ten.7 something old something new

What I have learnt from the Italians on baking and tradition Everyone is baking. In Lewes Dan is baking Rachel’s pangiallo while up in London Rachel is drowning strands of saffron to colour the same recipe, which she learnt in Rome but which she now probably makes using notes from the very same Dan, her friend and baking mentor.  Dan is reminiscing about all things baked in … Continue reading ten.7 something old something new

ten.6 good starts

The preface to this series needed to go something like this: Not for a minute do I believe that Italians hold the copyright to good sense in the kitchen.   I should have started by saying that the Italians in these ramblings are like a placeholder for all those authentic culinary traditions that derive from what grows well in local soil and is raised on local pastures. Factors as pivotal … Continue reading ten.6 good starts

ten.5 harvest, or cooking with what’s just off the trees

The late summer harvest season has been wonderfully satisfying in its very humble way on our little patch of volcanic soil at Lubriano.  Apart from the tomatoes and (Lebanese) cucumbers, we have had blooming amethyst like plums and our own crop of hazelnuts from the tree that rose from the shrubby bush inherited three years ago.  There have been trips to collect blackberries and baskets full … Continue reading ten.5 harvest, or cooking with what’s just off the trees

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

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

ancient walls and found objects *

Porta Maggiore was the eastern gateway to ancient walled Rome, the huge arched opening in the Aurelian walls where the Via Casalina and the Via Prenestina converge on the city.   Now the crumbling marble arches act more like a roundabout; circled by cars and the rattle of trams that roll in from Pigneto on one side and Testaccio on the other.  I’ve written about Porta Maggiore before … Continue reading ancient walls and found objects *