belinda jeffery's news and events
I’m writing this on the last day of August, and although it’s still officially winter here in the southern hemisphere, we’ve been having spring-like days for weeks. In fact, it’s so warm that we even went swimming on the weekend - although I would have to say that the water was decidedly chilly! However, once we were wrapped in towels and sitting on rocks by the water’s edge, it was sheer bliss to feel the sand squeak between our toes, and the sun warm on our backs. The water is so clear at this time of year that we could see right down to the ripples of sand on the sea bed. We sat there for ages, quietly watching shoals of tiny fish that drifted in and out on the tide. Occasionally a larger fish – a whiting or bream – would swish through the middle of the shoal, and with a flick of its tail, scatter them every which-way. Eventually three cormorants joined us on the rocks – one hanging its wings out to dry as though they were washing on a line, while the other two dipped and dived on a fishing expedition. It was absolute bliss!
The signs of spring are all around us here at home too. As I sit looking out my office window the bank of golden grevilleas it opens onto is a hive of activity. Tiny scarlet honeyeaters hop from flower to flower; improbably gaudy lorikeets screech at each other and the world in general, as they fossick amongst the blossoms; the somewhat more clumsy, but equally noisy, friar birds do the same; and every so often a glistening, spangled drongo (the most wonderfully-named bird ever!) sits preening itself on a low branch before swooping up to nab yet another insect in mid-flight.
My veggie garden is also alive with birds, bees, beetles and other assorted wildlife (including a dear little echidna, who wreaks havoc as he grubs his way through the mulch to find ants, but it’s so lovely to have him about that we don’t mind.) Just now I’ve been watching a tiny blue wren check for caterpillars on the underside of the spinach leaves, and a couple of tiny skinks are sunning themselves on the strawberries – which, I’m thrilled to say, are heavy with nearly-ripe berries. And this, in an around about way, brings me to this month’s recipe for green tea creams with strawberries. I first made this lovely dessert for a fund-raising dinner a few years ago, and it was such a hit, and so easy to make, that it has become my go-to way to end a meal when I’m pushed for time. Basically, it’s a very delicate, lightly-set, matcha-infused cream, which is topped with sugared strawberries – it looks beautiful, and it’s light, fresh flavour sums up spring to me.
To see more of what I’m up to, you can follow me on Instagram.
Upcoming events and news
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
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/
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