ten.4 about the oil

What I have learnt from the Italians Not all oils are created equal I started writing this post from Beirut, part of a recent roll of finding time to put words together only whilst on planes, trains or in hotel rooms.  I was back in the Lebanese capital on another baba ghanoush junket; that is working on a TV commercial for a nutritionally dubious food product for … Continue reading ten.4 about the oil

Sticky post

ten. (and a recipe for broccoli pasta)

It is May 7, 2015 and I am on an early morning train bound for Milan, on my way to a rather special book launch and to have a look at EXPO, the Universal Exposition running with the theme ‘Feeding the Planet; Energy for Life’.  I go with a pinch of skepticism and a handful of hope;  I think the theme is a worthy one … Continue reading ten. (and a recipe for broccoli pasta)

mother’s love

A couple of days ago a gentleman asked me whether I was British.  I replied ‘No, I am Australian’.  He suggested that this was the same; making me essentially British.  I repeated that I was Australian, and that did not make me British. 2015 marks the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli, the start of the bloody campaign where the ANZACS; the Australian and New … Continue reading mother’s love

about my father, seville oranges and making marmalade

I don’t often write about my father on my blog, unfairly so, because I am, and I think you can say this at 44 years of age, as much my father’s daughter as I am a replica of my mother.  Our real shared love is for the Australian high country, a special sort of bond built over years of camping and walking; of long drives … Continue reading about my father, seville oranges and making marmalade

spinach and ricotta gnocchi

Years ago a friend gave me Elizabeth David’s biography and in a week’s reading ED was transformed from trusted cooks’ companion to flesh and blood woman of adventure living in an era decidedly more romantic than our own.  Aside from the voyeuristic element; the tales of her smoking while she cooked and her famous spats with lovers (she was so much cooler than Julia Childs) her writing … Continue reading spinach and ricotta gnocchi

about my mother and the importance of beans

My mother Alison was born in 1938 in suburban Melbourne, into that generation known as war babies, the children that spent their early years albeit far from the horrors of Europe but nonetheless under the blanket of food rations, bomb shelters and the BBC war broadcast.  My Grandfather Jim was an engineer and my Grandmother Marjorie a seamstress, and their three girls grew up in a … Continue reading about my mother and the importance of beans

mopping up the juices

My first job in Rome was in a restaurant owned by a Neapolitan man and his Roman wife.  The best food in the place was undoubtedly that cooked by his mother; who would shuffle in bearing great trays of Melezane alla Parmigiana; heavy with eggplant that had been first fried (Neapolitans love to fry) before being layered with rich tomato sauce and mozzarella.  Between being harangued by … Continue reading mopping up the juices

un bel pasticcio and other sticky situations

‘O mamma’ cries the child, ‘ho fatto un pasticcio’ is one of those lovable Italian expressions, translating roughly as ‘I’ve made a mess’ and most often heard in situations that involve play dough, cake mix and mud pies, and less frequently in those involving adult style misunderstandings. Pasticcio in the Italian kitchen can describe both a simple pie or cake, or a sticky – be it physical or metaphorical … Continue reading un bel pasticcio and other sticky situations