Tag Archives: photography

life is like an almond tree (at the moment anyway)

Well then.

It’s been a while.

Life has rather emphatically resumed, and blogging and its associated delights have been pushed aside by an influx of real work.

For the first time in over a month I’ve had the time to take a deep breath and think about writing. Since it’s been such a while I though I might get this show back on the road with a little autobiographical aside, a bit of back-story covering the last month or so.

When I came home to Australia I had a plan. Back to university full-time. Six months of income support from The Man and then onto a research scholarship (these are awarded once a year and I’ve missed the round for 2011).

Unfortunately The Man is a philistine and didn’t want to support me in my endeavors to spread the light of learning and enquiry. End result, I had to get a job.

Two weeks after getting home I was ‘back in black’ ‘workin nine-to-five’, and other song references. I was also spending 3 hours a day commuting from the farm to the office. Spare time was taken up with house hunting and looking for a continuing job. Time passed, or rather raced.

Last week everything changed again, as Andrew and I moved into our own house, he started university again, and I started a new job at one of the local universities. I’m now working part-time, am poised and ready to submit my Masters application and life is getting back onto the planned track.

With a more forgiving work schedule I’m now hoping – no definitely planning – on having more time to get blogging again – I mean I’ve barely been cooking over the last two months. I’m also hoping that getting back into research will provide some good topics to mull over in this space.

I’m writing all of this back at the farm (we’re having the internet connected at the flat tomorrow) and I’m current sitting in the middle of ten acres of blossoming almond trees. They’ve been bare and quiet all winter, leaves and fruit both shed in the autumn. Suddenly though, everything is happening, as they burst into flower in preparation for next year’s harvest – I think you see the metaphor!

So, that’s it really. My life to this point, from another point a few months ago, and illustrated with photos and metaphors from the farm in bloom.

I hope – no intend – to see you soon!



penne con salsa verde e rucola (pasta with green sauce and rocket)

I’ve been on a green vegetable hit in the last week. It started when I came back from the shop, unpacked the broccoli, leeks, parsley and rocket (rucola, arugula) that I’d bought and decided my body was trying to tell me something – go green!

We’ve also had a lot of lovely sunshine over the last few days. Lunchtime Saturday was gloriously sunny and for the first time I got to take some photographs for this blog in natural light! The combination of gorgeously green rocket and parsley and the sun streaming in the window was blissful: Spring is here!

Salsa verde (the Italian version rather than the South American) is a relative of the classic basil pesto, but with parsley as the star herb. Recipes often call for capers or various pickles along with the anchovies, but I just used what I had on hand.

With a food processor or a sharp knife salsa verde is the work of moments to prepare. With my blunt knife and unstable chopping board the process was slightly more arduous, but I just settled for a rougher dice than you would usually aim for.

This sauce is incredibly versatile. Drizzled over grilled meat or vegetables, stirred through sautéed mushrooms, on bruschetta with cheese or as a sauce for anchovies – a few places to start, but the possible uses are almost endless. For Saturday lunch I used it as a pasta sauce and served the penne with a handful of fresh rocket on top. The result was vibrant, delicious and very green.

I used curly parsley because that’s what I could buy here, but flat-leaf parsley would be better. I also don’t add salt or pepper to this directly – I prefer to season the dish overall. Keeping the salsa verde salt-free makes it a bit more flexible, so leftovers can go on salty cheese or anchovies without risking massive dehydration!

to make

1 bunch parsley
2–3 cloves garlic
3ish anchovy fillets
olive oil
penne or other short pasta
parmesan cheese, freshly grated
fresh rocket to serve

Roughly chop the parsley and the garlic then add the anchovies and chop for your life (or throw in a food processor). Once the mix is subdued, transfer it to a bowl and stir in enough olive oil to get a thin pesto-type consistency.

I mix this up in a sealable plastic container so any extra can go in the fridge to jazz up other dishes. Sealed, and with enough oil, it should last up to a week in the fridge.

For this dish you want around 1 tablespoon of salsa verde per portion of pasta. Stir the salsa verde and parmesan through the cooked pasta. Serve with a handful of fresh rocket and an extra drizzle of the salsa.


PS Sorry about the silly number of photographs – I just love green!