Autumn is just about my favourite season, particularly during March, when we are at the juncture between summer and true fall. The weather is absolutely Glorious (with a capital G). Crisp,cool mornings, which turn to balmy temperatures around midday. The days end with hot, sunny afternoons, and spectacular sunsets. Somehow, I feel more vibrant and alive now than at any other time of the year.
With the change of seasons comes fresh new produce too. I'm delighted to announce our first (tiny) harvest of Black Genoa figs. We planted the tree, together with a White Adriatic, about three years ago, and they are both growing reasonably happily in half wine barrels. Peter, who told me a while back that he cannot stand figs, is now relishing our home grown yield - and enjoying the occasional morsel of fruit, too. Actually, I think he might just become a Fig Connoisseur in the fullness of time.
Picked in the heat of the day, the sweet succulent flesh simply melts in the mouth. Perhaps eventually we will reap sufficient quantities to use them in a salad, or two, or maybe a dessert.
During autumn, pears grace the fruit platter on the kitchen bench. I love eating them fresh from the hand. But they are also one of my favourite dessert fruits. I adore them with vanilla and spices such as saffron, cinnamon and bay. They are exquisite with caramel, and also with chocolate and hazelnut. Pears can also be baked into muffins, cakes, and tarts. I have yet to try serving them in a salad, but that is on my list of things to do this month.
The mint in our kitchen garden is flowering, much to the delight of our visiting bees. I tried making mint jelly early last year, but was not too happy with the results. However, this Mint Jelly from Beerenberg Farm in South Australia, is just the ticket with lamb. We found it in an independent supermarket in the township of Moss Vale, on our way home from Kiama recently. And, it's so good that we made sure we purchased several jars!
This is just a brief round up of the good things in my kitchen this month, shared as part of the world wide assembly of In my Kitchen posts hosted by my lovely friend Maureen, the Orgasmic Chef.
Tell me dear readers, do you enjoy figs? Perhaps you grow them? What's happening in your kitchen this month? And what is your most favourite season of the year?
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.