the little marionette, balmain

Little Marionette Coffee. 1A Booth St, Balmain.

Across the road from Gladstone park, if you’re lucky you can find a parking spot just across the road. Though not a large cafe, it manages to fit a couple of bookshelves on the wall, giving that welcoming sense of a second hand bookshop. Indeed, locals sit enjoying the atmosphere reading the paper, or books that they have brought.

Coffee is deservedly well-reputed. The decaf is rich, with a strong, slightly sweet flavour, with a lingering aftertaste. Well worth a visit, just for the coffee.

poppy’s cafe, balmain

Artecaffe Coffee. 487 Darling St, Balmain

The outdoor seating is the first thing that strikes you when you approach here: a mix of locals from different walks of life sit chatting and enjoying coffees and the all-day breakfast. Step inside (and you’ll have to – it’s order and pay at counter) and there are a number of large wooden tables where people are sharing – there’s a sense of community gathering here. The prices are quite reasonable for balmain; the scrambled eggs with sourdough is only $9.50, with sides at $2, $3 or $4. If you’re not after a big breakfast, there are a good range of toast options – even a raisin brioche.

The decaf here is pleasant enough: nothing amazing, but quite a good complement to the rest of the experience here.

best commentaries

Can you really judge a book by its cover? To some extent, this is a good starting point – each commentary series has its own goals, and relative technical difficulty level. Best Commentaries dot com takes you further, though – you can see the books on a virtual bookshelf (comparing their relative sizes and thicknesses), and click on them to see their covers. Additionally, they’re all scored, based on an aggregate of different reviews. You can also see a list of forthcoming commentaries on a book. Well worth a look, if only to get a feel for how many commentaries are out there.

pantry organised

It’s taken me years to get around to this, but we finally have a pantry whose organisation makes sense to both myself and my wife. And in the end, it was a matter of thinking about what little I know about cooking, and working out how to group everything together so that the most used things are the easiest to reach (rather than stacking everything by “what fits” or “what looks like it goes there”)

I’ve ended up with “oils”, “spreads” (and behind them “cans”), then “sauces”, “kel’s weird baking stuff”, “junk food”, and “pastas and rice”.

How would you split up your pantry if you had six shelves?