Blistered Summer Salad

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Do you remember how great summer holidays were as a kid? A seemingly endless expanse of time when the daily routine of school-homework-weekends was suspended in a glut of play. I don’t remember the specifics of summer holidays but I do remember the rhythms. Cricket, of course – on the radio, on the television – accompanied by backyard cricket . We used an old wicker basket in place of stumps and stray balls routinely smashed the back windows. I wasn’t actually much of a player myself, so was regularly sent on runs up the bad-tempered neighbours driveway to rescue lost balls. Summer barbecues, swimming in friends’ pools, camping by the beach, icy poles, late nights.  Continue reading “Blistered Summer Salad”

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”

Peach Walnut Crumble

peach-crumble-spoon

At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.
– Frida Kahlo

It is hard not to love Frida Kahlo. She was a woman who transgressed boundaries; a woman who stood in defiance. Gravely injured in a streetcar accident as a girl, she spent the rest of her life as a force of nature. Even through photos she exudes presence, individuality, character. Frida was a proud Mexican women and a committed communist. She had an affair with Trotsky, and took women as lovers, too. She married the greatest Mexican artist of the time but built her own name as an artist of immense talent and originality and skill. Continue reading “Peach Walnut Crumble”

Spice-Roasted Chickpeas, Herbed Freekeh & Moroccan Carrot Salad

chickpeas-freekeh-carrot-salad

This is a special post – it is part of the wonderful Cooking for One series! The very lovely Katie of Whole Nourishment invited me to get involved in this project which will see different bloggers all week posting recipes and tips around cooking for one. Before I get into my tips and recipe, let me just say that if you haven’t stumbled across Whole Nourishment before, then you most definitely should pop over for a visit. Katie has a real enthusiasm and passion for good clean food, which comes across in her wholesome and delicious recipes. And while you’re there, you should check out all of the other Cooking for One bloggers: Food To Glow / She Likes Food / To Her Core / Lynsey Loves Food / Earthy Feast / Nourished Roots. Continue reading “Spice-Roasted Chickpeas, Herbed Freekeh & Moroccan Carrot Salad”

Radish & Preserved Lemon Wild Rice Salad

roasted-carrot-radish-preserved-lemon-wild-rice-salad

Firstly, apologies that this post is a couple of days late! This weekend past was crazy busy for me and by the time Monday rolled around I was too exhausted to do much more than lounge and stare. I hope this delicious salad makes up for my tardiness…

Monday was the first day of spring. And Brisbane sure did turn it on. Clear blue skies, easy golden sunshine, bare feet and the smell of jasmine wafting through from the backyard. It’s a funny thing but at the end of summer, when the autumn leaves start falling, I love the coziness of thick socks and red wine. But at the end of winter there is nothing better than warm evenings and going to bed in nothing but underwear! Continue reading “Radish & Preserved Lemon Wild Rice Salad”

Lemon & Walnut Linguine with Roasted Broccoli

lemon-walnut-fettucini-closeup

It’s been threatening to rain for a few weeks now, and this weekend it finally did. Not quite soon enough though; most of South-East Queensland is now officially in drought. After our first summer up in Brisbane almost four years ago, where it rained relentlessly for months on end, where everything was mildewed and floods wreaked havoc across the state, it has been conspicuously dry. Our grass is now brown, dry and dusty, and no longer needs to be mowed. It is perpetually sunny up here (hence the moniker the Sunshine State).

Except for this weekend. It started slowly on Friday, and when we got to the markets on Saturday morning amidst the drizzle it was much quieter than usual; even half the stall holders hadn’t made it along. We got what we came for, but forwent our customary coffee-and-croissant on the grass as it was all too sodden. The rain built up over the day and by the afternoon was coming down pretty steadily. It is rare to see Brisbane beneath a cold grey wet cloud; I almost liked the change in scenery. Continue reading “Lemon & Walnut Linguine with Roasted Broccoli”