again the emerald green pallu of her sari
tucked in at her hips, across her breast,
and cough it up over her shoulder a hush
of paprika and burnt honey across my face.
— from ‘Wrap’ by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
India is unrelenting and wildly beautiful. It is an endless array of colour and scent and sound, a byproduct of the sheer density of population. It is also a geographic rainbow, from rolling tea hills to dry desert, high buddhist enclaves at the foothills of the Himalaya to incense-wreathed Hindu temples, the bustling metropolis of Mumbai to long stretches of sand and ocean down south. The one consistent thread, the soundtrack of India if you will, is the chai-wallah call to arms: chai, chai, coffee, chai, chai… Continue reading Masala Chai
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
“I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.”
– Maya Angelou
Moving back to Melbourne feels like… home. The skyline, the trams, the strong coffee, the terrace houses, the bitter winds. All so familiar, like slipping on a second skin. Last weekend I went out for beers with one of my oldest, dearest friends. He suggested a bar in the city. It was a rainy night. Walking up a blue-stoned alleyway, lights reflecting off the wet ground, to a bar all but invisible until you stumble upon it. This. This felt like homecoming. Continue reading Rhubarb & Rose Muffins
I’ve been down in Melbourne all of this week house hunting for what is turning out to be a very imminent move down south. Which means I’m equal parts excited, tired and anxious. So I’ll leave keep it short here and leave you with this loveliest of smoothie recipes – the ideal meal when your house is half packed and your head is buzzing with to-do lists.
If you’ve not had it before, kefir tastes kinda like yoghurt, but is a lot tangier. It is thicker than milk, but thinner than most yoghurts, the consistency of a smoothie, more or less. It is also damn healthy, chock-full of probiotics to make your gut happy. You can drink it straight up, use it over muesli in place of milk, or do like I’ve done here and add it to a smoothie. Plus, it’s easy to make yourself. The kefir bandwagon is a good one to get on. Continue reading Fig, Cardamom & Sesame Seed Kefir Smoothie
Content warning: many swears to follow, ‘coz sometimes only a fuck will do.
It struck my quite forcibly recently that I’m not just growing up, I’m growing older as well. We live in a house at the front of a rather large block; up the very back of the block are two more houses that share the same path as us, so that to reach them you have to pass by our house. Living in one of the back houses is a young couple recently moved to Brisbane, and the other is a share house of music students. Last week, one of the musicians stopped us on the path to let us know that they would be having a party on Saturday night, complete with a live band. I hope that’s okay. We assured him it was no problem for us. His reply? Thanks for being so awesome about it. He didn’t invite us to come along. Continue reading Brown Butter Cardamom Cake with Chai Buttercream Frosting
My last meal then
would be pastry
kneaded by her hand
as if by magic with her love
soft on the tongue
– from ‘Eating My Grandmother: a grief cycle’ by Krissy Kneen
Continue reading Best Ever Coffee Cake
Given the refugee crisis engulfing Europe – and the world – at the moment, writing about milk and oats seems totally trivial. The first time the heartbreaking image of little Aylan Kurdi lying dead on the beach came up in my feed I couldn’t look away. There was something about the way he was lying that looked just like the way my daughter sleeps in her bed at night and I couldn’t stop thinking of how scared he must have been in the ocean, alone, at the end. Of how he deserved to be safe and warm in bed, just like my kids.
It only makes me all the more angry at Australia’s punitive and heartless refugee policies. This is the supposedly ‘lucky country’, and it has been transformed over the last century by immigrants from Europe, from Asia, from the Middle East, from Africa. Made a richer, and a better, place to live thanks to the diverse cultures and hard work of so many refugees and migrants. This is my personal history – my grandparents came over as refugees after World War II – but it is also our collective history, our collective culture. We shouldn’t stand by as cruelties are perpetrated in our name. We may not have voted for this government, but this is our shame. We need to demand better. Continue reading Homemade Oat Milk + Stovetop Granola