A Beautiful Winter Coleslaw

winter-coleslaw-two

We went out to the bush last Sunday. It turned out to be the kind of winter’s day you wish all winter’s days were like; cold and crisp, bright and just warm enough in the sunshine. W waded into the shallows – shoes and all – so that she could set leaves afloat into the current like miniature boats and T took the greatest of pleasures throwing handfuls of pebbles into the water.

We feasted on coffee cooked over the trangia, thick slices of homemade kale & potato pie that our friends brought, humus and rice crackers, crunchy apples, and sticky fruit buns that we picked up on the drive over from Sourdough Bakery in Seddon. We strolled through the bush (alternately carrying or chasing after small people), and ended the morning lying on the banks of the creek in the midday sunshine as the kids splashed in the stream. Continue reading A Beautiful Winter Coleslaw

Chia Bowl, 2 Ways

chia-seed-pudding

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

– from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Imagining the impossible is a wonderful thing to do. Children are, of course, experts at this. Ground down by reality, us adults need a little more practice. Cooking is, I find, the perfect conduit to the creative. In the same way that the paradoxical ‘going forward and standing still’ of train travel lets the imagination break free, so does the paradoxical ‘action and waiting’ of cooking. A flurry of cutting and slicing and chopping followed by a slow methodical stirring; sifting and stirring and kneading and then sitting by the oven, waiting. Plenty of time to imagine the impossible. Continue reading Chia Bowl, 2 Ways

Green Papaya Salad

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Brisbane is in the humid sub-tropics. Word on the street is that there are over 300 days on sunshine a year up here. Feels about right. Of course, it being the sub-tropics, in the summertime those sunshine-y days are interspersed with raging thunderstorms and torrential rains. Since we moved here, there were the crazy floods during the summer of 2011 that saw the Brisbane River break its banks and wreak all kinds of havoc, then the wild storms that hit us last year smashing windows and roofs and cutting off power to half of Brisbane, and this weekend just past two massive cyclones hit the Queensland Coast pulling houses into the ocean and devastating the mid-coast.

We were lucky here in Brisbane. The cyclones petered out before reaching us. What we did get, though, were the rains. At the moment damp is everywhere. It’s infiltrated the foundations. At first the cool weather was a welcome break from the blazing sunshine. But soon the wet started to take over. S and W went walking on Friday morning just after the cyclones made landfall – W now has a cold and S’s sandals sprouted a fine covering of pale green mold overnight. The water has seeped in under the house and through the floor, soaking the rug. Nothing dries; our towels are perpetually damp, as is the washing. Mold has started growing on the walls. Everything smells… wet. Continue reading Green Papaya Salad

Cashew & Cacao Bean Smoothie

cashew-cacao-bean-smoothie-spoon

During our recent Balinese sojourn we stayed in Penestanan, an area just on the outskirts of Ubud. Our house wasn’t accessible by car – to reach the area from the main road below we had to climb a long flight flight of stairs shadowed by tropical plants. Once up the top everything was interconnected by concrete walkways that were bordered on one side by a shallow flowing stream, and on the other side by houses, or greenery, or long drops into fern-studded ravines. The area also had its own little assortment of shops, cafes, and fruit stalls.

On our first day in Bali, after the long lines at customs and the drive from the airport, we arrived in Ubud just before nightfall. W was tired and S and I were fucking starving. Only a few minutes walk from our place, we discovered the Yellow Flower Cafe, having its weekly Balinese buffet. The food was all kinds of delicious – laden with tempeh, peanuts, green beans, toasted coconut. Continue reading Cashew & Cacao Bean Smoothie

Raw Apricot, Coconut & Tangerine Energy Balls

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The past few weeks have passed by in a blur. A couple of weeks ago we took a lightning trip down to Victoria that involved driving all across the state visiting various family members and hanging out with friends. It was both lovely and exhausting in equal measure. By the time we got back W had caught a cold, which myself and then S both proceeded to catch as well. This coincided with a really busy work week for S and a number of work deadlines for me, plus a couple of new teeth for W. Needless to say, it wasn’t my favourite week.

This week though, promises to be a helluva lot better. We’re all recovered from being sick. It is warm and sunny, and yesterday the three of us strolled around New Farm and Teneriffe playing in parks and eating gelato (W’s first ice cream!). It’s a public holiday today so S has taken W off for a play in the park and I’ve had a quiet morning home alone to do things like take a long shower, drink a cuppa on the verandah, and now write this blog post. We’ve also got a trip to Ubud coming up on less than two weeks to look forward to.

Continue reading Raw Apricot, Coconut & Tangerine Energy Balls

Green Coconut & Pineapple Smoothie

green-smoothie-pineapple

A few weeks ago S planted spinach, parsley and coriander seeds. They started sprouting just before we went down for a flying visit to Victoria, and by the time we got back were coming along quite nicely. This past week we’ve been enjoying the baby spinach – the first of our spring crops for this year, there is nothing like the feeling of going out the back to pick a vegetable fresh from the dirt and be eating it less than twenty minutes later.

Maybe it is my imagination, but I feel like our homegrown spinach is just, well, better than the stuff we buy from the market. The leaves are almost plump, juicy and full of flavour. Mostly I have it chopped up in a lunchtime salad, but a green smoothie is easily the best way to showcase fresh leafy produce. Continue reading Green Coconut & Pineapple Smoothie

Raw Cacao, Orange & Fig Energy Balls

energy-balls

Girraween National Park in Queensland sits on the border with New South Wales, and is a spectacular display of tumbling granite boulders and a hundred shades of green. Girraween means ‘place of flowers’ in the local indigenous language, although we’ve never actually been there in spring to see the wildflowers in bloom. There are fresh water streams running through the park, and a zig zag of walking tracks to stroll and plenty of mountains to climb.

This year was the third time we’ve gone out to Girraween to camp. Usually we shoulder our packs and spend two or three days hiking through the bush and camping by streams. This year though, with a 12 kilo baby to carry as well as all of our gear, we decided to hike in an hour to Underground Creek and make camp there, taking day walks and hanging out. Continue reading Raw Cacao, Orange & Fig Energy Balls