Friday 28 August 2009

About me

UPDATE February 2010 - I have archived this page and will make any changes on my new About Me Page.

I started writing a food blog in April 2007 because I love sharing recipes, I love writing, and I found such wonderful inspiration for cooking on the web. Back then my partner, E, and I were a carefree couple (or so it seems in retrospect) enjoying the cinema, galleries, museums and eating out. We had just moved into a new home. Since then life has changed considerably so I thought it time to update my About Me page. Here is my family in order of arrival in our home:

Green Gourmet Giraffe (Johanna)

That’s me! I am not really gourmet but I do love cooking. I am neither tall nor slender as a giraffe (just in case I had misled you) but I do love to surround myself with giraffes and green things. I learnt to cook from family and friends and by trial and error. I became a vegetarian in 1991, so tofu seems more normal than chicken to me, though I had a meat and three veg childhood.

At university I studied history and literature, and on this blog I have been delighted to find it is fun to write about how these interests relate to food. In fact, I have found most things can have some relation to food – current affairs, my daily life, family history, music, television, popular culture, offbeat topics, rants, all find their way here. I love sampling new foods, revisiting old favourites, baking cakes, and trying quirky recipes.

My cookbooks no longer fit in my shelves and are taking over the house. Since I moved out of home I have been gathering bits and pieces for the kitchen and it is now full of clutter or treasures depending on how you look at it. I never had any interest in gardening before moving to this house but I now love our ever expanding assortment of pots of herbs and citrus trees in our wee garden. I also can’t resist a good list. Here is a list of my likes and dislikes (which, like all of my life, are subject to change – the dislikes may appear in recipes but rarely will feature):

Likes: chocolate, cheese, yoghurt, colourful food, cakes, nuts, stone fruit, berries, promite, soups, salads, pumpkin, bread, oats, dried apricots, broccoli, beetroot, condensed milk, pomegranate, garlic, asparagus

Dislikes: coffee, eggs, milk, cream, seitan, TVP and other faux meats, lemon desserts, rolling out pastry, deep frying, raw fennel, stewed apple, porridge, melons, very spicy food

If you want to find out more about me, you just need to read my posts (you can find them all in my blog index), especially those that I have linked to at the bottom of this page. (Photo of Green Gourmet Giraffe cake)

My husband. We met in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he had lived all his life. I lived there for a few years before we came home to Melbourne where I was born and spent most of my adult life. He is a musician first and foremost, although he has a day job. He is not a cook but shares the food I cook, although his tastes are for plainer food than me, especially when it comes to baking. But he is willing to taste almost anything, helps me brainstorm for the blog, keep the music playing on the stereo, holds the baby while I cook, and does the dishes after I have made a mess of the kitchen, so you can see that he is a wee treasure. (Photo of Vampire cake)

Our cat. We were lucky to be given her by a friend who, sadly for her, couldn’t keep her. She has such a lovely character. Our friend found her in the lost cats home aged 2. They should have put her down but couldn’t bear to because she was so loveable. I am constantly grateful for that. She has been solace in difficult times and brings us great delight. I used to say I would never have a cat and now our home would not be complete without one.

Alex and Ian
Our twin sons who were stillborn in 2007. I don’t write about them a lot but they are part of the blog just as they will always be part of my life. Always sadly missed.
(Photo of Twins first birthday cake)

Our daughter who was born in 2009. She is a beautiful baby with lots of smiles and happy squeals. It is such a joy to see her mysterious potential unfurling. You will glimpse her on the blog and as she begins to eat more solids I will be interested to see how it will affect what we eat in the house.

In addition to our little household, I grew up in a large family of three sisters and three brothers and our beloved dogs. You will encounter them at various times in the blog, both in recollections and in present gatherings. My mum makes a frequent appearance. She taught me to love food and cooking. I still love to discuss a recipe and ask advice from her. My dad loves to sample my baking, being an expert in this field. And I have a growing number of nieces and nephews who are harsh critics and willing helpers in the kitchen. I try out quite a bit of gluten free baking because my sister and niece are celiacs. (Photo of handbag cake)

Last but not least, I love sharing food – and sometime the cooking – with my friends either when eating out or in our homes. I have learnt a lot from friends about food and cooking, especially in shared households. More recently I have learnt so much from my blog friends that I wish I could invite you all over for a big blog dinner party. Given that this is not possible, I try to join in blog events where possible – our virtual dinner parties!

For more about me, these posts may be illuminating:

You are welcome to contact me with questions or comments at gggiraffe07[AT]yahoo[DOT]com[DOT]au (but bear in mind that I do not do link exchanges or product reviews).


  1. very creative. very honest. very refreshing. thank you for being you! keep it real.

  2. I love this post! Thanks for all the background info and updates. And your cake illustrations are just lovely.

  3. dear Johanna, I've just followed you from your comment on Jacqui's latest tinned tomatoes. I love all things giraffe so how could I not click on your gorgeous picture? And then I read your warm, open and courageous post and thought what a special person you must be. I too have a musician husband and cats but sadly no babies.
    Have you heard about - I think your picture deserves a wider audience :o) Nic x

  4. Thanks Nic - glad to meet another giraffe lover - the one million giraffes website is great - thanks for putting me onto it

  5. Hi Johanna

    I've learnt more about you in 10 minutes than I have being your real life friend for 10 years. Loved the vampire cake. Better explain why you thought the cat should have been put down.

    I'll bring you something green as a present next time I visit.



  6. Hi Johanna,
    I was just googleing North Berwick & came across your blogg, it was nice to read about your day out in our coastal town, Thank you for visiting & enjoying our cafe Tea At Tiffanys in North Berwick, Hope you visit us again, Many thanks. Eric & Anne

  7. thank you very much for sharing


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