Last week’s blogging silence was a result of our world being turned upside-down due to one of our darling little boys falling ill. Like some other couples our age, we don’t have any human children. In fact there is a very good chance that we never will. Instead, our children are two adorable Burmese cats named Rollie and Eddie (or Roland and Edward when they are naughty!). For those who are unaware of the delight of a Burmese – imagine an animal that is somewhere at the half way point between being a dog and a cat! They sit on command for their treats, they always come when called even if they are not hungry, they both sleep under the bed covers with us every night (sometimes with their head on the pillow) and they will be waiting patiently at the door for our return from work. They will alternate between each other being my constant shadow around the house, and are both happiest when their life includes copious amounts of cuddles and company.
We call Rollie the “complicated child”. I figure there is always one in every family. From a young age he developed a form of obsessive compulsive disorder called fabric chewing. Oriental breeds of cats such as Siamese and Burmese are thought to be genetically predisposed to this condition. We generally keep this condition under control with plenty of “environmental enrichment”. There are a number of ways in which this can be done – the more the better. In order to mimic their natural predatory behaviour, they both have to “hunt” for their food each morning as it is hidden around the house. We ensure our house has a lot of “vertical space” with numerous ledges, tunnels and vantage points to view the world from above in addition to keeping the house filled with kitty happy pheromones using a couple of plug-in diffusers containing Feliway. They have a basket of toys to choose from which ends up scattered around the house by the end of most days, and finally we try our best to avoid letting him have any access to his favourite materials however this is easier said than done.
Despite these strategies, in situations that involve changes within the household his OCD behaviour can start to return, most notably when we have guests stay in the house. Unfortunately during my sister’s recent stay, Rollie managed to get hold of a bathing suit and devoured part of it which then obstructed in his stomach requiring emergency surgery to be removed. Being in an extremely emotional and worried state, I knew it was unwise for me to perform the surgery myself, so I asked my dear friend and trusted colleague Chris if she could come into work and operate for me. Despite it being her day off, she rushed in to the hospital with no questions asked. After initially stabilising our little son with intravenous fluids and pain relief, he went into surgery and thanks to Chris’s gentle yet lightening quick skills he was in the recovery ward before I knew it. The boy and I are both so eternally grateful to her for doing such an amazing job of saving Rollie’s life.
As a gesture of our thanks, I invited Chris out for breakfast at Piccos Kitchen. The two of us often go out for breaky together and we are always on the hunt for new and interesting locations and menus. I have been here once quite some time ago with the boy and recall for once his comments on his food went beyond the normal “nice” or “ok” into the realms of “really delicious”. Not a common occurrence. We were greeted by the friendly staff and our coffees arrived very quickly. My espresso was at the perfect temperature and I noted they use Rubra coffee, a fair trade company that is based locally in Perth. I hadn’t called in advance to notify the kitchen of my no gluten, no onion requirements so I asked the waitress if she could assist me in narrowing down my selection off their creative and mouth-watering menu. She immediately then went to the kitchen and got the chef Sharna, who was more than keen to help me create something delicious. When I asked her if the haloumi and zucchini fritters with house smoked salmon were going to be suitable for me, she informed me that they contained wheat flour. This was of no concern to this passionate and extremely accommodating young chef. She kindly offered to especially create for me a gluten free variety of the original menu item and off she disappeared into the kitchen. She returned with a number of different non-wheat flours to check if they were going to be ok for me – we opted for a combination of millet and rice flours, both are gluten free.
Although Sharna had warned us to expect a bit of a wait, our meals came out pretty quickly especially when you consider she was creating something new. Both of our plates were heaped high with food, if you want a decent sized breakfast you will most definitely get your value for money here. Without gluten to bind everything together, a lot of gluten-free carby things like fritters and breads can have a tendency to crumble and fall apart. These zucchini and haloumi fritters held their shape and texture really well. Piled high on top of the fritters was the house smoked salmon with dill and capers, and big handfuls of fresh rocket and herbs.
Chris ordered the Spanish scrambled eggs with roast capsicum and tomato relish, Spanish chorizo and sourdough. Her meal was also a generous size although in keeping with our usual breakfast outing tradition, we did manage to save a tiny bit of room to share a little bit of sweets. We ordered the flourless orange cake. It was incredibly moist and zesty and despite the fact we both felt like we would explode from fullness, we kept on eating it until it was all gone!
Thankfully back at home our lives are starting to return to normal. After a sleepless week of caring for our convalescing child, his little quirky behaviours started to return one by one. Finally last night when he attempted to steal our pizza (his LOVES pizza), we knew he was thankfully well on the road to a successful recovery.
THANK YOU SO MUCH CHRIS – YOU ARE THE BEST! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXPiccos Kitchen 38 Peninsula Road, Maylands 6051 | (08) 9272 4491 | www.facebook.com/PiccosKitchen Price: $$$ ($12-22 Breakfast, $18-29 Mains) Food: 4.5/5 (fresh locally source produce, lots of flavour, creative options) Service: 5/5 (went above and beyond) Ambience: 3.5/5 (hard to assess on a quite Monday morning) Drinks: 4/5 (great coffee – they also do take-away coffees) Total: 17/20