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Favourite Food

&

Travel quotes

 

Breads are the sweetest little bits of comfort food. They are very bite-sized and personal. ― Zomick's Bakery

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Adventure should be part of everyone's life. It is the whole difference between being fully alive and just existing.

― Holly Morris, Adventure Divas: Searching the Globe for Women Who Are Changing the World

 



National days.....

 

Iceland 17 June (National Day, founding of republic and dissolution of personal union with Kingdom of Denmark 1944)

Dining in Iceland...

Trivia: Mosquitoes do not exist in Iceland. More....

 


 

Seychelles 18 June (National Day)

Cuisine of the Seychelles....

Trivia: The coco de mer, native to the islands, produces the largest seed in the world. The distinctly shaped nut can weigh up to 15 kilograms. 

 

 

Greenland (Denmark21 June (Longest Day of the Year) (The National Day was introduced in 1983 as one of the Home Rule's traditions and is thus one of several expressions of national identity, which is also reflected in the flag, clothing, national anthem and language)

On the Greenland menu....

Trivia: Scientists have estimated that the Greenland ice sheet is between 400,000 and 800,000 years old.

 


 

 

Luxembourg 23 June (the Monarch's birthday)

Dining in Luxembourg....

Trivia: Luxembourg is the only remaining grand duchy in the world.

 


 

Mozambique 25 June (Independence from Portugal 1975)

Food in Mozambique....

Trivia: Maputo is the capital of Mozambique is also called the 'City of Acacias'. 

 


 

Croatia 25 June (Statehood Day, declaration of independence from Yugoslavia 1991)

On the Croatian table...

Trivia: Croatians have more than 500 Christmas carols.

 


 

Slovenia 25 June ((Statehood Day), declaration of independence from Yugoslavia 1991)

On the menu in Slovenia.....

Trivia: The famed Lipizzaner horses, which many people associate with Spain or Austria, actually originate from the village of Lipica in Slovenia.

 


 

Madagascar 26 June (Independence from France 1960)

Dining in Madagascar...

Trivia: Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island.

 

 

Djibouti 27 June (Independence from France 1977)

On the table in Djibouti...

Trivia: Lac Assal is saltier than the famous Dead Sea.



 

See all National Days for JUNE

 


 

Food related events....

Strangest US food festivals in 2016

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Food festivals around the world in JUNE....

 

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Food related events on this date in history!

 


 

oldfoodie

...visit The Old Foodie.

 



 

See where we have been...

24 percent of the world's countries!

 


 

Australian travellers - do you need a visa?

Check the visa requirements by country...

Read more....

 

 

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Ten fun things you can be covered for by travel insurance.

Find out what they are....

 


 

Here's an update on the US HAZMAT rules for aircraft luggage.

 

 

 


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It is that time of year in Australia, and these black beauties are on everyone's dinner wishlist.

Find out more.....

 


triviatop

ciaos

Winter is here. Did you know these facts?

Test your knowledge here...

 

 

Cruise Mark Twain's river in absolute luxury.

Find out more here...


 

 

books

.............and Apps and DVDs


 

Favourite cookery book writer Anneke Manning, opens her BakeClub files.

See what she is sharing...

 


 

What's for dinner? Now you kn ow with the help of this expert.

Nadia's book has the answers....

 


 

Is there such a thing as a quiet spot in Los Angeles?

This book shares 120 of them....

 


 

If you love food and travel equally, this new novel might satisfy your hunger.

Take a look....

 


 

If you think you know Australia well, you need to see this book and realise there is still more.

Read more...

 


 

Sydney has many precincts and now you may explore them.

See what you may have been missing out on....

 


 

Have you been to Berlin? This book will make you want to visit.

Read more....

 


 

Something for every day of the year from famous writers and speakers through the ages.

Read more.....

 


 

Now you can cook all your favourite foods from Japan's capital.

Find out about it...

 


 

Here's a book with double value.

Find out what it is.....

 


 

India has some of the best vegatarian dishes in the world.

Find them in this new book....

 


 

Chef-farmer Matthew Evans helps us through hot weather cooking.

Read more...

 


 

Could this be the el Bulli of Australia?

Find out why.....

 


 

Spend some time with Australia's 'Queen of Nyona'.

Learn her history and Asian cooking secrets....

 


 

Looking for a way to spend your weekends in Australia in 2016? 

Here are 52 suggestions complete with things to do and places to eat....

Read more..

 


 

 

Hate waste? Want to feed your family healthily?

Get preserving....

 


 

Frustrated by a fridge full of leftovers? Don't know what to do with them?

Your worries are over....

 


 

It's not often a Michelin-starred chef shares his favourite home-style recipes.

Get the help of an expert...

 


 

Attention! All those who thought they would never cook Japanese food at home!

A leading chef show you how....

 


 

How to eat like an Italian! 

Fratelli Fresh's Barry McDonald gives the recipes you need....

 


 

Lovers of Middle Eastern food will devour this book - and its wonderful recipes.

Read more...

 


 

Too old to colour-in? Not with this delightful book.

Release your inner child...

 


Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton would like to assist you in your kitchen...

.... that is, his amazing dessert cookbook will.

 


 

Outback food from a Masterchef contestant.

See what the country has to offer....

 


NEW from Lonely Planet

&

See more...

 


 

Meatballs for everyone - from the Meatball and Wine Bar.

Read about them...

 


 

Lovers of food and beer, need to see this latest book from Ross Dobson.

Find out more.....

 


 

Perfect for summer. Hartsyard shares its secrets.

Learn them all....


 

Aimed at the food industry, but also valuable for home cooks, this tongue-in-cheek book might make you think.

Read more...

 


 

One of the delights of travel is eating on the street.

This book helps you cook the food at home too...

 


 

One family of foods can help you eat your way to health!

Find out how....

 


 

Heart-shaped Tasmania is all about good food.

Find out who is making it even better ........

 


 

How big is your garden? Even a tiny courtyard is big enough to add to your menu.

Find out how....

 


 

The best of the best. Iconic cookery teacher Gretta Anna's recipes with her son Martin Teplitzky.

See it here....

 


 

Food is art - and here, a master chef  marries Italian cuisine and painting.

Find out more about a truly beautiful book ...

 


For those who love the world and its beauty and want a REAL life.....

.....this is the book for you.

 


 

Fancy some fishing - with a chef and TV celebrity and two other seafood experts?

Go fishing (and cooking) with these there....

 


 

Heading for Hong Kong? Take this book (and an appetite) with you!

Read all about it.....

 


Explore 19 areas and discover Tokyo's best food and shopping.

Read more....

 


 

Everyone's favourite grandmother and cook, as known by her grand-daughter, Kate Gibbs....

....sharing her recipes for life , and for the kitchen

 


 

Now you can create your own home patisserie.

A top French patissier shows how....

 


 

Does Australia have the world's best beaches?

Find out where Australia's best ones are....


 

Join five women for a weekly meal in Umbria, Italy - simple, but so much more.

Find out about this beautiful book... 

 


You probably know of Rick Stein from his TV and cookbook fame, as well as his restaurants...

..but now you can get to know him from his memoir

 


Put the Taste of Australia into your meals with Lyndey Milan's latest book.

Read more....

 


Love cooking, like trivia?

This book is for you!

 

 

 

 

 

Window on the Gulf of Thailand

Ask most people what GOT stands for and they think of a popular TV show. 

This week's feature is a GOT of another kind - the massive Gulf of Thailand (see the map at the end) with three, also very popular – and different – holiday destinations. Let's look at them, moving in a clockwise direction around the gulf.

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Koh Samui, Thailand

Although this looks like every woman's dream for multi-tasking, it is actually the 20-metre high Goddess of Mercy and you'll find her on the Thai island of Koh Samui, close to the Laughing Buddha at Wat Plai Laem, a very popular temple completed in 2004.

In Thailand the goddess is also known as Phra Mae Kuan Im. She is very highly revered and known as the protector of women and children, the sick and the poor and, with her many arms, can help numerous people at once. But wait, there's more - one Buddhist legend, attributes a thousand arms to her! 

We dropped in at Koh Samui's small port town of Nathon during a cruise from Singapore. Fishing is a huge industry in the Gulf of Thailand, and at night the horizon is sprinkled with the lights of hundreds of boats. We were told that the green lights which from underwater squid confuse with the moon, encourages them to rise to the surface, and be caught more easily.

As is the usual practice, on arrival at the wharf, we had been bombarded with people wanting to sell us taxi tours of the island. One woman approached us and suggested her son could drive us in her car. His name was Om (above, with his 'mother'). I am not sure he was her son but he turned out to be a very good driver and, as he is also a tour guide, he shared plenty of information about the island and was endlessly patient with our requests for photo-stops.

 

SEE MORE ON THIS VIDEO....

Throughout south-east Asia, drinks such as these are tasty and cooling. If you are concerned about those worm-like shapes in the cups - don't be! The locals love to add slurp-worthy coloured noodles to sweetened coconut milk and fruit juices, and it adds to the enjoyment.

Peanuts are another popular snack, sold in many places.

The population of Koh Samui is 65,000, but around 1.5 million tourists visit annually. This means the island is very much geared to tourism and roads can be busy in peak season, while temples and other places of interest may be crowded. It is only a small island - about 25 kilometres long and 21 kilometres wide – and so a round-island trip, with many breaks for sightseeing, takes just a few hours.

Koh Samui is located off the east coast of Thailand's Kra Isthmus and is Thailand's second-largest island after Phuket.

There are many Buddhist temples on Koh Samui and at least twenty-five of them are worth visiting if you have the time.

Elephants are of great importance in Thailand, and white elephants are rare and given special significance, often considered sacred and symbolising royalty. In Thailand and Burma they are also considered symbols of good luck.

The graceful lines and colours of temples have underlying significance. The use of ornamented multiple tiers is reserved for roofs on temples, palaces and important public buildings. Two or three tiers are most often used, but some royal temples have four.

Those upraised points are lamyong, sculpted in an undulating, serpentine shape. The blade-like projection suggests the fins and the feathers of Garuda, a mythical half man-half bird creature.

 

Possibly the most popular temple for visitors on the island to visit is this Laughing Buddha at Wat Plai Laem.

It is always worth remembering that respect is important when visiting such places. While temples may seem like a fun place to visit and photograph, they have deep significance for local people, and when visitors wear revealing clothing it is most offensive to them.

Please meet the thirty-metre high laughing Buddha himself.

And what better deity than this to bless your marriage? This happy couple certainly thought so.

As we travelled on around the island we stopped by to see Wat Sila Ngu a red terracotta temple, intricately carved. Each of these marks has been cut by artisans using blades and chisels, and the craftsmanship is amazing.

Wat Khun Aram has one of the world's most bizarre relics. Read the account of why a monk now sits in a glass display case nearby!

The body of this mummified monk, a highly revered former abbot of the temple who was also a meditation master, and able to predict his own death, has sat in this glass display since the 1970s. Devotees bring flowers and incense in tribute. 

At our final stop at a waterfall, we found this fellow being fed by visitors. I touched its trunk and it ‘whuffled’ at me and I could feel the air as it sniffed my hand. I felt very sad as it was hobbled with chains and will probably stay that way for life – a terrible way to treat a beautiful animal.

Needless to say he and his friends provided plenty of cellulose-rich material to create the elephant dung paper being sold on the premises.

Back in Nathon at the waterfront, we are reminded that many visitors come to Koh Samui not to see Buddhist temples, but the beaches and watersports.

Others come for diving and snorkelling around the more than forty breathtakingly beautiful islands in the vicinity.

More information on Koh Samui.....

More information on Thailand....

 


 

Pattaya, Thailand

Pattaya lies at the top of the Gulf of Thailand, technically in the Bay of Bangkok, a couple of heavy-traffic hours east of Thailand's capital. We were lucky enough to have a good friend and tour guide, Poom, to show us around the town and let us into secrets not everyone finds in the oft-maligned place.

Pattaya is an enigma. Its various sections help to explain it a little, Poom told us. To the north is the luxury area; south is the place for 'night walking'; and the centre is home to shopping malls. Visit the latter for Tesco, department stores and discount outlets.

While many people think only of the colourful side to Pattaya, there is more to it than just that. Here, at Wat Khao Phra Bat, at the Monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, the founding father of the modern Thai navy, locals pray and burn incense. Nearby, noisy fireworks erupt at regular intervals from a brick tower, as a sign of respect.

This view back across Pattaya Bay from Phratumnak Hill, is the ideal place to come to enjoy the sweeping view, especially at sundown which is so popular that sunset times are posted here. Stay on to see the city lights over the water.

Jomtien Beach, in the southern part of the city, is popular with families, as it is more calm. It's also the place to come for parasailing, or simply a place to sit under the many shady sea almond trees. If you love watersports and swimming, check out the many other bays around Pattaya.

Where there are groups of people, there will always be food available, and here are quick snacks ideal for nibbling as you go.

If this is more like your mental image of Pattaya, that's because this city is a busy place, catering to many needs - most of them commercial.

Of course it is not difficult to locate the red light areas, the ladyboy shows, and almost anything else you can think of. The signs are explicit, often in  English....

....although many Russians have immigrated to the area recently, so don't be surprised to see Cyrillic script on signs. Love it or leave it, there is plenty for everyone in this town. 

In the big shopping malls, you could be anywhere in the world, with luxury goods....

...and dining chains and such as Sizzler, and this Japanese restaurant.

More about visiting Pattaya....

More on Thailand....

 


 

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

On the eastern side of the Gulf of Thailand and now in Cambodia, Sihanoukville (pronounced shnookville) was named in 1964 for ruling Prince Norodom Sihanouk. After some terrible decades of war and repression, Cambodia is now becoming popular again with tourists, and is not too spoiled. Yet! Sadly tourism, and all it brings, is not always the best thing for an emerging nation.

To see the city best, smile and give in to the entreaties of the tuk-tuk drivers posted at any entrance to the city. In our case it was the gates of the wharf, so we hired a man called Mr Li to show us around. Your transport can look like this (above), or else you may be offered a seat on a carved lounge in the back of a utility.

Word to the wise: Negotiate prices beforehand and be sure of what you and the driver have agreed.

As a market lover, it was a no-brainer to ask Mr Li to take us to the main city market, Psar Lu, and leave us there for an hour. Just inside the entrance was this glittering display. However, as a mute commentary on the wide division in this city, as I was taking this picture, right behind me a legless man was lying on the ground, begging for money and food. The landmines in this country have claimed and maimed many people like him, and it is confronting and terrible.

Cambodian food sits somewhere between Vietnamese and Thai food. These bundles are probably the equivalent of our sausage rolls: quick, neat, easy to carry and eat, and very tasty, with rice wrapped around vegetables, spices and meats.

Choose a build-your-own Cambodian salad...

...pandan-flavoured jelly and coconut for dessert.....

.... and maybe a slice of rice and sesame seed cake to take with you.

For those with bigger appetites, this range of fried fish, meats, breads, noodles, and vegetables is a feast.

But as a bread baker and lover of all carbs, these, similar to Indian pappadams, caught my eye. I waited to see how they were made.

They could hardly be simpler. Large flat discs were toasted over a charcoal fine before heaping in a basket. And yes, in case you are wondering, I bought a couple to nibble as we finished walking around the market. They were crunchy and slightly sweet, and possibly were made with some rice flour. Without an English-speaking guide I couldn't find out more.

When our driver returned, he promised to show us some of the sights of this town with a population of around 200,000. The prominent Golden Lions Monument (Vimean Tao Meas) is located in the middle of the traffic circle between Sokha and Ochheuteal beaches. The monument was constructed in 1996 and the gardens around the monument have become a popular evening hangout for the locals, particularly teens. 

Ochheuteal Beach is popular with tourists for its shady beachside avenue, with places to relax, buy a cheap meal and even get a massage. Some say Otres beach is better.

The beach is known for people like this woman who carries her entire 'shop' suspended by a yoke on her shoulders. Her ingredients are on the left, but on the right is a stone charcoal-burning stove. I tried to pick it up and couldn't, yet she carries it all day. Little wonder she was happy to squat for a moment as I took her photo!

The seafood in these waters is tasty - and immense! Just some salt and a squeeze of lime completes the effect of these giants.

With tourism comes development. Sihanoukville is now seeing resorts like this one, Sokha Beach Resort.

While the main building is elaborate and luxurious and could have been lifted from any beachfront location, in the grounds stands this authentic Cambodian terracotta pavilion.

Yet, such are the contrasts in this country, that just half a kilometre away we pass a tribe of monkeys on the road, then a little later, buffalo and goats meandering down the tarmac.

Finally, high on a hill above the town we visit the star in the crown of this city.

The Wat Leu Buddhist temple overlooks the harbour and surrounding area. Ornate, covered in gold.... 

......every inch carved and decorated, it has Buddhas galore....

 

... and more gold than most people see in a lifetime.

Calmly making their way through all this, dozens of monks in saffron and maroon robes ignore the tourists and their cameras as they go about their day's work and studies.

And here is my new little friend who came up and talked to me while I was exploring this temple.

The face of new Cambodia, she wears a shirt with a badge that shows the world cares about her, and her country, as both struggle to gain a foothold in the modern world. The badge reads Enfants du Cambodge an international NGO dedicated to assisting the children of Cambodia.

More about Sihanoukville.....

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The Gulf of Thailand

 

Text and photos: ©Sally Hammond 2016

Video: ©Gordon Hammond 2016

Sally and Gordon Hammond travelled to this region independently.

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If you would like to make a comment, please go to ......

 

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DON'T MISS THESE:

2016

AUSTRALIAN FOOD EVENTS

 

The Truffle Festival, June to August, Canberra region, ACT.

 

Brisbane Times Good Food Month, Brisbane, QLD, July 1-31

 

 


 

RECIPE TIME

Twisted pizza we call this - be you'll probably call it delicious!

Find out how easy it is...

 


 

Are these Sydney's best pork buns?

See for yourself...

 


 

Joe's Bar at East Hotel in Canberra is worth checking out. 

...especially if you love truffles!

 


 

 MUST TASTE THIS

If burrata is not a cheese you know, then do try this Gold medal Sydney-made one.

Find out more...

 


They're calling it the mayo for the masses - soy, dairy, egg, nut and gluten free.

Find out more....

 


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Need a coffee????

This app is now unavailable but you can still stay in touch on the FB page.

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Hear a podcast

 
 
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This Italian cheese-maker serves it up at the table....then sells the makings upstairs.

Can you guess where it is?

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..and then there's Andy, the Irish cherry pie maker on the north coast of NSW...

...see what Coolongolook has!

dining_bottom

 


 

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TAKE A BREAK

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Find out what food events are on around the world in JUNE

 


 

Looking for a way to spend your weekends in Australia in 2016? 

Here are 52 suggestions complete with things to do and places to eat....

Read more..

 


 

A centrally-located luxury Sydney hotel has some deals you may like for the holiday season.

Find out more....

 


 

So you want to explore SYDNEY?

This new app is just what you need.....

 


 

A year of fabulous food festivals is ahead in 2016 for Britain!

Find out when and where....

 


 

Festivals throughout Australia too in 2016.

Check these out...

 


 

Scotland's Year of Food and Drink 2016....

...what's on?

 


Festivals in Korea, 2016

Here they are....

 


 

2016 Malaysia's Year of Festivals....

Find out when and where...

 


What's happening in Rome this month....

Check it out here...

 


 

Ever dreamed of having your own place in France.

This may make it easier....

 


 

SPOIL YOURSELF -    TOTAL LUXURY

Tour the world in a luxury private jet .....

But wait, there's more.....

 


 

Where better to take a French cookery course.....


...than in Paris?


 

Taste Miami with someone who knows.

See how to do it...

 


 

Shopping in Paris is great fun - but you might need some help...

...and not just with carrying your purchases!

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food and wine tour in one of France's most beautiful regions.

Learn more about it...

 


 

Now you can travel and pick up some artistic skills - and enjoy Italian cuisine.

...find out where

 


 

SYDNEY'S LIVING HISTORY

Find out about the (sometimes colourful) past of  Australia's first city:

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Sally, and Gordon Hammond also operate the Australian Regional Food Guide Web site. This comprehensive directory is a great resource for everything that is happening in the regional food scene in Australia. Make sure you visit and bookmark this site. Please Follow on Twitter or Like on Facebook.