I spent about an hour this afternoon gardening. I’ve still got dirt underneath my fingernails, and smudged on the knees of my jeans. We don’t actually have a garden per se, it’s more of a terrace. But it’s big and sunny, and we’ve been slowly filling it with greenery. When we first moved in we inherited a few plants – rosemary and thyme, a small olive tree and a dry lavender bush, as well as loads of mint. We’ve since added flowers for the kids, a rose bush that S brought home this morning, a cumquat tree, tomato bushes, Vietnamese mint, parsley, coriander, lettuce leaves, a chilli plant, and a slender ghost gum. Everything is planted in a haphazard mix of terracotta pots and wooden planter boxes.
This detailed rundown of our garden, though, is actually a roundabout explanation for why this is my first post in some three months. Gah!
Continue reading Blackberry Pavlova
Christmas is done, and the New Year is almost upon us. We had a quiet Christmas up at my mother-in-law’s place in Maldon, where we ate loads of lovely food, W gorged herself on homemade chocolate biscuits, and we enjoyed the array of weather that Victoria has to offer – sweating in shorts one day and rugged up in scarves the next. We’re back down in Melbourne now hanging out with friends and family for another week of holidays and eating and chatting and beers and playgrounds and coffee and all kinds of nice things.
I don’t generally go in for new years resolutions, but for 2016 I’ve resolved to only read books written by women, with an emphasis on women of colour. Last week I was reading Rebecca Solnit’s fantastic essay ‘Men Explain Lolita To Me’ (she nails it every. single. damn. time.) and the final paragraph struck a chord: Continue reading Apricot Eton Mess(ish)
In these days of food blogs and online savvy, I’m relatively picky when it comes to buying cookbooks. I have a few on the shelf that I refer to time and again and though I’m always flipping through the glossy pages of cookbooks at the book shop it’s only rarely that I’ll purchase a new one. However Heidi Swanson’s new book, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel, was a no-brainer.
You’re probably familiar with Heidi Swanson through her blog 101 Cookbooks. In fact, you’re probably already a fan. It’s hard not to be. Heidi’s signature style is unmissable. Her muted photography, easy storytelling, and wholesome recipes are among the gold standard of food blogging. And the same applies to her books. Near & Far is a work of art. It feels good in the hand; textured cover and thick matte paper. Part travel journal, the images weave a story from a door frame in Morocco to the streetscape of San Francisco, complimenting the recipes and the words and combining to create a strong sense of wanderlust. From India to Japan, Heidi evokes a strong sense of place, of looking from within rather than from without. Continue reading Heidi Swanson’s Vaghareli Makai + Makhaniya Lassi
A few weeks ago S’s mum flew up from Maldon for a visit. Half of her bag was full of first-birthday presents for W, and the other half was full of home-cooked treats – spicy kasundi, anzac cookies, triple ginger cake (SO GOOD), and jam made from plums that she’d grown in her own garden.
The minute I see homemade jam, my first thought is scones. I rarely bake scones, but when I do it is usually around this time of year, when the cooler weather has started to kick in. We’ll pick up a jar of jam from a local market (or, in this case, be gifted one), and I’ll whip up a batch of scones to enjoy in the autumn sun with a pot of tea. Continue reading Lavender & Lemon Scones