'Dear Lizzy. The 2015 olive harvest is approaching and we'd love to invite you and Peter to join us with Kangaroo Valley Olives to be an olive farmer for a day,' came the delicious invitation from my friend and colleague, Jacqueline Weiley of Foodscape Tours.
'If it's work, do it fast. If it's food, eat it little by little', says a Filipino proverb. Perfect, for that's exactly how I like to savour these bite-sized morsels of Inihaw na Baboy or grilled pork skewers with banana ketchup.
We picked the last of our zucchinis this week. It's been a reasonably good season, and our three zucchini plants have kept us and the neighbours contented for a while. Fortunately, Peter has come to enjoy the vegetable and loves it baked into something delicious, like my spinach and zucchini frittata, chocolate walnut zucchini cake, or stuffed with bacon, kransky and my bolognese toppers.
Culinary legend, Charmaine Solomon OAM, was a regular and hugely popular guest at the cooking school that I co-owned once upon a time. Whenever Charmaine presented a cookery class, together with her late husband, Reuben, you knew the event would be a crowd pleaser.
Zucchinis are not only versatile and delicious, they also have a magical properties! For instance, I'm convinced that the species has cleverly developed a cloaking device for its fruit, not dissimilar to the stealth technology employed by Captain James Tiberius Kirk and his gallant team on the Starship Enterprise.
My first few encounters with chef Mork Ratanakosol took place when his contemporary Thai restaurant was a delicious secret tucked away in a side alley of a suburban shopping centre. With such an innovative and original menu, and flavour-packed food, I had always imagined that Morks was destined for bigger and better things – so I was none too surprised when the establishment relocated to the Kingston Foreshore in springtime last year.
'You need to make this salad!' Coming from my man, those words make my cook's heart sing. He's not really the salad type, you see, and the prospect of nagging him to eat his greens for the sake of his wellbeing doesn't sit well. But, every now and then we stumble upon a salad that he loves. And when that happens, I'm so there!
Growing up in suburban Australia as part a Hungarian migrant family was certainly interesting when compared to the households my friends lived in. The cultural differences were significant, perhaps most remarkably when it came to the food we ate. While my bestie was eating takeaway foods such as Chinese fried rice (on Thursday nights), barbecued chicken and chips (on Friday nights) and home made hot-buttered toast on Saturday nights (because her mum was out and about), I was enjoying my mum's home made Töltött paprika (capsicums stuffed with pork mince and rice), Töltött káposzta (cabbage rolls stuffed with pork mince), and Fasírt (rissoles made from pork and veal mince).
When it comes to variety and availability of ingredients in food shopping, my Peter and I count our blessings. Five minutes from our home in one direction there are several excellent grocery stories, including specialty Indian, Persian and Asian; as well as a Halal butcher. And about five minutes down the road in the opposite direction we have the wonderful Capital Region Farmer's Market, as well as a well stocked Korean supermarket and butcher.
From time to time during the latter years of his life — particularly when my mother's health began to deteriorate — my wonderful father would don an apron and take over the kitchen for the afternoon. Slow-roasting was one of his particular specialities and I have yet to share a couple of his recipes here, but will certainly do so in the fullness of time.
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
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.