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.
Lately, there's been a wee nip in the air and mists draped over the hills towards Mulligan's Flat. So I've stepped up our breakfast to include a bowl of rib-sticking porridge—said to be the "chief o' Scotia's food" by poet and lyricist, Robbie Burns.
It's another scorcher out there, and I have enjoyed not one but two swims today. I've been meaning to share a stone fruit dessert recipe with you, but truth is the only baking I'm doing lately is when I am lolling about in the open air swimming pool, soaking up some delicious Vitamin D from the sun.
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.
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.
One of my favourite guest presenters at my former cooking school was French-born cookery writer and television chef, Gabriel Gaté. Not only is Gabriel a magnificent cook, he is also a delightful person.
Aussie shoppers will have noticed that fresh strawberries are in plentiful supply right now at local greengrocers and supermarkets. In fact, the fruit has come on with gusto and there's such a glut of them, that strawberry prices have come tumbling down.
It's Father's Day in Australia tomorrow and, no doubt, many dads across the country will be treated to a cooked breakfast and some new socks, power tools, books, or a pile of instant lottery tickets.
The fruit from my friends at Redbelly Citrus is superb this year, and ever since I tasted those roasted duck legs with blood orange sauce at the feast at Lucio's, I've been fantasising about cooking duck with a caramelised blood orange glaze.
In a delicious conversation with ABC Radio National's Margaret Throsby, MasterChef judge and food writer, Matt Preston, mentioned that most people only cook three recipes from any one of the cookbooks they buy; and said that he prefers to see a 'dirty cookbook', meaning a book that is loved and used, rather than sitting pristine on the coffee table. This has always been my philosophy too.
Hi. I'm Liz. I'm a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
I love the process of writing and the stringing together of words to form
a story borne from the wisp of an idea. I also greatly enjoy cooking
Join me as I share with you my favourite recipes, postcards and morsels from my adventures, conversations with cookery writers
and chefs, and news on food and cooking.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.