“We are either going to have a future where women lead the way to make peace with the Earth or we are not going to have a human future at all.”
-- Vandana Shiva
This weekend just past we celebrated International Women’s Day. A day to honour, acknowledge, and pay respect to women and women’s movements, both historical and present day. I’ve spent most of the week reading the work of the wonderful poet Judith Wright. Not just a poet, Judith was also an avid environmentalist and activist for Aboriginal land rights; only a week before her death, she was marching for reconciliation. One of my favourite Judith Wright poems is South Of My Days - the following lines always move me:
Wake, old man. This is winter, and the yarns are over.
No-one is listening
South of my days’ circle
I know it dark against the stars, the high lean country
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep. Continue reading
A few weeks ago on a lightning trip down to Melbourne, I visited my friend’s lovely cafe. We sat out under the white umbrellas in the courtyard, and chatted as our respective children sleep angelically (hers) and crawled around the grass (mine). I’d already had breakfast, but I did have a bite of her apple-y, cinnamon-y bircher muesli. It was YUM.
Bircher muesli is easily one of my favourite breakfasts, but for a long time it was only one that I would have in cafes. We used to go to a cafe in Brunswick that served their bircher with cream and pistachios – overly decadent for brekky but oh-so-goooood. Another Brunswick cafe around the corner from our house served their bircher in a tall glass, the muesli and poached fruit arranged in layers, topped with yoghurt and toasted almonds. Continue reading
S and I are both pretty particular about our coffee. I drink espresso coffee, and I like it straight up – black and without sugar. When you’re drinking coffee with none of the fixings, if the beans are burnt, or if the brew is bitter, it ruins the taste. That said, between pregnancy and breastfeeding it’s been almost two years since I actually drank a coffee (ahh, how I miss it).
S, on the other hand, is somewhat of a coffee connoisseur these days. Over the past two years he’s been trying a variety of different coffee beans which he grinds at home, and experimenting with various ways of making coffee using an AeroPress. Given the blistering heat that is Brisbane these days, he’s mostly been drinking 12-hour brewed cold press coffee – it is the colour of rich dark amber, and smells wonderful.
It’s great when a dish unexpectedly comes together. I’d picked up this Israeli cous cous at Mick’s Nuts (!) a couple of weeks ago with no plan for it in mind, but just because I love it and don’t come across it all that often. It’s the texture that I love – like eating mini-marbles! Then at the market on the weekend S casually pointed out a bunch of heirloom carrots at a stall we were strolling past, and while I was at the register about to pay for them, a big pile of sunset-coloured pomegranates tempted me, so I got one of those too.
The rest came together pretty easily. I’d been wanting to whip up a batch of date syrup to use as an alternative sweetener for a while now, and we always have fresh parsley and mint in the fridge. My mum had just sent me a bag of rose petals (which I had in mind for a whole other dish that I haven’t gotten around to making yet), and we had some baharat spice mix left over from the meatballs that S cooked a while back for our Middle Eastern Feast. Continue reading
Not long ago I came across this famous plum torte, via Deb on Smitten Kitchen. It looked both simple and delicious; a winning combination. So I made it. And it was worth the fuss – buttery dough interspersed with jammy cooked plums, not too sweet, but just sweet enough.
There were two things that won me over to this cake. The ratio of dough to fruit meant that the fruit was an integral part of the cake and never got lost amidst the batter. And it is super-easy to make which, when you’re trying to bake with a small person clinging onto your legs imploring you to pick her up, is incredibly helpful. Plus it was delicious – I mentioned that, right? Continue reading
Summer in Brisbane is not for the lighthearted. By the time W wakes up from her morning nap and we get ready to go out, it’s so hot. We walk slowly down to the pool, the parasol our traveling circle of shade. After lazing in the water and playing in the grass, we walk slowly back home, one of us drinking icy-cold coconut water and the other craning her head back to see the crows in the trees.
The best time of the day is early in the morning, when the sun is still low and hasn’t built up to its midday strength, when everything feels fresh and clean, and not yet wilted beneath the sun. We like to get to the market early on the weekends, take our time with the shopping. By the time we’re finished up and heading home, the sun is strong and the market is busy. Continue reading
Living with a baby is both wildly exciting and totally mundane. From a bird’s-eye perspective, each day is a repeat of the one beforehand. We wake, eat breakfast, play, W sleeps, we go out to the shops or the park, eat lunch, W sleeps, S comes home from work, dinner, walk, sleep. There is washing to be done and nappies to be changed.
But from up close, everything is unexpected. From week to week W develops new skills so that it feels like only yesterday she could barely roll over, and now she’s standing at the coffee table, grinning like a fool. And when she’s awake W is a ball of crazy movement – she’s crawling everywhere, getting her hands into all the tiny bits of dirt and electrical sockets she can find, standing up and falling back down again, pulling books off shelves and stuffing leaves into her mouth, demanding attention and being irresistibly cute. Continue reading