Storm in a Teacup

My Australian family, on both sides, came from staunch tea-drinking traditions: Mum’s father was English and her mother umpteenth-generation Australian, and Dad’s mother was Manx and his father third-generation British colonial from Fiji (where Dad was born, and lived too until his teens). Tea-drinking places, all. Whenever our families would gather, endless cups and pots would be brewed throughout the afternoon as we sat and talked, and pretty early on I was drinking it too.

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25 January 2024 · 1 Comment

Far From Bretagne

A couple of years ago I became obsessed with making cheesecake—specifically, baked cheesecake—to the point where my family thought I liked nothing else and made me one for my birthday. Lately I’ve become similarly obsessed with Far Breton, a classic French dessert, partway between custard and cake, made with prunes or raisins soaked in Armagnac, brandy, rum, tea or water. I remembered it fondly from visits to France, and was reminded of it a few months ago at a school fair where one of the parents had made some for a cake stall, but didn’t even know its name until I searched for “French prune custard cake” and found some recipes.

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17 October 2023

Roll, Roll, Roll

For random reasons, I was reading up the other day on the glorious Aussie fast food that was and is the Chiko Roll. The Chiko is effectively a supersized spring roll, filled with a mixture of cabbage, barley, beef or mutton (not, as the name might lead you to expect, chicken), carrot, onion, green beans and celery, all partially pulped into a tasty grey mush and encased in a pastry thick enough to withstand being eaten one-handed at a footy match. They used to be everywhere in the ’70s and ’80s, but with changing tastes over the decades, and the wider availability of more appealing lunch options, the Chiko Roll has become harder to find—I’ve tried and failed on recent visits home.

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17 September 2023

Fermented Breakfast

More grouse recipes from Nat’s What I Reckon: Wham Bam Thank You Lamb, Chili Con Can’t Go Outside and Eggs-istential Crisis. Recipes do not involve actual grouse.

Cooking food on the Internet for fun and profit.

The stay-at-home bread boom.

Duck eats yeast; man loses eye. It checks out.

Big Butter and Big Cheese have taken over France.

17 May 2020 · 1 Comment

Happy Anzac Day, You Legends

It’s the swearingest Aussie YouTube cooking channel that we need in these difficult times: Nat’s What I Reckon shows you how to make Quarantine Sauce, Carbo-Rona Sauce, Quarantine Spirit Risotto, End of Days Bolognese, Sin Bin Soup and the Crowd Goes Mild Curry (all NSFWFH if you have kids or other sensitive humans around). Made me intensely homesick, especially when he said to give the risotto “a good belt of white wine”. F&^% jar sauce!

25 April 2020 · 1 Comment