Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


If you don't like the weather ...

... wait five minutes.

Just as well I mowed the lawn the day before yesterday as the perfect spring weather didn't last. Woke up yesterday morning to howling gale-force winds followed by thunderstorms later in the day.

The gusts and rain continued all afternoon, broken by short periods of sunshine. The radar map showed thick ribbons of cloud being blown across the state
by a strong westerly.

Later in the day, conditions worsened. The launch of the new helicopter helipad on top of the Royal Melbourne Hospital was cancelled as the chopper was unable to land in the conditions. A hospital spokesman said - what's the use of that, it's often in conditions like this we most need the chopper! I presume he and the PR guy are not talking this morning.


I had been to the market where the short, fat 'white' (actually pale with mottled green) variety of zucchini were the hit of the day.

Brought home a bunch of these, made some basic tomato risotto (introduce the rice to warmed olive oil and scored garlic cloves in a pot, add alternate dashes of white wine and hot stock so the rice takes it up gradually - if you get impatient with that, toss it all in at once, set it on the lowest heat possible and give a stir every now and then - and then add the juice of a lemon, a can of diced tomatoes and the chopped middles of the zucchinis, having sliced them down the middle and removed half their flesh.

Set the little zucchini boats in a casserole, load them up with risotto, place a sardine along each boat - they look like fishing boats bringing home a shark - pour in some more diced tomatoes or tomato puree around the zucchinis, add a cup of white wine or water so it doesn't dry out, toss over some pine nuts and parsley. Squeeze a lemon over it all or set a halved lemon in the casserole and bake slowly until the zucchinis are soft.

Boats. The way the rain's coming down, we'll need a real one. The guy on the radio just said, sarcastically - you'll be pleased to know the weather hasn't changed in the last foty-five seconds.

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