Regular random: five minutes with the makings of a great dressing

Close up shot of garlic, ginger, coriander, lime ... some of the ingredients in Sarah Tiong's Asian Vinaigrette. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Garlic, ginger, coriander, lime … some of the ingredients in Sarah Tiong’s Asian Vinaigrette. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with food programmes on television. I liked quite a few of the old-school “celebrity-chef-cooks-for-the-cameras” shows — especially those involving Rick Stein and the late Keith Floyd. I also loved Two Fat Ladies, with Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright, and anything with Anthony Bourdain — but that was never about the cooking.

I don’t like talent-quest TV and programmes that require a commitment to regular viewing, so shows like MasterChef pose a dilemma. Will my love of food overcome my reluctance to a) watch competitive cooking and b) buy-in for the duration?

Close-up shot of fresh coriander. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I spy … fresh coriander all ready to use. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

With the current series of MasterChef Australia at episode 24 in NZ — and not even half way through — I’m at the stage of dipping in on the nights when the contestants are making original dishes as individuals, rather than team challenges and replications of guest chefs’ creations. These are the episodes that offer the most interesting food ideas.

Which is a very roundabout way of saying that my Five Minutes of Random this week were spent with the ingredients for a fantastic Asian Vinaigrette that I saw Sarah Tiong make a couple of weeks ago on MasterChef. She served it with Pan-fried Barramundi and Bok Choy. (recipe here). It looked so yummy!

… And tasted fantastic, though I replaced the barramundi with tofu because it was raining so hard I really didn’t feel like going shopping.

And though this is not strictly a #RegularRandom shot — here’s my completed dish.

Pan-fried tofu with braised bok-choy and Asian Vinaigrette. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Pan-fried tofu with braised bok-choy and Asian Vinaigrette. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge), is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

 

Regular Random: five minutes with Lt Col. Percival Fenwick (1870-1958)

Detail; model of Lt. Col. Percival Fenwick from Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition at Te Papa, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Detail; model of Lt. Col. Percival Fenwick from Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition at Te Papa, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

While in Wellington last week, I went to the exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Created in partnership with Weta Workshop, the exhibition explores the WWI Gallipoli campaign through the lives and memories of eight individuals who served there. For each of the eight, a giant (2.4 times normal size) life-like model was created by Weta, showing them at a particular moment.

Lt. Colonel Percival Fenwick, who features in these photos, was a 45-year-old surgeon with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. He was amongst the first New Zealanders to land at Gallipoli on April 25th, 1915 and remained there for two months until evacuated; sick and exhausted.

The Te Papa model shows Fenwick on May 4th 1915, leaning over Infantryman Jack Aitken of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, in despair at not being able to save the man’s life.

Model of Lt Col Percival Fenwick. Te Papa. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Model of Lt Col Percival Fenwick. Te Papa. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Percival Fenwick survived WWI and returned to New Zealand where he continued to practice medicine. He died aged 88, in 1958.

This is a much more sombre subject than I usually post for the Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge), but the exhibition was very moving and worthwhile.

Five Minutes of Random is a weekly photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

Regular random: five minutes with a bowl of mandarins

Still life with mandarins. Japanese laquer bowl containing fresh-picked mandarins.Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Still life with mandarins. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I so enjoyed photographing the first mandarins of our crop that I thought I’d use the next harvest for my Five Minutes of Random post.

The bowl is one of my bargain purchases from the Asia Gallery and Vintage Fabric Emporium. I love the way the design echoes the colour and shape of a peeled mandarin.

Did the artist who made this bowl take inspiration from mandarin flesh? Close-up shot of laqueer design and peeled mandarin. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Did the artist who made this bowl take inspiration from mandarin flesh? Image: Su Leslie, 2017

And in keeping with the still-life theme, I couldn’t resist re-editing the shots in Stackables to add an “old-painting” effect.

Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge), is a weekly photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

Regular Random: five minutes with the makings of a new project

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Image: Su Leslie, 2017

A few weeks ago the Big T and I discovered the Asia Gallery and Vintage Fabric Emporium.

Tucked away on an industrial estate, it’s a shop full of wonders. Kimono, obi and other fabrics of course, but also furniture, homewares and decorative items. It’s all used, and imported from Japan; and everything feels like a bargain. I bought this beautiful four metre long obi (kimono sash) for $20. It is perfect to deconstruct and re-fashion as a wall hanging.

… just as soon as I’ve made the boy-child a new duvet cover.

This is my contribution to Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge), a weekly photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

Regular random: five minutes with some cool fluffy stuff

Close up shot of burst milkweed seed pod on black background. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Burst swan plant (milkweed) seed pod. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Photographically, the swan plants in our garden have proved to be the gift that keeps on giving: caterpillars, chrysalis, butterflies and now the plant’s decaying seed pods.

I’ve become quite a fan of photographing objects on a black felt background, and I think it works especially well with the slightly other-worldly fluff balls that emerge from the pods.

This week, as well as posting these images for Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge), I’m adding a YouTube clip. I’ve had this song — Mud and Stardust — looping in my head ever since I took these photos.

Regular Random is a weekly photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

Regular Random: five minutes with my knitting

There are definite signs that autumn has arrived; dropping temperatures, falling leaves, shorter days — and an overwhelming urge to knit.

Knitting is something I do with much more enthusiasm than skill. After a few years of odd-shaped and unfinished sweaters, I’ve learned to limit myself to producing scarves and beanies for various community groups which distribute winter basics to some of the (far too many) children (1) who live in poverty in New Zealand.

I love the colours in this wool, and enjoyed taking five minutes out to capture a few images for Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge), a weekly photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

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(1) According to UNICEF around 295,000 children in NZ (28 percent of all children in this country) live in poverty:

” … in cold, damp, over-crowded houses, they do not have warm or rain-proof clothing, their shoes are worn, and many days they go hungry.”

UNICEF NZ: Child Poverty in New Zealand

 

Regular Random: five minutes with the first figs of the harvest

I got back from my road-trip to find some our figs had ripened.

Lucky for me this was only a five-minute shoot — figs for breakfast.

Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.