food and friends

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One of the main things I absolutely love about food is that it brings people together.

Offer someone a cup of tea and the grounds on which an acquaintance stands on begins to deepen. And let me just say; the way to my heart is certainly through my stomach!

A few years ago a good friend of mine, Nicole, started a neighborhood Christmas lunch feast – she and her housemates invited their neighborhood community to a lane-way party outside their house. They made a slow roast lamb and vegetables and the neighbours were invited to get involved in this bring-and-share lunch by sharing a dessert or salad. This was all in aid of getting to know the fella next door – making the community smaller and friendlier (and it also meant that there was someone’s door you could knock on when you ran out of sugar.)

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As I had recently moved into the leafy suburb of Surry Hills (notorious in the 1920’s for illegal speakeasies and underground jazz clubs – my kinda place) I was invited to the 2013 Christmas Feast, and I couldn’t wait. My bright red bicycle and I rounded the corner into a little bricked lane, decorated with colourful bunting strung between the houses. There was a long wooden table laden with flowers, friends, steaming food and good wine. It was a merry saturday afternoon, indeed.

This is what we all could do a bit more of – sharing food and sharing the love! I dare you to give it a go – especially since it’s Christmas.

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orange art

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I love art exhibition openings. Not only is there wine on tap and nibbles of bree and baguette, but there is also very interestingly dressed members of society wandering around the gallery with thoughtful expressions on their faces as they ponder the meaning of life while looking at a canvas and sipping slowly on their glass of pinot-noir.

It was my friend Bess Kenway’s exhibition at the Janet Clayton gallery and I was looking forward to an evening of feeling cool and cultured (or at least trying to appear cool and cultured.) I arrived slightly late, enthusiastically thanked the barman as he handed me a glass of red and joined the circle of people who were looking on in puzzlement.

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An opera singer was literally singing for her supper, while orange slithers of confetti were gently showered on her from above, against the back-drop of a wall that had the peelings of 120kilos of very orange oranges. I was speechless.

I had no idea what was going on.

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Thank goodness Bess likes questions and she happily explained her fascination with the ephemeral: art (and life) constantly changing. Her vision of art was not only concerned with the ‘deep and meaningful’, her art was also about the viewer actively getting involved: with their sight, smell and touch.

I wanted to eat the wall.

Not the one with orange peels, but the one next to it that had over 300 pink sugar biscuits stuck onto it.

Does everything always have to mean something? Does everyone always have to change someone?

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I have no answers but simply a new appreciation for

Orange. Opera. Art.

finders keepers

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It’s a Friday evening. I’m tired after a long day/week/life at work. The Finders Keepers market is happening and my friend Kat begs me to go with her.

If I have to socially interact with one more person I think I’ll faint. She promises that there will be good food.

I’m convinced.

I hop onto my bicycle and pedal as fast as my long South African legs will allow me (pretty damn fast I tell you.) I arrive slightly out of breath and am greeted by a feast for the eyes! Beautiful hand-made goods, live music and of course  – delicious food.

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I was taken in immediately by the brightly coloured juice jars and the birthday cards of delicately drawn fruit. But the highlight of my evening was Farmer Jo and her muesli made in heaven. There’s something about granola with roasted nuts, coconut shavings and dried cranberries that makes me think I could live on this food alone! Sally and her husband Scott (the co-creators of Farmer Jo) happily allowed me to sample all of their different muesli’s while I chatted away to them about recipes and acting and this and that. I was rather pleased to discover that Scott was also an actor and was currently exploring his creativity through this family business venture.

Mmm I’m looking forward to breakfast already.

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smoothie and a surprise

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I hear a gentle ‘ggfflat’ at the front door. I’m in the kitchen making my breakfast smoothie – completely preoccupied with perfecting the quantities of kale and banana (It’s taken me half an hour already and I’m not finished and I’m running late and I’m in a bad mood.)

‘What on earth is Jack doing?’ (I tend to blame everything – good and bad – on my poor unsuspecting, housemate)

I stalk over to where the sound came from and there lying on the mat is a beautiful, blue shiny postcard. A hand written love letter from my friend Kirsty – sending news and bright-eyed inspiration from back home. The day just got better.

I accepted imperfection, poured a glass of my breakfast masterpiece, grabbed the card and ate every word with gratefulness.

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Kale, banana and almond smoothie

1 large frozen banana

small handful almonds

3 large leaves of raw kale

1 TBS cocoa nibs

½ cup cooked quinoa

¼ raw rolled oats

1 TSP cocoa

3 TSP of honey

¼ cup milk or coconut milk

4 TBS yoghurt

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This is my favourite breakfast in the world. Quinoa is an amazing source of protein, kale keeps you young, chocolate promotes fertility and love, and bananas are creamier and sweeter when frozen. This recipe makes enough for two, so blend all the ingredients in a food processor and pour one for your mother, lover or house mate and begin the day with power from the Greek gods.