Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Electric vehicles welcome here

A couple of years ago, the beautiful Palais Theatre in Franklin went digital, replacing its classic reel to reel movie projector with a fantastic new digital one. Now, in its latest nod to modern technology, the Palais has added an electric vehicle charging point to the side of the historic building! What a nice idea. There's been a Tesla charging point at Willie Smiths Apple Shed in Grove for some time. I'm looking forward to seeing more electric vehicles on the road in Tassie, especially in the summer peak tourist period.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

Gong xi fa cai

Happy lunar new year to our Chinese friends and colleagues! Last Sunday, Huonville was host to a performance by members of the Chinese Community Association of Tasmania. In the river foreshore park, we were treated to traditional Chinese songs (from the young lady in pink below), Wushu martial arts and of course, the famous dragon dance. A cute-as-a-button four-year-old girl stole the show as she practiced her martial arts moves in a striking red outfit.

The group decided this year to take their traditions out to rural and regional areas in Tasmania, partly to share the celebrations and partly as a rehearsal for this Sunday's big festival performance on Parliament House Lawns. Red envelopes were presented to audience members who could answer some basic questions about lunar new year. I won a red dragon decoration for saying the traditional new year greeting in Mandarin. Well, kind of. As above.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Distillery with a difference

Tasmania now has at least ten whisky distilleries and quite a few making gin, vodka and other spirits. Recently, we visited one with a distinctly Tasmanian difference not all that far from home. At Bakehouse Distillery in Dover in Tasmania's far south, local blackheart sassafras leaves are used as one of the botanicals in their product Sassi Black. It's smooth and refreshing to drink, just what you'd want in something marketed as a digestiv or aperitif. We had a delicious platter of house-made breads, fermented foods like sauerkraut and smoked salmon to go with our drink. The distillery is open for tastings 4-6pm Friday to Sunday and 10am-noon on weekends, check them out on Instagram or Facebook. We'll be back with visitors someday for sure.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Community spirit

At Hobart airport collecting friends after Christmas, I was browsing through the racks of tourist information pamphlets when I spotted this one suggesting a "Foodie's Road Trip" to Frank's Cider Bar and Cafe, which we are lucky enough to have at the end of our road. What stands out is that while of course they are promoting their own business, they've used valuable real estate on their marketing material to list other food and tourism businesses and things to do and see in our town of Franklin, Tasmania. Marketing the destination, not just themselves. Nice job, Frank's, that's the spirit.

Monday, January 29, 2018

A neighbourly delivery

We are lucky to have neighbours who've become dear friends. We share a lot of laughs and food and good times. We have plenty of excess eggs to share and my neighbour is a whiz at preserving and bottling. Yesterday morning, this load of 'experimental jams' arrived. I can't wait to try the sloe gin strawberry and the frangelico peach!

And yet, because of where we live, these 'neighbours' are at least five minutes walk away, so we have our own space and don't get in each other's hair. Unlike when we lived in Sydney and had five neighbours on our immediate boundary... we heard every argument and smelled every meal and cigarette. I don' miss that one bit.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

From the garden

Compared to the past few years, we have eaten little from the garden. What with rabbits eating many of the seedlings (no peas, snow peas, arugula, silverbeet, beans or broad beans), work travel at planting time in spring and me leaving the greenhouse shut one hot day, killing everything in it except the oregano and sage... it hasn't been the most successful gardening year. Still, there have been some delicious things to eat. I've dug up half a bed of beautiful baby pink eye potatoes, some lovely carrots, a few cherries and the two little blueberry bushes are so laden with fruit I've had to prop up the branches with stakes. I put half a kilo in the freezer yesterday! One the way are apples, pears and (hopefully) some tomatoes. I killed the two tomato plants in the greenhouse that were already fruiting, and the four plants outside are only just starting to fruit. Green plums can also be seen on one of the two trees planted a few years back. Fingers crossed!