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Swifties

"Swifty - Australian - a deceptive trick" An alcoholic drink consumed quickly" Oxford Languages

"Not a valid Scrabble word" Wordnik

"A fan of Taylor Swift"



Well I just couldn't let it go really - mostly because I have granddaughters at just the right age, (16 and 14) one of whom secured a ticket, albeit way up high - the best night of her life she said - and the other spent 3 1/2 hours outside the MCG with her friends and the long-suffering dad of one of them. Swifties, of course is the name given to her fans, but it also denotes fast things - so yes this is one of my bits and pieces posts.


Before I leave Taylor and her Swifties, however, I will just mention that the NAB has calculated that the event brought $174 million into Melbourne's coffers "up by a third on the previous month, based on data from the bank’s merchant terminals." The NAB also commented:


“We know many Australians have pulled back on discretionary spending, but this is the perfect example of Aussies saving their hard-earned cash for the things that matter to them,


So don't knock her. I definitely don't because she gave such joy to my granddaughter who says she will remember the event all of her life. And she probably will.


I also will mention, that Taylor Swift food and drink themed items were everywhere. Vegemite welcomed her at the airport with a massive billboard:



And Arnott's released a special edition of Tim Tams because:


"Swift has famously said caramel Tim Tams ‘changed her life’ back in 2010, and so the biscuit maker decided to celebrate National Tim Tam Day — and the delicious chocolate treat’s 60th birthday — with the tribute. Arnott’s handed out free Tim Tams at Melbourne International Airport on Friday, as dedicated Swift fans arrived in the Victorian capital, while some lucky fans will have also gotten their hands on the special edition ‘Tay Tam’ biscuits." Smart Company


I wonder, if you kept them for a few years they would be worth a lot of money?


Burn away cake

Apologies - still on Taylor Swift, partly because of my last bits and pieces, piece on the Stabby cake featured in one of her videos and partly because of this below.



However, the burn away cake - or burn cake - did not start as a Taylor Swift thing. Of course it's an Instagram thing and it seems to originate from somebody called Denises Delights. You can watch the video here. As the website Paper 2 Eat, who makes the paper, says:


"Essentially the idea consists of stacking a couple of printed edible sheets on top of each other and lighting the paper on top of the cake on fire to reveal what is shown on the sheet below it. A Frosting Sheet for the bottom layer, which is then bordered by piped icing to create some space between that sheet and the image that'll be burned on top of it. Then Wafer Paper for the top image with another piped border around it."


And let me say, just to show my worthy credentials, I first saw a reference to the burn cake in the AFR. So if you are into fancy birthday cakes go for it.


Ok - enough of Taylor Swift.


Dolciastro

Well maybe not.


Because I am still learning Italian I subscribe to a website called Italian Word of the Day - and recently that word was 'Dolciastro' - which translates as sickly sweet.


When sweet becomes sickly, however apparently varies at least in part due to our genes. Because of the great harm that sugar has done to the human population via obesity, The University of Queensland has been studying how people perceive sweetness differently. Their early studies determined that 'genetics accounts for 30% of how sweet we think sugars or artificial sweeteners are.' They have now determined which of those genes are involved. They also had this to say:


"Our natural enjoyment of sweet foods could be an evolutionary hangover. Scientists believe being able to taste sweetness might have helped our ancestors identify energy-rich food, which played a critical part in their survival."


Sort of interesting. Well at least I learnt a new Italian word.


This is a prime example of 'dolciastro' - for me anyway. It's an Instagram/TikTok thing again, which has publicised Italian Bear Chocolate a restaurant/café in London specialising in all things chocolate, including this - to me utterly revolting looking - cup of hot chocolate. Three types of melted hot chocolate are poured over the rim of the cup and then the cup is filled with more. Excess extreme. Very, very dolciastro. And how do you prevent yourself being covered in chocolate?


I found this via the Smitten Kitchen newsletter. She didn't really say anything about it, just linked it, so I suspect she felt the same way. Frankly I was appalled. And here's the thing - I could find no negative reviews anywhere.


And did I say they seem to pour that chocolate over all their other chocolate dishes - cake, strawberries ...?


Reducetarians

So let's jump to the other end of the spectrum with respect to indulgence.


Another new word and I'm not quite sure where I came across this one. So what is a reducetarian?


"A reducetarian is someone who wants to help the planet by giving up meat and dairy, but also likes meat or dairy too much to give them up." The Guardian


The Guardian article that I found today was somewhat mocking in tone, mostly I think because, as it said, around 40% of us are eating less meat and dairy without realising that we are reducetarians. All that publicity about eating less meat and dairy, whether it be an ethical, environmental, dietary or health, has rubbed off and we are indeed eating less meat and dairy. Well money might have something to do with it, considering the price of meat these days, and personally I think that people who like cooking might also be attracted by all of the fabulous vegetarian or vegan recipes that there are out there these days.


Nevertheless the word now exists - invented by The Reducetarian Foundation back in 2015.


And no, it's not the same as Flexitarian. According to Delish, Flexitarians are probably just trying a bit harder by concentrating on vegetables and just eating the occasional bit of meat, fish or cheese. Reducetarians are a bit more half-hearted. And if Delish is to be believed, also wealthier:


"Because of the emphasis on sustainability, reducetarians tend to focus on quality over quantity and look to source the highest quality meat, dairy and eggs from ethical suppliers." Delish


Hmm.


The Ninja Creami

I have no idea where I found this reference either, but it's another viral TikTok thing. A machine that turns frozen into creamy. You freeze your combination of ingredients - anything - and there are some weird suggestions out there:


"Influencers in yoga pants can be seen pouring protein powder on top of protein-enriched milks on top of protein-packed yogurt and whirring it up into a fluffy cloud of…more protein than the human body is actually capable of absorbing at one time." Epicurious


You freeze them in the machine's special container, then you put that into the machine, press the button and hey presto a bit later you get creamy:


"Essentially, the blade drills into the ice, shaving off fine pieces and whipping them together until the whole thing forms a creamy texture." Epicurious


The reviewer at Epicurious praised it overall, with a few provisos - traditional custard based ice cream mixtures didn't work well for example - and you do have to plan in advance because of freezing your ingredients - but overall he gave it the thumbs up.


Summer is sort of over here in Melbourne. But, of course, this is Melbourne so you never know, so maybe now is not the time to invest in yet another gadget. Maybe next year.


"Any tomato will do for this perfect light lunch"

I was sucked in by those words, as well as the gorgeous picture - the 'any tomato will do' bit anyway. Because I don't grow my own and I don't get to the Queen Vic Market these days I am left with the supermarket options. It's true that those options are a whole lot better than they used to be - well some of the more expensive ones anyway - but nevertheless they are not really amazing. So being able to do something with 'ordinary' tomatoes is just wonderful. I'm not sure that I would call this a 'light' lunch however. There's too much crème fraïche involved for that - and olive oil. But yes, I'm definitely going to make it one day. The recipe is by Joe Woodhouse and is in The Guardian. He - or I suppose it could be a she - calls it Tomatoes cooked in crème fraïche with mint on toast, which more or less tells you the whole thing. But not quite. Yum.


Another little thing to try next time you need nibbles. It's from last November's Coles Magazine. And this time we are pure - because it's vegan. A variation on hummus, and I'm sure the purists would demur, but still if you get bored with the usual - yes, I know, hardly anyone does - then give this one a go. The only drawback is that you have to roast the cauliflower first but you could do that the day before. And it's really just time in the oven. The recipe is by Emma Knowles who seems to do most of their best ones.


Last night's dinner



This was going to be a Postscript, but as this whole post consists of Swifties, I'm just adding it as promised. The Swift connection is that my granddaughter turned up just as we were finishing the pasta, and so we were able to see some photos and videos on her phone of the event. I should have asked for a copy of the photo of her in her blue and starry dress that she made herself for the occasion.


Anyway I digress. On the left the pasta. The pasta itself, by the way was pasta misto - mixed pasta. I took a hint from Rachel Roddy and have a jar in which I put the last few bits of pasta from a previous jar. So it's mixed (misto). I sliced the fennel very thinly and fried it first so that it was a bit browned. Then I softened onion, sliced fennel stalks and garlic, added tomatoes, and stock, sliced soaked sun-dried tomatoes, and a touch of chilli flakes. Cooked until a thickish sauce and everything soft, mixed with the pasta and sprinkled with fried breadcrumbs, parsley and grated lemon rind. It was pretty nice although not sensational and really the fennel was just a background taste. I think the lemon was eventually the main flavour. And isn't it weird how all those ingredients sort of disappear into the pasta, so that you end up with pasta with the odd bit of something here and there.


On the right those TikTok tarte tatins that I spoke about recently. I sliced some nectarines and made a small pile on baking paper in a baking tray. Sprinkled them with a little cinnamon, sugar and maple syrup, covered with puff pastry and an egg wash and cooked for about 20 minutes. Remove with large fish slice and flick over on to a plate. Really nice. I thought there would be an awful mess with the juices, but not really. A bit but not much. Will try that again when I want a quick dessert. It would be hard to flick a whole sheet of puff pastry, so stick to the quarters thing.





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Mar 03
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

You can never get too much Taylor Swift, as with Taylor's Poem in the prologue to Get Away Car. Great lyrics, excellent role model to a young generation like our granddaughters.

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