Life is never dull. Since finishing work, I’ve been out and about getting up to all kinds of bite sized adventures. Here’s a taste.
A Choko By Any Other Name..
I posted a photo on Instagram of a box of chokos for sale at the Farmers Market on Norfolk Island. For reasons I can’t fathom, it has been my most popular photo ever. What’s that about? People even love them or hate them but for the life of me, I can’t begin to understand why anyone is searching for chokos on Instagram. It goes to show that just like in real life, you can’t control a choko!
'C' is for Choko. Do you know what a choko is? A native of Mexico, it's also known as a Chayote or Pipinola and was introduced to Europe by explorers of the New World. It is considered a bit of an old fashioned vegetable these days but is a versatile inclusion in sweet and savoury dishes. These chokos on sale on Norfolk Island.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #azguidebook
We have also just come back from a week in Hong Kong. We had a great time but I only got to eat my way through a tiny portion of what was on offer. We’ll have to go back. Here’s a bite sized taste of what’s coming up on the blog:
Copperface Jacks in West End is a pub that’s a cut above the typical Irish Pub. I was invited* to the opening some months ago and revisited a couple of weeks later. Who’s heard of the legend of ‘Copperfaced Jack’? Not me. Apparently the Earl of Clonmel was the Lord Chief Justice in Ireland in 1789 and it seem that the Earl also enjoyed a tipple. So much so that his ruddy complexion gained him his nickname. Now, if that’s not a reason to name a pub after someone, what is?
Copperface Jacks has a light and airy fit out with spaces that let the outside in. Perfect for Brisbane’s balmy climate. They haven’t gone for a twee pastiche on Irish food, opting for a modern menu with tasting plates, shared plates but still offers popular pub meals including burgers and steak. It’s a schnitty free zone. There’s still some nods to Irish heritage with black pudding and cider braised pork. On opening night, I met the butcher who sells to the venue and of course, he is Irish. He’s been in Australia since the early 70’s and still hasn’t lost his brogue. We spoke at length about the perfect black pudding and the best spices for inclusion. It’s good to meet someone who takes such pride in his craft. The Copperface kitchen is very lucky to have him as a supplier.
There’s live music on Sunday afternoons and local Green Beacon Brewing on tap. One tipple that was new to me was a Jack Russian – a combination of vodka, Kahlua and stout. As a non beer drinker, I was impressed. Being centrally located and within walking distance of South Brisbane bus and train stations, Copperface Jacks is a great place to leave the car behind and catch up with friends.
*TIFFIN was invited as a media guest of CM Ink to get her craic on at Copperface Jacks.
Cnr Boundary & Edmondstone Streets
West End Qld 4101
Going Palm Oil Free at Christmas
The never ending challenge of going palm oil free ramps up during the festive season. If you’ve been following allow with my In The Tiffin Box posts, you would know that there have been some improvements when it comes to buying crackers and biscuits that are palm oil free. There are also some decent options when it comes to chocolate. Palm oil is everywhere though – dips, cakes, ice cream, puddings to name a few. You may normally make theses treats from scratch, but it’s the season where taking a few shortcuts means you can spend time celebrating rather being trapped in the kitchen.
Many companies are mute on the topic of palm oil. As I have written previously, manufacturers are very tricky, using the generic word ‘vegetable oil’ instead of palm oil. This is clearly meant to deceive and Australia’s weak labelling laws allow this to happen. If it doesn’t say olive oil or sunflower oil or rice bran oil etc, it’s probably palm oil. Below are some brands that you can trust or should look out for coming up to the party season.
Arnott’s – all palm oil is sustainable and 100% traceable
Kurrajong Kitchen – lavosh (100% Aussie owned too)
Yumi’s Dips – canola oil rather than palm oil
Aldi – Moseur Roth & Choceur chocolates
Peter’s – ice cream
Don’t beat yourself up if you buy products with palm oil. It’s insidious. If you can swap out even a few of your treats for palm oil free, you are making a difference.
This is the last In The Tiffin Box for 2016. Ho ho ho.