Yabbying

A yabby is a freshwater crayfish found in creeks all over Australia. Down here in SA you can expect to catch them during any month with an ‘R’ in it. These little critters are abundant, delicious and easy to catch and will keep a bunch of kids happily hunting for hours.

We took a couple of yabby nets (just like crab nets), a fish landing net, some string and a few chicken drumsticks. The 5 kids we took down to Brownhill creek managed to catch 15 of them in a couple of fun hours. Not enough for a feed, but enough for a snack.

 

Progressive Web Apps

The first week of my new job has been interesting. This is a smart group of people who are engineering some very high end eCommerce websites for big clients like Coopers Beer & Haighs Chocolate.

One of the things I’ve been working on recently is the idea of creating enhanced front ends for exiting systems like WordPress or Magento. I’m thinking about Single Page App using React or something similar to connect to a RESTful API provided by the system being enhanced. The idea is to leave the older display layers in place for the search engines to index but then adding an uber-display layer on top for users whom it suits.

What I’ve learned here at Aligent is that this is already an idea which is quickly taking shape in the ever speedy world of web development. There are a few concepts I hadn’t thought of, but essentially what I had in mind was a Progressive Web App. I’m on it.

This new level of quality allows Progressive Web Apps to earn a place on the user's home screen.

A Progressive Web App is:

  • Progressive – Works for every user, regardless of browser choice because it’s built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.
  • Responsive – Fits any form factor: desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever is next.
  • Connectivity independent – Enhanced with service workers to work offline or on low-quality networks.
  • App-like – Feels like an app to the user with app-style interactions and navigation because it’s built on the app shell model.
  • Fresh – Always up-to-date thanks to the service worker update process.
  • Safe – Served via HTTPS to prevent snooping and to ensure content hasn’t been tampered with.
  • Discoverable – Is identifiable as an “application” thanks to W3C manifest and service worker registration scope, allowing search engines to find it.
  • Re-engageable – Makes re-engagement easy through features like push notifications.
  • Installable – Allows users to “keep” apps they find most useful on their home screen without the hassle of an app store.
  • Linkable – Easily share via URL, does not require complex installation.

Two dollar ponies of port

 

Friday night often finds us at Millswood Bowles Club. It’s perfect for kids – they can run riot all over the floodlit bowling green, which means they can be far enough away that you can’t hear them and still be safe. Just right for our 8 year old’s sleepover party with 7 of her friends.

There are $10 meals of schinzel & chips or nuggets for the kids, and the beer is proper cheap.

The only problem is the 2 dollar ponys of port. Who can resist that for value and sheer alcoholic hit? Not me. Surprisingly I managed to convince a few of the soccer moms to join me. Unfortunately as it turns out 8 year old little girls are extremely loud in the mornings after drinking a port or two.

Melva’s fish paste

We were holidaying in beautiful Venus Bay, SA and for the first time so far in my fishing career we actually caught a lot of fish.

The best eating fish in South Australia is by far the King George Whiting, and we caught plenty of those. It would be a travesty to eat fresh whiting in any other way than simply & lightly fried with a little butter. In the markets it would sell for around $50/kg.

To catch the whiting requires a boat, and we were lucky enough to be holidaying in a group with 2 boats and most importantly Poppa Dennis’s years of hard won knowledge and experience.

But it’s not all whiting all the time. We also caught plenty of other species, trevally, tommy ruffs & salmon (not the same as european salmon). We developed a fool proof technique of fishing from the jetty involving dropping some chopped up bait to create a fish feeding frenzy and then gently dropping our baited hooks into the middle of it and immediately hooking eating sized trevally or tommies.

Bottom line is we had lot of fish. Too much to eat so we cleaned filleted and froze a few kilos of fish to take home and process. We’re following a family recipe for a delicious fish paste which kindly given to us by Melva. Try it dolloped onto some melba toast with a bit of sour cream and some snipped chives or dill.

Fish paste

Ingredients

  • 1 kg fish
  • 1 medium onion, finely cut
  • 60 mls spiced vinegar
  • 60 mls cooking oil
  • 100 mls tomato sauce
  • 150 mls tomato paste
  • 30 mls worcestershire sauce
  • 10 ml hot chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

  1. Skin the fish, taking out the blood line etc & cut into small pieces
  2. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil, simmering for around 15 mins
  3. Mash the mixture with a potato masher
  4. Spoon the paste into jars sterilised in boiling water, sealing the lids while hot
  5. Keep in the fridge & use within 2 months

Learning about viticulture

Viticulture (from the Latin word for vine) is the science, production, and study of grapes. It deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. It is a branch of the science of horticulture.

First I had to actually look up what the word means. The culture of vines. I’m working for a mob called Pridham Viticulture picking grapes in McLaren Vale, South Australia.

I need a job before by full time 9-5er starts in a couple of weeks. I need the money, the stimulation and …. the money.

It’s killer on your back of course, but as a means of getting your body in shape, there’s nothing like several hours of back breaking work in the vineyards for a couple of weeks to get you to fighting weight.

FOR leading Australian winemaker Chester Osborn it’s the realisation of a 13-year dream, but for South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region Chester’s Cube could bring tens if not hundreds of thousands more wine tourists to visit one of the world’s most unusual and dramatic cellar doors.
Australian winemaker Chester Osborn’s Cube

It’s not so bad, either. The other day we were picking at the nearly completed ‘cube’ building in a secret vineyard in McLaren Vale. And today we were picking the most expensive grapes in McLaren Vale… the coveted Grenache from the secret vineyard with the Horseshoe.

They’re the very best, most expensive grapes in South Australia. They come from a very cool vineyard in McLaren Vale. The vines are planted in a huge horseshoe shape to take best advantage of the natural amphitheatre topographic of the area. There are bunches of Grenache grapes weighing a kilo each ready to snip and dop in your bucket.