Tuesday, August 23, 2011

honesty... pregnancy... food

I'm about to be incredibly honest.
And it won't just be in this post.
It's been a while since I've had a chance to write at this blog. Not because I haven't been writing (quite the contrary), but simply because I have been swept up in a tide of life-changing happenings.

First- my mother was diagnosed with and treated for stage 2 ovarian cancer. 20 weeks of hospitals, chemotherapy, dietary and lifestyle changes and now we wait.
Treatment - for the most part - went well and has been as successful as we could hope for. Now we wait to see what the future holds for a woman who aside from this silent affliction was so healthy you could see it in her eyes.

Second- (and very excitingly) I have fallen pregnant with my first baby. This of course has taken up my time and mental space for many reasons, but the the most prominent and unexpected change to my life has been the prolonged and severe morning sickness that it has brought with it. 18 weeks on I am still running to the bathroom at least 4 times a day to lose my lunch and my kitchen forays have been curbed by a hyper-sensitive nose and gag- reflex. Quite a restriction considering my life interests.

Both of these major events have impacted heavily on the way I interact with food, in positive and negative ways. Certainly the certainty I used to feel surrounding my food choices has been somewhat diminished in the last 5 months. Quite a surprise for my food focused lifestyle.

There's a lot to be said for dietary changes supporting chemo treatment- and more (even if not all of it is good) to be said for the sliding diet of a severely ill mother-to-be. From one extreme of healthy eating to a desperate grope for anything that will stay down, the last 5 months have been nothing if not a wild roller-coaster ride of different food choices.
What have I learned? Never take any food choices for granted- you never know when your list of favourite dishes will be turned on it's head, or be tossed out the window.

Here's a foodie confession for you- salty hot chips (whilst not a nutritional tick) may well be god's gift to the morning-sick expectant mother. I never thought I'd be so happy to see them. And I have a new-found respect for the deep fried potato.
Whilst I'm not 100% back on track with my rational food choices, I am ready to start exploring food again and it's exciting to be back.
In the next few posts I'll share with you some fabulous recipes my mum and I explored to support her chemotherapy and some guilty secrets that got me through the worst of my pregnancy nausea. Sure they might be varying messages when it comes to nutrition, but they are all valid and interesting food experiences.
Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for my afternoon hit of chocolate milk (*cravings*).  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reclaiming creative food space

It's time to reclaim this blog.
To pull it back from the brink of only-the-previously-published and use it as a creative outlet for my cooking and wild food adventures- rather than as a portfolio of published work.
For the other stuff drop by janedegraaff.com and click on the portfolio link.

From here on in these pages are dedicated only to the adventures that I don't write about professionally- or those aspects of the adventure that don't get an airing in conventional press [like the post about how deer hunting made me feel]. There has been much overlooked in the melee of deadlines and I would like to begin to rectify this- after all, sometimes the unofficial version is so much better.

The things I have failed to comment on thus far are:

The advantages of finally getting involved with a piping bag: witness a beautiful tower of rose-water and meadow honey cupcakes- that was somewhat lost amid the rukus of a trivia night.

How I feel about substituting almond meal when a Korma recipe calls for pistachio. And what magnificent results is can yield.

The effects of cramming a bunch of multicultural shopping into four days with friends.

And what happens when you match coffee and cheese- with a wildly high temperature and a bout of the flu.

But suffice to say that people get derailed from time to time- even by the good stuff.
No more.
I say back on the tracks people- and let the redirection begin.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Absence makes the heart grow fonder: Food Guru

Absence makes the heart grow fonder: From local markets to online offerings, when remote locations create great Australian food products.

"Food Guru talks to a couple of Australia’s gourmet food producers about how distance shaped their gourmet Aussie products."

By: Jane de Graaff

Check out the full article here- featured at www.foodguru.com.au

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival - Our Picks: Broadsheet

*Note: sure it's over now... but here's what we were recommending... 

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival - Our Picks
"The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival may be in full swing, but here are some of the events that are still to come in the second half of the city's most indulgent week."

By: Jane de Graaff

Check out the full article here- featured at www.broadsheet.com.au

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gluten Free: Food Guru

Food Guru looks at the importance of understanding and offering Gluten Free 

"For those of us who don’t require a Gluten Free diet the concept of Gluten Free (GF) dinning and why it’s necessary can be fairly confusing- and not without good reason."

By: Jane de Graaff

Check out the full article here- featured at www.foodguru.com.au 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cooking in the comfort zone: Food Guru

Food Guru talks to Ben Dalton, founder of The Cooking School, about finding your comfort zone in the kitchen and what prompted him to go looking for it.

By: Jane de Graaff

Check out the full article here- featured at www.foodguru.com.au 

Monday, February 14, 2011

High Tea & High Jinks: Broadsheet

High Tea & High Jinks: 

"As a variety of High Tea options surface all over town, we ask Michelle Milton, of High Tea Society, why scones and gloves make a great afternoon out."

By: Jane de Graaff

Check out the full article here- featured at www.broadsheet.com.au

Meet and Eat: Cooking Together- Broadsheet

Meet and Eat: Cooking Together

"Cooking together is the new black for Melbourne foodies. They might not be bona fide cooking clubs, but these groups are whipping up one hell of a tasty storm."

By: Jane de Graaff

Check out the full article here- featured at www.broadsheet.com.au

Not Just Decoration: Flowers as Food - Broadsheet

Not Just Decoration: Flowers as Food

"On the plate they make for more than just visual excitement. From the look to the taste, flowers are not just a pretty face."

By: Jane de Graaff

Check out the full article here- featured at www.broadsheet.com.au

Let's Jam- Preserving the Season: Broadsheet

Let's Jam: Preserving the Season

"As homemade jams become a staple of any cafe worth its toast, we ask for a few tips from some of Melbourne’s best jammers."

By: Jane de Graaff

Check out the full article here- featured at www.broadsheet.com.au