It’s a beautiful September afternoon, a light rain is falling outside and the branches are covered in bright green new leaves… It always makes my heart skip a beat when the seasons start to change, there just seems to be this excitement and expectation in the air as nature holds her breath for summer to arrive.
Way back in 2000, I, Michael, tried to catch a ferry from Kolkata to Port Blair on the Andaman Islands. The promised crystal clear waters, snorkeling, beautiful beaches and cheap huts on the “un-touristy” island chain just seemed too alluring after having trekked in Nepal for two weeks. Unfortunately a delayed flight and a missed ferry meant that the plans had to be curtailed, with the thought in mind that I’d have to come back. Little did I know it would happen 8 years later with my incredibly beautiful wife! The last 30 days on these islands have been truly special. We have lounged through hot days in the shady spots of beautiful beaches fringed with tropical jungle, ate delicious and cheap local cuisine, met some crazy and beautiful people, seen incredible fish and coral, cycled around marveling at local island life and become quite a few shades darker… If anyone is looking for a honeymoon spot or a place to get away completely for weeks, this must surely be it..
I recently assisted a dear friend of mine on an urban engagement shoot she did with this gorgeous, oh-so-cool, hipster couple who are just radiating love and joy. Michelle is a real up-and-coming wedding photographer to keep your eye on, you van view her site here – where she blogs about life and her passions, apart from photography, that is.
Red wine poached pears are such a classic. I’ve seen them paired with rare roast beef and this is my variation of that salad that I recently saw while flipping through an old Gourmet magazine… On sunny Winter days like today, I sometimes get a salad craving, but still want something hearty and filling for lunch. This is a seared pork fillet and red wine poached pear salad for an occasion just like that. There’s something so lovely about the texture of a soft poached pear in a salad. I love to use fruit in my cooking, I need no excuse to combine most things with it. Red wine poached pears somehow bridge that gap between savoury and sweet and can become the most delicious dessert or be tossed in a salad on a Winters day.
There are few things as delicious as an omelet made with farm fresh eggs… This is the secret to my mother’s incredible breakfasts that keep her guest coming back to her guest house, year after year. There’s something almost surprising about that deep rich yellow, almost orange, yoke that makes you realise that the shop bought eggs are far from the authentic thing…
Since the start of the guest house, my parents have kept chickens to supply the guest house with fresh eggs. It started as a novelty, but as people have become more aware of where their food is sourced, it’s really a conversation point and the children who visit, love to join my father when he collects the eggs. The hens are spoilt with a diet of kale leaves, chicken feed and spinach greens and I think this must be the secret to the beautiful colour and taste of their eggs.