Are You As Cool As A Quke?

Last week I was surprised to find a green plastic lunch box  on my doorstep when I arrived home. It was tied up with a yellow ribbon and when I looked inside I found it filled with finger-length cucumbers, called Qukes by their producers. Torpedo-shaped and smaller in size than their cousins, the Lebanese cucumbers, … Continue reading

Three Cheers for Community Spirit

It’s a cool windy morning when I pull into the Killcare General Store at Hardys Bay on the NSW Central Coast. Despite the grey skies, proprietor Garry Janes has a big smile on his face and greets me warmly.   The reason I’m visiting is because I noticed his thriving herb and vegetable boxes outside the … Continue reading

King of the Vegetables

Can you imagine three asparagus spears weighing 500g? It’s the weight recorded by the Roman author Pliny (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD) of asparagus grown in the wetlands of Ravenna in north-eastern Italy. Some stalks even weighed in at 300g each. The Romans were in fact the first to cultivate asparagus from the … Continue reading

“Mini Chef” Kids Cooking Classes

Hurry, hurry – book in now to my Mini Chef Kids Cooking Classes during the school holidays: My aim is to teach children to prepare a wholesome, nutritious meal which they love to eat and can reproduce easily at home. This is not celebrity chef restaurant-style food. Hygiene, nutrition – and loads of laughs – … Continue reading

Mushrooms Go Pink

I learnt an astonishing fact last week: women who eat one white button mushroom a day have fifty per cent less chance of developing breast cancer. At a lunch organised by the  Australian Mushroom Growers Association in Sydney, dietitian Glenn Cardwell told us that breakthrough US research has found that eating 100 grams or less … Continue reading

The Tree of Life, Samoan-style

It’s easy to see why Samoans call the coconut tree “the tree of life”. Not only do these graceful trees dot the coastlines of the white-fringed islands of Samoa, swaying gently in the warm breezes and lending shade, they’re also an invaluable supply of food, fuel and housing for the Samoan people. On my recent … Continue reading