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


Plain rice.

After the calm of the previous week, the ancient wind got up and blew for days; as it has each year for millennia, when Spring heats up the great red centre and the vast desert prepares for its sixty millionth hot season.

A buffeting kind of wind, dropping to dead silence one minute and roaring like a dragon the next, rattling every sash window in the house. Trying to blow it away as if the house never belonged there anyway. The wind can smash a low building yet a hundred-year-old eucalypt with untold weight in its sixty-foot canopy rarely sustains damage more than the odd dropped limb. The evolution of trees.


Nothing of note in the kitchen lately. Sometimes, great lumps of time seem to roll by heavily, like unevenly round rocks rumbling away. One minute it’s early afternoon on a Tuesday; then you look up and three weeks have fallen off the calendar into the abyss. Twenty-one ‘x’s and nothing to show. Times like this, cooking and eating take on a strictly routine and practical flavour and we eat by rote. Not to say we don’t enjoy it; on the contrary, mealtimes are an oasis in the desert of anonymous days. They are something you look forward to, rely on. And you remember fleeting moments. One of these passing images was last week, when a basic vegetable risotto was set in front of the boys; and Thomas, who took to cutlery early and well, spooned it down lustily, vegetables and all. Not for him William’s technique of carefully removing all foreign items before eating the plain rice grains, leaving a neat pile of carrot pieces etc at the side.

On the other hand, William eats cheese. Tom won't.


During the week, the papers reported that the Australian Football League had determined that this weekend was to be its ‘green’ round. Football was once played on Saturday afternoons, under perfectly natural, if sometimes winter-dim, afternoon light. By contrast, this weekend’s ‘green’ round includes no fewer than three night games illumined by billions of lights. Night games provide greater audiences for games broadcast on television, which works by electricity.
"Mr Demetriou said the AFL would encourage fans to use public transport, ride a bike or car pool to games this weekend. Footy fans will also be reminded to turn off the lights and heating when they leave home for the game and to make sure electrical appliances are switched off at the wall."
No better example of cant.

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