Saturday 31st October '09


Total success! I absolutely hacked my grocery bill down to only just under $35 for the whole fortnight! In fact, I'm going to continue this challenge next week (Monday to Friday) and hopefully purge more stuff from the pantry.

The only real problem with this challenge is the meat coming from the freezer. If it's chicken or seafood it's fine. I always buy extra chicken thighs when they're on special and dice them up and pack them in zip lock bags for later convenience. However, if I want a piece of steak for dinner, I will buy it that day after work because I don't like eating steak that has been frozen. It's okay if you're defrosting the steak to slice up for a stirfry. Or to use in a stew. But you can't cook a nice medium-rare steak if it's been defrosted. The meat gets a disgusting brown hue instead of that gorgeous pink colour when you've cooked it just right. *shudder* I must convince Mum not to keep buying steak in bulk packs because I don't cook them for steak dinners if they're frozen.

Anyhow...I will have to make an allowance to do a quick shop on Monday after work to pick up a few basics.

Mum's Fried Rice

I love eating Mum's fried rice with lots of fine white pepper. I had a headache when I woke up today, so after managing two bowls of fried rice, I took a few aspirins and went to lie down.

For four hours.

I got up at about 4pm and took another aspirin before heading out to Pet Magic to get some gravel for the aquarium. I had to remove the old gravel to try to resolve the phosphate problem I had with the water. I've been meaning to get some new gravel and more live plants. I've had the intention of creating a lush green environment in the aquarium for quite some time now. It'll provide heaps of places for the fish to hide and explore, and also look healthy and tropical. It's easier said than done. I need to do it in steps to try to weed out problems as I go.

I got the gravel and plants, then rushed over to help Fleurette with her hair for the Halloween party she and Noel were going to. Then I rushed home, gobbled an apple to supress my hunger, took Simba for a really short walk up and down the street, and then drove out to meet Ramona for dinner.

118 Parry Ave, Bull Creek

As soon as we entered, a sweet tangy aroma hit me and I immediately had a craving for an old favourite.

Sweet & Sour Pork

Kung Po Beef

Ramona recommended this dish because she had it takeaway once and the dried chillies are fantastic! It's always great to eat out with fellow chilli fans.

Back at home, I set about rinsing the new gravel, adding it to the tank, then cleaning the filter and adding my newly acquired plants. Although the water is really cloudy because of the new gravel, I can already see it starting to look like how I want it to look. The addition of live plants really livens the tank up.

These plants float on the surface to provide a hiding place for the fish.

Whenever I feel headache-y, sitting infront of the aquarium always helps to relax me and for a moment, I tend to forget the throbbing pain. I love watching the fish and their different behaviour. At the moment, the large female guppy that just gave birth is being frantically chased by several male Enders guppies. The other smaller juvenile guppy females are also getting chased by the males. I think I will need to get a few more females to break up the orgies. They recommend that you keep the ratio of female to male guppies with the females higher than the males. Frisky males.

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