Category Archives: General Comments

See you on the flipside

For some time, hidden carefully away from my readers and my family, my health has taken a bit of a knock.

Things have come to a head, with first my doctor then some specialists giving me a stern talking to. They tell me I need surgery.

Now, not later.

While my prognosis is excellent, recovery is long and will be measured in months, not weeks. Most critically, this surgery is will have a significant impact on my ability to eat. Which is the most cruel thing a food writer can endure,

So, with no means to accurately test recipes I have decided the best thing is to put the blog into hiatus for a while.

I’m very optimistic I’ll make a full recovery. Truthfully, having been so under par for a long time, it’s unlikely I will know just how unwell I’ve been until good health returns. But the thought of a restricted diet is dispiriting. My natural inclination is to hide away from everyone and everything until I feel ready.

While I’m recuperating, there is lots I can do. I have a cookbook to finish. I really, really want to update and give this site a new look and provide lots more easy-to-find material for you to use. There are other writing projects elsewhere that demand my attention.

After a couple of weeks when I’m more comfortable I will be back working behind the scenes and you can continue to chat with me on Twitter and Facebook. I hope you keep in touch.

But in the meantime, take care of each other. I’m not going to return until I’m ready, but I will come back, probably in late Spring/early Summer. Promise.

 

Off My Trolley

Any visitor to Melbourne quickly realises that it is a town of bikes and shopping trolleys. Little Nana trolleys in every colour. The sturdier wire two-tiered ones which are wheeled around Queen Vic and South Melbourne and Preston markets. It’s normalised shopping behaviour. Your don’t have to be an old lady to drag it along.

I am an unrepentant fan of shopping at the markets and it was an act of commitment to my new town when I bought a shopping trolley as soon as possible after moving here.

Mind you it has its share of problems. You have to be a packing ninja to organise heavy food at the bottom, with soft cheese or mushrooms at the top of the pile. You can’t drag too much without it hurting your shoulders. And for someone of my height, I always seem to be bending to get items in or out.

The people at CarryMaster reckon they’ve cracked these problems by building a better shopping trolley. Continue reading Off My Trolley

Old Favourites, With a Twist (Sponsored Post)

You’ve got to admit, it’s pretty special when a product celebrates a centenary. As with anyone celebrating a 100th birthday, it’s natural to ask the secret to their longevity.

So while someone might attribute it to excellent genes and not being a smoker, for a product we look at something else.

Pyrex is celebrating 100 years in 2015 and it’s easy to see why it’s lasted so well and so long. Pyrex estimates that in that time more than 75 million measuring jugs have sold worldwide! (Which makes me think that a lot of YOU might have one, yes?) But of course there’s far more to the range of trusty oven-to-table kitchenware we all know and love. Continue reading Old Favourites, With a Twist (Sponsored Post)

Desiderata

I believe that silence is golden.
That an unobserved life is a fast track to unhappiness.
That people are inherently good and worth seeking out.

I have found the value in being a good listener, of staying in my truth, of standing in my power, of remaining humble and of seeking out the stories of others. For everyone has their own story. Continue reading Desiderata

The Bloggers I Love – The 2014 Edition

I’m not sure where I read it but I once saw a comment that went roughly like this: ” Blogging requires passion and authority. Which leaves out most people.”

Quite. Continue reading The Bloggers I Love – The 2014 Edition

All Sticks, No Carrots

Let’s be very clear from the outset: Not everyone in this budget will do the heavy lifting. In this age where, according to Joe Hockey, everyone from richest to poorest is guilty of self-entitled snarfing from the public trough, not everyone will suffer this cruellest of all budgets.

But of course.

If you are, quite bizarrely, a ballerina, a school chaplain, a mining magnate or a double income couple earning in excess of $150,000 per year, you can all breathe a little easier tonight. Your small to medium business will also pay less company tax, even though you will pay more in petrol excise. Continue reading All Sticks, No Carrots

Forget Andre, Just Give Me Chooks

It’s not that we’re not grateful, really we are. We love being mums (on the whole), we love our families (for the most part) and we want them to be happy.

But we’re sick and tired of being so NICE about it often to our own detriment. Our generosity and boundless love has not served us well. We smile through gritted teeth when our partners give us flowers from the servo. When we get fluffy slippers and a sodding André Rieu CD for a gift, we SMILE and say thank you.

To be clear: Unless it’s Benedict Cumberbatch in full Sherlock regalia at the end of the bed, we don’t want a pasty man with a violin for Mother’s Day.

Cropped from comments left on our Facebook page earlier in the week, here is what we want. No, really. Continue reading Forget Andre, Just Give Me Chooks

On Food, Money and Health

Yesterday I gave a talk at the Women’s Health Goulburn North East annual International Women’s Day breakfast. Eighty women sat in a lovely restaurant and ate my food – french toast, bruschetta, frittatas and muesli – all prepared by a professional chef and kitchen staff. It was truly an honour to be there and I spoke for 25 minutes about how food and money and our health are connected.

I showed photos of me as a 5 year old, and of me and Margaret Fulton, and an ugly daikon radish that made everyone laugh before I told them why we would never see one like that in our supermarkets. I can’t reproduce all of it, but this is an abridged version of my speech.

IWDTalk

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I’ve been asked to speak with you today about the relationship between food, money and health and I confess when given this topic I blanched. For one thing, we are a switched on food culture and have been for at least the last forty years. That’s two generations of people around the country who eat a greater variety of foods than ever before and who enjoy better education and economic stability than at any other time in this nation’s history. Continue reading On Food, Money and Health

Oooooh, I'm a Nominee!

It’s surprising how quickly my emails pile up if left unattended.

I’ve been out of the office just two days – a trip to the country, of which more later – and I get a good hundred or so emails a day, all vying for my attention.

So naturally, I ignore them.

And I then come home and start cooking and writing, and eventually, I look at those emails.

And then this:

Kidspot Voices of 2014 Nominee

Why, thank you! (You know who you are, you gorgeous nominating person, you. Yes, and you too, over there in the corner.)

Cake for everyone,

The Secret Life of Me

Once I went to lunch with some bloggers and the conversation soon turned to shop talk. Someone asked, how long does it take you to write a post? Around the table, the answers came back: “An hour”, said one. Another, a blogger with a young family, explained how she jammed writing into a busy afternoon whenever her babies napped. Another used her children’s swimming lessons to thump out a draft on an iPad. Then it was my turn to answer.

“Six to seven hours.”

I still remember the collective gasp that went around the table and I also remember feeling that perhaps I wasn’t doing this blogging thing terribly well. I mean, if they could write a post in such a small amount of time (and be damned good at it), then surely I could write as quickly as that?

Of course, recipe development and recipe writing is a much different beast to other blog topics – there’s a hefty emphasis on testing and photography composition for a start. It’s a unique job that requires creativity and technique in equal measure.  A recipe typically needs a good idea, lots of testing, several drafts and at least one very good photo to bring it all to life. Continue reading The Secret Life of Me