Pan-Fried Greens with Brown Rice & An Egg


It’s Monday night. The weekend just past was a busy one. I spent all of Saturday out at Beaudesert for work, getting home in time for dinner, showers, storytime with the kids, then bed. Sunday flew past as Sundays are wont to do and suddenly it was the start of a new week. It was grey and drizzly all day, fine almost-rain that shrouded the city in mist. The streets were quiet. I dropped W at daycare and met a friend for coffee. I bought a book and read while T slept.

And now, it’s Monday night. Both kids are sleeping and I’m sitting curled up in a corner of the couch with my big slouchy woolen jumper on. There is a rhubarb-orange crumble in the oven (and some vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer), all ready for the eating. The sound of the rain is complimenting the scent of oven-browned crumble. I’ve started watching Orange is The New Black. Tonight my big plans include getting into bed, watching an episode, and eating crumble. Continue reading Pan-Fried Greens with Brown Rice & An Egg

Green Papaya Salad


Brisbane is in the humid sub-tropics. Word on the street is that there are over 300 days on sunshine a year up here. Feels about right. Of course, it being the sub-tropics, in the summertime those sunshine-y days are interspersed with raging thunderstorms and torrential rains. Since we moved here, there were the crazy floods during the summer of 2011 that saw the Brisbane River break its banks and wreak all kinds of havoc, then the wild storms that hit us last year smashing windows and roofs and cutting off power to half of Brisbane, and this weekend just past two massive cyclones hit the Queensland Coast pulling houses into the ocean and devastating the mid-coast.

We were lucky here in Brisbane. The cyclones petered out before reaching us. What we did get, though, were the rains. At the moment damp is everywhere. It’s infiltrated the foundations. At first the cool weather was a welcome break from the blazing sunshine. But soon the wet started to take over. S and W went walking on Friday morning just after the cyclones made landfall – W now has a cold and S’s sandals sprouted a fine covering of pale green mold overnight. The water has seeped in under the house and through the floor, soaking the rug. Nothing dries; our towels are perpetually damp, as is the washing. Mold has started growing on the walls. Everything smells… wet. Continue reading Green Papaya Salad

Tofu Salad


I’m in a state of waiting. Each day as the heat builds and the grey clouds roll in on top of one another I wait for the summer afternoon rains to fall. Endless reading of the news and various social media streams waiting in the countdown for the state election. And as my belly grows and tightens and the days tick by and my due date looms, I wait for the baby to come. Continue reading Tofu Salad

Soba Noodle Salad


It’s been rather an unusual weekend. For starters, Brisbane has been in the midst of a crazy heatwave (it is still 36°c and it is 7:30pm in the evening as I write this). Our lovely Queenslander house atop the hill usually stays pretty cool, but on a weekend like this, with not much of a breeze to speak of, it is like living in a sauna. Plus being seven months pregnant doesn’t help the situation at all. So basically it has been too hot to go out, and too hot to stay in.

The second thing that made the weekend unusual was the fact that Brisbane is hosting the G20 summit. We live only a few minutes walk from where all the action is going down, and between the police presence, the near-constant helicopters, and the road blockages, going out was a bit of a saga. S did have to head into the city on Saturday morning and alas, a trip that shouldn’t have taken more than an hour ended up taking almost three as Obama was driving through to the summit centre right at that very moment, and S got caught in the street shutdown. Continue reading Soba Noodle Salad

Peanut Soba Noodle Salad


The day last week that I made this Peanut Soba Noodle Salad turned into a bit of a madhouse. The noodle salad is a variation on a dish that I make regularly and can do with my eyes closed, so my plan was to whip it up and photograph it while W was having her nap, and then when she woke up we’d share it for lunch.

Things didn’t quite go according to plan. Firstly, I had a bunch of rhubarb in the fridge too, so on a whim I decided that I’d also put together a crumble (recipe coming soon!) and that while it was in the oven I’d make the peanut soba noodles. Two birds, one stone. By the time I got around to making the noodles, the kitchen was already quite a mess (I hadn’t cleaned up the breakfast dishes yet) and bench space was becoming scarce. Rather than stop, do a quick load of dishes, and clear a space, I decided to forge ahead with the noodles, making even more mess and balancing bowls and all manner of things precariously on top one another. Continue reading Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

Brown Rice Salad with Miso & Sprouts


“We are either going to have a future where women lead the way to make peace with the Earth or we are not going to have a human future at all.”
– Vandana Shiva

This weekend just past we celebrated International Women’s Day. A day to honour, acknowledge, and pay respect to women and women’s movements, both historical and present day. I’ve spent most of the week reading the work of the wonderful poet Judith Wright. Not just a poet, Judith was also an avid environmentalist and activist for Aboriginal land rights; only a week before her death, she was marching for reconciliation. One of my favourite Judith Wright poems is South Of My Days – the following lines always move me:

Wake, old man. This is winter, and the yarns are over.
No-one is listening
South of my days’ circle
I know it dark against the stars, the high lean country
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep. Continue reading Brown Rice Salad with Miso & Sprouts

Kale & Purple Cabbage ‘Slaw


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