Sunday, May 4, 2008

McLaren Vale

I was writing my way out of a mountain of research, chasing an elusive argument shimmering before me like a mirage, and could almost imagine the form my final assignment would take when I got a call from Leena.

“Hey Cari, let’s take a roadtrip to McLaren Vale to eat. And drink wine all day. K?”

I wish I could say I weighed my options with pluses and minuses and at least considered staying home to plow through my assignment. But why waste my time weighing options when I know darn well what my choice is going to be?

Ah, McLaren Vale, where the vines meet the sea and every day is a tasty adventure…

Leena, Adam and I began with a snack at Blessed Cheese.

A local cheddar, some smoked meats, local olives and pickles, a berry and a tomato onion relish. And…

…haloumi and zucchini patties with a yogurt and olive oil dip and a watercress salad.

We sampled some wines in “downtown” McLaren Vale and then headed to the Woodstock Winery. A whack group of Yankee-hating Australians heard our accents and dragged us to the stocks!

I really didn’t want to die because I heard the Woodstock shiraz is really quite lovely and it just would have been a shame to not try it before dying, so we put our heads together and made a heroic escape to the cellar door.

We then made our way through rolling hills…

…stopping for some photo opps….

…of course picking up some snacks of smoked macadamias and jolly coloured edible critters…

…until we arrived at Pertaringa for another tasting and so Leena could buy some nasty fortified wine. Then we were off to Moana for their monthly market. I bought some herbs to plant on my deck. They’ve already died. Oops. Daddy, will you send me an Aero Garden?

We did some skipping on the beach near the Moana Market. We were just in such a darned good mood.

Weeeeeeeeeee! I learned from watching America’s Next Top Model how to jump gracefully while relaxing my face and limbs so as to appear natural and effortless. I think I did a good job here.

We then went for a walk along the ocean cliffs. Leena wasn’t pleased with this physical activity segment of our roadtrip but she got over it when Adam planted a big wet one right on her. Ewwwww!

Here’s me, the third wheel!

Spectacular coastline.

Adam took the scenic route back to Adelaide and we were lucky to spot tons of kangas at dusk in the farmlands.

Every great trip starts and ends with great food. We hit up an Ethiopian number in nearby Torrensville called Abyssinian.

I ate too much food. It was totally worth it. I can't remember what any of the dishes were called. And I didn’t think about the impending due date of my final assignment even once all day. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.


Anonymous said...

hey, found your blog via leena's, and wanted to ask how you found the abyssinian? (sorry for the wacky spelling) i go past that place on the bus to work everyday, and am curious about the food...

Cari said...

Hi Jess! Leena introduced me to Abyssinian and it's also been recommended by past MA Gastronomy students. The prices are very reasonable, so that's a plus, but the food was also quite good and portions ample. I'd eaten Ethiopean/ Eritrean food at four other places before and I'd say this was one of the best. Lots of options and each dish stood up for itself (I've found before that everything can kind of blend together on the injera until you have a big greasy red mess, but that didn't happen here). Some have complained that service is slow but the place was deserted when I was there so that wasn't a problem. I'd certainly recommend you stop by after work one evening! I'd be interested to know your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm hooked. Always thought people waiting for the next edition of their favorite soap were just one lock away from a permanent cell... but this is great, better than TV. Keep 'em coming. By the way, be sure to ask your dad to tell you the answer to the riddle: What do you call this? (Said while holding a standard, cheap, black plastic hair comb upside down.)