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


Pasta with anchovies and fresh chillies.

Cook pasta - spaghetti is ideal for this olio e aglio-style recipe.

Toss spaghetti in a little olive oil. Cut up a dozen anchovies into small pieces. Cut a fresh chilli into very small rings.

Toss anchovies and chilli through the spaghetti. This simple dish packs an amazing flavour punch. It's been on high rotation here for years.


I saw a man gazing up into the tree. It was him: the council arborist. "It will have to come down," he said, continuing to gaze at the tree. "But not because of the mistletoe," he went on, confirming the theory, "But because prunus is prone to borers which weaken the forks, and it's too close to the wires anyway."

We'll have a new prunus in a couple of weeks.

I have a particular fondness for prunus: my mother's street used to be lined with mature trees, and in August they would put on a show. When visiting at night I would turn into the street at the bottom of the hill, flick the headlights onto high beam and the light would reflect off what looked like a solid archway of pink. The beauty was enhanced by its transience, the blossom show lasting a mere fortnight. Most of the trees are gone now, replaced by ugly bough-dropping gums.

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