Artisans & Antiques: PUGLIA trips 2022

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At the heel of the Italian boot, Puglia is a land of wild beauty where the stark rocky coastline seems to fall into the sea; a land of ancient olive groves and carpets of flowers,  where the light dazzles against whitewashed walls and pale…

Day trips from Rome: dipping toes into the Mediterranean at Santa Marinella

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  If a football stadium is a kind of open air temple to human passion; a place where barriers come down and for 90 minutes everyman is united, then beaches too are arenas to the egalitarian gods of sun and sea.  I am Australian,…

for Mum: la tarte tatin

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Recently mum called with a request. "I was hoping you could give me the recipe for that lovely apple dessert you made once, what's its name?  Oh yes, the Tarte Tatin'. Flutter of pride. After years of telephoning you for recipes Mum,…

nostalgic baking: mum’s Sourcream & Spice cake

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Another of mum's cakes from the original recipe folder, that Emma and I are delighting in as we leaf through looking for things to cook during this second lockdown.  Mum didn't bake this cake often, perhaps because my father isn't big on spiced…

Broccoli, parmigiano & lemon cake

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A bit like in the case of a carrot cake, the broccoli in this cake doesn't necessarily add flavour (the parmigiano and lemon do the heavy lifting) but it does add vegetable substance in the place of extra carbs. And even though some of the nutrients…

lockdown recipes: chocolate, oat & hazelnut biscuits

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Thursday 19 March 2020.  Schools in Rome have been closed since the 6th, and we have been on official and increasingly stringent lockdown since Monday the 9th. How is it?  Relaxing?  Challenging?  All of the above.  Nothing to do but…

nostalgic baking: walnut crescents

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In Italy nuts are known as Frutta Secca, which translates as dried fruit, slightly strange sounding for us English speakers because we think of dried fruit as sultanas, prunes, dried apricots and the like. But when you think about it, the…

lockdown recipes: fennel and potato bake

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Thursday 19 March 2020.  Schools in Rome have been closed since the 6th, and we have been on official and increasingly stringent lockdown since Monday the 9th. How is it?  Relaxing?  Challenging?  All of the above.  Nothing to do but…

anglo-australian classics: sausage rolls, with rough puff pastry

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Rough Puff, also known as (quick) all butter puff pastry   Real puff pastry is a laborious process that involves much folding and refrigerating to produce that - oh so wonderful - effect of buttery layers. A puff pastry is best used for open…

mother’s love: anzac biscuits

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A couple of days ago a gentleman asked me whether I was British.  I replied 'No, I am Australian'.  He suggested that this was the same; making me essentially British.  I repeated that I was Australian, and that did not make me British. 2015…

rustic Italian baking: with brisée pastry

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The meeting spot is Villa Pamphilli, behind the swings and umbrella pines where the the ground slopes down towards the wild bit. It is a picnic, so everyone will bring something to eat and at least one rug.  The children will take their shoes…

anglo-australian classics: shepherd’s pie

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One of my earliest food memories is stopping at a little cafe restaurant in the blink-and-you-will-miss-it town called Yarck on the Melba Highway.  It was probably a Friday night, and we would have been on our way to Jamieson for the weekend. …