A year ago, I spent an amazing ten hours sitting in my study, focused on designing and pulling together this web site and blog. Peter, my partner, was away, so I worked through the night, the only sound (other than tinnitus in my right ear!) and light tapping at the keyboard, was that of a clock ticking somewhere in the background. From memory, I published Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things at about 6.30am. Then, exhausted but delighted with my efforts, I drove to the Capital Region Farmer's Markets, bought a few groceries, interviewed and photographed some stall holders, including Carmen and Todd from Honey Delight, and then returned home for a nap. And twelve months have passed just like that!
Good Things is the culmination of a lifetime of cooking and collecting recipes, and a almost a decade (plus one year!) of writing about it. Reiterating the words in my Profile, my grandmother owned a fruit and vegetable store on the outskirts of Budapest when my father was a child; and my mother was a skilled and beautiful cook, particularly in the art of baking. She and I spent many hours in the kitchen together; cooking, talking about food and sharing recipes. I like to imagine that my inspiration stems from these family origins.
Sharing recipes and my love of fresh produce and cooking has been a passion of mine for many, many years and I hope to continue long into the future through Good Things. Thank you, dear readers, for sitting with me at the kitchen table. Happy birthday to my blog and happy cooking to you!
Bizzy Lizzy xox
At the start of every month, my friend-in-food, fellow blogger and inspirational cook, Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, hosts a segment where cooks from across the miles allow readers to peek into their kitchens.
In my kitchen in August are three copies of Recipes My Mother Cooked - 100 Favourite Recipes from the Country's Favourite Foodies, which I would like to give away. In this book, some of Australia's favourite chefs have gathered to share the recipes their mothers cooked for them. Among them are recipes from Steve Manfredi, Gabriel Gate, Ian 'Herbie' Hemphill, Alex Herbert, Peter Kuruvita and Maggie Beer... and their beloved mothers.
The publishers, Allen & Unwin, are donating 5% of the retail price of the book to the McGrath Foundation to help place McGrath Breast Care Nurses into communities across Australia, and to educate young women to become aware of breast cancer.
As a gesture of thanks for your support over the last twelve months, I sponsored a special treat and had three copies of Recipes My Mother Cooked ($29.95 RRP) to give away. To be in the running to 'win' a copy of this lovely book, I asked you to simply tell me (in the comments box below) about your mum (or dad, or grandparent, or favourite aunt), how they inspired you to cook, and then share your favourite family recipe if you like. Entries closed at midnight AEST on 31 August 2012. Unfortunately, the prizes were restricted to Australian residents, however friends from around the world were invited to share stories too.
I was genuinely touched by the number of entries and also enjoyed reading each and every one of your comments. I truly wish I had 50 or more books to give away. However, there could only be three winners.
AND THE WINNERS ARE:
Fiona from TIFFIN Bitesized
In the event that you didn't 'win', you might like to purchase a copy of Recipes My Mother Cooked, Remember, you are helping The McGrath Foundation and their quest to support Breast Cancer. The Fishpond banner in my sidebar will take you direct to the online bookstore. Thank you all for your entries and thanks again for your friendship and support.
Now, what's In My Kitchen - August
In my kitchen in August were two rather delicious products available from the Capital Region Farmer's Markets, which are just five minutes down the road from home. Both of these items taste exquisite. The mini macarons are produced by mother and son team, Owen Saddler and Marilyn Chalkley of Dream Cuisine. Their Pistachio and Lime macaron won a silver medal in the 2012 Sydney Fine Food Show!
This Eastern Fetta is just one from a range of award winning cheese produced by Mark and Lesley Williams of Small Cow Farm in Robertson, NSW. This is a delicate, spreadable fetta marinated in preserved lemon, juniper berries, garlic, rosemary and peppercorns. I am using it in roasted pumpkin, walnut and baby spinach salads. Yum!
Also in my kitchen was an assortment of goodies from our recent trip to Darwin in the Northern Territory. The Saucey Sisters, jams, Camphor Laurel board and spices were great finds at the Parap Village Markets. I picked up the fishbone tweezers, vegetable slicer, sugar and cocoa from two wonderful specialty stores in the Parap Village shopping centre. Watch my Good Things pages in coming weeks for more details about those businesses. The honey is from a beekeeper who has a stall at the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets.
In my kitchen is organic Koshihikari rice from Honest to Goodness. This is a Japanese-style short grain rice grown in Southern NSW by third generation rice growers. It has a lovely, nutty flavour and unusual texture, more like a grain than rice. I've been cooking it using the absorption method, with chicken stock and a clove of garlic!
Finally, in my kitchen there was a boxful of Blood Oranges, a very kind gift sent to me by my friend, Len Mancini, citrus grower and co-owner of Redbelly Citrus. Redbelly Citrus has its roots set way back in Italy, when Vito Leonardo and Domenica Mancini along with Giuseppe and Lucia Barbagallo made the long journey to establish their new lives in Australia. With them, they brought their history long farming practices handed down from generation to generation. Redbelly Citrus continues the tradition with very fine produce!
My gift of thanks to three lucky Good Things readers...
Thanks again for sharing your wonderful kitchen stories!
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I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.