Week 24: Creative Challenge 52

Trish Urquhart, who runs Allaboutwriting, works as a documentary producer for Left-Eye Productions and tries her best to live up to the title chef extraordinaire, is always up for a challenge. She's thrown herself, this week, into a Food Bank Challenge, a real boon for us because of the delicious recipes she can showcase here.

Trish's challenge was to buy a recipe from Food Bank South Africa for 40 Rand, cook the dish, and then tweet a picture of the dish to #FoodBankRecipe, with a prize of two business class trips to London on offer for some lucky entrant.

Trish bought four recipes and has made three of the dishes already. First cab off the rank was Dominic Pain's non-stirred seafood risotto. Trish says she'll definitely be making this dish again and she'll keep it in mind for when she's short on cooking time too - it was quick and easy as well as delicious.

Seafood risotto

Trish's next creation was tamarind chutney followed by chicken breasts in ginger tamarind chutney with cauliflower tabouleh, both of which came from Ishay Govender-Ypma. The tamarind chutney and cauliflower tabouleh were so popular in Trish's household that she's declared them future staples. A ringing endorsement indeed.

Chicken in ginger tamarind chutney

Trish has included a photo of daughter Maria's caramel toffees (see the first photo on this blog) to give us a glimpse of the wonderful petits fours project that has consumed their household over the past few weeks too. Yum!

Do follow Trish's fabulous food blog for recipes and news of Trish's exciting food adventures.

Kanen Breen

Opera singer and Strange Bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has sworn off shoes for a full week now. Instead, he's been overhauling a set of drawers in an afternoon of paint, glue and wallpaper.

He loves the shape of these drawers, but he felt that they needed a splash of high-gloss (high-stink) off-white paint to get them looking schmick. He's also fond of the drawer handles but, alas, the same could not be said for the faux wood formica drawer fronts. They had to go.

Ever the tech wizard, he managed to delete the "before" shots from his iPhone. 'But,' he says, 'trust me. They weren't very me!'

The paper Kanen used is not actually wall-paper, but an unusually thick wrapping paper from a gorgeous shop on King Street called Pentimento. It didn't wrinkle at all when Kanen slathered on the wallpaper glue, which is always a risk with flimsier stock.


Kanen is quite chuffed with the outcome, and he says he has quite a few more pieces of boring furniture sitting in Jacqui's garage awaiting his attention in coming weeks. These are going to be something to see.

Keryn Clark

The biggest challenge for Keryn this week involved the transformation of her personal living space into something that wouldn't depress her the moment she walked in the front door. Keryn has always lived in character houses, so her new modern townhouse has provided something of a culture shock.

She was sitting in her lounge/dining and kitchen area - the "white box" as she calls it - having a "what have I done?" moment, when the idea of a green feature wall sprung to mind. Everything else flowed from there.

The biggest challenge with Keryn's new living space is the size of her couch, which completely overpowers the room, but with the help of a few of her favourite collected pieces (and some roses), she thinks it all came together well. Keryn still can't walk out the back door to look at her cement box of a back yard, but that's a challenge for another day.

Keryn also made two particularly fine floral arrangements during the week. One came home with her - don't you hate it when that happens? - and the other sold within an hour. So, all in all, Keryn has had a pretty good week. So good she's thinking of heading into the kitchen to bake...

Telena Routh

With a car full of felting equipment, much more fleece than needed, and her freshly dyed swathes of silk, Telena set off last weekend with great excitement for a three day felted garment workshop with a wonderful felter, Pam de Groot.

Her first challenge was to turn her dyed silk into prefelt, and after making about five metres in a single sitting, she turned in for the night, barely able to move her aching limbs.

The next morning, revitalised and ready to take on the world, she formed the fabric into a rough dress shape, while quietly muttering about future diets! Further construction of the dress took careful planning because you can never completely predict what will happen during the felting process. Sounds a bit like life, doesn't it?

Telena has not yet decided what to do with the loose silk left draping around the dress, as she thinks it's too much on such a short person, so the dress is still a work in progress.

On a musical note, she managed to get up early enough to practise for an upcoming quintet concert each morning before setting off for the workshop. What discipline!

Georgia Bennett

Singer, guitarist and song writer, Georgia Bennett, has taken a well earned break this week. She caught the bus to Sydney on Friday night for Soundwave. It's been a hot weekend in Sydney, but that hasn't dampened her enthusiasm. She's out in the sun (hopefully decked out in hat and sunblock!) as I write, enjoying the music, and I'm sure to hear all about it late tonight.

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett has found some time this past week to process some of the photos he took in Narooma during his brief summer sojourn. Always a fan of black and white, he's started with these landscapes of Handkerchief Beach. These are going to be hard to trump when he decides to process the rest of his Narooma collection.

Scarlet Bennett

I've been sick with a heavy head cold this week - one of those tedious bugs that just won't budge - and I've had a lot of work commitments too, so I've been much more interested in the call of my bed than in doing anything creative.

I made a silver cuff yesterday to get my weekly challenge across the line. Cuffs like this are quick and simple to make, and always a pleasure to wear. They look good with everything and they never go out of vogue. And they're terrific emergency creations for sick people, as it turns out. Timeless elegance. You really can't beat it.