Angel's here for this week's Stuff We Like, with a secret collection...
I never set out to collect teapots. I'm not a collector of any sort, so there's nothing in my house that I can point to and say "that's a 1950's Fancy McFancypants Gleebsnoggle, though not the purple edition." But for some reason or another, without consulting me, family members decided that I would collect teapots.
To be clear, I'm no expert on teapots, nor could I name the brand, maker, or artist involved in most teapots you set in front of me. But I do like them. They're cozy, comfortable, genteel things, a familiar shape recognizable in many forms from traditional to completely wild and imaginative. So I thought I would share some of the teapots from my unintentional collection. :) (Please excuse the terrible photography.)
These are probably my most traditional western teapots. The one on the right is from William Sonoma. I know this because it says so on the bottom. The one on the left is my only really fancy teapot, the Royal Doulton we received as part of the wedding china. (Yes, people used to do that.)
I can't have a teapot collection without Asian teapots, of course, and I have some more traditional ones from that part of the world, too. The one on the left is a cheap little teapot I bought in a department store in Chengdu. More practical than some of the fancy ones. The one on the right is a cute little modern one from Japan.
This is one from an old set of my mother's. I'm sure there's a name for is and any antique collector out there would say "Aha! That's a Danek Carbuncle!" Or something like that. Mid-century modern is probably the closest stylistic period. Sadly, most of the set is no long in existence, so I'm not sure what the cups looked like.
This little guy is also from Chengdu, one of those I've never actually used as a teapot since it's more of a sculptural piece instead of a practical vessel. I love the little pill bug like tigers on the mountainside here.
Last one, promise. Because how could I have a teapot collection without a dragon teapot? I love this little guy - but I'll never use him on a regular basis. He sits in the cabinet with a couple of tapestry inspired mugs and some other medieval inspired items. Because dragons. ;)
Thanks for indulging me and my un-collection!
Hi Everyone! Welcome to another week of Stuff We Like with me, Freddy. This week you're getting bombarded with one of my favorite pastimes. Baking bread, which really means sourdough starters.
I know, I know. You guys probably think Angel and Toni wouldn't let me near a kitchen. If they had their way, they wouldn't. It's not exactly the safest place for me to be. I am not known for my kitchen prowess. At all. Ever. In fact, it's best if I just watch. (Who doesn't enjoy watching ;))
One of the things you learn to love — and desire — when you make your own bread is a nice sourdough starter. People have passed these down over decades. No joke. The taste and whatnot can change over time. The air, flour, all sorts of stuff (like time) effect the taste, therefore effecting the taste of your bread.
The long fermentation process is something the modern, store bought breads have lost, and nothing can really make up for it. The old-fashioned way to make bread gives us what we need. If you're too poor for meat, and too poor for vegetables, bread is there — if you're making it yourself. It gives you the protein and energy you need. The gluten is different in sourdoughs made by the long fermentation process.
And one thing that can help with making a good sourdough, is the sourdough starter.
This is what my starter looked like when I was just getting it going. It is water and flour. That's it. The air has yeast in it, and that yeast gets in the mixture when you're starting it. Bubbles are a good thing. That means the fermentation process is happening. Once your starter is healthy, the possibilities are endless.
I store mine in a small crock pot. People can mistake it and throw it away if it doesn't scream—I am here on purpose! They *might* think it's something gone bad.
It's not. It's just fermented flour and water. ;)
Starters do need care. They can die, or go bad. But they're not something you have to slave over either.
I use mine frequently enough that it sits out on the counter. Some people store theirs in the fridge — because of climate or because they don't use it as frequently.
But the end result of having a starter is nice, crunchy sourdough bread that is yummy and is much better for you than the usual suspects.
Hi Everyone, Toni here for another episode of Stuff We Like. And can I just say what and awesome number we're up to. I may have contemplated doing something dirty for this post (come on, you can admit it, you were secretly hoping I would.)
Instead I've chosen to do my post about something that a hell of a lot of Australian's take part in each and every year. Footy Tipping.
The season is once again upon us and Aussies across the nation take up their pens to start marking their teams.
There are three major codes in Australia that people usually tip to. Those are the: AFL (Australian Football League) NRL (National Rugby League) and the NRU (National Rugby Union). Yes, Rugby League and Rugby Union are two different games. ;)
Every year I take part in the AFL tipping.
The AFL is made up of 18 teams scattered from across the country (Excluding the NT, Tasmania and the ACT, because apparently we don't matter, but that's a different post) Every weekend, usually Friday through Sunday (Although occasionally on Thursday and Monday as well) there are nine games played.
The object of the tipping is to pick which nine teams you think will win their matches for the weekend.
Depending on the Comp you play in, and how many people are participating in that comp, there might be prizes for the most correct tips for the round.
Some comps run by radio stations and such can have hundreds and hundreds of participants.
I'm actually running the one this year at my EDJ. The numbers are much more manageable and the highest tipper for the round wins themselves $25. If at the end of the 23 rounds of football you have the most number of tips over everyone else in the contest the major prize is $500.
You don't need to know a thing about AFL to play. You can pick your teams based on colour preference, state they're from, home team v away team, what ever you like. I don't think I watch a single game of footy last year, but I'm back again this year. It's a great deal of fun and you get to razz your workmates when they have a bad round pick.
Plus, if you do want to watch the games, really, who could blame you, just look at those uniforms.
Have a great week.