Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

Having a packet or two of fancy, dried pasta in the pantry is a lovely way to make an old favourite sauce more interesting. If I’m in an Italian deli or a good market and come across some interesting dried pasta shapes, I’ll pick a couple I haven’t tried before and store them away, ready …

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It’s picnic weather, and in Melbourne we kick off the season with horse racing. On Tuesday, Melbournians get a day off work to sip champagne, wear their glad rags, tuck a form guide under their arm and put their annual bet on the Melbourne Cup. For those of us not at the racecourse, BBQs will …

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Our local farmers’ market rotates through four towns in the Macedon region. Two locations are handy  to home, one is farther but in such a pretty location that it makes the trip worth it, and the other is just that bit too far to justify ploughing the freeway for. Which leaves one weekend per month …

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Cooking is naturally a tactile experience, where hands and fingers get busy touching, transforming, testing and arranging. There’s a lot of chopping and stirring, squeezing and shaking, but it’s quite rare that massaging is involved. Perhaps when you’re marinating meat you’ll give it a good rub to evenly distribute the marinade. And you could argue …

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A change of season heralds a change of breakfast in my kitchen. I’m no longer getting up in the dark, scurrying around before 7am in the half light, trying to keep warm with a large bowl of porridge. Instead the sun is my natural alarm clock and it bathes the kitchen in a gentle, welcoming …

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A meal that keeps on giving is worth a little extra effort. This asian-inspired salad feeds 4-6 people, but it generously extends itself to provide leftover poached chicken for another meal or two, a few containers of chicken stock to pack into the freezer and some pickled carrots to adorn tomorrow’s sandwiches. It’s also very …

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Curly parsley, the 70s food garnish of choice, has perennially been left on my plate uneaten. Pub meals were the main culprit, employing a tuft of green in an attempt to counter balance the deliciously greasy fare served out of their deep fryers and grills. But curly parsley doesn’t have to be the unflattering herb …

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Dear Byron Bay, Thanks so much for having us while we take this pregnant pause, enjoying a grown-up holiday for two before we become three. The cloudless skies, sparkling ocean and gentle warm breezes have been much appreciated. Do you get all guests up at 5.30am with your early sunrise? We don’t mind. The morning …

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I love birthdays. I love surprises and presents and being spoiled and Facebook messages and all the other good things that come with celebrating the passing of another year. It was my birthday on Monday. I successfully turned it into an Amelia festival starting on Friday night, continuing through to work on Monday. Four cakes …

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