Back in the Swing


Giving my speech with Aboriginal Elder Uncle William Ingram who gave a moving Welcome to Country, in the background. Photo NDM Photography

Thank you to those of you who wrote to me after my last newsletter and others who have cooked my recipes. It means a lot. I hope you had a great weekend? What an outstanding Australia Day I had in the amazing Leeton ShireA busy but inspiring couple of days in a dynamic, Inclusive, multicultural, unified community. The region and its people are vibrant and rich with such mutual respect for all cultures.

I had a tour of the Leeton Museum & Art Gallery and welcome reception after I arrived. Australia Day began with breakfast in the small but welcoming community of Murrami before the Official Ceremony in Leeton which began with a moving Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony and flag raising. It included Community Service Awards and Citizenship Ceremony. Then the chance for all to try some indigenous foods, freely given by those who had prepared them, a visit to the Bowling Club and Aquatic Centre where there were fundraisers for local charities and an opportunity to present an award to a lifesaver who couldn’t attend the official ceremony because he was on duty at the pool.  Achiever of the Year Shane Leighton was recognised for his rapport and work with youth and significantly, reviving someone who suffered a shallow water blackout drowning at the pool.
So many quiet, local heroes. We saw the Survival Day mural which the local indigenous community had unveiled on the Thursday so they would not interfere with, and could participate in Australia Day. How wonderful. An amazing tour of the heritage listed Roxy Theatre which is being restored and a fabulous wine tasting at Lillypilly Wines and finally a farewell dinner. Such hospitality and best of all, I learned so much.This is what the local paper had to say about my speech and involvement in Australia Day.

Snippets from Australia Day
Dawn in Murrami told me her grandfather who was a baker told her that to prevent fruit falling to the bottom of the mixture in a fruit cake, to put the tin on a cold tray and then into the pre-heated oven. A gorgeous children’s entertainer dressed as a mermaid at the pool declared “A little bit of magic can change a child’s life”.
Thank you all.

If you missed me making Spiced Cherries and Ham & Cheese Pull Apart before Christmas, you can watch in now on my website.

As ever, keep up to date with me on Facebook and Instagram.  Please always feel free to email me with your requests or comments. 

Keep cooking and you’ll keep smiling– Lyndey x

TOP L: the sign says it all, TOP R: with the organisers from breakfast at Murrami with Dawn front left; BOTTOM photos by NDM Photography. L: Michael Lyons of Sandhills Artefacts serving witchety grubs and BOTTOM R: presenting a citizenship certificate to Charles Yang

L: Mermaid at the Aquatic Centre and R: Achiever of the Year Shane Leighton

Recipes of the week

Seasonal tomatoes and basil shine here.
Capture seasonal fruits in your freezer

Fun with Wine


The magic of pinot noir

Ever wondered why all the mystique around pinot noir? Click on the arrow and find out.
If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine, subscribe to my YouTube channel 
HERE or follow me on Instagram.

Australian Native Spices

Last week I had some great support on social media for my combining Australian indigenous spices with lamb which came with the first fleet, so  I thought it worth describing some of the most accessible ones.

There are only a small number of edible wattles, the others being poisonous so best to buy and not gather yourself. The Wattleseed of culinary use is always roasted and ground, a process that gives it an appetizing coffee-like aroma and taste.

Australian Native Saltbush, also known as Old Man Saltbush has 20% less sodium than table salt. It gives lamb which has fed on it a wonderful taste.

Native Pepperberry
Both the berries and leaves are used from this Australian Native shrub. Pepperberries are dark-blue to black in colour and have an intensely strong pepper bite that is accompanied by a mineral-like aftertaste that lingers and builds in heat over a period of about 5 minutes after consumption. Use with care, about one tenth the amount one would use of conventional pepper. Delicious, fruity with eucalypt background notes,  this is the whole Australian native pepper which can also be ground.

Mountain Pepperleaf
This is from the leaf of the pepperberry plant and has warm peppery notes combined with a delicate, eucalypt-like flavour. It is also known as Australian Native Pepperberry, Mountain Pepperberry, Mountain Pepperleaf. Use it for a pleasant, Australian outback taste to food when used as a substitute for normal pepper.

Aniseed Myrtle
Can be used as a flavouring or herbal tea ingredient. It has a mild, smooth, anise flavour with a licorice like taste. Can be used as an alternative to aniseed and star anise.

Lemon Myrtle
A versatile herb that can be used fresh, died or ground.  It has a lemon-lime flavour and can be used as a lemon replacement in milk-based foods, without the curdling problem associated with lemon acidity.

Bush Tomato (Akudjura)
Has less acidity than sun dried tomatoes but has a stronger pungent taste with caramel-like fruity flavours. They dry on the bush and look like raisins and are high in vitamin C. They can be purchased whole or ground and can be used for sauces and stews.

Strawberry Gum or Olida, also called Forest Berry Herb
It has a passionfruit-like taste and aroma. Most often used as a flavour enhancer rather than on its own. Add only a small amount, say ¼ – ½ tsp to 500g fruit or vegetables, then taste before adding more. Also only cook briefly and do not expose to extreme temperatures for more than 10–15 minutes. Although olida’s own flavour will be diminished in a fruit jam, it will enhance its fruit and berry flavours.

Things to Do and Share

The Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave

I am proud to be an Ambassador for the Leukaemia Foundation. The World’s Greatest Shave has been reimagined and no longer do you have to shave your head (though you can) for this incredible cause. Every strand of hair you change makes living with blood cancer less isolating.

Every day, 53 Australians hear the words ‘you have blood cancer.’ And those numbers are set to nearly double by 2035. Unless we do something about it.The Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave helps improve the lives of every person in Australia facing blood cancer.

Signing up and raising funds will give them the support, care and information they need to not just survive, but thrive.To fund game-changing research, campaign for change for those affected and to achieve zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035.

When you Shave, Cut or Colour your hair, you’re not just changing your hairstyle, you’re changing the lives of Australians affected by blood cancer.?And that’s bloody beautiful. Sign up here.

– In Australia – 
– In Brisbane – 
Have you been glued to Boy Swallows Universe? Brisbane writer, Kerry Heaney has come up with a great idea for a tour of Brisbane 48 Hours in Brisbane with Eli Bell from Boy Swallows Universe
– To cook –
– To read –
Do you have any of the Best selling cookbooks of 2023?
Michael Mosley and other experts advise How many times can you reheat leftovers?

Moroccan Culinary Tour

Camel riding in the Atlas Mountains – but only if you want to

Join my next culinary tour to Morocco from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024 organised with Carol Prior from By Prior Arrangement who has 40 years experience and peerless contacts there.

Taking in the best Morocco has to offer, this authentic gastronomic experience will see you visiting ancient palaces and medinas and enjoying exclusive dining experiences.

We will travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and then onto intoxicating Marrakech, the red city. On the way, we will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. Together, we will discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in humble local eateries and upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads.


  • Personal hosting by me
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person
  • Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
  • 4×4 pick up & drop off ton the day trip to a desert camp with optional camel riding.
  • Bottled mineral water and hand sanitiser in the vehicle daily
  • English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
  • Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
  • 2 cooking classes
  • Local tourist taxes
  • Porterage
  • Restaurant tips
  • Drivers and guides gratuities
  • Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees

“Such a wonderful way to experience Morocco!
Lyndey is an exceptional tour host and our guides and drivers were first class.
It was a memorable tour filled with unique experiences.”
Debra and Neil,  September/October 2022

Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
More information HERE, full itinerary HERE or email me or with any questions.

L:Fez souk and R: with guard outside the unfinished mosque in Rabat

Puglia Culinary Adventure

Hands-on cooking class at Masseria Montonapoleone

There is possibly space for more depending on availablility at our hotels.
Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata 11 – 18 May, 2024, 8 days, 7 nights

Spend an unforgettable week with me learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and undiscovered region of Southern Italy. Puglia is the sun-drenched heel of the boot that spans two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Basilicata is its neighbour to the West. Both agricultural regions are abundant with healthy soil, over 50 million olive trees and a tradition of wine growing that has seen a fabulous dynamism in the last ten years. This area produces some of the most exciting food and wines on the planet. With award-winning Southern Visions Travel.

Trip Highlights:

  • An in-depth visit to the UNESCO site of Matera, with free time to explore and shop
  • Bakery visit in Altamura at a DOP bakery
  • Visit to the Trullo Capital, UNESCO Heritage Site, Alberobello
  • A hands-on cooking class with a Nonna and me 
  • Insider’s look at burrata cheese making from cow to table 
  • Salsa di Pomodoro tomato experience
  • Olive grove tour and oil tasting at an ancient olive oil estate
  • Private lunch at Li Veli Winery
  • Visits to Lecce and Ostuni (the White City)
  • A half day on the water from Polignano a Mare followed by a seafood lunch
  • Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces.
I was lucky enough to join Lyndey on her Puglia tour of 2022.  I thoroughly enjoyed my gastronomic tour through southern Italy.  We had knowledgeable, delightful guides who took us to the most  interesting and charming places at only locals would know.  We not only sampled the delicious produce of the regions we visited, but a door was opened to the history of the places we visited that was fascinating.  I certainly would recommend a tour with Lyndey, so much fun!
Diana October 2022
Cost $7439 per person (twin share).
Full itinerary and enquiries here or email me.

L: A happy group in Alberobello and R: traditional bread-making