Spring has arrived in Canberra, but with frosty mornings and a bitter chill in the air, I'd say the season has changed in name only. We're back at home after a two-day getaway to Fitzroy Falls in the glorious Southern Highlands of New South Wales. With it's flourishing food and wine scene, lush scenery and picturesque villages, it's among our most favourite destinations in Australia.
I've been sharing postcards and morsels from the trip on my Instagram page, and will follow up with photographic essays and news here on the blog, so please stay tuned if you're interested. In the meantime, let's take a peek into my Springtime kitchen.
Superb fairy-wrens, or blue-wrens, are regular visitors to our garden. They nest in the pittosporum hedges surrounding the house, and bring us great joy as the flit back and forth between the bushes and the birdbath in the courtyard. Even though I've been busy decluttering, I couldn't resist the hand-painted plate (pictured at top), bought from the visitor information centre at Fitzroy Falls.
If I'd had more room in my suitcases, I would have bought more books whilst in Hungary recently. I did bring home these three (pictured above): Hungarian Dessert Book by Tamás Bereznay; Market Halls in Budapest from the turn of the century to the present by Gergely Nagy and Károly Szelényi; and Sátoraljaújhely Képeslapokon, a book of beautiful vintage postcards from my the home town of my mother and grandmother.
Hungarian ceramics, such as this Miska kancsó (which is representative of a pipe-smoking Magyar herdsman or gulyás), are ever-so pretty. I bought this one from a folkloric store in the Castle district of Budapest. Thankfully, the store owner was kind enough to pack it in thick layers of bubble wrap.
Blood oranges are back in season and I've been enjoying these, purchased from my local greengrocer.
I invested in this stunning piece (pictured above), created by ceramic artist, Syl Macro, who sells her wares at Gallery 1611, at Alston in Cumbria. Syl explained to me that the inspiration for her work comes from the patterns, textures and colours in the surrounding landscapes and countryside of the north Pennines. So lovely! I must thank Syl once again for packing it so carefully for me. It was such a relief to open the cardboard box on our arrival home and find this treasure 100% intact.
Earlier this week, Peter and I enjoyed an overnight stay at Carriage 343 on Redleaf Farm in Fitzroy Falls. The lovely Katrina Sparke, who owns the property with her husband, Sam, sent us home with some freshly laid free-range eggs from her happy hens. Yum! More on our visit in an upcoming post.
Peter and I are inspired to try making kombucha tea, after spending time in the Fitzroy Falls kitchen of Virginia Edwards, who runs classes on Good Gut Food. Virginia shared a healthy-looking Scoby (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) with us (together with a dozen of fresh eggs from her chooks). First thing to do was to buy a suitable jar. I'll be sharing Virginia's recipe and news of my kombucha experiment in coming weeks.
In coming days, I'll be showcasing a recipe from Made in Vietnam by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl. Inspired by their many years living as locals in Hanoi, the authors have curated an essential guide to the tastiest dishes Vietnam has on offer. This fabulous book includes home-style recipes and travel tales. I'm loving it because Vietnam is on my bucket list and I adore the food. Indeed, I'm cooking a pot of pho bo at this moment. (Cover image from Made in Vietnam by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl appears courtesy of Hardie-Grant Books).
Molly Shuster's One Pan Roasts (pictured above) would have to be one of THE smartest cookbooks I've seen in a long time. Watch for my upcoming review, when I share a recipe from it's delicious pages. (Cover image from One Pan Roasts by Molly Shuster appears courtesy of Murdoch Books).
Having enjoyed a bounty of fresh, ripe and juicy summer peaches for breakfast in Budapest, I've continued to do so at home using peaches in juice produced locally by the folks from Goulburn Valley. I'm loving the company's new "grown here" lat/long on the label initiative, enabling consumers to take a virtual tour of the farms the fruit originates from.
Recently, I shared my original recipe for Hungarian-style cream curd, and promised to share a strudel recipe with you. Watch this space. I've bought the fresh fillo (phyllo/filo) pastry!
After being away this week, I popped "out the back" to water our plants in the fernery and was greeted by a pathway lined with cheery flowers. These are brightening up my kitchen bench.
IMK: I'm linking up with my friend, Sherry, from Sherry's Pickings, who is now the host of the In My Kitchen series. Visit our foodie friends around the world via Sherry's blog, and do say hello from me.
Over to you, dear readers. What good things are happening in your kitchen and what's news from your neck of the woods? Tell me, do you buy books and other treasures when travelling?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
Join me as I share with you my favourite recipes; postcards and morsels from my travels; conversations with cookery writers
and chefs; and news on food, cookbooks
- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.