Eggplant Panzanella

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If you’re not interested in a quick side of politics with your panzanella, scroll down now. If you are, though, let’s take just the briefest of moments to celebrate the solidarity, where around the world millions of women stood up against racism and hate-mongering, stood up for the rights of the marginalised. Critique and reservations notwithstanding, it warms the cockles. Some amazing pics of the marches here, and some good reading here and here¬†and here.

#NastyWomenEverywhere #WomenMarch  Continue reading Eggplant Panzanella

Sabich

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Last month I loaded the kids onto the train and headed a couple of hours south for a long weekend in Byron Bay with various members of my family. It was still blistering hot, so we spent three days lazing on the sand, taking walks, cooling off in the ocean, drinking coffee, swimming in the pool, cuddling sick children, and enjoying the cool evening breezes that would come through as we headed out to grab dinner, the sun a low golden orb in the sky.

Byron Bay is the hippie capital of Australia. Clinging to one of Australia’s most picturesque coasts, the combination of a temperate climate and golden sand beaches is irresistible. That said, these days Byron is a bit of tourist mecca and can get both crowded and expensive. Generally, we prefer the hinterland, where the cool dark subtropical rain forest climbs along hills hiding cascading waterfalls and quaint little towns with barefoot pubs. In fact this recent trip to Byron was my first one in almost a decade. Continue reading Sabich

Lemony Barley with Grapes, Thyme & Almonds

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“On the vines the grapes hung in tiny clusters, freckled and warm.”
– from My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

I’ve read My Family and Other Animals countless times. Durrell’s funny and exuberant memoir of his childhood on Corfu is resplendent with lush descriptions of places, of people, of animals, and of food. He describes spending his days exploring the olive groves and swimming in the ocean, stopping to visit his neighbours whenever he felt hungry and snacking on “a bunch of amber grapes still sun-warmed, some figs black as tar striped with pink where they had burst their seams with ripeness, or a giant water-melon with an inside like pink ice.” It is one of my favourite books, not least because of Durrell’s obvious enthusiasm for food. Continue reading Lemony Barley with Grapes, Thyme & Almonds

Lemon & Walnut Linguine with Roasted Broccoli

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It’s been threatening to rain for a few weeks now, and this weekend it finally did. Not quite soon enough though; most of South-East Queensland is now officially in drought. After our first summer up in Brisbane almost four years ago, where it rained relentlessly for months on end, where everything was mildewed and floods wreaked havoc across the state, it has been conspicuously dry. Our grass is now brown, dry and dusty, and no longer needs to be mowed. It is perpetually sunny up here (hence the moniker the Sunshine State).

Except for this weekend. It started slowly on Friday, and when we got to the markets on Saturday morning amidst the drizzle it was much quieter than usual; even half the stall holders hadn’t made it along. We got what we came for, but forwent our customary coffee-and-croissant on the grass as it was all too sodden. The rain built up over the day and by the afternoon was coming down pretty steadily. It is rare to see Brisbane beneath a cold grey wet cloud; I almost liked the change in scenery. Continue reading Lemon & Walnut Linguine with Roasted Broccoli