There’s never a dull moment at TIFFIN HQ. The past few weeks have been very busy between extra travel with work, preparation for the renovation and Good Food Month events. The busier things get, the more I feel the need to write and cook as a creative outlet. Here’s a few things that would have otherwise slipped through to the keeper.
Robert MacPherson at QAGOMA
The Qld Gallery of Modern Art has a wonderful piece by Robert MacPherson that is on display on an almost full time basis. It’s called ‘Mayfair (Swamp Rats’), dedicated to the fishermen who live in the swamps around the mouth of the Brisbane River. Made from masonite, it’s a recreation of the types of scruffy handwritten signs you see as you drive along highways and byways throughout Australia. I love it’s wit and re-visit it often.
I was therefore delighted to learn that QAGOMA is having a free Macpherson retrospective. There are many pieces from his ‘Mayfair’ series, mostly relating to food, full of humour and fun. Two enormous pieces each cover a 3 story wall, one with over 2000 illustrations as well as clever instructions about how paintings should be installed. ‘Hang between a rock and a hard place’. If you live in Brisbane or are visiting, why not spend an hour or two having a laugh with an artist who knows how to enjoy himself?
Robert MacPherson at QAGOMA
South Brisbane 4101
until 18 October 2015
Never ones to let a lack of grungy laneways stand in their way, Brisbane has been busy creating modern laneway spaces as buildings continue to be re-developed across the CBD. Last week I visited Coppa Spuntino, a cool little bar in the city in what I believe was once the NAB loading dock. The menu is classic Italian offering charcuterie, cheeses and some interesting mains including swordfish, spatchcock and gnocchi. I however, was there for an aperitivo. The wine list is extensive and almost entirely Italian so I put my trust in the barman to recommend a bolder style red. He came up trumps with a glass of 2013 Matane Negromaro from Puglia. A big red using the almost black Negromaro grape, it was soft on tannins with a long finish. Certainly good value at $10 a glass. Simple pizzettas of tomato and boccocini, straight from the wood fired oven were finished with fresh basil leaves and served to the table on wooden chopping boards. The perfect after work snack or spuntino to share with friends, you’ll definitely need some serviettes for these slices. For a Thursday evening, there was a decent crowd but not overly crowded like some of the other bars on this block. I’m happy that in a few very short weeks, this bar will become my after work local, being less than a block from our new office.
4/88 Creek St
Brisbane Qld 4000
Going Palm Oil Free
Regular readers would know that we are trying to move to a palm oil free household. Palm oil is an ingredient in almost every item we purchase from the shelves. Since I have been writing about this topic, I have learned a lot about how manufacturers try to conceal their use of palm oil by calling it vegetable oil or saying it isn’t palm oil but a palm oil derivative (so, palm oil). This is clearly meant to deceive and Australia’s weak labelling laws allow this to happen. Some manufacturers have come on board and removed palm oil from their products (Arnotts, Aldi Chocolate) but it’s generally a minefield in the supermarket.
Happily, Palm Oil Investigations (POI) have released an app that can be downloaded for free from the app store. Download it onto your phone and then use it to scan products in the supermarket. The app will tell you if it’s palm oil free or suggest an alternative. If the product you scan isn’t on the app, they ask you to take some photos of it and email them with the photos so it can be added to the app.
Get onto it!