With my lovely group from Morocco with a stunning main course on the table
I hope all is well in your worlds? On Wednesday in Australia there was a huge outage by Optus from 4am AEDT to around 6pm which played havoc with transport, government, hospitals and emergency departments. It involved not only internet and wifi access but telephones too, which could have been life-threatening for some. Other sad stories have emerged. Obviously these are the most serious, but many businesses were adversely affected and I am sure more will emerge. Fortunately I was able to go to my local library and get some work done on my laptop, but that is much slower than my desktop computer where I have two screens. It also cost me $57 to park in the adjacent council carpark but really, I am one of the lucky ones. Interestingly, while I am an Optus customer for both wifi and phone, and requested an update when I was online at the library, no explanation or apology was forthcoming and only on Friday morning. The offer of extra data which I, for one, don’t need, is little recompense for those so very badly affected. As an alleged telecommunications company you would think they might manage an email to their 10 million customers in the first instance. They did send me a bill on Thursday, 24 hours before any form of apology though! It does give us pause to consider our dependency on technology – but we don’t really have any other option,
More on technology – yesterday morning my Tesla wouldn’t start. It usually does with access to my phone. It had plenty of battery, but I plugged it in anyway and then it did – briefly. It started with the key card so then it occurred to me it was a phone issue so I have updated the app. surprisingly it worked the day I had no internet or phone. I am mystified.
So the last couple of days have been all about catch up and a late nights. Which is all by way of explanation that this newsletter may be short this week. Let’s see how much I can write?
On a brighter note, last Saturday I had the most wonderful reunion with the fabulous people who came on my Moroccan tour last year. We picked up where we last left off, laughed, ate and reminisced long into the afternoon.Everyone contributed – thanks to Brenda for photos and champagne, Anne for incredible mains, Gabby for stunning dessert and wine, Neil and Debra for wine. I did the starters and created some content around that, so expect to see some Moroccan recipes on my website or on FacebookandInstagram. Please always feel free toemail mewith your requests or comments.
Happy cooking, eating, drinking and travelling– Lyndey x
L : Main course on the table from front to back Spatchcock Tagine, Carrot Salad, Couscous, Eggplant Salad and more tagine R: Bessara (recipe to be published soon) and a bottle of Neil McGuigan’s excellent semillon
Recipes of the week
11 November is Remembrance Day and one where we honour those who have gone before, fought in various ways for our country with sadly, many no longer with us. It is in no way glorifying war, quite the opposite but honouring the men and women and their families who made sacrifices. If only we could learn the lessons of history, the futility of war and see the dreadful conflicts in raging in other parts of the word cease amd have peace. I believe in the hospitality of the table, and sitting together, breaking bread and eating the food of another culture is a way of understanding it. You might like to make Remembrance Biscuits of Rosemary and Cheese.
Diwali, or Dipawali, is India’s biggest national festival of the year, celebrated on 12 November by all Indian religions The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. I thought it would be fun for us to celebrate and honour another culture with authentic recipes.
ROGAN JOSH A delicious, do-ahead main perfect to celebrate Diwali on 12 November GET MY RECIPE HERE
SAFFRON YOGHURT WITH CARDAMOM& PISTACHIOS The perfect dessert after spicy food GET MY RECIPE HERE
Fun with Wine
Why are some wines sealed with a screwcap and others with cork?
Here’s another in my series, Fun with Wine. This time it’s about the differences between cork and screwcap as a seal for wine. Click on the arrow to see the video.
If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine, subscribe to my YouTube channelHEREor follow me onInstagram.
Tip of the Week
Do your eggs sink or float?
How to Tell If Your Eggs Are Still Fresh
How to keep your eggs
First up – a word of advice. Shops should keep their eggs in refrigerated cabinet and at home they should be stored in the fridge in their original carton to prevent breakages, odour absorption, and water loss.
Keep eggs in the coldest part of the fridge – usually a middle or lower shelf – rather than in the door where the temperature fluctuates more.
Don’t leave refrigerated eggs out at room temperature for more than two hours. The eggs will sweat and that creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth.
Keep refrigerated eggs for up to six weeks but best to follow the best before date on the carton.
To test if your eggs are still fresh
What to do: Gently drop an egg into a bowl of cool water, deep enough to submerge an egg plus a few centimetres. If the egg sinks to the bottom and lays on its side, then it’s very fresh and good to eat. If the egg sinks but “stands” up, it’s still safe to eat, but you should do so very soon. And if it floats to the top, you should toss it—that’s a bad egg.
Why this works: Egg shells are semipermeable and as an egg ages, the liquid inside evaporates and air takes its place. And the more air inside an egg, the more buoyant it becomes.
However, hard-boiled eggs have a far shorter shelf life than raw eggs because the process of boiling an egg removes the protective outer coating of the shell, which makes it more porous and more vulnerable to bacteria and other contaminants. Hard-boiled eggs can last for up to one week in the refrigerator if they remain in the shell or about five days if peeled. Just make sure you refrigerate the eggs within two hours of cooking.
Moroccan Culinary Tour
You too can ride a camel in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco
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. Inclusions
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 and drop off to and from the desert camp
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
Drivers and guides gratuities
Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees
Testimonial: “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 email@example.com with any questions.
L: Mint tea is the ever-welcoming drink and R: shopping for our cooking class in the souk
Puglia Culinary Adventure – May 2024
Our tour begins in unique Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the oldest, still inhabited cities in the world: a magical place that preserves evidence of human settlements since the Palaeolithic period in its natural caves carved into the rock.
Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata
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.
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.
Testimonial I was lucky enough to join Lyndey on her Puglia tour of 2022. I thoroughly enjoyed my gastronomic October 2022