Yesterday when I was young
The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame
The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned...
This weekend, Canberra's largest Home and Leisure Show features cutting edge innovations for home, leisure, outdoors, travel and gardening. There are more than 300 exhibitors, displaying and demonstrating the very latest technology, with a focus on home products.
Strolling around the picturesque village of Berrima in New South Wales recently, Peter and discovered a delicious and quirky larder door, tucked away at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the main street. I'd like to introduce you to the store owners, chefs Veronica Stute and Justin Wells, a.k.a. Two Skinny Cooks.
On the subject of dessert, what say you, my friends? If you ask me, there's always room for a little bit of dessert, especially if it's ice cream — and even more so if it's ice cream that's on the exotic side.
If you were to be granted three wishes and had the opportunity to experience a once-in-a-lifetime food enthusiast's adventure, tell me my friends, what would you wish to do? For me, I'd like very much to spend a day in the company of one of my food heroes, Yotam Ottolenghi. I imagine we'd sit and peruse Yotam's cookbooks over breakfast, to see what we might cook for the day. Then we'd go to the market and shop for star ingredients: sweet potatoes, pomegranates, feta, yoghurt, lemons, tomatoes, garlic, beetroot, peppers and aubergines, perhaps. Then together we'd cook an Ottolenghi feast, arranged on big beautiful platters. And then we'd eat. Sounds wonderful, no?
One of the key things I learned during my ten years as the manager of a food market and co-owner of a cooking school was to talk with the greengrocers, butchers, poulterers and fishmongers – and ask about the origins of the fresh produce that I was buying from them. The chefs I worked with were always keen to know and, as the chief cook for a family of four, so was I.
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).
It's not that often that ordinary folks get the chance to sit across the dinner table with a politician, but thanks to veteran political journalist, Annabel Crabb, we can. The fourth series of her popular Kitchen Cabinet returns to our screens this month and, once again, there's an interesting, if not delightful, agenda with a delicious menu to match.
Long time readers of Good Things will know that yours truly is a city-girl. I was born and bred in Canberra, Australia and have lived here all of my life and absolutely love it. And yet there deep down inside there's always been a wee yearning for a taste of the rural life. As good as that sounds, I do ask myself how I'd go with a tree change. Heck, I break out in hives from head to foot at the mere sight of a horse. I love cows but am also just a little daunted by their size. And my hay fever would get in the way of any crop farming outdoors in the dusty Australian landscape. That said, I do so greatly appreciate farmers and farming, a little like ABC Landline's wonderful journalist, Pip Courtney, who loves everything to do with rural life but once told me (via Twitter) that she's not a country lass either.
'The light music of whisky falling into glasses made an agreeable interlude.'