Time flies when you’re busy eating delectable things and making biscuits. I’m marking four years of Syrup & Tang by changing the look a bit (the last time was two year back). I hope my readers like the new design and continue to enjoy my writings.
If you notice anything that’s not working well, please leave a comment here or email me. There are still a few minor changes to implement this week, so keep an eye out for them.
The new design retains elements which have been there since the beginning, including (of course!) the sharp blade. 😉 I’ve also taken this as an opportunity to increase the photographic elements a little, though not as a photoblog – I do a lot of photography, but Syrup & Tang is about communicating about food rather than showcasing photos.
I always use a redesign to refine my CSS skills and I endeavour to make every design fully compatible with the majority of browsers. This time I’ve abandoned catering for Internet Explorer 6 – less than 2.5% of readers are using that piece of rubbish now, thank goodness – but the site should still be mostly functional for them.
And so six months of squeezing piping bags, banging trays, swearing at ovens and buying plastic boxes every time they’re on special has come to an end. Joys, travails and trivia of the adventure:
- The mini-riot in the first week of sales at Liaison.
- Overhearing someone complaining that my macarons had too much filling.
- Watching someone yesterday taste one of every flavour before buying multiples of each.
Discovering that people are scared of nutmeg (it was the only flavour that didn’t sell fast), but unfazed by the woody unfamiliarity of licorice root.
- Having customers carefully eat around my dot, mistakenly believing it to be a blemish of some sort.
- Meeting some of the lovely regulars at Liaison.
- Putting dots on macarons is almost as hard as making macarons.
- Oh, and this:
Thanks for all your enthusiasm! Special thanks are due to Suzanne, Claire, Matt, Mark, Siâny and Danny. I wish everyone a great Christmas and a wonderful 2011. Perhaps I’ll see you next year.
Wave goodbye to my 2010 babies (the Octomum has nothing on me!)
||lemon (white, extradark, pepper)
||orange (white, dark)
||pure licorice root
||cocoa nibs (vanilla, orange)
||raspberry (dark, white)
||pistachio (white, salted)
||passionfruit (white, effervescent)
Woolworths clearly weren’t satisfied with importing “artisan” bread all the way from the other side of the Pacific (see my article here), but are also selling a diverse range of pastries imported from Europe. They’ve been doing for at least a few months, but I’ve been slow to write about it.
Interested in the (slightly underbaked) maple/pecan plaits, or the attractive hazelnut twists, or the Portuguese custard tarts at Woolworths/Safeway? Look carefully at the price label. Although I’ve noticed a change to omit the country of origin recently, this is what I was able to snap back in July.
I recognised the maple pecan plaits… I’d seen them in Danish supermarkets. So what are they doing here, about 10,000km away? While novel product is appreciated in our distinctly unnovel major supermarkets, I can’t help but wonder, yet again, WHY Australian businesses can’t supply product of at least similar middling quality, and WHY Woolworths is happy to source such product from overseas — if you’re going to buy egregiously imported stuff, you might as well promote the product as something special (at least then it would look like the importation was justified and it might motivate local businesses to do better).
Note that I don’t know if Woolworths is responsible for the importation or if a third party is bring this product in and wholesaling it.
And in case you’re interested, the plaits are very sweet and moderately pleasant, while the Portuguese custard tarts look like crap and are unlikely to be a happy experience.
I’m sitting in the Qantas Business Lounge at Melbourne Airport. The food is designed to prepare you for the inflight experience. Actually, I think the food on my flight might end up being better. The “Malaysian Chicken Curry” is one of those thick-with-starch sweet curiously-moist-chicken affairs with lots of turmeric for effect. The rice is seriously overcooked broken (why?) long-grain rice. I’m glad I stopped at a tablespoon of each.
Dessert, meanwhile, was a firm-cream lemony hazelnut-daquoisey thing, exactly like those insipid creamy “cakes” you get inflight. It’s staring at me now.
And why would you have a wireless network in the lounge which is called “Telstra” rather than something relating to Qantas? At least the Malaysian Airlines wireless access is clearly labelled (and, incidentally, accessible for non-lounge travellers sitting at the gates, though the signal can be weak).
I’m off on a trip. Look out for strange reports of better food!
For the bakers among you, I have news of fresh yeast. Coles supermarkets (at least in Melbourne) are officially stocking fresh yeast again after a hiatus of three or four years. Rush out and buy buy buy so as to prove he sense of their decision. It would be interesting to know how many branches of Coles are actually getting it in.
Olive lovers might be interested in the olive masterclass being run by The Princess and the Providore on March 26th in Melbourne (you need to book). Simon Field is the olive man and I’ve been to one of his classes before. Very enjoyable and informative. I also buy olives from him cos they’re delicious.
When? THURSDAY 26 March 6.30pm to 9.00pm
What? MINERAL water, glass of wine, yummy antipasti and recipes
As I didn’t have a camera with me, I have no pretty photos of the very successful foodblogger get-together on March 7th. No matter, a few others have documented the event, more or less, and expressed gratitude to our hosts, The Commoner, for their generosity. [1,2,3… and more?]