Cavity or black hole?

There are time when feeding a teenage boy feels like a bit like the labours of Sisyphus – cursed to carry water in a sieve – it might be more fun, but it seems every bit as endless!  I swear that our elder son, Alan, actually had not so much a cavity from hunger as…

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…

Cook’s day off

As the temperature climbed past 35°C again today, with humidity in the 90s, we went with having a day off, binge-watching our favourite genre shows and having lazy meals – so brunch started to look a lot like linner (when breakfast has gone past lunch, heading towards dinner!). Pancakes are quick to prepare and so perfect…

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…

Another year, another experiment

  Part of my schtick as a cook is not be limited by the tried and true winners, and to make real food that may not be picture perfect like the show cooks, but it gets eaten enthusiastically – leaving the pattern on the plate is fine, but otherwise love to see it cleaned up!…

‘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…

December 24 – pudding

I suspect that there is actually a law somewhere that defines Christmas dinner without pudding as a cruel and unusual punishment – but here in Oz it often represents a bit of a challenge when dinner time not unusually clocks in at north of 35°C.  Over the years, we’ve done them all from ice cream…

December 23 – hot chocolate

Drinking hot chocolate is another Christmas moment etched on our memories by seeing it in endless numbers of Christmas movies – although, to be fair, I don’t remember seeing anyone drink hot chocolate in Die Hard.  When we originally did the list of ingredients in 2012, I didn’t give in a thought until it came…

December 22 – cranberries

Cranberries in many forms are an indispensable part of Christmas now – but when I was young, back around the time of the last ice age, the token bowl of cranberry sauce was the limit – and then only if turkey was on the menu.  Like butter, dried cranberries now seem to be in everything…

December 21 – butter

Has anyone else noticed the effect of the world-wide butter shortage?  It’s hardly a drought but it has impacted availability and price for butter in many parts of the world – who’d ha thunk it, eh?  One of the staple ingredients of so many treats on a Christmas table, this year it gets its own…