I poked my head outside for a moment this evening to check if Mars was visible in the sky, but all I could see was the fog coming out of my mouth and nose. It's bloody cold out there, which augers well for the region's truffle growers and the upcoming Truffle Festival - Canberra Region.
As we approach Anzac Day (April 25), I check my larder for supplies of rolled oats and golden syrup - to be certain that I have enough to bake at least one, if not two, batches of my Anzac Biscuits.
As mature Australian macadamia nuts fall to the ground across subtropical orchards in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, growers are cranking up their mechanical harvesters and getting ready to gather the finest quality, best tasting macadamias in the world.
Moss Vale in the New South Wales Southern Highlands was once a market town and is said to have been named after a herdsman, and former convict, named Jemmy (Jeremy) Moss, who lived in a bark hut near the present railway station. His employer, Dr Charles Throsby, pioneered the district in the early 1800s. Settlers in the region established farms, raising sheep and cattle, growing fruit, potatoes and cabbages, among other things. The rural ethic continues to this day, with more than 150 artisan food and wine producers stretching across nine distinct communities in the Highlands.
There's a part of this city girl that longs to escape to the country every now and then. One of my favourite destinations is the picturesque New South Wales Southern Highlands, which is within easy reach of Canberra, Sydney and the Illawarra.
Autumn is just about my favourite season, particularly during March, when we are at the juncture between summer and true fall. The weather is absolutely Glorious (with a capital G). Crisp,cool mornings, which turn to balmy temperatures around midday. The days end with hot, sunny afternoons, and spectacular sunsets. Somehow, I feel more vibrant and alive now than at any other time of the year.
During a short break last week at Kiama in New South Wales, Peter and I were fortunate enough to meet this charming pelican who, like us, had called into the local fish and chip shop for a feast.
Once upon a long, long, long time ago, Canberra, my home town, became a meeting place. I'm a vintage Canberran, but that event was well before my time. And I suspect it was way before yours too. Think back 20,000 years, maybe more, to when the first Australians, the Aboriginal people, gathered here for corroborees. Special meetings at which they mingled, danced and feasted on bogong moths.
Recipes are meant to be shared with a generous heart, if for nothing more than to encourage and inspire others to discover the wonder of food; to taste life through food and all its magic.
'Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for,' the remarkable Maya Angelou suggested in her first book of essays, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now. With this in mind, it was time to escape to one of my favourite places in the company of a kindred spirit.
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
Join me as I share with you my favourite recipes; postcards and morsels from my travels; conversations with cookery writers
and chefs; and news on food, cookbooks
- Liz Posmyk
NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.