belinda jeffery's news and events
At last winter has arrived with a whoosh of wind that has sent leaves scurrying around the house, and an icy breath that has caused me to don mittens to keep my fingers warm, and my favourite old jumper (with holes in the elbows and wonky hem, but it’s the cosiest, most comforting jumper I possess). Better still, the sky is leaden, and at last we might get some much-needed rain. Friends and family overseas are always surprised to hear me say this, however although the weather has been glorious for months now, the ground is parched, and farmers are becoming worried about having to buy in water. So although winter really isn’t our rainy season, we all have our fingers and toes crossed that we’ll get a good soaking.
The other lovely thing this weather heralds, is that at last it’s time to get out my biggest stock pots and casserole dishes to make nourishing winter soups and deeply-flavoured braises. In fact, the irresistible aroma of slow-roasted shoulder of lamb is wafting into the office as I write this. I put it in the oven a few hours ago, after rubbing it with a paste of garlic, thyme, crushed cumin seeds, lots of cracked black pepper, salt, and a hefty dose of extra virgin olive oil. It’s such an easy dish to make - it just bubbles gently in a very low oven for about 4 hours until the meat is falling off the bones, and the juices have formed a sticky glaze. Tonight we shall eat it with cavolo nero tossed with lemon juice, chilli and olive oil, and a mash of orange sweet potato. Perfect warming winter fare! And tomorrow we shall have leftovers to turn into shepherd’s pie, and slice thickly onto fresh bread with lashings of chutney for lunch. Whoohoo!
And of course, it’s time to think of winter puddings too. Baked custard made with egg yolks so golden that the custard is the colour of marigolds; thick sticks of rhubarb poached in blood orange juice and served with a dollop of creamy yoghurt; fruit crumbles; steamed puddings, and sometimes, just sometimes, when I want something just a little more sophisticated and elegant – a pumpkin tart. This is not your everyday pumpkin pie – it’s silky-smooth and elegant; its filling sweetened with maple syrup, and subtly spiced with black pepper, ginger, and a dash of Cognac. All in all, a very beautiful thing, as you will see because it’s this month’s featured recipe.
On that note, I shall say goodbye as my tummy is rumbling, and the siren call of that lamb can no longer be ignored! I hope there is lightness, laughter and peace in your month ahead.
P.S. FREE WORLDWIDE DELIVERY OF MY BOOKS!
Hooray!! The Book Depository is now stocking all my books and is offering free worldwide delivery. To buy them go to www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=belinda%20jeffery&search=Find+book
To see more of what I’m up to, you can follow me on Instagram.
Upcoming Cooking Classes, Events & News
Sackville (near Sydney)
The wonderfully talented Martin Boetz from Cooks Co-op www.cooksco-op.com and I are cooking up a very special Sunday lunch in his fabulous farm event 'shed' at Sackville near Sydney. We're still working out the fine details, however at this stage if you would like to find out more, contact Kelly Gillies at Cooks Co-op at firstname.lastname@example.org It's going to be a very special day!
Saturday 13th August SOLD OUT
I taught for the first time at Kitchen to Table last year, and I'm so glad to be returning to this lovely shop and cooking school in Yamba. This is an intimate demonstration class (read much chat and laughter!) where I'll put together a simple but delicious lunch using local ingredients. (BTW, I have a new cookbook coming out in October 2016 so you may well get a sneak peek at a recipe or two from it!).
For bookings and enquiries for this class, please contact www.kitchentotable.com.au, or phone them on 02 6646 1577.
Sunday 14th August
As Saturday’s class has booked out, I shall now be repeating this class on Sunday too. For bookings and enquiries for, please contact www.kitchentotable.com.au, or phone them on 02 6646 1577.
Wednesday 24th August
This hands-on class is my second for the year at Lismore's fabulous Pepper Tree Kitchen cookware shop and cooking school. I must admit, I haven't sorted out exactly what we shall be doing yet.sorry! However, we'll be focusing on using beautiful local produce to create a fabulous casual menu. For bookings and enquiries, please contact the Pepper Tree Kitchen at www.peppertreekitchen.com.au and click on the link to their classes. You can also phone Helen on 02 6622 0180.
23rd & 24th September
I'm pinching myself that I'm returning again to the wonderful Agrarian Kitchen Cooking School in Tasmania to teach two more baking classes on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th of September. (At this stage the classes are full however there is a waiting list in case of cancellations). This beautiful school is one of my all-time favourite places to teach, and their holistic paddock-to-plate philosophy resonates strongly with me. 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
As I do just once a year, I shall be teaching at the renowned Accoutrement Cooking School in Sydney on Tuesday 18th October @ 6.30pm, to coincide with the release of my latest cookbook on Salads. For booking enquiries, go to the Cooking School page at www.accoutrement.com.au
I think there's nothing nicer than both giving and receiving handmade gifts for Christmas. There is just something so special about knowing that someone has put all that TLC into making you something, so I thought it would be a lovely time of year to do a class on simple but gorgeous edible gifts. For bookings and enquiries, please contact the Pepper Tree Kitchen at www.peppertreekitchen.com.au and click on the link to their classes. You can also phone Helen on 02 6622 0180.
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