Radicchio & Roasted Carrot Salad

radicchio-roasted-carrot-salad-three

Most weeks roll on like the ones before, and the ones after. We eat and sleep and play. We work and go to the park and the library, drink coffee and bake bread. We laugh and argue and snuggle up in bed at night to keep warm in these cold, cold nights.

This week, however, this week has been a special one. Continue reading “Radicchio & Roasted Carrot Salad”

Lemony Barley with Grapes, Thyme & Almonds

grape-barley-salad-cloesup

“On the vines the grapes hung in tiny clusters, freckled and warm.”
– from My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

I’ve read My Family and Other Animals countless times. Durrell’s funny and exuberant memoir of his childhood on Corfu is resplendent with lush descriptions of places, of people, of animals, and of food. He describes spending his days exploring the olive groves and swimming in the ocean, stopping to visit his neighbours whenever he felt hungry and snacking on “a bunch of amber grapes still sun-warmed, some figs black as tar striped with pink where they had burst their seams with ripeness, or a giant water-melon with an inside like pink ice.” It is one of my favourite books, not least because of Durrell’s obvious enthusiasm for food. Continue reading “Lemony Barley with Grapes, Thyme & Almonds”

Roast Butter Parsnips with Thyme Polenta

thyme-polenta-buttered-parsnips-closeup

Do you like our new table? It’s the one in these photos. Rough dark-brown pine, full of knots and flaws. We especially chose something a little on the rustic side, where a few spills and knocks will only add character. Because we’ve got two little kids, and while we don’t want them to trash the house, exactly, we’re never going to be the kind of family that keeps the kids away from the furniture. We’re simply not that precious.

And besides, in the end we won’t love the table because it looks good. I mean I like things around the house to look good – I’m not immune to the simple pleasures of aesthetic beauty – but in the end we’ll love it because it will become imbued with our memories, our stories. We’ll sit at that table every night, all four of us, eating good food, talking about our day, aggravating one another and making each other laugh. Over time the narrative of our family will be deep in its cracks and its crevices. Continue reading “Roast Butter Parsnips with Thyme Polenta”

Parsnip & Sweet Potato Fries

parsnip-sweet-potato-fries

We celebrated the start of winter with a swim at the beach. Such is the life when living in the sub-tropics! We spent the weekend before last out at Stradbroke Island. Stradbroke is barely an hour from Brisbane but the act of getting on a ferry and leaving the car behind on the mainland amps the sense of distance. Along with some friends, we hired a house halfway up a hill with a view of the ocean and lazed away three days walking barefoot on the sand, swimming in the salty sea, pushing W on the swings, cooking and eating and talking.

The lovely thing about going away on holiday is the break from the pace and routines of the everyday. The slowing down. With two small people and work and life, things are pretty busy for S and I these days. Little T has just started teething, and his favourite place to sleep is in my (or S’s) arms. At home I use the kids’ nap times to do stuff – cook, work, write, yoga. But out at Stradbroke Island I let T nap in my arms to his heart’s content. And the smell of his little head and the twitch of his little lips warmed my soul. Continue reading “Parsnip & Sweet Potato Fries”

Roast Veges & Millet with Thyme Lime Pesto

roast-veges-millet-thyme-lime-pesto

How did it get late so soon?
– Dr. Seuss

Time is a tricky friend. It speeds up and slows down with no accounting. Some mornings stretch into a peaceful endlessness, only for evening to come around in the blink of an eye. Other days hours pass by so fast that breakfast suddenly becomes bedtime. Some days all of the plans to do this and that fall by the wayside. Other days so much gets done, with time to spare. It’s the ebb and flow, I guess. Continue reading “Roast Veges & Millet with Thyme Lime Pesto”

Kale, Strawberry & Pear Salad

kale-strawberry-salad

The night assigns us its magic
task. To unravel the universe,
the infinite ramifications
of effects and causes, all lost
in that bottomless vertigo, time.
Tonight the night wants you to forget

From ‘Sleep’, Jorge Luis Borges

I’m writing this curled up in the corner of the couch, late at night, wearing a pair of S’s thick woolen socks and drinking a cup of lemongrass tea. The house smells like toasted oats from the muesli bars I just baked, and is otherwise quiet and peaceful now that W and S are both in bed. It has been a long week, full of deadlines to meet for work, a government to be angered by, and a wonderfully energetic daughter. I spent much of today in the kitchen, making salads, baking lavender scones (recipe coming soon!), steaming veges for dinner. I’m tired, but feeling satisfied too, and it is kind of nice being awake while everyone else sleeps. Continue reading “Kale, Strawberry & Pear Salad”

Homemade Labneh

labneh with olive oil and za'atar

About a year ago now – I was heavily pregnant at the time – we woke up one Sunday and decided that the ONLY thing in the world that we wanted was labneh on toast for breakfast. Pretty simple, right? Not so, as it turned out. We spent most of the morning scouring every supermarket, deli, and health food store for labneh and we were on the cusp of heading right across town to the New Farm Deli (by this time, keep in mind, we were STARVING).

We did eventually find, and devour, some labneh that morning (and many mornings since) but of course the real lesson learned was that if one wants labneh on-demand, you best learn how to make it yourself!

Continue reading “Homemade Labneh”