One of my favourite local destinations is the New South Wales Southern Highlands, an area renowned for its lush landscapes, picturesque villages, fascinating history, and burgeoning food and wine scene.
It was in the breakfast bistro of a hotel just off Kensington High Street in London two years ago that I first tasted the pork chipolatas that could well be classed as THE very best sausages I have eaten in my entire life.
My thoughts are with folks in parts of Queensland and northern New South Wales this morning, as I sit at my kitchen table enjoying the sunshine streaming in through the windows.
The excitement was palpable, despite the bitter cold, thick fog and mud that enveloped us when we arrived at Turalla Truffles near Bungendore one Sunday morning in July last year. Frisbee (pictured above), a key member of the team of trained truffle dogs, was there to greet us; together with property owners, Damian Robinson and his wife, Lindsay, and their daughter, Willa (pictured left, second image below).
Hello February. Most of the kiddies are back at school and folks have returned to work after the holiday season. The roads are busier first thing in the morning, not that we're out there mind you, it's just that Peter and I can hear the stream of traffic going past our house from about 6.30am onwards. Ho hum, I yawn quietly as I pull the linen sheet up over my head before drifting back into slumber for another hour or longer. So are the days of our lives in retirement.
I have always been one to celebrate the changing of the seasons – particularly when it comes to the abundance of fresh new produce that arrives at local greengrocers and fruit markets. The tender spears of asparagus that herald Spring; plump mangoes and cherries in Summer months; crisp apples and sweet pears in Autumn; and those wonderful root vegetables during the depths of Winter.
I remember the first time I ever saw a field of pineapples. My (soon-to-be) husband and I were on our way to Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, and we were so amazed by the sight of the massive pineapple plantation that we stopped by the side of the road to take photographs.
It's technically still September, as I compile this In my Kitchen (IMK) post for the first day of October. I will be travelling in the NSW Southern Highlands over the next few days and, as the new host of IMK, I wanted to appear a little bit organised. ☺
Aussie shoppers will have noticed that fresh strawberries are in plentiful supply right now at local greengrocers and supermarkets. In fact, the fruit has come on with gusto and there's such a glut of them, that strawberry prices have come tumbling down.
If you've been following my adventures on Instagram at all, you will be aware that Peter and I have only just arrived back home, after a whirlwind month of travelling in and around the New South Wales Southern Highlands, as well as the townships of Kiama, Gerroa and Gerringong in the Illawarra on the South Coast.
It can be said that both regions are distinctly beautiful parts of the world, and if one was looking to make a sea change or tree change, or take a short break from the world, then the Southern Highlands and the Illawarra should most certainly be at the top of the list of places for consideration.
Hi. I'm Liz. I'm a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
I love the process of writing and the stringing together of words to form
a story borne from the wisp of an idea. I also greatly enjoy cooking
Join me as I share with you my favourite recipes, postcards and morsels from my adventures, conversations with cookery writers
and chefs, and news on food and cooking.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.