By the time we arrived in our hotel in Hoi An we were exhausted. We’d taken a train, three planes, and a one hour car drive, in which our tired six-month-old bub fell asleep sitting up. Yet we were so excited about being in Vietnam we decided to brave an evening stroll anyway. Bad idea. Bub cracked the shits and we had to retreat. She finally fell fast asleep that first night in a strange bed, and S went out to get us food as on top of being exhausted, we were fucking starving. He came back with a bowl of rice topped with garlicky gai lan (water spinach). Simple ingredients, fresh flavours, and goddamn if it wasn’t one of the best things I have ever eaten. Continue reading “Broccoli, Onion & Cashew Fried Rice”
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”
We had a most lovely week, this one just past. And much needed. The week before was shitty. First the kids were sick, and just as they got better both S and I caught the cold. Trying to wrangle a rambunctious toddler and a teething baby when all you feel like doing is laying down in bed groaning and watching reruns of Game of Thrones is no ones idea of a good time. But we got through it (just barely), my mother-in-law came up for a weekend visit and brought lovely aniseed cake with her, and then S had a whole week off work.
With S at home for the week, we did all kinds of nice things. We hung out, went and ate banh mi for Monday lunch at Mrs Luu’s, spent a night camping out at Lamington National Park (great to be out of the city, but god damn those bush turkeys were aggressive), enjoyed the drama of a leadership spill, ate fish ‘n’ chips for dinner watching the rain pour down, shared a tub of Ben & Jerry’s phish food ice cream, finally watched Mad Max: Fury Road (so fuckin’ good), played in the park, bought a new dining room table, went to two different markets and bought all kinds of tasty fruit ‘n’ veg. Continue reading “Freekeh Vege Bowl with Miso-Tahini Sauce”
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”
At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.
– Frida Kahlo
It is hard not to love Frida Kahlo. She was a woman who transgressed boundaries; a woman who stood in defiance. Gravely injured in a streetcar accident as a girl, she spent the rest of her life as a force of nature. Even through photos she exudes presence, individuality, character. Frida was a proud Mexican women and a committed communist. She had an affair with Trotsky, and took women as lovers, too. She married the greatest Mexican artist of the time but built her own name as an artist of immense talent and originality and skill. Continue reading “Peach Walnut Crumble”
I’m in a state of waiting. Each day as the heat builds and the grey clouds roll in on top of one another I wait for the summer afternoon rains to fall. Endless reading of the news and various social media streams waiting in the countdown for the state election. And as my belly grows and tightens and the days tick by and my due date looms, I wait for the baby to come. Continue reading “Tofu Salad”
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”