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10 cleaning tips: what you’re doing wrong

Your house is dirtier than you think.
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Sure, you’ve removed any obvious signs of dirt and grime and the remnants of last night’s dinner have been disposed of, but unfortunately, the saying “out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t apply to germs and bacteria.

A 30-minute binge saves time, but the consequences could be bad for your health.

In fact, here are 10items you didn’t know you were cleaning wrong.

1. Toilet

The toilet seat isn’t the dirtiest item in the bathroom – behind it is.

Even though great care and attention is taken to keep the bowl and seat clean, neglecting the area behind it can result in a build-up of urine and feces. An easy way to clean this area is with rolled paper towel.

Huffington Post said, “Take two or three paper towels and roll them up tightly, as if you’re rolling a cigar, dip them in a bucket of cleaner (like Scrubbing Bubbles). Then, while facing the toilet, place the roll of towels behind it; take one end in either hand, and ‘floss’ the back base.”

Let the cleaner sit for five minutes, “floss” again and dry.

2. Garbage disposals

Anything associated with the word ‘garbage’ needs cleaning and the garbage disposal unit is no exception.

Before resorting to a store-bought sink cleaner, try using homemade vinegar cubes.

Simply freeze vinegar like you would water, throw them down the drain when needed and turn on the disposal. Alternatively, a few citrus rinds can remove bad odours.

3. Towels

Fabric softener is a conditioner used to, well, make fabric soft. But in some cases its name can be misleading.

Christina Peterson from Good Housekeeping said, “While everyone loves to dry off with a soft towel, liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets can reduce the absorption factor of terry cloth and other fluffy fabrics.”

Instead, Laundry expert Marlowe Leverette recommends washing bath towels every three to five uses and adding some vinegar to the load.

4. Humidifier

Humidifiers are great for increasing or removing excess moisture from the air but if left unclean a dirty humidifier breeds mould and bacteria.

The Mayo Clinic said, “Even in healthy people humidifiers have the potential to trigger flu-like symptoms or even lung infections when the contaminated mist or steam is released into the air.”

The Mayo Clinic recommends changing the water and filter regularly and cleaning every three days. “Remove any mineral deposits or film from the tank or other parts of the humidifier with a three per cent hydrogen peroxide solution, which is available at pharmacies.”

5. Pet hair

Cleaning pet hair often seems futile.

While you can’t prevent the hair from sticking to surfaces, you can minimise the amount. Give your pets a brush every few days with a good grooming tool and catch shedding hair before it hits the couch.

Alternatively, Bright Nest has another solution: rubber gloves. “Simply moisten your gloves with water and run your hand over the surface of your furniture.”

6. Gym clothes

Gym clothes can quickly become a smelly pile of bacteria.

As well as softening fabric and eliminating static, Reader’s Digest said vinegar also kills bacteria in your washing.

“A single cup of vinegar will kill off any bacteria that may be present in your wash load.”

7. Red wine stains

Somewhere along the way, it became popular belief that red wine stains can be cleaned with white wine.

But according to Professor and Assistant Chairperson of Textile Development and Marketing, Ingrid Johnson, salt is the best way to clean red wine out of the carpet.

“The first and easiest thing to do is ​to ​sprinkle with salt as this will absorb the wine,” Johnson told the Huffington Post.

8. Coffee maker

If you aren’t cleaning your coffee maker regularly, there’s a good chance it has mould in it according to a 2011 study.

Director of the Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab at the Good Housekeeping, Carolyn Forté, told the Huffington Post, “The carafe, lid and filter basket should be cleaned daily with warm, sudsy water.”

But she also recommends cleaning the machine with vinegar every few months.

9. Knives

It seems like a no-brainer to put everything in the dishwasher – that’s what it’s there for. But washing your knives in the dishwasher leaves them dull, blunt and susceptible to rust.

Simply handwash them with warm soapy water, it will only take a minute.

10. Sheets

Considering we spend one third of our lives asleep, for some, that means spending a considerable amount of time lying in dirty sheets.

Although Martha Stewart believes washing your sheets is a “personal preference”, she recommends doing it weekly.

But if you enjoy a snack or two while in bed, the Huffington Post said this isn’t enough.

“For those who constantly eat in bed, she says every three days would be ideal.”

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Retail market ‘patchy’ but Australians should stop panicking, says the PAS Group

Clothing retailer and wholesaler the PAS Group says the retail market is “patchy” and bogged down by higher costs than the rest of the world, but has warned against panicking.
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“We are notorious in Australia for panicking about things,” CEO and managing director Eric Morris told Fairfax Media. “We moan like crazy in Australia that everything’s so bad, but when you look at some of other markets around the world we’ve actually got it relatively well.”

The PAS Group’s retail brands include the vintage-inspired Review, the one-size-fits-all Metalicus, and Black Pepper, for older women. It also designs and manufactures clothing for the likes of Toys’R’Us and holds licences for Slazenger, Everlast and Mooks.

As the key shopping period draws to a close, Mr Morris said the PAS Group and other retailers had experienced a slow lead-up to Christmas and a slightly disappointing Boxing Day period, but an improvement in the final few days of 2014.

“It’s very patchy. The first week of Jan was a bit soft, last week was much better. I had a team meeting and they said, ‘What do you think’s going to happen this week?’ I said, ‘Does anyone have a guess?’ “

On this week’s report by Deloitte tipping more international retailers would set up shop here, Mr Morris had mixed views on Australia’s attractiveness.

For international retailers, Australia offers a relatively stable economy and respite from limited growth at home, he said.

But he said some international retailers were “going to find it more difficult than they had anticipated. The cost of doing business in Australia is a lot higher than anywhere else. I think those that have come in have already found that to be a little bit of a shock.

“But the biggest challenge that people are facing are the logistic challenges, operating in reverse seasons. The likes of Zara have done it very well, H&M seem to be coping quite nicely with it, but the others, I think, have struggled a bit more.”

Mr Morris said while the price gap between Australian and international retailers had narrowed as local retailers lifted their game, local prices had to rise to compensate for the recent decline in the Australian dollar. “That is going to start pushing prices up again because that’s the only way it can go,” he said.

The PAS Group began life with Deutsche Bank buying the brand Yarra Trail about a decade ago. Mr Morris, a South African who came to Australia to work with Myer, joined shortly thereafter and the company now has 23 brands.

The PAS Group listed in June last year just as discretionary retailers were downgrading their forecasts, and has never traded above its $1.15 listing price, closing on Thursday at 70¢. Only one major analyst, John Stavliotis of Morgan Stanley, covers the $96 million company, with an ‘overweight’ rating. Morgan Stanley listed PAS Group.

Retailers of clothing, footwear, household furnishings and discretionary goods have margins of 4.8 per cent, according to a recent Productivity Commission report, and battle declining sales and margins when the economy contracts.

Mr Morris said despite the weak share price, the company’s shareholders were patient and the listing had left it with no debt, providing acquisition opportunities in a tough market.

“There’s constantly ones crossing our desk at the moment,” Mr Morris said. The potential buys were distressed companies and good businesses with owners looking to sell, he said.

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‘They saved my life’: Help for troubled youth

Beau was bullied at school and facing problems at home, but found a safe space at Headspace. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORDBEAU* was, and still is, a teenager others turned to when they were down and out.
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Students at his Ballarat school had his mobile number and often called him late at night and on weekends, distressed and in need of someone to listen.

But none of these students realised Beau was struggling too.

The pain he was experiencing was twofold, with bullies at school and hostility at home.

Having only just turned 17, this inspirational young man has had a rough trot.

At home, his parents fight. They struggle with money and they break up regularly. It’s a less than desirable environment for a young teenager.

His father is an alcoholic and Beau said he “tiptoes” around the old man when he’s drunk, fearful of what could happen next.

Beau’s also the oldest sibling and has the added pressure of being the strong older brother his younger siblings rely on.

“Life can be pretty tough,” he said on Tuesday when The Courier visited Headspace – a youth mental health centre doing amazing things to help young people in the region.

“But Headspace saved me. It has given me back that spark that everyone needs. I love this place,” he said.

Beau said while it had always been difficult at home, it was the bullies at school that made him turn to Headspace.

Jesse Park and Kate Dharumasena of Headspace. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

“I was pretty desperate,” he said.

“I knew something needed to be done and my school counsellor suggested Headspace.”

Beau finds it hard to admit there were moments he tried to take his life. He says the hardest part of remembering those times is because he now has a zest for life. He wants to be alive.

At 14, Beau was taken from his private school and put into the public education system.

His family had always struggled for money and could no longer afford his tuition.

However, it wasn’t this move that saw his mood and passion for life disintegrate.

“I didn’t have any friends when I got there so I decided to try and become friends with a group … a bad group,” he said. “I eventually saw them for what they were, bullies.

“They would shove other kids up against lockers, abuse other kids and generally do anything they could to make a pain of themselves.”

So one day Beau decided to stand up for the students his “mates” were bullying.

“I basically approached the ringleader and told him why he was wrong in doing it,” he said.

“And he didn’t like it. So his group sort of turned on me and tried making my life hell, like they were doing to many others.”

Beau said the group took his move as “betrayal” and soon started assaulting him on a regular basis.

It was around this time, alongside things at home, Beau became anxious and some days feared leaving his bedroom.

And the bullying wasn’t only taking a mental toll, with the physical damage plain to see.

“I was concussed a few times from them. There’d normally be one or two holding you down while the others were just laying into you,” he said. “I was always covered in bruises and had little niggles all over my body. And I was on my own.”

Beau said if not for the team at Headspace he wouldn’t have made it through the tough times.

“After a few sessions, I was feeling worthy. The welcome party I get every time I walk in is absolutely amazing,” he said.

William*, 23, heard of Headspace from a Centrelink employee when he was in the depths of a work for the dole program, which drove him to despair.

Just like the others, he admits Headspace transformed his life.

“My problems started when I finished school and I just had no idea what to do. I was completely directionless,” William said.

He said the combination of a work for the dole program and regular trips to Centrelink left him stuck in bed without motive to get out.

“You just feel horrible,” he said. “But yeah, this woman at Centrelink told me to go to Headspace.”

William said simple advice from his case worker had put his life back on track.

“I told him I wanted to go to uni and study professional writing and editing and he said, ‘well, why don’t you?’,” William said.

“I had no answer. So, basically a week later I was officially enrolled and everything has been great since. No more work for the dole, no more Centrelink, no more feeling like crap basically.”

William has almost finished a certificate four in professional writing and editing and will this year begin his diploma.

Headspace, meanwhile, continues to save the lives of Ballarat’s youth on a daily basis while working to expand its services in general health.

Opened in July, 2013, Headspace welcomes anyone aged 12 to 25, with its services including general health, mental health, education and employment, drug and alcohol treatment and sexual health.

The Ballarat Headspace was a long-awaited project for the region and centre manager Ben Gillett said his team provided a crucial outlet for anyone who might be struggling through an array of issues.

He said the biggest problem among Ballarat’s youth, or Headspace’s clientele, was complex family issues and domestic violence, while alcohol and cannabis were still the main drug issues crippling the region.

“The best part of Headspace is that we are known as being such a welcoming place. You can literally walk straight through the doors and someone will be here to help you,” Mr Gillett said. “You don’t even need a referral. You just walk in.”

One woman who decided to walk in following a marriage breakdown early last year, was Kate*.

At 25, Kate is one of Headspace’s oldest clients and sought its help after noticing signs of depression following a break-up.

“We were together for seven years and I moved here (Ballarat) for him,” Kate said. “But, in the end, I just knew it wasn’t right.”

Kate said she believed her mental health was already suffering well before she and her partner spilt.

But the end saw it spiral out of control.

“I noticed that I just had all these doubts coming in and just all these bad thoughts,” she said. “Just like really negative thoughts started to just really sort of take grip in my brain and I just wasn’t able to shake them like I normally would be able to.”

“That’s when my depression got a really good grip.”

Like Beau, Kate said it was hard to imagine where she would be without the team at Headspace.

“Headspace is like a godsend. It sounds kind of cheesy, but I really feel like they saved my life last year,” she said. “Like, I don’t know what I would have done if they weren’t here.”

Headspace staff said it was stories like this which made the centre such a special place.

“At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about,” Mr Gillett said.

“We pride ourselves on being a really welcoming place that can help anyone in the age bracket. We make sure its simple for anyone to walk through that door. So if someone tells you about us, you can just walk in and get started.”

Headspace is located at 28 Camp Street, Ballarat, and is open from 9am to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. It is open from 9am to 7pm on Wednesday and Thursday.

* Not their real names

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Ready, set, go for play space

PLANNING for Ballarat’s inclusive play space set to be constructed at Victoria Park is entering its final stages, with the design process expected to be completed within months.
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According to City of Ballarat general manager people and communities, Neville Ivey, the council is hopeful the entire project will be completed before the end of the year.

Philanthropic group Touched by Olivia Foundation has been a champion for the project, looking to source a variety of donations to bring the play space to fruition.

Mr Ivey said there had been some changes made from the original plan for the project.

“Based on further consultation and feedback with community members, groups and stakeholders on the concept plan, there have been some changes incorporated into the plan,” he said.

“Essentially, the equipment types remain the same or similar, with an adjustment made to the layout to maximise some grassed open space within the middle of the play environments.

“There has also been an all-year-round passive and imaginative water play precinct incorporated into the design, with Central Highlands Water (CHW) becoming a project partner.”

CHW is one of many local groups that have also thrown their support behind the project, with Mr Ivey describing the community support as fantastic.

“The project has been ableto attract nearly $1.3 million from a range of sources, including major contributions from council, state government, Central Highlands Water, and generous contributions from local community groups,” he said.

“Their (the Touched by Olivia Foundation) tireless efforts are now being rewarded with generous donations now exceeding $50,000 from the support of Rotary clubs, TGM, schools, Bank of Melbourne and V/Line.”

Mr Ivey said there was a possibility of even more sponsorship opportunities as the project continued, with the potential for the play space to be one of the best of its kind in Victoria.

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Search on for descendants of mystery war medals

Medal mystery: Creswick residentNeville Holmes dug up two World War I medals while gardening at his Napier Street property. Now, the search is on for descendants of the medals’ owner, Private George Bailey.PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCKA SEARCH is under way to find the descendants of a fallen World War I solider.
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Almost 100 years after his death, Ballarat solider Private George Bailey’s precious war medals were found buried in the backyard of a Creswick house.

Napier Street resident Neville Holmes was tending to his wife’s irises late last yearwhen he dug into a secret trench.

“I could see bits of bottles and broken glass, so I kept digging deeper and deeper to see what was under there,” Mr Holmes said.

Underneath the layers of dirt he discovered the contents of an old medicine cabinet.

“There were tubes and tubes of toothpaste, combs, tooth-

brushes, a pair of dentures and medicine bottles,” Mr Holmes said.

“But something caught my eye.”

Hidden among the shards of broken glass, Mr Holmes caught a glimpse of what he believed was a pair of rusty coins.

“I looked at them and thought to myself, ‘These are worth holding onto’,” hesaid.

“I pulled them out and realised what they were. I was astonished.

“The medals were such a contrast to the rest of it.”

For a few weeks, the medals sat on a shelf in Mr Holmes’s house before he wrapped them and took them to Creswick RSL secretary Phil Carter.

Mr Carter said he was floored by the discovery.

“The hairs on the back of my head stood up,” he said.

“I get shivers talking about. “It was very emotional because once I looked on the side of the medals and saw a name engraved, I knew what he’d found.

“To find something like this is unheard of, it is just so special.”

Private Bailey was part of the 39th Battalion and enlisted in the war in Ballarat on April 12, 1916.

He was killed in a gas attack in a field in Messines, Belgium, on June 18, 1917.

He was 36 years old and had never married.

Following his death, his medals were presented to his bother Frederick, who lived at the Napier Street home with his wife Mary-Ann for most of his life.

Another of Private Bailey’s brothers, Charles, also served in the war.

There were another threebrothers, James,Thomas and Joseph.

Mystery surrounds why the medals were buried in the backyard, andMr Carter said it was likely the reason would never be known.

Members of the Creswick RSL have made it their mission to find members of George’s family and present the medals to them at the centenary Anzac Day service in Creswick on April 25.

It is hoped members of the family can wear the medals and march in Private Bailey’s honour.

Mr Carter said the discovery had stirred something inside all of the RSL members. The medals are in the process of being restored to their former glory in Ballarat.

He is appealing for anybody with information or links to the Bailey family to contact him on 0458 533 230.

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Blown away

Brisbane’s Steve Parry celebrates with teammates after dismissing Travis Birt, who walks from the ground in last night’s clash at the Gabba. Picture: GETTY IMAGESA destructive half-century by Chris Lynn helped lay the foundation for the Brisbane Heat to record a comfortable 18-run victory over the Hobart Hurricanes in last night’s Big Bash League T20 clash at the Gabba.
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Lynn belted 81 from only 35 balls to lift the Heat to a total of 6-198 with Peter Forrest chipping in with 46 from 48 balls after the Heat lost the toss.

The right-hander reached his 50 from only 18 balls to equal the BBL record set by Adelaide Striker Tim Ludeman earlier this season.

Despite chasing down 208 runs when they last met the Heat at Bellerive Oval earlier in the season, the Hurricanes never looked like troubling the home side as they limped to 8-180 from their 20 overs.

After a disappointing campaign, the Heat managed to provide the crowd of 16,376 some joy, recording only their second win of the season and knocking the Hurricanes out of finals contention in the process.

Mark Steketee and Dan Christian took two wickets each for the Heat with skipper James Hopes, Ben Cutting and English recruit Stephen Parry snaring one wicket each.

Needing to score 199 in order to keep their season alive, the Hurricanes lost opening batsmen Tim Paine and Ben Dunk to be sitting on 2-22 after four overs.

Christian then removed Even Gulbis for three and Michael Hill for 26 before spinner Parry snared his first BBL wicket, sending Travis Birt on his way for 16 after a sharp stumping by Jimmy Peirson.

That left the visitors struggling at 5-63 in the eighth over and they never fully recovered.

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Cricket: Renewed focus pays dividends for Pointies captain

Making runs: Golden Point captain Joshua White has been in strong form with his batting this season. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORDTHERE’S never really been any doubt that Josh White has the ability, but his output with the bat in recent seasons had been only modest.
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But a larger focus on his own game – at the direction of his club – has made season 2014-15, so far, one to remember.

The Pointies captain has already accumulated more runs than he did throughout the entire previous campaign, with his tally of 300 seeing him sitting fourth on the Ballarat Cricket Association club firsts batting charts.

His runs have come at an average of 60 and included a century and two half-centuries.

White’s ton against North Ballarat in round three – where he made 111 not out – was his first since an unbeaten 100 against Coronet City in early 2012.

It followed an early knock of 49 in round one against Darley and came before innings of 66 against Mount Clear and 56 not out against East Ballarat.

A few handy contributions in the team’s premiership-winning Twenty20 team this season have been icing on the cake.

White admits being asked to simply focus on his own game and captaincy, and not other outside distractions such as committee-type roles, has helped his output in the middle.

“I’m just a lot more relaxed, to be honest,” he said.

White felt he had contributed in past seasons, but said he had not been going on with starts and that it took time to know his own game and how that goes together with skippering a team.

A successful side to this point in the season also helps, he said.

“I’m going okay, but I wouldn’t say spectacular or anything,” White said.

“I have never felt like I couldn’t do it, I suppose, but I wasn’t putting a consistent season together.

“In previous years, we have been very inexperienced, so we have just got a few good team guys now like Peter Appleton and a couple of young guys like Andy Warrick, my brother Dan, and Simon Ogilvie at the right age now, and it’s sort of coming together, hopefully. Fingers crossed.”

Golden Point is chasing its first club firsts finals berth since the premiership season of 2001-02 and sits second on the ladder moving into round eight.

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In-form jockey out to continue run in Ballarat on Sunday

PATRICK Moloney is having a hot week in the saddle. The apprentice jockey has had two doubles.
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He began the run at Werribee on Sunday and repeated the dose at Sandown Lakeside on Wednesday.

He will be keen to keep the momentum going in Ballarat on Sunday.

Moloney has two mounts – both for his father, Flemington trainer John Moloney, who has enjoyed an excellent run of success over the past month.

Moloney junior willtake the reins on Flamsteed in the Hygain Benchmark64 Handicap, 120 metres, and Fairy House in the Sportsbet Benchmark64 Handicap, 1600 metres, for fillies and mares.

Each was a winner at their latest two outings.

Racing Victoria has programmed seven races for the Ballarat Turf Club family fun day, with the first at 1pm.

IMPORTED stayer Renew will gallop between races at Sportsbet-Ballarat on Sunday.

Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander has the Adelaide Cup in his sights with Renew, which joined his stable in the spring.

Renew has not raced since winning the Sandown Cup on November 15.

TOOLEYBUC Kid can earn a trip south for the group 3 Hobart Cup, 2400 metres, on February 9 with a win in Saturday’s $80,000 Piping Lane Handicap, 2000 metres, at Flemington.

Trainer Darren Weir said the two-time Caulfield 2000-metre winner last year would probably need to win in his next two runs to book a trip to Hobart.

“He’s coming along well, but he’ll take benefit again from the run over 2000 metres,” he said.

MICHAEL Stanley will be looking for a change of luck with his top-flight mare Blucolla Tigerpie in Sunday’s $25,000 Hamilton Pacing Cup.

Blucolla Tigerpie over raced and then choked in the Horsham Pacing Cup, forcing Stanley to retire her from the event.

The seven-year-old has not won since March, 2013, but is racing well enough to suggest shecan break back into winning form at Hamilton.

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Exciting day of fun, fashion and racing

SCOTTSDALE’S key social event for 2015 will be launched with a colourful display of frocks and fillies.
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The Scottsdale Cup was in dire straits about a decade ago, according to North Eastern Pacing Club president Kent Rattray.

Mr Rattray said dwindling attendances and costly overheads were seeing the club make a loss with the race event — originally held on a Saturday night.

The Scottsdale Cup now draws about 2000 people each year to the North-East track and is one of the biggest regional race meets for the state.

‘‘We turned it around,’’ he said.

‘‘We made it Friday night, put a band on and did the fashion parade, I think it’s the best thing we’ve done.’’

He said an $800 Flight Centre travel voucher was up for grabs as the main prize for the fashion parade and they would have Launceston band Wildfire performing after the last race.

‘‘We’re probably the premier night of the year at Scottsdale now,’’ Mr Rattray said.

‘‘A lot of people come and catch up with old school buddies it’s the night everyone comes up.’’

He said races will be broadcast on Sky 2 and the Cup will be shown on Sky 1.

Children’s pony trots will also be held between races one and three.

The first race will be held at 5.08pm, the last race will run at 7.55pm.

FAST FACTS

WHAT: Scottsdale Cup.

WHERE: Scottsdale Racecourse.

WHEN: from 4.30pm today.

Scottsdale’s Rebecca Irwin, 15, and Karalta Dazzler are both prepared for the Scottsdale Cup. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

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Former MKR cooks to show off pate

Former My Kitchen Rules contestants Bianca Johnston and Thalia Papadakis.SELL-OUT success in Hobart gives My Kitchen Rules darlings Thalia Papadakis and Bianca Johnston confidence their signature pate will win over Launceston hearts.
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The Southern best friends will sell their T&B Chicken Liver Pate at Harvest Market in Launceston on Saturday.

The pate won the judges’ hearts on My Kitchen Rules last year and has proven equally successful at various farmers’ markets in Hobart.

“We had a huge amount of orders around Christmas,” Miss Papadakis said yesterday.

“It’s a really rustic-tasting pate – it’s preservative-free and we only use Tasmanian produce.”

Creating and selling the product – along with salmon pate, labna and olive oil crackers – has become something of a full-time job for Miss Johnston and Miss Papadakis.

The duo still have plenty of time for cooking, though, and will attend Festivale in Launceston next month for a cooking demonstration and judging sessions.

“We’re really excited to come to Launceston, we’re so glad it’s finally happening,” Miss Papadakis said.

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