Jan O'Connell
  • Heard the one about the Irish Strawberry? The Arbutus unedo, known to us as the Irish Strawberry Tree, is native to Mediterranean regions like Portugal and Spain, where it’s called the Madroño  tree. However, pollen from the plant dating back to 4000BC has been found in Irish bogs and a native population is also found in those chilly northern climes. The Arbutus […]
  • Appliancing ourselves We thought we could simply replace our old upright stove with a new one. Foolish dreams!
  • Christmas past – excerpt A full English-style Christmas feast on a broiling hot December day - excerpt from book Me and My Big Mouth
  • Star in the north There's a top-end way of doing things, and it's not always the easiest way. The lead-up to Christmas provides a side-show for a lone dinner in Darwin's Moorish Cafe.
  • Out, out damned sprout I never thought I’d see the day when a child of mine uttered these words. And yet it has come to pass.
  • Polenta Grassa Pausing for lunch on the ski slopes demands something warming – and who cares about carbs when you’re burning all that energy?
  • Nanny's Christmas Pudding Everyone’s mother makes the ‘best’ Christmas pudding, but my mother definitely does.
  • And then there were two We have become empty nesters. The last daughter has fledged and flown away to Melbourne...
  • Refrigerate after opening This column was published in the first edition of Regional Food magazine in winter 2005. It initiated a series of musings about the way we eat, drink and shop.
  • On the Nose Noses are big in our family. Literally. With the exception of my younger daughter, all of us can boast a prominent proboscis.
  • The Vital Ingredient There are, what, 20,000 or so items in your average supermarket? Yet, each time you shop, maybe 40 different items end up in your trolley. Who buys all that other stuff?