individual moments of restlessness

Posted on June 26th, 2013

Kay Redfield Jamison is a psychologist and sufferer of bipolar disorder who wrote An Unquiet Mind, a book I read many years ago when my rough trots were more prevalent than my smooth.

Image by Arne Olav

Image by Arne Olav

This observation from her book has always stood out and I returned to it recently:

I long ago abandoned the notion of a life without storms, or a world without dry and killing seasons. Life is too complicated, too constantly changing, to be anything but what it is. And I am, by nature, too mercurial to be anything but deeply wary of the grave unnaturalness involved in any attempt to exert too much control over essentially uncontrollable forces. There will always be propelling, disturbing elements, and they will be there until…the watch is taken from the wrist. It is, at the end of the day, the individual moments of restlessness, of bleakness, of strong persuasions and maddened enthusiasms, that inform one’s life, change the nature and direction of one’s work, and give final meaning and color to one’s loves and friendships.

It’s all OK, you know. The storms and bleakness and madness count for something. The restlessness will lead to something. These parts of life are not to be constantly derided, moved on from. Once I get over this rough trot, then life will start.No. They’re part of it all and it’s all happening now.. There is no run-up. No dress rehearsal.

And: it is the “individual moments” that count. Read more

I love food, hate waste: 15 (more) clever ways to use your leftovers

Posted on June 25th, 2013

I’m a fan of using up leftovers. I turn it into a sport, as anyone who’s a regular reader of my blog would know. I’ve recently shared how Maggie Beer and Poh use their leftovers and how to eat your scraps.

Today I’ve pulled together a few extra tips and tricks for using stuff you couldn’t eat the night before. I’ve also asked a few foodie friends to contribute, including Curtis Stone whose latest book What’s For Dinner is really very, very clever. Martyna Candrick is a recipe developer and photographer in our orbit. For regular readers of this blog you’ll recognise her name. And for the chocolate fiends, you’ll recognise two of her recipes in the Chocolate Cookbook. My mate Arabella Forge is a Melbourne dietician whose book Frugavore is a flippin’ excellent resource and cookbook for anyone wanting to cook real and mindfully. Jules Clancy is a food scientist and blogs at The Stone Soup, usually using five ingredients or less.

So now, wrap your chops around these ideas:

1. Grow your scraps.

Try growing some of your scraps. Like a fennel bulb you didn’t get around to finishing. Simply place the white root end in a glass jar with a little water, and leave it in a sunny position. I keep mine in the kitchen window. The green leafy part of the plant will continue to shoot. When it’s time to cook, just snip off what you need from the green growth and leave the white root end in water to keep growing. Freshen up the water each week or so, and you’ll never have to buy them again. To learn how to grow more of your scraps, this article is insanely good.

2. Cook by what’s in your fridge.

Non-profit Foodwise has a handy tool whereby you type in your ingredient (say, avocado) and it will find relevant recipes. It also has loads of recipes from food celebs from Australia (Neil Perry, Kylie Kwong) and Britain (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall; Paul, Stella & Mary McCartney).

3. Freshen your carpets with rosemary.

Use leftover rosemary or ginger to freshen your carpet. Just sprinkle the spices on your carpet and then vacuum. (They’ll freshen your vacuum, too!)  Try an Read more

A Friday Giveaway: 20 Pepe Saya butter wheels!

Posted on June 21st, 2013

Oh it’s been a big week here in the office. My. Oh. But it’ s Friggen Friday…why don’t we ram things up with a Nice Thing to Giveaway. This time, Pierre Issa of Pepe Saya artisan butter has generously donated:

20 handcrafted 225 gram butter wheels


Pierre is great. He puts the Pepe in the Saya. And my fridge always has one of his wheels in my dairy tray. The stuff is good enough to eat straight with some rock salt (anyone else do this??). He and I have crossed paths a few times lately, most recently at the TedX Sydney event (which you can catch up on here if you missed me leading a carving up of a 500kg grass-fed Wagyu carcass in the forecourt of the Opera House). I love his crafty passion which he makes with his family by his side. His dad makes the round metal moulds that give the butter its distinctive shape, while all of the staff wear hats made by his mum.

Raspberry Ripple, photography by Marija Ivkovic

Raspberry Ripple, photography by Marija Ivkovic

Pepe Saya butter is made from 100 per cent local ingredients: single origin cream from jersey cows in Allansford, Victoria or Picton, New South Wales, and locally sourced sea salt, along with Murray River pink salt. “We sour the cream down, we churn it, wash it with filtered water, knead it, get the water out, pack it and label it. That’s it. That’s butter,” Pierre says.

Real and simple.

We thought you could use some of his butter (they also make ghee, buttermilk, crème fraiche and mascarpone) to make a few of the recipes in my I Quit Sugar Chocolate Cookbook. Like the Raspberry Ripple pictured above, where a good, salty butter is Read more