Obama tattoos are old news already, so why was I surprised to see Obama Foodorama, “A Daily Diary of The Obama Foodscape, One Byte At A Time”? The intertubes really does have space for everything.

For starters, there’s the wonderful MFK Fisher’s Alphabet for Gourmets at Gourmet magazine, via Metafilter. Here’s part of “C is for cautious”

A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom. He not only knows from everything admirable he has read that he will not like Irish whisky with pineapple chilled in honey and vermouth, or a vintage Chambertin with poached lake perch; every taste bud on both his actual and his spiritual palates wilts in revulsion at such thought. He does not serve these or similar combinations, not because he has been told, but because he knows.

So if I decline something because it will upset my spiritual palate, you won’t be upset, will you?

Via 101 Cookbooks I’ve found a very promising new Australian food blog, wholefood cooking, by West Australian wholefoods chef and author Jude Blereau. Her illustrated explanation of how to make puff pastry is fantastic.

Locally in Canberra, the ANU Food Co-op re-opens for the year on Wednesday. Come down on Tuesday to help clean up after the Co-op’s Christmas shutdown and get your credits (and consequent big discount! yay!) updated. Much ado in the garden at home, planting seeds of beetroot, zucchini, green and purple sprouting broccoli , okra, leeks and amaranth and harvesting chard, rhubarb, tomatoes and many herbs.

We’re using our little charcoal bbq/smoker a lot since we worked out that “heat beads” are evil and will make you sad but that “hot rox” are great and will make you deeply happy. Most recently (tonight) we smoked some fresh sardines with hickory chips and a little apricot wood from the backyard tree (you would already know this if you lived within five kms of us), turning these healthy and more sustainably fished little critters from this:

fresh sardines

into these:

home smoked sardines

We’ve also used it this week for skewers of chicken marinated in yoghurt, lemon and paprika and these little middle Eastern lamb patties which we ate wrapped in organic Mountain Bread with labneh and salady goodness:

As for future food, I’m all, as the post title says, AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE KUNG HEY FAT CHOI! for Australia Day and the Lunar new year today (Monday) and looking forward to making a stupid amount of food for family and some dear friends tonight.. A happy and prosperous year of the Ox to you and your family.

Finally, via Nabakov, images of love in a bento box – the totally awesome Where the Wild Things Are bento by Anna The Red, for her boyfriend’s lunch, posted with her permission:

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Check out too her amazing bento design sketchbooks at her blog and the many detailed images at her boyfriend’s Flickr page of her lunches.


  1. Holy crapola, those lunches are extraordinary. The fact that they are temporary and meant to be eaten just blows my mind. I like great food, but I’m not so good on the presentation side. This girl has a gift indeed.

    Little fishies. The photo doesn’t do justice to their glowing beauty as they came out of the smoker… from whatI could see through the smoke!

  2. She’s a born maker (and art school graduate) – and the consumability is a big part of the bento’s appeal for her:

    I still love creating stuff with my hands in my free time and I enjoy sewing, cooking, and drawing. I’ve made tons of plushes, but I always had a problem finding a place to display them, and I would usually just give them away.

    I guess I get more excited while making them and when I finished making them, but not so much after that.

    But recently, I’ve discovered a love for making bento (lunchbox in Japanese)!

    In Japan, a lots of moms wake up early to make bento for their kids and their husbands. And often, they make cute animals or characters from anime shows out of food, so that kids will enjoy eating healthy food. Those bento are called “Kyaraben” or “Charaben”. (character bento)

    It’s so much more challenging than making a plush, and takes only about a couple of hours. But no, I don’t spend the couple of hours straight to make bento. I get up 6 in the morning, and we try to leave the house around 9:15-9:30. And most time, I prepare the food the night before, sometime while I cook dinner. (EDIT: I changed “takes only about 5 hours” to “a couple of hours” because, usually 1 hour for doing a sketch for bento, 1 hour for preparation the night before, and a couple of hours in the morning)
    The best part is, your work will be eaten and gone by the end of the day!

  3. Heh, the smoky barbecue full of fishies conjured images of the street corners of Hanoi and Bangkok, where barbecue is obligatory and imparts its own special flavour (in amongst the smog and the motorbike exhaust).

  4. Fremantle sardines?

    I miss them wee things. Used to go fishing in Freo harbour all the time – I’d get there early enough to buy a couple of kilos for a couple of measly bucks straight off the boat from the fishos (illegally, natch), and stick them on ice in a little esky, I’d use a few for bait with varying success, but always with the insurance policy of a feed of near-free oily, tasty magic.

    How were they hot-smoked? I guess you’d have to go pretty carefully with the timing. My uncle used to “proper”-smoke sardines, mackeral, Aust. salmon and herring (tommy ruff). Pretty time-consuming and very smelly, but so good.

  5. Gee that gourmet is a bit full on, the gourmet as James Bond.

    that bento is awsome, in fact awsome seems just a little light onfor such a sight.

    I’ve been getting minimalist, almost a bit lazy with the bbq, tho yesterday i went to the trouble of positioning it beside the veg patch. i reckon that i was picking the corn and had it trimmed and on the bbq within a minute.

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