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    Vintage slice for copyright

    Posted in Lifestyle
    July 31st, 2015

    Happy Cooking for Copyright! (I have accidentally been typing this as Cooing for Copyright, which I really hope happens but I’d prefer for the pigeon to survive, than die in a pie for copyright reform).

    Lick it good

    Beat it

    Why is it all happening? FAIR (Freedom of Access to Information and Resources) have done a naughty thing and posted handwritten recipes to their website. Why would this make them “baddies”? It technically breaches copyright law:

    “FAIR claims copyright law reform is long overdue – and it’s focusing on the fact that in Australia copyright in published works lasts 70 years after the death of the creator, but for unpublished works, copyright lasts forever. This means old diaries, letters, even recipes are locked away.

    Sue McKerracher, spokesperson for FAIR, and CEO of the Australian Library and Information Association, said, ‘We’d like the same copyright terms for unpublished works as for published works. Then our libraries, museums and historical societies could put these treasures on the web for family historians, researchers, and everyone else who is fascinated by our social history.’”

    If you squint, it could also be Crooning for Copyright. That would be fun in quiet library reading rooms – barbershop flashbomb! They could sing from unpublished song lyrics. The combs in their back pockets would give them away, though. They’d be whisked out by the guards the instant they tried to see their preppy reflections in the silver embossing on book spines.

    My cooking was off to a good start except the caster sugar leaked all inside the shopping bag. Possibly this could be because of a self-serve checkout. Maybe the person that packed my bag just shoved it all in there and the vegan margarine box dented the sugar packet. I wish the food duopoly would just pay more staff so that I don’t throw everything into the bag in a rage because I’m paying them for me to be on the checkout. Mr Sonja said “no use crying over spilt sugar”.

    Up close crunchy ginger slice

    Crunchy ginger slice

    I baked Margaret’s vintage Crunchy ginger slice.  I’m not the best at following recipes, and was doing quite well till the topping. I started to worry that it wasn’t thick enough so I emptied the icing sugar bag into it. Then there were heaps of lumps (which are meant to be stirred out), it looked like the saccharine equivalent of swimming carnival when they fill the pool with corks and non-swimming kids have to grab them all. Like bobbing for apples except they are in a molten ginger lava and the apples are sugar lumps. I ignored the saucepan of topping for a few minutes because I was envisioning my slice being the equivalent of the skinny untanned guy at a competition for really swole golden body builders. How would it look compared to all the pretty #CookingforCopyright dishes? Then I turned back and all the lumps were gone! I’m sending thanks to my mysterious kitchen angels. I realised this meant maybe I had followed the instructions so I covered it in coconut.

    I licked the beaters and had my usual fear that even when they’re not in the machine, they’ll suddenly come to life and shred my tongue. Then I burnt my mouth on the topping spoon. But the slice looks good and I’m not embarrassed to take it to the library tomorrow! (which is almost as important as copyright reform)

    Shunned titbits

    Posted in blogjune
    June 14th, 2014


    Allergy diets were big in the 70s and 80s, like this hilarious and alarming title – even if it profiles something serious (very Current Affair style!).


    They must shun... article



    Even more serious, are those allergic to other people.


    “Some dishes for people with allergies are so gristly, even the dogs won’t eat them.” So chimes a reader in Susan Parson’s recipe column, so Susan shares meal ideas from Belgian chef Daniel Collard. Leanne Grady has recipes for baked zucchini loaf, spicy tofu and lettuce rollups and scrumptious strawberry shortcake.


    I hope that at least some of those recipes suited children who were “different”. When I was growing up, we had an allergy party recipe book that had pictures of children looking longingly at “normal” food. Every dish was sprinkled with a helping of melancholy. It’s in the Brassicaceae family.



    Late night vegan chocolate cake mix snack

    Posted in blogjune
    June 30th, 2013


    I started to make a cake earlier in the day, but the raw mixture/batter always tastes better than the cooked product (unless you use coconut oil or cocoa butter, then the cooked cake is perfection). So it didn’t reach the oven.


    It’s great as a late night pick-me-up, chocolate body paint (I guess?) or maybe even porridge topping.

    I wouldn’t say it’s 100%, but as Genevieve says, “What the world needs is not another recipe for cake but the perfection of edible dough!”. Surely a worthwhile mission. I’m a big fan of raw Anzac biscuit dough, which may make it closer to perfection next time.



    Vegan cake mix, no cooking required!

    (could be rebranded as “Vegan chocolate pudding”)


    Based on Mandy Stone’s Vegan Chocolate Cake from Martha Stewart, but halved (approximately) to try and modify dough intake.



    Vegan cake mix snack

    Vegan cake mix snack




    1/3 cup hazelnut meal

    1 cup of white flour (or coconut flour)

    1/3 cup cocoa powder

    1 teaspoon bicarb soda

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 cup sugar

    2/3 cup melted vegan margarine

    good dash of vanilla essence

    2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

    1/3 cup desiccated coconut

    1/8 cup cacao nibs

    1/3 cup chopped walnuts





    Mix hazelnut meal, flour, cocoa powder, bicarb soda, salt and sugar.


    Add melted vegan margarine, vanilla essence, and apple cider vinegar. Mix quickly.


    Add desiccated coconut, cacao nibs, chopped walnuts.


    Present a sundae glass (fancy!), or if we share slobbiness, eat out of the mixing bowl. I am normally against this, but you could double dip your spoon if you want to mark it as your private eating territory. Top with coconut cream if you need to wind back the sugary taste.



    Avoid the temptation to add coconut essence – it is often made of glycerine which can be derived from animal fat.


    My tummy hurts from eating too much cake mix – if I had cooked it I would have eaten less, but with 30% less enjoyment. Tummy and willpower need to talk.



    Cosy vegan shepherd’s pie recipe

    Posted in blogjune
    June 22nd, 2013


    Get on the cosy winter trend but off the soup train with the comfort of pie, pie, pie.


    I once saw a home decorating magazine cover that promoted a story, “How to be comfy”. People actually need cosifying instructions beyond recipes and pillows, like gentle lighting, rugs, texture and headboards (Welcome: How do you cosy-up a home?, 2011).

    I would add, large mugs for drinking and eating (multi-purpose, to warm the hands), lavender heat packs, good quality socks and scarves, and remembering to cover your car before Jack Frost does it on your behalf (in Canberra, anyway). Plus of course, eating pie! Here’s my recipe.



    Vegan shepherd's pie

    Vegan shepherd’s pie



    Vegan shepherd’s pie recipe


    Inspired by Sweet Potato and Lentil Pie by Amy and Andrew, via Uproar.




    Blind bake a pastry crust on 180 degrees C for about 10 minutes.




    Chop 2 onions, 1 sweet potato, 2 carrots and 1 stick of celery into small chunks. Boil or microwave until tender (if you like you can fry the onions with garlic). Drain. Cook 1 cup of brown rice and mix with the cooked vegetables. Add a tin of lentils in vegan gravy to the mixture. Mix in 2/3 cup of tomato pizza or pasta sauce or tomato paste. If it’s the last sauce in the jar, put some water in and shake it around to get it all out. Add 2 tablespoons of tamari. Sprinkle with vegan stock powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Put the filling in the blind baked pastry crust. Sometimes this will make enough filling for 2 pies, so just freeze the extra amount (in a pie dish), so that it’s the right shape for defrosting for another pie for ron.




    Chop 9 or so potatoes into small chunks, cook in a small amount of stock until tender. Don’t drain it, keep the water in, use an electric beater to mash the potatoes, creating a well in the centre. Put a tablespoon of vegan margarine or oil in the well of the potato mixture. Heat 1 cup of soy milk and pour it on top of the margarine, then beat the whole mixture again. Put the mixture on top of the filling. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian herb mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, then place under the grill for 5 minutes to brown.








    Welcome: How do you cosy-up a home? (2011). Real Living, (66), 9. Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, EBSCOhost (accessed June 22, 2013).