belinda jeffery's news and events
Every year come the end of October, I start looking out for the arrival in the markets of my favourite summer fruit of all, mangoes. And this morning as it turned out, I didn’t need to search at all, as I could smell them before I saw them – their musky fragrance wafting up the alley on the breeze. I bought a tray of them, and so far I have to admit to eating two, and I probably would have eaten more but fortunately for everyone else they’re not quite ripe yet!
Buying them like this takes me back to my childhood, as my dad wasn’t known to do anything by halves, including shopping. Depending on the time of year, he would arrive home laden with wooden boxes of grapes; shallow trays of squishy persimmons and figs, each one carefully nestled in purple tissue paper; buckets of avocados and, like his daughter, mangoes – lots of mangoes. I always remember him saying that the only way to eat a mango whole was to do so while standing in the bath so the sticky juices could run down our hands and chins and drip everywhere without making a mess – and he’s right, it probably is the best way of all!
Although most of the mangoes I bought will disappear over the next few days in fruit salads and smoothies, I’ve earmarked a few to make two lovely desserts. The first one is a family favourite – a caramel-y, gooey, mango upside-down cake; and the second, a dessert that holds many memories for me – my Aunty Beryl’s mango and passionfruit pavlova roll. Beryl actually wasn’t my aunt, she was my mum’s closest friend, and we adored her. She also happened to be a brilliant cook, and some of my first food memories are of cooking with her in her country kitchen on the Hawkesbury River. She had a real sweet tooth, and no meal was complete for her without a little something sweet to finish off – be it a few squares of chocolate, or ideally, some kind of pudding. At one stage, Beryl and my mum decided to go to cooking classes together, and we kids benefitted enormously from this enterprise – and I’m pretty sure the recipe for the pavlova roll came from those classes. It’s unapologetically sweet, the marshmallow-like meringue enclosing layers of softly whipped cream and thinly sliced mango. As with most pavlovas, the final dribble of passionfruit over the top is what makes all the difference – suddenly all that sweetness and richness comes into balance with its tangy addition. All of which is leading up to this month’s recipe of course – Beryl’s fabulous pavlova roll. I hope you enjoy it!
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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
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