It’s a simple truth; they do not love you back. In my case, it was something about the way she crammed my pita bread with falafel balls, hummus and pickled cabbage; her left hand tenderly working the soft bread, as her other, armed at turns with tong and spoon, selected salads and condiments for my lunch. Her name was Shelly, and if there is a more genuine representation of unbridled affection, I am yet to find it. It was as if in some part, she herself was an ingredient, her willingness and enthusiasm a piquant addition, communicated with a knowing, heart-melting smile. For the very… read more.
“Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” - Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady Unless, of course, you first read that sentence as a university student coerced into dissecting character psychologies within James’s classic novel or as someone not yet acquainted with a verity that comes, sooner or later, to us all: we acquire a taste for what we love most. What goes unloved one year has a tendency to sneak up on us, to become the most cherished of another era. Soon, Randy Newman’s story about composing his… read more.
"Some people tell us that Manjimup is a dying town, but I for one won't believe this, as towns fall and rise again." - Andrew Muir Jr (2006) "The most learned men have been questioned as to the nature of this tuber, and after two thousand years of argument and discussion their answer is the same as it was on the first day: we do not know. The truffles themselves have been interrogated, and have answered simply: eat us and praise the Lord." - Alexander Dumas A bitter wind is flowing freely through my thin cardigan, and I'm hoping to warm myself up with something… read more.
As a kid growing up in St Kilda, eating could be a terrifying experience. Almost all of my inner Melbourne, Windsor Primary schoolmates were recently arrived immigrants: Italians, Greeks, Maltese and Germans, mostly. How often I would find myself at these friends’ houses, trapped at a dinner table, staring at the food on my plate, trying to figure out how I could shuffle aside or hide the weird things I was being served… or eat them. Plenty of times I would go home with damp pockets stuffed with pieces of fish or strange meat. I’m in my mid-fifties, a product of the classic, 'white-bread', Aussie… read more.
ONCE UPON A TIME, the old-fashioned Englishman saw all continentals as contemptible garlic munchers. Because garlic stinks. Well, that sort of makes sense, you might think, because after all garlic does stink. Except that garlic doesn’t stink at all, it smells great: try resisting a piping hot slice of garlic bread! But garlic does stink when it’s on the breath. And then there is kimchi. Now kimchi, that tastes great but surely it stinks. Ah, you have a point… But hey, what about pickled onions? What about… KIPPERS? Isn’t this “garlic stinks” business a case of the stink being on the nose of the beholder?… read more.