Veal Shank and Vegetable Broth
This weekend's snippet is a rustic, nourishing broth that my mother and father cooked for us kids, sometimes with a whole chicken and the giblets, instead of veal shanks. Their own parents, my grandparents on both sides, most probably cooked it for their children too. And their parents before them most likely taught the recipe to them. My son and daughter, and my sister's three children (and their children), and our partners, all refer to it as 'Nanna Soup'. Comfort food at its simplest.
Lamb Tagine with Prunes
On into the old city of Fez, where the streets of the medina, are so crowded we are pressed between the walls of houses and the saddlebags of donkeys, and the donkeys turn the eyes of the passers-by less than we do. Amazed at the visual richness of bare-torsoed men manning their pools of blue, red and saffron dyes in the Souk of the Tanners at the entrance, and the colour of the rugs, brassware, foods and myriad of wares in the medina, ... Our table is graced with beautiful tagines (simmered dishes), cooked and often presented in the cone-lidded, multicoloured pottery dish that bears the same name.
— Diane Holuigue Postcards from Kitchens Abroad (1999).
Slow Poached Quinces
THE QUINCE TREE
The quinces are yellow lamps amid red leaves,
Gay festal lanterns that a faery hand
Hung there at twilight when the long leaves turned
From emerald to a mass of crimson flame,
Enchanted fire that through the dawn mist burned.
Beautiful is morning on the land
When quinces hang like lamps among red leaves.
And when the moon of autumn lights the hills
Silver green are the quinces in her light,
Like lamps among the leaves above the well
That mirrors them entangled with the stars.
See, there a red leaf on the water fell.
One by one they will fall through the autumn night.
Tomorrow at dawn the well will brim with leaves.
The quinces are yellow lamps amid red leaves.
Tomorrow, when they ripen, we will go
Gathering them. In baskets they will lie,
Pale yellow fruit, a little pitiful
And sad their bare tree set against the shy.
But we have seen and we will always know
Their light of festal lamps at autumn tide.
by Canadian writer Joan S. Grigsby from Lanterns by the Lake (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. 1929).
MY FAVOURITE POSTCARD depicts Canberra during the depths of winter — completely surrounded by the snow-dusted peaks of the Brindabellas. Seeing that image on my way to the produce markets on recent weekends has made me glad to know that winter is really upon us. To my culinary mind, the cold snap means it’s time to get down to some serious cooking!
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.