Pear Buckwheat Cake with Rosemary, Dark Chocolate & Hazelnuts

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“Flour on the floor makes my sandals
slip and I tumble into your arms.

Too hot to bake this morning but
blueberries begged me to fold them

into moist muffins. Sticks of rhubarb
plotted a whole pie…”

– from ‘Baked Goods’ by Aimee Nezhukumatahil

There is something of the magic in baking.

Whenever we make a cake together, my three-year-old daughter sits up on the bench and helps out with the pouring and the mixing. She’s learned how to crack eggs against the side of the bowl without getting the shell in the batter, and is an expert at making mountains in the flour.  Continue reading Pear Buckwheat Cake with Rosemary, Dark Chocolate & Hazelnuts

Pink Grapefruit, Olive Oil & Poppyseed Cake

grapefruit-poppyseed-cake-slices

Since she was born, W has spent some time almost every day hanging in the kitchen with me while I cook. When she was a tiny bub she would be in the sling carrier, or lying on her rug on the floor. Since about the age of six months, she would either sit in her high chair in the middle of the floor or, her favourite spot, up on the bench where she can watch the chopping and stirring and cutting right up close.

These days she likes to get in on the action. When I’m mixing together a salad or whisking eggs she always wants a turn with the spoon. She steals veges off the cutting board for a taste, and likes to grab handfuls of oats to put in the pot when I’m making porridge. Her favourite refrain in the kitchen, said with a questioning sing-song lilt, is ‘Waratah helping.” Continue reading Pink Grapefruit, Olive Oil & Poppyseed Cake

Peach Walnut Crumble

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At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.
– Frida Kahlo

It is hard not to love Frida Kahlo. She was a woman who transgressed boundaries; a woman who stood in defiance. Gravely injured in a streetcar accident as a girl, she spent the rest of her life as a force of nature. Even through photos she exudes presence, individuality, character. Frida was a proud Mexican women and a committed communist. She had an affair with Trotsky, and took women as lovers, too. She married the greatest Mexican artist of the time but built her own name as an artist of immense talent and originality and skill. Continue reading Peach Walnut Crumble

Almond, Orange & Olive Oil Cake

Almond-orange-olive-oil-cake-closeup

“I gut fruit with my mouth
push tongue into black belly of papaya
peel lychee with teeth
bite into ripe pear
suck on stone of mango
all of this, over the kitchen sink
barefoot
middle of winter…”

From ‘at the thought of you’ by Warsan Shire

I love this poem – it is so visceral, almost tactile. There is something about the imagery that is raw and ripe – you can almost taste the mango juice. It is also delightfully sensuous and subtle. Of course, it is also a most fitting poem for a foodie blog! Continue reading Almond, Orange & Olive Oil Cake

Hummingbird Cake

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A few weekends ago my brother and sister-in-law came up from Melbourne for a weekend visit. It was the first time they’d been up since W was born and it was especially lovely to watch them play and laugh with her. We didn’t do much – went to the market, cooked good food, ate good food, talked. My kind of weekend.

On the Saturday we spent most of the morning on the front verandah. S cooked us all up homemade baked beans and freshly brewed coffee and we lazed in the warm mid-winter sun. Having been up here in Brisbane for almost four years now, I’d forgotten what an incredible luxury hot sunshine in June actually is. Continue reading Hummingbird Cake

Rhubarb & Hazelnut Crumble Cake

Rhubarb & Hazelnut Crumble Cake

One of the reasons we moved somewhere warm and tropical after Melbourne was that we were sick and fucking tired of the endless Melbourne winters. Every year it seemed as though the bitter cold weather dragged out for longer and longer. Our small terrace house was narrow and old, and only had heating in the lounge room; in winter going to the bathroom in the middle of the night was an extreme sport.

Brisbane, on the other hand, has over 300 days of sunshine a year. It is warm enough to wear sandals most of the year, and even in the heart of winter there is really no need to wear gloves (my poor leather gloves have been sitting unloved in the closet for over three years now!). It is so lovely to live in a climate that doesn’t demand a scarf collection, but every now and then I miss the trappings of cold weather…

Continue reading Rhubarb & Hazelnut Crumble Cake