What’s happening

Autumn menu - Easter picnic

An Easter picnic


The recipes selected for this Easter picnic menu reflect the diversity of our population. There are English, Greek, French, Italian, Middle Eastern and Austrian dishes, all happily mingling. Do take plenty of napkins for finger-wiping.


Pea and ham soup

Carry this in a thermos, with a separate container of crisp croutons.

Silverbeet and potato torte

A delicious pie, made from an olive oil pastry.

Squid pies

The same olive oil pastry this time with a spicy filling of chopped squid. This pie is sold as tielle setoise in the French southern town of Sete.

Barbecued chicken wings

Oven-baked just before you leave, these sticky wings will still be warm when they are enjoyed.

Middle Eastern carrot salad and Cos lettuce hearts

Scattered with roasted pepitas and dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.

Greek Easter eggs

Fun to dye and good to eat with the salad leaves. In pairs one taps the eggs together and the person left with an intact egg is said to have good luck for the coming year. Don’t worry if some of the red colouring transfers to fingers or even the egg within. The dye is totally edible.

Rhubarb and Cinnamon cake and/or Mieze’s plum cake

Both cakes are great favourites. Carry each in its own cake tin to protect them from ants or sand, and offer good cream.


Autumn menu - fat is flavour

Fat is flavour


Fat is flavour! Don’t be frightened of a bit of fat – it does add flavour and lusciousness to a dish, and the rest of the meal can provide a contrast. I like to buy my belly pork from a Vietnamese or Chinese butcher who are used to a very discerning clientele.


Fig and rocket salad

A delicate beginning to dinner. Choose the ripest possible figs, a fresh goat’s cheese and the very best extra virgin olive oil. Do nip off the long stalks of the rocket leaves.


Glazed barbecued belly pork

The initial cooking of the piece of pork is long and slow and can be done a day in advance of your dinner. Then it is just a few minutes on a hot barbecue with a bit of basting.

Root vegetables and chestnuts

Braised chunks of sweet potato, carrot, parsnip and turnip are cooked in stock until tender then chestnuts are added for the last ten to fifteen minutes.

Steamed baby bok choy

Pile these brilliantly green treasures on a platter for maximum drama. Buy the smallest and freshest bok choy you can. Best to visit an Asian market.

Spanish creams (with passionfruit) and Passionfruit Shortbread

Otherwise known as Spanish creams, these creamy sweets are meant to separate into two layers. The tang of passionfruit makes them even more delicious

Farewell to summer


Autumn creeps up on us, first a crisping of the leaves and warm gentle afternoons, and for home gardeners, the best harvest of tomatoes, sweet peppers and eggplant.

Here is a colourful lunch to enjoy inside or out. All dishes in this autumn menu are best served warm or at room temperature.


Imam bayildi

A Turkish classic. Sauteed eggplant flesh is mixed with tomato, garlic and cinnamon and piled back into the shells and baked with lemon.

Tomato and Mustard tart

Perfect for fat beefsteak tomatoes. Thickly sliced and layered onto mustard coated buttery puff pastry and served with torn basil.

Baked stuffed peppers with meatballs

Minced lamb (or beef) spiced with cumin, allspice and coriander leaves, spooned into pepper halves, then drizzled with oil and slowly baked.

Pumpkin, silverbeet and fetta salad with quinoa and nutmeg

Gorgeous colours and with plenty of texture this salad was first cooked for me at a primary school in Queensland.

Stuffed peaches

Peach halves baked until tender with butter, brown sugar and orange juice.

Mother's Day breakfast menu

Mother’s Day breakfast


Every Mum loves to be spoilt on this special day. This Mother’s Day breakfast menu could be managed by any son or daughter over the age of eight, with a bit of help from Dad! Start shopping and planning one full day ahead.


Passionfruit and banana and papaya fruit salad

Slices and chunks tumbled together with a good squeeze of lime juice! (Serve this whilst the pudding is baking.)

Cheesy bread and butter pudding

This should be prepared the night before and spooned into buttered ovenproof dishes. Then it just needs fifteen minutes in a hot oven.

Tomatoes provencale

If you are feeling really adventurous, the cheesy pudding would be lovely with these tomatoes alongside.
(Get Dad to help with this one.)

Honey toast

Everyone will enjoy a slice of toast spread with crushed honeycomb and a mug of tea.

Happy Mother’s day!

Autumn leaves

Autumn colours


Is it too fanciful to think that an Autumn menu can echo the colours of the season?
Here are the golds, the reds, the bronzes of the leaves in late autumn.


Garlic and saffron soup

Very delicate and palate-stimulating. Perhaps serve with a slice of grilled garlic-rubbed sourdough.

Sweet and sour lamb with raisins and pinenuts

Chunks of lamb shoulder can be cooked ahead of serving time and can then be gently reheated adding the raisins and pinenuts.

Pumpkin gnocchi

Choose a butternut or other variety you know remains firm after cooking. The potato and pumpkin must be cooked separately and then be combined through the potato ricer. Add a ladleful of the lamb sauce to the cooked gnocchi.

Buttered grated beetroot

Here is the red in our autumnal feast

Quinces baked in honey with farm cream

Once ignored, quinces are now sought after and one of the glories of autumn. Providing you can outwit the possums they hang on the tree for weeks, and their perfume is enchanting when piled into a fruit bowl.