Two favourite Ethiopian dishes

Injera in three colours - wheat (white), sorghum (pink) and teff (brown)Atakilt - Ethiopian turmeric and ginger cabbage with potato and beans

I count myself lucky to live in a multicultural pocket of Melbourne. Footscray is particularly rich with Vietnamese and African communities, and when COVID hit I felt luckier than ever. As restaurants closed and we had to stick to our homes and neighbourhoods for months, I relished all the magical little food shops and groceries that stayed open. I made a short video about living and cooking in Footscray if you want to take a look! [Jump to my IGTV here.] The injera bakeries are my favourite, especially one, where the Ethiopian ladies behind the counter smile so broadly when you enter. My face cracks open too – no matter that we are all wearing masks; you can feel it. Continue reading Two favourite Ethiopian dishes

Nasi ulam (Malaysian herb rice)

Nasi ulam (Malaysian herb rice)

Holiday photos and memories have a surreal edge to them right now. ‘Was that really last year?’ … ‘Was that real at all?’ Looking back on life before COVID19, you can’t help but feel it was a little hedonistic. We did whatever we wanted! Maybe we set some boundaries or tried to care for others or the planet, but our freedom was extraordinary, wasn’t it? Particularly if you had money for a plane ticket. Continue reading Nasi ulam (Malaysian herb rice)

Nepali cucumber salad with sesame and spices

Nepalese cucumber salad with sesame and spices

Our defence against corona virus is stepping up here in Australia, but I can see so much to be grateful for. Events, sports and activities are being cancelled all around us and we’ve begun social distancing, though in many ways I think we’re the lucky ones in the southern hemisphere. It is early autumn and the weather is glorious! If we are fortunate enough to have a backyard and a garden, now is the time to give it some love, plant veggies, get that project happening you’ve long had on your list. Not only the circumstances but the weather is made for it … Continue reading Nepali cucumber salad with sesame and spices

Grilled peach and haloumi salad

Elberta yellow peaches on treePeach and haloumi salad

Every summer for a few years now, the season of our backyard Elberta peaches coincides with two very special people coming to stay. My husband’s cousin Julian and his wife Anya arrive, all set for a few days at the Australian Open. Their visit turns into an all-round tennis bender at our house – evenings watching tennis on TV, punctuated with rounds of totem tennis with the kids in the backyard, and the occasional board game. Eating peaches straight from the tree is a happy sideline. Continue reading Grilled peach and haloumi salad

Orange, almond and currant biscuits (and homemade mixed spice)

Homemade mixed spice

This year’s Christmas and holiday packing essentials: presents, clothes, a tent, sleeping bags, an esky, cooking equipment, swimming stuff, six jars of sauerkraut and olives, chocolate truffles I’ve been experimenting with, panettone, nougat, potted prawns, Spanish pickled vegetables, drinks (maybe this one), two types of biscuits because one doesn’t seem enough … Yes, that sounds crazy! But the people who are close to me love me, I think 🙂 Continue reading Orange, almond and currant biscuits (and homemade mixed spice)

Sauerkraut rice with pork and paprika (plus recipe for sauerkraut)

Sauerkraut rice with pork and paprikaHomemade fresh sauerkraut (below) meets old sauerkraut

Food falls into all kinds of categories. Next month it’ll be glistening and colourful, done in big quantities, no holds barred, the best we can muster. But for now, in the quiet backwaters of November, I’m slipping in a dish that is really the opposite: not beautiful to look at, humble, personal, and so delicious. Continue reading Sauerkraut rice with pork and paprika (plus recipe for sauerkraut)

Orange crumb pie

orange and breadcrumb pieorange blossoms on orange tree

I could feel my tongue hanging out and my tail wagging writing this post. It’s been too long and I am too excited! So many thoughts amassing here: you’ve got the completed book series; our orange tree and its heady coverage of blossoms (and first crop of oranges); Harry Potter (an unlikely twist, I know!); and of course this orange and breadcrumb pie – an old-fashioned beauty I think you should make 🙂 Continue reading Orange crumb pie

Sweet potato roti

Sweet potato flatbreads Winter, Autumn, Summer books by the Fruitful Kitchen

Writing little stories and recipes here is just about my favourite thing to do in the world. They’re a record of life, gardening, travelling and of course cooking, and one day, you never know, my kids may read and appreciate them (I’ll probably print them out, bind them in a folder and put them under their noses the unimaginable day they move out of home) … I mean to do a recipe every month, but yeek, five months just slipped by. Partly it was because of a big editing job, but another reason is the mini cookbooks I’ve been making. Continue reading Sweet potato roti

Cheese souffle + best-dressed French salad

Cheese souffle and best-dressed salad

December cooking is the best, isn’t it? Christmas, obviously, plus all those extra get togethers with good friends and family … That feeling it’s the end of the year and time to mark and celebrate it in lots of ways, including through the food we eat. Some of the things that may happen in our house: Continue reading Cheese souffle + best-dressed French salad

Strawberry and coconut cake

Chick with Paris the mother henStrawberry and coconut cake

This spring we attempted some kind of holy grail in chicken keeping (shy of getting an actual rooster), and got twelve fertilised eggs to put underneath a clucky chicken. We’d wanted to do this for years, but hadn’t managed to seize the moment and get the eggs quick enough. This time things were looking good. Our famously clucky old chook called Paris started showing signs on a Thursday, and by Sunday we’d fetched the eggs and placed them underneath her. Then began a three-week waiting period that felt like an age. Continue reading Strawberry and coconut cake