everything food, produce and oom-nom-nom-nom related!


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melbourne: so hot… so completely cool

I think I’ve only been to Melbourne in summer once before. Today she is gray and wet and from my window on the twelfth floor I can see buildings and cranes with little twinkling lights on top. Today she is what I’m used to seeing her like. People scurry like ants on the street below. They seem huddled in on themselves.


But she turned on a fine show for me these past 48 hours. She was warm but she’s just so fucking cool. She dazzled with light and sparkling blue skies. She caressed with cold when the heat became unbearable.


Melbourne invited me in to her shows and restaurants in little graffiti laneways and fed me exquisite morsels of food that seduced my tongue and my tastebuds. She molested my mouth with microherbs and creamy avocado and nuts and seeds roasted in heaven. She exposed me to oysters and slivers of kingfish served in little cast iron cauldrons. They were like magic. You lift the lid and tendrils of trapped smoke jump out at you and tickle the inside of your brain. The dish begged to be licked.. but this is Melbourne and I don’t think they do that here in public. 



I ate and I drank. Mimosas at breakfast, gin and tonic at tea. I walked the streets and took photos. Nearly too many to count. I celebrated friendships old and new. I talked and talked and talked. And laughed. And cried. I met women I want to grow up to be like. I met others I never want to grow up to be like… I even managed to shop a little. Mostly black. 


I learned about the myriad forms of love. Safe love and precious love. Reckless love and unrequited love. Everlasting love and complete love. I learnt that I can’t be away from my little family for more than three nights without wanting to run back to them. Desperately. Longingly.

I reignited my love for art and creativity and three years on, I cannot imagine a more perfect way to celebrate my Comaversarry than by being in Melbourne by myself. I may even be getting a bit of my mojo back… and every time I worry about not going forward, I look back and realise how far I’ve come. The recovery was harder than the illness but the journey back up to the top has made it all worth it.


Melbourne you seduce me. I will be back. 


Dee x

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lag jet and canola in black and white

Okay so we are just off a pretty long flight back from India. Mum’s 60th surprise reunion at Mahabalipuram and 80 parsis in one spot had us praying a tsunami would not strike. That would be a tenth of our population wiped out in one hit. 

 
  (This isn’t even the whole group. Just the immediate family on dad’s side !)

A twelve hour stop over in Singapore was probably not the best idea in terms of ‘just get us home already’ but we did get to eat Singapore Chilli Crab at Dempsey Hill after two years and I wouldn’t swap that for the world. 
  (Photo courtesy R1)

As I start this next paragraph it occurs to me that I have just, for the first time, referred to Sydney as home and India as India. Did I just swap the language I used to use? India is the zig to my zag. It’s the colour to Sydney’s black. It’s the smells and the sounds and the dirt and the chaos to the order and the clean of home. My god, it must mean I have two homes now and this makes me insanely happy. 

  

I’m so jet lagged at the moment, I’ve just drizzled my roast veges with canola instead of olive oil. (But I figure there’s nothing fresh rosemary and citrus salt can’t fix.) It also means that three weeks of fairly rich, but always delicious food, has now made me crave the simple smells of lamb on an outdoor babrbie. So I will leave it here. I must go hassle Mr. Husby to get our cutlets on. (I’m not being suggestive.)

Dee x

   
 


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beautiful béchamel and a trip to the beach

Ah you delicious head of garlic. You’re dark and smokey and warm. You’re like the earth. Like soil between my fingers. Like chilli and coriander and shallots and salt and herbs and spice all compacted into one glob of garlicky goodness. And oh how you did transform my béchamel tonight!!

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And it must be that I only cook and dream and blog when I’m happy. Nothing brings me more joy than the beach. It must be that shade of blue sky we only find here in Australia. Is it the taste of salt that lingers on your lips even after a trip to Messina? Or was that from the salted caramel?

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Could it be the world’s best burger or could it be that my schnitz was pimped? Or was it from that cold icy lemon lime and bitters that I’m sure I only had a sip of. Did the kids dive in when I glanced away??

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Whatever the reason I’m happy with warm lungs, bare feet and a spring in my step. Bring on aussie summer.
Dee x

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tea talks, chai chats…

As I lie awake at this ungodly hour, longing for a cup of yummy chai, I can’t help think there is something deliciously warm about people that love and drink tea. They are kind and open and love a chat. I often wonder, does the soft gurgle of a boiling kettle have a calming effect? Does watching the brew brew make a person relaxed enough to open up, to share thoughts and feelings? Is there anything a pot of tea can’t fix?

Many times I’ve sat in the orange Bollywood Zen Pergola and shared a pot with friends. A quick visit has turned into an hours-long conversation. We’ve shared tears and laughs and secrets that, if my teapot could only talk, boy oh boy! And often the tea’s turned cold and so that has finally prompted me to find the perfect tea cozy. Yes, I hear you laughing! It’s what your nanna used, isn’t it!!

And so began my hunt. Markets, shops, online… nothing caught my fancy. But then Etsy, my secret addiction, turned up some beauts. There were owls with tufted ears, strawberries crocheted on crochet leaves, pineapples, pussycats, owls, more owls, blue ones, green, red, yellow, Mardi Gras flag ones, you name it, they have it.

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And suddenly, suddenly, I chanced upon Bluebell and the Fox‘s ‘Utamaro Geisha & Pillow Books‘. It was love. Instant and utter love. At first sight. I had found ‘the one’.

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I wrote to Bluebell in the States and she replied yes, she would make me a gigantic tea cozy that would fit my gigantic tea pot. Emails were exchanged, photographs were sent, and slowly, slowly, little bits of the human behind the screen on the other side of the world was revealed. And it must be because of her love of tea!

We chatted away like old biddies sitting with our big mugs of chai. She told me about growing up in the mountains and now moving back. I told her about my crazy kids and Australia and India and how the school holidays can’t be over soon enough! Why, I even jagged an invite to visit when we go to the States next. We don’t know each other from a bar of soap but we’ve certainly connected over a cuppa…

Now my kettle has clicked off, my tea is brewing, the mint leaves smell yumm and I need to go check if the postman’s knocking. Utamaro Geisha may have arrived. Dee x

All tea cozy photos used with the permission of the lovely Bluebell. No bluebells (or foxes) were harmed in the process.