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”

Pear & Strawberry Muffins

Now the leaves are falling fast…

– from ‘Autumn Song’, W. H. Auden

The day we made these Pear & Strawberry Muffins last week was unexpectedly lovely. The morning was the first really cold one of the year. Thick socks and hot cups of tea kind of cold. Frosty breath in the morning air, clear blue skies, thin yellow sunshine turning the autumn leaves still clinging onto tree branches all the shades of gold there are no names for.  Continue reading “Pear & Strawberry Muffins”

Rhubarb & Rosemary Scrolls

1-rhubarb-rosemary-scrolls-4

“I want everything
to have
a handle,
I want everything to be
a cup or a tool,
I want people to enter a hardware
store through the door of my odes.”

This excerpt from ‘House of Odes’ by Pablo Neruda seems a fitting welcome for a food blog. An invitation, if you will, to cook and make and share. With me, with your friends, with your family. Food is, after all, a communal experience. Continue reading “Rhubarb & Rosemary Scrolls”

Pistachio Dukkah

pistachio-dukkah-one

I’m sitting on the couch, cross-legged, woolen socks on. It’s late afternoon, raining outside, low grey skies, seeping damp. Both of the kids are asleep. I’m balancing a milky cup of earl grey tea and a thick slice of banana bread on the couch armrest. Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook is open on the table in front of me – I’m planning Swiss Chard Fritters and Mejadra for dinner tonight.

A moment of calm in the chaos. Continue reading “Pistachio Dukkah”

Parsnip & Sweet Potato Fries

parsnip-sweet-potato-fries

We celebrated the start of winter with a swim at the beach. Such is the life when living in the sub-tropics! We spent the weekend before last out at Stradbroke Island. Stradbroke is barely an hour from Brisbane but the act of getting on a ferry and leaving the car behind on the mainland amps the sense of distance. Along with some friends, we hired a house halfway up a hill with a view of the ocean and lazed away three days walking barefoot on the sand, swimming in the salty sea, pushing W on the swings, cooking and eating and talking.

The lovely thing about going away on holiday is the break from the pace and routines of the everyday. The slowing down. With two small people and work and life, things are pretty busy for S and I these days. Little T has just started teething, and his favourite place to sleep is in my (or S’s) arms. At home I use the kids’ nap times to do stuff – cook, work, write, yoga. But out at Stradbroke Island I let T nap in my arms to his heart’s content. And the smell of his little head and the twitch of his little lips warmed my soul. Continue reading “Parsnip & Sweet Potato Fries”

Potato Latkes

potato-latkes

For the first time in my life, I’m living in a house that has a Christmas tree. And it has presents underneath it! It may be a paper tree about 10cm tall, but it is a tree nonetheless. It was S’s idea to bring some Christmas spirit into the house now that W is (kind of) old enough to catch on to the whole shebang. Usually we would be in Victoria at his mum’s place for the holiday, but as I’m giving birth in a few weeks we’ve decided to stay close to home this year. A quiet one, just the three of us. I think I understand it now – the way the excitement builds as you watch the pile of presents under the tree grow, but you’re not allowed to actually open them until Christmas morning.

We’ve decided not to go overboard on the whole presents thing though. We don’t want Christmas to become all about THE STUFF for W. We’re sticking with a few books this year – and whatever goodies come from the grandparents – and as she gets older we’ll ask her to give away some of her old toys each year to make way for the new ones. Continue reading “Potato Latkes”

Homemade Labneh

labneh with olive oil and za'atar

About a year ago now – I was heavily pregnant at the time – we woke up one Sunday and decided that the ONLY thing in the world that we wanted was labneh on toast for breakfast. Pretty simple, right? Not so, as it turned out. We spent most of the morning scouring every supermarket, deli, and health food store for labneh and we were on the cusp of heading right across town to the New Farm Deli (by this time, keep in mind, we were STARVING).

We did eventually find, and devour, some labneh that morning (and many mornings since) but of course the real lesson learned was that if one wants labneh on-demand, you best learn how to make it yourself!

Continue reading “Homemade Labneh”