belinda jeffery's news and events
I can’t believe that we’re at the start of autumn already... how did that happen! Although I must say that it certainly doesn’t feel like autumn here today. It’s been about 32C with a warm breeze which gives no inkling that cooler weather is on its way. However, I must say the last few evenings have been surprisingly mild, and such a relief after a run of humid weather that has had us tossing and turning through hot, sticky nights.
However, it’s at my local farmers market that I have noticed a big change. The stacks of peaches and nectarines have all but disappeared to be replaced with dusky bunches of muscatel grapes (a variety which in recent years has sadly fallen out of favour because of its seeds, however there is nothing quite like the grapes intensely sweet, musky flavour). Fuzzy golden quinces sit cheek-by-jowl with mottled green and orange persimmons which, after days of patiently waiting for them to ripen, reward us with their hard, astringent flesh mellowing into a glorious translucent jelly. The first feathery bunches of coriander have also appeared, along with exquisite hands of creamy, pink-tipped ginger. And it’s these latter two that feature in this month’s recipe for utterly more-ish little Thai prawn cakes. However, before I get onto that, there is rather a lot to catch up on.
Firstly, if you’re in the Byron shire on Thursday 6th March, please come along to a special fundraising lunch for International Women’s Day at the Byron @ Bryon resort. I’m really chuffed to be part of a panel of local women speakers with theme of the day being Inspiring Change. The speakers include Samantha Gowing, leading spa chef and founder of Food Health Wealth, popular romance writer Jennifer St George, motivational speaker Trish Springsteen and moderator Candida Baker, journalist and former editor of The Weekend Australian Magazine. The lunch costs $55 per person, and all proceeds go to the NSW Cancer Council. Bookings can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0401 592 114.
I’m also busy preparing recipes and notes for my two events at the Food of Orange District Week (F.O.O.D) in April (for more information see below). I’m afraid my Cancer crab side comes out prior to occasions like this, and I get horribly nervous at the thought of them, but fortunately (at least to date, anyhow!) once they’re underway I thoroughly enjoy them. I must admit that having just received a list of the local produce I shall have to work with, I’m feeling really excited about it. Figs, apples, raspberries and strawberries will be in season, as well as hazelnuts, quark, fetta, haloumi and local pork. Now I have to create a menu from them all! In fact, it’s the sort of challenge I love, as for me it’s just like shopping at the farmers market for whatever is freshest and best, and then working backwards to create dishes from my purchases.
Other than that, it’s full steam ahead with my new book…or at least I hope so! I thought if I actually wrote those words here it would help me stick to my resolve to get off to a flying start with it. And on that note, this is probably a very timely place for me to say goodbye and do just what I say and get back to it!
P.S. Don’t forget it’s Meat Free Week from the 24th – 30th of March. To find out more information, plus lots of tips and recipes for meat-free cooking, go to www.meatfreeweek.org
Upcoming events and classes
In April I shall be at the Food of Orange District (F.O.O.D) Week. As part of this wonderful week, which showcases the local produce and fine food of the region, I shall be talking about food, cooking, writing recipes, cookbooks and more with one of my all-time favourite food writers, Barbara Sweeney; and giving a combined cooking class and lunch at the lovely Old Convent at Borenore (near Orange). For more information, follow this link to the Food and Words website
Later in the year, in October (20th and 21st) I shall be giving cooking classes at the Accoutrement Cooking School in Sydney to celebrate the publication of my new book, Belinda Jeffery’s Utterly Delicious, Simple Food. If you would like to find out more about the classes, go to Accoutrement
I shall also be holding a class featuring recipes from my new book at lovely Pepper Tree Kitchen in Lismore on Wednesday 8th October. For more information contact Helen Nott on (02) 6622 0180.
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