A new year and a welcome

The first newsletter for the year is out, and it’s full of cooking and community goodness.

It’s great to be back and seeing in a new year, slowly. I’m still moving at a Carribean pace, and thinking fondly and what has been a magical wedding and honeymoon over December and January. Magical truly is the word! But on with the show….

Cooking Circles has started the year by organising a fun workshop with local Canberra restaurant, Pod Food. On a whim I contacted Sam of Pod Food via social media late last year, after Circles volunteer Michele ran a packed restaurant event with Taste of Bangladesh in Manuka. Sam’s idea of an outdoor paella gathering at their restaurant on a summer night sold Michele and I, and the workshop sold out in under a week. Our paella sess will go ahead this Wednesday with 30 women from many different walks of life.

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Make paella at Pod Food this February

Come along for a fun evening and learn the secrets of great paella!

John, Head Chef at the Boathouse by the Lake will take us through the essential steps and ingredients.

Making use of local ingredients, and Pod Food’s own garden, John will explore the many ways this humble dish can wow!

Food preparation and cooking will take 1 hour, followed in the second hour with dining together. Drinks will be available for sale from the bar. Continue reading Make paella at Pod Food this February

An ‘Unconventional Apology’: Interview with Chantal

1. What inspired your project, The Unconventional Project? Can you tell us a little bit about what the project does?

Unconventional Apology Project was sparked by a tragedy in my family. My grandmother, Unconventional Apology Project was sparked by a tragedy in my family. My grandmother, Unconventional Apology Project was sparked by a tragedy in my family. My grandmother, Unconventional Apology Project was sparked by a tragedy in my family. (Trigger warning: this interview contains a story of domestic abuse and violence from the ‘read more’ tag).

Image courtesy of the Unconventional Apology Project

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Finding Food Plant Solutions: Interview with Karalyn

 

gardens-3-aog-world-relief-vietnam-please-and-food-plant-solutionsTo say I was excited when I first heard about Food Plant Solutions is quite the understatement. Through Canberra Friends of Dili of which I’m a casual member, I was contacted by a fellow member who suggested I speak to Karalyn of Food Plant Solutions in Tasmania. There were synergies, she explained, with my interests in Timor Leste and its vast edible plant diversity. And it didn’t take me long on this mob’s fascinating website before I was contacting Karalyn to talk more.

All photos courtesy of AOG World Relief Vietnam please and Food Plant Solutions

Continue reading Finding Food Plant Solutions: Interview with Karalyn

Indigenous food sovereignty

By Sarah Burr

cc-bush-tucker-3-melThe food industry is currently undergoing a massive transformation geared towards various “superfoods” such as quinoa, chia seeds, acai berries, goji berries, maca powder, teff, Kakadu plum (gubinge) products, baobab products, and all things coconut. All of these “superfoods” were originally used by indigenous communities around the world.

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Talking food at Slow Food’s Terra Madre

When we speak over the phone, Bronwyn and Helen
photo-by-h-and-b-wynlen-houseare bubbly, and they’re busy. The couple from Braidwood, southern NSW, leave for Italy tomorrow on week long eating and talking extravaganza – the largest gathering of foodies world wide, the Terra Madre biannual event by Slow Food.

 

 

Photo: Wynlen House produce at the farm

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Food Security in Timor Leste

IMG_2605by Sarah Burr

Images by Heidi Zajac

What is food security? To be food secure is to always have access to sufficient, nutritious, and affordable food. Food security covers the dimensions of time, place, quantity, quality, and cost. To be food insecure is to be lacking at least one of these components. Food insecurity can lead to malnutrition, stunted growth in children, and ill-health. In Timor Leste, two-thirds of the population are food insecure.

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An experience of Cooking Circles

by Jeanette Purkis

Today I did something which would have been impossible for me just a few years ago. I got a taxi to an address I hadn’t been to before to spend an evening cooking and connecting with other women I had never met before. I attended the Canberra Cooking Circles ‘country cooking’ evening with twelve other women.

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Women in agriculture in Timor Leste

by Sarah Burr

Women are incredibly important to agriculture all over the world. In Timor Leste, women in mountainous areas (where 70 per cent of the Timorese population lives) carry out most farm activities including taking care of animals and cultivation of rain-fed crops such as sweet potato, cassava and fruit. Timorese women increasingly took on farm work during conflict as men left towns and villages to fight. Post-conflict, women have continued this work due to men returning from war suffering physical and mental injury. This farm workload is on top of women’s other duties such as child-rearing, housework, caring for elders, and community responsibilities.

Continue reading Women in agriculture in Timor Leste