Sautéed Beetroot, Broccoli & Chickpeas

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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

Eggplant Panzanella

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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

Saffron & Aniseed Cake with Yoghurt Glaze

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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

Rose Petal, Cashew & Olive Oil Granola

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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

Pink Grapefruit, Olive Oil & Poppyseed Cake

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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

Banana & Rosemary Loaf with Tahini-Vanilla Glaze

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I spent Monday driving out to Boonah (or being driven out, as it were). Boonah is about an hour south of Brisbane. An easy drive, we left under heavy grey clouds and drove through until the skies were clear blue, studded with long cotton-wool wisps of white. The country is dry at the moment, shades of brown intersected by the highway and copses of deep green trees. Before we left on our way back, we picked up takeaway coffee and cake from the local cafe The Story Tree. I got a slice of lime and coconut cake and by the time we had walked back to the car, it was gone. And it was delicious.

We spent the day in Boonah launching a storytelling program for the region, an exploration of memory, truth and history. Author Kristina Olsson (whose book Boy, Lost is a heartbreaking and incredible read) spoke eloquently about the slippery nature of truth, about the way that when we tell the stories of our childhood, our families, our histories, everything is filtered through our imperfect and inherently subjective memories. That any single event or moment from the past can have multiple truths, depending on who is doing the remembering. Continue reading Banana & Rosemary Loaf with Tahini-Vanilla Glaze

Almond, Orange & Olive Oil Cake

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“I gut fruit with my mouth
push tongue into black belly of papaya
peel lychee with teeth
bite into ripe pear
suck on stone of mango
all of this, over the kitchen sink
barefoot
middle of winter…”

From ‘at the thought of you’ by Warsan Shire

I love this poem – it is so visceral, almost tactile. There is something about the imagery that is raw and ripe – you can almost taste the mango juice. It is also delightfully sensuous and subtle. Of course, it is also a most fitting poem for a foodie blog! Continue reading Almond, Orange & Olive Oil Cake