'Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.'
― Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957)
'A person who is eating has neither greed nor anger,' goes a zen saying. The partaking of food promotes a harmony within ourselves, as well as with nature and those with whom we share our meal. From the small harmony of a meal at a day's end grows the larger harmony of the family, the community, and all that surrounds. Dinner is served. The whole world is seated.
'Sssshhh, I'm having a moment,' Peter said, as he took a second bite from the slice of freshly baked brownie. I do believe my beloved was actually having a choc-gasm, for he closed his eyes and added: 'These are up there with the very best!'
Whoa there big fella... put the brakes on a little will ya! I mean, what the heck happened to November, much less December? We're ticking days off the calendar before we can blink, and Christmas is just ten days away. Woot!
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.
'Early next morning, a shrill whistle woke Heidi up. She opened her eyes. A ray of sunlight came through the window, falling on her bed and making the hay shine like gold. Very surprised, she looked round her, trying to think where she was. Then, hearing her grandfather's voice, she remembered what had happened the day before, and her spirits rose. She was longing to see the goats again. Jumping out of bed, she climbed down the ladder and ran out to the front of the hut. Peter was there with his goats and her grandfather was on his way to open the door of the goat-shed. Heidi dashed over to see the goats and say good morning to them. "Come here, you mustn't go without some food," called her grandfather, putting a huge piece of bread and a huge piece of cheese into the haversack.'
This year's strawberry crop in the kitchen garden at The Blue House has been delicious, if not amazing! Some careful tending of the beds during the season, including a little weeding, plenty of water, a thick layer of mulch and a weekly slurp of seaweed solution have seen a massive boost in our yield.
A bowl of the most plump and succulent cherries takes centre stage on my kitchen table, tantalising my taste buds every time I walk past. These were grown and picked at Cherry Hill Orchards in the Yarra Valley, and came via Farmhouse Direct, delivered fresh to my door by Australia Post. They're so good, I find myself devouring half a dozen in a matter of moments, but I really want to save them for some extra special culinary creations.
'There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate truffles.'
'Imagine a world without herbs and spices! What if there were no such thing as vanilla ice cream, cinnamon buns or the aromatic flavour of juniper in gin? [And no] basil pesto, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, pickles, chilli sauce, seeded breads or tacos topped with zesty salsa!'