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.
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.
'Sweet potatoes are a commonly used soul food ingredient in the South,' writes Lance Rosen in the introduction to his recipe for a luscious-looking sweet potato pudding in his book, Temples of BBQ.
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.
In an interview with Michael Williams on ABC RN's Blueprint for Living program, Kirsten Tibballs, renowned Australian chocolatier, pastry chef, and author of a new book titled Chocolate, spoke about the versatility of chocolate and how 'it always brings everyone so much pleasure'.
When my oldest child (my son) was just a wee baby, I lived two doors away from Val, a lovely stay-at-home mum, who had two little boys of her own. Like me, Val loved to cook, and we spent many happy hours together cooking, taste-testing and discussing recipes - particularly the quick and simple, old fashioned Aussie kind.
Speaking of words I love, oliebollen is quite a good one. Pronounced oh-lee-bollen, which is apparently Dutch for 'oily balls', the delicious little fruit-filled doughnuts are said to be popular around the world.
What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She's crying with all her might and main,
And it's lovely rice pudding for dinner again!
— Rice Pudding, A. A. Milne, 1924
As we enjoy the final days of summer, the weather 'person' has promised a series of scorching hot days, almost as if to send off the season with a rousing 'hurrah'.
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.