Friday, October 7, 2011

Experiences - priceless

Warning, no quilt content.
Mr Q and I did a photography course in Sydney last weekend and it was a consolation treat for me since missing out on going to the last quilt show there. We had held out hotel booking so used it for the weekend away which was sorely needed. Batteries are now charged.

                                                St Mary's Cathedral from Hyde Park., Sydney
The course was very good and aimed at beginners of DSLR photography. Learning about how to use the camera out of auto mode is a good thing. I think I forgot a lot of what I learnt on the day as it was very intensive. I was note keeper, Mr Q was memory keeper. Now it's all down to practice. Photos above and below are shots taken on the day using different modes and settings.

Panning, blurring backgrounds and water effects from the Archibald fountain, Hyde park.
On the way back to the hotel, we were going to stop for a coffee at the Lindt cafe but the queue was a bit long for us. Not to worry, Sydney has chocolate cafes popping up like mushrooms and down a bit is the newly opened Guylian chocolate cafe.
I can say that this was the best custard tart I have ever had in my life.
A couple of days ago we decided to head out to the Brasserie Bread cafe for brunch. I am mad about this place and it's a must to visit again. All their breads are made with GM free, organic ingredients and they set up a tasting table with baskets of bread to taste with olive oil and jams. There are glass doors where you can watch the cooking classes going on and since it's school holidays, they had 10 little rug rats making fruit pies and bread sticks.  All the kids classes are provided FREE and they all get their own masterchef aprons embroidered with their names.  You have to give them a big pat on the back for being an educational business as well as providing something to the community.
This is what I had, poached eggs with smoked trout and feta on sourdough. Low GI food I was told.
And I just had to have a plate of sourdough pancakes with berry couli and honeycomb cream. I have to make these at home sometime, what a taste sensation and quite different to normal pancakes.
Between dishes, I stood up, turned around and watched through the glass where the bakers were hard at work on the breads. That visit to the Artisan bakery fired up my enthusiasm for home made sourdough so out came the starter, a good recipe and a healthy dose of enthusiasm.
Dear bread, how I love thee, I nurtured you and handled you with gentle care and you have rewarded me with your thin crackly crust, your pretty little bubbles that I asked you for....
and your divine soft custard crumb. You rose to the challenge and gave me beautiful holes. I shall be making you again.
One’s own simple bread is much better than someone else’s pilaf. ~ Azerbaijani Proverb

38 comments:

Dan R said...

I like to make bread almost as much as I like to eat bread. And that is a beautiful loaf of bread!

Robyn said...

Hi Janet,
Nice photos, yummy looking bread. Can u tell me who you did the photography course with and where is Brasserie Bread??in the 'gong area?

robyn

liz said...

Oh yummy! and this place is close to mine. Thanks for the heads up.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Your course sounds fun and your photos are amazing! Will have to check out some of those places next time I am in Sydney.

Julia said...

Oh Yum, Janet, the bread looks so good!
great photos..
Julia ♥

Teri said...

Wow....the food looked wonderful and the Brasserie.....I wish we had something like that in our area. I was born and raised in San Francisco and they used to have the best sourdough bread in the whole world, but no more. The bread you made looked delicious. Now that I'm retired I'm goin to try learning how to make it.

Christine said...

Oh Janet it looks like you had the best time, DH and I are in need of a break and are waiting till the new bub has arrived.
We can't wait.... might take DH to Sydney as I didn't get to go this year either

Lizzie said...

Glad you enjoyed the course Janet, looks like fun and that custard tart is to die for...yummm!
xxx

Notjustnat said...

Great photos. I always thought your photos are already great, but if you feel you learned something new from the course that was a bonus - Yummy looking sandwich - Hugs Nat

Marit said...

I love bread as much as I love quilts, so I would have loved to come along with you!
; )

Rachaeldaisy said...

You don't need quilts to write a fabulous post! How interesting to see your different photos. The difference in the fountain photos is quite amazing. Sydney is a beautiful city and it looks like you had a delicious holiday there. Your bread looks superb!! And the photos of your loaf are mouthwatering!

Janet said...

Now I am very hungry. Pictures are great.

Susan said...

What fun and your bread looks amazing...nothing better than homemade bread!

Stephanie said...

Drooling is unattractive but the food photos make me want to. The photos are gorgeous. I'd love to take not only a photography class but a bread making class as well. I'd have to be the note keeper 'cuz the memory ain't what she used to be!

Linda said...

It's so fun to see pictures of the same places I took pictures! St. Mary's Cathedral, Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park... I've been to all of them and thoroughly photographed them, though not with as much precision as you have. You must have a super-deluxe camera, as compared to my seven year-old pocket type. So glad you got to attend classes and enjoy all those yummy foods. We never ate anywhere in the Sydney CBD, so I am glad to see what you found while there. Thanks for sharing.

Coco said...

We don't have anything like that where I live (USA). We have a Lindt store where you can buy just chocolat but that's about it...
Oh yeah I forgot the 'Cheesecake Factory' that's delicious too.
Maybe I have to visit Sydney...

Mary said...

Okay...now my stomach is growling!!! Good for you taking a photography course. I recently bought a new camera, but now I sort of wish I had purchased an SLR. I love your practice shots! And the food looks amazing...I love good bread. Yum!!!

Pinkadot Quilts said...

Those pictures are looking pretty good...I need to learn a little bit more about photography as well!
The pancake look scrumptious! Maybe not too hard to make?

Terry said...

Those sourdough pancakes look divine! And I can almost smell the bread too! Now I'm hungry! LOL

Lori said...

You are amazing Janet!! I love the choices you made as far as food- Yumm!! (The pictures were good too!)

How fun for you and DH to take the class together. I'm sure we'll be seeing lots of fantastic photos on your blog. (I thought we already had been!) LOL

regan said...

That photography course was worth every penny....your pics are gorgeous! And so is all that food! I just ate, but I was practically drooling over everything you showed! You have some amazing eateries there! Lucky!

Carrie P. said...

I keep my camera on auto all the times. I really should learn more about its features.
I would rather eat bread than desserts.

Ivory Spring said...

I think it is absolutely sweet you and your hubby took a photography class together. Great pictures.

Frauke said...

First I think it is the K├Âlner Dom in Cologne in West Gemany!
No it is not there.
But in London is the Hyde park , it is not there !
It is in Sydney, I wonder!
Frauke from North Germany
excuse my englisch!

taylorsoutback said...

Baking breads is also a favorite of mine - have not bought a commercial sandwich loaf of bread in eons...

I think a loaf of bread is one of the most perfect foods in all the world and a photo of one is like a painting...your images are beautiful as always.

Glad to hear your batteries are recharged!

YankeeQuilter said...

Two of my favorite things - photography and baking. It is ok not to have quilting sometimes...oh wait, another favorite thing - eating!

Joan said...

Gorgeous pics, and yummy food - good for you with your course and what a great weekend!

Robyn G. said...

Oh Janet,
You did a wonderful job with your photos!
Isn't it so much fun learning? I love taking photos :-)
Looking forward to seeing more!

My blog has changed :)
http://daisyquiltsdesigns.wordpress.com/

Kaaren said...

Gorgeous photos and the food? I just gained 10 pounds just looking at all that delicious-ness!

Mary said...

Did you learn about white balance in the class? Isn't it amazing what a difference it makes? Your bread looks soooo good - I wish I could have a piece right now, no waiting! I guess I'll have to go start mine.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Congratulations on the new camera! You're going to love it!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you made that read! I've tried the recipe from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook and it never looked that good (or anywhere near it). Fabulous job.
May I ask, how did you get the starter to be so healthy?

Thimbleanna said...

Hahaha -- did you say "rug rats"??? You're too funny. Looks like you had a great time -- especially with good food!

Nedra said...

Oh, wow. The food looks so amazing. How I wish I could just pop over and visit Sydney too!

Robin said...

How cool that you got to take the class together! Sounds like it was a great weekend getaway. And the food looks amazing. I want some of those pancakes. :)

Barb said...

Looks like a delicious trip!! yum

Duyvken said...

Looks fantastic! My husband bakes bread and it is so lovely to have it in the house. Can you let me know who you did the course with? I'm looking for a DSLR course in Sydney and there are so many around I would appreciate a personal recommendation.

imquilternity said...

I so agree with you about experiences being priceless. Your photography class sounds like it was wonderful and from the rest of the photos in your post, I would say you took it all to heart. I'm just about to go to bed right now, but looking at all your food photos has made me hungry! Those pancakes look absolutely wonderful and your bread looks heavenly. I love making bread but I haven't tried sourdough. Think I will after seeing yours.