Ingredients I have known

Having started out in professional life as a microeconomist, I am always interested in what people buy and how people shop, and I’ve looked at that wherever I have travelled – including to this lavender farm in Tasmania.  When my sister Roslyn and I stepped out of the car on a warm summer morning, not a puff of breeze stirring meant that the ‘aromatherapy’ factor was pretty darn high!

Cloves     Coffee     Lavender     Quinoa     Rosemary     Syrup

Throughout my working life, I have travelled to all manner of places and been lucky enough to have opportunities to side track – which, of course, I have taken happily and so gained lots of insights into how other people live, cook, and eat.  Much of it is not about the main ingredients – it is the little things we add to make dishes distinctive, so sometimes they become idiosyncratic to a region or even a town or two.

Those things come together in my cooking, which is what I’ll be reflecting in this stream of my recipes looking at specific ingredients – either so common we see them everywhere in an endless variety of uses, or so specific they were unknown outside their ‘home town’ until the marvels of ‘online’ in all its form allowed us to learn from a distance.

As I work through and expand this list (beyond a single link, which might be all there is to start with), I will add posts to tell a bit more of the story of how I came to know that ingredient – perhaps you could suggest an item for me to cover here?

PS On a recent trip with my younger sister Kathryn, I encountered one of the most beautiful crops of rosemary I have ever seen, a rival even to our Mum’s garden (which was epic in the amount of gorgeous, aromatic rosemary she grew for making lapel sprays to be handed out on ANZAC Day). Here it is, from Maldon in Victoria, where we stayed in an old miner’s cottage: