Friday, July 29, 2011

The More You Drink, The More Fun It Gets

Say - purely hypothetically - that you're in the mountains for two weeks. With an almost-five year old, an almost-four year old, and a just-two year old. No tv, save the well-worn Maisy dvd that appears some afternoons when mummy has remembered to charge the laptop. And rain. Unseasonably profuse rain.

I'm not saying this scenario should lead a woman to wine ... but, if it happens to ...

make the most of it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Postcards from the Pyrenees: The Universal Language of Markets

boites de carrotes, pomme de terres, and cerises. the exchange of coins/bills/smiles. my bag heavy with tomates et aubergines et courgettes et myrtilles sauvages, I squeeze through the crowds of people. 


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Postcards from the Pyrenees

Sometimes you find yourself in a place that just fits. You step out your door and look around you and feel this incredible belonging. In the southern mountains of France, in a countryside speckled with villages and farms and fromageries, I've found my heart.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What to Get Friends Who Tell You Not to Get Anything


Well, if they love salt like my friends do. Then, you can get 6 different varieties - like Himalayan salt; Celtic sea salt; Smoked sea salt; Portuguese sea salt; Queensland macrobiotic salt; and Murray River salt. You can decant them into lovely little tins, label each, and box them up with a big bow on top.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sustainability is Really Just Sharing

My little non-vegetarian loves seafood. She would happily eat it every day ... and here along the west coast of Scotland it's not hard to imagine. Fresh ocean and loch-caught fish. Mussels, scallops, prawns, langostines, crabs, clams, oysters, and a host of creatures I've never even heard of - fresh and local. She's loving it.

"I want to catch all the fish in the ocean and eat them up," she states, hungrily.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Scottish Ale Bread

This is the kind of bread you make when you're traveling ... 

The 3-ingredient kind. The kind that makes delicious use of local Scottish ales. The kind that provides you with a satisfying medium for the tangy marmalade you picked up at that farmer's market (where was that?), or the fresh raspberry jam from the back-of-the-church charity shop in Inverary. 

The no yeast kind.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beau-Tea for Travellers - III. Coffee

Sure. It's obvious.

Coffee is like that. It's the Ferrari of caffeine transmission. And when you fly from Brisbane to LA as often as we do - crossing the date line and finding you land 6 hours before you took off - coffee is a good great idea for keeping awake till dark.

But what else can this magic potion do for us? There are certain lines of thinking that regular ingestion of coffee via - well, other parts of your body - can be quite detoxifying. But I'm not here to tell you about that.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Almond Travel Cookies

Sometimes I end up with too many yolks. It's not a common infliction, I know, but a serious one. It usually hits me after making meringue ... and my natural inclination is to pop the unused yolks into a jar to be stored on an obscure shelf in my fridge ... where I can forget about it for a month or so ...

Until my lovely golden yolks are revolting and I have to tip them out.
What a waste.

So, this time I made cookies out of my yolks.
What a genius.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beau-Tea for Travellers - II. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile can be a traveller's best friend. It doesn't have caffeine - meaning you can drink it to your heart's content. Your child can drink it to her heart's content.  And more than that ... it's soporific. Sleep-inducing. Relaxing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Potatoes for Picnics

We had a picnic - yes, indeed - but it wasn't your average blanket-on-the-lawn affair ... No, ours was in a queue for a musical rendition of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, which we ultimately failed to see because we got cold and tired and sold our tickets and happily took a taxi all the way back to our warm little beds ...

But not before we devoured our homemade potato salad. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Beau-Tea for Travellers - I. Green Tea

Economy is just not what it used to be. I mean, when I was a kid I loved flying ... the special seats, the tray-bound meals, the excitement of new books and toys. That cool little pin that said - hey, I might just be a pilot, too! The anticipation of new places and the potential for presents from little-seen relatives.

But flights to New Jersey didn't take 14 hours.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I Love Meringue.

There's something about meringues that gets me. Maybe it's how they come together like that chemistry experiment I wish I'd learned in high school. (We made soap instead. Ick.) Or how their flavour perfectly suits tangy passionfruit and creamy Greek yogurt. Or how you bite into them like air ... only to find a satisfying chewiness in the centre.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm ....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lunchbox Styling for Busy Mums

Since writing this article in 2011, I've gone PLASTIC-FREE around the kitchen - including lunchboxes. You can read more about my new lunchbox strategies here

Lunchboxes are a tricky business. And I don't know about you, but I never seem to manage to pack Nelle's the night before.