Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Something woke me, something
feathered up against me in a dream.
Perhaps its soft tip of wing skipped
across my face…”

– from ‘Butterfly Kisses’, Ian McBryde

We have a Saturday morning family ritual. We wake up early, the kids tumbling into our bed for cuddles and giggles, burrowing deep under the blankets to ward off the Melbourne-morning chill. Usually around the time one of us receives an accidental knee to the groin, or elbow in the eye, we get up, throw our clothes on, and head over to Victoria Market for our weekly shopping.  Continue reading Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Shakshuka with Schug + Herby Zucchini Salad

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Not that long ago, a special occasion called for booze and parties, wild costumes and late nights/early mornings. In these present days of small children and being all grown up, special occasions are mostly food-based. Afternoon barbecues, civilised early dinners, pancake breakfasts, brunch. Which is alright by me, truth be told. I like going to sleep early, and I like to cook. And I love to eat.

And so for Mother’s Day this year, I put on a brunch. First time cooking for guests in our new house. I’m not really one for the hallmark-card holidays. S and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day and since having kids we haven’t really paid much attention to the parents days either. But we’re back in our home town now where the various members of our extended family live, and so this year we celebrated Mother’s Day with my mum and her partner, my little brother, and my older brother, his wife, and their daughter. Continue reading Shakshuka with Schug + Herby Zucchini Salad

Roast Butter Parsnips with Thyme Polenta

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Do you like our new table? It’s the one in these photos. Rough dark-brown pine, full of knots and flaws. We especially chose something a little on the rustic side, where a few spills and knocks will only add character. Because we’ve got two little kids, and while we don’t want them to trash the house, exactly, we’re never going to be the kind of family that keeps the kids away from the furniture. We’re simply not that precious.

And besides, in the end we won’t love the table because it looks good. I mean I like things around the house to look good – I’m not immune to the simple pleasures of aesthetic beauty – but in the end we’ll love it because it will become imbued with our memories, our stories. We’ll sit at that table every night, all four of us, eating good food, talking about our day, aggravating one another and making each other laugh. Over time the narrative of our family will be deep in its cracks and its crevices. Continue reading Roast Butter Parsnips with Thyme Polenta

Potato Latkes

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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

Nectarine, Pistachio & Cauliflower Couscous

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Lately I’ve been waking up in the early hours of the morning, needing to get a drink and go to the toilet. I love walking through the silent house. We leave the blinds and windows open at night so that the cool air and moon shadows drift through. The cold water from the fridge is like honey nectar to my parched mouth, and before crawling back into bed beside S, I always open up the mosquito net around W’s bed and check in on her, fast asleep, snoring ever so softly.

I suppose that moments alone are far and few between these days. Some people recharge through company, others through time spent alone, and I’ve always been someone drawn to solitude. I have also always been an early riser and used to love the quiet of the house before anyone else was awake, whether it was doing yoga with the morning sun, or drinking a cuppa and reading the news in the garden. These days W also wakes nice and early, which of course is its own kind of lovely. Continue reading Nectarine, Pistachio & Cauliflower Couscous

Purple Cabbage, Zucchini & Dill ‘Slaw

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“It is often mild distraction that moves the imagination forward, not uninterrupted concentration. Thinking then works by indirection, sauntering in a roundabout way to places it cannot reach directly.”

From Woolf’s Darkness by Rebecca Solnit

Sometimes I wish that I had more time to myself. More time in which to read and write, to think, to daydream. It makes me wonder what I did with all the time in the day that was mine before I had a kid. Procrastinated, drank beer. One thing about not having a lot of free time is that when I do have it, I (usually) use it better – when you only have an hour till the child wakes up again procrastination is not an option. Which is why I like the quote above; it reminds me that my creative juices will continue to flow despite everything. Continue reading Purple Cabbage, Zucchini & Dill ‘Slaw

Roasted Cauliflower with Caraway Seeds

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This week past was a bit of a comedy of errors. W had been pretty sniffly over the weekend prior, and by Monday morning both S and I woke up with sore throats. We were feeling hopeful though, confident that if we dosed up with honey & lemon tea and stayed home all day, we’d knock it on the head and be fine. We were wrong.

By Tuesday morning we were both feeling pretty crook. It’s the first time I’ve been sick since W was born; it didn’t matter how much I wanted to stay in bed drinking tea until midday, W was up and ready to play at 6am. After brekky I sat down at my desk with a cuppa to check my emails. W was crawling around and wanted up, so I scooped her into my lap. In a split second, the tea was all over my laptop. Continue reading Roasted Cauliflower with Caraway Seeds