Browsing in local food markets, delicatessens, butcher shops, greengrocers, bakeries and supermarkets is among the "must-do's" whenever Peter and I spend time overseas. To us, this pastime is almost as enjoyable as visiting museums. Hence, our preference is to rent an apartment with a fully-equipped kitchen. That way, we can live, shop and cook like the locals.
The scent of cloves always takes me back to the early 1960s. I am reminded of the grey-haired school dentist in his pure-white jacket, and the soothing qualities of eugenol paste, made from an ingredient in clove oil, that he used as a temporary filling and analgesic.
"That's THE BEST way to eat a hot cross bun," Peter declared, licking his lips and patting his belly contentedly. My Englishman loves a good pudding and he was clearly enamoured with my buttered hot cross bun version.
I had one of those ear worms happening on baking day this week. It wasn't an annoying tune, it was an upbeat number from the 1960s, and I found myself happily bopping around the kitchen. Some of you might remember the song in question. It was originally recorded by The Drifters and the chorus was: "Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey, I'll never, ever let you go."
My first taste of a gooseberry was during the 1960s in the garden of my friend Sandra's house. The family was English and Sandra's mother, Norah, grew rhubarb as well as the gooseberries.
I have always been one to celebrate the changing of the seasons – particularly when it comes to the abundance of fresh new produce that arrives at local greengrocers and fruit markets. The tender spears of asparagus that herald Spring; plump mangoes and cherries in Summer months; crisp apples and sweet pears in Autumn; and those wonderful root vegetables during the depths of Winter.
'Sweet potatoes are a commonly used soul food ingredient in the South,' writes Lance Rosen in the introduction to his recipe for a luscious-looking sweet potato pudding in his book, Temples of BBQ.
I remember the first time I ever saw a field of pineapples. My (soon-to-be) husband and I were on our way to Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, and we were so amazed by the sight of the massive pineapple plantation that we stopped by the side of the road to take photographs.
In an interview with Michael Williams on ABC RN's Blueprint for Living program, Kirsten Tibballs, renowned Australian chocolatier, pastry chef, and author of a new book titled Chocolate, spoke about the versatility of chocolate and how 'it always brings everyone so much pleasure'.
When my oldest child (my son) was just a wee baby, I lived two doors away from Val, a lovely stay-at-home mum, who had two little boys of her own. Like me, Val loved to cook, and we spent many happy hours together cooking, taste-testing and discussing recipes - particularly the quick and simple, old fashioned Aussie kind.
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
Join me as I share with you my favourite recipes; postcards and morsels from my travels; conversations with cookery writers
and chefs; and news on food, cookbooks
- Liz Posmyk
NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.