Harvested, Sydney

Did you know that $8-10 billion worth of edible food is wasted each year by Australian households alone? That is twice the amount of foreign aid Australia gives!

In fact:

  • Australians throw away 20% of groceries
  • Australia produces enough food for 60 million people annually, yet 2 million go hungry
  • Every day, 1 million Australian kids do not get breakfast or dinner

The list goes on.

OzHarvest is a non-profit organisation that has been rescuing surplus food meant for the bin for over 10 years and distributes it to 600 charities nationally. It is the only organisation in Australia who performs this work, and has converted over 10,780 tonnes of food destined for the landfill, into over 32,340,498 meals to date.

ozharvestToday, OzHarvest launched their pop-up cafe ‘Harvested’, which makes delicious meals out of rescued food for the public.

1431402559923Owl and myself have been supporters of OzHarvest for many a year now and were super keen to check the cafe out.
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Today’s menu consisted of:

12 May 15 MenuAt only $15, you can choose as many dishes as you like from a menu that changes daily, depending on what they have managed to rescue. Dish size depends on the number of people on your table as all dishes are made for sharing (except for soup dishes). The following dish sizes were for two (Owl and me).

House-made pide + smoked aubergine labnehHouse-made pide with smoked aubergine labneh
The pide was soft with a slight bite to it, like when you use some spelt flour. The labneh was smooth, creamy and was gloriously smokey with garlicky undertones.
Zuchinni fritters, dill sauce +herbsZucchini fritters with dill sauce and herbs
This dish stole the limelight. It was pillowy soft on the inside and lightly crunchy on the outside. It felt like eating soft-shelled crab and went beautifully with the yoghurt-dill sauce. The herb salad had crisp cucumbers, fresh mint, spring onion and parsley dressed in some sort of lemony buttery sauce that lifted the fritters beautifully. I would go back just to eat $15 worth of this dish…
Slow-cooked lamb, braised white bean + pickled radish12-hour slow-cooked lamb, braised with bean and pickled radish
This dish drew you in with its promise of warmth and comfort, and it did not disappoint. The beans were creamy and nicely balanced (not too salty like some places), and the lamb was braised to perfection. It was soft enough to portion with a butter knife and yet was distinctively and intensely flavourful. I was quite enamoured by the cute little pickled radish which added colour, texture and also cut through the rich lamb and beans beautifully.
Charred veggies, yoghurt + sesame spiceAs an after-thought, Owl and I asked for a dish of the ‘Charred veggies with yoghurt and sesame spice‘. Although very pleasant and not cooked to mush, it pretty much tasted like charred veggies with yoghurt and dukkah. I did notice the cleverly added bits of roasted kale which added to the nuttiness of the dish. The beetroot also added beautiful pink swirls to the dish, enhancing it’s visual appeal even during consumption.

By the end, both Owl and I were comfortably full and completely satisfied, which means the portion sizes were good as we are both ‘healthy eaters’ (ahem). I was half wishing that they had a dessert dish but then remembered it was $2 coffee day at Antidote and did not mind so much  😉 1431402395454

The glass-walled restaurant was sunny, relaxed and friendly; with passion exuding out of all the volunteer waiters and waitresses there. Ronni Kahn, the founder of OzHarvest, was there to greet all the guests and make sure everything ran smoothly (which it did!). Everything was just beautiful and a big kudos to everyone who made this project such a success. Keep up the good work, guys!

Harvested is only open for lunch on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11.30am – 2.30pm. No bookings taken so hurry – they are said to be closing at the end of July 2015.

If you cannot make it, fret not. Baraka, another pop-up restaurant from the founder of Chic Pea has opened in the same place and will donate part of its proceeds to OzHarvest. It opens for dinner Thurs-Sat from 6pm. Bookings will be taken.

#harvestedMore than the novelty and delicious food, it is important that we continue to support events like this to educate, create awareness and enhance sustainability. As Jeff Sachs said, “We face, therefore, a moral crisis, not a material crisis. We face a problem not of means but of ends. As Aristotle might have said, we have the techne (the technological know-how) but not yet the phronesis (the moral wisdom) to choose survival over death. We are trapped by an indifference that ironically has been magnified by America’s exaggerated defense of liberty at the expense of virtue.”

Perhaps Australians are not too far behind.

Harvested
56 Harris Street, Pyrmont, NSW
1800 108 006

More information: SMH Good Food :: Femail :: Ozharvest

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A solution to try for Spider Mites on your plants!

For the last four or so years we’ve maintained two greenhouses on our balcony – growing chilli, oregano, mint and parsley. We also used to have basil (which Spider Mites destroyed), a single coriander shoot called “Dolly Parton” – because it was heavy and flopped over and Rosemary, which never took off. Most of the plants did reasonably well until they were hit with a double whammy infestation (against the odds of being elevated on a balcony and inside a greenhouse)!

IMG_3143

The first infestation was a moth, which led to caterpillars – those fat green juicy ones like in A Bug’s Life. The caterpillars required patience and picking them off one by one to remove the infestation. Needless to say, these came back a few times as you always miss one. Once those bite mark like holes start showing, you know it’s too late and you’ve already got a family chowing down on your plants.

The second infestation, which was much harder to get rid of and literally sucked the life out of all my beloved basil plants (three separate bushes) – was due to the difficult and dreaded Spider Mite! The first Basil plant was the weakest and succumbed to the fact the Mites drained the nutrients out of its stalks. The other two were better established and lasted a little longer, but since I didn’t want to use chemicals as I wanted to eat from the plants, I resorted to meekly trimming the plants – which only delayed the inevitable. In hindsight, I should have tried the method below earlier!

My Parsley was the only plant left after the initial Spider Mite infestation so they naturally migrated onto it and started to kill it too. A few weeks back, I trimmed off all the leaves and left pretty much just the stalks – but I knew this likely wouldn’t work. So I decided with nothing to lose, I would try the combination of Garlic and Chili sprayed over the plant and surrounding greenhouse. Boy am I glad I at least tried, it worked a treat! I sprayed the area only twice in a period of a week and the Parsley seems to be Spider Mite free. I was able to pick and eat the Parsley for the first time last night since this all started a couple of months ago. It no longer has the off colour of looming death, and the leaves look nice and healthy as you can see in the pictures of the leaves below. I unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for you) did not take any pictures of the infestation/Spider Mites – but if they come back I will update this post with pictures.

parsley2 parsley3parsley4

So if you have Spider Mites – you’ll be able to see by the reddish/orange leaves and the webbing they weave on the leaves.

Try this very natural and chemical free solution!

  • 1 Chilli (preferable a hot one)
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • Boiling Water
  • A jar
  • A spray bottle

bottle Home grown chilli - helping out fellow plants

Method:

Chop and crush the Garlic, you want the garlic juice to infuse the water and likewise do the same with the Chilli – just don’t touch your face after handling it. Put them into a small Jar and pour hot water from a kettle into the jar – so you get about a cup of hot water. Leave this to sit and cool down. Once this is cool pour the water into a spray bottle that you don’t mind smelling of Garlic from now on and add water if it’s not enough to get a good spray – just don’t dilute it too much. If you don’t have enough you can just re-boil what is in the jar. Try to strain out any chunks of Garlic or Chilli when transferring to the bottle so it doesn’t clog the spray nozzle.

Use:

Spray all over the plant so it’s saturated – under the leaves and stalk and into the soil too as the Spider Mites can sometimes hide there. Spray the surrounding area if it’s enclosed or the nearby vicinity just to make sure the mites go away completely (read that as die).

Repeat this a couple of times and check your plant in a week or so.

Note: don’t keep the solution too long in the spray bottle as it’ll start to smell/rot.

Leave a comment if it ends up helping your plants at all! We’d love to hear of more victories against these little buggers.

owl

Burger Project – World Square

As you all know, Neil Perry opened a burger joint next to Din Tai Fung at World Square. It offers the same 36 month grass fed Cape Grim beef (albeit the chuck and brisket cuts) and triple-cooked fries as Rockpool Bar and Grill, but with a more chill atmosphere and affordable price tag.

Nice atmosphere and quite private

Nice atmosphere and quite private

Now, I’m not going to explain the flavours in detail. There are plenty other blogs that do that; I’m just here to give you more pictures of stuff on the menu. Suffice to say I was pretty happy with the food here and I’m not sure the bad reviews on Urbanspoon were warranted. Especially considering everything was under $10.

I also did not doctor any of the images so that you have a non-biased view of what the food actually looks like. #nofilter #sorryitsblurry

Our tray of noms!

Our tray of noms!

Triple fried chips with smokey chipotle chilli sprinkles. The alternative was just +salt. These babies were perfectly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, even the ones at the bottom of the cup! The seasoning was very tasty and not spicy.

Triple fried chips with smokey chipotle chilli sprinkles.

The alternative was just +salt. These babies were perfectly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, even the ones at the bottom of the cup! The seasoning was very tasty and not spicy.

Spicy Chicken Burger. It is what it is. Not that spicy.

Spicy Chicken Burger. It is what it is except, not that spicy.

Such a juicy, succulent burger. Not too salty but just enough to keep you wanting moat. I love the Maccas Quarter Pounder and this sure reminds me of a tastier version. Not a fan of the raw onions, though. Why! Why raw when cooked is infinitely yummier  :(

Cheeseburger

Such a juicy, succulent burger. Not too salty but just enough to keep you wanting moat. I love the Maccas Quarter Pounder and this sure reminds me of a tastier version. Not a fan of the raw onions, though. Why! Why raw when cooked is infinitely yummier 😦

Cheese & Bacon. The Cheese^10 because, well, bacon!

Cheese & Bacon. The Cheese^10 because, well, bacon!

Crispy hot wings with classic hot sauce. You know how I kept saying all the above mentioned foods weren't spicy? This is not one of them. It definitely packed a tangy, spicy punch and I could not help nut lap up every last bit of the sauce. The skin was gloriously crispy without being oily. So crunchy that, without meaning to, crumbs fell into my burger and then into my mouth. Mmmm texture. Defs gonna try the version with szechuan pepper next time.

Crispy hot wings with classic hot sauce.

You know how I kept saying all the above mentioned foods weren’t spicy? This is not one of them. It definitely packed a tangy, spicy punch and I could not help but mop up every last bit of the sauce. The skin was gloriously crispy without being oily. So crunchy that, without meaning to, crumbs fell into my burger and then into my mouth. Mmmm texture. Defs gonna try the version with Szechuan pepper next time.

Wash it all down with a cold, creamy strawberry shake. With added malt, or course. I kept browsing the web to see if anyone had compared the normal shake with the thick shake but no luck. Nonetheless, the normal shake was still pretty thick. Someone compared it to the Shake Shack. I think it is slightly thicker, but it could have been the added malt. Very flavoursome and does not taste like fake strawberry but a blend (which is my favourite because I actually like the hot pink flavour).

Wash it all down with a cold, creamy strawberry shake. With added malt, or course. I kept browsing the web to see if anyone had compared the normal shake with the thick shake but no luck. Nonetheless, the normal shake was still pretty thick. Someone compared it to the Shake Shack. I think it is slightly thicker, but it could have been the added malt. Very flavoursome and does not taste like fake strawberry but a blend (which is my favourite because I actually like the hot pink flavour).

Impressively, the in-store menu matches the online menu perfectly (not necessarily true for many places). There was only one extra addition – the Australian Burger – but this may be due to Australia Day being a couple of days before.

I would definitely go back. The serves were just enough that you could enjoy a burger, fries and shake comfortably, and then even contemplate dessert (I wanted dessert, the other were not so keen so I got froyo elsewhere). Perhaps Aqua S for some soft serve with grilled marshmallows and fairy floss?  😀

This meal was independantly sought and paid for by the authors.

Burger Project
World Square (next to Din Tai Fung upstairs)
644 George Street, Sydney

Theme Hospital – FREE from Origin Games

Wow, it’s been a little while since we added a post to our blog. Apologies for the general lack of updates, but I’m back (or so I say) for another round since it’s a new year and you make resolutions to do those things. Happy new year by the way too, we hope 2015 is being kind to you so far!

Many moons ago I liked to play Origin games, but that sort of faded as they were bought over by the EA juggernaut. As a generous gesture though (though it is old anyway), EA is giving away its classic game – Theme Hospital for free! It’s not just the demo, but the entire game. It’s for a limited time and you will have to sign up for an Origin account if you don’t already have one. I’ve always enjoyed the simulation games and they take me back to fun times. I hope they do the same for you.

You can find it here – Theme Hospital Free

owl

Nana Chocs

Abuelita Hot ChocI was given this packet of Mexican hot chocolate to try from a colleague to got it from the US. I was very interested to try it since chocolate pretty much came from that continent and I’ve never tried “Mexican” hot chocolate before.

Abuelita” means “grandmother”, and was invented in Mexico in 1964, though it wasn’t until much later that Nestle acquired the brand. Its really funny how a lot of American stuff still seems so exotic to me even though we get a lot of imports now but it turns out that Abuelita is really common – a staple almost!

I made it with half hot water/half milk and, due to their Spanish influence, I thought the drink would be a lot thicker and sweeter – like the delicious, almost mind-numbingly rich ambrosia from San Churros – but it was pleasantly light. It was sweeter than the other hot chocolate from Nestle but not overpoweringly so. I thought it tasted nutty with a slight cinnamon flavour. Owl was not such a huge fan but I enjoyed it.

I probably would not buy it due to its pronounced sweetness (its a weird sweetness that a lot of American chocolate products seem to have). My favourite night cap still consists of 2 teaspoons each of Milo and Oxfam Free Trade hot chocolate, half hot water/half skim milk; quick microwave, and marshmallow on top.

Lumpin Awesome.  ❤

Weekly Planner – Android app

A new app I’ve discovered on the Google Play store is “Weekly Planner” by What App! – it’s everything I’ve been looking for in a simple and clean UI. It’s a little like the stock alarm layout with it’s simplicity, but the beauty is that you can set reminders for things you do regularly (which clears a lot of space in your mind). Things that you don’t really want to have to remember week to week, or things that do you want to remember and be consistent in doing. I’ve used it mostly for reminders of my weekly chore roster, so I can free up the mental space I would have used to focus on making my routines more efficient rather than trying to remember what day I had last done something.

It’s extremely useful to prompt you with the things that work on a semi regular basis. The app allows you to choose the repetition of days and the times you want to be reminded of the task. I’ve yet to find something that works in this way, previously I had dabbled with setting up a timetable for repetitive week to week reminders but nothing had suited the purpose like I had hoped. If you combine this with a good calendar app and a to do list you should have most of your organising needs taken care of relatively well. I currently use this in conjunction with Agenda Widget, GTasks and for one off random things tasks and Wunderlist to remember any lists of things I need to achieve or do for those events/tasks. Between these 4 apps I find all my organisational needs are met, they are also all free and have minimal permission intrusions or ads.

Weekly planner is a new app in the Play store and was last updated on February 28th 2014. It’s currently sitting with between 50-100 downloads, but definitely looks to be promising. A screen shot below from the developers shows an extremely clean layout. It’s nice and simple to set up.

If you’re looking for something that will give you notifications on your android drop down bar, this is a great option to try. It’s completely free, there are no ads and the permissions looked fairly reasonable from what I could find out about them.

This app has access to these permissions:
System tools
full license to interact across users
Affects battery
prevent device from sleeping
control vibration
Your applications information
run at startup

Try it and see what you think!

owl

Soccket – The Energy Harnessing Soccer Ball by Uncharted Play

soccket

Ant and I are passionate about making a difference around the world and we enjoy looking for ways to support innovation – particularly innovation which gives those less fortunate, the opportunity to break the cycles of poverty. One project we stumbled across recently was the excellent idea of Soccket an Energy Harnessing Soccer Ball by Uncharted Play. We love it, because the project has two extremely practical functions. Firstly, it encourages exercise and play by being a useable soccer/football. Secondly, while it is being used in play it has a pendulum-like mechanism which captures all that healthy play and turns it into useable energy! The greatest part about this is they’ve also developed and included an LED lamp attachment for each Soccket ball sold, which when ‘plugged’ into the ball gives up to 3 hours of light from just 30 minutes of play. We think this great blend of two different items give kids in developing countries the potential to stay healthy through sport- which fights the growing obesity rates in developing nations, as well as, uses that stored energy to then give them light to study later!

Go and check this project out on Kickstarter and if you’re as excited as we are about the potential this has to make an difference in lives around the world, support it! It’s only got 55 hours left on it’s clock for you to back Soccket! We think this project has great potential. The last great aspect of this project is that you can either receive a Soccket for yourself or choose to donate it to a child who needs it in a developing country.

owl