Sunday, December 24, 2006

Icky things

Today started out with the storage company ringing and griping me out for being late on payment. I said, "I know. I got the e-mail notice this morning." (About 3 hrs earlier, don't you think you're jumping the gun a bit?!?) He says, "Well it shows on our computer that you've been late before", like I'm trying to scam him. I'm sitting here thinking, dude... we've got in excess of $25K of antiques and art stored, you *really* think we're going to ditch and run?

I point out that the interesting thing about being LATE is I never got the e-mail notice despite having signed up for it specifically after recieving a late notice in the post the previous time after you didn't send the bill in the first place. The reason I signed up for online notice is to avoid that happening again!

So I said I'm going to go online and pay but if it doesn't work I'll come in later today. Of course it being almost Christmas (French thing - it's all on the 24th... so tomorrow is our party etc.) we're already, like, y'know... just a wee bit busy? So no, I didn't get in today and by the time I got bubs down and got online I can't access their freaking payment system, so who wants to bet I get another charming call early in the morning.

The other really ick thing... I can't get ingredients for my Christmas foods here. There are just some American ingredients that do NOT seem to exist here and there aren't any decent substitutes for. Hence no pumpkin pie. Very bummed about that! Actually have had a hard time finding pumpkin PERIOD, tinned or in pumpkin form. Seems Aussies call all Squash "pumpkin", Pumpkin (sweet, orange halloween type) is also a pumpkin but don't carry it at any stores anyhow and only call weeny yellow type of squash a Squash. Man is that confusing! No Frosted Cranberry Sqares either as I can't find the right kind of lemon jello or the desert topping or the right kind of cranberry-jelly. I've tried various jellies here and it doesn't set up the way I need it to. The desert topping is too liquidy and melts on it instead of staying light-n-fluffy with bits of soft cream cheese. The only cranberry jelly I've found is way too watery, meant for spreading on sandwhiches. I tried to make snickerdoodles, one of the several Christmas cookies I've always made on Christmas... except no Crisco, so where it was supposed to be butter/crisco mixed together I just used butter and it turned out to make mutant cookies.
I don't care if it's juvinile: Christmas isn't the same without those foods and I'm sulking and whining about how UNFAIR it is that Nic gets to have ALL *his* Christmas tradition foods and I don't even get ONE of mine. *pouts*
On a nicer note, I goofed around with my macro on the camera and took this photo of my fishie.


aussienut said...

What a bummer about your xmas delicacies!!! What ARE snickerdoodles???? As for the pumpkin/squash thing - you've lost me!? LOL! My mum has an American friend who always says the same things - really hard to find american ingredients or even close substitutes. She DID find a shop that stores them all, but I honestly have NO idea where it is or what it is called :). Have a great xmas!!!!

Cabrissi said...

Snickerdoodles are a type of cookie. 1/2 c Crisco, 1/2 c butter, 1.5 c sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 eggs, 2.5 cups of flour. Preheat oven to 190C. Cream all ingredients but eggs and flour in lg bowl. Beat eggs in 1 at a time. Stir in flour and mix well. On a seperate plate, mix a bit of cinnamon and sugar in 1:2 ratio. Form dough into 1" balls and flatten to 1/4" thick on the cinnamon-sugar plate. Place on baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes or till golden. Crisco is the impossible thing to find! It's shortening but it's a soft-paste texture, great for creaming into dry ingredients and making icing for cakes!

The pumpkin I'm looking for is 'sweet pumpkin' or Cucurbita pepo or Cucurbita mixta... it's small with dry, firm, sweet flesh that's not grainy or stringy. The bigger varities are used to carve on Halloween. If an American says "pumpkin" that's what we're refering to - one of those. When Aussie's say pumpkin, you also talk about butternuts, queensland blues, turks turbans etc. which American's consider varities of squash. The bitty yellow thing called squash here would be another variety of squash, refered to by whatever variety it is. Nic heard of a shop that stocks everything as well but of course didn't get the details! MEN!

Sorry to miss you today! Seriously bummed about not meeting Lacey and socialzing Hope! The bossy brat actually backed Cade and Si off their food bowls with a look this morning!!! Looks like we're going to have a talk about resources!

Sif said...

Oh, Amanda, I wish I'd read this early (was too busy making friends with the porcelain gods), because Jen knows of an American shop around here, I'm sure, and they would probably have sold at least one of the things you were looking for...

Meanwhile, now I finally understand how you guys make pumpkin pie, as I've never understood how pumpkins, as we know them here downunder, could ever make anything that could pass as a dessert!

And I totally get what you mean about trying to source foods down here... I'm going to be attempting an Icelandic Christmas dinner tomorrow (postponed for aforementioned meeting with the gods) WITHOUT picked red cabbage, argh! I'd give my left leg for some decent red cabbage right now...

Cabrissi said...

Ah BUMMER Sif! Jayne said you weren't feeling well, here's hoping you're feeling much better today!

I'll have to ask Jen about that shop next time I see her! Anyhow... maybe you could grow the cabbage and pickle it? (For next year anyhow?) That's what we're thinking of doing with the pumpkin. Other than that, have you tried ringing any of the little specialty shops in the Queen Vic Market or better yet The Essential Ingredient in Prahran Market? T 613 9827 9047

Quite generally if it's at ALL imported here, you can find it there... it's where we find most of the genuine French ingredients you can't find elsewhere.