Home Sweet Home

 

On the roof of Galeries Layfayette in Paris, with the Eiffel Tower behind.

Hello,

As I sit here with an empty page and scrolling through photos on my phone, contemplating my first newsletter in weeks, I marvel at how much I have done since my last one. So many experiences, places, cuisines, restaurants and markets that I wonder where to start. Yet above all, it is people and friends who make the experiences what they are – just as it is the service staff in a restaurant or shop or flight crew on a plane that can make it memorable, as is doing the unexpected.

There is so much I could write, but I want to write what YOU would like to read and see. Do you like tales of travel and restaurants, or is it the recipes and videos you like? Or tips and know-how, things to read and share or what’s on? Do let me know by sending me an email HERE.

Beautiful, unspoiled Crkvice in Croatia where I swam every day.

At quite short notice I decided to go by Eurostar to Paris for a few days to meet up with a girlfriend from Melbourne whom I hadn’t seen since years before Covid. There is something very special about travelling with someone like minded. We walked, we talked, we laughed, we ate and drank and best of all shopped in the incredible Paris sales.

After enjoying some more of my London life I flew to Dubrovnik to meet some dear friends and drive north on the Pelješac peninsula where mutual friends have houses in Kuna and Crkvice. It is so beautiful and unspoiled with crystal clear water, an abundance of fresh seafood and increasingly good wines. However, like nearly everywhere in Europe you need water shoes because of the pebbles on the beach and in the water. We are so lucky in Australia with our sand.

A highlight was when my friends prepared the national dish, Peka. The word comes from pe?i, which means to roast or bake. Like tagine, it is both the name of the recipe and the vessel (or the steel or cast iron bell-shaped lid) in which it is cooked: a roast meal of either meat or seafood with potatoes and assorted veggies. Everything goes in at the beginning with a slosh of olive oil and wine and is only turned once, halfway through cooking. Roasting peka style uses embers and hot ashes from above, and the heat from the hearth from below. This produces incredibly soft, moist and aromatic food because the ingredients stay under the lid for about 2-2.5 hours. During this time, they both steam and roast. Our veal one was sublime.

TOP: Peka ready to be cooked; L: Peka cooking under the prepared coals and R: the delicious end result

Then I was lucky enough to go to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, with my friends who were driving. I had never been there before and it is the most beautiful, friendly country. I can highly recommend the Free Walking Tour. I have done these all over Europe and the idea is you pay at the end, according to your level of satisfaction. In my experience this makes the tour guides the best around. They will also give you tips on where else to go, and what specialities to eat and drink. Trying the traditional Kranjska Klobasa (or Carniolan sausage) in a tiny but famous shop which had been a watchmakers from 1939 – 2012 and since 2013 the Klobasarna, we followed many famous people who have eaten there, including the Pope. It was so good we went back on our last day. Another traditional dessert which we enjoyed in beautiful Lake Bled, was Kremsnita. It’s like a big, light, fluffy vanilla slice and one slice was enough for three of us. At the other end of the scale, we had a magnificent dining experience in the 1 star Michelin Strelec Restaurant in Ljubljana Castle overlooking the town. We enjoyed sensational food, inspired wine-pairing and relaxed, yet professional service – and you can ascend by cable car.

Keep up to date with me on Facebook and Instagram or email me with your requests or comments.
Happy Fathers’ Day on Sunday for all those Dads, Grandpas and wonderful male role models for all.

Happy cooking, eating, drinking and travelling– Lyndey x

Slovenian delights L: Traditional Kranjska Klobasa and R Kremsnita.

Recipes of the week

 

BURRATA SPRING SALAD
A lovely fresh, seasonal salad to enjoy alfresco as an entree or a main with a chilled glass of your favourite Pinot Grigio, Gru?ner Veltliner or Sauvignon Blanc.
GET MY RECIPE HERE
 

BLOOD ORANGE
CHIA PUDDING

Get into blood oranges before the season ends. This pudding is fabulous for breakfast or dessert.
GET MY RECIPE HERE

Fun with Wine

 

Cabernet Sauvignon

While it’s still cool enough in the Southern Hemisphere for big reds, here’s another in my series, Fun with Wine,  focussing on Cabernet Sauvignon.  Find out more in my video by clicking on the above.

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.

Fresh by Stephanie Alexander

FRESH…. Family recipes & stories inspired by Stephanie’s Kitchen Gardens $44.95

It’s less than two hears since Stephanie published her last book (her 19th or 20th) called Home (read my interview with her here) and she’s at again, with another close to her heart. Having founded her Kitchen Garden Foundation over 20 years ago, in Fresh, she brings together recipes which have delighted young students in schools across the country, together with extra recipes she developed as she re-cooked and re-tasted some favourites. And yes, she does it all herself.

The recipes reflect the wonderful diversity of the Australian population and the ingredients available including bush foods with a focus on fruit and vegetables – things which grow in a kitchen garden. Yet this is a book for everyone. It’s contemporary food you want to cook and eat. No fad or artifice here just solid technique and wonderful, warm stories about the joy of growing, cooking and eating. I have it beside my bed to dip into every night before I go to bed. Of course the recipes are foolproof and there are wonderful photos. Thank you so much Stephanie from all of us – experienced cooks and novices alike. There is something for everyone. I can’t wait to cook some of these recipes with my grandchildren.

It is out now in all good book stores, but if you want to order online at The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation you copy will be signed!

Things to Listen to, Read,  Cook & Attend

Daen Lia’s cheesy roasted garlic bread from The Guardian. Photo Armelle Habib

– TO LISTEN –
You can listen to BBC’s The Food Programme online. This one Feeding Your Brain: A Users Guide explores the latest science about food, mental health and boosting our brain power. 

– TO READ –
What is the magic in wine, food or music which we can’t explain?
I loved this thoughtful piece by Huon Hooke, pondering why sometimes a we can’t explain why a wine just tastes really good.
The most common food myths
Let’s hear it for dietitian Susie Burrell for debunking these urban myths about food.
 

– TO COOK –
Food & Drink Destinations, after several years of living in Spain shares their choices 19 of the Best Authentic Spanish Tapas Recipes.

The Guardian has published The bulb and the beautiful: four show-stealing recipes with lots of garlic including an incredible cheesy roasted garlic bread.

AWARDS
The season is upon us so here are some recent awards results.
The prestigious Sydney Royal Wine Show results are out – here are the
Trophy Winners and here is the complete catalogue for all wines entered.
The Sydney Royal Beer & Cider competition results are here.

 

Gourmet Traveller has announced the Winners of this year’s restaurant awards including all the special awards.

The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) has revealed its finalists for its 2023  cookbook awards.

WHAT’S ON

Good Mourning 
is a performance which tells the true story of four young siblings and their Dad’s cancer diagnosis. The team behind it were awarded The Blair Milan touring prize in memory of my actor son Blair, when they were at Charles Sturt University. They have developed it further and I am again supporting them for their launch in Newcastle 22 – 23 September. It explores the complexities of loss and grief which are often not acknowledged in our society from the honest perspective of an eight-year-old, who reminds us that while death is scary, life is a celebration. A video explains it a little here.

Moroccan Culinary Tour



My next culinary tour to Morocco is from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024.

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
  • Porterage
  • Restaurant tips
  • Drivers and guides gratuities
  • Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees

Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
More information HERE, full itinerary HERE or email me or travel@bypriorarrangement.com with any questions. I’ve just seen that Singapore Airlines has some early bird saver flights to Europe on sale now.

Puglia Culinary Adventure – May 2024



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.

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

Cost $7439 per person (twin share).
Full itinerary and enquiries here or email me.