Back from Oz…

We’re back (and jet-lagged)!  We have 2 full days to get everything packed up before the move to Denver, but I was just itching to post.  (It feels like it’s been FOREVER.)  I’m going to try to be back to regular recipes by late next week, depending – of course – on when our boxes actually arrive at the new place.  Keep your fingers crossed for Monday or Tuesday.

My last Australia post left off with our wine tour of the Barossa Valley…  Talk about an amazing day.  We visited four wineries: Wolf Blass, Barossa Valley Estate, Langmeil, and Chateau Tanunda.  We also made a mid-day stop at Maggie Beer‘s Farm Store.  I had never heard of Maggie, but I guess she’s an Australian foodie whose original claim to fame was her pheasant pate.  (Quite tasty!)  It was a fun visit, with all kinds of jams, sauces, and wines to taste.

Adelaide itself wasn’t much for foodie experiences beyond the wine tour.  Alice Springs (our next stop) was a bit more interesting – we tried kangaroo (on a pizza!) and Barramundi, a popular Australian fish.  Both were quite delish, actually…  The kangaroo was a lot like steak, cooked medium to medium-rare, and it wasn’t as game-y as I expected.  (Maybe the marinating helped?)  We *thought* we were enjoying emu sausage at dinner during our tour to Uluru, but our tour guide was only fibbing.  Beef is apparently too ordinary, hehe.

That tour also introduced us to what was one of our favorite snacks/desserts in Australia: Lamingtons.  I had never seen them before, and are they ever delicious.  The concept is pretty simple; it’s just a piece of white cake dipped in chocolate and then rolled in sweetened coconut flakes.  I’m going to try to bake a batch after our move to see if I can match our Aussie experience.

Our last stop on the trip was Port Douglas, which is about an hour north of Cairns.  We toured the rainforest, snorkeled the reef, rode the SkyRail, and enjoyed some interesting foods as well.  Our rainforest tour ended with a stop at the Daintree Ice Cream Company, where we sampled some extremely unusual flavors – black sapote (a lot like chocolate), wattle seed (a bit mocha-y), jackfruit (bright and tropical), and macadamia nut (not so unusual).  Yum-my.  I also tried my first custard apple, which was pleasantly tart and moist.  I looked for them at Central Market last night, but I didn’t have any luck.  It’s just another reason to head back to Australia, I suppose.

Our best meal in Port Douglas was a surprise, actually.  We had gone to a particular bar (Iron Bar) to watch cane toad “races” (hilarious!), and we decided we would just eat there before the show.  I was expecting mediocre bar food…  Instead, we ended up with grilled pesto and Parmesan Barramundi, prawn and scallop risotto, and coconut creme brulee with Malibu.  I’m drooling just thinking about it.  I’m actually going to try to duplicate that dessert as well, if any Coloradans want to come over and volunteer as tasters.

It was an amazing trip, both in general and from a foodie perspective.  We can’t wait to go back.  We also can’t wait to share our wine stash and new recipes with friends…  Invitations coming soon!

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