— the dusk light, the cloud pattern,
recorded always in your heart
and the rest of the world — chaos
circling your winter boat.
– from ‘Last Ink’, Michael Ondaatje
The hot days are starting to roll across Melbourne, stretching out, settling in. The trees lining our street are heavy with new green leaves, the sky is a high blue question mark up above, dissolving at the horizon. Sweat beads across my upper lip as I bake bread in the morning. Continue reading Pistachio & Rosewater Cake with Cardamom Frosting
Spoon of everyone. Spoon
of the belly. Spoon of the empty belly.
Spoon of the full one. Spoon of no one
hungry. Spoon for everyone.
— from ‘Spoon Ode’ by Sharon Olds
I’m writing this sitting at our wooden kitchen table, early on a Friday afternoon. The big window above the bench is overlooking a grey sky, treetops bending low under the wind. The rain started up sometime during our sleep last night, and washed everything cool and clean and white. The oven is on, and full of trays of roasting vegetables sprinkled liberally with za’atar. W is playing next to me, sorting star anise into piles. T is fast asleep in our bed. S is stretched on the couch doing some work. The apartment feels warm, cosy. A rare moment of stillness in the chaos of our lives. Continue reading Carrot, Beetroot & Pickled Fennel Salad
come on sweetheart
let’s adore one another
before there is no more
of you and me
— from Fountain of Fire, Rumi
It’s Monday evening as I write this, cool enough for the first time this year to be wearing socks and a jumper. The kids are asleep, their soft breathing barely audible from the next room. I’m at the kitchen table, staring out through the big window that overlooks the city, the huge gum tree in our neighbour’s back garden a black shadow against the lilac-and-honey-streaked sky of sunset. Continue reading Sautéed Beetroot, Broccoli & Chickpeas
If you’re not interested in a quick side of politics with your panzanella, scroll down now. If you are, though, let’s take just the briefest of moments to celebrate the solidarity, where around the world millions of women stood up against racism and hate-mongering, stood up for the rights of the marginalised. Critique and reservations notwithstanding, it warms the cockles. Some amazing pics of the marches here, and some good reading here and here and here.
#NastyWomenEverywhere #WomenMarch Continue reading Eggplant Panzanella
It is necessary to pick 150,000 crocuses
in order to produce one kilogram of saffron.
Soon, she’ll crouch again above each crocus,
feel how the scales set by fate, by misfortune
are an awesome tonnage: a weight opposing…
– from ‘The Saffron Picker’ by Judith Beveridge
For a traveller to India, there is wealth of beautiful goods to bring back home. Textiles, silver jewellery, gemstones, pashmina shawls, perfume extracts, darjeeling tea. But for me, travelling as light as possible, the treasures that I always made sure to stow deep in my bag before leaving India were small rectangular boxes of deeply crimson saffron threads. Continue reading Saffron & Aniseed Cake with Yoghurt Glaze
My desk is a small, white, wooden number with a set of drawers on the left. The desktop is chipped and nicked, scarred and smudgy. I’ve had it for over seven years now. It’s seen me through all sorts of houses and various endeavours – planning festivals, uni essays, story writing, starting this here blog.
I brought it up north with me from Melbourne. I first got it when we lived in the small terrace house by the train line. It belonged to a friend of my mum’s and despite its small size, it does have a wide girth and so wouldn’t fit in the front door. We had to rope it in through the front window and so it continued to live in the front room, overlooking the trains and the cars and the raggedy white rose bush in the front garden. Continue reading Rose Petal, Cashew & Olive Oil Granola
Since she was born, W has spent some time almost every day hanging in the kitchen with me while I cook. When she was a tiny bub she would be in the sling carrier, or lying on her rug on the floor. Since about the age of six months, she would either sit in her high chair in the middle of the floor or, her favourite spot, up on the bench where she can watch the chopping and stirring and cutting right up close.
These days she likes to get in on the action. When I’m mixing together a salad or whisking eggs she always wants a turn with the spoon. She steals veges off the cutting board for a taste, and likes to grab handfuls of oats to put in the pot when I’m making porridge. Her favourite refrain in the kitchen, said with a questioning sing-song lilt, is ‘Waratah helping.” Continue reading Pink Grapefruit, Olive Oil & Poppyseed Cake