Revive the senses through feel-good food. Just do anything food-wise, no matter how small, that makes you zing: pour hot water over fresh herbs for a fragrant tea; buy a whole organic pumpkin for a kitchen table centrepiece; thank a farmer at a farmers' market; put your hands on warm earth; spot a local rosemary bush; snag some for your lamb roast or your hair (Why not? Go nuts!); and comment to share your feel-good spring snippet. If stuck for ideas, mine are yours. Let's unite in support of feel-good food and ethical food practices. Thanks to all too who supported my Spring Feel-Good Food Project. I had a blast! While my food interests are diverse, so is my food writing history (and lifestyle freelance writing and corporate writing, yada...). Please see below right and my new FoodLit Website. Yeah! Please also subscribe for occasional food-fuelled news, ventures and opportunities.

Monday, 31 October 2016

A Really Tasty Broad - Day 62, 29 To Go...


How well do you know her? Those of you already acquainted with the broad bean know she makes a delicious dip, especially when made with a punchy, creamy feta and mint for spring zing. 

The Italian classic, pasta e fave, hits the heart spot, while broad beans sauteed in a little onion and garlic with fresh garden peas until soft are simply sublime. Of course, what grows together goes together, so finish with a hit of mint for a last minute lift. These three humble numbers are currently having spring dance parties in my garden at night.

What many don't know is that fresh broad beans, ideally soft and tender so best home grown or bought from a farmers' market, are really, really good with really good bread. Say that a few times over. 

Actually, don't. Save it for chewing on a chewy sour dough baguette and broad beans. It's a very surprising flavour and texture combination that speaks volumes

Do as many Italians are doing right now as we speak given the peaking broad bean season - and try it.

Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Hello Editors & Publishers! Day 57, 34 To Go...


Lakshmi Rising From The Lotus (Or Me From A Well-Satiated Zucchini)

When the editor of one of your favourite magazines reads your blog and calls to say we want you on the team, it doesn't matter that:

-  your blog isn't optimised for mobile friendliness
-  you've been trying to upload images to Instagram from your laptop instead of your phone..
-  your social media strategy lies in a paper (yes, the stuff that grows on trees) mess with 
   sticky notes, highlighter and confusion written all over it

It's such a mess, in fact, that the sight of it makes me want to hurl myself into the kitchen, fridge, stove and oven (not literally) and cook myself (not literally) into escapism - or tramp to the garden and dig myself a hole with my shiny, new red spade, not to bury myself in, but to plant a new tomato seedling after the cat next door scratched out the last one, peed on it and killed it.

Editors, I'm available for writing work with the right mags. Here's my profile.  

Publishers, I'm making good progress on my book.  

Everyone, I'm taking two days off from my keyboard and my un-optimised mobile to be in spring.



Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Multi-Generational Mulberries - Day 56, 35 To Go...


 Image by Shuttershock

A tradie comes around first thing in the morning, sees a bowl of mulberries on the table and gets excited. That in itself is interesting. Many tradies wouldn't know a mulberry from a mung bean.

'My grandfather used to have a tree,' he says, the nostalgia lighting up his eyes as happens when recalling fond memories married with food.

'Take some.'

'Oh, no. It's okay,' he says politely.

'Please. Take some.'

He accepts.

'I'll have them with my son.' He's animated, naturally.

'You know mulberry leaves are fed to silkworms so they make better quality silk?' I say.

'Really? Wow. Good food's not such a big thing these days, is it?' he laments.

'Er... it is in some circles.'
  
And it will be even bigger if I get out of my way and let my work be done.

That's all. Good food-love shared. My work for the day done - and by 9am!

Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Heart - Day 55, 36 To Go...


Image by All Remedies

She's simple and sweet - both today's blog and the honey, lemon and mint tea lubricating  strained throats as my place today. Ginger is optional. If you have a hot liver, avoid it. Otherwise, go for it.

Sore throats, contrary to common belief by the masses, aren't a bad thing. As with all ailments, they're speaking to you. This one's saying shut your mouth and open your heart. Who am I to argue?

Sweet dreams, folks. Mine will visit early tonight.


Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Monday, 24 October 2016

Berry Exciting - Day 54, 37 To Go....



Round and round 
The mulberry bush
Like a for-a-ger.
 One step, two step,
Tickle under there.

How did these blushing beauties end up in my kitchen and my mouth? 
Find out here.
 


Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Grounding Spring Bling... Day 53, 38 To Go...


My Crimson Flowering Broad Beans

Words can't capture, photos to an extent, reality (as with everything) in their full glory.



A bonus to the brightness they bring to the winter/spring garden is that they make beans. Even if they didn't, they're still worthy of a plot. Short pods with three or four sweet, tightly hugged beans. Snug, warm from spring sun. More.

Locals can visit to experience the reality. I have seeds available.




Culminating in my idea of spring bling (with hats left on given they're young and tender):




Maybe with a little broth, short pasta and parsley or tossed through a penne pasta with spring cousins, mint, zucchini, fennel, lemon zest and year-rounder, Parmesan, (capitalised as it's earned it).

Polish off and sing. It's spring.


Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Friday, 21 October 2016

As Random as a Treehouse in... Day 52, 39 To Go...



Having been through my share of life's challenges, nothing much surprises me anymore. 

Take the recent loss of my credit card. I did all the normal things: retraced my steps; checked all pockets; dug into all those sneaky little pockets in bags and purses; did contortions in the car checking all possible places; searched the house; got the bank to put a temporary lock on it; and constantly checked my account to ensure no one had flown to Brazil on it regardless.

All the while something was telling me not to worry, that it wasn't 'out there', lost on the streets, or in the hands of an identify thief or Nigerian scammer. So I didn't.

Today, looking out the kitchen window at the rain blessing my garden and the hail simultaneously hammering it, I saw this:


Yes, as random as finding  a treehouse in a head of broccoli.

And, yes, a sign of the treasures that lie in gardens.


Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

'Deconstructed' Re-defined - Day 51, 40 To Go...

By John Cherry

Planning a lunch for around 60
With a few factors, 
As the word suggests, to factor in.
Food is to be bought at a reasonable price
And transported three hours by car. 

Chorus:
It will be prepared 
By several people
With different ideas 
And cooking abilities
In a very small kitchen.

It must be substantial given dinner will be late,
But must have different main proteins than dinner
For the sake of variety. 
It must suit vegetarians, carnivores and children
And be ready at a specified time.
 
Chorus:
It will be prepared 
By several people
With different ideas 
And cooking abilities
In a very small kitchen. 

Repeat chorus for a third time.

Luckily it unfolds, or unravels, at a meditation centre where the Gods will be smiling upon and around us. Otherwise, it'd be a recipe for a deconstructed disaster.


Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Truffle Kerfuffle.. Day 50, 41 To Go



Finding a humungous truffle on my suburban nature strip had me envisioning truffle buyers jostling for prime position as they lined up at my door with pockets full of cash.

Doing a little further research had me waving my imaginary buyers goodbye with a sniff - of disappointment, not one of pungent, prized, expensive truffle. 

While my local specimen smelled mighty good, it turns out that Australia is home to thousands of varieties of native truffles, all largely inedible. Sniff sniff. 

I've since found dozens all over, from my virtual doorstep and the Beaumaris coastal path to the clifftops of Anglesea and the two below in the hills of the Grampians. 


While supposedly inedible, I remain curious. I mean most people think many foraged foods are inedible, right? Still, and even though our local truffles are said to be non-poisonous, would you be game to try some unknown fungal specimen protruding from the ground? Not me. I love my life. I mean, did someone taste-test every single variety? And of course, if they struck a poisonous one, they wouldn't be here to tell the tale, right? 
 


Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Not Quite a Square Peg in Round Hole. Day 49, 42 To Go...


Rounded salad in square bowl 
(Depending on your perspective)
For less rounded bottoms and lunch.


Chick peas for creaminess,
Celery for crunch.
Orange for sweet C
And mint for punch
And a cleansing tea.

Watermelon for the 
Anticipation of summer,
But only after lemon juice, 
A trickle of olive oil 
And a smattering of pink salt,
Ideally from a distance and
With the sun behind it
For pink snowflakes
In spring.



Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Monday, 17 October 2016

Buddy-buddy Marmalade - Day 48, 44 To Go


I never understood marmalade until I made marmalade. 

When people say they don't like something, they've often had a poor version of it, like their aunt's soggy, over-boiled beans. They'll swear off beans until the end - or until someone can convince them to wipe the memory and their tastebuds clean and try a great version of beans on a fresh slate, or plate or palate. 

Home-made from local oranges and my backyard rosemary, this marmalade and I now understand each other intimately. 

We're a thick as orange thieves and as warm as marmalade toast.  


Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

How Lightly Can You Grow? - Day 47, 45 To Go



When you walk into a store for the first time and feel you know the people like family, you know you share deep connections that go beyond the everyday. While shared interests certainly unite people, a connection based on respect for pure food and the land that produces it is essentially reverence for creation, the closest connection there is.



Grow Lightly in Coal Creek (Kurumburra) is a non-profit store and community organisation that encourages Gippslanders to grow and eat food grown locally. 

Buy fresh, local bread, veggies, fruit, herbs, preserves, great muesli, eggs, espresso, chai, dried fruit and nuts, fresh nuts in season and whatever's currently being grown or made locally.

Arrange a weekly box of fresh, organic goodies or volunteer to work in the store or pack fruit and veggie boxes. Or get dirt under your nails and help nature do what she innately does and grow for the store.
 
Committed to increasing people's access to high quality, local food and encouraging small-scale, organic horticulture in the local area, the Grow Lightly team make you feel like you just got home. So refreshing.



Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Hammer & Tongs on The Pumpkin Project - Day 46, 46 To Go


46 + 46 = 91, right?  Day 46 with 46 to go on a 91-Day Spring Blog simply says maths isn't a forte - and I can live with that.

So this pumpkin is a foraged one (yes) that's been my kitchen table centrepiece for months, her orange dappled bits getting brighter and sweeter as time passed by. Why months? Because her voluminous size requires not quite hammer and tongs, but a meat cleaver,  meat tenderiser, a skin-removing strategy (she's a biggie and a toughie), a mini cooking marathon because she's surely not going to fit in the fridge and, finally, freezer space (so we had to eat, defrost and share plenty).

Now chunkily wedged, lightly microwaved so I could prise her skin from her flesh, pumpkin-souped and frozen (yes, pumpkin soup freezes beautifully), she is the last of the pumpkins in a long-running pumpkin saga that started last April, made me cry, and was shared (both pumpkin and story wise) with family and friends from one end of Melbourne to the other.

And it's not over yet.

I have bowls of story-infused soup to steam into my soul for some months to come. 


Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Fairies' Frills and Fronds - Day 45, 47 To Go ...



Should it be 
That I lived in a magic garden,
Though all gardens make magic,
I would be fanned
By the wings of flutter-bys,
And fairies sashaying 
Fragrant petticoats 
Made of fennel fronds.



Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Friday, 14 October 2016

Arty, Tomatoey Party - Day 44, 48 To Go...


Artichokes, fanned in anticipation of stuffing. 

I can't share the recipe here as it's being saved for my book. Steeped in family history (and a little tasty tomato sauce that seeps into the stuffing), they're not a dish or a meal. They're an occasion. I hope to share more with you down the track.

Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Blushing Berries! I'll be Buttered on Both Sides..Day 43, 49 To Go...


Having walked my local neighbourhood as often as I have spying the various fruit trees and goodies growing in gardens, I thought I'd spotted everything edible within a 10km radius. Here's just a bit of what goes on in the area across any given year: apples, oranges, pears (too wild to eat), apricots (too many to eat!), peaches, loquats, nectarines, lemons, lemonades (the yummy sweeter version), almonds, cherries (too few to eat), mandarins, plums, bay leaves, persimmons, and more.

There's also a mountain of parsley. And olives and tomatoes in season and it goes on. I walk and watch the fruit come and go as seasons do. It's a walking meditation.  A group of us did a local walking food tour once spotting all that was edible and counted some 35 edible varieties. There are lots of Italians and Greeks in the area. I am blessed.

Oh, yes. And figs. Yes, figs. Figs. I'll say it once more.  Figs. Doesn't it roll off the tongue beautifully, smoothly, sensually, just as the fig's flesh rolls around the mouth while you mush it against the roof of your mouth and oh my goodness, I'm too excited so can't talk about those anymore. There's even a fig tree on the footpath on my very street. That's public property, you know. I know. I also know that strategic picking makes fruit tastier than ever and that stolen fruit tastes even better - not that I'd know of course.  

So given I thought I knew the local bounty as intimately as my own backyard, I was surprised, shocked, elated and utterly gobsmacked yesterday to spot a tree laden with this berry-like fruit around the corner. It's on a street I walk at least four or five times weekly. At a very rough calculation, that means I've walked past it some 1583 times since I've lived here and never spotted it. 

I couldn't understand it. maybe I never walked past while it was in season? But that's impossible. Surely it fruits for weeks? Was it just planted? No, it's huge. A tree rather than a more traditional berry bush. Questions have been plaguing me since yesterday - until now.

It  just clicked. Of course! The tree is on the nature strip of a house with an orange tree in its front yard. The old man doesn't pick his oranges but lets them fall and rot on the ground, so I do my environmental duty and collect them diligently. I review and monitor that beautiful orange tree every single time I walk by. 

It was a case of foraging tunnel vision. 

As for the new discovery, a little research later (questioning the Greek locals who walked by and Googling for Greek-English translations and endless images of berries), it turns out its a mulberry tree. (They go black when they're rip, but they're longer than boysenberries. As for flavour, don't know yet.) I'm so excited. And it's on public property.

And the Greeks told me, which Google since confirmed, that the mulberry leaf is fed to silkworms to make soft, silky silk. The lady's mum used to feed it to their silkworms back home in Greece, which were of course kept for making silk. Sweet, huh! I am replete on the discovery and the romance of it all - and my first-ever chat with these Greeks who, naturally, claimed the fruit to be Greek. If I'd bumped into Italians, mulberries would be Italian.

Who cares about their origins. I am fixated on their current location. And that because  netting the tree clearly isn't an option, it's going to be a battle between me and the birds. Look out. Feathers might fly!   

What's the most exciting thing you've found, or foraged, when out and about?

Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

You Can't Fake The Feeling... Day 42, 50 To Go...



Feeling a bit flat this arvo with the inevitable challenges of  starting a new business and work direction, I was, if truth be told, tempted to fake it. You know, just grab some random image from the web, write some random blurbage and stay feeling flat and crappy.

I did promise myself from the outset that this 91 days of blogging was for me, a way of lifting spirits, enlivening me, keeping me truly awake to taste and smell (and maybe even to the satisfying sound of serving saucy tagliatelle into a bowl). When I stop in presence, I am in awe of all things beautiful and that includes the gift of vibrant food.

With that in mind and within 15 minutes of bunging open the freezer, the pantry, the fridge and the garden gate, this tagliatelle with tomato, basil and a hint of garlic sauce, finished with a touch of That's Amore's baby bocconcini, emerged. 

She was steaming and sighing with flavour, the pasta heavy with sauce and grateful for the local tomatoes that made it - last summer's backyard crop sewn, nurtured and preserved with reverence. 

Do I feel flat now? Hell, no! I feel as pumped as tagliatelle plumped with home grown, home made tomato sauce.

What's your favourite pick-me-up meal?

Foodliterary Regards,
Julia Svoice
(Julia Hebaiter in Another Life)
FoodLit Writer, Feel-Good Food Lover & Storyteller
www.foodlit.com.au

Because Food Sans Story is Bland