Raising backyard chooks: why it’s not all it’s cracked up to be 

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Fresh eggs are one of the benefits of raising chickens at home

I’ve been on the chook roster at our community garden for over a decade: happily putting their little feathery butts to bed on Saturday evenings and mucking out their stilt-house (it has rafters for straw storage, perches for roosting and plenty of nesting boxes for the all-important egg laying). I’ve fed, watered, medicated and even chauffered them to the vet, on the odd occasion. The rewards have been great: more fresh eggs than I could possibly count and watching with wonder the pecking order and hierarchal shenanigans of a suburban hen house.

But would I raise chooks in my own backyard? Probably not. Unfortunately, plenty of people come to this same conclusion after they have acquired chooks. How do I know this? Because I’ve seen the ignorant ramifications of it more times than I like to remember. Continue reading

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How to overthrow a head cold and eat right for your body type

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Anjum Anand’s cold-busing curry (Photo: supplied)

When I was sent a recipe for the Ultimate Cold-busting Curry at the onset of Sydney’s wintertime, I didn’t expect to use it. I needed another curry recipe like a hole in the head and I usually escape winter without so much of sniff or a snuffle, even when friends and colleagues are crashing around me like flu-ridden flies.

But on the tail-end of winter came almost two weeks of persistent, and often torrential, rain. Somewhere in the middle of it a head cold moved into our house, uninvited. It latched on to one of us, then the other and has proved difficult to shake. So Anjum Anand’s Ayurveda-inspired cold-busing curry is getting a workout this weekend. Continue reading

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Is it time to cut out the C-word and get healthy?

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I guess it had to happen some time: the acknowledgement, and subsequent overhaul, of a diet laden with carbohydrates — usually the ‘bad’ kind. I’ve known for a while it’s time to cut back on the bad carbohydrates — or the C-word. The white rice, pasta and bread products that bulk out our meals and are easy fodder on a week night after work have been filling us up, but also filling us out.   Continue reading

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Blog hop: Why do I write?

I’ve been invited by the lovely Elizabeth at Dig In to participate in a blog hop and answer the question: Why do I write? Well, why wouldn’t I? I’ve been writing since I was a child: creative writing was my favourite subject in primary school and I’d scribble away in my bedroom penning short stories, poems and a novel, once upon a time. I come from a family of scribes: my sister writes children’s books and my dad is a short story writer. I guess you could say it’s in the blood.

Somewhere along the track a pastime turned into a profession and I became a journalist. I spent my days surrounded by wordsmiths of the most wonderful kind. I’ve most recently turned my hand at media relations, but still write a regular column for a food magazine and review for various restaurant guides. Then there’s The Food SageContinue reading

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Quick and Easy Indian Cooking with Anjum Anand

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The stars are aligning, and in a irresistibly Indian kind of way. Six months ago I was sent on a food-writing assignment to India with British chef and television personality Anjum Anand; a friend recently gifted me a ticket to an Indian film called The Lunchbox starring, you guessed it, Indian food; I’ve just been asked to review a batch of Sydney-based Indian restaurants; and Anjum’s Quick & Easy Indian recently landed on my desk for review. It’s a tough life, but I’m coping – one curry at a time.

Continue reading

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