As you can guess from some of my previous posts, I’ve been thinking a lot about food lately. I’ve also been reading a bit about food - I’m currently flipping the pages of Wholefood for Children by Jude Blereau. A friend suggested the book when I told her I wasn’t sure what foods to start the little man on. Sure, it’s a cookbook with nice, easy recipes but it’s more the discussion about food and how we view food and introduce it to our children that’s really struck a cord with me and got me thinking about the bigger picture of food. I’ve resolved to commit to doing two things in particular, the first, making sure I buy only what’s in season. I try my hardest to do this but if I have a craving for a dish that happens to be so last season I’ll opt for a foreign replacement because it’s in season somewhere in the world, right? The other commitment is taking more time to appreciate the food that’s in front of me. Often when I’m entertaining, or even if it’s just J and I, I will be too consumed with everything but savouring each mouthful. I’m going to try and be more mindful of what I’m eating. J and I always pause when we sit down to eat but I know I’m often not fully in the moment and appreciating the aromas of the food, and certainly, when I’m eating, we’re often discussing the days events or our big dreams and my mind is elsewhere. On the subject of being mindful when eating, Leo Babauta (author of Zen Habits and mnmnlist) published this post on mindful eating and this one dedicated entirely to the art of being in the moment when eating chocolate. Oh and blueberries are now in season so perhaps it’s a good excuse to make this pie?
*image from Pure and Simple
I love beetroot and normally I roast it and toss it through salads or serve it up alongside some hearty vegies but I have discovered a new way of cooking it that, in my opinion, trumps roasting and it’s so super simple, healthy and fresh. Here’s how:
- Preheat your oven to 200C and pop your whole beets, skin and all, in a roasting tray.
- Tip some water into the tray. I use a couple of cups for large beets, less if you’re cooking smaller beets.
- Cover well with foil and pop in the oven.
- Check at intervals to make sure you still have water and add more, if needed.
- Your cooking time will vary depending on the size of your beets. Small ones should take about an hour, larger ones will take longer but you can easily cook them hours in advance.
- When they are done let them cool and simply peel away the skin.
We devoured a heap of these last night with some other steamed vegies, crumbled persian feta, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of good olive oil.
It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged. I’ve had a baby and am only now finding time to get back to it! I’m thinking a lot about food at the moment, for two reasons, the first being I’m trying to shed the kilos I put on when I was pregnant, the other, I’m in the early stages of introducing Noah to solids. It seems like such a massive responsibility, to be the person that determines what my baby eats. It’s overwhelming but at the same time it’s made me take a step back and review what J and I eat too. We don’t eat red meat, we eat organic free range eggs, hormone-free chicken and wild fish. Where we can we only eat local, seasonal produce and we eat brown rice over white and grainy, wholemeal bread. I won’t give up wine, fresh pasta, dark chocolate, silky blue cheeses or gourmet pizzas but I think we do pretty well. Ideally, I would love to have an abundant vegie and herb garden framed by luscious fruit trees but until we get a bigger place I’ll have to stick with herbs in pots and admire places like Perth City Farm.
My girlfriend Eva came around for morning tea a few weeks back and because I didn’t have time to bake, I ducked up to my favourite bakery and picked up some goodies. I didn’t want it to look like I’d just bought something and put very little effort into the occasion so I spiced things up by adding some mint from the garden, prunes and strawberries. Adding fresh fruit to a plate of pastries provides the perfect burst of freshness. I served these with a steaming pot of Jasmine tea and we sat in armchairs in the lounge room and devoured the whole plate with a little too much ease.
We have a rosemary bush out the front of our house that is nearly as tall as our fence. It grows rampant with nothing more than sun and a little water now and then. Mostly I forget it’s there until I get a whiff as I’m walking by. My pots of herbs live out the back so I’m usually dashing out there to quickly grab some mint or thyme or parsley, forgetting about the bushy evergreen herb at the front just begging to be picked. So when Jonah and I invited our families over for a little get together last weekend, I make a conscious effort to use some of the delicious, spindly perennial.
I popped beetroot in a roasting tin with oil, a good handful of fully clothed garlic cloves and lots of rosemary (with a good lashing of Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper, of course)…
And then I filled some recycled glass jars with rosemary sprigs and placed them alongside tealights. Not only did it look great but it smelt divine!
And I added some baubles of colour…Who ever said blue and green should never been seen?!
Today is Thanksgiving in the US, something we don’t celebrate in Australia and I have to say I’m a little envious that many will be sitting around the table with a fire going and sharing in a feast while savouring each other’s company.
Even though today is just another day for us, I’m going to remember all that I’m thankful for - a healthy and happy family, a fiance who is unconditionally kind, the ability to have a baby and the freedom to do what I love.
What’s everyone else thankful for?
Spring is here and apart from the fact that pollen seems to swirl in the air and make J sneeze to no end, we love to sit outside and enjoy meals surrounded by the lush plants that come to bloom in our courtyard around this time.
Lately, I’ve had a craving for homemade pizza. My mum would make homemade pizzas all the time when I was in my teens and I can almost smell the goats cheese and fresh basil seeping from the oven.
I recently stumbled across this great spread from Camille Styles which has inspired me to invite the friends over for a grilled pizza night of my own!
Have any of you got favourite pizza toppings?
Our trip to Europe and USA is fast approaching and for some reason now is the time I’m revisiting all of the photos I’ve taken on my previous sojourns. One set of photos I always look over lovingly are those that captured my stay in Aix-en-Provence. I strolled through flower markets brimming with buckets full of beautiful blooms…
Oh, and did I mention how cheap they were? Well, they’re much cheaper than flowers we get here.
And I remember staring wide eyed at the stalls bursting at the seams with morsels of deliciousness. I would love to host a cheese tasting evening with wheels as big as these…
And let’s not forget the big scoops of olives doused in oils and herbs.
It was mum’s birthday last week and my sister and I decided that one of her presents would be a voucher to a day spa in Bali at the resort she’s staying at in a couple of weeks. As the spa is in Bali, we had no voucher to hand over so I wanted to find a fun way of essentially giving her a bit of paper for her birthday (yawn!).
At the last minute I came across a puzzle card at Kikki K. It’s such a cute idea. I wrote on the back, then broke up the puzzle and put it in the envelope. We went to a restaurant for her birthday dinner and we all sipped on sparkling wine while we watched her put the puzzle together and then, to her surprise, read about the gift that awaits her. The cards are around $10 so they’re a bit more expensive than your normal card but the experience is well worth it, and if you had the time, you could always make your own.