There was a fascinating segment on Words and Music on BBC Radio 3 this week, in which the conversation focused around the use of hands in our everyday lives. The speakers touched on the topic of working with one's hands for both practical and creative purposes.
Daily rituals change, and the pace of life slows down by a good few notches, when dear old grandma comes for her annual week-long visit.
I had one of those ear worms happening on baking day this week. It wasn't an annoying tune, it was an upbeat number from the 1960s, and I found myself happily bopping around the kitchen. Some of you might remember the song in question. It was originally recorded by The Drifters and the chorus was: "Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey, I'll never, ever let you go."
My first taste of a gooseberry was during the 1960s in the garden of my friend Sandra's house. The family was English and Sandra's mother, Norah, grew rhubarb as well as the gooseberries.
Growing up in a Hungarian household, there was never any mention of fruit mince and fruit mince tartlets or pies in my mother's kitchen. It would be years before I knew such things existed. If memory serves me correctly, a high school home economics teacher may have lectured about them in a class on suet.
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.
Being in my 50s, I seem to have reached that stage in my life where I have everything I could want and need, and I rarely ever covet anything.
One of my favourite guest presenters at my former cooking school was French-born cookery writer and television chef, Gabriel Gaté. Not only is Gabriel a magnificent cook, he is also a delightful person.
If you were to ask me if my Peter and I had any unusual identifying features to help you spot us in a crowd, I would wink and say to you, 'Look for the handsome middle-aged couple sporting bright shiny halos and baggy clothes.'
Earlier this week, I was disappointed to have logged into Facebook to find that I had just missed my friend Anneka Manning's BakeClub Kitchen live session. Her current Make Me a Baker group was in the middle of a 'Rise to the Occasion' hands-on class, and I would have loved to see the goodies that they were baking. I managed to catch the tail end of the session, and it sounded like great fun.
Join me as I share with you recipes for all seasons, postcards and morsels from my travels, conversations with cookery writers
and chefs, and news on food and cooking.
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I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.