A Beautiful Winter Coleslaw

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We went out to the bush last Sunday. It turned out to be the kind of winter’s day you wish all winter’s days were like; cold and crisp, bright and just warm enough in the sunshine. W waded into the shallows – shoes and all – so that she could set leaves afloat into the current like miniature boats and T took the greatest of pleasures throwing handfuls of pebbles into the water.

We feasted on coffee cooked over the trangia, thick slices of homemade kale & potato pie that our friends brought, humus and rice crackers, crunchy apples, and sticky fruit buns that we picked up on the drive over from Sourdough Bakery in Seddon. We strolled through the bush (alternately carrying or chasing after small people), and ended the morning lying on the banks of the creek in the midday sunshine as the kids splashed in the stream. Continue reading A Beautiful Winter Coleslaw

Beetroot, Quinoa & Hazelnut Salad

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My older brother and his daughter have been coming around on Wednesdays to spend the day with us. The kids fight play together, and we hang out, shoot the shit. He lives in Taiwan these days, so it is especially nice to be able to spend some time together. It is also especially nice to be able to spend some time with my niece – she is small and sweet and funny.

Brothers are a lovely thing. I have two. One older, one younger. Having lived away from my hometown for the past six years, my favourite part of homecoming thus far has been having my brothers (and my nieces) in close proximity. There is something tangible about the sibling bond that I had forgotten about these past few years. They are the only two people that I feel comfortable punching with all my strength, that I can whinge with without feeling guilty, that love my kids in the way that only family can, that laugh at their own bad jokes in a way that is somehow endearing. Continue reading Beetroot, Quinoa & Hazelnut Salad

Two Salads: Green Beans & Asparagus + Potato & Dill

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Now that we are a month into autumn, night comes early. By the time we are sitting down to dinner on the front verandah the shadows are long. By the time we finish, it is well and truly dark. So even though it is barely 8pm as I write this, I feel like it is much later. And even though I’m pretty fucken tired right now I’m enjoying being awake – the kids are both sleeping, S is reading in bed, there is a cool night breeze through the house, and I’m eating deliciously gingery pfeffernusse.

We got home this morning from a trip up the coast for the long weekend. We stayed in a cute cabin in the hinterland and spent a few days visiting markets, hanging at the beach, buying books, playing on swings, walking through gardens, and watching movies. It was a most lovely way to spend Easter. We are pretty well too – toasted homemade hot cross buns for breakfast, fresh bread and olives and cheeses and boiled eggs for lunch, takeaway fish ‘n’ chips on the beach for dinner. Continue reading Two Salads: Green Beans & Asparagus + Potato & Dill

Kale & Sweet Potato Salad w/ Fried Haloumi

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“Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark.”

From A Field Guide To Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

I had this post all ready to go last week – I just had to finish off some photo editing. But then, I had a baby instead. After a crazy heatwave weekend that seeped into the bones, my waters broke with a midnight storm. T was born later that afternoon in the hallway of our home, the sun and breeze streaming in through the front door. We lay in bed that night exhausted and elated. And then… there were four. Continue reading Kale & Sweet Potato Salad w/ Fried Haloumi

Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad

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I’ve recently discovered the enjoyment of the journey. Normally, getting from one place to the next, like from the bus stop back home, is about functionality, the necessity of moving from one space to another. I’m often listening to music or checking my phone, composing work emails in my head or thinking about what to cook for dinner. Not paying much attention to what is going on outside of me.

Lately, though, W is just full of curiosity. Her favourite game is to point at the sky, a bird flying overhead, a car, a tree, all with a sweet questioning sound, prompting me to pay attention so that I can talk to her about the world around us. She is also full of beans, and more often than not on the way back from a walk to the shops or the park, she’ll start wriggling and decide she wants to get down and walk. Suddenly a five minute trip home becomes a twenty minute amble as we stop to play with some bright red berries growing on a bush on the nature strip, lean against a sun-warmed rock, pick up some smooth strangely-shaped sticks from the gutter, or back track to examine a particularly interesting collection of stones. Continue reading Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad

White Bean, Fennel & Dill Salad

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If anyone should ask, tell them mandarins.
Tell them eucalyptus sap that rubies on the bark.
Tell them snow crunch and grass burn
and skipping a hosewater rope.
If anyone should ask, tell them
bluebottles, cuttlefish, sea glass
and wild raspberries that charge
blood for fruit…

From ‘Such riches’, Michelle Dicinoski

Continue reading White Bean, Fennel & Dill Salad

Kale & Purple Cabbage ‘Slaw

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Living with a baby is both wildly exciting and totally mundane. From a bird’s-eye perspective, each day is a repeat of the one beforehand. We wake, eat breakfast, play, W sleeps, we go out to the shops or the park, eat lunch, W sleeps, S comes home from work, dinner, walk, sleep. There is washing to be done and nappies to be changed.

But from up close, everything is unexpected. From week to week W develops new skills so that it feels like only yesterday she could barely roll over, and now she’s standing at the coffee table, grinning like a fool. And when she’s awake W is a ball of crazy movement – she’s crawling everywhere, getting her hands into all the tiny bits of dirt and electrical sockets she can find, standing up and falling back down again, pulling books off shelves and stuffing leaves into her mouth, demanding attention and being irresistibly cute. Continue reading Kale & Purple Cabbage ‘Slaw