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.
'Someone is sneaking into the kitchen and eating all the brioche, but don't worry, I scared them off!' wrote Peter in a comment when I posted this photo on Facebook.
One of the things I love about travel is that I can indulge myself and taste a selection of the foods that the locals eat in the area we are visiting - and then walk off the calories when I'm sightseeing. Thank heavens for good walking sandals.
Would you believe me if I told you that I have been fantasising about Angel Food cake since first tasting it in the 1990s? This, my friends, is a light and airy cake that makes me gaga, in a wobbly-at-the-knees kind of way. And I don't mind admitting to you that I am completely and utterly in love with it. Peter, my chief taster, concurs.
Apricots are in abundance at my local farmer's market and greengrocer right now. I love eating them fresh from the hand - with that burst of soft, sweet tasting flesh. Sometimes they have been picked a little too early and that's when they're perfect for baking into a tart.
My kitchen has enjoyed a good workout over the last several months as I succumb to the delights of life in retirement and baking almost every other day. Of course with a plentiful supply of home-baked goodies we've had to step up our entertaining calendar, as well as our exercise regime. But then I'm not complaining. Life is sweet.
'I've baked a strawberry tart. Would you like to come over and try it?' came the message from dear friend, C, who, fortuitously, lives less than a kilometre from my home, and has also recently retired. Okay, I realise I shouldn't be using a cliché here, but my response to her was: 'Is the Pope a Catholic? That'd be lovely, I'll be right over!'
'That loaf looks better than okay,' noted a lovely friend and fellow baker when she saw the photo of my latest creation. I must admit, I thought it looked better than good too. To me, my bread looked like one of those artisan loaves that one buys for upwards of $10 at specialist bakeries. So, I must admit I was feeling rather chuffed, and even more so once I'd tasted it.
'More?!' asked my neighbour the fireman, smiling and eyes wide at the sight of me standing on his doorstep with a large punnet of freshly-picked, home grown strawberries. 'I'm afraid so,' I replied. 'Do you think you can manage to eat them?' We won't have any problems with that,' he laughed. 'I'll get the strawberry fairy onto them.'
When you are young, it's hard to imagine that someday you will be old. Before I hit 55, I used to wonder what it would feel like to be "middle-aged". Would I grow old gracefully, or would I become one of those curmudgeonly old birds like Jenny Eclair and Germaine Greer, stars of the hilarious TV series, Grumpy Old Women?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.