Suddenly, alchemy!

There is a whole part of cooking that is not far from alchemy, not least when you suddenly go from whipping cream to butter, or from stirring, stirring a mix over the heat to “eek, that’s a lot of cleaning up now all over the stove”. Those transitions that come up almost between breaths are…

Food to nourish, not strike a pose

The idea of candid food, appetising and nourishing just as it comes from the kitchen, appeals to me a great deal more than beautiful food posed for the camera that promises to have the taste qualities of cardboard.  I freely admit that it makes me quite sad to be at the park and see a…

Exiting kitchen now

When our backyard weather station went north of 40°C a couple of days ago, I went literal not metaphorical on the old saying: if it’s too hot, get out of the kitchen!!!  But there is a limit to how many scratch meals you can have before that starts to take a toll, so I have…

‘Tis the season – to harvest lavender (in Oz at least!)

When a colleague visited New York City a few years back, a bus driver was thrilled to have Aussies on board in a very wintery January, during the slower post-new year tourist season.  Asked how it was in Oz just then, my colleague said ‘Lovely, it’s pretty warm since it’s summer there’ – no word…

Date spread, your way

Always the poor cousin to the beautiful Medjool dates that go so well on a cheese platter, the humble cooking date has never looked so marvellous as it does in this spread.  Originally, I made it to go on scones as an alternative to jam.  On the second run, a bit of added ‘naked’ ginger*…

Dukkah

Dukkah is a savoury spice mix that brings in the protein of nuts and seeds to revive you on hot or hard-working days.  Of course, it’s also good for making you look like a legend when friends pop in unexpectedly – just have a jar of this ready in the cupboard. Serve with small pieces…

Lavender

A classic old world plant, culinary lavender is just one in a genus that is part of the mint family and embraces 39 species of lavender.  Lavendula angustifolia, often known as (old) English lavender, is the only species suitable for cooking because it is very low in camphor.  Though I love the look of it,…