A Beautiful Winter Coleslaw


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

Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts & Bourgal Salad with Maple-Orange Dressing


We were woken up at 3am on Sunday morning with a sudden roar of wind and rain. W cried out in fright, and it sounded as though the trees out the front were creaking and cracking and breaking. Whenever I’m cosy in bed listening to wild weather outside I’m always reminded of the fantastic tornado scene in the Wizard of Oz. Although of course when we woke up on Sunday morning we were still in Brisbane.

And so I bundled the kids up in jackets and scarves and beanies in anticipation of the cold front that was predicted to hit. Indeed, it was forecast for -3°c in Brisbane. And let me remind you that Brisbane is in the sub-tropics, so that is crazy talk. Turned out the cold front wasn’t quite that cold. Sure, it’s been chilly, and we’ve been wearing or woolens for the last 48 hours, but it hasn’t quite reached into the minus degrees. Not even close, thankfully. I did not move all the way to Queensland to be cold. Continue reading Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts & Bourgal Salad with Maple-Orange Dressing

Brussels Sprouts, Radish & Apple Salad


I’m going to keep it short and sweet today. Light on the words, heavy on the pictures.

It has been a long week – the whole family has been sick at various stages and sleep has been hard to come by. I’ve barely had any time in front of the computer, and even less time without a child in my arms (in fact my son is sitting between my legs this very instance). Continue reading Brussels Sprouts, Radish & Apple Salad

Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad


I’ve recently discovered the enjoyment of the journey. Normally, getting from one place to the next, like from the bus stop back home, is about functionality, the necessity of moving from one space to another. I’m often listening to music or checking my phone, composing work emails in my head or thinking about what to cook for dinner. Not paying much attention to what is going on outside of me.

Lately, though, W is just full of curiosity. Her favourite game is to point at the sky, a bird flying overhead, a car, a tree, all with a sweet questioning sound, prompting me to pay attention so that I can talk to her about the world around us. She is also full of beans, and more often than not on the way back from a walk to the shops or the park, she’ll start wriggling and decide she wants to get down and walk. Suddenly a five minute trip home becomes a twenty minute amble as we stop to play with some bright red berries growing on a bush on the nature strip, lean against a sun-warmed rock, pick up some smooth strangely-shaped sticks from the gutter, or back track to examine a particularly interesting collection of stones. Continue reading Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Buttered Brussels Sprouts with Flaked Almonds


It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends. I can remember now, with a clarity that makes the nerves in the back of my neck constrict, when New York began for me, but I cannot lay my  finger upon the moment it ended, can never cut through the ambiguities and second starts and broken resolves to the exact place on the page where the heroine is no longer as optimistic as she once was.

From ‘Goodbye To All That’, Joan Didion

Lately I’ve been (re)reading Joan Didion. I started with her wonderful book of essays Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and am currently on My Year of Magical Thinking. She is a remarkable writer, combining sparse prose and careful construction with incisive commentary that feels neither judgmental nor self-indulgent. She is one of my favourite essayists, and her seminal essay ‘Goodbye To All That’ – which the quote above comes from – is one of my favourite pieces of writing. Continue reading Buttered Brussels Sprouts with Flaked Almonds