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pumpkin pie souffle.

It’s been a helluva year, this one. The Great Barrier Reef is dying, there’s racism and sexism and Islamaphobia everywhere you look, climate change is so real there is no going back now. And Donald Trump may become president of the most powerful country in the world. Trick or treat, right? Nooo, Halloween isn’t til next week.

That shit is real.

bulgaria. eggs.

Bulgaria and eggs. What more needs to be said? 

Probs a lot. Like I went to Bulgaria and ate some really delicious eggs and I am going to tell you how to make them. And I also saw a lot of cool things in Bulgaria and I am going to tell you about them because I think you may like to visit too. Also like how good are eggs and going to places you have no expectations about and finding out they are pretty damn cool? And what to do with all the eggs when your chickens come out of their winter egg-hibernation and amp up their output? I’ll tell you what. And more. 

rosemary and parsnip cake

Sometimes life happens and it isn’t very nice. Other times it happens and it’s amazing- most of the time it’s that, but sometimes it sucks. I always try to find anything that could be positive about a situation that is, in all appearances, very un-positive (Broken down on the side of the road? That’ll give you plenty of time to admire the countryside without the distractions of driving. Lose something very important? Your searching skills are certainly going to be a lot sharper after this. You get the idea. And when it is just a truly frustrating, sucky situation… well, at least you’ll make sure it never happens again.), but sometimes there is just nothing. Even knowing you will never do anything so stupid or unthinking again gives little in the way of reassurance or positive vibes at these times. 

jodhpur: the blue city of rajhastan.

It’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s dark at five… aaaannnnd iiiiit’s colllllllllld. I’m not complaining; it’s winter in the Adelaide Hills, it’s supposed to be cold. But I am thinking, ever more nostalgically, about our sweaty days of wandering through a Rajhastani summer earlier this year. 

When we went to India in February we took one of my friends, one of my friends who was trusting us to look after her on her maiden overseas adventure, along for a couple of weeks. We didn’t tell her how stingy we are when we travel- backpacker habits die hard- so along with the culture shock, the heat and the shit everywhere (welcome to India) she also had to travel with two people who would rather walk for five kilometres with heavy backpacks than pay $2 for a rickshaw. We certainly should have warned her, poor thing. 

turmeric chai for the winter solstice

We have just returned from three and a half months in India and Bulgaria. A strange itinerary, as everyone we mention our trip to points out. It is. We know how strange, bizarre, almost insane it is to fly all the way (halfway) across the world only to visit two countries, especially in Europe. Because when Australians go to Europe we are like kids in a free candy store trying to cram as many countries as possible into our bulging pockets. 

a monthly party and rose tea.

We have just spent a week helping on a farm in Bulgaria’s Rose Valley. Along with everything else I didn’t know about Bulgaria before coming here, I didn’t know this: Bulgaria is responsible for nearly all the rose oil in the world and the roses grow in this magical scented valley surrounded by mountains and wildflowers. It’s rose everything in this valley. Tea, oil, water, soap… we even smoked roses. 

a sea, some mountains and plovdiv..

I really had no expectations before coming to Bulgaria. Not because I am a snob but because we were supposed to be going to Turkey, so I just hadn’t thought much about it. Once upon a time we met some Bulgarian people who were wonderfully friendly and who waxed lyrical about the beautiful nature in their country. Another time we stayed with an English woman who told us, upon hearing our discussion of a possible Bulgaria visit that never eventuated, that her husband had driven through Bulgaria some time in the 80’s – pre wall collapse- and that he had not found it very pleasant at all and what a dumb plan why don’t we go somewhere better?…

varanasi. and veggie burgers.

We are squashed in an auto-rickshaw, struggling to breathe and trying to ignore the headaches that are pounding insistently inside our skulls. The traffic is at a complete standstill, the fumes from every kind of vehicle and the dry dust of the street poison the air and the beeping is incessant and pointless. It’s hot. It takes us nearly an hour to travel the eight kilometres to the river, then we get out and walk. The auto driver resignedly heads back into the stifling crush. The traffic here is as renowned as the reason it exists.