Pistachio & Rosewater Cake with Cardamom Frosting

— 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

Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup

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Summer has settled into Brisbane. The days are long and languid, the sun glaring down from electric blue skies. There is a moment in the very early hours of the morning when I wake up with the slightest shiver and pull the blanket up over me from the foot of the bed where we’ve kicked it to during the night. It doesn’t last long though; by the time the kids are awake the world is bright and hot again.

I spend my hot days in the house and walking the streets with the kids, visiting parks and libraries, swimming down at Southbank or at our local pool. Our fridge is always stocked with bottles of cold, cold water because all of this heat and all of this walking make me perpetually thirsty. The first thing we do, the kids and I, when we walk in the door is sit on the kitchen floor and share some water, taking turns to guzzle straight from the bottle. Continue reading Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup

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

Raspberry, Pistachio & Rosewater Pavlova

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It was S’s birthday on Saturday. He isn’t one for big fusses, so we didn’t do a whole lot. Went to the market as usual in the morning, taking our time over croissant and coffee. S headed out in the middle of the day while W was sleeping to pick up a homebrew kit, and then we spent the afternoon eating and laying about. For dinner we strolled down the road for fish and chips, enjoying the balmy Brisbane air.

We realised that S is now closer to fifty years old than to twenty. It’s a strange realisation, not least because being twenty only feels like yesterday. It is a world away in some respects (in a nostalgic but also thankful kind of way) but it is hard – for me at least – to imagine myself as anything but a young person. I guess age creeps up on you slowly; perhaps because I’ve never felt too concerned with the number. Turning thirty for me was no big deal. And besides, thirties is still young. Right?! Continue reading Raspberry, Pistachio & Rosewater Pavlova

Rhubarb Rosewater Crumble

Rhubarb Rosewater Crumble

This is my last rhubarb post for the year. I do love rhubarb; its tartness, its vibrant colour, its all-round deliciousness. But the weather is starting to get warmer up here in Brisbane and new fruits are beginning to appear at the market, so I think I’ve had my fill of rhubarb till next year rolls around.

This is a straight up crumble – easy to make and the perfect comfort food. Though I usually try and use coconut or olive oil in much of my baking these days, when it comes to crumble I’m all about the butter. I’ve tried it a few different ways, but I just think buttery-crumble is superior. I’ve spiced this particular crumble up with a little rosewater and cardamom, but I’ve made an equally delicious version replacing the rosewater and cardamom with the rind and juice of one orange, or even by replacing the ground almonds with ground hazelnuts. Unlike a lot of other baking, making crumbles isn’t an exact science, so go ahead and experiment! Continue reading Rhubarb Rosewater Crumble

Rosewater, Pistachio & Cardamom Cake

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The Melbourne summer is markedly different to the Brisbane one. Up north the heat is well settled in by Christmas time, and the days follow one another predictably hot and steamy. Down south though, the heat is dry and crackly, and a sweltering day can easily be followed by a grey drizzly one. Needless to say, I know I’ve been away for a while when I come to Melbourne without a cardigan or jumper!

W, S and I flew down a few days before Christmas to spend the festive season with our families. I do love coming down to Melbourne, despite how busy our visits are – W is in high demand by the grandparents and assorted family members. It does feel like a holiday nonetheless, and I love walking through Melbourne’s timeworn streets and green parks, partaking of her delicious food (we’re off to Tiamo for lunch today!), catching up with people. Continue reading Rosewater, Pistachio & Cardamom Cake