belinda jeffery's news and events
How is it that I always forget from year to year just how sticky and steamy January and February can be! We live in the sub-tropics, and there invariably comes a time when the garden suddenly shoots up overnight; the ants are so rampant that they could almost pick up the house and carry it away; and everything feels as though it’s covered in a film of moisture…us included! Moulds of various hues spring up everywhere (including on nearly every pair of shoes that I possess) and the air is so thick and heavy, it feels as though you could wring the water out of it.
It’s a time when I try not to do too much extra cooking or shooting, but this year I have failed abysmally on that score as I’m right in the middle of photography for a new book. Not the best timing, I know, but I keep reminding myself (as I turn on the oven for the umpteenth time), the good thing about it is that it’s a lovely opportunity to make the most of the beautiful fruits and vegetables that are in season. So with that in mind, I headed off early this morning to the farmers market (my spiritual home, I’ve decided) and had the best time. I have arrived back absolutely laden with mangoes, lychees, figs (4 different varieties…whoohoo!), the sweetest, crispest watermelon; water spinach; exquisite pink-tipped ginger; magenta-coloured dragon fruits; tiny clusters of fresh green peppercorns; black garlic; and a mountain of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in just about every shape, colour and size that you can imagine. I’ve laid it all out on the kitchen bench, and seeing it makes me wish that I could paint as it’s so vibrant and alive. And while there is a part of me busy planning what to cook with it all, there is another side just happy to gaze on such beautiful abundance…and be very thankful for it.
I suspect this month for me will probably pass in a blur of cooking and writing, but there are just a few rather special events coming up that I would love to mention. The first is an interview I shall be doing (one that I’m greatly looking forward to) with author and health guru Lee Holmes about her new book, Supercharged Food – Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian (Murdoch Books, 2015) at the Northern Rivers Writers Centre on Thursday 12th Feb (see below for more details). I’m finding Lee’s book fascinating reading as she has such a wealth of knowledge in this area, and I’m looking forward to trying her recipes, which look and sound delicious. The other event I have coming up is a bit further down the track, but I thought I should mention it now as seats sold out within a few days last year - and that is a class I shall be teaching at the Accoutrement Cooking School in Sydney in July. The class has only just gone on sale, so if you are interested in attending it might be good to book early. Contact details for Accoutrement are below.
I was just about to write, ‘And that’s it from me’, when I realised that I haven’t even mentioned this month’s recipe, and I must, for it’s a corker. It’s for lovely little, no-bake ricotta cheesecakes topped with summer fruits. They’re a perfect dessert for this time of year as they have a fresh lemony/vanilla flavour, and light texture…and, as you will see from the photograph, they look absolutely gorgeous!
To see more of what I’m up to, you can follow me on Instagram.
Upcoming events and news
On Thursday 12th of February at 5.30pm I shall be ‘in conversation’ with Lee Holmes author of Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian. Lee discovered supercharged foods after she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2006. Eager to find a drug-free solution, she became a keen food and health researcher and developed a diet regime that led to her full recovery. She is also author of the popular website www.superchargedfood.com
Where: NRWC Office, Level 1, 28 Jonson St, Byron Bay
This is a free event please reserve your place here (limited to 30 places)
I have firmed up another cooking class for this year, and it will be at the Accoutrement Cooking School in Sydney on Tuesday 14th July at 6.30pm. I would love to think that I see you there. If you would like to find out more about the class, you can do so at www.accoutrement.com.au
I’m really chuffed to be teaching at the wonderful Agrarian Kitchen cooking school in Tasmania in March 2015. At this stage, the class has sold out, but they do have a waiting list. This brilliant cooking school has a holistic paddock-to-plate philosophy that informs everything they do. Their website is fascinating and I highly recommend a visit to see what they do...I rather suspect that, like me, you will be hooked once you read it! www.theagrariankitchen.com
I was recently on Channel 7’s The Morning Show, making Asparagus and Goat’s Cheese Tarts …if you’re interested in watching the segment, follow this link… http://au.tv.yahoo.com/video/watch/25322696/springtime-asparagus-tarts/
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