Category Archives: Reflections

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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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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A survivor’s guide to community gardening: how to not lose the plot

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The quirkiness of community gardening

I’ve been a member of a community garden in suburban Sydney for about 12 years. I remember the day that the then coordinator proudly showed me around. He enthusiastically thrust tiny radishes and other earth-encrusted, often unidentifiable, edibles into my hands. I dusted off their soil jackets and obligingly popped one or two into my mouth. Others I surreptitiously dropped back to the ground.

I didn’t quite get it. But I had a romantic notion of toiling a small plot of land: pulling carrots, plucking pea pods, digging up bucket-loads of spuds. Continue reading

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Favourite food fiction

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The Grass Harp by Truman Capote

I was one of those bookworm kind of kids who used to read into the night with a torch under the bed covers, completing entire books by 4am, them dreaming myself into them in for the last remaining hours of sleep. As my gastronomic interests flourished so too did my interest in food fiction. I now have a vast library of books that are thematically based on food: from novels, to memoirs, and manifestos that expose the ugly inner workings of factory farming, hierarchical restaurant kitchens, and multinational monopolies that have hijacked the world’s food basket for commercial gain. But it’s food fiction that gets me every time.

Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Reflections