A Food & Travel Blog

The Greedy Girl and the Dentist

08/11/2011 | By

It’s been pretty hysterical in this house for the last couple of weeks as those of you who follow my Facebook page may be aware.  The 21st birthday is all done and dusted, my youngest eventually made it to Vancouver and the last of the year 12 examinations was held this morning (I’m not expecting to see my son for the next day or two).  Admittedly, the hysteria surrounding all of this activity was mostly on my part as looming over all of the above-mentioned I was looking at the prospect of some quite unpleasant dental surgery.  (Hmm, possible oxymoron – is there any pleasant dental surgery?)  Ten days ago they strapped me down in the chair, filled me full of happiness-inducing medication and spent  two and a half hours doing unspeakable things to teeth and jawbones.  Unfortunately the happiness induced by the magic medication only lasts as long as the surgery – after that I was on my own with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics and what they termed a soft-soft diet.  Shudder.


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Seasonal Secrets – 26 July

26/07/2011 | By

Confusion on the road to hell. “I told you we should have turned right at that last intersection!” (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

I’m sorry if this post confuses you, my lovely readers, as it is one that I usually manage to get up on a Friday or Saturday.  Last week we took advantage of school holidays and took ourselves off to Melbourne for most of the week, arriving home last night.  I took my laptop and the necessary technology to make sure I could post Seasonal Secrets as intended, but you know what they say about the road to hell and good intentions.

In a previous existence I lived in a share house in Melbourne and enjoy getting back there to catch up with good friends – generally over copious amounts of food and wine, check out whatever the NGV currently has on offer and do a spot of shopping – especially at some of the specialist food warehouses.  We didn’t manage to eat anywhere heart-stoppingly good in Melbourne on this trip (quite the opposite one night, in fact), but took a detour on the way home and enjoyed the fantastic local produce and Alla Wolf-Tasker’s remarkable cuisine in Daylesford at The Lake House.  Daylesford is just under two hours drive from Melbourne and a very pretty town, popular since Victorian times as a spa destination because of it’s natural effervescent mineral water and even more notable now because of Alla’s culinary skills – well worth a side trip on your way in or out of Melbourne.


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Seasonal Secrets – July

09/07/2011 | By

Image – Lambs’ Ears & Honey

We’ve really felt the sharp bite of winter up here this last week and with temperatures not making it into double digits again, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if it had snowed.  Winter produce is often a bit humdrum – there is only so much you can do to turnips to make them interesting – but the one thing that is really bountiful this year is citrus fruit.  Thanks to the great rains we have had in the last season our lemon and orange trees, and the citrus trees of anyone I speak to, are quite literally groaning with fruit.  I’ve given away bags of lemons – unfortunately not soon enough to prevent several boughs from snapping from the weight of the fruit.

Image – Wikimedia Commons

I love seeing the brightness of the yellow and orange fruit in the otherwise fairly stark winter garden and recall a comment made to me some years ago by the mother of a friend who was visiting from England.  Visiting us with her daughter, the mother looked out of the window and exclaimed how odd it looked to see the fruit hanging off the trees then turned and asked me if they were real!  I laughed at the time and was grateful to be reminded that we can sometimes take our easy access to a wide variety of foods for granted.

Last year I posted a recipe for making preserved lemons, which can be quite costly to buy but are a fantastic thing to have handy.  We are looking forward to yet more cold and damp weather so I have dug out a fragrant and warming tagine recipe from Nigel Slater’s “Tender | Volume II” for you to knock together this weekend.  A simply perfect use for preserved lemons.   I’d serve this with either couscous or rice.

Tagine of Lamb with Apricots


  • 1 kg diced lamb shoulder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 chopped onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 60 gms sultanas
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 good pinch of saffron
  • 750 mls stock
  • 2 475 gm cans chopped tomatoes
  • 175 gms dried apricot halves
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 bunch mint


  1. Toss the cubed lamb in half of the spices and leave for at least 4 hours, or overnight if possible.
  2. Next day, heat olive oil and brown lamb in batches and set aside.
  3. Add onions, garlic and the remaining spices to the oil and saute gently until soft and just golden.
  4. Add sultanas, honey,saffron, stock, tomatoes and apricots, then return the meat to the pan, bring to the boil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover with a lid, place in an oven preheated to 160C and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
  6. Remove and discard the pulp from the lemon and chop the skin roughly, then stir into tagine.
  7. Remove the meat, boil the sauce over high heat until it is reduced, return meat and stir in the fresh herbs.

Quick notes

I have made some slight variations on Nigel Slater’s original recipe. I have subbed dried apricots for fresh and reduced his very extravagant 1 teaspoon of saffron to a good pinch. He might buy his saffron by the kilo – I sure as hell don’t!  I’d also be inclined to leave the lemons out until I put the fresh herbs in.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 4

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What’s in the box 20/21 April

23/04/2011 | By

I hope everybody is having a happy and safe Easter break – the link this week is here.

We have been having a very laid back break here in our house – hence my late post for the Adelaide Food Connectors.  I do hope you will forgive me.  There is lots of new and different produce making it’s way into our boxes now and, of course, the big excitement this week was the first “extra’s” deliveries. I hope those of you who have ordered some of these fantastic local products enjoy them and spread the word!  My favourite out of the new offerings is Paolo’s sourdough bread – it is fabulous bread and if you haven’t tried the olive and rosemary, please let me suggest that you begin there – it’s simply amazing.

All of the boxes received Howie’s gorgeous limes in them this week.  Limes are grown all the year round and are produced in many countries, with India topping the world’s production, growing more than 16% of limes world-wide.  They are smaller and sweeter than lemons and are an integral part of many international cuisines, especially  Indian,  Mexican, Vietnamese and Thai and are generally used dried in Persian and Iraqi cuisine.  Of course, no bottle of gin would be anything like complete without a bowl of limes – in my humble opinion.

I love a nice, creamy cheesecake and I reckon that a long weekend is the perfect time to get into the kitchen and indulge yourself.  I happened upon this recipe on the world wide web and it seemed to call to me.  I was thrilled to bits to see the words “full fat cream cheese” in the ingredients and the fact that it clearly stipulates the use of an organic lime means that it was written just for us!  I substitute crushed Granita biscuits for the US graham crackers and if you don’t have any pecans handy, walnuts will do just as well.  A perfect way to finish off any celebratory meal, this one is guaranteed to endear you to all of your friends and family.

Head on over to the food blog Delicious Days for the recipe and have a great holiday.

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When life hands you lemons …

14/07/2010 | By

“…try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”
Ron White

Citrus season is in full swing here in the Land Downunder and there are huge amounts of exceptional quality lemons, oranges and mandarines available in the stores, on roadside stalls and in back yards in most parts of the country.  Commercially, Australia produces over 600,000 tonnes of citrus per annum, with 76% of it being oranges and, because of our wide range of climates in this big country, we are able to grow citrus from winter through to summer somewhere or other!


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