belinda jeffery's news and events
And so another New Year starts…How can it be! I always get to the last days of December and wonder where the past year has flown. Daily life seems busier than ever; the demands greater than ever; and time shorter, and more precious than ever. I’m not one to make resolutions but I do find myself reviewing the past months and thinking about ways to slow life down a little. Without making any promises, I’m hoping to create a bit more time in my days – time to sit quietly with a cup of tea and watch the birds in the garden; time to stand on the grass in my bare feet and experience the lovely, spongy, tickly feeling of it; time to cook something because I want to, not because I have to; time to float on my back in the river, look up at the sky and watch the terns and seagulls as they soar overhead; time to visit my neighbour instead of us just giving each other a quick wave before one or the other heads off in the car. Some of these things take only 5 minutes, others longer, but I figure if I can incorporate even a few then life will be richer and more rewarding.
When I think about the coming year, I can see that there are already some punctuation marks that will set a framework for whatever follows. The cookbook I’m currently writing is due in to my publisher by the end of May (that will certainly keep me off the streets for the first half of the year!), and I’m teaching at the absolutely wonderful Agrarian Kitchen cooking school in March (something I’m thrilled about), plus I have more classes in the pipeline. After that, there is a project I have been mulling over for quite some time which I’m hoping to get underway…but that’s for later in the year. Right now I need to stop racing ahead of myself, for it is the penultimate day of December and I’m about to start preparing the goat’s cheese and red pepper roulade that I’ve promised to make for a New Year’s Eve dinner – it’s the second one I’ve made in a week, as I also made it for Christmas Day. The recipe comes from my Country Cookbook, and I must admit I had forgotten just how good it is, and how wonderful it looks. It was so lovely to hear all the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ and quiet ‘mmms’ of pleasure when I served it for Christmas, that I thought I would make it this month’s featured recipe, especially as capsicums and basil are so beautiful at present. And please don’t be daunted when you see it; it may look as though it’s difficult to make, but it’s actually surprisingly easy to do, and perfect for these hot, steamy January days.
Just before I go, I would like to say that I hope 2015 is a kind and gentle year for you. A year where cherished dreams and ideas flourish; where good health prevails; and where there is time for love, laughter, creativity, and all that is kind and nourishing in this world.
Happy New Year!
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Upcoming events and news
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/
What I'm reading
Two very different but beautiful books have been released recently. The first one, A Fig at the Gate, (Allen & Unwin 2014) which I’m currently reading, is by the wonderful author and poet, Kate Llewellyn. I was introduced to Kate’s books when I was a young woman, and I have been a rusted-on fan ever since. Kate is in her seventies now and this memoir and perspective on her life is every bit as wonderful as her other books. There is great beauty, and at times shocking frankness, in her writing, and I find my reading is slowing down as I near the end of this lovely book which makes me laugh out loud one minute, and be close to tears the next.
Poles apart, but again wonderfully written and researched, is Dee Nolan’s Food Lover’s Pilgrimage to France (Lantern 2014). The photos by Earl Carter are stunning, and although I have only just dipped a toe in the water as far as reading it goes, Dee’s words and descriptions immediately make me feel as though I’m tramping alongside her as she experiences the beauty and heartfelt hospitality of those she meets on her pilgrimage.
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