trains and sandy feet: santa marinella & and a pot of mussels

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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 so too are beaches arenas to the egalitarian gods of sun and sea.  In and old issue of Great…

when in Venice

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What is there not to say about Venice?  After meandering a few hours away amongst the tight streets and crooked bridges, following the famous arrows that lead - or to the train station, or to Rialto - it dawned upon me.  The silence.…

fresh air and unsalted bread: Lubriano

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I first came to look at a house here in Lubriano on the basis of an entry in the Slow Food Guide Osteria d'Italia.  My reasoning being that it is always good to have one really good restaurant a town, especially for when special people like…

mini city guide: Milan

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When I lived in Sydney I used to think that her architecture reflected the desire to look out: to gaze upon the drunken beauty of the harbour.  While Melbourne, being more geographically staid, was more inward looking, turning back towards…

a big pot of fish: Sicilian seafood soup

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I've just finished reading a 1001 nights like tale* set in 11th Century Sicily where the exotic Yasmina beguiles a Norman count in order to spare her condemned brother.  As you can imagine it all resolves around the myriad of flavors that are…

through the mountains and down to the sea: an Australian road trip

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A road trip has to have a destination, even though by its very nature it's a journey where getting there is what it is all about.  Motels and cabins, ice-cream cones drippy in the hot wind on a sleepy afternoon main street, the mandatory fish…

festive baking: gingerbread

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Photo Marie Sjoberg Gingerbread.  Ginger powder and cinnamon, with a sprinkle of ground cloves and everything smells like Christmas. Basic gingerbread recipe 60 g butter 60 g dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons golden syrup 1 egg 175…

festive baking: super mince pie pastry

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When I'm in Australia I feel nostalgic for Italy and want to make a batch of Cavallucci di Siena at Christmas time or a Pastiera Napoletana at Easter.  And every single Easter I have spent in Italy I have faithfully made hot cross buns,…

autumn gold: pumpkin risotto

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The best Italian pumpkin is to be found in the Mantova in the North of the country, about halfway between Milan and Venice and just above the super food cities of Parma and Modena.  This is where the Alps tumble down onto the wide Padana…

nostalgic baking: candied peel and walnuts

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Much as I don't want to to admit it, my mum Alison is getting older.  She is in fabulous shape for an 82 year old, but going down a gear as each year passes.  The proof is in her kitchen, and in the gradual slowing of festive production.…

Autumn recipes from Milan

This time 5 years ago I was in Milan with my wonderfully talented friend Robyn Lea, researching the food element for her stunning book Milan: Discovering Food, Fashion and Family in a Private City.  It was an unforgettable experience; being…

boot Sales for beginners: passionfruit sponge

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Photos Marie Sjoberg Charity shops make such good sense, people clean out their attics, volunteers feel good and gain experience in the stores, buyers find bargains or just pass time sifting through what is one man's trash but another…