belinda jeffery's news and events
Phew, where did that month go! I’m writing this on the first day of October, and it feels as though the last four weeks have whizzed by in the blink of an eye. Do you find the year just seems to fly past now? As a kid I remember feeling as though a year stretched ahead forever and ever, and special days like birthdays and Christmas seemed to take eons to come around, whereas now I feel as though I’ve only just started to settle into a new year, and it’s racing towards its conclusion!
As usual this year, my intentions to get our overseas Christmas presents bought, wrapped and underway before the cut-off date for snail mail, have come to nought. I really don’t know why I put myself through the angst anymore. Why can’t I just accept that it isn’t ever going to happen! Life would be much less stressful. And in fact, that thought - about making life less stressful - has been playing around and around in my head for ages now. I’m old enough to remember a time when mobile phones were the size of bricks (and weighed about the same); where social media didn’t exist; where even the simplest computer took up a whole room; and the concept of laptops, iPads and the like, was something from sci-fi cartoons we watched on television. I won’t say it was better than now, but it was different, and certainly things went at a slower pace.
Don’t get me wrong, I love lots of the things that technology has brought with it, and use them as part of my everyday life. However, I’m also more and more mindful of what I use, when I use it, and how I use it – and that mindfulness has become an important part of my life. It enables me to switch off my mobile phone for long periods; to not feel pressured to join the latest social media phenomenon (well, that’s not strictly true, I still feel the pressure, but I think a lot more before acting on it); to walk and swim and be out in nature without needing to share it with anyone else - it’s just enough to be there in that moment. And I try to bring that awareness to my cooking too, and to just enjoy doing it. Not to think about anything other than creating something delicious for the people I love. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or elaborate or fancy, it just has to be made with TLC and presence.
Oh gosh, sorry, this has turned into quite a ramble, hasn’t it! Enough of that, or I won’t get to write about a new venture I have happening this month. The lovely people at Halcyon House, www.halcyonhouse.com.au a truly gorgeous new boutique hotel at Cabarita Beach, have asked me to take their first ever cooking class. I am thrilled to bits about it – it’s such a lovely place, and I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to teach there. They have put together some fantastic packages for the event with all sorts of special treats in store– if you would like to find out more, have a look under my Events heading below.
I’m also gearing up to cook at our annual fundraising event for the Federal Film Society – a warm-hearted group of movie and food lovers who get together each month in the lovely old Federal village hall to watch a movie and eat food cooked by local community groups to raise money for everything from the Rural Bush Fire Brigade to the local kindy. It’s one of my favourite nights of the year – happy, mad, great food, and no-end of fun – and this year we’re cooking up a rather special Asian-inspired feast. It’s open to all comers, and such a great night (there’s more about this below too).
And that’s it from me. It’s definitely time for me to start ‘doing’ and stop talking about things! I would love to think I get to see you at one of these events.
To see more of what I’m up to, you can follow me on Instagram.
Upcoming events and news
My class at Halcyon House class is on Wednesday 28th October. As part of this first-time class, they have put together a range of fabulous 2 day packages that include the class; dinner at their beautiful restaurant, Paper Daisy; breakfast daily; arrival sunset canapes and drinks poolside (I’ll be there with bells on!); and a visit to the sensational Margaret Olley Exhibition at the Tweed Valley Art gallery. There are also class-only booking available. To find out more, phone 02 6676 1444 or go to www.halcyonhouse.com.au
If you’re interested in joining us in the hills for our fabulous food film night (where we’re screening The 2015 Australia’s Funniest Short Film Festival) on Saturday 10th October, go to www.federalfilmsociety.com
I’m really chuffed to be returning to the wonderful Agrarian Kitchen cooking school in Tasmania in November 2015 to teach two baking classes on Friday 20th and Saturday the 21st. This brilliant cooking school has a holistic paddock-to-plate philosophy that informs everything they do. Their website is really lovely and I highly recommend a visit...I rather suspect that, like me, you will be hooked once you read it! www.theagrariankitchen.com
If you would like to watch me making Asparagus and Goat’s Cheese Tarts on The Morning Show, 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