Wednesday, June 28, 2006

a bowl of orange soup and a pinch of salt

With that wonderful fresh vegetable stock the first soup I made was inspired by what was in the cupboards at the end of the shopping week. All things orange seemed like a good idea to warm, yet another, chilly day.

As always, I followed no actual recipe and the quantities are up to you, depending on whether you want a small, medium or large size pot of soup.

Red Lentil Soup

vegetable oil
Cumin seeds
Fresh ginger
Red lentils
Sweet potato
Vegetable stock

Gently fry off the herbs and spices in a little oil (this time it was raw sesame but any light oil will do). Cook the onion til it is transparent then add the dry lentils. I used a cup or so for what ended up as 3/4 of a Le Creuset pot of soup. Throw in the chopped orange vegetables and give it all a stir before adding the stock. As the lentils really soak up the fluid, you need close to 3x the volume of stock to the other ingredients, depending on how thick or thin you like your soup. As this stock was homemeade and unsalted, I waited til just before serving to balance the seasoning*.

Simmer on low for 45-90 minutes. The lentils and sweet potato thicken up the soup, so it becomes a comforting, starchy vehicle for the flavours of the herbs and spices. Remember to stir frequently or you will end up with a crust on the bottom of the pot. Even better sit it on a heat diffuse mat as well.

*Salt is an amazing thing. I find using homemade stocks it is best to patiently sit with your pot of favourite salt and add about 1/2 a tsp a time, then stir and taste. Keep going til you taste the flavours of the soup open up. The trick is to find the spot just before it tastes overtly salty. For a whole treatise on salt check out Helen at Beyond Salmon for her thoughts on the subject.

The soup, of course, was delicious and tasted even better the next day.

PS: Photos returning soon!

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Monday, June 26, 2006


I guess I asked for it with a blog title like this, but I have been called on to confess!

Mellie has tagged me with the Confession Meme.

5 items in my freezer
1. Vodka (Stoli and Absolut Citrus)
2. Ice cubes (for the vodka)
3. Gyoza wrappers
4. Homemade stock (fish and now vegetable)
5. A few slices of Natural Tucker bread – because I eat so little of the stuff, but when I do it’s got to be the best

(There is also about 5 kg of meat for the cat who is currently the only resident carnivore)

5 items in my closet
Which closet? I have 2 and as I am currently at the beginning of Operation Paint Job (phase 2 of renovations) they are chock full of miscellany. Linen, crockery, stationery, photos – even clothes.

5 items in my car
I am like the proverbial little old lady who only drives her car to church on Sunday (in this case it is a slightly different form of worship – Victoria Market on Thursday). As I walk or tram it most places my car is rather bare of personal stuff.
1. Melways – essential map book for when I stray further than the 3 kms to the market.
2. A roll of sticky lint remover – try as I may, within a few days of owning a new car enough cat hair had migrated from my clothes to permanently imbed on the upholstery.
3. Reusable green bags for the supermarket
4. Meter money
5. Picnic rug in the boot.

5 items in my purse
Typically, I don’t have one bag I carry around with me all the time so these are in my wallet
1. Drivers licence
2. Stamps (though I can’t remember the last time I posted a letter outside of work)
3. My cell phone number (I can never remember)
4. 10 trip tram tickets
5. At least 13 plastic cards – credit, library, loyalty, ambulance, frequent flyer…

Perhaps a more suitable meme for a food blog would be “50 things in my fridge”

Olive oil, sesame oil, tamari, mirin, maple syrup, Thomy mayonnaise, sauvignon blanc, sparkling wine, mineral water, batteries, tahini, butter, soy milk….

Consider yourself tagged!


Saturday, June 24, 2006

taking stock - my first Weekend Herb Blogging

I can’t think of the last time I made vegetable stock. It hasn’t been in the last decade at least. I have grown accustomed to boiling the kettle and spooning in some concentrate. I read the labels. Avoid msg. But even the best of the rest contains hydrogenated this or maltodextrose that, and of course a liberal dose of salt. So this week I accumulated the dag ends of my organic vegetables, the off cuts and the bits that were a bit too floppy to eat.

Into the pressure cooker I put the delightful celery fronds that sprout from the top of the celeriac (last night's roast vegetables). The green parts of the leeks (the Buttery Leeks). Some of last week’s gorgeous miniature Dutch carrots that were going a bit soft and the remains of a bunch of parsley. In the garden I found my small bay tree in a pot had survived the builders decimation of the back yard, in fact it looked the healthiest I had ever seen it. I harvested a few of the top leaves that were dressed with raindrops and added them as well. The only other ingredients to go in were a chopped onion and a few cloves of garlic.

I bought the pressure cooker for a couple of dollars at a garage sale in the 90’s. It was made from shiny stainless steel and looked as if it had been barely used. Nothing like my mothers antique aluminium one (that has no doubt done some unkind things to my brain) which made alarming noises, squealing as it let off steam. Mine tends to sit at the back of the cupboard and only get dragged out on those rare occasions I think of soaking and cooking beans. As one recipe I glanced at suggested a vegetable stock should cook for 3 hours, I reckoned this was a good job to do under pressure in half the time. The stock cooked for about 3/4 of an hour and I let it decompress for another 20 minutes while I started whipping up a soup. When I finely eased the lid off the liquid was still bubbling a little. What a marvellous invention!

The stock, unseasoned, tasted as it should – of each vegetable and herb mingling companionably. No weird oily residue. No odd sweetness. This way you add the salt and pepper once you have made the soup, to get the amounts just right for the dish.

There was enough stock for a big pot of red lentil soup and a bit extra for the freezer. The whole process was oddly soothing, involved very little preparation and can be done while completing a Samurai Sudoku on a wet afternoon.

Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by Virginie.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

friday night comfort

My hands smell of celery.

I have peeled and chopped some celeriac, 2 types of sweet potato – red (kumara) and orange, and scrubbed some baby Nicolas.

The oven is cranked up high and the vegetables have been tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and have been put in to bake.

I smelt a baked potato on my tram journey home from work a few days ago and the desire for a fluffy, thick skinned, jacket potato assailed me. This won’t be quite the same, though it will be at least as satisfying.

In a moment I will cook Stephanie Alexander’s Buttery Leeks to add a bit of lushness to the meal.

Then I will sit and devour these hot pockets of goodness, in a warm house and feel very happy.

Here’s to (hopefully) a healthy and happy weekend. Just one more sleep and I reckon I’ll be ready to rejoin the real world again.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Solstice greetings

Happy Solstice.

Here, just north of Antarctica, it is the shortest day. Ironically I was awake for most of the longest night, with this pesky cough stealing slumber from me. It is yet another chilly morning, which I have to admit, is entirely appropriate.

If I had the energy this would be the night for a roast. Birds or land beasts for the carnivores. Nut roast for the vegetarians. Lashings of baked vegetables. A boiled fruity pudding for dessert.

Winter is a time of reflection. Contemplating your navel, under layers of soft clothing, in a warm room. It is a reminder to be mindful. To get a little Zen while chopping the vegetables, stay focused on the pot while you stir. It is time for giving thanks. Giving up a prayer or meditation for the food on offer.

In one of the most thought provoking novels I have ever read, Starhawk’s “The Fifth Sacred Thing”, a common blessing rings out through the book:

“May you never thirst,
May you never hunger”

In this time of universal abundance, my foodie thought for the day is a thanks for the earth for providing us so amply, even in the midst of winter. For those who do not share this wealth, my fervent wish is a change in consciousness so that we can no longer allow a fellow being to starve in such a time of plenty. I am passionate about food, but also recognise an almost obscenity, in the way we worship it sometimes with lavishness and waste.

So here’s to the return of the light, sunshine and golden days. To a table spread with ample food. To simple meals. To celebratory feasts. To breaking bread with friends. To feeding ourselves well when on our own.

Happy Solstice everyone.

PS: Sorry no solstice menu. Day 12 of pesky virus! Not a lot of fun.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

camera help

*Update* Help still required!!

Are you missing the pictures? Regular readers will know the saga of how my beloved digital camera died. Or rather how Canon has allowed a known fault to be replicated in a number of their cameras, meaning it becomes inoperable, usually a short while after the warranty runs out. Blogging is just not fun without slipping in some images – like the pillows of fish wontons in the soup I last wrote about.

It’s ok I’m not instituting a pay pal button to beg for donations to replace it, just want to know what cameras you are using to take those arty food snaps or other macro work. I can’t afford an SLR and it needs to be moderately price, preferably using the same scan disc memory cards.

I’d like to bring some life back to this page as soon as possible, or at least before the end of the tax year (June 30 in this part of the world). So tell me about your camera, what you love and dislike about it and whether it’s still putting out great pics 2 years down the track.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

wonton soup

Before my demise on the weekend, when a virus laid me horizontal for 3 days, I had been playing in the kitchen.

As I mused last Thursday I did end up making Ange’s wontons with flathead rather than prawns. The soup and the dumplings made a fabulous, warming and nutritious meal.

Wontonly Fishy Soup
the soup part
4 flathead fillets
a handful of fresh shitake mushrooms
1-2 spring onions
a knob of ginger
a little coriander root
1 small chilli
fish sauce, to taste

the wonton/dumpling part
very similar ingredients but use the flathead meat from above and substitute it for prawns with this recipe

First skin and bone the fillets. As the flesh will be mulched up in the food processor to make the wantons, it doesn’t matter how roughly you do it. I give the tips of the tails and skin to the cat – I have no choice really, she’s very persistent when it comes to fish!

Take the bones and any scraps and cover amply with cold water. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 15 minutes. I was privy to a conversation with one of Melbourne’s leading seafood chef’s a year or two ago who said to not to be afraid, you can simmer for much longer when making fish stock. So really, it’s up to you how long you cook them for. Strain to remove the bones and skim of the flotsam.

Now you have a very basic stock.

With your fish meat follow the wonton recipe. I used round gyoza wrappers, because that is one less additive without the yellow colouring! With a generous teaspoon of mixture in each wrapper I twisted the top to make money bag shapes and set aside wrapped in a damp tea towel.

The soup part is cunningly simple. Finely slice the herbs and vegetables and bring to a simmer in the broth. Add some fish sauce. A little goes a long way so put in a teaspoon or 2, then taste. It should be salty but not over powering. The combination of the fish sauce and the shitake mushrooms makes a delicious broth. If using dried shitakes add the soaking water to the pot.

When the soup comes to a boil, add the wontons and simmer for 5-7 minutes.

The little money bags full of spicy seafood plumped up while cooking and looked fantastic. With the wontons, it turned a delicate vegetable studded broth, into a hearty meal.

I have made a similar combination and instead of putting inside wrappers, just formed into balls. The fish ball soup version suits the carb nazis and is gluten-free. Rice noodles also work well with the balls.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

indulgent medicine

Stat Counter is working again* and I think I am not going to get any worse, health wise, so after a day in bed will attempt to face the world again. I seem to have been getting a rise in hits from Canada – so hello to all in the true North of America. Especially the hapless googler with this request: recipes for very bad sore throats%3F&meta=

From my experiential research yesterday I recommend:

Lemon and honey

Take the juice of 1/2 a large, or 1 small, lemon
1-3 teaspoons of honey

Mix with boiling water and stir. Sip slowly under the covers with an obliging feline for company. Food podcasts or a good book optional.

The Full Monty

Not for the faint hearted – this takes the classic lemon and honey drink to a whole new medicinal level.

Lemon juice
Grated root ginger
Fresh chili
1-2 cloves of crushed garlic.

Combine the ingredients with boiling water. Sip while in the bath or in a warm bed. Classic texts suggest you should have a “hot brick” at your feet, but a hot water bottle or heat bag is a good substitute. The herbs will cause sweating, aiding the body to get rid of toxins.

The combo doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds. Quantities are up to the tolerance of your taste buds.

I was also served a lovingly made soup that contained: Garlic, ginger, onion, turnips, sweet potato, potato, parsnips, chicory, broccoli, carrot, eggplant and a few fresh tomatoes (and perhaps more vegetables that I have now forgotten). Cooked in the pressure cooker with some vegetable stock.

I spent the rest of the day on the couch going through my archive of recipes clipped from magazines or copied by hand over the years. It included the remains of an exercise book, cover long since disintegrated, started almost 20 years ago. It contained tried and true recipes that I then made regularly or concocted by various housemates, as well as dishes I dreamt of making. There was a great cake that had come from the newspaper with the notation “replaced rum with brandy, raspberry for apricot jam – tasted great” scribbled in my handwriting on the side. Instantly I was flooded with memories of a celebration long past.

There was also Betty’s spinach roulade, made for me in my dairy eating days in London, by a sadly now deceased friend of my father’s. It brought back memories of staying with a kind, but very proper couple in their town and country homes. My favourite food experience with the pair was on the drive to their place in Suffolk stopping for lunch en route. Betty, in true ex airhostess style, produced three lovingly prepared, individualised trays worthy of a first class meal on a plane. Each compartment contained an appropriate entrée and main, with a cheese course to follow. Her husband offered half bottles of red or white wine. For an Antipodean used to staying in hostels and eating on the cheap, memories of this lunch on the road will always bring a smile to my face.

It is amazing what just a single recipe can conjour.

I can see many happy meals ahead.

* comments still much appreciated

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

winter chills

Statcounter seems to be having some kind of hissy fit and as it is my main source of feedback – just who pops by for a visit, where do you come from and is it good enough for you to stick around and read the blog – it would be great if you left some feedback.

Like a modern koan I wonder – if a blogger blogs with no comments, does it really exist?

I have got a slight touch of some kind of lurgy* which doesn’t dispose me much to cooking or eating right now. For sustenance I have made a big pot of hibiscus and ginger tea and am cuddling down with ipod listening to all the back editions of Eat Feed and other aural delights I mentioned a couple of posts ago. On my next foray to the computer I will explore more of the culinary podcast network - but with that many hours of foodie listening to plough through I may never get out from under the covers again!

Soup and sympathy is arriving later, great medicine in equal quantities. But for now, I will indulge this malady and return to a warm bed on a chilly winter’s day.

*translation for those outside of Australasia – a bug or virus of some kind.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Playing with my food

I am back to having carefree Thursdays again, when I can leisurely shop at Vic Market, browse in bookstores and potter in the kitchen. I am going through one of those golden, inspired times at present where I feel creative and happy. Long may it reign!

Today at the market feijoas had dropped back down in price to $4/kg, surely the last crop of the year. In previous years I’ve found them at one stall only and they were gone within a couple of weeks. This year they have sprung up all over the place for over 2 months, at widely varying prices. I will savour their sweet perfume and think of home.

Rhubarb is back in season and waiting to be stewed. I know if I don’t do it today, it probably won’t happen. I have a crop of someone’s homegrown oranges, thin skinned and tangy sitting very prettily in a blue glass bowl (how I miss my camera!). I will squeeze a little to cook the rhubarb, instead of water. The bowl of slightly tart oranges is whispering “marmalade”. But I’ve never really liked the stuff. Though I was once seduced with homemade marmalade made with a liberal slug of Drambuie, purchased from a Gippsland cafe. Now that is tempting. Dam, why did I throw out all my old jars when I renovated the kitchen?

I got flathead fillets, as an excuse to make and freeze some more stock. Filleting the fish from the bone makes one little pussycat in this house very happy and even as I type this she is blocking the door with a very knowing look on her face. Can felines read minds?

I have earmarked Ange’s prawn wonton recipe and thinking of using flathead instead, with gyoza wrappers (because that is all I have and the only difference is shape and added yellow colouring) and floating them in a clear fish soup with Asian flavours. I so love playing with my food!

There is a loaf of organic rye sourdough from the baker in Gertrude St that waits to be sliced, for what is going to be a very late lunch. I love this little piece of Fitzroy with whole shops dedicated to books on cooking (Books for Cooks) and art (Artisan). In Industria, amongst old lab equipment and second hand clothes, I found a book from the 1870’s on a subject (other than food) that is my passion. The last one I had obtained cost a couple of hundred dollars. Before I peaked at the price I was doing the arithmetic of what I could afford and burst out laughing when I saw the cost scribbled on a post it note - $35. I went to an art store and bought a gift for the one I love, who is about to turn another year older. I talked to the owner about art, politics, revolution and assassination (the sad lack of the latter when it comes to our prime minister). I listened to Peter Singer talk ethics on the ABC, to the deaf ears of representatives of the poultry and pig industries.

Back at home the kitchen smells of bread, oranges, coffee and feijoas. It is overcast outside, but warm in here. I am practicing ‘being in the present’ and I have to say, it’s a very pleasant place to be right now.

So how was your day?


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Aural nourishment

Gastroporn is nothing new. Most of us who cruise these kinds of blogs spend arguably far too many hours scanning our eyes over recipes, fingering cookware in specialty stores and drooling over reviews of restaurants in places we can only visit in our dreams. There is always a new cookbook that needs to adorn our shelves. An ethnic grocer in an out of the way suburb, to visit for a mythical spice. A gadget that will outdo all other kitchen gizmos. And that’s before we’ve had the first, perfect, short black of the day.

Beyond touch, smell and sight is a whole other kind of foodporn. Sure there is radio with pictures (aka film and television) but there hasn’t been a decent foodie film in years and there is only so much Jamie you can take. But there is another sense the culinary slave can open up and devour – our ears. Out there in the ether are many aural fixes for our fetish, if we just take the time to tune in or download.

If I’m anywhere near a radio at midday on a Sunday I will tune into 102.7. “Eat it” has been part of my culinary life for years. Each week, as he has for close to the past 2 decades, Cam takes us to the market, tasting wine, talking to top chefs and even a few enthusiastic amateurs. Sadly the show is not available on podcast as the community station is too strapped for cash, but you can listen to it live streaming over the net.

In between Eat It fixes I download KCRW’s “Good Food”. Evan has travelled with me on trains and trams, walked with me to work on chilly mornings and sat with me at home. Like Cam, she has a market report, this time from the farmers markets around LA. Though the seasons mirror ours there are always great tips from the growers to earmark for later in the year. Her guests talk about anything and everything – from free food to top chefs, to how to cook adult food in a child’s toy (“Easy-bake") oven. For the poor podless few, the shows are generously archived at the Good Food homepage, where there are some great links as well.

Eat Feed is a podcast that has been around for barely 18 months, but has gathered a loyal following in that time. It may originate from the USA but encompasses food from every corner of the world. It’s true international broadcasting. This podcast is created by and for people who love food. It’s a great find. Eat Feed can be downloaded via itunes or from the archive at the site. The website also has a collection of recipes and lots of other interesting links.

As if cooking wasn’t a sensory overload in itself these aural delights are a must in any healthy foodbloggers diet.


Monday, June 05, 2006

cooking whole fish

As I may have mentioned before, I am a convert to cooking whole fish. It is incredibly easy, always comes out succulent and is a breeze to clean up when you line the pan or wrap it in al foil. Another great reason is whole fish is a cheap way of eating seafood and any fishmonger worth his or her salt will clean, scale and gut it for you for no extra cost. If they ask – always keep the head on! Ignore the pesky eyes staring blindly at you from the table, remember fish eyes are a delicacy in some countries.

I have a couple of fallback ways to cook a whole beast.

Whole fish with tomato and basil
This was the first recipe I adapted, inspired by Cheryl Beere’s “The Atomic Café Cookbook”. The original recipe ’Barbecued whole stuffed baby salmon’ suggested stuffing the cavity of a baby salmon with fresh basil, marjoram, oregano, black olives, capers, garlic, lemon juice and slices of onion and tomatoes. Season. Wrap in aluminium foil and bbq 15 minutes per side.

I simplified this to – take a baby trout (while I still ate farmed fish), slice some lemon, tear up some basil leaves, chop up a bit of garlic and throw this in the cavity. Season. Wrap in al foil and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes or more depending on the size. Test with a sharp knife to see if cooked.

Easy as!

Whole fish with lemon, garlic and thyme
Score some slices in the thicker parts of the flesh and insert slices of lemon and sliver of garlic. Do this about 4 or 5 times a side. In the cavity add more lemon, fresh thyme or rosemary and some chunks of garlic. Season. This can be cooked uncovered at 180-200c.

Get the idea? The next step is to put your favourite flavours together and make it your way.

…and here’s one we made earlier (before my canon camera had that malfunction they don’t admit to)

From memory this is mackerel. It has a great omega 3 profile, is ridiculously cheap, tastes great but does have some pesky fine bones. We got it originally for the cats, but why should they have all the fun? The fish is seasoned with sea salt and some ground mixed peppercorns.

Last week’s fish was bonito. It never seems to have scales and has very dense, meaty flesh. It's got the health advanatges of tuna, without the big fish mercury. I inserted the slices of lemon and garlic and used rosemary to stuff it because that was the only suitable fresh herb still growing in the backyard following the recent renovations. The 750g bonito cost the princely (princessly) sum of $6 from Prossers at Vic Market. There was easily enough to feed 3 people. That’s right – a delicious fish meal for $2 a head! Served up with masses of colcannon this was a hearty dish to welcome the first day of winter.

Go on, be brave. Whole fish is actually easier to cook than fiddley fillets that dry out easily. Invest in a big platter, so you can serve it whole at the table (stainless steel ones from catering supply stores are useful) and it will never fail to impress. For those afraid of bones try something with a thick spine, like snapper, which is easy to peel away once you have served the top layer.


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Saturday, June 03, 2006

campfire classics

This really isn’t the season for it down South (hemispherewise that it), but a question asked on the 101 cookbooks forum got me thinking about favourite camping meals.

Though it’s been a couple of years since the last trip, previously most summers have involved a couple of weeks in a tent in one of Eastern states’ National Parks. I love the inherent laziness that you can drive down a dirt track to some fabulous location and camp amongst very few people. Most of these parks have little in the way of modern comforts (toilets, showers etc) but may have water if you are really lucky. The lack of amenities tend to attract those who just want to veg out in (or more actively engage with) nature. What’s more, some like me, revel in having no electricity and being out of mobile range. Essential items include a good hammock, lots of rope, old pillows and a stack of novels.

Food wise, often it’s been many hours of rough driving from a store of any kind, so planning ahead for a week of meals that are as fresh and tasty as possible requires some cunning. I like the challenge of cooking in one pot on an open fire, especially with some disparate end of the week ingredients. This has come up with some winning dishes, or perhaps it was the open air and wood smoke whetting my appetite.

On a Christmas/New Year trip to Morton Island, Queensland, some years ago for a huge camp on the sand dunes that housed about 15-18 of us I was impressed by someone bringing the biggest esky that I have ever seen. What’s more they laid down dry ice and fitted a whole pig that they roasted on a spit for Christmas lunch. I’m not a meat eater, but certainly gave them marks for ingenuity. Those 2 weeks are a bit of a blur. Warm sea to swim in, hammocks under the trees to swing, dream, read and snooze in - but far, far too much alcohol.

Without dry ice (or fortunately dead animals) getting enough fresh vegetables by the end of the week can be a bit of a challenge for long term camping during hot Australian summers. I found that keeping a stash of onions, potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and cabbage tended be sturdy enough for the duration. The first few days were always awash with the most perishable fruit and vegetables. Delicious, but not all that challenging to cook with so meals tended to be similar to what I would cook at home. Mid week, things preserved and canned would tend to come out. These staples usually included:

Smoked trout
Cans of fish, kidney beans, tomatoes, coconut milk, peaches and apricots
Packets of mountain bread
Eggs (the ice had fully melted by day 2 usually and this tends to signal the egg fest)
Homemade muesli (with oven dried strawberries to make it special)
Small tetra packs of soy milk (or just the juice and the canned fruit to soften the muesli)
Pasta and various noodles
Rice – brown and white
Flavours – salt, pepper, garlic (lots!), chillies, sometimes basil plants, lemons and limes. Dried herbs – cumin, coriander seeds.
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

This is one time in summer when red wine is a winner – once the ice has melted there is nothing to chill the white wine and beer. A bottle of port is always handy, along with a pack of cards in case it rains.

Later in the week meals invariably include:
Chilli beans (onion, chilli, garlic, cumin, canned beans, tomatoes, carrots) and baked potatoes (wrapped in alfoil cooked in the embers)

Vegie curry and rice (one year I took along dried beancurd sticks, which once rehydrated was a great addition)

But finally – this dish with no name concocted in late week desperation on a trip 12 years ago – tends to signal the last night. I love it, but never seems right to make it at home. Perhaps it needs the crackle of the fire and the smell of the bush to taste just right.

First cook a couple of blocks of Chinese spinach (egg) noodles. Drain and leave sitting in some cold water.

Cut potato into small cubes and fry in some olive oil. Add diced onion, chilli and garlic. Now throw in diced carrot. Stir it about til it’s almost done. Add a heap of finely sliced cabbage, fry til begins to soften. Lastly add the well drained noodles and flavour with tamari.

This is starchy comfort food best eaten under the stars, beside the fire.

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