belinda jeffery's latest news
1 july 2013
I’ve never quite figured out what it is about cold weather (and particularly cold, wet weather, which we have in spades at the moment) that brings all my baking instincts to the fore. I’ve just spent a happy weekend up to my elbows in bread dough; whipping up batches of date scones; and baking cakes as if my life depended on it! It’s really satisfying, and so lovely to see the way these things make everyone smile. Inevitably someone puts on the kettle for tea and we end up drinking cups of tea and coffee, eating cake or scones, and chatting ninety to the dozen. With the busy lives we all seem to lead these days, it’s often hard to get together for a meal, yet I find an offer of afternoon tea with scones, or freshly-baked cake or biscuits, is rarely knocked back. We often follow it by a walk through the fields in the brisk air - which of course means we’re all ready for more tea and scones when we return!
This time of year is fairly quiet for me, and mainly taken up with working on my latest book, although early in July I’m teaching at the Pepper Tree Kitchen in Lismore. (Do have a look at their new website – www.peppertreekitchen.com.au. The shop is full of covetable cookware, and they have terrific hands-on cooking classes in their cooking school.) I’ve also been browsing the Sample Food Festival site and am greatly looking forward to taking part in the festival again this year (I’m also trying to get into shape before it starts, as I’m one of the judges for the food awards and there is a lot of eating to be done!).
On a totally different note, I wanted to share with you these photos of a recent, unexpected but very welcome, visitor. We sometimes find echidnas in our garden; however this little chap decided to make the most of our deck. He scrambled up onto it and proceeded to snack on ants, snooze in the sun, eat more ants, have another snooze and then eventually took his leave. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, and once he got used to me sitting quietly on the ground, he just shuffled around me – it was truly special.
Speaking of visitors, this month’s recipe for shortbread is one of my all-time favourites, and I often keep a roll of shortbread dough in the freezer so I can bake a batch of biscuits should unexpected visitors drop by (excluding echidnas, of course!). They are delicately scented with lemon and have a wonderful texture – crisp and ‘short’, with the sugar crystals giving them a satisfying crunch.
Belinda’s ABC interview details:
To see my in-depth television interview with Jane Hutcheon from ABC's One plus One, click here...www.abc.net.au/oneplusone
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