Eat

Summer in Sydney is summed up in one word…grand. Warm balmy nights, long days at the beach with a cool crisp sea breeze, the whiff of barbeques from every direction for miles and the arrival of in-season summer fruit. Yum! Summer since I was a small child has signified the stone fruit revival for the next three blessed months. White and yellow nectarines, blood plums, apricots and yellow peaches line the fruit shop shelves and I will buy them by the dozen. As soon as I get home, I put them in the fridge and love to eat them cold with the juices running down my chin as I hover over the kitchen sink and try not to make an obvious mess!

One of my greatest Paris memories is waking up really early one morning and getting lost among the streets behind the Sorbonne with my man. One moment the streets were deserted with only the street cleaners clearing yesterday’s messes and the next moment, we happened upon a random fruit and vegetable market. Colours are abundant, fruit freshly picked and there they are…some summer peaches to be bought. The best place to perch was on a ledge by a fountain and there was not a moment lost before I tasted the first juicy bite and savoured the sweetness and tartness of the fruit; delicieux!

Definition of Christmas in 9 words – Turkey, stuffing, pudding, mulled wine, custard, mince pies, ham and after everything I have eaten…presents of course!!!

Winter means one thing to me….PIES. I love to eat pies, much to Mr ELG’s refined disgust. I definitely inherited this love from my Dad who is renowned for arriving into Sydney airport and buying a pie the minute he gets off the plane from China. Much more than the four and twenty footy pie, I savour the buttery layers of pastry with warm fillings oozing out the side whether they’re Guinness beef, fish, chicken and leek, potato and peas or a sweet apple one…I don’t mind as I will eat any pie! I started this week off well, eating a duck and mushroom pie from Glebe Point Diner, followed by a fish pie topped with mash from Burnt Orange.

I love Victoire patisserie on Miller Street, Cammeray. Having come back from a French soujourn 3 months ago, stepping into this patisserie/bakery takes me back to Saignon in the South of France (an hour out of Avignon) where croissants of a buttery affair were breakfast each morning and my expanding waistline was a thought pushed to the very back of my mind. It is a quaint little place with mouth-watering pastries and tarts dusted with sugar and glazed fruit that gets me through the door every time. Without fail I buy a rhubarb and strawberry tart. I don’t remember the first time I fell in love with this specific tart but it would be well over a 10-year love-affair now. The combination of flavours; sweet with some sour, the crunchiness of the shortcrust pastry delicately dusted with visible sugar crystals and the light custard that binds everything together is nothing short of amazing.

Rhubarb is a classy and stylish vegetable; not mainstream and almost a bit aloof (can I describe a vegetable like that?!) but when used correctly, absolutely hits the spot. Poh did an amazing Rhubarb waterlily creation on her show Wednesday night and when I’m over at my friend’s house, Fi always whips up a gorgeous combination of rhubarb, apple, lemon juice and sugar for me. Served with some good-quality vanilla ice-cream; it’s heaven in a ramekin. And you know a dinner was well-remembered when days later post dinner party; your guest requests the recipe for a Lamb shanks and rhubarb stew…posting that recipe shortly!

Speaking of my love of lamb, I’m going to put it out there and describe myself as a true carnivore. Roast Lamb with mint jelly is my first choice but I love to eat a good Shepherds pie, pork crackling (and not just at Christmas), medium rare eye fillet, Rabbit ragu with fresh egg tagliatelle (only cooked by Lee at Red Feather Inn) and I love bacon. I love my bacon crispy, almost burnt and I usually can’t go past the smell of bacon in a breakfast fry-up. However, recently I have chosen not to order and eat bacon. Half of me at this moment believes it’s still a silent damnation over the fact that my beloved Surry Hills butcher Simply the Best closed down just after Christmas and I have yet to build up loyalty elsewhere. But whatever it is, it made me order the best brekky from The Greedy Goat at Palm Beach that I have had in a very long time. The marriage of flavours consisted of two poached eggs on lightly toasted rye, grilled buttered field mushrooms, baby spinach and garlic pesto on top. Coupled with a freshly squeezed OJ and a damn good cap, it just made me want to eat!

Eat is literally everything about eating; every last crumb, last morsel, last drop. It will be the food I put into my mouth (I’m eating Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream as I write) and the food I cook to eat. It will be the recipes I read and the what-do-I-have-in-my-fridge-that-could-turn-into-tonight’s-dinner? It will be the write-ups of quirky kitchen utensils, the hunt and discovery of crazy purple spices and learning the art of cooking a rainbow three-layer Victoria sponge cake without it collapsing in the middle; can’t wait for my Kitchenaid to arrive next week. There are not many things I don’t eat and you will soon discover that about me too. Last year, I ate at Churrasco on William Street, Sydney. I ate chicken heart. Probably wouldn’t crave for it again but at least I can tick that box. Meanwhile back to my ice cream…

Published on March 16, 2010 at 9:54 am  Leave a Comment  

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