Most weeks roll on like the ones before, and the ones after. We eat and sleep and play. We work and go to the park and the library, drink coffee and bake bread. We laugh and argue and snuggle up in bed at night to keep warm in these cold, cold nights.
This week, however, this week has been a special one. Continue reading “Radicchio & Roasted Carrot Salad”
Love, we’re going home now,
Where the vines clamber over the trellis…
– from ‘Love, We’re Going Home Now’, Pablo Neruda
The week that we moved down to Melbourne was chaos. The afternoon we picked up the keys to our new house it was pouring with rain. The kids were going stir-crazy and the removalists tracked black mud all through our brand new place. The next day we settled ourselves in amidst the boxes, only to find that our power had not yet been turned on. We ate dinner outside as the sun went down, read to the kids by the light of our camping lantern, and then unpacked our bed in the strange quiet darkness of this new home. Continue reading “Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup”
Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don’t feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn.”
– Marilyn Monroe
Apologies for the radio silence, but I have a good excuse. We’ve just moved – both house and state – with all of the chaos that entails. After almost six years in Brisbane we’re back down south, back in the land of great coffee and cold winters, black outfits and flat vistas. Back home. Luckily, we’re down in time for autumn, my very favourite Melbourne season – purple twilight, red autumn leaves, wine bars, crisp mornings and sunny afternoons. Continue reading “Roasted Veges with Coconut Turmeric Sauce”
The crazy vegetables
Their tendrills and leaf-crowns,
In the sub-soil
With its red mustaches
From ‘Ode To The Artichoke’ by Pable Neruda
Pablo Neruda was one of the first poets that I learned to love, and one that I still love to this day. I have several of his collections sitting on my book shelf, tattered and well-thumbed, as all good books are. A prolific poet, his work is considerable. He is probably best known for his love poems and sonnets which are, undoubtedly, some of the finest you will ever read. Continue reading “Roasted Carrots, Crispy Lentils & Spicy Yoghurt”
Green tea soup – ochazuke – is one of my favourite Japanese dishes. Traditionally, it is served with rice and salted fish (usually salmon) as well as nori or another type of sea vegetable. Ochazuke is a kind of un-cooking. You prepare the elements in advance but then it all comes together at the last in a haphazard way. Pouring over the hot green tea takes care of the cooking of the vegetables, but it isn’t an exact science. A little more of this, a little less of that.
I like the idea of un-cooking. Mostly, I suppose, because it echoes my style of cooking. I seem to have a complete inability to follow a recipe to the letter. Even my own recipes! Unless I’m developing a recipe for the blog (or baking), I rarely use measuring cups or spoons, preferring instead to eyeball the amounts. And I’m always tempted to add chilli, some green veges, extra spices, a handful of herbs, or just a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to make the recipe my own. The beauty of un-cooking is that it teaches you to cook by the seat of your pants, to improvise, to mix shit up. Continue reading “Green Tea Soup with Roasted Eggplant”
It’s a mid-winter afternoon. The skies are heavy with bruised purple clouds, the light low and dark. I’m in the kitchen, sock-clad and lights on. The oven is heating and the room is warm; it smells of spices and roasting and comfort. The kids are sleeping and I’m listening to Philip Glass soft in the background. The bench is covered in peel and peppercorns and all kinds of mess. I’m cooking soup.
Soup is the ultimate comfort food. And spending time in front of a hot stove on a cold day is one of life’s pleasures. Soon after we moved to Brisbane we bought a big red Le Creuset pot. Over time it has become marked with use; scarred, if you will. No longer one of many exactly the same, but uniquely ours. There is something timeless about cooking a pot of soup in the Le Creuset, a sense of connecting to a long line of women cooking soup in big pots. My friend Nev describes it as a harking; “Le creuset is of a historical period, steeped in tradition and pretend memories.” Continue reading “Roasted Sweet Potato & Turmeric Soup”
A few days ago a baby gecko was darting about the kitchen. It was the size of my pinky finger and the colour of pearl. I caught it in my cupped hands and showed it to W, who stared at it with a mixture of fascination and uncertainty. I let it crawl up her leg so she could feel its tiny little feet. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more – me or W. The gecko was probably scared shitless.
These days I’m making a conscious effort to block out the noise. I’m re-teaching myself how to be still, how to be observant, a skill I’ve let lie fallow these past few years. When I’m breastfeeding in the middle of the night, or walking someplace in the morning, instead of reaching for my phone I take a deep breath and let my mind wander. Not about what needs doing or what I could be doing, but about the feel of the sun on my skin, or the colour of the bright green grasshoppers that have suddenly appeared everywhere. Continue reading “Autumn Salad with Tahini-Miso Dressing”