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)

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)

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

Lemon and rye biscuits

Lemon and rye cookies, lemon cordial

I’m totally guilty of taking our lemon tree for granted. Such is its happy disposition – never asking for water all summer yet always looking so waxy green, and providing us constant fruit since sometime before last winter! I think partly I’m resigned to the fact I can never use all of its lemons (lots end up in bags for family and friends), and the ripe fruit also waits patiently on the tree, so most of the time, I have to say I ignore it. (For instance, I noticed I hardly ever post recipes featuring lemons!) Though I do admire the tree from our kitchen window, and of course pick lemons whenever we need. We planted it about 9 years ago along a north-facing wall in our Melbourne backyard, a position it clearly loves. Continue reading Lemon and rye biscuits

Apple and lime cake

Apple and lime cakeApple and lime cake

I realised there was not a single recipe here for apples! Plenty of apricot, plum and fig recipes – because they’re fruit trees I have, and which I love getting creative with every year. There’s also a bit of citrus (particularly lime!) going on. We don’t have an apple tree, but I do love apples … of course. Apple tarte tatin is about the best dessert going if you ask me, and I also love an old-fashioned apple and cinnamon tea cake – yes, the kind you might have made in high school. I’ve been tweaking a recipe for a few years (primarily spiking my cake with ungodly amounts of brandy; all warm and spicy in the mouth). But here is another apple thing I love. A very simple and yet elegant apple and lime ‘cake’. Continue reading Apple and lime cake

Custard apple and lime drink

Custard apple and lime drink

In autumn I have a slightly expensive habit, which is buying unusual fruit! I suppose if I didn’t live in a city with great markets and green grocers nearby, I’d have to find another pastime. And moving to the country is definitely tempting, but I think I’d find it too hard to turn my back on all the produce, restaurants and inspiring mix of cultures around us.  Continue reading Custard apple and lime drink

Easy lime (or lemon) ice-cream

No-churn lime ice-cream

Lime season should be summer, you’d think. Then the weather feels perfect for lime-spiked drinks on ice and Asian salads, but it’s not until a few months later that limes really come into their own. Our backyard lime tree, a dwarf Tahitian, starts fruiting around the end of March. When the limes turn from deep green to a slightly more yellow, ‘limey’ colour, and they yield a little when squeezed, it’s time to start picking. Unlike lemon trees that keep giving for much of the year, limes are a special autumn treat. Continue reading Easy lime (or lemon) ice-cream

Feijoa and lime meringue pie

feijoasFeijoa and lime meringue pie

This year was a first for me – I tasted feijoa. Life is short and I can’t believe I have wasted so much time already! These dusky green globules are just beautiful to cut, with a creamy yellow interior and a swirling flower pattern made up of translucent yellow-green flesh speckled with a few tiny brown seeds. Their exotic smell wafts all over the house – if you’re not a fan, you might describe it as ‘Deep Heat’, but that’s a bit unfair I think … The taste has a definite sarsaparilla twist, but after having a few my daughter and I found them irresistible. Sweet but with an interesting tang, and such a nice change from the pears, oranges and apples of late autumn and winter. We spooned out the flesh one feijoa after another, the table littered with empty shells. Continue reading Feijoa and lime meringue pie