belinda jeffery's news and events
It’s funny how your confidence grows as a cook, I always used to find the thought of cooking risotto daunting as there seemed to be so many rules to follow to make it properly, however I was determined to overcome the fear (how could a girl who cooked in an Italian restaurant for years admit to being intimidated by the thought of making risotto!) and the only way to do that was to cook it and keep on doing so until I was comfortable with it. Like so many things we avoid, it turned out that it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I imagined - quite the opposite in fact, and I now look on it as a relatively quick and easy dinner at the end of a busy day.
However even now after a lifetime of cooking, I still find myself baulking at making certain dishes, and coming up with some pretty creative reasons for not doing so! And I’m not necessarily talking about complicated recipes here. Give me a turkey at Christmastime and I’ll head for the hills rather than contemplate roasting it; ask me to cook a duck to crackling golden perfection and I’ll suddenly have an urgent appointment that I need to attend; whip up a batch of puff pastry? Sure, but please don’t ask me to make a tarte tatin – wouldn’t you rather an apple pie?
The list goes on…and on. So I’ve decided that it’s time for me to tackle at least a few of these blind spots. From now on, once a month I shall cook something that I’ve been avoiding – hello, pavlova (yes, truly!); welcome, potato gnocchi; great to see you, barbecued calamari. I feel both apprehensive and excited about the prospect, but more than anything, I feel really happy that at last I’m tackling these blocks head-on and that hopefully, as with the risotto, my confidence will grow each time I make them.
So there are no prizes for guessing what this month’s featured recipe is! Yes, it’s risotto, and one of my favourite risottos at that, which combines sweet, new-season peas, buttery leeks and smoky pancetta topped off with a good dose of parmesan. I hope you enjoy it!
To see more of what I’m up to, you can follow me on Instagram.
Upcoming events and news
On Wednesday 26th August, I shall be teaching at Kitchen to Table in Yamba. Details are on their website, www.kitchentotable.com.au
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