In this tech-driven, crazy-busy era, I feel that the mantra: 'the simple things in life are often the best' is particularly appropriate and a relatively good one to bear in mind daily as we rush from one agenda item to another.
‘Ah, polenta. In Europe, during and after the War, we ate it almost daily. And it was good,’ my late father told me over dinner one evening many years ago.
There was a time when I thought that life was too short to be bothered with roasting chestnuts at home. Sure, I enjoyed buying bags of them, steaming hot and freshly roasted, from sellers at market stalls - but had struggled with preparing them myself. And then I discovered that there are different varieties of chestnuts, some of which are easier to peel than others.
morsel [/ˈmɔːs(ə)l/] noun.
A small piece or quantity of food; a mouthful. Something very tasty and appetising. A treat or tidbit.
In the introduction to her latest book, Food for Sharing Italian Style, Liliana Battle, shares a narrative about watching an elderly couple who were sitting at the table next to her in a restaurant.
'I smiled, and thought how nice it was to see two people well into their eighties still going out... to enjoy a meal together. Then I watched as they just sat there, not speaking, not even looking at each other. It was almost painful to watch... but then the waiter came out and placed a plate of food in front of each of them... they talked, they laughed and they came to life in front of my eyes,' she writes.
‘BELIEVE it or not, the elegant and beautiful Easter lily and the dry, old smelly onion are close cousins, both coming from the lily family,' medical anthropologist John Heinerman writes in his fascinating Encyclopedia of Fruits & Vegetables (Parker, 1995).
'Is it really still summery in your neck of the woods,' I asked of a dear friend who now lives up north. 'Yep,' she replied. 'We're expecting blue skies and a balmy 28 degrees C today.'
Her response had me swooning, particularly as I had woken up to a brisk Canberra morning, heavy with thick fog and grey skies.
There's something very alluring about an award-winning chef who says "I'm not a natural TV presenter or a travel guide. I'm not a celebrity chef, or wanting to be. I am just a cook from Melbourne who loves his life and all that it encompasses."
As autumn nights grow cooler, I visit my kitchen garden every morning and look, wistfully, at the courgette (zucchini) flowers, knowing that soon they will be no more. They are one of the seasonal delights of the warmer months. Plucking the last of the delicate golden buds, I am keen to celebrate them with a suitable dish.
The end of summer is a bittersweet experience for me. In my hometown, Canberra, the weather can be extremely hot and dry, with temperatures soaring into the high 30s (Celsius) and more. Add a scorching wind to the mix and you can find yourself looking forward to winter. But when winter comes, along with aches and pains brought on by the bitter cold, I am yearning for summer again.
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.