With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
– from The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare
The waratah flower, native to the south-east coast of Australia, is a striking plant. Its deep crimson flowers bloom on top of a branch whose spirally-arranged leaves are serrated along the edges. It is known to be difficult to cultivate and can take five years from seedling to flower. It is in season for just a short few weeks in late spring. The name comes from the Eora Nation, the sovereign peoples of the area known as Sydney. We named our first born Waratah, our bright spark of a child. Continue reading “Pistachio Butter Birthday Cake”
The skies today are a bright, pale mid-winter blue, the air still and cold. I’m enjoying a moment of afternoon silence, drinking a cup of tea with a thin sliver of the Rhubarb & Chocolate Ganache Tart that I baked on Sunday afternoon.
T will be waking up any minute now, so I’m going to keep it short and sweet with a list of my latest favourites (if you’re just in it for the Flourless Chocolate Cake, keep on scrolling)… Continue reading “Flourless Chocolate Cake”
I made this cake for my niece’s second birthday a couple of weeks ago. A pretty chilled out afternoon – balmy weather, an assortment of salads, cold beers, barbecued snags, kids underfoot. It was a family affair, and my niece had a great-grandmother there from both her dad – my brother – and her mum’s side. Coming from an immigrant family that was almost decimated in World War II, it was especially poignant to have four generations sitting around the table together.
My sister-in-law is one of my favourite people to bake for – she has a killer sweet tooth and so my efforts are always appreciated. I wanted to make a cake for this occasion that had a classic feel – something simple yet sophisticated . I opted for an airy double-layer cinnamon cake – appropriately autumnal – finished off with a rich labneh frosting, tangy and celebratory. I topped it with a bounty of fresh berries too, mostly for the pretty. Continue reading “Cinnamon Cake with Labneh Frosting”
I spent about an hour this afternoon gardening. I’ve still got dirt underneath my fingernails, and smudged on the knees of my jeans. We don’t actually have a garden per se, it’s more of a terrace. But it’s big and sunny, and we’ve been slowly filling it with greenery. When we first moved in we inherited a few plants – rosemary and thyme, a small olive tree and a dry lavender bush, as well as loads of mint. We’ve since added flowers for the kids, a rose bush that S brought home this morning, a cumquat tree, tomato bushes, Vietnamese mint, parsley, coriander, lettuce leaves, a chilli plant, and a slender ghost gum. Everything is planted in a haphazard mix of terracotta pots and wooden planter boxes.
This detailed rundown of our garden, though, is actually a roundabout explanation for why this is my first post in some three months. Gah!
Continue reading “Blackberry Pavlova”
“I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.”
– Maya Angelou
Moving back to Melbourne feels like… home. The skyline, the trams, the strong coffee, the terrace houses, the bitter winds. All so familiar, like slipping on a second skin. Last weekend I went out for beers with one of my oldest, dearest friends. He suggested a bar in the city. It was a rainy night. Walking up a blue-stoned alleyway, lights reflecting off the wet ground, to a bar all but invisible until you stumble upon it. This. This felt like homecoming. Continue reading “Rhubarb & Rose Muffins”
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”