Rhubarb Pound Cake

There’s a wild sunset brewing up over the Pacific. The water is glowing turquoise, the sky is turning crazy pink, the lights of the Santa Monica Ferris wheel are starting to pulse and spin in the twilight. Life is so interesting I’d like to stick around forever, just to see what happens, how it all turns out.
– from White Sands, Geoff Dyer

It’s been an age since I’ve posted. There are numerous reasons, none of which are particularly original – work, kids, life. But last Wednesday, T requested that we bake something together. He sat up on the kitchen bench and helped me stir and sift (and lick the bowl), small hands sticky with such pride and joy that I found myself wanting to preserve the moment. Continue reading “Rhubarb Pound Cake”

Rhubarb & Rosemary Scrolls

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“I want everything
to have
a handle,
I want everything to be
a cup or a tool,
I want people to enter a hardware
store through the door of my odes.”

This excerpt from ‘House of Odes’ by Pablo Neruda seems a fitting welcome for a food blog. An invitation, if you will, to cook and make and share. With me, with your friends, with your family. Food is, after all, a communal experience. Continue reading “Rhubarb & Rosemary Scrolls”

January Favourites

Summer-Dinner

“In my way of thinking, anything is possible. Life is at the bottom of things and belief at the top, while the creative impulse, dwelling in the center, informs all.”
– Patti Smith, M Train

We ended 2015 by having dinner with old friends then sharing a bottle of champagne – just S and I – before getting into bed well before midnight. It was most lovely. We started 2016 with a long walk, a train ride, and coffee. Also most lovely. And since those cruisy beginnings, January seems to have hit like a bomb. S and I are both really busy with work, the weather is heating up to all kinds of crazy fuck-climate-change-is-a-bitch degrees, and I already feel ready for a holiday. Continue reading “January Favourites”

Chia Bowl, 2 Ways

chia-seed-pudding

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

– from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Imagining the impossible is a wonderful thing to do. Children are, of course, experts at this. Ground down by reality, us adults need a little more practice. Cooking is, I find, the perfect conduit to the creative. In the same way that the paradoxical ‘going forward and standing still’ of train travel lets the imagination break free, so does the paradoxical ‘action and waiting’ of cooking. A flurry of cutting and slicing and chopping followed by a slow methodical stirring; sifting and stirring and kneading and then sitting by the oven, waiting. Plenty of time to imagine the impossible. Continue reading “Chia Bowl, 2 Ways”

Homemade Oat Milk + Stovetop Granola

oat-milk-granola-spoon

Given the refugee crisis engulfing Europe – and the world – at the moment, writing about milk and oats seems totally trivial. The first time the heartbreaking image of little Aylan Kurdi lying dead on the beach came up in my feed I couldn’t look away. There was something about the way he was lying that looked just like the way my daughter sleeps in her bed at night and I couldn’t stop thinking of how scared he must have been in the ocean, alone, at the end. Of how he deserved to be safe and warm in bed, just like my kids.

It only makes me all the more angry at Australia’s punitive and heartless refugee policies. This is the supposedly ‘lucky country’, and it has been transformed over the last century by immigrants from Europe, from Asia, from the Middle East, from Africa. Made a richer, and a better, place to live thanks to the diverse cultures and hard work of so many refugees and migrants. This is my personal history – my grandparents came over as refugees after World War II – but it is also our collective history, our collective culture. We shouldn’t stand by as cruelties are perpetrated in our name. We may not have voted for this government, but this is our shame. We need to demand better. Continue reading “Homemade Oat Milk + Stovetop Granola”

Semolina Porridge & Maple Baked Apples

semolina-porridge-spoon

When you go to the supermarket you usually find three or four types of apples – golden delicious, granny smith, pink lady, fuji. Sometimes you might come across a jonathan, or a red delicious. Truth is there are scores of different heirloom apple varieties – sundowner, jazz, alvina, cameo, eve, royal gala, winesap, bramley… These days, though, commercial apple farmers grow the apples for their look and their ability to be stored and travel well. Taste, sadly, is not on the top of the list. If you want to delve into the many different apples available, you need to head down to apple country and find yourself some growers.

We’re pretty lucky to have found a grower down at our local market who comes up from Stanthorpe – Queensland’s apple capital – every week. Each week he’ll have some 8 – 10 apple varieties to choose from, along with – season depending – pears, quince, persimmon. I tend to go for crunchy not-overly-sweet apples, and for ages I was loving the alvinas until they went out of season. Lately it’s been cameos, but they are now at the end of their season too. Continue reading “Semolina Porridge & Maple Baked Apples”

Banana & Rosemary Loaf with Tahini-Vanilla Glaze

banana-rosemary-bread

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”