Small girl swinging on a rope from a tree.Most of the nuts people eat in Australia are not fresh. I’m not basing this opinion on any hard evidence such as data on how long they’re stored before selling, just on the fortunate experience of having grown up between two giant walnut trees, one either side of our house. That’s why I know a rancid nut when I eat one.

The picture shows me when I was little, on a home made rope swing dangling from one of those trees.

I’m realising now that perhaps they weren’t quite as giant as I thought.

I vividly remember not only swinging, but also bouncing on grey-barked branches that grew out almost horizontally from the thick trunks, and climbing, although never as high as my older brothers dared to go. Continue reading

Monday music: Garifuna

Last week I had a housewarming party, & this post is a big thank you to a friend who couldn’t make it due to the flu, but sent me a CD.

The album is Umalali, a collection of songs from the Garifuna Women’s Project. Here’s another, because I’m unable to be decisive and just choose one.  Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge – Community

Scanning through my photos, wondering what to post for this week’s WordPress photo challenge, I found it hard to go past this little cluster of jars, full of freshly pickled eggplant. pickles

Any grouping of objects could remind you of a community, but these jars are the result of a communal effort. In early winter, I got together with two friends for a bottling day. We made the pickle, lime chutney, guava jelly and passionfruit cordial. Paul, whose fabulous kitchen we used, posted the recipes, pics and tips on his foodie blog Buth Kuddeh.

It was such a fun day, and seeing the picture of the jars got me thinking about how food is such an integral part of community. Growing, preparing, cooking and eating food (and cleaning up afterwards too of course) has all over the world been an activity performed communally, probably for all of human history, in most cultures. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

Bubbles on boiling guava juice in the yin yang symbol
On the weekend I was making preserves with friends, This is what the bubbles were doing halfway through making the guava jelly: Yin Yang. You have to scoop the froth off so the jelly will be clear. It tastes like guava ice-cream – yum. Thank you Fred for this pic, it’s a fleeting moment that I would have missed if you hadn’t grabbed my phone. Continue reading

Ghana street food #1: breakfast

Cooking konkonte

Auntie Akosia (left) in charge of cooking konkonte in the morning. It’s hard work. One of her nieces is stirring and the guy with his mouth full is one of AM’s uncles – Akonta

Recently a friend put out a call on Facebook to his travelling friends to tell him about their street food experiences. He’s long had a love for street food and I’m anticipating he will blend his findings about it into a post or several on his most appetising and excellent food blog: Buth Kuddeh.

Sadly I am not travelling, but his request aroused all my nostalgia for Ghana’s street food – so here’s the first instalment of my street food adventures. Continue reading

Grandma’s Christmas pudding

I recently posted this pic of my freshly steamed Christmas puddings on Facebook, & it attracted such a lot of attention that I am now sharing the recipe.

It’s my Grandma’s recipe (on my Dad’s side) but I got it via my cousin’s wife, not from my Mum, which you’d think would be the usual way. I think this is because my Mum didn’t like Grandma’s pudding – I recall her saying it was a bit too ‘cakey’. Continue reading