Friday, April 30, 2010

Apricots on the Nile- a memoir with recipes

I have been moved.
Deeply moved.
By images of mango trees, hot days and markets seething with hawkers and melon sellers.
Images of Cairo and Egypt in an era passed- where manners and strict class division separated the well-to-do from the working classes. I have been carried away on a fragrant story of one woman's formative years and her longing to see it all again.
Apricots on the Nile is the story of food writer Colette Rossant's childhood in Egypt. And it is a beautiful book. At 178 pages it's easy to devour almost in a single afternoon- with recipes to try out at dinner time.
A story of summers spent at holiday houses in Alexandria, of a mother who constantly left her behind and of the kitchens where she found solace in the company of the family cooks and their food.
Rossant writes of an Egypt that is no more- but she does it with such eloquence, such passion and such evocative description that you almost breath the same air as her memories.
It's a beautiful book, full of recipes and charming anecdotes that remind us that garlic should be eaten in great quantities and that a party is not a party without party food.
It's a book that made me hungry for life. A book that made me long to delve into my own memories of food. But above all it was a book that made me want to play in the kitchen.
What a memoir!
And it got me wondering... 

What are the recipes that really bring your childhood to life?

What are the defining food moments that are an intrinsic part of who you are? 

Where did those recipes come from and which ones will you one day pass on? 

I'm going to start documenting this question and ask it to whoever I can. Better yet, if you have a food memory or recipe from your childhood that you would like to share, feel free to pass it on. I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our Family Table: Book Review & Interview

Our Family Table: Book Review & Interview with Australia's first MasterChef

"If you were an avid MasterChef devotee like I was- you'll know the story by heart: Mum of three boys from the Central Coast puts her heart and soul on the line every week to cook for (and sometimes against) some of Australia's top chefs and palettes. Yes, it's the story of Australia's first MasterChef- Julie Goodwin... 

We got the chance to ask Julie herself about the whole experience and how the book (Our Family Table) has turned out. So here's what Australia's first MasterChef had to say..."

Note: Interview featured on the Girlie Gastronomy pages (books/interviews) of the very ladylike Sassi Sam.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

High Tea: The Australian's Women's Weekly- Cookbook Review

High Tea: The Australian Women's Weekly

"I’m having a really tough time not squealing with giddy excitement. And I’ll be honest and say that I’m generally not prone to fits of girlish glee- for fear of blowing my cover as an independent and formidable feminist.

Still- when the Australian Women’s Weekly ‘High Tea’ recipe book came my way- I could literally feel my sleek black outfit morphing into a frilly apron, lace collar and bustled skirt."
-Writes Jane de Graaff
Read the full review here.
Note: Review featured in the Girlie Gastronomy pages of

Friday, April 9, 2010

Disposable love... hook turn!

The other day I fell in love- with a hot cup of coffee in a take-away cup. But it wasn't just any take-away cup...

It was this brilliant little re-usable gem from the Melbourne company, celebrating the love of all things Melbournian, hookTurn (Ha, hook turn... geddit?).

I don't usually gush about product unless I feel that there is a really good reason. So you can guarantee that if I'm posting pictures and comment, it's genuinely heartfelt.
These little babies are just kitsch enough to make the re-usable coffee cup less about toting a brand bearing cup-of-cool and more about just keeping your coffee warm, nodding to what they actually are and reducing waste as we go.

I've always loved the idea of the re-usable cup. I'm just not such a big fan of the ones with logos, brands and messages posted all over the sides.

So when I came across this one (and for only $10 a cup), I was pretty taken by them. Ours was a spur of the moment purchase - thanks to the guys at Camberwell's Coffee Collective, who stock them and who, like a lot of great coffee spots, offer a discount on your BYO cup.  Just an extra benefit if you slurp down the devils brew like I do.

These BYO cups were one of those purchases that just make me all warm and fuzzy. It's a squishy little cup that you just want to HUG!

Dishwasher safe, withstands up to 200degC, keeps your coffee hot and "won't contribute to the mountain of discarded paper coffee cups littering the streets and bins around the world"... *warm. and. fuzzy.* That's all I'm saying.
Plus, for a local lover like me... it's supporting a Melbourne based company.

Check it out:  - and get yourself a re-usable coffee cup. I don't care what kind, but I do recommend this one.