It’s so true that your home environment and life’s experiences define who you are. Being the child of a foodie, who prepared vegan meals for her family before it was well known, has fashioned the way I eat and the meals I prepare for my family, friends and guests.
Hi, I’m a musician from Phillip Island, Australia. I’m also a home cook, wife, mother of two adult children and an avid photographer.
My love of plant based food began because of a decision my parents made before I was born. They became vegetarians so I, the unborn child, would be healthy. When I was little, my beloved mother grew a large vegetable garden surrounded with several fruit trees, a chicken pen and a roaming cow to keep our family fed, as money was scarce. She attended a French cooking school before getting married, so we dined sumptuously every evening with a main and a sweet on a carefully laid table. I learned how to cook from my mother’s patient instructions. During my late primary school years, we swapped our idyllic country lifestyle for owning a health food shop in Mullumbimby, New South Wales and later, living by the beach below the Byron Bay lighthouse. I still cooked by my mother’s side and served in the health food shop and café during the school holidays. Around this time, during the late 1960s, Mum changed our diet to completely plant-based, excluding refined sugars, eggs and dairy products.
I left home, earned a university degree, married and began a peripatetic existence with my husband and two children, teaching on a number of Pacific islands. Sourcing produce and cooking became an adventure; bargaining in a village market for local produce, carting it home in large string ‘bilums’ in Papua New Guinea, cooking with taro and greens; driving to farm stands and factory shops in Tasmania for in-season produce, and coping with cooking warm food for 9-10 months of cold wintery weather; eating feijoas for the first time from our backyard tree in New Zealand; and loving the cheap delicious tropical fruit of Mackay, north Queensland. Yes, travelling with a family introduced me to many new cultures and unique foods. Now we’ve chosen to finally put down roots, live in one place, live by the sea, and get to know the rhythm of life on a tiny island, Phillip Island, near Melbourne, where we commute each day for work. I love living where we can enjoy ‘proper’ seasons: autumn’s coloured leaves, cold frosty winters, blossoms in the spring, hot dry summers with stormy nights. I delight in eating a variety of foods from cyclical seasons.
The flavour of food in its purest form attracts me. Food tasting as it should from the plant and tree inspired hubby and I to establish a backyard garden and hothouse, our own mini orchard and herb parterre. Growing some of our food means we eat seasonally, and shop for locally grown produce at the markets. I admit to liking my food to be pleasingly arranged on a plate, but flavour is the key. That’s why I return to my favourite restaurants, reproduce favourite recipes and eat the food I love again, with a plant-based twist. I love cooking for my family, for friends and guests who come to dinner so I can share the food I love. Life is breathed into our beach house when family and friends come for a meal as the chatter and fun helps to make a home. On the blog, I’ll share what we eat, why it’s healthy, what’s in season and why you might like to prepare it too. The food I create will be simple dishes that use seasonal vegetables and fruit, whole grains and legumes, raw nuts and seeds, natural sugars and healthy fats. And these recipes won’t overcomplicate the natural flavours. Feel free to adapt my recipes and alter them to suit your taste. My hope is that you have fun as we cook through the seasons, enjoy the food shared with your family and friends, and that a plant-based diet keeps you in good health.