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FISH BAR BRISBANE 5 Last week in Brisbane I stopped by George’s Seafoods in Brisbane’s West End. What a great fishmongers for the locals. George is Greek so we had a lot to chat about! I had seen his shop on a previous visit to the West End when I spoke about my book My Greek Island Home  at The Avid Reader book shop  Avid is almost directly opposite George in Boundary street. Whilst I was chatting to George on of his uncles dropped in for something  fresh and yummie!

I LOVE CHOCOLATE! Walking down William street in Sydney is not terribly inspiring generally, however there is a high point, Kakawa, Kawaka is a wonderful chocolate shop where chocolate is made on the premises. When I’m in Sydney I can not resist stopping by and purchasing something delicious from their selection. The only problem is what to choose. For me the rocky road cannot be beaten, it’s infused with passionfruit and melts in the mouth. There are so many edible jewels to choose from but worth returning again and again to try them all. On my next trip I have promised myself  ice cream!

I have learnt many things living in a Greek village. One thing you realise especially at this time of year, late Autumn, is that food is seasonal. Seasonal food is so easy to forget in a big city because supermarkets stock their shelves with produce from far away places. While it’s great to have choice the real nutritional value of food comes from seasonal freshness. We learned quickly about seasonal food in our Greek village when we asked in the local taverna for a tomato salad in November! The locals thought us mad.

Fruit and vegetable grown in the summer however can be preserved and dried for the winter months. The winter can be as extreme as the summer and where we live there is always the chance of snow and ice. It’s great to have these delicious preserved and dried foods to add variety  to the winter meals. The figs above were picked in the summer by our neighbour, Ralitza. She is very creative, I would go as far as to say she makes an art form with whatever she is creating. I saw these figs she was drying in the summer sun in her garden, how beautiful. They look just like flowers.

On Wednesday, 14th November, Christine Manfield, one of Australia’s most well known and accomplished chefs, will be hosting an intimate lunch at her two-hatted Universal Restaurant in Sydney’s Darlinghurst with guest authors Claire Lloyd and Lyndey Milan.
At the intimate lunch, guests will mingle with Milan and Lloyd, before sitting down for a three-course lunch, which will be designed and prepared by award-winning Chef Manfield inspired by recipes from both books. During the lunch, both Milan and Lloyd will speak about the Greek culture that they both have fallen in love with for very different reasons, and the important role the people, sights and food continue to play in both of their lives. Tickets are $95 per person, inclusive of wine. Bookings taken by Universal Restaurant. P: (02) 9331 0709

I had a great time in Brisbane at the Avid Reader book shop, thanks Krissy Kneen for being a great host and Phil Brown for asking all the right questions. I want to thank all of those who came along to hear about My Greek Island Home, it was lovely to share my experiences. My interviews with Julie McCrossin, for Qantas inflight radio was great as was speaking to Rebecca Livingston at 612 ABC radio Brisbane. I particularly loved the guy on the front desk at the ABC studios he was a big character and amused my friend Rob and I with plenty of amusing aussie banter………….it must get lonely there at night! On the flight home I found a 6 page extract of My Greek Island Home in the Qantas inflight mag, it looked FAB !!! After my last post I thought it would be a good idea to include a recipe as I had blogged photos of  both pomegranates and walnuts recently. Unfortunately I have neither at my fingertips so there is not a image of the completed salad but I’m sure you can imagine it as it is so simple. The photo is another from my new book My Greek Island Home. I will be interviewed tomorrow for The Main Ingredient on by Kelli Brett 774 ABC radio Melbourne. I then have a live interview with Rebecca McLaren for ABC radio Rockhampton at 2.40 for those who want to tune in.

RECIPE 1 pomegranate, 1 young cos lettuce (organic if possible) 3 sprigs of mint  (optional)a handful of walnuts and a decent slice of feta cheese. Pull off leaves of cos and place into a salad bowl, remove mint leaves from stem and put in with cos, crush the walnuts in your hands and drop them into the bowl, cut the pomegranate in half  squeeze out kernels and juice over the lettuce, mint and walnuts and then crumble feta and mix. Thats it! No oil is needed as the juice from the pomegranate is enough. This is one of my favourite autumn recipes and we are lucky enough to be able to pick the walnuts and pomegranates from trees in the village. I get the lettuce and mint from pots outside my kitchen door. Sometimes we are given freshly made feta from a local too. YUM wish I was making it right now.

Today we had okra and a green salad for lunch and it was delicious. I washed and cut the ends off the okra. Then I par boiled them before adding them to a frying pan with sauteed onion and garlic. I also added a chopped tomato and added a little water. I placed a lid over the top and tuned the heat down to a simmer and left it for about 15 minutes. The green salad was simple, lettuce, spring onions and cucumber with a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar. A good lunch.

Book Cover:  My Greek Island Home


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