A LOVE OF FOOD
I’m a local on Sydney’s North shore, and the creator of Mini Farms. Life is hectic, and most of you would understand that life is a constant balancing act between work, family, social, and sports calendars. In the precious amount of time I’m able to carve out for myself weekly, you’ll usually find me running the local trails or hitting a volleyball on Manly Beach. Whilst with my family, much of it involves our kitchen. Food is at the heart of our home – I am passionate about feeding my kids the best I can and also showing them that “fast” can be healthy.
From a young age, food played an integral part in my life. Growing up, Sundays were always reserved for lunches and dinners at my grandma’s place. I remember watching her put her heart and soul into the shopping and prepping. This involved weekly visits to the local markets in Chinatown with its bold sights, loud sounds, and busy buzz.
She would haggle with vendors for the best price while making sure to prod and smell, ensuring that we’d also get the freshest produce. The time and effort involved for this weekly get together was her love language for all thirty of us.
The kitchen was also the centre of my family’s home. I fondly remember sitting on a stool next to mum watching her cook and bake.
Every once in a while, she would let me help stir or whisk, which was something I always looked forward to. She probably didn’t realise it at the time but “soaking” all this up was so influential when I left high school to continue my studies abroad in Sydney. I was suddenly left to fend for myself and drew on everything I remembered from mum’s kitchen. Looking back, I know I had so much to be thankful for – the love that went into the dishes, the hands that made the dishes from scratch, and the truly fresh produce that she always used.
I suppose it’s no coincidence that I married into a family whose culture (like many others) is defined by food. My husband’s (Iker) family is the quintessential definition of a Basque family where having meals together around a table is something almost second nature. Back in Spain, Iker’s family prepares simple and delicious food for every meal with only the freshest of ingredients. In fact, more recently, Iker’s Dad brought his own farmland to life! The farm is only ten minutes from their home and our kids relish every opportunity to visit the farm when we visit Spain.
It’s a daily ritual to head to the farm before lunch or dinner to pick out the foods that we want in our upcoming meal. Once home, it’s not an unusual sight to see Dad slicing a freshly picked tomato and garlic (without a cutting board) directly onto a plate before drizzling it with olive oil, vinegar, and salt. These food experiences in Spain never fail to remind me that produce tastes a million times better when hand-picked and hero’ed like it should be… simply.
Australia is and has been home for myself and Iker for the past twenty years. While we love it here, it also means we are far away from our families. When we do reunite, the themes of food and love continue to be central. They say home is where the heart is; for me, home has and always will be where the food is. Whether we’re in Indonesia, Singapore, Spain or Australia, food is more than just fuel we feed our bodies with. Food represents so much more. It represents unforgettable memories, heart-filled laughter, and love. On this site, I share some blogs about my passion for creating uncomplicated and tasty food in the kitchen, and some of the recipes we’ve bonded over. So, from our family to yours, here’s to many more memories made over delicious meals!