Two Salads: Green Beans & Asparagus + Potato & Dill

green-bean-asparagus-birdseye

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”

Potato Latkes

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For the first time in my life, I’m living in a house that has a Christmas tree. And it has presents underneath it! It may be a paper tree about 10cm tall, but it is a tree nonetheless. It was S’s idea to bring some Christmas spirit into the house now that W is (kind of) old enough to catch on to the whole shebang. Usually we would be in Victoria at his mum’s place for the holiday, but as I’m giving birth in a few weeks we’ve decided to stay close to home this year. A quiet one, just the three of us. I think I understand it now – the way the excitement builds as you watch the pile of presents under the tree grow, but you’re not allowed to actually open them until Christmas morning.

We’ve decided not to go overboard on the whole presents thing though. We don’t want Christmas to become all about THE STUFF for W. We’re sticking with a few books this year – and whatever goodies come from the grandparents – and as she gets older we’ll ask her to give away some of her old toys each year to make way for the new ones. Continue reading “Potato Latkes”

Lemon & Lentil Soup

lemon-lentil-soup

About three years ago I had the pleasure of travelling across western Queensland with the food writer Matthew Evans, on a food writing tour. We drove 800km inland under flat blue skies into cotton country, where green fields stretched into an endless horizon and at every door we were greeted with fresh scones.

After trading in his life as a Sydney food critic, these days Matthew lives on a small farm in Tasmania with his partner and son, where he grows his own veges and raises pigs. Matthew believes in good food – fresh seasonal ingredients grown yourself or sourced from your local farmers market. He believes that mass-produced food and industrial farming sacrifices both quality and ethics. During the many hours spent driving across Queensland, listening to his passion for, and knowledge of, food and food production, it was hard not to agree. Continue reading “Lemon & Lentil Soup”

Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Potato-Brussels-Sprouts-Salad-Birdseye

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”