“…balance of humors, coconut liquor thinned / by broth, sour pulp of tamarind / cut through by salt, set off by fragrant / galangal, ginger, basil, cilantro, mint, / the warp and woof of texture…”
– from ‘Hot’ by Craig Arnold
Lately, both kids have been climbing into our bed at various points through the night, so by the morning all four of us are squeezed in together. We’re not sure if it’s these cold winter nights that have them seeking extra body warmth, or just that natural childish desire to be close, but either way it is a habit that is equally parts endearing and exasperating (much like parenting more generally, in fact). Continue reading Coconut Turmeric Noodles
Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don’t feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn.”
– Marilyn Monroe
Apologies for the radio silence, but I have a good excuse. We’ve just moved – both house and state – with all of the chaos that entails. After almost six years in Brisbane we’re back down south, back in the land of great coffee and cold winters, black outfits and flat vistas. Back home. Luckily, we’re down in time for autumn, my very favourite Melbourne season – purple twilight, red autumn leaves, wine bars, crisp mornings and sunny afternoons. Continue reading Roasted Veges with Coconut Turmeric Sauce
In these days of food blogs and online savvy, I’m relatively picky when it comes to buying cookbooks. I have a few on the shelf that I refer to time and again and though I’m always flipping through the glossy pages of cookbooks at the book shop it’s only rarely that I’ll purchase a new one. However Heidi Swanson’s new book, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel, was a no-brainer.
You’re probably familiar with Heidi Swanson through her blog 101 Cookbooks. In fact, you’re probably already a fan. It’s hard not to be. Heidi’s signature style is unmissable. Her muted photography, easy storytelling, and wholesome recipes are among the gold standard of food blogging. And the same applies to her books. Near & Far is a work of art. It feels good in the hand; textured cover and thick matte paper. Part travel journal, the images weave a story from a door frame in Morocco to the streetscape of San Francisco, complimenting the recipes and the words and combining to create a strong sense of wanderlust. From India to Japan, Heidi evokes a strong sense of place, of looking from within rather than from without. Continue reading Heidi Swanson’s Vaghareli Makai + Makhaniya Lassi
I woke up today and, just like that, it is spring. The air has lost its chill, the first of the jasmine is in bloom, the sky is the clearest highest dreamiest blue. A glossy fat lizard is sun-baking in our neighbour’s front garden, birds are singing on a wire, and I’m walking around in bare feet.
A short post today. I’ve had an emotionally draining week this one just past, and not nearly enough sleep. After a weekend of overcast skies and probably too much introspection, blue skies is what I needed to wake up to this morning. Too maudlin for a food blog? Perhaps. But there you have it. Continue reading Leek & Zucchini Frittata
It’s a mid-winter afternoon. The skies are heavy with bruised purple clouds, the light low and dark. I’m in the kitchen, sock-clad and lights on. The oven is heating and the room is warm; it smells of spices and roasting and comfort. The kids are sleeping and I’m listening to Philip Glass soft in the background. The bench is covered in peel and peppercorns and all kinds of mess. I’m cooking soup.
Soup is the ultimate comfort food. And spending time in front of a hot stove on a cold day is one of life’s pleasures. Soon after we moved to Brisbane we bought a big red Le Creuset pot. Over time it has become marked with use; scarred, if you will. No longer one of many exactly the same, but uniquely ours. There is something timeless about cooking a pot of soup in the Le Creuset, a sense of connecting to a long line of women cooking soup in big pots. My friend Nev describes it as a harking; “Le creuset is of a historical period, steeped in tradition and pretend memories.” Continue reading Roasted Sweet Potato & Turmeric Soup
“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.
The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime…the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.
The beet was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.”
– from Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
Continue reading Roasted Beetroot with Crispy Lentils & Dill Yoghurt
Ubud has a whole raw, organic, health food thing going on. Fueled, I imagine, mostly by the expat community and the tourists coming through, the town has yoga studios, health food stores, organic restaurants, and raw food cafes. While I generally eschewed the raw food restaurants in favour of actual Balinese food, one of the health food drinks on most of the menus, which I love, wass turmeric juice. It was prepared in different ways in different places – sometimes as part of a smoothie, other times just as a juice.
For the last year or so I’ve been loving this turmeric tea of a morning. At the moment though, Brisbane is going through a crazy heat wave. Too hot to be drinking hot drinks. But I wanted to keep drinking my turmeric tea, so I recreated the cold versions that I drank all through Ubud. It is actually really easy to make – it is just a matter of preparing the ‘syrup’ ahead of time, and away you go. The style of turmeric juice I enjoyed the most in Ubud included a mixture of coconut water and lime juice, which I’ve replicated here. Continue reading Turmeric & Ginger Juice