February Favourites

Food is essential to culture, and should never be reduced to a simple to-do list.
– Adam Liaw in The Guardian

I vacillate between thinking food blogging is a vacuous exercise, and just simply enjoying the doing and the reading of the digital communities formed by food blogging. Despite identifying as a writer, I’ve had trouble articulating why it is that I love food culture so much. Then last week I read this article by chef Adam Liaw and he succinctly articulated why food and food culture is essential to our well being, our selves, our histories and our communities. Continue reading “February Favourites”

Black Rice & Passionfruit Salad

Morning finds her curled like a prawn
Around a stuffed blue Pegasus, or the smallest
Prawn-pink lion. Or else she’s barging
Into my room, and leaning in close so
It’s her hair I wake to — that coarse, dark
Heaven of knots and purple fluff.

She wants a movie, or maybe
Just the tussle of her will against mine,
That scrape and crack. Horn on rock. Rope
Relenting one fiber at a time. ‘I want that,’ she says,
Punctuating what she just said she wanted.

– from ‘4½’ by Tracy K. Smith

Neither of our children are four-and-a-half. T has only just turned four, and W is almost six. I remember when they were babies, both of them perpetually curled into me – their tiny hands and translucent half-moon fingernails. Everything smelt of breastmilk and sweat and the coconut oil that we rubbed onto their fat thighs and soft bellies. At night I would roll over and there was always a baby there, eyelids flickering, and what could they be dreaming of?  Continue reading “Black Rice & Passionfruit Salad”

Blistered Summer Salad

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Do you remember how great summer holidays were as a kid? A seemingly endless expanse of time when the daily routine of school-homework-weekends was suspended in a glut of play. I don’t remember the specifics of summer holidays but I do remember the rhythms. Cricket, of course – on the radio, on the television – accompanied by backyard cricket . We used an old wicker basket in place of stumps and stray balls routinely smashed the back windows. I wasn’t actually much of a player myself, so was regularly sent on runs up the bad-tempered neighbours driveway to rescue lost balls. Summer barbecues, swimming in friends’ pools, camping by the beach, icy poles, late nights.  Continue reading “Blistered Summer Salad”

Red(ish) Fruit Salad

islands parting tides as meteors burn the air.
Oysters powder to chalk in my hands.

– from ‘The River’ by Robert Adamson

It’s been raining for days.* Heavy rains that leave the air humid and cloying. A sky washed in bruised shades of grey. It makes the spring greens look impossibly greener, the overhead leaves seem closer reflected into prisms by raindrops. T describes the weather in the simplest terms: rain, sun, rain, sun, rain, sun, rain. An apt description. We walked to school the other days in gumboots and umbrellas, W’s skirt tucked up inside her rain jacket. And she still had to change into a dry set of clothes by the time we got there.  Continue reading “Red(ish) Fruit Salad”

Pistachio Butter Birthday Cake

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.

– from The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare

The waratah flower, native to the south-east coast of Australia, is a striking plant. Its deep crimson flowers bloom on top of a branch whose spirally-arranged leaves are serrated along the edges. It is known to be difficult to cultivate and can take five years from seedling to flower. It is in season for just a short few weeks in late spring. The name comes from the Eora Nation, the sovereign peoples of the area known as Sydney. We named our first born Waratah, our bright spark of a child.  Continue reading “Pistachio Butter Birthday Cake”

Charred Broccolini

I’m still asleep
but you know I will wake
if you need

– from ‘Wangal Morning’, Evelyn Araluen

It’s been a wet spring here in Narrm/Melbourne. The sound of the rain on our deck woke me up from a deep sleep sometime in the early hours of the morning. I’d been dreaming of oceans and bridges and artworks and I lay awake for ages in the still-dark, listening to my kids breathing in the other room and the wind rattling our doorframe.  Continue reading “Charred Broccolini”

Roasted Cauliflower & Beetroot Salad with Rosewater Dressing

I bend to it willingly, this patch
of earth and its green things, in their own world
(though I hold the title to it) hungry for life…”
– from ‘After’ by David Malouf

We planted daffodil bulbs yesterday, the kids and I. Fingers in dirt, carefully. Now we water, and wait for them to bloom, a slash of the brightest yellow across these winter skies. Continue reading “Roasted Cauliflower & Beetroot Salad with Rosewater Dressing”