I haven’t always loved Perth. Having spent my 20s travelling and working abroad, I would return to find it boring and lacking any real substance. Obviously having grown up here and having my family here always lead me back, but there was something about the freedom and lack of routine that comes with travelling that enticed me to land outside of Australia. And as a result Perth equated to boredom and monotony to my 20-something itchy-footed self.
There has always been talk about how wonderful Melbourne is. Cosmopolitan and full of everything Perth isn’t – trendy eateries, laneways, art and culture, and American stores (think Krispy Kreme and 7-Eleven) that we don’t have – according to popular opinion. Over the years I have started to love Perth for its sleepiness, and with the recent burst in growth and population, I have found myself craving the sleepy old town I used to once find boring. I never quite understood the hoopla about Melbourne, how exactly could it be more interesting than the Perth I now love?
Well Voices of 2013 has come to an end after an amazing year. It has been a year of firsts for me: first blogging competition, first time I have made a top 100 list, first time I have flown interstate for a blogging event, first time meeting some of my favourite bloggers, AND, first time I have won anything. More on the Voices event later (man Kidspot know how to throw a good soiree), but for those that have been following my little Voices travels, I was selected as Ford Australia Sponsor’s Choice winner of a Ford (yes, A CAR) to drive around for the next 12 months for my efforts in the Ford Choose Your Own Adventure Challenge. Still pinching myself. I’ll share all the details shortly, so much to tell you!
I travelled to Melbourne with the lovely Sash from inked in colour and Emma from My Darling Lemon Thyme. We walked, talked and photographed (boy did we photograph) our asses off. The great thing about travelling with likeminded creatives is, they don’t bat an eyelid at you constantly stopping to snap a gorgeous building or a cool person with pink hair or even a half eaten hotdog. As Emma has mentioned before about being around likeminded blogging folk, I think I “found my people”.
There are so many highlights from the weekend, the biggest of course being awarded a car for 12 months (seriously, you should see what I am driving now, this is a big deal!). Being in a room with people I have adored online for years and being able to spend the weekend talking about the creative things that get my heart pumping was sheer joy. Of course I have four million photographs (okay maybe not quite that many) to share with you, I will do them over a few posts so as not to bore you. Meanwhile: Melbourne through my lens.
Apparently there are a couple of kids around who don’t like chocolate. This does not compute, how on earth does someone not like chocolate? Clearly I am a fan. This startling revelation got me wondering if the non-chocolate-lovers of the world also dislike chocolate cake. Surely not?
As a kid my Mum made the best chocolate cake. I remember she used to cut it into squares, and the icing had this very unique flavour, like no other icing I’ve tasted since. Just unforgettable. Then on top of the delicious chocolate icing was colourful hundreds and thousands, a sight for any kid’s eyes. Seriously the best chocolate cake you could give a kid. I tried to make that cake once and although my oven did not do it any justice (my oven and I were not yet properly acquainted and it used to burn the bottom of some cakes before the middle was cooked through) the smell brought the childhood memories flooding back. Have you started to notice a lot (okay all) of my childhood memories revolve around food?
The thing with my Mum’s cooking is she sets the bar pretty high. She can take a Malay curry and make it truly authentic. Spanakopita, perfectly Greek. Italian pasta sauce that had Italians asking her how she gets it tasting so authentic. So to make a chocolate cake that tastes anything like my Mum’s is a big call.
Finns love potatoes. One of my earliest food memories is of my parents peeling steaming hot boiled spuds with a knife, holding the spud on the end of a fork. It happened frequently, most of our dinners came with boiled potatoes. My dad used to also fry little cubed pieces of potato with fried eggs for breakfast, I still remember the heavy frying pan he used to use. I am mad about potatoes, I could eat them morning, noon and night. Only problem is, I eat bread morning, noon and night, so bread + potato may place my diet into carb overload. And there’s still chocolate to be had.
My Mum has lots of nice stories of her life as a child in Finland. When my grandmother was about to bake something with berries she would send my Mum off into the forest to forage for the berries. What a delight! I forage berries at my local grocer, doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. I must look into how I can fashion a raspberry patch in my own backyard someday, surely it can be done?
I often ask my Mum about how the traditional Finnish diet came about. This week I asked her what’s with all the potatoes, boy Finns love their root veg. Mum explained that when she was a kid they ate seasonally and had to use what they had in stock. Not like here now in Australia. Don’t have garlic in season? No matter, let’s ship some over from Mexico. Back then my grandparents would harvest carrots, potatoes, beetroot, turnips and swede (see, root veg central!) and keep them in crates in the cellar for winter. The potato heavy diet was ingrained in my parents, I now know where the boiled potato with every dinner came from.
I have always claimed I am not a ‘numbers’ kind of gal, you know, not really driven by number of ‘likers’ on Facebook or followers on Instagram. But the real truth is, seeing the number of new faces increase on cake crumbs & beach sand’s Facebook page does put a little spring in my step. The excitement is not actually due to the number of likers or how that equates to ‘popularity’. No, it’s more the fact I love that an extra person, and another, and perhaps another, likes my page enough to hang around. And that’s a reason to celebrate.
And what’s a celebration without prizes!
To say thank you for all the smiles you, as my lovely reader, have been in some way responsible for, I’ve decided it’s time to host a fabulous giveaway. So I called upon some of my favourite brands and products and said “Hey, wanna give something awesome to my readers?” And because they are all awesome themselves, they of course said yes.
So without rambling any further, onto the fun stuff. You can only enter once per prize however you can enter for each individual prize. Just make one selection then enter again for a second and so on. And to make it interesting you need to make a comment on entry, see each prize for the question. Please note you must fill out the entry form below the prizes to enter with your name, email, prize choice and comment.
1 // VINTAGE 3 TIER CAKE STAND + 2 x TRIOS FROM THE VINTAGE TABLE (approx. vintage cost $140 + postage to Western Australia only)
The Vintage Table is a boutique vintage china and styling hire company located in Perth, Western Australia. They have breathtaking vintage and antique collections of heirloom fine bone china, tea sets, silver, crystal, glass, cutlery, linen and table wares. The Vintage Table hire and style themed weddings, high teas, corporate events and celebrations. They are kindly offering one very lucky reader this beautiful 3 tier vintage retro roses cake stand and 2 matching trios, perfect for a vintage tea for two! If you have a celebration coming up and would love to have a gorgeous vintage theme, see The Vintage Table’s selection here.
To win this gorgeous prize answer the following question: If you could invite one person to an afternoon tea for two, who would it be and why?
2 // A LITTLE BOX OF CHRISTMAS FROM LITTLE BOX OF YUM (RRP $59 + postage to Australia only)
Little Box of Yum deliver delicious boxes full of gourmet products. Little Box of Yum like to source products directly from the producer, which as you know helps out the small businesses and local producers. Perfect for the gourmet food lover, a Little Box of Yum will introduce you to products you have not sampled before and at the same time promote Australian food producers. On offer here is the Little Box of Christmas which is filled with special Christmas delights. YUM! To check out how to subscribe to Little Box of Yum deliveries or how to order a gift for a friend, head here.
To win this delightful box of gourmet treats answer this question: If you won these delicious gourmet products who would you share them with? Or would you hide them and eat them all by yourself?
3 // A MYSTERY BOX OF YUM FROM LITTLE BOX OF YUM (RRP $59 + postage to Australia only)
Little Box of Yum are also offering one mysery box for the foodie that loves surprises. Guaranteed to impress the discerning foodie. (Products shown are not part of the Mystery Box but a sample.)
To win a Mystery Box from Little Box of Yum finish this sentence: The thing I most like about surprises is …
4 // 250g JAPANESE MORNING DEW PURE TEA FROM LEAF BEAN MACHINE (RRP $27 + postage to Australia only)
Japanese Morning Dew is a delightfully delicious blend of fruity flavours. Enjoy a quality green Sencha sprinkled with a selection of flowers and pineapple pieces. Brew one teaspoon per cup in 80 degree water for 2 to 3 minutes for a sublime tea. Japanese Morning Dew is also a beautiful iced tea with summer fast approaching. To see the full Pure Tea range head here.
To win this delicious tea finish this sentence: I love my tea ……
Located in the sunny Languedoc-Roussillon region, in the south of France, L’Epicurien’s master jam maker, Bernard Le Gulvout, uses traditional techniques to create exquisite jam flavour combinations. This selection of three cheese jams imported from France: Espelette Chili Jelly (for sheep cheese), Cider & Apple Confit (for brie & camembert), Pear & White Wine confit (for blue cheese) is now available in Australia, onEurope in a Box. L’epicurien also makes the best Aubergine Caviar, an indulgent dip to enjoy with bread or in a pasta dish!
To win this gorgeous box full of exquisite jams and caviar answer this question: What is the most decadent food you have eaten, and where was it?
To like Europe in a Box on Facebook head here or to find out how you can order a delivery head here.
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6 // ARTISAN DELIGHTS GIFT BOX FROM THE LETTUCE SHOP (RRP $115 – delivery to Perth metro area only. See The Lettuce Shop’s website to ensure you are within their delivery area by entering your post code.)
Packed in a rustic crate wrapped with cellophane and red ribbon, the Artisan Delights Gift Box is full of premium hand-selected gourmet products from local artisan producers in Manjimup, Balingup, Swan Valley, Gingin, Harvey and Perth. This gift box is ideal gift for the gourmet foodie. includes products from Holy Smoke, Kate Lane, Kara Olive Oil, Hot Pot Popcorn Co, Poach Pear and Capel Valley. Live in Perth and want to support local farmers and producers? Head to The Lettuce Shop website to order.
To win this gift box of artisan delights answer this question: If you won this gift box who would you share it with, and why that person?
7 // POACH PEAR HARMONY PACK FROM POACH PEAR (RRP $55, pick up by winner from Piccos Kitchen in Maylands – no postage available due to products needing refrigeration. Pick up available from Tuesday through to Sunday.)
Local fine food producer Poach Pear was created from the dedication, drive and passion for all real foods by its owners Adam and Marissa Bielawski. Poach Pear is gaining a reputation for sensational, artisan foods which everyone can easily enjoy at home. It would be true to say Adam is responsible for reinvigorating culinary trends and has brought the delights of loving foods back to fore, including his sensational pates and terrines. This delicious prize pack consists of pate, onion jam and organic toasts by Poach Pear and come packed in Poach Pear’s own hessian ‘love food love life’ market cool tote. All products are handmade in small batches with quality ingredients.
To win this market tote and delicious Poach Pear products answer these questions: What do you love most about visiting local markets? And what do you like to pair pate with?