We have always loved Carter's approach to nourishing, unpretentious food, and the cookbooks she wrote with her twin sister Harry are a staple in kitchens across the world. Her approach to food is simple, vibrant and delicious – influenced by her time spent in Greece, a place she longs to get back to one day. Carter’s home is equally as vibrant, filled with beautiful objects and furniture collected over the years.
Carter talks on her motherhood journey so far and how food has always been somewhat of a constant through the highs and lows of being a mum. She shares with us all the sweet things - a beautiful, hazy morning in bed with her young family as well as a Brown Sugar and Raspberry cake recipe so that we can treat our mums to breakfast (or shall we say cake?) in bed this Mothers Day.
Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Carter and I'm 32 years old and I am living in a shed with my family near Byron Bay in Australia. I am a full time mother but I also enjoy cooking and writing recipes.
Who is in your family?
My partner Jack and my 3 kids, Patience (4), Dorothy (3), Digby (2 months) and a dog named Milo...
Can you tell us a bit about your motherhood journey so far?
Jack and I met about 6 years ago when we were both traveling, we fell pregnant very quickly (by accident) and now fast forward a few years and we have 3!
Describe motherhood in 3 words.
Mind blowing, relentless, fun.
What surprised you about becoming a mother for the first time?
That no one told me that I would have to put my baby to sleep and they don’t just fall asleep on their own.
Best thing about being a mum?
Hardest thing about being a mum?
Giving birth! And after having my third kid my body has changed a lot this time. I have stretch marks on my tummy that I didn't get with the girls. I am proud of my body for being able to birth 3 very large babies with no intervention but it’s hard coming to terms with, that my body has changed forever, even though I find scars attractive on other people.
Best /worst advice you have received?
The worst, babies should learn to sleep through the night by themselves. The best, to fill your freezer with meals pre birth.
How has motherhood shaped who you are today?
It is who I am today, it’s more than a full time job and it’s something I think isn’t recognised enough. The juggle is so hard. I have huge appreciation for my mum now.
How do you attain balance?
I don’t think I attained balance since becoming a mum, but I think it will come when all the kids are at school, or maybe when Digby is a bit older and I can do more of the things I enjoy doing alone.
Greatest mum hack?
Wear your baby to get things done!
What does ‘me time’ look like?
A 5 minute shower on my own.
What do you need to remind yourself of more?
That life is short and I’m lucky to have my health and my healthy family.
Who/what inspires you?
My twin sister Harry and travel.
What are you currently reading, watching, listening to?
I’m not reading at the moment but I am watching Maestro in Blue and I want to move to Greece. I am listening to Babe Rainbow’s new album that hasn’t been released yet!
Breakfast, lunch or dinner?
I’m grateful for…
my 3 healthy kids.
How did you get into cooking? What do you love about it?
I became interested in cooking when I moved to Sydney from NZ when I was 19 and got a job at a good bakery. I then traveled to Greece to be a nanny and I realised that simple food can taste really good! My mum and Dad hate cooking, so maybe that’s why I like it. It has changed for me now that I am a mum of 3 kids, and I like it because I enjoy using my hands. It is something I can do from home and when looking after babies especially (you are at home a lot) and it takes my mind off all the other things that come with being a mum.
What is your go-to recipe?
The ones in my cookbook, they're simple and don’t require lots of ingredients but more often than not it's pasta.
Tips and tricks for cooking as a busy mum?
Wear your baby so you can cook something or put them in a bouncer so they can watch you. I actually don’t enjoy cooking all the time when the kids are around, it’s something I like to do alone and when I have space to create. Getting dinner on the table every night because we need to eat is not enjoyable for me unless I have been able to prepare it during the day when the older kids are at daycare.
Last thing you do before you go to sleep?
First thing you do when you wake up?
Do you have any bedtime rituals?
I always have a shower before bed because I like to get into bed clean.
Favourite things in your bedroom?
What can’t you sleep without?
How will you be spending Mother’s Day?
Breastfeeding, cooking, cleaning up. I don’t even know when Mother’s Day is!..I just checked and my partner is going away for two weeks for work and won't be here ha, so I’ll be with the 3 kids and Mum is coming over from NZ to help out. Maybe we will make my mum pancakes for breakfast.
Recipe // Brown Sugar and Raspberry cake