Season'd with Love

Oh, better no doubt is a dinner of herbs,

When season’d with love, which no rancour disturbs

And sweeten’d by all that is sweetest in life

Than turbot, bisque, ortolans, eaten in strife!

But if, out of humour, and hungry, alone

A man should sit down to dinner, each one

Of the dishes which the cook chooses to spoil

With a horrible mixture of garlic and oil,

The chances are ten against one, I must own,

He gets up as ill-tempered as when he sat down.

– Lord Lytton (Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton) (“Owen Meredith”)

Source: Lucile (pt. I, canto II, st. 27)

Wingam Weekend

Here’s some vision from my Saturday class in Wingham – my fourth in this charming New South Wales Mid North Coast town. It was a semi hands-on, semi demonstration class, and it worked very well.

keep them dawgies rollin':

Rolling potato balls stuffed with chili and ginger, fresh coconut, coriander and a hint of chopped raisins ready to be battered and fried to crispy perfection.

friends from Forster:

These six friends drove a substantial distance to be at the class.

This was our menu, by the way:

On the Road to Wingham

Annette Greenhalgh runs the Duck Under the Table cookery school in Wingham, where I am teaching on Saturday. Annette also owns one of the biggest dairy herds in the area. There are 700 Holstein Fresian cows milked every day at ‘Bungay Bungay’ (Aboriginal for ‘midday’). Seventy percent (70%) of dairy cows in Australia are Holstein Fresians, by the way.

mother cow:

Wingham, 10 minutes drive from Taree, is nestled in the lush Manning Valley of New South Wales’s Mid North Coast, a predominantly dairy region.

My train to Taree departs at noon, and arrives there this evening. Here’s some pictures from a previous class held there. Yes, that’s me, unshaven ruffian as I was.

poised and ready:

The crew were on the edge of their seats for the three-hour ride.

wingham folks:

I’ll be out of blog and correspondence range until Sunday, since I’m travelling ‘au naturel’ (without my computer). You’ll be hearing from me later (as if you didn’t know).



Paul from the Blue Mountains wrote asking for a recipe for the famous Australian Anzac biscuits (cookies). Here they are.

Aussie Anzac Bikkies

Famous Aussie Bikkies that are quick to bake. Makes 24.

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup plain flour

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup coconut

½ cup butter

1 tablespoon golden syrup or treacle

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 150° C / 300° F. Combine the oats, flour, sugar, and coconut in a bowl and mix well.

Melt the butter and syrup together in a small saucepan.

Boil the water in another small saucepan. Sprinkle the soda into the boiling water and add this to the melted butter and syrup. It will froth up. Add this foamy mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Place tablespoonfuls of the mixture on 2 large buttered trays.

Bake in the upper half of the oven for 20 minutes, or until the cookies are golden. Allow the bikkies to cool a little on the trays before removing.

Serve when cool.

Note: for a slightly different textured Anzac that melts in the oven to a crisper consistency, use 2 tablespoons golden syrup and 3 tablespoons boiling water.

Wheat Intolerance

Charles P from Genève, Switzerland writes:

“My partner is severely intolerant to wheat. Can you share some alternatives please, especially in light of the whole GM foods nightmare?”

monsanto bread:

My reply:

Here’s a list of non-grain flours. Some you may not have encountered.

Amaranth flour: Milled from the seeds of the amaranth plant, this flour boasts a higher percentage of protein than most other grains, and has more fiber than wheat and rice. It is also higher in the amino acid lysine, which some food scientists believe makes it a more complete protein than flour made from other grains. Amaranth flour can be used in cookies, crackers, baking mixes, and cereals.

Arrowroot flour: The rootstalks of a tropical plant are the source of this flour, often used as a thickener for sauces and desserts; the finely powdered arrowroot turns completely clear when dissolved (giving gloss to sauces), and adds no starchy flavor. Because of its easy digestibility, it is also an used as an ingredient in cookies intended for infants and young children.

Barley flour: This mild-flavored flour made from barley grain contains some gluten.

Buckwheat flour: A common ingredient in pancake mixes, buckwheat flour is also used to make Japanese soba noodles. It is available in light, medium, and dark varieties (the dark flour boasts the strongest flavor), depending on the kind of buckwheat it is milled from. You can make your own buckwheat flour by processing whole white buckwheat groats in a blender or food processor.

Chestnut flour: This tan flour is made from American chestnuts, the meaty, lowfat nuts that are often served as a vegetable. The flour is a little sweet and is traditionally used in Italian holiday desserts.

Chick-pea flour (also called chana, gram flour or besan): This protein-rich flour is made from dried chick-peas or chana dal. This flour is used commonly throughout India, and in parts of the Mediterranean as well, in pancakes, pizzas, dumplings, soups and stews.

Corn flour: This is made from whole cornmeal, ground to a floury consistency.

Cornstarch: This silky ingredient is made from only the endosperm (starchy part) of the corn kernel. Avoid wheaten cornflour. It is used to thicken sauces and to create baked goods with a particularly fine texture.

Gluten-free flour mix: Some health-food stores carry this three-grain mixture of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. It can be substituted for 100% of the wheat flour in many recipes.

Millet flour: This yellow flour is high in protein and easy to digest. It may make baked goods somewhat coarse-textured and dry. Substitute it for no more than one-fifth of the wheat flour in a recipe.

Oat flour: Milled from either the entire oat kernel or the endosperm only, oat flour is frequently used in ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. You can make your own to use in baking by grinding rolled oats in a food processor or blender (1-1/4 cups rolled oats will yield 1 cup oat flour).

Potato flour (potato starch): Steamed potatoes are dried and then ground to a powder to make this gluten-free flour, which is commonly used in baked goods for Jewish Passover (when wheat flour may not be used).

Quinoa flour: Higher in fat than wheat flour, quinoa flour makes baked goods more moist. You can make your own quinoa flour by processing whole quinoa in a blender; stop before the flour is too fine – it should be slightly coarse, like cornmeal.

Rice flour, white: This very fine-textured flour is made from polished white rice.

Rice flour, brown: Because it contains the bran, brown rice flour contains more fiber than white rice flour.

Rye flour: In combination with wheat flour, rye flour, which contains some gluten, is most commonly used in breads. Light, medium, and dark varieties (with dark having the strongest flavor) are available.

Sorghum flour: A staple grain in many parts of the world. Sorghum flour works well in breads when combined with bean flours.

Soy flour: Another useful alternative.

Tapioca flour: Milled from the dried starch of the cassava root, this flour thickens when heated with water and is often used to give body to puddings, fruit pie fillings, and soups. It can also be used in baking.

Water-chestnut flour (water-chestnut powder): This Asian ingredient is a fine, powdery starch that is used to thicken sauces (it can be substituted for cornstarch) and to coat foods before frying to give them a delicate, crisp coating.

Meat & Colon Cancer


“Evidence of how unsuitable meat is for human digestion
is the relationship established by numerous studies between
colon cancer and meat-eating. Meat-centered diets are
almost always high in fat and low in fibre, resulting in a slow
transit time through the colon
and allowing toxic wastes to do
their damage.

Peter R. Cheeke, professor of Animal Science
at Oregon State University, writes,

“Rates of colorectal cancer in various countries are strongly correlated with per capita consumption of red meat and animal fat, and inversely associated with fibre consumption. Even the most dedicated Animal
Scientist or meat supporter must be somewhat dismayed by the
preponderance of evidence suggesting a role of meat consumption
in the etiology of colon cancer.”

Moreover, while being digested, meat is known to generate steroid metabolites possessing carcinogenic (cancer-producing) properties.
True carnivores move raw meat
through their digestive tracts quickly within about three
hours. Humans, with their long digestive tracts, take between
twelve and eighteen hours to process and digest flesh.

Because the environment of the digestive tract is warm and moist, the
meat rots and creates free radicals, unstable, destructive oxygen
atoms that can cause cancer
, premature aging, and other
degenerative conditions. These free radicals are released into
the body during the long digestion process.

As research continues, evidence linking meat-eating to
other forms of cancer is building up at an alarming rate.

William Castelli, M.D., director of the Framingham Health Study
and the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, writes

“A low-fat plant-based diet would not only lower the heart attack
rate about eighty-five percent, but would lower the cancer rate
sixty percent.”


Some of the most shocking results in cancer research have
come from exploration of the effects of nitrosamines. Nitrosamines
are formed when secondary amines, prevalent in beer,
wine, tea, and tobacco, for example, react with chemical preservatives
in meat.

The US Food and Drug Administration has labeled