mess [noun] from Old French, mes, meaning ‘a portion of food’:
1) an untidy or disordered condition; 2) a place where a group of people eat together
Thanks for visiting. As the name suggests, this blog is a ‘food diary’ of sorts. It’s a collection of culinary narratives, scribbles and splashes, nutritional factoids and tons of healthy deliciousness. With a touch of rich sentimental prose (I’m 74% right brained, after all).
Some things for you to know:
me: I’m Laura, English by birth and Australian by residency. I live in a tiny shoebox apartment with my best friend (my husband Aaron), our dog Loki, several plastic dinosaurs, lots of pencils and a collection of glass Ball jars. I’m a Christ-follower. I have freckles, reddish-brown hair and chopstick arms. I like to exercise, in part so I can eat more fried potatoes and guacamole. I begrudgingly work full-time and squeeze in as much cooking as possible for pleasure, nourishment and relaxation.
beginnings: According to my beautiful mum Kim, my first dish was a batch of ‘biscuits’ (the English kind; if you’re an American just think ‘cookies’) baked with supervision at the age of three. I was excitedly given free reign in the kitchen which, after an hour or so, led to a delicious concoction of baked flour and water. Me: “…they don’t taste very nice, do they?” Mum: “Well darling, biscuits usually need some butter and sugar”. Thankfully, I’ve improved since then (evidence here).
recipes: I’m not a lover of categorization, but if pressed I’d say that I’m a vegetable and wholefood enthusiast (I previously termed this ‘mostly plant based’ but this has been misinterpreted by those who haven’t read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food) who eats everything. I adore roasted vegetables, raw food, cultured butter, whole grains, tahini and bitter coffee. I’ll happily eat a slice of pizza or cake on Friday night. I’ve gone through phases since I started this blog, so you’ll see a happy tumble of everything in the archives (mostly my own recipes, however if I’ve been inspired by other sources I will credit accordingly). We now aim for about 80-85% plant based wholefoods in our household, free of refined sugar and trans fats in particular. Though I adore plant based milks, creamy avocado and cashew cheese, I wholeheartedly support the inclusion of goats cheese, butter, smoked bacon or a free range egg from a sustainable producer at times (Aaron votes for salmon and the occasional rare steak). Oh, and I like beer.
measurements: I’m a terribly negligent measurer. As you may have assumed, all documented measurements on this site are an attempt to refine my abstractions and ideas into a recipe format. You may need to make small adjustments to suit your taste buds and cooking equipment. All measurements are in metric, though I will try and include imperial conversions when I remember.
oven/stove top: I use a gas hob and an old gas oven with a rear vent and no light or fan. I usually have to extend the cooking time of all recipes by one-third, and increase oven temperatures by around 20 degrees C (36 degrees f). I’ve recently received a suggestion to buy an oven thermometer, but I haven’t progressed that far. As I assume that the majority of the population don’t have the same oven as me, all of the specified oven temperatures and cooking times have been adjusted on this site to suit a fan-forced electric oven. If you don’t have one, please adjust to suit your oven specifications.
photography: The majority (99%) of the photos that you’ll see here have been taken by me, most recently with a Canon EOS 70D (DSLR)/ 50mm lens. Aaron also took a few during the blog’s early days, however he’s now left me to my own devices.
the other half: My husband (Aaron) works in design, illustration and 3D animation. He has his own website, Amarok Digital, so click over to say hello. Some of his artwork is also available for sale here including quality art prints, iPhone/iPad covers, textiles, hoodies and t-shirts, pillows and bags. He builds walls and plays pc games in his spare time.
If you have any other queries, comments suggestions or criticisms, email me at laurasmessblog (at) gmail.com (sorry, written that way to avoid spambots!) or head over to my facebook page or Instagram. I’ll respond as soon as I can.
Thanks for devoting a few minutes to this work-in-progress. I do hope that you’ll find your visit worthwhile.