A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Category: Life

TUCKER TIME // india v australia

India v Australia – sounds like cricket right? So with the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force across most countries, many of us aren’t venturing out as much as we used to. Lots of restaurants and cafés are offering takeaway or delivery options which is great but I’m still cooking a lot. The extra time to plan meals has allowed me to be more creative and try cooking dishes I’ve never made before. I thought I’d experiment with making a traditional dish that represents a country’s culture and cuisine. This cauliflower tikka masala was a delicious vegetarian version to represent India, and I also added potatoes (recipe here). Sausage rolls were an obvious choice for Australia but I swapped the sausage mince for lamb and used carrots, celery and sweet potato as they were the vegetables I had on hand (recipe here). It was such a great test match that I still can’t pick a winner…

DEAR DIARY // earth day 2020

Marking 50 years today is Earth Day 2020 and the theme for this year is climate action. It seems even more relevant now with everything the world is going through with COVID-19. Apart from the obvious health threat, there are the human challenges of social distancing, changes to the way we live and the economic repercussions. It has been well documented how the effects of closing down factories, restricting air travel and limited car usage has drastically improved the pollution in the air, oceans and waterways. Since self isolating, I think most of us have been far more careful about waste and more thoughtful of actual needs over wants. Once the quarantines are lifted, it will be interesting to see if we continue this conscious thinking as individuals. Hopefully the companies and manufacturers also have a rethink about their own practices and learn from these lessons. Every action can make an impact, so if we are enlightened after this we can all bring about change and strive for a new future.

TUCKER TIME // conscious cooking

I feel conflicted about what I should post since we are in the midst of the coronavirus crisis that is changing life as we know it. The tragic pandemic is evolving every day with people all over the world in lockdown or self isolation. Staying at home is the best way to stop the spread of the virus and it’s a simple thing to do. Being isolated allows us to reflect on how we normally live and changes we need to make to adapt to the new normal (for now anyway). Being more mindful as individuals will hopefully make us more aware to prepare for a better future as a society.

I’m generally good with the way I shop and prepare meals, by trying to keep waste minimal and using all my produce. However I’m even more conscious now of letting food spoil, especially since I want there to be plenty of supplies for everyone while also limiting my trips to the supermarket. I’ve searched online for ways to prepare and freeze various fruits and vegetables that I can use at a later time. I had some white cabbage, kale, carrots and celery left so I made this Japanese vegetable pancake stack (recipe here) served with an Asian inspired coleslaw.

Everybody used to always complain of never having enough spare time and now we do. Although it is a stressful situation for most, especially with the threat to our health and uncertainty around finances. Take care of yourself, appreciate your loved ones and try to enjoy the simple pleasures.

INSTA-JAM // farewell 2019

           

Not only is it the end of 2019 but we are also closing off the decade and saying farewell to the 2010s. For many of us it has been a big year with changes, decisions and some turmoil. This uneasy environment has been playing out on the world stage, especially in politics and climate change issues. We still have to focus on the beauty of life and here are the monthly highlights from my Instagram that I hope will reflect some positive vibes. In Australia it’s very tough at the moment with the summer heatwave creating a bushfire crisis. Growing up beside a national park and experiencing this many times first hand, I know what a tough and stressful situation it is to live through. My thoughts go out to all the people affected and in particular the brave firefighters defending homes and protecting lives. I’m using my Christmas wishes for the fires to end soon, bring plenty of rain, safe holidays for everyone and a better start to 2020.

DEAR DIARY // christmas magic

It is less than a month until Christmas and this time of year can trigger panic and dread for many people. So much more gets crammed into our schedules with parties and catch-ups, let alone trying to buy gifts as well. It’s nice to step back and look through the eyes of a child and take in the wonder that we once had for the festive season. Walking through the crowds shopping in the Queen Victoria Building was a more enjoyable experience when I stopped to take in the QVB Swarovski Christmas tree.

Every year the Sydney icon is assembled by over 100 people to become the city’s tallest tree in the historic and beautifully grand shopping precinct. Standing under the stunning stained glass dome, it towers to the 3 floor span at a height of 24 metres. Topped with a gilded star and decorated with over 100,000 ornaments and 65,000 twinkling lights, it is a magical sight. Swarovski crystals adorn the tree and have been encased in a glass stand at the base with multiple curtains of beaded garland strands like icicles. Mirrored prisms above it reflect the light creating a mesmerising spectacle when you stand underneath. Maybe those mirrors were magic and have given me a fresh ‘crystal clear’ outlook?

TUCKER TIME // stuffed vegetables

Personally I prefer vegetarian dishes since I love all vegetables and have always felt my body prefers them too. Going meat free is growing in popularity as people are more aware of the obvious impact on animals and the environment. There are also a number of documentaries highlighting these issues as well as the health benefits of a plant based diet. Since I was a kid, a favourite dish of my Mum’s are Greek stuffed vegetables called Yemista. Traditionally they always include tomatoes but this family recipe includes a variety of vegetables. Feel free to try others but just keep in mind that the cooking time should be similar so they all cook evenly.

PREP: Rinse tomatoes, zucchinis, eggplants and capsicums. Slice the tops off the vegetables and set aside. Scoop out the insides of the vegetables with a spoon leaving the shell. Putting the pulp and flesh that was removed into a blender, blend a little but keep checking so it doesn’t become a puree. In a fry pan, saute olive oil, chopped brown onion and crushed garlic, then place in a bowl. Add to this bowl the blended vegetable mix and short grain white rice (which will cook in the oven). Gauge the amount of rice to be a half/half ratio to the blended vegetables. Mix in chopped parsley and mint, season with salt and pepper then stir well.

COOK: Arrange the empty vegetable shells in a baking dish and sprinkle salt inside, adding a little sugar to the tomatoes to reduce their acidity. Fill the shells with the mixture then replace the lids. Cut potatoes into wedges and place them around the stuffed vegetables in empty areas of the dish. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper over everything and place in the oven. Bake and occasionally remove the lids to check if the rice is cooked. If you’re not vegan, you can sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the lids when it’s nearly ready and leave it in the oven until the cheese has melted.

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