Category Archives: Produce

Getting healthy with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, I may just have crush. On your food that is, and your philosophy, and your stunning new cookbook, River Cottage Light & Easy. I’ve heard a lot about you Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall, but I never endeavoured to get to know you. You were just some crazy-haired, outdoorsy, wellington-booted, wooly-jumpered, British farmer-chef with a cult-like following — which is not really my kind of thing. For my recipe fix I relied on chefs closer to my Sydney home, or proponents of the cuisines that I adore, such as Thai, Indian, and Mediterranean. That is until I decided to take an even healthier approach to what I’d always considered to be a relatively healthy, home-cooked dietContinue reading



Filed under Book Reviews, Chefs, Produce, Recipes

A retro food fix: crumbed oysters


It’s a little passé, but i love crumbed oysters. I know that hardcore oyster aficionados will roll their eyes with disdain. I know also that oysters eaten in the nude (the mollusc that is, not the eater), with just a splash of lemon, are a delicacy (I love them that way, too). But at the moment i’m going through a crumbed oyster phase — so don’t try to talk me out of it.

I take the pearly bodies, dust them with flour, dunk them in egg wash, douse them with breadcrumbs — the big, ‘Panko’, Japanese-style crumb — then dip them, fleetingly, into a pan of molten oil. It should take a matter of seconds for them to metamorphose to light, golden brown. Continue reading


Filed under Produce, Recipes

Ten ways to eat and drink the Mornington Peninsula


Don’t be fooled into thinking Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is some kind of sleepy backwater. It may be a little off the beaten track, but it has a smokin’ food and wine scene that’s as much a drawcard as its ruggedly beautiful coastline and curvaceous countryside. Here are ten ways to eat and drink your way around the region.  Continue reading


Filed under Gastronomic Travels, Produce

Question of the week: could you kill an animal to eat?

Would you, could you, kill an animal to eat? For most of us, it’s a hypothetical question. We’re not in a position to go out and kill a beast, upon which to feast. Nor do we need to. We can pop down to the local butcher, point to a precisely portioned cut of meat, have it plastic wrapped or or vacuum packed within minutes, and there’s no blood on our hands. Not one crimson splash.

I raise the question because i will be attending a Whole Larder Love food workshop next weekend, where participants have the opportunity to “dispatch” a chicken. Rabbit skinning is also on the agenda, as is plucking and gutting and butchering.

I confidently signed up for the whole hands-on experience (participants can just watch, if they choose), but as the time nears i’ve started to question whether i will be able to see it through. Says my good friend Mel — who is accompanying me on this gastronomic adventure: “I’ll probably chicken out.”

We have chooks at our community garden. When a batch of chicks turned out to be roosters, they were dispatched by one of the garden members. He was qualified for the job. By this time next week i could be, too. Stay tuned.




Filed under Food Issues, Produce, Question of the week

Weekend food to-do list

  1. Bake sourdough that has been retarding in fridge overnight
  2. Don’t get the shits when sourdough doesn’t work very well — again
  3. Make breadcrumbs from failed sourdough loaf
  4. Don’t waste an opportunity: write a blog post about why my sourdough sucks
  5. Go to Orange Grove farmers’ market for a Thirlmere chicken from The Free Range Butcher to satisfy craving for roast chook dinner
  6. Maybe buy some cheese from the farmers’ market
  7. And some pork and black pudding sausages from the market’s Scottish baker — David’s Larder
  8. And some sourdough
  9. Leave farmers’ market with some money still in purse
  10. Don’t eat all the pork and black pudding sausages
  11. Work out how to cook 2.5-kilo piece of pork loin in the fridge before it goes out of date … and who to cook it for
  12. Start a batch of chook poo tea
  13. Buy Bourke Street Bakery book — everyone raves about it, including Wayne at work (and it will help with the sourdough issue)
  14. Email Wayne about something — anything — and throw in the fact that he said he’d make banana cake and caramel sauce from the Bourke Street Bakery book on Sunday and bring it into work on Monday
  15. Stop thinking about banana cake and caramel sauce
  16. Read some more of White Truffles in Winter by N.M.Kelby, which imagines the world of the French chef Auguste Escoffier. Remember to breathe, even though the first chapter took your breath away.
  17. Make reservation at Arzak in San Sebastian for when I’m in town in July!
  18. Construct new compost bin – fingers crossed the rats don’t get into this one
  19. Organise a heist from the hen house


Filed under Produce, Reflections