The Sunday Muse, January 31

We of the Never Never.

A few years ago, shortly after my Dad had died, my Mum moved to Melbourne to be closer to family.  One day, we were on our way to the city to meet some friends. As we walked up to the tram stop near to where she was staying at the time, out of the blue, and apropos of no conversation we’d ever had, she offered to help me out financially to have a baby.

I was…speechless. And she was tearful as the words tumbled out. She had always thought i’d be such a great mother, she said, and she didn’t want me to miss out on that. She had a little money put by from Dad’s estate and she wanted me to help me out in any way possible, if that’s what I wanted.

We stood in that street in Northcote, both of us welling up with tears, and all sorts of emotions we could barely find the words for, let alone express, seeped into the air around us.

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Tofu tacos.

Tacos 3

I mentioned when I posted my Tasty Baked Tofu recipe ealier this week that I was planning to test out using it for a meat-free taco.  Well, the results are in and it was a success!  So much so, i’m writing this at 9:30am and i’m already salivating over them…is it a thing to have tacos for breakfast?  If not, maybe it should be 😉

This is so easy i’m not even sure it constitutes a separate recipe, but i’ll write up what I did for those of you who want a bit of a guide.

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Veggie bonanza.

Veggie Bonanza

Some nights, it’s all about the veggies for dinner – pictured above is a beautiful farro & pomegranate salad, grilled baby zucchinis, stuffed zucchini flowers with tarragon, garlic green beans, roasted pumpkin with cumin, and roasted mushrooms with goats cheese & thyme.  Soooooo delicous!

The zucchinis, zucchini flowers, green beans, garlic and herbs were all from my garden…so glad to see my efforts showing up on my dinner plate at long last.  It’s making all the hard graft so satisfying.

This is also a perfect illustration of my pathalogical inability to cook for one…I just can’t do it!  Well at least I have leftovers for lunch today…and who doesn’t love leftovers.

As Julia Child might say…Bon Appetit!

 

Tasty baked tofu.

Tofu 1

I’ve been a bit ambivalent about meat lately…like most things, I go through stages with it, but right now it’s just not really on my culinary radar.  I’m still having the occasional bit of fish, and a slice of bacon every now and then (because, well…bacon), but for the most part i’m happy with a predominantly plant-based diet.

I spent most of my 20s eating either a pescatarian or vegetarian diet, and even a couple of years as a strict vegan…I guess you could say that these were my ‘formative cooking years’, so my diet mostly came of age foccused on plant foods.  As a consequence, I had a steep learning curve figuring out how to cook meat in my 30s!

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The Sunday Muse, January 24

Food, Money and Love

This week i’ve been thinking about how my compost worms used to be the best fed worms in Melbourne. Perhaps Australia.

I’m going somewhere with this, I promise…just stay with me.

When I was working a regular, 9-5 job, getting paid on a fortnightly basis, my life and spending habits revolved around that schedule…everything was arranged to be paid, bought or spent within that two week period, and it would all re-set and start again once the next fortnightly pay cycle came around.

I never really questioned whether I needed to spend money on this schedule…I just did. You get paid, you buy stuff. I don’t mean going out and buying all manner of unnecessary crap like some teenager with a credit card – for the most part anyway (ask me about my eBay/op shopping addiction some other time) – I mean regular stuff like groceries and things for the garden, and clothing and toiletries whenever the need arose. But the point was, when it came to buying all these things, I was on a treadmill of spending…I just did it because i’d been paid, and because it was part of my fortnightly routine.

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Magical carrots.

Carrot Tart

Carrots are pretty amazing little nutritional powerhouses.  Packed with beta-carotene (which gives them their vibrant orange colour), they’re fantastically antioxidant, and have a list of health benefits as long as your arm.  In western herbal tradition, carrots have been variously used as a treatment for night blindness, whooping cough, and cancerous tumours – to name but a few things – and researchers are now isolating various compounds in them that have indeed proven to be beneficial for some of the many ailments they’ve been used to treat over hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  I love it when science catches up with folklore 🙂

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Gluten free pastry.

Pastry Case 2

I think for anyone relatively new to the gluten free world, the thought of making pastry becomes filled with a certain dread…so many recipes, so little success.  Just like GF bread recipes, there are many out there that claim to be ‘the best ever’ and i’m certain some of them must be great, but sometimes it tires me looking at all the steps involved, and all the arcane ingredients I must source in order to make it.

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