Monthly Archives: February 2016

One month left for high tea at the National Gallery of Australia

The stars aligned for a day last week. Early in January, I was invited by the National Gallery of Australia to partake in high tea at their temporary Wedgwood Tea Room, which is being held in conjunction with the current Tom Roberts Exhibition. I was interested, as I’d been wanting to get to the NGA for a while – but we were away and couldn’t go. A few weeks later I was delighted to find the invitation had been extended. Last week, my husband and I were able to enjoy the experience on my husband’s birthday, kid-free! Continue reading

Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake Mascarpone Tarts

Don’t be fooled. This is not a healthy recipe. Although it has no added sugar, it is very rich and indulgent, thanks to the butter, creamy cheese and refined flour! However, I find that because they aren’t overly ‘sweet’, one is enough to satisfy. My husband disagrees.

I had planned to share this recipe a few weeks ago – to the point where I had made my ‘final’ batch one Sunday afternoon, after a series of test-batches over many weeks, in order to take some photos before we ate them for afternoon tea, pop them on here and publish the post that evening. Unfortunately I had a DREADFUL photo-shoot. Just as I was putting the final touches on the tarts, a dark, dismal storm suddenly appeared over my house, and took all the nice daylight with it. I tried to take some photos anyway, but they were blurry and hideous. It could not be done. I also had three hungry males impatiently waiting for their afternoon tea, so I gave up, feeling pretty sorry for myself (first world problems, hey!?). I shouldn’t complain really – eating strawberry tarts while having a cup of tea on a stormy Sunday afternoon at home is a pretty good situation to be in!

Naturally, the sun came out again as I took my last bite.

But no matter, here we are! Just in time for the end of season strawberries – though feel free to use your favourite fruit – peaches, nectarines, raspberries and sliced banana would be delicious too. Continue reading

#4 A Simplicious Challenge: Dipping into offal and fermented sardines

The Simplicious Challenge: I’m cooking all 306 recipes from Sarah Wilson’s book Simplicious, to see the impact it has on the way I buy, cook, consume and waste food. Read the first post here, if you missed it.

I’m an introvert. Sometimes a shy one, although I’m getting better at pretending to be less shy – a ‘risk’ on my part which usually pays off. I actually really like being with people, talking to people, eating with people… But I find I also need time alone to be quiet and recharge. This can be challenging with two curious little boys!

I find this can vary from day to day too. If my energy levels are already low, the prospect of walking around a crowded shopping mall or market can be physically exhausting (especially if I’m child-wrangling as well!). All those people. All that talking.

So it was a new kind of challenge, this last month, to be at the point where I was having to actually engage with people about fish and offal, two things I know very little about. Sarah actually mentions this in her book somewhere – the talking to people that comes from buying fresh and local food. Except she’s tall. I’m really not. There’s something intimidating about standing on my toes, peering up at a fishmonger or butcher looming over a giant glass counter, asking whether they can gut my sardines for me. Maybe it’s just that sometimes I think they can sense I’m going to do something weird with them. Like FERMENT THE SARDINES ON MY KITCHEN BENCH.

The offal was a particularly arduous experience. Continue reading

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