Herewith a summary of foodie happenings this month -
1.Every year I wait less and less patiently for the arrival of figs - and finally they are here, although not many! I've managed to make Fig Cake a couple of times already and have stored away some more figs in the freezer.
2. And quinces are available at last. Yesterday I baked some magnificent specimens which I bought at the Kitchen Cabinet a little shop selling local produce attached to the restaurant at Old Parliament House.
I also bought some tomatillos having sampled them at Sunnybrae. We had some of them in a salad with avocado and cucumber which was very good but I have yet to decide what to do with the rest.
We were in Canberra to visit the exhibition of masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay at the National Gallery. And it was worth braving the crowds to see these works in the flesh - although I would have been more than happy to wait to see them sometime in Paris.
Paul Cézanne Kitchen table (Still-life with basket) (La table de cuisine (Nature morte au panier))
3. March was a very good month for reading. First there was the Griffith Review No. 27 entitled 'Food Chain' which as the name suggests was devoted entirely to writing associated in some way with food. Can recommend the article by Margaret Simons 'Sustaining a Nation'.
Then the latest edition of Gastronomica arrived in the mail with more interesting and thought provoking reading - Why are there no Great Women Chefs?, and who would have thought that Sylvia Plath liked to cook.
Finally I got hold of a copy of Frank Moorhouse's Loose Living in which he chronicles our Australian hero's adventures in Europe. This is an odd little book but parts of it are absolutely hilarious.
4. Apart from the very good lunch we had at Cafe in the House in Canberra we also managed dinner at two local restaurants.
Glebe Point Diner is consistently good but because they have two sittings for dinner I was very conscious that mine wasn't the only bum that had been on the seat that night. Perhaps it is just me but there is a sense here that this is very much a business and although the food and wine are very good the atmosphere is a bit sterile. (And isn't $15 corkage for BYO just a little bit over the top? although it must be admitted that the wine list here is extensive and varied.)
At The Codfather (83 Percival Street, Stanmore) on the other hand the service was friendly and attentive, the food was excellent and the corkage on our BYO very reasonable. And you have to love the name.