A little while ago we took a much needed road trip away from the studio and found ourselves camping beneath the shade cast by the tall forests of Blue Gums in a small clearing in Barrington Tops. The impending cold weather had kept the grounds void of campers, its emptiness accentuated by a chorus of strange shrieks that echoed out from the tree line as dusk fell.
One ingredient our fridge is never without is a jar of fresh miso paste. I like to think of it as the 'Asian Cup-of-Soup' as you simply scoop out a tablespoon, add hot water and stir for an instant savoury bowl of nourishment. When we are famished though and reluctant to venture out into Sydney's winter for a store foraged dinner we make our Emergency Miso Soup. This recipe is more of an easy assemblage of ingredients we can usually find in our kitchen - all cooked simply and arranged in and around a bowl of steaming hot miso broth.
We were standing in the middle of a long metal bridge, suspended high above a sharp tree-covered valley with crystal clear waters gushing below. We could hear a roar start to descend from the mountain tops, gathering in gusts until it reached us. The bridge began to shake and it felt like the island was showing us that it still was the master of this domain - the metal structure beneath our feet feeling very temporary, as did we.
An early Japan adventure found us driving back and forth upon the craterous skyline of Aso in search of a place Studio Ghibli fans had dubbed 'The Road to Laputa.' Guided by a ménage of offline Google Maps, a Japanese Navman and a paper map we set off to discover this mythical scenery for ourselves which was said to appear straight from the Hayao Miyazaki animated film 'Castle in the Sky.'
Enjoying this campfire classic stuffed with the spicy cheesiness of our poor man's jalapeño poppers will warm you from the inside out whilst you return to the serious business of poking campfire embers as the night closes around you.
A few weekends ago, experiencing a small bout of post-travel depression after our sakura laden Japanese sojourn, we packed our bags and drove up the winding roads of the Blue Mountains bound for Mount Wilson to camp amidst its stunning Autumn fall.
Snacking during the Japanese cherry blossom season brings with it a pink menu of sakura themed offerings. Caught up by the festivity of the moment we curiously bought a jar of preserved cherry blossoms. We found these sweet and salty buds act as umami explosions through the pillowy neutral tasting rice of this onigiri recipe, making it the perfect snack for adventuring, to sustain you through an afternoon of work or to make life a little more delicious.
Our usual camping dinner is a minimal affair: good sourdough bread, cheese, cherry tomatoes, butter and a bottle of wine. These ingredients are perfect as a cold dinner spread or if a warmer meal is needed they can be combined into the simplest of toastie recipes and cooked over an open fire, camp stove or in the case of very bad weather a camp kitchen.
Deciding that eating fresh saltbush on its own was not delightfully palatable we foraged a nice bunch to take home with us - to turn this part of our outback adventure into a flavourful dukkah to sprinkle over our own studio lunch plates.
Of all the perils of making ceramics, maintaining our various need for a snack to accompany our morning tea would have to be one of the more serious.
Summer seems to temper our tastebuds for a crunchier start to the mornings with granola rotated onto our breakfast schedule. This Macadamia and Wattleseed recipe was inspired by the wattles that that colour our morning walks to the studio.
Our mint-in-box 1996 scale replica of the Sojourner Mars Rover, purchased off eBayer ‘tazfanatic’, was probably the best parcel we’ve received in the post all year. It was also the key to our adventure into Australia’s outback as it was destined to be the star in our small film to celebrate the second release of our Stargazers League collection.
Protoastination. This happens each morning as we arrive at the studio. Coffee is brewed and toast made, one piece each, as we prolong the start to a day's work.
This Lamington Granola eats sort of like a wholesome adult CocoPops, only without the goofy marketing monkey though chances are other little monkeys may like this granola too; eaten on Saturday mornings in pyjamas while watching cartoons.