymaymills you will have seen a version of these photos already. For those of you who don't 'gram it, and I know there are many, I didn't want you to miss out on my last camp oven beach bake. Bread is a real rarity for us; six foot swell is more commonplace. There are no bakeries around the corner turning out warm baguettes or organic sourdough, and the Indonesian excuse for sliced bread, only available from the shop one hour away, is like sweet white cardboard. A total waste of resources. 

Using the basic loaf recipe I made pull apart rolls, served with grilled tempeh, eggplant, hummus and salad. Behold the first island vegan burger. Take that evil Maccas, you wouldn't even come close. 

And for my southern friends feeling the chills of winter, a bit of sunshine and sand for you to gaze into and think warm thoughts. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

little tom turns one

Aquaman has more than one namesake in the village, and yesterday was the first birthday celebration  of the most recent Tom. We thought it was going to be a small family gathering, perhaps with a cup of sickly sweet tea and little else, so we took a pack of biscuits to contribute. How wrong we were. The birthday was secondary to the baptism, and half of the village had turned up to welcome little Tom into the flock. Kids and dogs were tumbling out of the doors, lining up for their free feed in a takeaway box. The fattened pig was chopped up and boiled, a flock of chickens deep fried and more rice boiled than we would consume in a year. What a shame we had just eaten...couldn't possibly, so full. I accepted a tiny square of cake presented on a fork, then almost gagged when Tom said the very same utensil had gone into every child's mouth as the plate went around. That's the community spirit. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

i've been to bali too

I am home from two weeks of stimulation and interaction in Bali. Most of my time was spent at Mick's Place in Bingin, where I acted as relief manager, dog walker and surf reporter. Yes, I know, tough gig. I had to smile and meet and greet and answer questions; and fend off surly dogs and wanderers that chose to ignore the "guest's only" sign. In between there were new cafes to review and laps of the lagoon to swim. My sister-in-law and two nieces visited for two nights, bringing me treasured family contact and news from home. Sadly, the four kilos of dates from mum and my magazine subscriptions didn't make it into their hand luggage.  Back on island time now, sheltering from the ferocious trade winds and meditating on my fourth day without caffeine. 

I am thrilled to be featured on Carla Coulson's wildly popular blog as part of her "Inspiring Lives" series. You can read the interview here. Thank you Carla for the opportunity to share a little of my life with your readers. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

mr whippy

Ironmen have aid stations to help them get through the heinous event, so it is only fitting that we stop on our afternoon walk to fuel up on coconut "ice-cream" from the not-so-whippy-nor-frosty boy. This is my first sighting of Coneman the Icetarian, but Tom admitted that he has had close encounters with him down in the past when I was away. I thought the bike vendors only offered stinky fish, which I am in no hurry to run after.  The theme music comes by way of his mobile phone wired to a speaker, and the ice-cream is kept firm with the help of crushed ice and a high concentration of seaweed powder. 

With energy restored, the walk continued to aid station number two which offered a mouthful of fresh lontar juice. Immanuel is our contracted climber, and he provides us with one litre, three times a week for use in our green smoothies. This is a small portion of his weekly collection, especially in the peak flow months of July and August. 

Being that the walk was a gruelling 30 minutes long and the sun was low in the sky, we had to finish the day with a few beers.

Just kidding. Here is photographic evidence of the first recycling programme in our village. The locals don't drink beer, but they are happy to collect the empties from the expats and trade them for half a cent each. Collect enough and you can buy yourself a new plastic bucket. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

market report

Number of tomatoes per heap increases each week, price steady at 50c/pile

Leafy greens are plentiful, with lettuce a hot favourite among the expats, but too expensive for the locals at 50c a bundle. Early season watermelons are expensive, lack flavour and are seedier than the back streets of Bangkok. Pumpkins on their way out, carrots just arrived, coming in at a costly 
$1 per bunch.

Hand harvested sea salt virtually free. 

Beans in abundance, but how many beans can one eat per week? Only 50c/bucket.
Small red chilli only for those with tolerant, or dead, tastebuds.

Spices by the cup or in painfully small packages, shrivelled ginger and balls of fresh tamarind, 
20-50c each. Bugger it, just get the MSG it's cheaper. 

Cold donuts with rank margarine and sprinkles, or deep fried dough balls with fluorescent sugar frosting, all going out at a bargain 5c each. 

Triangles of tasteless glue and seaweed, useful for fixing surfboard dings or illuminating the dark, 
5c each.

Organic shallots for the patient cook who can be bothered skinning and chopping them, $1/tin.

Unidentified balls of boiled dead animal on a stick, price unknown. Limes steady at 4 for 50c, while bunches of kankung persist as the best value green, 50c/bunch.
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