I was invited by a friend to join her at a Chocolate Festival being held at the Immigration Museum today, and I wanted to get in a long walk so that my GCC team could continue to hold on to our (tenuous!) lead, so that pretty much dictated the shape of my day… (Also, of course, a long walk *totally* justifies all the chocolate one might eat at a chocolate festival.)
Breakfast this morning was, of course, plum crumble with yoghurt (I forgot to mention last night that this involved brown sugar, coconut flour and oats, among other things), and very nice it was, too.
Then I put my goat roast in the slow cooker with a lot of puy lentils, some stock, carrots, onions, and a little marsala, put on my walking shoes, and walked into Brunswick.
I’d had plans for a nice, healthy brunch at the Green Refectory, but the place was packed and there were a lot of paramedics outside, so I decided that perhaps this was not quite the lunch spot for me. And so I succumbed to the dreadful lure of McDonalds. What can I say? I’m a recovering addict…
As penance for that, I then walked down to just past Melbourne Uni, before deciding that I was allowed to catch a tram. Then the tram stopped at Latrobe street, so I walked again down to Flinders St and across to the old Customs House Building and the Immigration Museum. (Which is where I discovered that my pedometer was lying to me, but that’s another and much more annoying story…)
The Immigration Museum is one of those places I keep meaning to go to, and then not managing. This time, I’d had plans to investigate the museum proper, and not just the chocolate part, but alas, after spending most of an hour queuing first for tickets and then, more lengthily, to actually taste some chocolate, I was rather less inclined to exploration. I did amuse my friend by entering into conversations with most of the people running chocolate stalls and tastings, discussing recipes and rawness and vegan-fair-tradiness, not to mention how to make mole sauce, what to use 99% cocoa chocolate with, and what chocolate from Madagascar tastes like…
The chocolate was very good, and I relaxed my pantry rules (on the grounds that chocolate festivals are annual events at best), and bought Mexican caramel sauce made with goats’ milk (strangely tangy and rich – you really can taste the goat’s milk in it! – but very good), as well as raw chocolate with cherries, Mexican chocolate made with cashew milk and shaped like skulls, and dried mangos dipped in fair trade chocolate.
And then I bought Persian fairy floss and Turkish delight, because we *did* go and see the international sweets exhibition, which was fascinating and inspiring.
Home again – on a tram, this time – to do my singing practice and finish making a rather glorious dinner of slow cooked goat with puy lentils and tinned chestnuts, accompanied by scalloped potatoes with blue cheese and broccolini and sprouting broccoli sautéed with tomatoes and garlic. The goat was a little dry, but the lentils and chestnuts worked amazingly together – I’ll definitely be doing that again, but probably with a moister meat. Or on their own, actually. That would work.
Dessert was, very naturally, a dessert bar consisting of vanilla ice-cream and pannetone served with one’s choice of Mexican caramel sauce, strawberry sauce (made from the frozen market strawberries from a week ago, with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar), fairy floss, and maybe a chocolate skull or two to wash it down…
What more could one possibly want?
Oh. Sprinkles. Yes, we had those, too.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Two years ago: Review: Roman Cookery – Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens, by Mark Grant Recipe: Roman Pine-Nut, Cheese and Herb Purée