Luna1878 Winter Night Market: the vegan perspective and some Melbourne love

Luna1878 night market

Tonight I headed down to the Queen Vic Market for the Luna1878 Night Market. I’ve been pretty slack with the night markets in general, always meaning to go but when I remember, it’s already Thursday.

My mission was to spend my birthday cash on vegan goodies and locally produced items that really grabbed me. Over the years I’ve changed my shopping style from a wishy washy yeah that’ll do (which I applied to my wedding dress, I couldn’t be bothered trying on anything else after the second meringue), to only buying things I really, really need or love.

I was messing around with camera settings and towards the end, juggling things in both hands trying not to take blurry shots, so apologies for any crappiness that jumps out and smacks you in the nose.

The first stall I hung out at was MAD Products, chatting with Maxine Wren.  Maxine photographs Melbourne streetscapes and graffiti then, using locally sourced wood, turns them in to items like coasters, place mats, small furniture and pictures. For every Graffitiscape coaster and place mat sold, $1 and $3 respectively are donated to Youth Projects Hosier Lane.

Melbourne Streetscapes MAD Products

I loved looking at the MAD coasters. Having lived away from my home town for a few years, I only really appreciated Melbourne once I was homesick. Now I love picking up little bits and pieces reflecting how much I love my city and if we ever live overseas again, I want to be able to take those bits and pieces with me.  So today I couldn’t go past this coaster for $10:

Melbourne Streetscapes MAD Products

I love love love it. When I go in to the city, I try to make the time to walk down Hosier Lane. So my coaster will be used every time I make my tea, which is numerous times a day.

When I was going through my photos (and so many didn’t turn out, including the others I took of Maxine’s stall, arghgh) I realised that because I had been yapping away so much, I completely missed the box of place mats right in front of me! The first one was a picture of the exterior of the Royal Arcade, one of my favourite Melbourne buildings. I know some of my friends and relatives love images of Melbourne like I do, so these would make great gifts.

MAD Products has a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MaxineArtisticDesigns/info  

 

Next up was The Decadent Desserts Company with their big table full of fudge.  I asked if the fudge was vegan, which meant I completely missed this sign:

The Decadent Desserts Co

EEEEEEeeeeee! It made me wonder how many people, like me, ask “is it vegan”.  Which of course is a fab thing! Check out the table of tasty delights:

The Decadent Desserts Co

thedecadentdessertsco1

I bought the larger packet of that Coffee & Walnut fudge you see, plus the smaller $4 snack pack of Chai Fudge, Coconut Fudge and of course the Peppermint. I’ve already eaten the coconut which was delicious. I sampled some of the ginger and that was great too. Another great gift idea!

The Decadent Desserts Company can be found at http://decadentdesserts.com.au/ 

 

Husband is a big bretzel man. We visited Germany a few times (cos we were living next door) and if we got separated I knew I just had to go and find the closest bretzel shop. I bought two tonight from Bretzel Biz. I gave the bag to Husband, then when I went to have some a few minutes later he’d already scoffed the first one and was going all lockjaw on the second.  I’d say he liked them very much, you should have seen him being all foamy mouth impatient when I was trying to take this photo.  This is a photo taken under extreme bretzel pressure:

Bretzel Biz

I had some too (much to Husband’s horror) because YAY the bretzels are vegan. Only the plain ones though, the flavoured ones like salted caramel are not (I don’t think). The plain ones are $4 each.

Check out Bretzel Biz at http://www.facebook.com/Bretzel.biz

 

Signs like this are like the black holes of goodness.  They suck me right in. I love that vegan labeling is becoming so common. I’ve only been vegan for a couple of years but when I started out, I always had to ask if stuff was vegan, what are the ingredients etc etc. Chooh La La!

Chooh La La Praline

Chooh La La Praline

I really liked the almonds so I bought a bag for $5. I have to try really hard not to eat them all in one go. Mehhh, who am I kidding.  I’m going to eat them all now.

Chooh La La can be found at http://www.facebook.com/choohlala

Regretfully, I didn’t get the name of the stall I bought these Melbourne badges from ($2 each or $10 for six badges).  The badges are made from street directory maps. The Melbourne one is mine, the Sunshine one is for a friend who grew up there:

Melways badges

 

The Birdhouse Collection stall had some gorgeous wooden animal shaped magnets. I couldn’t decide which one to get.  So I thought what would Harry Potter do?

thebirdhouse

There were other lovely animal designs, including Australian animals, as well as hot air balloons and merry go rounds.

The Birdhouse Collection can be found here: http://www.thebirdhousecollection.com.au/

 

I’m a sucker for buying popcorn that is different than the plain old salted (and heavily burnt) break-your-teeth popcorn I make at home. I also wanted to buy something for the family and I knew they’d love this popcorn from The Steel Drum Popcorn Company. Seriously, you could take a lovely fire heated bath in this massive steel kettle and swish your salts around with the paddle:

Steel Drum Popcorn Co

The popcorn is cooked in oil and dusted with salt and sugar and is addictive. Naturally I wouldn’t hesitate to buy more.  I’ve forgotten how much it cost too:

steeldrumpopcornco2

 

I made sure I went to the night market hungry and I was really curious to see what vegan options there were. After passing row after row of heavily meaty places, I crossed my fingers and hoped that the ‘vegetarian’ on the Rice and Dice sign actually meant vegan.  AND IT DIIID:

Rice And Dice

riceanddice4

Sooo I’m one of those eyes greedier than the stomach people. When I asked the friendly guy up there for something vegan, “I don’t mind what it is, as long as it’s vegan” (that’s me), I didn’t actually ask what the dishes were.  I just asked if I could get a combo of whatever was vegan. Maybe someone did mention what the dishes were, but my brain was all veganveganveganit’svegan:

Rice And Dice

Whatever it was, it was really good.  Next time I’ll pay more attention. I can’t find an online info source for Rice and Dice.  You just have to go and check them out yourself 🙂

 

Another sign that had me excited was this:

soupin bread bowl stall

Now, as I’m not really a soup person, THIS is why I was excited:

Soup in bread bowl stall

SOUP IN A BREAD ROLL BOWL. I’m so getting that if I see this stall somewhere again.  I think they may have been called the Soup Factory.  I could see people standing around eating soup out of bread bowls and I wanted one too, despite being pretty full because SOUP IN BREAD ROLL BOWL. Except this was the queue:

Soup in bread bowl stall

No soup for you, Veganopoulous.

I spotted this sugarcane juice cart, which I am assuming is vegan, but ran out of time to check out:

sugarcanejuice1

 

There was a stage area with live music and a few of these tables (this photo was taken when I arrived at 5pm, there weren’t that many people but it really filled up soon after):

Luna1878 night market

 

When I first arrived at 5pm, I was a bit surprised that the stalls seemed spread so far out but after speaking to some stall owners, I realised it was to accommodate crowds as the summer night market gets really crowded. As more people arrived I saw this was quite a good idea and I liked having the room to move between stalls. There were other stalls I would have liked more time to look at, like candles, handmade jewelry and essential oils.

My biggest gripe would have to be how smoky it was from the barbeque/grill stalls.  I found it really, really unfortunate that a vegetarian food stall was placed right next to a spit roast stall (I spoke to the person serving at the veg stall and they weren’t happy about the situation). I hope that the foods serving veg*n options can be moved to a different area. It was so smoky that I stank out the tram with my bbq smell– even at home now my clothes, bag and beanie still stink. As soon as I walked in the door the family commented I smelled like a bbq 😦

To veg*ns considering going, please be warned that there are spit roast/grill type food stalls.

 

The Luna1878 Winter Night Market will be held every Wednesday 5pm – 10pm until August 27th. More info can be found at http://www.qvm.com.au/night-market/luna1878-winter-night-market-2/

Red Cross Op Shop, Moonee Ponds

Today’s op shop: Red Cross Op Shop, 64 Puckle Street Moonee Ponds:

Red Cross op shop Moonee Ponds

Puckle Street in Moonee Ponds always had two op shops and today I discovered that one of them (the Care Bargain Centre) has closed down.  That sucks, because it was a good one. So after lunch, DeeW and I visited the Red Cross Op Shop. This op shop is mostly taken up with clothing, shoes and accessories:

Red Cross op shop Moonee Ponds

I was all oooooh over this lovely 1940s wedding dress (size XS if you want to go check it out) for $90. I didn’t have as much time to stroke it as I would have liked because going to an op shop with children isn’t exactly the brightest idea:

1940s wedding dress Red Cross op shop Moonee Ponds July2014

1940s wedding dress Red Cross op shop Moonee Ponds July2014

1940s wedding dress Red Cross op shop Moonee Ponds July2014

 

The clothing wasn’t on the cheaper op shop prices side, but things appeared to be carefully selected and labels included Country Road and Trenery, thanks to a recent collaboration with those labels. The Moonee Ponds Red Cross shop is set up more like a boutique, not a cramped dusty oppie. There was no toys/games area so options for kids were pretty much the clothing racks and not much else apart from a few soft toys. There was a small table with some bowls, platters and assorted ceramics:

Red Cross op shop Moonee Ponds

I found these sweet yet gives-me-creepy-vibe postcards and paid $2 for the eight of them:

vintage fairytale cards

I have no idea what it says on the back.  Probably something about being cursed if I don’t pass the cards on to sixty thousand friends:

vintage fairytale cards

I also picked up a $1 VCR tape of the Inspector Gadget movie for the kids. The downside is I’ll have to watch it too.

More cooking from Isa Does It

I’ve been cooking quite a bit from Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz lately. It’s such a great cookbook– awesome recipes and gorgeous photos mean I sit there flipping through it over and over all brainwashed like.

I couldn’t go past the Roasted Yellow Beet Salad with Warm Maple-Mustard Dressing, seeing as I bought a bunch of golden beetroot from the Coburg Farmers Market a few days before. The beets are roasted, so there’s no fussing there. The dressing is a simple maple mustard combo and instead of the pecans I went for the tempeh option. The tempeh was marinated in tamari, liquid smoke, thyme and red wine vinegar.  I’m really not a big fan of tempeh so I made sure I came close to incinerating it in the cast iron pan.  I like tempeh bacon but it has to to very thin and very very super burnt. For my salad greens I used baby spinach (I would have preferred a salad mix including rocket/arugula). I liked the simple dressing but I have to confess I’m not really a beetroot fan so I wouldn’t make this for myself.  I would probably make a big bowl if I was having people over but I’d use the pecans instead of tempeh:

golden beet salad
The Tofu Mushroom Stroganoff was super easy to make. A cashew-broth base is added to mushrooms, onions, garlic and tofu that have been cooked with some tomato paste, thyme and white wine.  I bought this wholemeal fettucine in Aldi and I found it a bit too heavy so next time I’ll use a different pasta. DeeW liked the sauce but not the ‘bits’. Husband doesn’t like anything with a cashew base and Arthur won’t eat mushrooms. This would have made a simple, tasty family meal if only the fussypants humans element were removed:

tofu mushroom stroganoff

I’ve been looking for a good quinoa recipe lately and the Smoky Incan Stew was perfect.  I finally got to open my little wee can of chipotles in adobe sauce.  This photo was taken the day after I made the stew, so you can see I could have done with a little more liquid but I’m a chunky-stew girl so this was just right for me:

smoky Incan stew

To finish off the tempeh I had in the fridge, I made the Tempeh Orzilla. This is another simple, easy to make recipe with a saucy part made with broth, white wine, onion, garlic and sundried tomatoes.  For the tempeh crumbles, I chopped them as finely as possible and burnt them as much as possible so they were crispy.  Unfortunately though I had to admit defeat: like leggings-as-pants, tempeh is just not for me. As much as I love the taste of various marinades and dressing, there’s still the texture to deal with.  So long tempeh (though I really want to try chickpea tempeh):

tempeh orzilla

The cookbook photo of the Cast Iron Stir Fry recipe results in a fair bit of drooling.  The sauce is made mostly with tamari, hoi sin and mirin.  Super simple and really delicious.  Instead of rice I used soba noodles and I left out the avocado and peanut sprinkle-over bit at the end:

cast iron stir fry

For breakfast one day, I made the Coconut French Toast.  It’s your basic French toast recipe but you dip the soaked bread slices in coconut before cooking. Arthur and I loved these but DeeW refused to try any as she’s not big on French toast and thinks toast should come out of a toaster (“that’s why it’s called toast”):

coconut French toast

The Marbled Banana Bread has been made a few times. This time, I did the marbling myself.  Arthur and DeeW tend to go a little overboard so the batter goes beyond the marbled stage in to the fully mixed stage:

marbled banana bread

Arthur and DeeW had friends over so I made the Jumbo Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies.  Guess what, these friends hate raisins so I had to eat their share. WAAAAAH:

jumbo oatmeal raisin cookies

I finally got around to making the Strawberry and Cream Bread Pudding.  I threw in some mixed frozen berries as I didn’t have enough strawberries. Plus it was the Fourth of July so I put in a little red, white and blue for my American readers. This pudding is super easy to make and involves briefly soaking some bread in a mixture of coconut milk, a non dairy milk (I used soy), cinnamon, vanilla and lemon juice.  I made half of the optional icing recipe.  Everybody loved this, except Husband who really dislikes coconut in desserts (but he eats coconut based Thai curries). Naturally, I valiantly ate his share:

Berries and cream bread pudding

I really love Isa Does It and count it as a top notch favourite.  Isa’s recipes are straightforward, entertaining and delicious. There’s no stop-yerrrr-fussin-boy fussiness about any of the recipes I’ve looked at and there are so many more dishes I still want to make. Aaand now you all have the voice of Toni Childs stuck in your brains.

In My Kitchen, July 2014

I look forward to Johanna’s ‘In My Kitchen’ posts at Green Gourmet Giraffe.  I often have all these kitchen blog post ideas floating around but they kinda never seem to fit other posts I make (or don’t make, especially lately!). Inspired by Johanna, I thought I could put everything together in an In My Kitchen Post. The In My Kitchen series is hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

I very much enjoy stickybeaking in to other kitchens though I’m cringing a little at showing my own, because it’s a bit poxy. We are planning a renovation but no idea when it will actually happen. My house was built in 1930. The previous owners updated the cabinetry and put in a small oven-stove combo, but the food prep area is still original shoebox size and incredibly frustrating to work in. Both Husband and I have cracked our heads on the wooden mantle you see in the photo. To give you an idea of how small the kitchen is, two people can’t stand side by side at the sink.  And I took this photo from the doorway (the kitchen table is behind me). If you stretch your leg out from where I’ve taken the photo, you can almost touch the dishwasher.  You can’t see the contents of a pot on the rear stove burners clearly, unless you stick your head in the alcove.  I did this once, some oil suddenly splattered right near my eye causing me jump up and I banged my head hard. The chimney mortar also falls down so the stove gets covered with gravelly bits, so I always have to cook with lids on.

So, in my kitchen I have “charming original features” that I smack my head on often. I have a set of anodised canisters that hold dishwasher tablets, all kinds of tea bags and the ‘random stuff’ canister for things that don’t seem to fit anywhere else.  I found the old coffee jars in my dad’s garage.  The red striped jars come from both my dad’s garage and op shops (thrift stores).  When I see the striped ones I can’t resist buying them. I don’t get natural light in the kitchen so I’m not that concerned about keeping stuff out on the shelves. I also love my pink whistling kettle you see on the stove.  My grandmother always had a whistling kettle when I was growing up.  I think my tea always tastes better when the water comes from a happy little whistling kettle. I like to pause when turning the flame off, because the kettle does this final little high pitched whistle and it reminds me of looking forward to that sound when I was a child in my grandma’s kitchen. DORK:

1930s kitchen

A little rearranging here, so you can see these sweet little sweet packets my sister in law bought from overseas and a little tea tin:
kitchen mantle

In my kitchen my latest addition is a cast iron frying pan (skillet).  I really do love how you can get crispy tofu without needing to use stacks of oil. The thin mental spatula is from an op shop:

cast iron pan

Thanks to Doctor Who, Arthur wanted to try fish fingers and custard.  I bought these fish fingers by Making Waves from the Cruelty Free Shop.  I never liked fish fingers at any time in my life but I thought these did the trick for a fish fingery vegan alternative. Arthur says he prefers them with tomato sauce than custard.  Somehow, I’m not surprised:

Making Waves fish fingers

Also from the Cruelty Free Shop is this delicious caramel slice. There was no label on the packet so I don’t know who makes it but it was really, really good. This is the last bit left, I ate most of it before remembering to take a photo:

caramel slice from Cruelty Free Shop

In my kitchen is the blue cheese variety of Cheezly vegan cheese.  Although I was never much of a cheese lover before I was vegan, I did enjoy a blue cheese pasta now and then.  This Cheezly has the same sharp stinky cheese kind of taste.  I’ll have to look up some non-pasta recipes so I can figure out how to use it.  I usually cut a tube of Cheezly in to thirds and freeze it:

Cheezly blue cheese

I received a packet of Twinings Chai and vanilla scented teabags as a gift.  I love chai and this Twinings flavour is quite nice:

Twinings Chai tea

In my kitchen is my trusty sandwich press.  When it comes to sandwiches toasted in a grill, I have to get the bumpy grill. No flat plates for me, I have to get the grill marks. Now and then I buy a packet of tortillas then stuff them too much and get impatient so I press the lid down and end up with tortilla guts everywhere:

exploding tortilla

In my kitchen is this jar of cashew butter I bought from Terra Madre in Northcote.  I know I can make my own but sometimes it’s just easier to have someone else do it for me:

 Terra Madre cashew butter

In my mum’s kitchen is this tomato kasundi my sister brought. It was pretty good and although I was just using it as a dip, I think it would be really nice mixed through chickpea and lentil dishes:

tomatokasundi

In my kitchen is (was… I ate it all) this cashew cheese, made following a recipe given to me by Cate from Green Renters.  The recipe calls for miso and apple cider vinegar which I forgot to put in and I had doubled the amount of nutritional (savoury) yeast.  It was fantastic:

vegancashewcheese

I had planned on including a few more food items but realised I’ve already mentioned them on the blog before. And thanks to this post, I’ve realised I really should clean my oven door…

Op Shopping amazingness: 1940s Wood’s Ware ‘Beryl’ dinner set

Today’s op shop: Trinos Op Shop, 150A Cumberland Road Pascoe Vale:

Trinos Op Shop Pascoe Vale

The Trinos Op Shop is one of my favourites. Every few weeks we drive past that area and I try to drop in because they seem to have a pretty high turnover when it comes to their stock. Better still, it’s one of those op shops where the prices are still relatively low enough for you to score a great bargain. Every few months they have a half price off storewide sale and I’ve picked up some great buys, which I’ll blog about soon.

There’s a table of clothing for children where each item is 20 cents. This is pretty hit and miss in my experience as some clothes show heavy signs of wear but I have picked up a few new looking tops:

Trinos Op Shop Pascoe Vale

The crockery and glassware area has a lot of stuff, I’ve bought a few striped old coffee jars in the past:

Trinos Op Shop Pascoe Vale

Trinos Op Shop Pascoe Vale

I loved this tv tray table (with the collapsible legs you can’t see here) but decided against it. If only the design were something different!

retro kids tv tray table

Lots of records and sewing patterns:

Trinos Op Shop Pascoe Vale

Cutlery and kitchen utensils:

Trinos Op Shop Pascoe Vale

Now for the fun part where I get to squeeee about what I bought. I found this cute little layered paper picture in a frame for DeeW’s room. I think I’ll put it in a different frame. I also picked up these bags of ribbon and sewing embellishments for DeeW’s sewing boxes:

paper art frame and sewing froufrou

layered paper art frame

The last thing I need are more drinking mugs but this $1 mug was too sweet to pass up. I also got an Oxo veggie peeler for $1 (usually a minimum of about $8 in stores) and this spoon (because I liked it despite the crack and I have the same one with a pink handle) for 20 cents:

Trinos op shop buys july 2014

I collect vintage/retro tea towels and lately I’ve been on the hunt for anything pineapply. This is in unused condition and cost $3. I’m going to bust it out in the hot weather:

retro pineapple queensland teatowel

And now one of my favourite finds of all time. Forget the drumroll, this calls for a Pharrell Williams and Will.i.am song penned just for me:

Wood's Ware Beryl mint green dinner set

A WOOD’S WARE OF ENGLAND THIRTY PIECE ‘BERYL’ DINNER SET FOR $20. FROM THE 1940s! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Can you believe it?! It’s in great condition and just needs a wash. The woman at the Trinos op shop said someone else came in yesterday and wanted it and said she’d be back in a day or two but they couldn’t guarantee it would be there. I didn’t catch the rest of what she said, I was too busy trying not to pee my pants:

Wood's Ware Beryl mint green dinner set

Wood's Ware Beryl mint green dinner set

When I go op shopping, I go for bargains– it’s all part of the thrill!  The Trinos Op Shop is definitely worth many visits.  Check out their website (linked to at the top of my post) for opening hours.  The items in the window are more expensive than what is in store, but the window is where they showcase the more valuable collectibles.

Trinos Op Shop Pascoe Vale
Some other bargains I’ve grabbed from the Trinos Op Shop have been mentioned on the blog before but here are the pics.  Enjoy! (especially the vintage but most likely unused Mastermind)!

Vintage Mastermind game

opshop1