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


Well, I wanted rain.

And I got it.

It's been hot and the garden was drying out.

But, next time, weather-gods, could we arrange maybe just a light shower in the morning? Just enough to water the garden?

My brother, who formerly lived in Queensland, once complained to me about the predictability of the weather, the endless blue skies, the monotonous sunshine, up there in Hervey Bay, near Fraser Island. You know, like paradise. He was missing the changeability, the volatility, the sheer capriciousness of Melbourne weather. You gotta be kiddin', bro. He lives in Alice Springs now.

The wild weather in spring means you never know what you'll be eating. You kind of feel like eating different things when it's 30 celsius than when it's 13.

Take my leeks, for instance. They may have ended up in a simple frittata - good for a picnic or eating out of doors - but it turned cold so I made leek and potato soup instead. Not the pureed version, but my favourite chunky leek and potato soup, almost a stew:

Slice leeks, chop potatoes into bite size cubes.

Chop two slices of good bacon into small pieces.

Melt some butter in the base of a heavy pot and toss in the bacon. Sizzle for a minute then toss in the potatoes and leeks, turn down the heat to lowest, lid the pot and let the vegetables sweat for five or so minutes, ensuring they don't burn.

Then add your stock (I used chicken but any stock is fine), to cover the leeks and potatoes with pepper and salt to taste.

Simmer for at least an hour. To serve, stir through some full-cream milk and top with grated cheddar or other cheese and parsley.


The rain isn't going away. There may be storms on Cup Day.

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