belinda jeffery's news and events
1 november 2013
I’ve just had to down tools from writing this to go tearing around the house shutting all the doors and windows, as the first of the spring thunderstorms has arrived with a vengeance. Still, I’m not complaining, along with wild wind gusts and great cracks of thunder, it has started to rain; and rain is just what we need at present. It’s been a really dry few months, and although there has been the odd light shower, it’s been worryingly hot and windy, so this is an absolute blessing. And I’m obviously not the only one to think so, for as I look out my window, many of the birds that visit our garden are bravely clinging onto branches and flapping their wings to have a good wash!
What a contrast to my time in Sydney a few weeks ago. I haven’t stayed in the inner city for yonks, and was a bit overwhelmed by the noise and number of people, and realised that I’ve definitely become such a country girl! However, it was exciting too, especially as we arrived while the Night Noodle Market was in full swing in Hyde Park. It really was like an Asian hawkers’ market - lanterns glowed; mouth-watering aromas filled the air; and people buzzed about slurping noodles and soups; munching on duck pancakes; talking and laughing - it was fantastic! The next day was even better, for as I mentioned last month, I was taking part in the annual Food & Words Food Writers Festival www.foodandwords.com.au . It was a really vibrant event, and I felt so privileged to be there listening to such a diverse and knowledgeable group of speakers.
I’m a bit of a compost queen, however Dr Robert Edis’s talk on soil-plant relationships opened up a whole new world of possibilities - he’s the sort of funny, clever teacher you wish you’d had at school, as he could make any topic riveting. Before him came agricultural scientist, Bruce Auld, talking about Australia’s edible roadside weeds, and it was no surprise that his book on the topic, A Traveller’s Flora, sold out straight after he spoke. And then there were Paul Allam and David McGuiness from Bourke Street Bakery, speaking about their social enterprise undertaking, The Bread and Butter Project – please do have a look at the website - www.thebreadandbutterproject.com - it’s an inspiring initiative. I also met Yu-ching Lee, who goes under the name Lemonpi on her terrific baking blog - blog.lemonpi.net. What a talented young woman she is! I feel so happy when I listen to people like her speak, as I can see the future of cooking and baking is in very good hands. I also had a chance to chat with naturopath, Anthia Koullouros, from OVViO Organics as she served her exquisite hand-blended organic teas and tisanes. With her great warmth and beautiful wide smile, I can see why people are beating a path to the door of her lovely Paddington shop and naturopathic practice. I’m yet to visit, however I’ve earmarked it for my next trip to Sydney. Fortunately, in the meantime I’ve been able to buy the refreshing Summer Pineapple Tea (which I tried at the festival and loved), and fragrant organic Vanilla Bean Powder (my new favourite ingredient) from her on-line store www.ovvioorganics.com.au.
And on that note, I had best finish up, as I’m on a promise to make a cake for my god-daughter’s birthday. And if you’ve already had a look at this month’s flourless chocolate cake recipe, there are no prizes for guessing what it will be!
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