This blog is a celebration of food. Real food – fresh vegies still with the dirt on them, and live sourdough cultures from my kitchen, and meat from animals that lived a life in pasture, not a feedlot. I like food a lot, but I like real food, whole food, food that my body welcomes and feels healthy after eating. It makes my eyes light up and my fingers twitch – as anyone who’s ever been to markets with me will know.

Tea & Tomatoes

It started from a food co-op I’m in with a group of dear friends. Every fortnight, on a Saturday morning, someone (or several someones, usually) goes out to the food markets at Flemington in Sydney at about 4am in the morning, and buys bulk quantities of fresh produce to divide up among the group of us. Getting up at 4am isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it. Running around the markets (well, hopping around in my case, since I’m on crutches), checking out what’s fresh and seasonal, bargaining for the best value on the freshest food, and patting the lovely, ripe, fruit and vegetables is very nearly my idea of heaven.

So I thought I’d share some of that enthusiasm with the rest of the world. And since I’m a trained nutritionist, and a naturopath, I figured I’d underpin some of that enthusiasm with a very real knowledge of how all that fresh food can help us.

I’m not the only one who’s been inspired to write by a box of vegies from the feedbag group, by the way. You’ll also find David Hollingworth writing about his foodie adventures as the Inner City Cook.

My fridge is now full of fresh and tasty vegetables from this morning’s trip. A neatly packaged duck has been popped into the freezer, waiting to be roasted and have the fat render off for future roast veg, and the leftover bones turned into rich, delicious stock. There are lamb shanks sitting waiting to be casseroled for several hours with the ripe tomatoes and red wine, and the last of the sage.

Fresh beetroot are going to be grated and mixed and baked into an earthy red sourdough bread with chunks of feta cheese adding their salty tang (I love sourdough. Stay tuned for a post just on the lovely bubbly sourdough cultures that make my bread with me).

And hanging by the window is a string of bright red jalapeno chillies. They’ll stay there for about a week until they’re partly dry, then I’ll smoke them slowly in the wok until they turn into rich, smokey chipotles. Yum. Theoretically I should smoke them straight away, but since I don’t have a proper smoker to smoke them in, I‘m letting my kitchen window do some of the work for me.

What foods light up your eyes?

Jalapenos in my window