“Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford–you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. Then you savour it, analyse it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.” – Julia Child
Australia is such a vast country, teeming with richness and beauty. On those wonderful adventures we have made over the last few years travelling up and down the east coast of Australia, and to the most isolated corners of this country, food becomes so simple, so wholesome and so preserved. You cannot go where no man has gone before unless you are simply prepared to ration and plan your meals well ahead of time. Cooking suddenly becomes a process where you cannot help but be present with all your senses and involve a social network around you as the meal fills the air and draw people closer. Some of my most favourite memories involve sitting around the camp fire while the roast stews in the camp oven and stories are told over a glass of red.
Perhaps it is as a result of our travels that my love for this country has deepened and, although there is a comic element to it, I absolutely love putting on my Akubra, jeans, boots, flannel and drizabone and stomping through the wild landscape collecting firewood as the day turns into night and the air sports a bite.
Prior to our adventures you would call me a well versed city girl who during the day knew her laneways and café s and during the night frequented the city’s favourite food haunts and humble establishments including those with a chefs hat and those without. Now though food has become more than a few hours of indulgence that is easily forgotten the next morning. I have now learnt to view food with more respect and curiosity. Food is to bring people together and not to alienate one from the other. Food also must remind us of where it came from and where it must go and of the circle of life. Food is not simply a means to survive but its a reminder that life is so fragile.
I am now and will forever be a girl whose heart will always remain most quiet and true when it is furthest away from the city lights.
And so I look forward to searching through the Blue Mountains and finding those places that bring people together. Those places that celebrate this land. Those places we must cherish.