Finding the Joy in Small Things

Let’s all mask up, stay protected and cure cancer, all at once?

Just as we have been celebrating some small improvements, this insidious virus COVID-19 is spreading its tentacles yet again. Devastating that after 100 days clear in NZ, Auckland is in lockdown as are our fellow Australians in Melbourne. The best thing we can do is to fight complacency and take every precaution – social distancing, hand-washing and wearing masks. (Yes. I know I have said that before but I feel strongly about it!). This piece to mask or not to mask is worth a read.

Cure Cancer has partnered with protective equipment experts Osmosis Advertising so that you can stay protected whilst helping find a Cure for this dreadful disease!  From face masks through to sanitisers and non-contact thermometers, Osmosis has every need covered to stay safe. 15% of every purchase will be donated to Cure Cancer, supporting vital cancer research from our brightest minds. Stay Protected and Support Cancer Research:

However, amongst all this doom and gloom, we need to find ways to be happy, and to take joy and pleasure in small things. I have loved my careful sojourns out to places with safe practices. to being able to meet a friend briefly, knowing my partner is cared for in my absence. My pain at being separated from my daughter and grandchildren is mitigated by being able to facetime them every single day. And despite the work with the set up, I do get a buzz from Facebook Live on Sunday nights at 6pm AEST or 9am BST. 

On another positive note, my partner is on a new drug and we are cautiously optimistic.
May you be safe and happy.

YouTube Video

Thai Salad Lettuce Bites

This week I have been celebrating Thai flavours. I really think the best Thai food in the world can be had in Sydney. I hope you don’t think I am biased, but I remember “discovering” Thai food as a teenager and then the legendary David Thompson opening restaurants and spending so much time in Sydney really spread the influence of authentic Thai cuisine. Mine is always in my fast and fabulous style, but I trust you will still find the flavours authentic, if the technique is simplified.

See what you think with my Thai Salad Lettuce Bites Watch me make them both on YouTube hereYou’ll find the written recipe hereYou can subscribe to my channel here, so you can see other videos including my meals in a minute.

Here are some other Thai recipes:
Thai-style Chicken Curry with Pineapple
Thai Red Prawn Curry
Tea-smoked trout in a Thai-style salad
Easy Pad Thai
Thai Lamb Salad
Thai Style Green Mango & Papaya Salad with Prawns 

Thai Style Green Mango & Papaya Salad with Prawns

Now read on or scroll down, remember there’s something for everyone in this newsletter wherever you are in the world.

Recipe of the Week

Modern Sweet and Sour Pork Belly with Pineapple Salad

I thought it best to do a recipe of the week which is NOT Thai – and although this one might be Asian in influence I think Sweet and Sour Pork is fairly universal. This recipe couldn’t be further from the gloopy bright orange sweet and sour of old.  Luscious pork belly is flavoured with traditional Cantonese Chinese flavours, roasted until the crackling is translucent and livened up with a pineapple salad bursting with freshness, the perfect foil to the richness of the pork belly.
 Find the recipe here.
And for something sweet, here is my Pineapple and Lime Upside Down Cake                         

Facebook Live

Just cooked on Facebook live in 20 minutes total, Whiting in Vine Leaves and Marouli Salad

I am really enjoying Facebook Live every Sunday night at 6:00 pm. Last week I made Whiting in Vine Leaves and Marouli Salad, with tips and tricks along the way.  You can watch how I did it on Facebook here, as well as talking a bit about semillon which I matched with it.Please join me at 6:00pm (Sydney Time) or 9am British Standard Time, this coming Sunday as I show you to make a quick Spicy Pork & Basil Stir-fry. Simply like my Facebook page and at 6:00pm to click here to join and watch Facebook Live video on Sunday night.

If you are planning to cook with me on Sunday, here are the ingredients you will need for four :
1 bunch Holy or Thai basil or basil
2 tablespoons (40mls) peanut oil
500g minced pork
5 Thai shallots, finely chopped
4 or more fresh red or green chillies, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 stalk lemongrass
Freshly ground black pepper
250ml coconut milk or cream
Chinese broccoli or green beans, cut into 6cm lengths
60g palm sugar, shaved
25ml fish sauce
1 tablespoon (20ml) lime juice
½ cup (75g) dry roasted cashews, chopped
Steamed jasmine rice, to serve

See you then?

Colourful Oranges

A couple of weeks ago, I focussed on blood oranges. However, as it is winter in Australia, I thought it worth looking at all our oranges while they are at their peak. Juicy, tangy oranges make a refreshing snack but they are also fabulous in sweet and savoury salads, delicious baked goods and desserts.

Navel Oranges
Navels are in season from May to November in Australia. They are seedless oranges that takes their name from the Navel protuberance at the end, which contains a tiny embryonic fruit. They have thick, pebbly skins and very sweet juicy flesh. The skin is particularly good for making preserves or as candied peel. Use Navel oranges in warming winter puddings and cakes, and juice the fresh fruit for breakfast.

Seville Oranges
These large, vibrant rough-skinned oranges are only suitable for cooking. The bitter flesh, skin and seeds make the perfect tangy marmalade. Seville oranges are only available in late winter.

Blood Oranges
Arriving in July and only available until September, these deep ruby-fleshed oranges have a delicious tangy raspberry-citrus flavour. Deeper ruby-red tinged skin generally indicates more intense-coloured flesh. The colour depends on variety, exposure to sunlight and growing conditions.

Cara Cara Navel Oranges
Grown in Australia, these delicious oranges have deep rosy-orange juicy flesh. They’re seedless with vivid orange thin skin and resemble the common Washington navel orange. This naturally sweet orange variety is low in acidity and has a refreshingly tart taste, similar to cranberry. They’re in season from mid-June to July.

Valencia oranges come into season in summer
Australian Valencia oranges can have green tinges because they are the only orange variety grown in Australia at the height of summer. In fact, the greener the skin, the sweeter and juicier the Australian Valencia orange is on the inside. It’s an indication that is has been left on the tree to absorb the energy of the sun and ripen naturally to its full potential. The green skin protects the orange, a bit like sunscreen does for us.

Storing Oranges
Oranges can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator without plastic bags or in the crisper drawer for up to two weeks. They do not ripen further after harvest. Freeze or refrigerate freshly squeezed orange juice or grated peel or zest but do not freeze whole citrus fruits.

A bit about wine

Showing the body of wines in a chart

This was on the wall of Delicado when I went there recently. I thught it was a great way of checking the relative weight (body) of different grape varieties and wines from different countries.

My Shows on SBS & Globally

Bee-keeping on Kythera in Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece

My friends at the gym alerted me to the fact that SBS has been screening some of my shows including Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece and Lyndey Milan’s Summer Baking Secrets. There’s something on every afternoon, so keep an eye out on the SBS Program Guide for TV and Radio.

Prime video has some of my shows – in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Australia – all 16 episodes and many other of my TV serie
Wherever you are in the world, you can probably access some of my shows online if you google.
I hope  you enjoy them.

Some Fun Things to Share

What are the real origins of the pavlova?

I don’t have much time for reading or listening (except for medical matters!) these days. However, some things I have come across I though you might enjoy:
Julia D’Orazio whom I met on an Australian Society of Travel Writers zoom drinks last week, has returned to Australia from Europe and thanks to COVID is here for the foreseeable future, as am I.  She has written a piece 10 Things I Miss About Living in London which resonated with me. I have to say, I just found her earlier piece 38 Things Aussies in London Miss About Australia. I know my friends from The Australian Women’s Club London will enjoy both these. I am maintaining my membership from a distance and again, via zoom.Anthony Huckstep, a long-time food writer and editor, hosts a terrific series of podcasts called Deep in the Weeds.We all knew about the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand in claiming the origin of pavlova – but who’d know there’s was years of research and a whole book in it, with some other findings? Read The surprising truth about pavlova’s origins.No surprses here Sparkling wine sales skyrocket during pandemic.

Next Week (and Last)

Twice-baked Cheese & Truffle Souffle

Next week we’re travelling the world with French food and recipes and I’ll see if I can dream up a French recipe for my Facebook Live. Or is there a French recipe you have always wanted to know how to cook? Or a question about French wines?

The week just gone, I shared the link to my Fragrant Asian chicken soup on Youtube. Also the recipe for my Semi-dired Plum Tart with Chestnut Crumble.So don’t miss out, join me on Facebook and Instagram this week!

Travel with me in 2021?

Carefree days in Alberobello on a previous trip


I am full of hope for next year – but also realise we may not be travelling internationally that soon. So while I had to postpone my wonderful culinary tours this year, we have rescheduled them for next year – or maybe even the next. Many more details to come, but here’s a heads up, although it is too soon to be thinking about travelling overseas again. Here are the dates:
Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata: 10-16 October 2021

Full details and prices here,
Morocco culinary tour approx 13 – 24 May – some information here.

Colourful tagines for sale in Morocco

Stay safe, healthy and happy. Keep up to date  on all my social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter Pinterest and my YouTube channel.

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