The cool change of late has seen me spending more time in my kitchen and, to Peter's delight, I've been baking almost every day. As I whisk and stir, I'm reminded often of my mother, and in my heart I sense that I'm morphing into her likeness. Sure enough, when I catch a glimpse of my own reflection in the glass on the oven door, I see a contented old duck in bare feet and a comfortable house dress, tea towel in hand... just like my lovely mum. The only things missing are an apron and bandana. Oh, and a vast ocean view through the kitchen window.
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.
It's baking day and as I open the oven door, the heady aroma of freshly baked bread brings me to reflect on the summer of '94 spent with my family at Budaörs on the outskirts of Budapest.
Oh, how I love this time of the year! Here we are zooming through January, and I know that many of you are still catching your breath after the festive season. Yet there is still cause for celebration. Australia Day falls on January 26, and this is followed by the beginning of the apple harvest in our local orchards.
'I’m probably the laziest cookbook writer going around, in that I just put the food I eat normally into my cookbooks, and cook from them as well,' says former lawyer, Adam Liaw. The popular television presenter, bestselling cookbook author, MasterChef Australia winner, Wall Street Journal columnist, and UNICEF Australia's National Ambassador for Nutrition has remained ever so humble despite his huge success. To my mind, it's that quality, as well as his inspired cooking, that makes him so very likeable!
One of the things I love best about cooking from scratch is that the most amazingly-delicious meals can be created from a few simple ingredients. I give you this silken tofu with chilli, coriander and sesame dressing as an example.
For the longest time, the printed version of Celia's recipe for chestnut fudge brownies has been at the top of the stack in my 'must cook' folder. I've simply been waiting to get my hands on some chestnut flour.
The festive feasting is officially finished at The Blue House. We've eaten our way through the Christmas ham, puddings, brandy custard and one or two boxes of panettone (!). Light and luscious foods now head up the agenda, along with daily cycling, swimming and post-dinner power walks.
'So many recipes, so little time' are words that spring to mind every time I browse the many wonderful cookery blogs and recipes pages on the web. For this long time collector of recipes, bookmarking a web site for later somehow doesn't promise that delicious sense of anticipation that comes from flagging the pages of a cookbook with coloured tabs, or indeed tearing a page from a magazine, with a firm plan to try your hand at making the dish yourself.
Looking back on my life to this point, I can say that I feel truly blessed. While there have been some hurdles along the way (and some of 'em were biggies), I am privileged to have come so far from humble beginnings, to have found my niche as a cook and food writer, and to have had some amazing culinary experiences over the years.