Queerstories

Last month, I produced my first Queerstories as a ‘ticketed’ event, at Giant Dwarf for Sydney Fringe. Queerstories began as a free LGBTQI storytelling night at Late Night Library, but it was so popular I was keen to see if it could work in a bigger venue. We sold out Giant Dwarf’s 260 seats and our amazing line up of jonny seymour & Paul Mac, Kira Puru, Amy Coopes, Stephen Ross and Jordan Raskopoulous entertained the full house splendidly.

I was excited to win Best Spoken Word at the Sydney Fringe awards for the event. Next year, I’ll be running Queerstories regularly at Giant Dwarf, and I’ll be publishing some of the stories as a podcast via my Patreon page. Anyone who pledges $1 or more per month will get a subscription.

If you haven’t been to Queerstories, I hope to see you next year. Five or six people from the LGBTQI community share a tale from their lives, sometimes we have a little music, it’s Auslan interpreted, the stories are always diverse and warm and funny and lovely. I love hosting this event and can’t wait to do more of it. Here are some of my favourite pics (by photographer, Patrick Boland).

Pumpkin, cauliflower & split chick pea soup with coriander pesto

I used to hate coriander. Then one of my Mothers, Louise, started making coriander pesto and I didn’t mind it. The more I ate of it, the more I liked it. And eventually I started liking coriander in everything. I later read an article – which of course I can’t find now – that said that the dairy in coriander pesto breaks down some of the enzymes in coriander that a lot of people hate the taste of, so it can be used to train the palette to like coriander. Science in action (unverified because I can’t find the damn link and googling coriander pesto just delivers a million recipes).

Anyway, last week I had an excess of coriander so I made pesto:

  1. Blitz / pummel / chop a handful of coriander and parsley, plus a small garlic clove and a big slosh of olive oil til it’s in tiny bits but isn’t a paste. Then put it in a bowl. (I used half olive oil / half macadamia oil, but this isn’t essential).
  2. Blitz a handful of lightly toasted cashew nuts; likewise, you want some crunch to it, not a paste. Add to bowl.
  3. Grate a piece of parmesan into your bowl (decide how cheesy you like you pesto and put that much in).
  4. Add pepper & salt to taste and squeeze in half a lemon.
  5. Optional: I added half a finely diced deseeded chilli.

Last night I wanted to make soup. Even more than this, I wanted to make a soup I could dollop my coriander pesto into. So I did and it was bloody delicious.

Serves 6

Pumpkin cauliflower soup with coriander pestoIngredients:

  • half a butternut pumpkin, chopped
  • half a small cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 cup (dry) chana dal
  • 2 brown onions, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped (it was nice and garlicky; you can use less if you aren’t a garlic fiend)
  • Half a teaspoon paprika
  • Half a teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Vegetable stock
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper & salt

Process:

  1. Soak the chana dal in water for 1 hour
  2. Drain and then add 4 cups water and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes-an hour. You can use half stock / half water, or add a stock cube if you aren’t using liquid stock. You want the chana dal cooked but still a bit bitey / al dente.
  3. Fry off the onion til it’s translucent then add the garlic and continue to fry on a lower heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the paprika, chilli, pumpkin and cauliflower and stir it around in the garlic and onion mixture for 5-10 minutes, to infuse some of the flavour before you add the stock.
  5. Add vegetable stock to cover the vegetables and simmer until they are soft.
  6. Once cooked, blitz the cauliflower and pumpkin soup with a stick blender til smooth and add pepper and salt to taste.
  7. Add the chana dal and stir to mix.
  8. Serve with a dollop of coriander pesto.

Fruit, Sex and Nine Inch Nails

This week, Lady Sings it Better launched our collaboration with ACON’s women’s project, ClaudeOur video, a playful cover of ‘Closer’ by the Nine Inch Nails, is a not-quite-safe-for-work reinvention of the ‘condom on the banana’ demonstration we all remember from high school. Its point is to spread awareness about same-sex attracted women’s health. Did you know approximately 40% of LGBTI identified women have never had an STI check? The video promotes the use of gloves and lube for safer play and we’re really proud of it.

I wrote about the video for Daily Life and the ABC. We were also featured on Autostraddle.

A queer girl’s guide to Valentine’s Day

I know Valentine’s Day has passed and we’re now well into Sydney Mardi Gras season but I wrote this piece for Daily Life a few weeks ago so am sharing it here now. It’s a queer girl’s guide to Valentine’s Day and, spoiler alert, it’s a day I think is pretty silly… I did manage to include a list of incredible women’s and LGBTQI charities worth donating to as a V-Day gift so even if you don’t read the article, click on the links below:

Introducing… Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin

In 2016, I am thrilled to be premiering Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin. It is what it sounds like it is. I’ve been working with an amazing creative team to develop the show and we’ll be launching it on the world this year (dates to be announced). In the meantime, here are our first promotional shots. Please follow Mother’s Ruin on facebook and twitter and instagram and consider becoming a patron of my work (in exchange for perks, discounts, recordings and more) on our Patreon page; we’ve got a special Mother’s Ruin perk that gets you invited to tasting events with The Ginstress.

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A Vegetarian New Year’s Feast

A dear friend was visiting from Canada over Christmas, so a bunch of us booked a cottage in an orchard to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Any excuse is a good excuse to plan a feast, so I put together a menu and we all pitched in to make dinner. Everything was delicious!

First up, PIMMS! Made with the a mix of lemonade, ginger beer and soda water, because I like it that way.

Ottolenghi Baked Pumpkin – One of my Mothers made this for Christmas lunch and it’s heavenly. Check out the recipe here.

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Ottolenghi Raw Vegetable Salad – I can’t find this on his website, but it’s in the wonderful cookbook, Plenty More, and another website has published it here.

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Kale Slaw – This was a salad of my own invention with kale, red cabbage, spring onions, red capsicum, my home made pickled carrot & daikon, black sesame seeds and a sesame / soy / rice vinegar dressing

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Steamed Kipfler Potatoes with butter, rosemary, chives, parsley & thyme – the recipe is in the title.

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Here’s the table set (with bonus cobs of corn, roasted in their husks on the BBQ! and a tub of lime & garlic aoili because of course.)

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IMG_5345We had a cheese plate for dessert- Comte, Washed Rind, Ash Brie, Manchego, Blue Dauphinois & Chevre, complete with peaches and some honey mead from the orchard we were staying in. Incidentally, if you’re looking for a cute place to stay south of Sydney, Darkes Cottage on AirBNB was well equipped and cosy, with delicious produce and friendly staff. It’s about 15 minutes drive to Stanwell Tops Beach.

Finally, gratuitous holiday snaps, instagrammed for maximum blue sky. Please enjoy how sun-safe my pals are:

 

‘Crying’: a feminist musical parody

Using donations from our Patreon page, Lady Sings it Better has been able to release our first music video, a parody of men who complain on the internet about feminism. Typically, the comments on our YouTube are a who’s who of angry men complaining about feminism, so Lewis’ Law is at play whereby the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism. If you’d like to see more videos, or if you just want to help our feminist cabaret act keep feministing, please pledge $1 per month (or more) to our crowdfunding.