Coconut Turmeric Noodles

“…balance of humors, coconut liquor thinned / by broth, sour pulp of tamarind / cut through by salt, set off by fragrant / galangal, ginger, basil, cilantro, mint, / the warp and woof of texture…”

– from ‘Hot’ by Craig Arnold

Lately, both kids have been climbing into our bed at various points through the night, so by the morning all four of us are squeezed in together. We’re not sure if it’s these cold winter nights that have them seeking extra body warmth, or just that natural childish desire to be close, but either way it is a habit that is equally parts endearing and exasperating (much like parenting more generally, in fact).  Continue reading Coconut Turmeric Noodles

Savoury Miso Porridge

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“Oh madam, when you put bread and cheese, instead of burnt porridge, into these children’s mouths, you may indeed feed their vile bodies, but you little think how you starve their immortal souls!”

– from ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte

My friend Nev is of the belief that savoury porridge will be the next big food fad. And it has been popping up in more and more places, from the hipster cafe that I frequent in Footscray (their version is topped with grilled octopus and pickled vegetables, and is fucking great) to Bon Appetit, and on various food blogs here and there (Heidi, of course, being a good few years ahead of the trend).   Continue reading Savoury Miso Porridge

Miso-Roasted Carrots with Green Beans & Soba Noodles

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The half-circle of blinding, turquoise ocean is this love’s primal scene. That this blue exists makes my life a remarkable one, just to have seen it. To have seen such beautiful things.

from ‘Bluets’, Maggie Nelson

I’m reading Maggie Nelson’s cult novella Bluets at the moment. 240 short stanzas ruminating on love and life and loss and philosophy, and the colour blue. Part autobiography, part meditation, part long lyric poem. And it is making me notice blue everywhere – in the slash of sky outside my window, in my daughter’s startling eyes, in the flash of the train coming past, on the underside of the birds that squawk in the wattles by the train line. Continue reading Miso-Roasted Carrots with Green Beans & Soba Noodles

Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup

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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

Broccoli, Onion & Cashew Fried Rice

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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

Freekeh Vege Bowl with Miso-Tahini Sauce

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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

Autumn Salad with Tahini-Miso Dressing

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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