ten.5 harvest, or cooking with what’s just off the trees

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The late summer harvest season has been wonderfully satisfying in its very humble way on our little patch of volcanic soil at Lubriano.  Apart from the tomatoes and (Lebanese) cucumbers, we have had blooming amethyst like plums and our own…

ten years: about the oil, grilled summer vegetables

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What I have learnt from the Italians Not all oils are created equal I started writing this post from Beirut, part of a recent roll of finding time to put words together only whilst on planes, trains or in hotel rooms.  I was back in…

ten.3 ciambelline al vino

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What I've learnt from the Italians. You can bake without butter. I grew up in a fairly butter heavy culinary environment.  In the sense that at my parent's house there is always a butter dish on the kitchen bench, with salted butter…

brutto ma buono: abbacchio alla romana

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Part 2 of my series celebrating ten years in Italy and what I've gleaned from the Italians in the kitchen.

about my father, seville oranges and making marmalade

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I don't often write about my father on my blog, unfairly so, because I am, and I think you can say this at 44 years of age, as much my father's daughter as I am a replica of my mother.  Our real shared love is for the Australian high country,…

anniversaries and artichokes

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This year, on May 1 to be precise, I will celebrate ten years in Italy.  Ten years since I lugged a large case and several other bags up the three flights of stairs in Via del Babuino only to be told by Angelica, the art student that rented…

outdoor museums: shopping in Rome

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If a city, especially one like Rome, is a great outdoor museum, then shopping is one of the (legitimate) ways of exploring it.  Lexically speaking to do the shopping or fare la spesa is a needs based activity, consisting mainly of a…

ripe tomatoes and baby food: pappa al pomodoro

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During the first year of Alberto's life I found myself skulking around corners in my Roman apartment building to avoid a certain generation of neighbors, dreading the inevitable lecture on the brodo vegetale.  Being a first time mother,…

a jar of jam & a basket of beans: niçoise salad

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Every time I go home to Melbourne my mother has an array of boxes waiting for me in some corner of the house.  Shoe cartons filled with Sade and George Michael cd's, larger boxes bearing my carefully tissue swaddled collection of Guy…

Midsummer: wild fennel and volcanic varietals

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I read recently that in the 60's and 70's Melbourne Italians were often seen wandering the suburban railways picking bunches of wild fennel flowers amongst the sleepers.  During one of my first visits to Capodimonte on the shores of Lake Bolsena…

life in a small town 2: gifted fruit, zucchini and tents

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I remember long summer breaks at Jamieson that involved endless swims in the river, shorts with gumboots and lots of stamping through long grass in the aforementioned boots to ward off snakes.   There were cubbies and fetes, blackberry…

life in a small town 1: flowers and rustic tarts

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When I look out from my bedroom window in Rome I am greeted in a confronting sort of way by the flowers of my neighbors. Perfectly lovely as they are; thick abundant tubs of geraniums - in bold pinks and peachy tones - great rich heads of flowers…