Breakfast from my Midwinter Garden

Out of the last five years spent here in my father’s house, this has been the bleakest of Sydney winters.

Nevertheless, Mother Nature has not withdrawn her mercy completely, and there are still offerings available. I picked these a few days ago from my winter vegie garden.

winter greens selection:

That’s dwarf kale, snow peas, baby bok choy and tatsoi.

I wilted them ever-so-briefly in a very hot frying pan along with slices of baby zucchini, a couple drops of extra virgin olive oil, a hint of pure asafetida, a crackling of fresh pepper and a tiny sparkle of Himalayan pink salt. Served on warm, buttered sourdough toast alongside some hot Brahmi tea.

And although Winter is only half done, there is always good news. In a week’s time, the sun will start rising one minute earlier each morning, marking the slow return to warmth, and the eventual arrival of my favourite season, Spring.


Mr Policeman, Krishna Loves You Too

How could I not re-post this classic? Those forty years have sure flown by! I remember that bleak, chilly Melbourne day like it was yesterday.

Yes, this is a very young Kurma being arrested outside the now-extinct Buckley’s on Bourke Street and taken away by four burly ‘boys in blue’ for a week in Melbourne’s notorious high security Pentridge Prison (also extinct) in 1978. My crime: not paying fines for selling Hare Krishna literature on the streets of Melbourne. My first arrest was in 1972, but the Age photographers were not there to immortalise the event. This time they were.

long arm of the law:

An Australian blues legend of the time, Matt Taylor, wrote a song about it.
His debut solo album, Straight as a Die, was released at the end of 1973. The single “I Remember When I Was Young”/”Krishna Loves You, Too,” which had been recorded in an open paddock at Kingston Park Farm, hit the Top Ten in Melbourne, and tells the whole story.

You can sing along as well.

“Things are getting bad when you can

Lakshmi's Beet Dumplings

I bought a star-shaped pasta cutter at Canberra’s Cooking Co-ordinates while teaching in the National Capital last Saturday. Now I have been craving the comfort of warm ravioli. I am sure it is because of the drab, wet and wintry Sydney weather.

ravioli:

Today I remembered this recipe – another fabulous contribution by my favourite European food blogger, Lakshmi from Helsinki, Finland.

For an index of all her online recipes, click here.

It's a Jungle Out There

Parrots have been recently causing havoc in my vegetable garden. A big native tree next door has become the resting (or nesting) place for hosts of Rainbow Lorikeets

parrots:

The hungry birds spent 2 weeks swooping commando-style onto my patio and eating all the sweet, new tender shoots – snow peas, dwarf kale, and parsley to name a few – before I realised by their squawking that it was them doing all the damage.

Some plants were totally stripped down to the ground. The snow peas valiantly re-sprouted, only to be savaged again and again. I eventually hung up sheets of aluminium foil which shivered and reflected sunlight in the breeze, and this seemed to keep the birds at bay. My parsley grew back rapidly from ground zero to full foliage in a couple of weeks. But the snow peas were severely traumatised.

first of my snow pea crop:

Despite the severe beating, some of my snow pea plants have managed to reach maturity.

It’s a jungle out there.

Hot Pizza Still Life

One of my top 100 archive photos.

hot pizza:

The dough was freshly made, and so was the tomato sauce, from fresh tomatoes. The basil was straight from the garden.

My only regret is that the pizza was so hot that the impeccably fresh and pristine basil leaves started to blacken in touch with the hot fresh bocconcini cheese; sort of like the pure soul when it comes in touch with the darker qualities of this material world.

Beautiful Krishna

beautiful baby krishna:

srutim apare smritim itare,

bharatam anye bhajantu bhava-bhitah,

aham iha nandam vande,

yasyalinde param brahma,

“Let those afraid of material existence worship the Vedas and Upanishads, the smritis and puranas, or the Mahabharata, as they wish. I, on the other hand, shall simply worship Maharaja Nanda, in whose courtyard is playing the Supreme Truth.”

(Padyavali, 126)

Brunch

Another still-life from the archives.

big brunch with kurma:

Alongside the ultra ruby-red pomegranate and freshly crushed pineapple and mandarin juice is: pan-fried tofu, fried trellis tomatoes, smashed potatoes roasted in herbed olive oil, with butter-leaf lettuce, fresh basil & pickled cucumbers on homemade sourdough toast.