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


Barbecued Tasmanian Alantic salmon with grilled orange pepper and zucchini.

They stole an hour from the morning and gave it to the night.

Waking at five thirty to brilliant sunshine was nice, but ultimately a waste. For one, I don't always wake at five thirty and for two, there's not a lot you can do that early. I mean, you can go for a walk or plunge into the sea or make a cup of tea and sit out on the porch and watch the birds messing up the garden beds and throwing the mulch that you swept up only last night all over the pathway; but you can't have a barbecue.

But you can at night.

Summer's first barbecue is just for practice. Just to check everything out and see if it still works. Just to see if you still know how to light a fire and not make clouds of white smoke or singe your fingers or burn the place down.

The old iron barbecue is still as solid as a supercharged Bentley, and nearly as heavy; but the outdoor table has cracked and will need replacing. The view hasn't changed. The poplars rise over the line of rooves and shimmer gold in the late sun, some birds curve and dart across the sky and a single cotton cloud turns pink and drifts out of sight.

What did we eat? Orange pepper brushed with oil and grilled. Zucchini strips, likewise. A hot potato salad with red onion and shreds of rocket. The main event: barbecued Tasmanian Atlantic salmon marinated in tamari, ginger, garlic and lemon juice. A glass of chardonnay, one of the Dan Murphy cleanskin specials. It was just fine.

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