Something woke me, something
feathered up against me in a dream.
Perhaps its soft tip of wing skipped
across my face…”
– from ‘Butterfly Kisses’, Ian McBryde
We have a Saturday morning family ritual. We wake up early, the kids tumbling into our bed for cuddles and giggles, burrowing deep under the blankets to ward off the Melbourne-morning chill. Usually around the time one of us receives an accidental knee to the groin, or elbow in the eye, we get up, throw our clothes on, and head over to Victoria Market for our weekly shopping. Continue reading Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower Salad
We went out to the bush last Sunday. It turned out to be the kind of winter’s day you wish all winter’s days were like; cold and crisp, bright and just warm enough in the sunshine. W waded into the shallows – shoes and all – so that she could set leaves afloat into the current like miniature boats and T took the greatest of pleasures throwing handfuls of pebbles into the water.
We feasted on coffee cooked over the trangia, thick slices of homemade kale & potato pie that our friends brought, humus and rice crackers, crunchy apples, and sticky fruit buns that we picked up on the drive over from Sourdough Bakery in Seddon. We strolled through the bush (alternately carrying or chasing after small people), and ended the morning lying on the banks of the creek in the midday sunshine as the kids splashed in the stream. Continue reading A Beautiful Winter Coleslaw
Last month I loaded the kids onto the train and headed a couple of hours south for a long weekend in Byron Bay with various members of my family. It was still blistering hot, so we spent three days lazing on the sand, taking walks, cooling off in the ocean, drinking coffee, swimming in the pool, cuddling sick children, and enjoying the cool evening breezes that would come through as we headed out to grab dinner, the sun a low golden orb in the sky.
Byron Bay is the hippie capital of Australia. Clinging to one of Australia’s most picturesque coasts, the combination of a temperate climate and golden sand beaches is irresistible. That said, these days Byron is a bit of tourist mecca and can get both crowded and expensive. Generally, we prefer the hinterland, where the cool dark subtropical rain forest climbs along hills hiding cascading waterfalls and quaint little towns with barefoot pubs. In fact this recent trip to Byron was my first one in almost a decade. Continue reading Sabich
“The walls were wet and sticky, and peach juice was dripping from the ceiling. James opened his mouth and caught some of it on his tongue. It tasted delicious.”
– from James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
We woke up this morning to grey skies awash with a light rain. The arrival of autumn is always bittersweet. Crisp mornings and cooler days, deep purple twilights, pots of tea and woollen scarves, apples and persimmon. All of these are things that I love. But it also means the end of summer, with its long days and bounty of fresh stone fruit, warm night breezes and morning swims, icy cold slices of watermelon. With the arrival of autumn, the endless horizons of summer come in a little closer to home. Continue reading Peach & Fennel Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing
“We are all a great deal luckier that we realize, we usually get what we want – or near enough.”
– Roald Dahl, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Given how much chocolate I eat, it seems remiss that this is the first chocolate cake recipe to appear on the site. Likely it’s because my favourite way to eat chocolate is straight up – a square or two of dark chocolate (90% is my fave) after dinner. I’ll admit that until reading this fantastic essay about Mast Brothers chocolate I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to the origins of cocoa beans in the way that I do to coffee, or eggs, or almonds. Now, though, I am doing my best to eat ethical and sustainable chocolate. Which isn’t too difficult, given the increasing popularity of artisanal products, but can be rather pricey if one has an excessive chocolate habit (umm…). Continue reading Chocolate Cake with Cocoa-Tahini Frosting
We had a most lovely week, this one just past. And much needed. The week before was shitty. First the kids were sick, and just as they got better both S and I caught the cold. Trying to wrangle a rambunctious toddler and a teething baby when all you feel like doing is laying down in bed groaning and watching reruns of Game of Thrones is no ones idea of a good time. But we got through it (just barely), my mother-in-law came up for a weekend visit and brought lovely aniseed cake with her, and then S had a whole week off work.
With S at home for the week, we did all kinds of nice things. We hung out, went and ate banh mi for Monday lunch at Mrs Luu’s, spent a night camping out at Lamington National Park (great to be out of the city, but god damn those bush turkeys were aggressive), enjoyed the drama of a leadership spill, ate fish ‘n’ chips for dinner watching the rain pour down, shared a tub of Ben & Jerry’s phish food ice cream, finally watched Mad Max: Fury Road (so fuckin’ good), played in the park, bought a new dining room table, went to two different markets and bought all kinds of tasty fruit ‘n’ veg. Continue reading Freekeh Vege Bowl with Miso-Tahini Sauce
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