Obsessions

Current Obsessions, 10

7/14/2019 09:44:00 PM

Black Forest Croissant by Lune

Hey hey! So I was not expecting to have enough material for a Current Obsessions post for some time. Things have been quite stressful and hectic at home over the last couple of months, and I've been finding myself just going through the daily grind, getting through each day, and not becoming enchanted or delighted or obsessed with new things like usual. I guess I must be feeling better lately, as I just realised that there are a lot of things that are delighting me right now! Woohoo! Let's take a look!

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Megan Rapinoe and the United States Women's National Soccer Team

Megan Rapinoe victory pose
Source: People.com

I mean, of course I was going to get obsessed with Megan Rapinoe - co-captain of the world-leading US women's soccer team, unapologetic champion, multiple award (and Olympic gold medal!) winner, outspoken activist and ally, out-and-proud lesbian, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, and all-around goal-kicking bad-ass. She's so freaking awesome!

Shortly after the US team's World Cup victory, The Simpsons' Instagram account posted this picture, which was like the perfect combination of at least five of my key interests together in one amazing post. I love it so much! (I mean, just look at Lisa! She's dreaming big!)


Source: Instagram

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Stranger Things (no S3 spoilers, don't worry)

Source: Twitter

You don't need me to tell you about Stranger Things, Netflix's wildly popular behemoth of a series and cultural phenomenon. But I do love it so! I love the relationship development between the characters, the amazing performances of the actors, the excitement and tension, and the incredible attention to detail with the aesthetic. In fact, I knew I'd love it when I first watched the opening credits of the first episode three years ago, and the font just perfectly evoked that feeling of fear and excitement I used to get as a child in the 80s, looking at my dad's dog-eared Stephen King books with scary covers that lined my family's bookshelves.

We binged all eight episodes of season three when it was released last weekend, putting our household within the 40 million households who watched the first episode in the first four days of it being released, and within the 18 million households who finished all eight episodes over the opening weekend.

Season three, I felt, was way better than season two. The story was a lot tighter, the new characters were really engaging, and I liked how the parallel storylines reflected the theme of changes in relationships and friendships. This BBC review by Hugh Montgomery basically says everything I want to say about Stranger Things Season 3. (And much more eloquently too!) If you are one of the few people out there who haven't seen Stranger Things yet, get on it!

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Masterchef

Masterchef
Source: TVNZ

I never expected myself to even watch Masterchef, let alone follow it religiously, but here we are! In fact, one of my pet peeves is that when I am forced into the unpleasant task of small talk with someone new, if they find out I like cooking, they inevitably ask: "Why don't you go on Masterchef?" Ugh. Not only am I ineligible due to previous professional kitchen experience, but anyone who actually knows me knows I would hate the whole process of being a contestant. Oh my god, the pressure! The attention! And I'm so awkward! (This also explains why I detest small talk, hah!)

But, we watched Nigella Week back in May, and then the week after it was Legends Week with Rick Stein and Yotam Ottolenghi, so of course we had to watch that, and by the time those two weeks were up we were totally invested in the show. Whoops. Sandeep's curries, Larissa's crazy corn and curry leaf dessert, Tati's Indonesian flavours, Derek smashing it as team captain in the Maggie Beer picnic challenge! All the tuilles, the panna cottas, the jus, the purées, the quenelles...!

That's it, five nights a week until the end of season eleven, we're stuck on Masterchef. (We usually record them and then watch them later, fast forwarding through the ads and the recaps.) I like how all the contestants are so nice to each other and support each other, without any backstabbing. I guess because we've been so busy and stressed lately, it's been nice to watch something that's a pleasant diversion and just contains manageable levels of drama.

You'll also see at the top of this post that I got swept up in Masterchef fever, and managed to snag a Black Forest Croissant from Lune, the day after the Masterchef Black Forest Croissant pressure test. It was superb!

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Bundt cakes; Nordicware Bundt and Waffle Tins

Chocolate and Sour Cream Bundt Cake in a Nordicware 10-Cup Jubilee Bundt Tin

I think it's quite obvious that I LOVE my new Nordicware Bundt tins that Sandra got me for my birthday. (Definitely not sponsored, I'm just a huge fan!) I also love how bundt cakes are super pretty, but that the batters themselves are plain and buttery and wholesome. My type of cake! I've been baking with them at every available opportunity. You've seen my German marble cake, and my lemon and sour cream bundt cake. But I've also made a gingerbread in the 6-cup Heritage loaf tin, and a gorgeous chocolate and sour cream bundt cake. (Shortly before I got the Nordicware tins, I also made Stella Parks' lemon and olive oil cake in an old Baker's Delight bundt tin and it was lovely!)

Bonus! After all that bundt deliciousness, Sandra splashed out on a Nordic Ware stove-top waffle dipper pan. Super cute! We've used it a bunch of times. (I use this recipe for Rich and Crispy Waffle Sticks, sometimes with buttermilk in place of regular milk, and it works a treat!)

Waffle Sticks!

*****

Fake by Stephanie Wood

Fake by Stephanie Wood
Source: Penguin Website

I love reading but am no longer a voracious reader, and can go for long stretches without reading books. I think it's partly a time thing - if I start reading a good book I want to read it properly, dropping everything else and getting totally absorbed in it. Fake is an excellent book and well worth a read. Stephanie Wood is a former senior staff writer at Fairfax Media’s Good Weekend magazine, and used her investigative journalism skills to create her first book: an unflinching true account of her relationship with a deceptive and manipulative man who was nothing like he claimed to be, and the impact this relationship had on her. It's well researched and very compulsive - I smashed through the book in three days. It almost felt invasive reading such a personal story, but I have to say I think it's fantastic that she took a traumatic experience and created something positive out of it. An excellent read.

Side note for anyone who's been following me and/or Melbourne food blogs for an extended period of time - I first knew of Stephanie Wood from seeing her speak on a food blogging panel at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival back in 2008. (She once had a food blog). As an audience member, my memory of the panel was that it actually ended up being quite tense and uncomfortable, with a spirited argument between an audience member and Stephanie derailing the discussion. Stephanie was the only food blogger on the panel who was also a professional writer, and the audience member (also a food blogger) took issue with Stephanie's repeated dismissiveness of the quality and relevance of food blogs.

This was when food blogging was in its infancy, and the food blogging world entailed disparate food-lovers setting up websites on free blog-hosting platforms and sharing their opinions and cooking adventures, complete with grammatical mistakes, unfocused photos, and unmitigated enthusiasm. Back then, I saw food blogs as a welcome and honest reprieve from the sanitised, commercially-driven, Euro-centric and predominantly upper-class caucasian world of Australian professional food writing.

I suppose that's all water under the bridge now - food blogging has vastly changed in the last decade. The panel was well before the advent of sponsored posts or PR freebies, let alone smartphones, Instagram or influencers! Not only has Stephanie's food blog been taken down in that time, but I had a quick look around, and the blogs of all the other food-blogging panelists and attendees have either been taken down or been allowed to go dormant in the intervening years. (Well, apart from this one!) Times sure have changed.

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So those are my current obsessions! What's up next on the blog? Some winter warmer recipes, more posts from Malaysia, and my birthday celebrations!

You can see all my Current Obsessions posts here.

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2 comments

  1. I adored the latest season of Stranger Things so much and like you, ever since I saw the opening credits with that font I knew that the show was for me! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Omg totally! The best! I think those opening credits just showed how much attention to detail there'd be with the aesthetic as well!

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