belinda jeffery's news and events
1 december 2013
Oh gosh, where has the year gone! I can’t believe that Christmas really is only just around the corner again. My mum always said that as she got older the years seemed to rush by at an ever-increasing pace - and now I know exactly what she means. When I was a child, it seemed as though Christmas would never, ever come, and now it feels as though it was only a few months ago that I was preparing for last Christmas.
Still, I’ve had a lovely break away for a few weeks so I must admit at this stage I’m feeling relatively calm about it all (however I can’t guarantee you will get the same answer if you were to ask me in a few weeks’ time!). Although I must say our Christmas celebrations are fairly low-key. We usually slip out for an early morning swim in the river, which is just magic at that time of day, and then it’s back for breakfast, where we all sit around in our cossies or PJs (depending on who went swimming and who opted to stay in bed), drinking numerous cups of tea, eating toast and croissants with homemade jam, and munching on fat December cherries, their skins so taut that the juice spurts when you take a bite. We happily hang-out together for a few hours like this, and then slowly but surely the preparations for Christmas dinner start. As it’s usually very hot here, we don’t begin our meal until the sun goes down, by which time (hopefully!) the ham is just coming out of the oven in all its glazed glory; the salads are made; the chickens resting in a cloud of thyme-scented goodness, and the Christmas pudding is bubbling gently in its steamy bath. We invariably have one other dessert too, more often than not a traditional trifle; however this year at my husband’s heartfelt request we’re having his all-time favourite dessert, Torta di Verona. It’s a truly sumptuous pudding, and something I only make once every blue moon as it’s very rich; however it’s also really festive and perfect for such a special day. (If you would like to make it, it’s this month’s featured recipe). The evening usually ends with us sitting outside on the deck, gazing up into the night sky and feeling very grateful for all we have in our lives – our family, our friends, our health, our home, and to live in such a peaceful place. We’re truly blessed.
I have just a couple of things on a practical note to tell you before I sign off for the year. The first of which is that I’m delighted to say that for those of you who live overseas, most of my books can now be bought on-line from Amazon and The Book Depository, as well as Australian booksellers. Secondly, my publisher, Lantern Books has just started a terrific blog - http://www.penguin.com.au/lantern/blog - where you will find fantastic recipes from their cookbook writers. I’ve just had a peek and have decided that Simon Bryant’s beautiful watermelon and basil salad will be just the thing to serve with the ham on Christmas Day. One more dish sorted!
And on that note, I shall say goodbye. To those of you who visit my website regularly (and often write) thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support. I’m so grateful for it, as it encourages me to continue. To new visitors, I hope that you enjoy all you read and see here, and come back again. And to you all, I hope that your year ends on a peaceful and gentle note.
To listen to my radio interview with ABC Brisbane’s Mary-Lou Stephens about my latest cookbook, Desserts click here...
My favourite charity
Just A Drop - www.justadrop.org
My lovely sister-in-law, Fiona Jeffery, started this international water aid charity in 1998 when she learnt that less than $2 can deliver clean water to a child for up to 10 years. From this knowledge, and her passion and commitment, Just a Drop was born, based on the premise that if people can be encouraged to give a little then collectively we can make a huge difference. I’m so proud of all she has achieved over the years and encourage you to visit the site and see the fantastic work they do.
Favourite websites & blogs