On one of our recent road trips, we discovered a bakehouse and café in a town about 120 kilometres from home. Among the goodies on offer were gluten-free chocolate and banana cupcakes with a cream cheese topping. They were a bit on the 'dry' side, but reasonably tasty, if not a little expensive. That said, we stopped in at the café again on the return trip to buy a couple more, as I was keen to pull them apart and then try to recreate them in my kitchen at home.
It's mid November (already!) and at this time of the year my thoughts turn to cleaning up the barbecue to get ready for cooking and entertaining outdoors. I'm also starting to think about menus for various al fresco events, as well as gifts for food-loving family and friends. Enter, Ross Dobson's King of the Grill.
Greetings on this rainy Sunday in Canberra. With temperatures climbing into the high 30s C through the week, the coming of the stormy weather was imminent. We had such huge downpours this morning, that I think any remaining Springtime blossoms will have been well and truly beaten off the trees in our neighbourhood. I'm hoping that local farmers got plenty of this much needed rain too.
Broccolini is one of the vegetables that always makes an appearance in my market basket. I love its sweet, mild flavour and the goodness and crunch it offers in any dish. Better still, it's one of the greens that my Peter is happy to eat on a regular basis. So imagine my joy when chef Yotam Ottolenghi prepared a salad of broccolini (and other greens) with sweet tahini at the literary lunch at Nomad that we attended in Sydney recently. 'If you make this for us at home, I'll eat it,' Peter told me after the first bite. *Happy dance* time!
A brief conversation earlier this week reminded me of something that Fred Savage, a.k.a. Kevin Arnold, said in one of my favourite TV shows, The Wonder Years (1988-93). 'Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you're in diapers; the next day you're gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul.'
Despite the fact that we've retired from full time work, it's been a busy weekend for the Good Things team. Yes, I suppose it could be said that every day is a weekend for us now. But, hey, we've worked extremely hard our entire lives and now is our time to enjoy life to the max.
There are some days when I feel certain that I am morphing into my mother! Today is the perfect example. It's a hot one, around 30 degrees C. I have not stepped outside, except briefly to water my pots and our kitchen garden. I'm wearing a light house dress, have bare feet and bed hair, and have spent the day pottering and baking to my heart's content. Yes, I am the picture of my mother in her middle years. All that's missing is a view of the ocean from the kitchen window. But hey, who cares. I'm at my happiest right now, doing exactly this.
There's a lot to be said for 'good old country hospitality', particularly in Australian towns such as Young in New South Wales, which is currently gearing up for the 65th National Cherry Festival.
'Anyone who has been to Spain but has not travelled inland may be amazed to learn that Spain has over 190 million olive trees, more than anywhere else in the world!'
Breakfast has always been at the top of my daily food agenda and I've never been one who could skip it. This may have stemmed from my childhood, for my mother took care to ensure that the family left the house, for work or school, with satiated bellies. Our day would begin with a serving of mum's semolina or rice pudding, or perhaps some French toast; or scrambled or coddled eggs. And there was always some fresh fruit, spritzer water and mum's cooked caffè latte on the table.