Rhubarb & Rosemary Scrolls

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“I want everything
to have
a handle,
I want everything to be
a cup or a tool,
I want people to enter a hardware
store through the door of my odes.”

This excerpt from ‘House of Odes’ by Pablo Neruda seems a fitting welcome for a food blog. An invitation, if you will, to cook and make and share. With me, with your friends, with your family. Food is, after all, a communal experience. Continue reading Rhubarb & Rosemary Scrolls

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

Rhubarb & Rose Muffins

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“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

Homemade Oat Milk + Stovetop Granola

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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

Semolina Porridge & Maple Baked Apples

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When you go to the supermarket you usually find three or four types of apples – golden delicious, granny smith, pink lady, fuji. Sometimes you might come across a jonathan, or a red delicious. Truth is there are scores of different heirloom apple varieties – sundowner, jazz, alvina, cameo, eve, royal gala, winesap, bramley… These days, though, commercial apple farmers grow the apples for their look and their ability to be stored and travel well. Taste, sadly, is not on the top of the list. If you want to delve into the many different apples available, you need to head down to apple country and find yourself some growers.

We’re pretty lucky to have found a grower down at our local market who comes up from Stanthorpe – Queensland’s apple capital – every week. Each week he’ll have some 8 – 10 apple varieties to choose from, along with – season depending – pears, quince, persimmon. I tend to go for crunchy not-overly-sweet apples, and for ages I was loving the alvinas until they went out of season. Lately it’s been cameos, but they are now at the end of their season too. Continue reading Semolina Porridge & Maple Baked Apples

Hazelnut Cherry Granola

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While no one loves being woken up before 5am by a hungry baby, there is something special about watching the sunrise. Still half asleep yesterday morning I sat up in bed, son in my arms, staring out of the window as the sky slowly paled from ink to clear blue, and pink cloud-studded streaks blossomed on the horizon. By the time I lay back down again the sun was the palest yellow, a soft egg yolk hanging low in the sky.

Yesterday was the first day in Brisbane that really felt like autumn had come to play. The evening was breezy and the air fresh rather than heavy with heat. After dinner it was cool enough for a cuppa before bed, and during the night we dragged the doona over ourselves. This morning as I pottered around the kitchen barefoot making tea, I found myself shivering for the briefest of moments. After months and months of crazy humidity and high heat, autumn is most welcome. Continue reading Hazelnut Cherry Granola

Pistachio & Lemon Cake

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There is something both hopeful and tacky about the hype and celebration around New Years Eve. Truth be told, I’ve always preferred the first morning of the year to the night before. Waking up to a fresh slate (or at the least, watching the sun rise to a new year). The world in anticipation.

Yesterday, after reading Beth’s post on Local Milk, I started thinking about my own past new year celebrations. Given the general theme of the Local Milk post, the one that sprung to my mind first was a New Years Eve some ten, eleven years ago (I don’t remember exactly which one). I was camping in the bush at a festival with my dear friend Nev. We took copious amounts of acid and spent the night drinking whiskey in a steam room, skinny-dipping in the river, swimming in the mud, and learning about the stars and constellations. As the sun rose we drank pink champagne and watched the bush turn from shades of grey to green and brown and pale yellow. Continue reading Pistachio & Lemon Cake