I take immense pleasure from food. Whether I am standing barefoot in the kitchen on a sunny Sunday morning blending herbs from the garden to make a quick pesto, planning a 3 course meal for a mid-winter dinner party, or standing over the stove surrounded by preserving jars, elbow deep in jam, I am happy.
My love of food has been fostered by many things. My Mum, who cooks the most delicious meals from a seemingly empty kitchen, is a constant source of inspiration and advice. I attribute my curiosity for all foods new and unusual to the time I spent in Asia as a teenager where chickens are bought live in the market, wrapped up in newspaper and tied up with a piece of string doubling as a handle. Where the most prized of fruits, the Durian, is banned from hotel rooms due to its pungent smell. And where the fish markets overwhelm the senses, boasting daily catches of almost unimaginable sizes, colours and textures.
For me food is constantly evolving. It adapts to the contents of your fridge or pantry, to the age or tastes of your guests, or most simply, with the seasons. Food can evoke a sense of nostalgia. It soothes and comforts, fuels and nourishes, surprises and satisfies. It brings us together.
More recently it is my vegetable garden and a new found passion for cooking fresh, seasonal, unprocessed food that inspires me. The process of selecting ingredients and experimenting with flavours, textures and colours that compliment each other is at once both challenging and rewarding. And when at last sitting down to eat, it is the company of good friends and family which is always the perfect accompaniment to any meal.
It’s a grey old day here in Auckland. The sky is a blanket of thick black cloud from which falls an endless stream of rain. It’s not particularly summery weather but I don’t mind. In fact I like it, it’s doing our garden wonders and anything that speeds up the ripening of the first of [...]
Last Christmas our son was four weeks old. As we gathered around the Christmas tree to unwrap presents he lay sleeping, swaddled in muslin in his Moses basket oblivious to the sound of happy chatter and rustling paper. This year, 11 months on, he has begun to twig on to the magic of Christmas. To [...]
This is cheats kulfi. The original version is far more labour intensive and involves gently simmering sweetened, flavoured milk until it evaporates by half leaving a thickened, very dense ice-cream. In this version all the hard work is done for you by using sweetened condensed milk. Just in time for summer
The latest craze in our kitchen is Middle Eastern food. If it doesn’t contain pinenuts or pistachios, coriander or cumin, tahini or tamarind then we’re not interested! What I find most appealing about this style of cuisine is its generous use of spices, fresh herbs, nuts and vegetables and they way in which they marry [...]
The humble carrot cake has a special place in my heart. You see not so long ago my boyfriend and a good friend of ours boldly challenged one another to a carrot cake bake-off. There were no real rules, just criteria against which the cakes were to be judged; taste, texture, appearance and originality.
Come lunchtime, I find that more often than not (if the spoils of last nights meal do not await) I pull a few slices of bread out of the freezer, toast them and then mere minutes later generously spread them with peanut butter (organic and crunchy of course!). Whilst strangely I don’t seem to tire [...]
There was once a time when I could spend a whole afternoon in the kitchen. Uninterrupted. Undistracted. These days I’m lucky if my culinary forays last more than forty-five minutes. My pots are often found upturned on the kitchen floor and my wooden spoons now have a double life; used sometimes to stir the evening [...]
Yesterday was a special day, it was the day we celebrated our first Father’s Day as a new family. It was filled with sunshine and sea air and a walk under a cool green canopy of cabbage and punga trees in the hills out west of our fair city. And if this wasn’t enough, it [...]
There are very few things I buy from the great banks of freezers at the supermarket. If I’m feeling particularly indulgent (and this is a rare occasion) I will surreptitiously sidle up to the ice-cream section, withdrawing the darkest chocolate variety I can find. From the freezers a few rows down I will almost always [...]
Four years ago, give or take a month or two, we posted our first recipe Garam Marsala. When I think back to the early days of Our Kitchen, it really does feel like it was just yesterday. There were hurdles aplenty that we never really believed we’d be lucky enough to overcome. The biggest of [...]
This morning a blanket of thick fluffy grey cloud hangs over the city. The neighbours avocado tree, heavy with fruit, is buffeted in the wind and the leaves on our passionfruit vine nod in time. It’s chilly outside, and it’s no wonder, it is winter after all. So in defiance of the cold we’re wrapped [...]
If you can make a good Bolognese sauce then you can make a good lasagne, and if you can make a good lasagne then strangely you’ll always find you have plenty of friends gathered round your dining table!
For as long as I have been contributing to this blog I have toyed with the idea of posting a recipe for spaghetti Bolognese. Long has it been a staple meal in our family and I am pretty sure that it is the first recipe Mum taught me to make many, many years ago. I [...]
This blog is born of the passion of a group of friends here at Fisher & Paykel. Ardent lovers of food and cooking, we want to inspire our readers, share our recipes and impart knowledge.