My Food Odyssey

I have been running a blog called “My Food Odyssey” since early 2013, when my husband and I bought a camper van and embarked on a tour of Europe. The blog, which has won a number of awards for content and photography, features recipes, photographs from our travels and stories of our life in Lithuania, including our house renovations. I am no longer updating that blog, but you can find links to some of the existing content below. For the full blog, see www.myfoododyssey.com.

My Food Odyssey: Nine of my favourite traditional Lithuanian dishes, by June Molloy Vladicka | www.junemolloy.com
My Food Odyssey – The Book!
All the Lithuanian recipes originally featured on My Food Odyssey are now available in my cookbook/memoir. This beautiful 77 page book also contains stunning photos of the Lithuanian countryside. Available from just $2.99 here.

To preview the book click here.





Blog Posts

  • Amalgamation
    I have spread myself too thin. Somehow I have ended up with 5 Facebook pages, 2 Twitter accounts and 2 blogs, none of which is currently well attended. So, in an attempt to simplify my life, I am cutting back! I am now amalgamating all my writing and photography efforts under my new blog, http://www.junemolloy.com. […]
  • Red Deer Antlers: Annual Regrowth
    I spotted a small group of red deer stags in the woods and was fascinated to find that they were without their antlers! A red deer stag with a massive crown of antlers is a very impressive sight. And indeed, that is part of their function – to make the stag look more impressive to […]
  • Introducing: Guardian of Giria!
    I realise things have been pretty quiet around here lately. Here’s what I’ve been up to! If you enjoy my writing I would appreciate ENORMOUSLY if you would follow my new blog and help me get this baby off the ground! Thank you! June. It feels like I’ve been waiting such a long time to […]
  • Baking Soda – The Key to Crispy Baked Wings?
    Crispy chicken wings are one of those foods that seem to be universally loved. A hot wing, fresh from the frier or oven and ready for dipping into your favourite sauce, is a wonderful thing. The crisper the better for maximum crunch and all those little nooks and crannies to grab on to the sauce. […]
  • Crested Tits & Fairy Lights
    The weather here in Lithuania is currently not playing ball. I was promised discreet seasons – snow, spring, sun, autumn. That was the deal. That was why I left rainy ole Ireland. (Well, no, but it was certainly part of it!) Other years I got beautiful photos of frosty plants and golden sunsets in autumn […]
  • Please Help Me To Get To India!
    Around this time last year, I found out I was in with a chance to win a two-week bloggers’ trip to Kerala in India. Lots of you voted, but I narrowly miss out. (A guy with one vote more than me got to go!) This year I have entered again and would really appreciate your […]
  • 10 Christmas Gifts for Food Lovers
    I can’t believe it’s December already. The year seems to have just flown by. I squeezed a lot into the year but at the same time, there are more things I wanted to achieve. There’s still some time left, I suppose – more I can get done before the fireworks go off and the new […]
  • Round and Round
    The veg patch has been ploughed, the clocks have rolled back and the flocks of geese and cranes have ceased their noisy flyovers on their way to warmer parts. A cosy space has been prepared in a shed for our beautiful goat, Julė, to spend her nights protected from the cold and rain, and with […]
  • Stuck In The Mud
    I consider myself a tough ole bird. I’m fairly adventurous so I often get myself into a pickle. Most of the time I just remain calm, think through the situation logically and find a way out. Other times though, I get stuck. Sometimes quite literally. For the last ten days or so cranes have been […]
  • Growing Veg 2017/#3 – A Poor Year
    The sky is grey and the air is damp. The evenings are getting shorter. The storks are gone. Hay has been cut and is being brought in by the tractor-load. Around the village fires are being lit, the smoke from chimneys barely distinguishable from the grey clouds above. Almost without warning, summer is over and […]
  • Tapas Hunting – from San Sebastián to Seville
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: Tapas bars are ubiquitous in Spain. A bit like the “chipper” back in Ireland, even the smallest towns and villages seem to have at least one tapas bar. Not only that, but they tend to be good quality. While some are undoubtedly better than others, I did not encounter…
  • A taste of things to come
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: After 76 days on the road we’ve decided to take a short break from our travels. Much as we’ve been enjoying ourselves, we have a few wrinkles we need to iron out to ensure we get the most from our experience. Our main issue has been heat. While our…
  • Summer Camp Pizza!
    You never know who you’re going to end up sitting beside on a plane. You could be stuck beside some armrest-stealing leg-spreader who doesn’t understand the concept of either deodorant or earphones, or you could get a like-minded soul with whom you can chat effortlessly for the whole journey. When strike-action grounded many flights in […]
  • Ibérico Ham School – Day 2
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: We returned to La Posada the following morning for an enormous breakfast, full of Lucy’s homemade Andalucían delights, before setting off with Angel to an organic pig farm nearby. The farm is set in a huge oak forest (known as a “dehesa”) and has goats, ducks, geese and chickens…
  • Ibérico Ham School – Day 1
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: Sometimes things work out much better than you’d hoped. Having driven for miles through areas of both Portugal and Spain that are home to the famous black Iberian pig, I wondered if we would ever get a glimpse of these wonderful animals. I’ve dreamed of someday owning an Iberian…
  • Transient
    Capturing birds is not easy, especially in the late evening when they are busy feeding. They hover, they flap and flutter, they swoop and dive, they peck, they look around in rapid jerks, constantly on alert for predators or provisions. They are never still. This photo was one of many I took of goldfinches on […]
  • Porto Pantomime
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: The fish market in Porto took longer to find than anticipated, principally because it wasn’t where it was meant to be. At least, that is, according to our guide book. Pedalling around hilly Porto in the sweltering heat with empty tummies and lunchtime smells filling the air, we were…
  • Growing Veg 2017/#2 – A Slow Start
    Dear Weather, What the hell is going on? Seriously – have you lost your mind? Snow in May? Frost in June? Monsoon rains in Lithuania? You are playing HAVOC with my vegetable growing endeavours and I am not pleased. Allow me to explain … . Things started off well. I planted my pepper seeds earlier […]
  • Chalky Cellars at Taittinger
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: 22 million. That’s how many bottles of champagne Taittinger have ageing in their cellars at any one time. Unlike wine, all champagne is aged in the bottle it will eventually be sold in. Taittinger produce a variety of bottle sizes, but mostly they stock the regular 750ml bottle and…
  • Sweet cheeses – the Normandy quartet
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: Few places I’ve visited have struck me as more insignificant that the tiny village of Camembert in Normandy. Having travelled a considerable distance to visit the birthplace of the iconic cheese, I was incredibly underwhelmed. The village itself consists of a handful of houses, a church, a tacky cheese…
  • Seafood, Apples & Cheese
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: It would appear that life in Normandy revolves, gastronomically speaking, around three key ingredients – seafood, apples and cheese. Thankfully, I’m partial to all three. When we rolled off the ferry into Le Havre we headed straight for the beautiful fishing town of Honfleur, where I’d heard the seafood…
  • Les Escargots (Snails)
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: I don’t know what I expected a snail farm to look like, but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t it. As we rolled in the gates we could see a small, rustic farmhouse and what looked like a few raised vegetable beds covered with weeds. The drive to the farm…
  • Camel Valley Vineyards
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: There are few things in life as luxurious as sipping a glass of sparkling wine on a sunny terrace overlooking a beautiful vineyard and reading a good book. It is an indulgence I have been looking forward to as part of our food odyssey. But we haven’t reached the…
  • In search of the perfect fish & chips
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: My husband and I are on an ongoing quest to find the world’s best fish and chips. Our favourites include Beshoff’s in Howth, its sister on Mespil Rd. and Sharky’s in Wexford town. We’ve also eaten at the infamous Doyle’s in Sydney’s Watson’s Bay and at The Codfather in…
  • Sunny Somerset
    Originally posted on My Food Odyssey: Is 11am too early to start tasting cider? On a gloriously sunny morning in Sommerset it seems like the logical and sensible thing to do. We plan on doing the cider / Calvados route in Normandy, so I feel it would be good to do some research here, for…
  • My Food Odyssey – European Tour Revisited
    This day four years ago Arūnas and I set sail from Rosslare Harbour for Pembroke in Wales, ready to begin our odyssey around Europe in search of fine food and drink. We had set aside a few days in Cornwall en route to the mainland, but other than that we had no fixed itinerary – […]
  • Smoking
    “You can’t make everything,” Arūnas tells me when I call him in tears, upset that I’ve damaged the surface of one of my non-stick pans trying to make soap. “But I WANT to!” I cry. “I want real soap and it’s too expensive to buy. Why is it so hard to make?” I know that […]
  • Growing Veg 2017/#1 – Getting Started
    It all starts with seeds. Sometimes tiny, sometimes large. Put them in some fresh earth. Water them, keep them warm, then watch the magic happen. Sounds lovely and romantic, doesn’t it? And to me it is. But it is also really, really hard work. It starts gently in January when you pick your seeds, planting […]
  • NEW! Lithuanian Cookbook Now Available!
    I am delighted to announce that my Lithuanian recipes are now available in a handy cookbook. The recipes are explained in detail, with step-by-step photos provided where needed. Each recipe has been thoroughly tested and I have suggested alternatives for some hard-to-find ingredients. If you are new to Lithuanian cooking it is an ideal introduction. […]
  • Solitude
    Sometimes you just need to get away on your own, to stare far into the distance, listening to the lapping of water and the chatter of seagulls. I grew up within sight of the sea and I am still drawn to the beach when I need some time alone. A while back I drove to […]
  • Winter Magic
    Winter can be dull and gloomy, especially after the festive lights of Christmas have come down. Days are short and cold. Snow falls, making simple jobs like walking the dog or getting to the shops more difficult. But then the sun comes out. And magic happens… ***   Just feel the magic in the air […]
  • Ambience
    Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. (by Robert Frost) Like […]
  • Names
    For our honeymoon we went to South Africa. We drove from Cape Town through the beautiful winelands Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to Oudtshoorn, where I sampled ostrich and crocodile for the first time. (Both were delicious!) While in Cape Town we drove south to the Cape of Good Hope. A small funicular brought us to the […]
  • 5 Reasons To Visit Kerala, India
    India has been on my bucket list for many years, primarily as a food destination. I watched Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay travel around India in search of authentic Indian dishes. I was enchanted by the diversity of both the food and the landscape. I felt I would never get true Indian food anywhere except […]
  • Homemade Cinnamon Whiskey + Cocktails [Recipe]
    Whiskey is the panacea. There is little it can’t cure, especially in winter. If I have a cold (as I do at the moment) I would far sooner have a hot whiskey than expensive cold and flu medications. The vapours clear my nose, the honey soothes my cough, the spices warm my bones and the […]
  • Shining Brightly
    Lithuanian graveyards are bustling at this time of year, not with the dead (as some movies might suggest), but with the living. In every town, in every village, people gather in graveyards to tidy graves in preparation for All Souls’ Day (Vėlinės). Leaves are cleared from graves and their surrounds and flowers are planted or […]
  • Beauty In My Backyard
    I’ve been sitting here quietly for so long even I’ve forgotten I’m here. I had dressed snugly for the cold October weather and warmth of the sun on my dark down coat is having a soporific effect. I’m awake but not fully aware as I gaze out from the high hide on the scene around […]
  • Nostalgia
    It’s curious how seemingly ordinary and even mundane moments can bring on a flash of nostalgia. Twice a day I walk the dog around our beautiful village. I never find it boring – there are always new things to see, whether it’s the coming and going of storks, the gradual change of the seasons, the […]
  • Growing Veg 2016/#7: Winding Down
    The first signs of autumn – the browning of the leaves and a slight chill in the air – used to herald the end of fun and relaxation and a return to the grindstone of school or college. Mind and body were refreshed from summer adventures and pockets were heavier from summer jobs. It was […]
  • Wasting Time
    I can’t believe it took until my early 40s to realise that we sleep for about one third of our lives. When this first dawned on me I was horrified – what a waste of time! I’ve been asleep for over 13 years – think of all I could have done with that time! But […]
  • Half-Sour Pickles | Rauginti Agurkai [Recipe]
    There are a few condiments that I always have in my refrigerator. The first is mayonnaise – I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t need it for something, especially in summer. The other is half-sour pickles. Those tangy, crunchy pickles are so versatile, from adorning a burger to adding zing to tartar […]
  • Growing Veg 2016/#6: Harvesting Begins
    It never rains but it pours. It’s a phrase that has both literal and proverbial meanings, both of which apply to my life at the moment. After a total drought in May and just 10 days rain at start of June, the countryside was beginning to look a little parched and my vegetable beds were […]
  • Pure Beauty
    My first courgette (zucchini) flower of the season. Pure beauty. Like what you see? Then please subscribe to My Food Odyssey. For updates on my daily life you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Growing Veg 2016/#5: Outside Planting & Greenhouse Update
    Boy, have I been busy. Since May 1st I have been in the garden every day prepping, planting, watering, weeding and protecting this year’s selection of vegetables. I have developed shapely upper arms from carrying countless 10 litre (10 kg) buckets of water from the house to my vegetable patch. I have acquired in-depth knowledge […]
  • Lovely Old Face
    He’s getting older by the day. We can see it in his face. His eyes look tired and a little melancholic. Except, that is, when it’s time for a walk or when he’s presented with a juicy bone. His freckles and grey hairs have become more prominent, giving him the look of a wise old […]
  • Wildflowers
    Winter changed to spring overnight, like someone flipped a switch. One day it was dark and grey with a distinct chill during the day and ground frost at night. The next day the sky was clear blue and temperatures hit 22˚ C (72˚ F). It was time, finally, to get out into the garden and […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Nacarat
    This is not strictly speaking a food word – it could be used to describe anything. However, it satisfies two of my criteria – it’s a lovely-sounding word and it’s evocative. So I will leave you for the weekend with the image of a burning orange sunset being enjoyed with a delicious cocktail in hand. […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Edacious
    I’m seriously behind schedule today. I was out buying the remainder of my seeds, and then of course I had to plant some. And water the ones that were already planted, which involves hiking about ten 10kg buckets of water from the house to the field. After all that work, I had an edacious appetite. […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Agraffe
    Getting a bit technical today, but haven’t you always wondered what that thing was called?! This post is part of my Food Word of the Day series. See more words here. Like what you see? Then please subscribe to My Food Odyssey. For updates on my daily life you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Muktuk
    Some days I pick the words as much for how they sound as what they mean. Today is one of those days. I love the sound of the word muktuk, especially when I say it with my Dublin accent. (It becomes muhk-tuhk rather than mahk-tahk.) I’m an adventurous eater and I love to travel, so […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Pettitoes
    Somehow the word pettitoes feels more genial and appealing than the much-maligned alternative, trotter. This post is part of my Food Word of the Day series. See more words here. Like what you see? Then please subscribe to My Food Odyssey. For updates on my daily life you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Ambrosial
    When I first came upon today’s word I was surprised by its meaning. To me, Ambrosia is rice pudding in a tin that I never really enjoyed. I definitely wouldn’t describe the taste of it as ambrosial! This post is part of my Food Word of the Day series. See more words here. Like what […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Snug
    This one will be familiar to those from Ireland or who have visited Ireland. I do miss Irish pub culture – the craic, the banter, the music, the glorious Guinness and the cosy snug where you can curl up undisturbed with a good book. This post is part of my Food Word of the Day […]
  • Growing Veg 2016/#4: Planting Greenhouse & Veg Prep
    Spring has finally arrived here in Lithuania. At least, it’s spring today. The weather has been very temperamental so who knows what it will be like tomorrow, but for the past few days it has been warm and sunny and there has been a corresponding explosion in growth. All of a sudden fruit trees have […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Sapid
    The antithesis (!) of and antidote to yesterday’s slumgullion. This post is part of my Food Word of the Day series. See more words here. Like what you see? Then please subscribe to My Food Odyssey. For updates on my daily life you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Food Word of the Day: Slumgullion
    I stumbled upon this word and love both how it sounds and what it means. I can’t wait to find an excuse to use it. This post is part of my Food Word of the Day series. See more words here. Like what you see? Then please subscribe to My Food Odyssey. For updates on […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Quahog
    I’ve never eaten one of these, but I love cockles, mussels and all other bivalves that I’ve tried. I believe these are now being farmed in Europe – I must keep an eye out for them. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the sound of the word. This post is part of my Food Word […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Jeroboam
    I’d imagine these are quite tricky to handle – a box with a tap on the side sounds easier to use. That said, I know quite a few people who would like their wine to come in one of these! This post is part of my Food Word of the Day series. See more words […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Turophile
    As a true turophile, cheese is one of the foods I miss most living here in Lithuania. It’s not that Lithuania doesn’t have cheese, but more that Lithuanian tastes lean towards curd cheese (farmers’ cheese) or very mild cheeses whereas I like strong, smelly cheeses. I recently received two gifts of cheese from overseas – one […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Riddle
    We got to witness this process on our tour of the cellars at Taittinger while on our tour of Europe. You can see a video of the process showing the speed of the riddlers here. This post is part of my Food Word of the Day series. See more words here. Like what you see? […]
  • Food Word of the Day: Pinguid
    I am a closet logophile. I consider myself well-read but I am regularly surprised and delighted to come across new words, particularly when they are related to food and eating. Sometimes, though, despite there being over a quarter of a million words to choose from, I like to make up my own. Composite words like […]
  • Abstract
    Forests fascinate me. In the fairy tales of my childhood, wonderful and exciting things always happened in the woods. That’s where the witch had her hut, hidden amongst the dense trees. That’s where the animals came alive at night. That’s where the trees could talk and, if pushed to it by some evil force, even […]
  • Homemade Hummus [Recipe]
    Growing up in Ireland in the 70s and 80s fancy food generally meant a salmon en croûte, a Baked Alaska or a prawn cocktail on half an avocado topped with Marie Rose sauce. Findus Crispy Pancakes were the height of cool. Then pizzas arrived – hideous things that could be heated under the grill. We […]
  • Growing Veg 2016/#3 – Seedlings & Herbs Update, Outside Prep Begins
    I was born for this life. I can’t explain the joy it gives me, watching seeds grow into plants, then watching them flowering and fruiting. I have spent many happy hours watering and transplanting and already I am getting dividends. My herbs are on fire – I can barely keep up with them. My tomatoes […]
  • Salt, Pepper & Rosemary Cheese Crackers [Recipe]
    My conservatory is a sea of green. My tomato, cucumber, pepper & chilli seedlings have now been transplanted and fill one set of shelves. My windowsill is covered with red vases containing an assortment of fresh herbs – rosemary, melissa (lemon balm), basil, coriander, tarragon and mint. The smell of the herbs is intoxicating, particularly […]
  • Leaving Kansas
    A clear blue sky can be a thing of beauty. It brings warmth, clear air and a bright, happy mood. But sometimes a dark and sinister sky can be far more interesting. I find myself weaving tales as I look at these photos – will Thor suddenly appear with his mighty hammer, will a truck […]
  • Homemade Coconut Body & Lip Butters
    There is a certain pleasure to be had from walking into an expensive department store and perusing the extensive range of beauty products available. Helpful and “qualified” staff will assess your skin’s needs and talk you through the benefits of their range. (“Qualified” in this instance generally means they’ve been trained on their company’s product […]
  • Life in the Woods
    Walden is perhaps the most influential book I’ve never read. Thoreau’s tale of life in the woods was introduced to me while I was still in my teens via the film Dead Poets Society. Even then it struck a chord. “I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately… to live deep and […]
  • The Rosemary Experiment
    Since I began my journey towards self-sufficiency I have become more and more aware of waste, whether it’s water, energy or food. I hate seeing even small amounts of leftover food going to waste, even if I don’t have an immediate use for it. I will put it into an appropriate container in the fridge […]
  • Evening Waltz
    A low evening sun over fields of golden grasses. Lithe ladies sway and bend, bathed in long shadows and rich autumn colours. The sky is clear, the air silent, but somehow I hear music. A waltz, I think. Slow and smooth, it is the perfect soundtrack for these dancing girls. I walk through the fields, […]
  • Thai Chicken Curry [Recipe]
    I love Thai food. It is a feast for the senses – fragrant and aromatic with a heady mix of spices, a touch of heat and a balance of flavour across sweet, sour, salty and savoury (umami) . It is vibrant and colourful, with fresh vegetables and herbs just as important as the meat or […]
  • Harmony
    It’s almost three years since we set off on our tour of Europe and I still love looking back through the photos. This was taken in Rioja, one of the most scenic places we passed through. This was one of the many occasions when we appreciated the fact that our camper van was dark green. […]
  • Growing Veg 2016/#2 – Seedlings & Herbs
    This year I have vowed to provide more regular updates on my vegetable growing endeavours. Last year I had some great successes and took millions of photos, but was so busy actually doing it I hardly got round to writing about it. To take the pressure off, this year I will write shorter posts more […]
  • Murder at the Pool Party
    Morgan sighed. This was not the bachelor party he’d had in mind. Or stag party, as some people call them. Why on earth would a crow want to go to a stag party? He had envisioned a more subdued gathering, perhaps a nice meal with a few close friends followed by a few pints at […]
  • Lithuanian Kugelis | Potato Pudding [Recipe]
    Asta walked into the kitchen and sniffed the air, taking in the familiar scent. “Ooh, are you making kugelis?!” she asked excitedly. “I am – I’m testing recipes. How do you make yours?”, I replied. Asta wrinkled her forehead in confusion. “What do you mean, how do I make mine? There’s only one way to […]
  • Seasons
    Winter has been brief in Lithuania this year. We had unseasonably balmy temperatures in December and didn’t get any real snow until after Christmas. We had two or three weeks of what I consider a typical Lithuanian winter, with snowy fields, clear skies and a low sun that highlights the stunning scenery. Fearing it would […]
  • Growing Veg 2016/#1 – Getting Started
    The snow has cleared, the days are getting longer and my desire to get back out into the garden is growing stronger by the day. We had some great successes last year and had extended periods where we ate mostly our own vegetables. We also managed to store a large amount of fruit and vegetables […]
  • The Taste of Time
    How long does it take to create the perfect snifter of brandy? Based on these photos from my visit to Hennessy House in Cognac (France), the perfect blend can contain brandies that are over 200 years old. Like a child finding their name on a mug, I was delighted to find a barrel with my […]
  • Creamy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup [Recipe]
    I quite enjoy being alone. I don’t think I’m a loner – I love good company. But I am also perfectly content to be on my own. I love to get lost in thoughts and dreams – places I might visit someday, famous people I’d like to meet, foods I’d like to try, books I […]
  • Vibrant
    They say the camera doesn’t lie. I disagree. Sometimes I capture a scorching sunset only to find later that the photos don’t show the vibrancy and range of colour that my eyes saw. So I’ll admit it – I have boosted the colour in these photos, if only to better reflect my wine-tinted memory of […]
  • A Difficult Week
    It’s been a difficult week. A number of things went wrong in quick succession that have left me a little out-of-sorts. Firstly, my favourite jeans died. You know, that perfect pair you’ve had for years, that fit perfectly and that, between the patches and the fading, are like a diary of your life. If those […]
  • Weight(less)
    I could watch snow falling for hours. It’s so quiet and soothing, like looking at a lava lamp. Weightless flakes float down and settle on trees, windowsills and rooftops. If the sun later makes an appearance, the whole vista sparkles like diamonds. It’s beautiful and hypnotic. Until, that is, you notice that a large volume […]
  • The Circle Game
    Lithuania is truly beautiful at this time of year. The ground is covered with a fine layer of snow, the skies are clear and the sunsets are magnificent. We can watch the sun setting from the warmth of our conservatory. It happens to coincide with our afternoon coffee and we are both drawn to the […]
  • What Should I Eat?
    Christmas is over and the New Year is upon us, bringing with it the annual profusion of “healthy” recipes. Clever marketeers prey on your lingering sense of guilt from any holiday over-indulgences with recipes or food products boasting to be gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, low carb, low GI, vegetarian, vegan or paleo-friendly. I have nothing against […]
  • The Christmas Cake [Recipe]
    “Don’t slam the door!” my mother would yell as I walked into the kitchen. The Christmas cake was in the oven and in the early eighties, when oven seals weren’t quite what they should be, slamming the door could create enough draft to cause the cake to sink in the middle. Or so the theory […]
  • Merry Christmas
    To all of you who have read, liked, commented, shared, pinned, etc. over the past year – thank you so much for your time and your company. Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and wonderful things for 2016. June.
  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside
    One of the things I most looked forward to about moving to Lithuania was a white Christmas. The Lithuanian countryside is stunning when it is covered in snow – vast open fields surrounded by forests and dotted with deer. It doesn’t get more picture-perfect. This year, though, the weather has decided not to play ball. […]
  • The Superser
    Grandad tore a strip off yesterday’s newspaper and leaned down to light it off the gas flame. He lifted the burning paper to his lips and lit his cigarette before throwing it into the empty fireplace. It was Saturday, so the fire was not lit. My grandparents always went out for a drink on Saturday […]
  • Lithuanian Sauerkraut | Rauginti Kopūstai [Recipe]
    In our house certain things happen so often that they have been given their own name. One of our most frequent occurrences is “where-is-age”, a phenomenon whereby Arūnas can’t find something he needs, despite the fact that the item is exactly where it’s supposed to be. “Where’s my wallet?” “It’s in the drawer, darling.” (Where […]
  • Lithuanian Cabbage Rolls | Balandėliai [Recipe]
    Preparing traditional dishes is never straightforward as everyone has their own view on how they should be prepared. There is nothing more soul-destroying than spending several hours cooking a meal only to get a look from your husband that says “these are not as good as my mother’s”. I have received that look many times […]
  • Trio
    I stumbled on these photos as I was going through my archives. For some reason they amuse me – I can think of twenty good captions for each of them. I’ve included a couple below. If you have a good one please share – what are those three boys thinking or saying? If you like […]
  • Deers & Goats & Backs & Things
    I was sixteen when it first happened. I had been on a weekend school trip to an outdoor pursuits centre and come home with a stiffness in my back. I wasn’t sure what had done it – 4 hours downstream in a canoe, rock climbing a jagged cliff, lifting the heavy sail of a windsurf […]
  • My Food Odyssey Calendar 2016
    As the evenings grow ever shorter and the year draws to a close, I have been looking back on the last year and, indeed, over the last three years since this blog began. Both the blog and I have come a long way. Initially it was a food and travel blog, covering our journey through […]
  • Ornate
    I don’t really go in for ornaments, preferring instead to decorate my home with plants, flowers and natural products. My summer bowl contains the dried petals from the roses I got for my 40th birthday last year. This is my autumn bowl – chestnuts I collected from the schoolyard near my home. Aren’t they gorgeous? […]
  • Relaxing in the Australian Outback
    It feels like the weather for the past few months has been on a timer, changing abruptly from month to month. It rained for the whole of July, then not once in August. September saw rain again, but mixed with warm, sunny days – perfect for sprouting mushrooms. October was crisp and clear with a […]
  • Halloween / Hunter’s Moon
    I can’t tell you how much I love living in the country. We have the best of both worlds. We live in a tiny village surrounded by open fields and forests as far as the eye can see, so we have the comradery of community but the peace and solitude of the hinterland. Recently I […]
  • Colcannon [Recipe]
    This time last year I was pining for a little taste of home. Halloween was coming and I was looking forward to a steaming bowl of colcannon, just like my mammy used to make. Unfortunately, I could not find any kale or green cabbage, a key ingredient of the dish, here in Lithuania. I tried […]
  • (Extra)ordinary
    When does the ordinary become extraordinary? When you see it up-close and personal for the very first time. I spent a lot of time in my garden over the summer and, apart from the hard work, I got to see some amazing sights. I began to see mundane things like dandelions and insects in a […]
  • These Boots Are Made For Walking
    I’m pretty easily pleased, really. My needs are simple – good food, love, laughter and an occasional open road. Give me a pair of walking boots, a walking companion and some decent terrain and I’m in my element. These photos were taken in Australia’s stunning Blue Mountains. The vast mountain range provides walks for all […]