fa la pasta

December 24, 2020

I’ve stumbled upon Aimee Twigger‘s exquisite flower pressed pastas many times, and thought, these are just too beautiful to send into a boil. Think ribbons of handmade pappardelle with corn flower petals pressed into them. If the kitchen is your creative place, here is Triggers’s guide to making fresh pasta, and here is her step-by-step tutorial to adding herbs and petals. I love this kind of dedication to something so beautiful, something that will be gobbled up in minutes. It reminds me of land art, mandalas and sand castles; all beautiful, noble and transient endeavours.

our daily bread

December 22, 2020

“In times of great uncertainty, knowing how to make your own bread and thereby feed your family, is palpably reassuring,” wrote Dale Berning Sarwa in the Guardian last spring. “The very act of kneading dough is calming, like Play-Doh for adults.” While I’ve personally had no yearnings to bake bread this year, I’ve admired all of those around me baking baguettes, brioches and sourdough challahs by the loaf. It made so much sense. Few things are as comforting as bread and butter. Both the act of making and eating bread is humbling and reassuring. Linda Sofia Ring’s artful sourdoughs are a true labour of love, adorned with Picasso doves, vases and faces. But for something a little less laborious, Berning Sarwa’s article is filled with suggestions. No knead? No bake? Sign me up.

apple of my eye

October 14, 2020

Apple crumble is one of my brother’s favourite desserts. It was a Saturday staple growing up, served hot with heaps of Bramley apples. Alex used to fully submerge his crumble in piping hot English custard. The custard was never my thing. I’ve attempted the odd crumble myself over the years, but it’s never been as good as the ones I grew up eating. I came across this recipe from James Rich, a British food writer with apple juice running through his veins, (Rich’s family grows apples and owns a cider farm in Somerset) and I thought I might try it. It sounds pretty classic, no doubt Alex would approve.

sea woman

September 4, 2020

For hundreds of years, the Haenyeo –– sea women — of Jeju Island have fed their families with food that they have harvested from the ocean. In this poignant film, Hawaii-based professional freediver, Kimi Werner invites us into a sisterhood, buoyed by tradition, community and the waters that surrounds them. “These women, they are known to have gone diving throughout their whole nine months of pregnancy, going into labour right on the water, having babies on the boat and continuing to dive after becoming a Mom,” says Werner, six months pregnant herself while shooting the film. “They kind of became this symbol of strength and resilience, and providers.” With no oxygen mask, the women freedive deep into the ocean to harvest horned conch, octopus and abalone. It’s mesmerizing to watch. Their life is humble, but meaningful. “I see their skin that’s been weathered by the ocean, that’s been tanned and wrinkled. I see a sisterhood of support and love. I see a vision of what real beauty means to me….I see the woman I want to be.”

hold the mayo

August 14, 2020

What turns me off slaw is the mayo. I’m not a fan of mayonnaise. But this lovely recipe from Aussie cook and author, Julia Busuttil Nishimura uses parmesan to capture the creaminess of mayo. I can’t think of a more heavenly dinner, than a piece of fish or steak on the barbecue served with this crisp and crunchy salad.

angle mine

August 11, 2020

My kids have been baking cakes this week, the ones that comes straight out of a box. There’s something so sweet and nostalgic about a box cake. I used to make Angel Food Cake all the time. Even as I write the words I can taste it, all sweet and fluffy. My Auntie Polyxene made the best Betty Crocker Swirl Cake. You just knew it would taste the same every time. That’s the thing about box cakes, they’re reliable.


July 22, 2020

Just look at these charming, little baskets of berries. Have you ever seen a prettier display of fruit? The pastry looks like it’s woven from willow. The image is from a croissanterie in Melbourne, Australia. According to the New York Times, Lune makes the best croissants in the world. In Toronto, Pain Perdu makes perfect croissants. A guest brought us a box of them today. I’ve always had a soft spot for the croissants from Harbord Bakery, even though they’re not nearly flaky enough to be French. I love to slather salty butter on a warm croissant, you know, for buere on buere.

short stories

July 1, 2020

A picture paints a thousand words,” is what springs to mind when looking at Eryn Lougheed‘s highly illustrative work. Each one of this young, Canadian artist’s paintings could tell a dozen stories. Her whimsical, childlike style brings levity to complicate themes, and I love her rich, saturated colours. Take a look at her lazer cut puzzles. With the girl’s big shoes and playful plaits, Flower Picking is such a lovely image. Happy Canada Day, let’s support our own.

Like a lokal

May 6, 2020

I keep seeing pictures of the lovely Lokal Hotel in Philadelphia, where “invisible service” (from automated coded check-ins to in room iPads), laundry facilities, and oat milk in the fridge, make it feel like home away from home. The six apartments are designed by Jersey Ice Cream Company, and include soaring ceilings, swooney kitchens, chic Scandi furnishings. When they’re up and running again, I’d happily move in. Cheesesteak?

summer soles

April 24, 2020

Just look at this house in Puglia, covered in tomatoes drying in the sun. It was taken by Italo Zannier in the late 70s. Its not just the scarlet fringe against that bright blue sky that struck me, it’s the boy, specifically his barefootedness, that whisked me back to my own childhood. I too used to run around streets just like this, in a bathing suit and no shoes, and I loved the feeling of the cement, sand, stone and dirt against my feet. It’s a weird thing, but I love to see my feet dirty and tanned. It reminds me of childhood.

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