belinda jeffery's news and events
Where have these past weeks gone! It seems only a moment ago that I was writing we were just back home from our travels, and yet here we are 4 weeks later! I find the way time passes so rapidly, more than a little disconcerting.
And what a month it has been! Exciting, fun, hard work, hectic…all those things rolled into one big bundle. I mentioned last month that I was going to be doing a lot of classes and promotions for my new book, Utterly Delicious Simple Food, and that has been well and truly the case. It’s been fantastic, and so wonderful for me to hear of people’s enjoyment and interest in my book. However, I would have to say that the nicest thing of all to come out of my travels has been meeting so many lovely and enthusiastic cooks. It’s a wonderful thing for any writer to actually be more public for a bit, as writing a book is a very solitary occupation. No matter what the book, hours are spent tap, tap, tapping away at a keyboard, and in a cookbook writer’s case, cooking up a storm in the kitchen (and trying to note down everything as you go - something I try to be so careful about, but I have to admit that at times I’m left wondering what some indecipherable scrawl I’ve made, actually means!). I love all of it, but it is done in isolation, so to get out and be with people and talk about cooking, food, and books is such a treat, and I always come back with my head buzzing with ideas.
So here I am home again, and ready to settle down and continue work on the next book I’m writing. I know it sounds a bit much, but for me writing and photographing a book is a long process, so I’m often quietly working away on one book as another is published. I would have to say that I’m more than ready for this time now - much as these past months have been fun, I absolutely love what I do, and the prospect of writing, and trying out and creating new recipes again, is a really happy one.
And of course, there is Christmas cooking to start thinking about. Aside from the pudding and cake (I’m going to have to ‘fess up here that I haven’t even begun to think about either yet!) I’m determined that I shall make as many gifts as possible this year. I’ve just bought 20 jars to fill with preserved lemons, pineapple and curry leaf pickle, and ruby red, homemade strawberry jam; and I’m working out the fruit and nuts I shall need to make little panfortes. In the meantime however, I have to keep reminding myself that I have a book to write!
On a final note, this month’s recipe for a lovely, rustic summer fruit crostata is a great favourite of mine. It’s simple, but so delicious with its crisp, buttery crust laden with peaches, apricots and plums (or whatever other stone fruit you like). Even if you’re a bit anxious about working with pastry, please give it a try – it’s really forgiving and tastes wonderful.
To see more of what I’m up to, you can follow me on Instagram.
Upcoming events and news
Please come and say hello to me at Bangalow Farmers Market on Saturday 13th December where I shall be signing cookbooks and answering any cooking questions you may have. The market is behind the Bangalow Hotel at 1 Byron Street, Bangalow from 8am – 11am.
I was asked to write a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making one of my cookbooks, if you would like to read about it, follow this link... www.womensstuffbook.com.au/lantern/blog/behind-scenes-belinda-jeffery
Candy Baker from the lovely new on-line magazine, Verandah, has written a feature about me and my books in the latest issue. If you would like a peek, go to www.verandahmagazine.com.au
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