This Bird Has Flown

Kurma’s flown off to Peru,

Coming back in a week or two.

He’ll try to squeeze in a blog for you,

Don’t call us, though – we’ll call you.


Cuzco is his destination,

In this ancient Inca nation.

Without laptop, less complication,

Family business, no vacation.

Kurma and son Nitai:

Until we speak again!!

The Signing

The Signing:

Autographing a book for Valerie, last night at Foodstuff, gourmet providores and cookery school in the Sydney beachside suburb of Mona Vale.

The Signing. A lot less scarier than this.

Oh Brother, Where Forth art Thou?

I’m back in The Land of Blog! Excuse me, I was temporarily dallying in real life. How frightfully unsociable.

Yes, the last number of days were spent commuting to and from a cookery school at The Company Farm, in Wauchope, up Northern Central Coastal New South Wales sort of way. My host was Lyn Withers. This is Team Wauchope lounging around before the first class.

Wauchope cookery class day #1:

Here’s Marika and Wes, stirring a very full wok of Matar Panir.

Marik + Wes contemplate the Matar Panir:

Our menu was as follows:

Classics from the Subcontinent

Traditional Hot and Sour Toor Dal (Sambar)

Cashew-studded South Indian Steamed Semolina Breads (Rawa Idli)

Fresh Mango Chutney

Crispy Battered Potato Puffs (Aloo Vadas)

Fresh Mint Chutney

Punjabi-style Tomatoes, Peas and Fresh Curd Cheese (Matar Panir)

Malabar Coast Green Bean & Fresh Coconut Salad

Cardamom-infused Yogurt with Pistachios and Saffron (Shrikhand)

The idli were soft, spongy and flavoursome, marrying wonderfully with the fresh mango chutney and spicy sambar dal.

Chris stirs the Matar Panir:

What? More Matar Panir, you ask? Yes, on day #2, with a whole new crew of cooking punters.

Lisa shows off a great batch of crispy steamed beans, drenched in lime juice and studded with fresh coconut and roasted crushed peanuts. You can see the wonderful vista of Lyn’s gardens adjoining the cookery school.

Lisa's Bean Salad:

After the entree platter of idli, sambar and mango chutney, this was the main course (with more mango chutney – it was so nice).

Dinner at the Farm:

Let there be lunch, Day #2.

Let There be Lunch:

The Turtle Cometh

My daughter Joelene recently published photos on Facebook of an awesome kitchen odyssey.

baking duo:

Describing it as “the longest 3 days of my life”, Joelene, along with her trusty baking assistant/son Toby, started the journey with a standard caramel mud cake.

stage one turtle:

Cut to size, the turtle was born.

stage two trutle:

A bit of filling out, and a quick spray-paint.

the turtle cometh:

And here he is, fully grown after a three-day gestation. The occasion was Joelene’s grandmother’s 80th birthday. Joelene had to turn away as the cake was cut. I guess it was like saying goodbye to a old friend…

hard to believe it's a cake:

That’s not sand, it’s crushed bikkies! (note to US readers: bikkies is Australian for cookies). Bravo!! Her Facebook posting was inundated with messages of awe at the amazing result. Understandably so.