Archives for October 2013

The lights come on.

Early evening in the souk.

These photos are from earlier in the evening on this day. Mike and I visited the souk with our friend Lexie and her son. We found one of the tallest cafes in my favorite corner of the souk (favorite because it orients me) and stopped in for a snack. An hour later we realized that the waiter had forgotten our order, but that the view from above was still worth it.

The conversation wasn’t half bad either.

xo, jill




A test of skill.

But mostly patience.

This isn’t a proper update post but it is a little taste of life in Marrakech. Finally, something about Morocco!

These photos are from nearly two months ago right after Mike arrived. (He came about a week after me). We spent the afternoon exploring in the souk and emerged at Jamaa El Fna after dark… just when the square is at full hustle and bustle. Mike was intrigued by a popular carnival style game. As far as we can tell, the object is to land the weight around the neck of the pop bottle. If you win you get, a bottle of pop? We didn’t see anyone win but that didn’t stop Mike from wanting to have a go. He eventually convinced me to join in on the fun. And by fun I mean irritation. You’re this close to winning and then…

Much more to come.

xo, jill

Urban Light

Welcome warmth.

When we returned from Australia last July, our reentry to North America occurred at LAX. We were lucky enough to be able to spend a few days there with good friends. At one point we made a little stop at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the Urban Light exhibit.

And then our photos somehow took a paparazzi style turn.

Favorite photo of the trip is courtesy of Hannah’s instagram:

Good friends can dress alike without even realizing it.

Sometimes the best part of a long journey is seeing a friendly face at the end of it.

xo, jill

Novelty Snacks of Australia: Vegemite Edition

“Puts a rose in every cheek.”

You didn’t think I spent all that time in Australia without sampling a little Vegemite, did you?

Despite my best efforts, I somehow managed to wait until my very last night before novelty snacking on Vegemite proper. I did try out a bit of Cheesybite early on, but that’s not quite the real deal.

In order to give Vegemite a fair trial I consulted my Australian expert, Allie. I wanted to make sure my Vegemite taste test was as authentic as possible. She wrote specific instructions for how to create the novelty snacks below. To further ensure authenticity, I asked Kate, my Australian housemate, to prepare the snacks. She was more than willing.

Without further ado:

Novelty Snack: Vegemite on toast
Description: A scrape of Vegemite on toast with melted butter or margarine. (We made both).
Tastes Like: How to describe Vegemite? Yeasty, salty, with a bite… nice on warm toast with butter.
Verdict: Thumbs up!

Novelty Snack: Vegemite sandwich
Description: Vegemite and butter on super fresh cheap white bread. (Bonus if it’s cut into triangles)
Tastes Like: Well, again… how to describe Vegemite? I prefer it warmed up as opposed to cold.
Verdict: Thumbs neutral

Novelty Snack: Salada sandwiches
Description: Vegemite and butter on Salada (like Saltine) crackers. Allie made sure I knew to press the crackers together until little worms ooze out of the holes. My housemate Kate seconded this action.
Tastes Like: A cracker sandwich that you don’t really like at first… but a few minutes later are interested in trying again. And then again.
Verdict: Thumbs up!

Novelty Snack: Toasted sandwich
Description: Crusty bread, butter, Vegemite, and cheddar cheese
Tastes Like: A grilled cheese sandwich with a little extra bite and a lingering aftertaste.
Verdict: Thumbs up!

Overall, I I liked Vegemite. I highly discourage trying so many Vegemite items in one night, however. Each of us ended up with a bit of a tummy ache. Even the Australian. I do think I preferred the warm snacks (toast, toasted sandwich) to the cold. There’s just more appeal.

I’ll leave you with Allie’s main overall tip: Approach Vegemite like horseradish or mustard– not peanut butter! Well said.

xo, jill

PS. Sorry for the poor photo quality! It was our last night… I couldn’t be bothered!

Novelty Snacks of Australia

Some beautiful tucker.

I just got home from Spain yesterday so it’s only fitting that I finally post about the novelty snacks in Australia, right? Yeah, I know. I know. Just hang in there. Only a few more Australia posts left. And this is the one you’ve all been waiting for. And by “you all” I mean Steph.

Australia was a place I definitely had to hold myself back from snacking. First of all, the snacks ain’t cheap. I didn’t want to waste precious pennies in my budget on risky novelty snacks. Secondly, I had a much longer time frame than usual. I don’t even want to think about going through 10 months worth of snacking photos at my usual snacking pace. So I tried to be smart and consult the experts. Thank you to Allie and Kate for being my personal guides to all things Australian, particularly the snacks.

So let’s go, hey?*

Novelty Snack: Harry’s pie (veggie)
Description: A delicious pie filled with veggies and cheese sauce, topped with mashed potatoes and (vegetarian!) gravy. A “Tiger” includes a scoop of mushy peas as well.
Tastes Like: Savory heaven in a pie shell. This is the ultimate comfort food and is thankfully available into the wee hours of the night. Most pie shops only had veggie pasties, but Harry’s actually offered the real deal. (Pasties are good but can’t beat a pie!) Seriously, why don’t we have more pies in the US?
Verdict: Thumbs up!

Novelty Snack: Spider (blue raspberry from Bell’s Milk Bar)
Description: What Americans would refer to as a float. I think I side with my countrymen on this one but I did get excited whenever I saw “spiders” on the menu.
Tastes Like: Sugary yum. The syrup was house made and quite delicious. I’m not sure how you could go wrong with a spider.
Verdict: Thumbs up!

Novelty Snack: Cherry Ripe, Australia’s oldest chocolate bar.
Description: Cherries mixed with shredded coconut and topped with dark chocolate.
Tastes Like: Disgustingness. Sorry, Australians. Could not get past the first bite. I’m not sure which is worse: the flavor, the texture, or the aftertaste. Yuck.
Verdict: Thumbs down

Novelty Snack: Cheezels
Description: Puffed cheese snack complete with specific ingestion instructions (note the fingers).
Tastes Like: Cheetos but a bit greasier and more course. There was no danger I wasn’t going to like these.
Verdict: Thumbs up!

Novelty Snack: Caramello Koala (the first mass marketed candy to be modeled after Australian fauna)
Description: Milk chocolate shaped like a Koala (named George) and filled with caramel.
Tastes Like: Chocolate and caramel… not really my jam but I can appreciate why other people might like it (unlike Cherry Ripe!)
Verdict: Thumbs neutral

Novelty Snack: Fairy Bread
Description: Fluffy white bread spread with butter and topped with sprinkles.
Tastes Like: Promising buttery bread with really unappealing hard crunches. Not a fan of the hundreds and thousands style sprinkles. Jimmies might be better. I really wanted to like it. I really did. But… it hit the trash. (I even had an Australian prepare it for me so it would be done right.)
Verdict: Thumbs down

Novelty Snack: Lamington
Description: Sponge cake coated in chocolate and covered in desiccated coconut.
Tastes Like: Quite different than I expected. I anticipated it to be chocolate all the way through (like a brownie or chocolate cake) but it’s so not. The cake is yellow and very spongey. The frosting is less like frosting and more like a coating or ganache. It’s set and somewhat absorbed into the edges of the cake. Basically, it’s pretty good but I couldn’t finish the whole thing. I will also always think of this when I hear the word lamington.
Verdict: Thumbs up!

Now I bet you’re thinking, “Where’s the Vegemite?”

Oh, just you wait.

xo, jill

*You need to hear my housie Kate say “hey” at the end of sentences in her cute accent.

From the Hip Friday

Water over roadway.

Today’s photo from the hip comes from Hoi An, Vietnam. This is actually one of my favorite from the hip photos. I like it so much that I was convinced I had already shared it. I did a little poking around and didn’t see it in my “FTH” folder so I decided to post it today. Apologies if it’s already been featured here!

One wet day in Hoi An the streets near the river were flooding. Of course, that didn’t cause the motorbikes to drive any slower. Even the rickshaws were going strong. I snapped a photo while we were walking by to help me remember the crazy roads. Driving in the rain will never phase me again.

xo, jill

From the Hip Friday features photos taken without the use of a viewfinder. If you have a photograph that was taken from the hip you’d like to share here, please contact me!

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