PAX Aust 2017: Refuel

PAX is huge. Not just as a global convention, but in Melbourne it takes up every corner of the Convention Centre. A three-day-pass feels essential to be able to see everything.

That level of “walking” takes some serious refuelling. And you don’t want to gorge yourself on any convention-centre-collection. You are in The Zone; The Geeky-Gaming Zone. Respect the zone.

Melbourne has an amazing array of food options. Downstairs from my accomodation is a 24-hour pizza shop that tastes a LOT better than I expected. Two blocks up is a beautiful health store with a plethora of muesli choices for breakfast. But none of these really feed my geeky mood. So I went a-hunting!!

Dinner: 8Bit

Geek burgers for PAX

231 Swanson Street, Melbourne

This is a corner-store burger joint, with all the atmosphere of quaint burger joint and the bonus points for geeky references.

Geek burgers for pax
Every burger is gaming related. It’s PAX-paradise!! The prices are a little daunting at first but these burgers are high value. I ordered the 1Up mushroom (with added bacon), with a side of sweet potato chips and a Nutella milkshake. It filled me from early dinner right through to late breakfast the next morning.

Geek burger for pax in Melbourne

Dessert: Nitro Lab

188 Bourke Street, Melbourne


Around the corner from 8Bit, Nitro Lab is located on Bourke Street. A small store front with street-side seating, the real highlight comes from watching them make it.

They use liquid nitrogen to chill the ice cream!!

Geek dessert for PAX in Melbourne
They have a very friendly selection from the menu: gluten-free, dairy-free, and chocolate-free… Wait. Why would you even DO that?!?

The added charm comes from the syringe of sauce you can add. A syringe! This place was made for me!! I ordered the passionfruit cheesecake with chocolate syringe.

Geek dessert for PAX in Melbourne
It was soooooooo good. I am fighting the urge to go back.

Geek dessert for PAX in Melbourne
Let me know of other geeky haunts around Melbourne, or your local geek-meet. We all need to refuel for these events.

BTW: my PAX Highlights will be over on GeekMom in a week or so. Stay tuned for updates!

Tram travel around Melbourne for PAX

Essential tram travel around Melbourne: The EG Mum Special

Tasty Experiments: Lava Candy

It doesn’t matter what the Universe throws at us, I know at least one of our spawnlings loves me–the one who made me Lava Candy!!

(Note: This preference changes on a weekly no, daily no hourly basis. Hell, whichever spawnling lets me sleep in can score the Brownie Points at any given moment.)

Today’s tasty experiment is brought to you by Nefarious, our budding chemist/astrophysicist/mechanic. He wanted a Chemistry kit for his birthday. When the spawnlings’ godfather turned up, Nefarious was absolutely thrilled to have a real life chemist in the Lair and asked to bring out the kit. EG Tenacious willingly agreed; which is yet another reason why he (and his amazing partner EG Sinful) are the perfect guardians for our spawnlings, if something were to befall us.

Nefarious Lava Candy.jpg

Lava Candy

** Adult assistance is required. Ingredients will get very hot and potentially burn exposed skin. Not nice.img_1256

Materials Required:

  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Heavy based saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Baking dish lined with waxed paper

Method

  1. Place sugar and golden syrup into the saucepan
  2. Over a VERY LOW heat, stir continuously until all the sugar has dissolved
  3. Continue to heat (there will be heavy bubbling of the mixture) and stir for 7 mins. DO NOT OVERHEAT. The syrup should be pale golden brown.img_1260
  4. Remove saucepan from the heat and immediately add the baking soda. Stir quickly but gently, making sure all the baking soda is completely mixed in.
  5. Pour onto a prepared paper lined dish/tray. Allow to cool for at least an hour. IT WILL REMAIN VERY HOT FOR QUITE AWHILE. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO TASTE UNTIL COMPLETELY COOL. 
  6. Break into pieces and enjoy and then coat in milk chocolate. Either dip in chocolate or pour melted chocolate over broken pieces. The ‘Lava Candy’ is a bit like Violet Crumble. Aussie minions will know what I mean. Trust me – it’s good.

img_1271The science in all of this is in the reaction between the ingredients, particularly the addition of baking soda. It provides an excellent preliminary example of quick reactions between various chemicals.

It also provides EG Mum with her own supply of chocolate-coated Lava Candy. So I see this as a win-win all around.

Well, except for EG Tenacious, who had to return to work before tasting the chocolate-covered Lava Candy. Next time, EG Tenacious. Next time…

Evil Genius Parent Award #7 – Hallowe’en

Hallowe’en. Sure, most of us think that it is just an opportunity for Cadbury’s and Allens to make a mint *grin*. It is supposed to be a festival. Lots of ghouls, science experiments gone wrong, that sort of thing.

Gotta love the pirate skeleton in the web

With Halloween, there’s not much opportunity to really practice your evil genius. Most of the best stories have been taken, and most of the really cool stuff is expected.

So let’s ease back for a week, and instead appreciate the creative genius of those parents (and honorary parents) out there, who have made the extra effort to really work Hallowe’en up.

For me, I think it takes a special level of creative genius to design and make food that truly has the potential to turn off the people you are feeding. And you know what? If you can turn the kids off eating it despite it being junk food then wow! Kudos to you.

Which brings me to this week’s recipient: 3AM Dad. And yes – you may be familiar with 3AM Dad – he has been a previous recipient, and is definitely moving up the minion ranks.

This week, 3AM Dad has been busy making Halloween treats:

Witches broomsticks, ghostly strawberries, severed fingers, and other treats.

Particularly check out the severed fingers. They are officially enough to  some 6yo boys from the table. The choc-covered strawberries will entice them back but watch the fingers – they look divine.

So, 3AM Dad – well done on your second award! Let this be a lesson to you lesser minions!!