there’s time

October 24, 2012 § 7 Comments

Hello…

Well, I made it. I am on the other side of something quite big, something that has kept me rather distracted from myself and all the other things I have wanted to do for the past two years. I have finished my masters! And there is a very peaceful knowledge that time is now on my side. It belongs to me again. This is nice. Well very nice actually. Overwhelmingly fantastic!

So here I am with some space, to do something for myself, slowly and how ever I want to. Thats a lovely feeling.

The garden is caught between winter and summer and remains positively neglected and wild. But, this is not so bad, because I know that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Its wonderful to know I can now spend more time taming broad beans, if thats what I want to do. But perhaps more importantly, more time nourishing my wicked taste for very fine delicious things.

Thanks to a very delicious breakfast eaten here and to Jamie Oliver for the idea for this recipe.

Smashed Broad Beans and Peas

2 cups fresh podded broad beans
1 cup fresh podded peas
a decent handful of fresh mint
a decent couple of splashes of olive oil
juice of one lemon
about 1/4 of a garlic clove crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the peas and beans in boiling water for no more than two minutes, drain and rinse in cold water immediately. Pull the outer skin of each podded broad bean – and puree all ingredients together.

Its that easy

Serve on toast with a poached egg and a smattering of finely grated pecorino.

morning

April 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

 

 

It was such a quiet morning this one. Everyone was still in bed. The mist hung around till late. The grass was wet and cold under my feet. I thought about the brown snake we had seen yesterday and I thought about my shoes but I did not want to break the morning by going back inside. There is a sameness to all the mornings here, this place that grew me up. The light follows the same cycles year in year out. I know this landscape like I know the lines on the palm of my hands. Painted behind my eyes.

a photo a day

February 29, 2012 § 2 Comments

On returning from India, I vowed to keep my pace slow, to let that country that had saturated my thoughts and body linger into my Melbourne life. But I knew it was stolen time when a week had passed and I still felt no hairs turn grey. I needed a strategy. I decided to make sure I do the things that make me happy. I would take a photo a day, I would draw more pictures, I would write more often in a book with thick cream paper – pages that allowed my thoughts to spill out and look comfortable there, all in a row. It didn’t matter for the words meanings, just the black on cream, the repetition making the messy letters look organised, thoughtful.

My photo a day has ended up being more like 3 photos every 3 days, often at night, just before bed, when I remember. But it doesn’t seem to matter, its a small piece of time out, like that quiet moment smokers have on the veranda. I haven’t noticed any more hairs turn grey.  Here are some of them.

 

 

 

harissa

February 26, 2012 § 5 Comments

Im a little tired of late, and pulling my thoughts into words seems to get stuck somewhere far back in my brain, unable to reach the nerve endings of my fingers to type anything audable  or useful. So I am keeping this simple… just the recipe and a few photos. I know it has been a bit of a trend of late – perhaps some quite moments when life slows down will solve this problem and my thoughts will be inspired to carry themselves to my limbs. Until then, here is a recipe for Harissa. I was dreaming of this all winter, waiting for capsicums to come into season, it is a delicious spicy sauce great on curries, fried tofu, burgers, lamb cutlets….


Recipe for Harissa

2 red capsicums
2 tsp cumin seeds roasted
2 tsp coriander seeds roasted
5 small bullet chillies de seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp salt
100 ml oil

Roast the red capsicum in a hot oven until black. Place in a bowl with a plate on top in the fridge until it cools. Once cool, peel off the skin, remove seeds and finely dice.

In a hot saucepan toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant. Roughly crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle before adding roasted capsicum, chillies, garlic and salt. Grind and pumice until smooth. Stir in the oil.

This will keep under a thin layer of oil in the fridge for up to a week.

a few little thoughts from an inspiring reading and memories from Varanasi

September 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Overtime the city has been compared to an artwork, a machine, a sculpture and a poem.

But it is more than these things on their own. A city is composed of memories, feelings, interactions, desires and passions. It is both a natural, built and thought entity shaped by culture and geography. It is a place where lives are told, where natural forces ebb and flow.

It tells a narrative about the people who live there and how they relate to the world. Together these stories make up a place and connect all who dwell in them.

Spirn, AW 1988, ‘The Poetics of City and Nature: Towards a New Aesthetic in Urban Design’, Landscape Journal, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 108-126.

a frozen morning

August 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

Family visits, the old farm I grew up on, to wake up one morning, a frozen landscape, the bright highland dawn strong with altitude, playing its tones on the frozen webs of the arachnids.

Autumn and Chutney Red and Green

March 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

The days are whirling on by. Why is there such a fine balance between being too busy and not busy enough. I have hit too busy hard and have resorted to that all to familiar feeling that any tiny spare moment in the day must be made productive. At the same time I am trying preciously to hold onto stolen moments alone in the garden, or a walk down a quite evening street, or a good stare at the ceiling whilst lying in bed. A life without time to smell winter on its way, or missing the precise day autumn turns the leaves on the trees, or  not noticing the loveliness of a miserable cold day,  isn’t worth living to me.

So Autumn has snuck up and run me over. It comes with cold toes and dewy grass, turmeric days, darkening evenings, soup cravings and way too many tomatoes in the garden.

This Tomato Chutney recipe originated from a friends brother. Its evolved a bit along the way but was so damn good to start with that it would be a shame to change it too much. The recipe calls for green tomatoes but because ours are still ripening I  have used red ones instead and just used a bit less salt. If you are using red ones you also don’t need to let the tomatoes sit over night in the salt as the recipe suggests.

Recipe for Tomato Chutney

2 kg tomatoes roughly chopped
700 g onion finely diced
700 g grated apple
1/3 of a cup salt (if using red tomatoes 1/4 cup will do)
2 cups dark brown sugar
400 g sultanas or raisins
400 g dates roughly chopped
2 and 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp turmeric
1/2 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp whole cummin seeds
1 Tbsp whole coriander seeds
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp mustard seeds
/2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 Tbsp whole cloves
1 Tbsp whole pepper corns

Put the tomatoes, onion and salt together in a bowl and leave to rest overnight (this is only necessary if you are using green tomatoes).

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes. Simmer and stir regularly for 45 minutes.

In the meantime pre heat the oven to 140°C.  Clean about 10 jars in hot water. Place the jars on their sides in the oven until they have dried. Boil the lids in a saucepan of hot water.

Pour the mixture, it must be still boiling hot,  into the hot jars and tighten the lids immediately.

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