'Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments.'
- Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1890-1995
Regular readers of Good Things may already know of journalist and writer, Hilary Burden. Hilary is the author of A Story of Seven Summers - Life in the Nuns' House, a delicious memoir with recipes that captures Hilary's return to Australia from London and her discovery of a ramshackle old place in Tasmania that she would be delighted to call home.
Hilary shares a similar food philosophy to my own in that she relishes the produce that every new season brings and is a keen supporter of growers and farmer's markets; but she also says that for her an appreciation of food is not about being a cook, a chef or a foodie. It's more about having an appreciation for where things come from and knowing what makes something truly itself.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome Hilary as a Good Things guest blogger and I'd also like to thank my Peter for compiling this post for me as I recover from a bout of illness. I hope to be fit and well very soon. And now, over to Hilary...
'Looking back over seven summers, I know that who I am is where I am. It might not be the secret to life, but it is the secret to this life... I'll tell how you that came to be and that will be the story of the Nuns' House.'
In the 1970s, my very best girlfriend was a lass I had worked with for years, and one of the things I liked about her was that she was just as quirky as me, if not more. We shared a love of food and our lunchtimes turned into 'hunt and gather' adventures of sorts, that included walking miles for whatever flavours took our fancy that day.
Regular readers of this little blog might recall my Cherry Clafoutis recipe and reflections on cold winters, hot summers, a lovely Border Collie named Libby and a house that Peter and I rented once upon a time. While I've never been so hot nor so cold in a home in my entire life, I did absolutely love the dream kitchen with ILVE appliances. That oven put out the most beautiful sponge cakes and succulent roast dinners I've ever created. Yes dear readers, it was moi who invented the Sunday roast and freshly baked morning and afternoon teas on the leafy back deck, with a little help from ILVE of course. And that sentence segues nicely into this week's recipe for a nougat passionfruit sponge which appears on live with ILVE. I am truly delighted to be included on the ILVE blog (with not one, but two posts) and feel humbled to be featured with esteemed cookery writers and chefs such as Belinda Jeffrey, Bill Granger and Janet De Neefe. Thank you ILVE for this wonderful opportunity to share a great recipe. So dear friends, please pop in to the ILVE site, read a bit of trivia and history about sponge cakes and baking for shows, road test the recipe if you will and let me know what you think. Happy baking.
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like falling leaves.
My kitchen has been something of a haven for me over the last little while so it's just as well there are plenty of good things to be found. There are Medjool dates on the kitchen bench which I keep meaning to use in a dessert recipe that I am very keen to share with you (and will indeed do so, therefore please stay tuned), however Peter and I keep snacking on them. Fortunately, they're high in fibre and potassium so they must be healthy, no?!
It was pumpkins galore, a petting zoo, poffertjes. puppies, and plenty of preserves at the tenth annual Collector Village Pumpkin Festival today. Highlights of this year's event along with more than 80 stalls, farm machinery displays and the twang of a country duo on stage, included the heaviest pumpkin (weighing in at more than 248kg!), the best pumpkin pie, the best pumpkin scones, the best pumpkin scarecrow, the best pumpkin costume and the best gourmet pumpkin dish. A visit to the little town of Collector has become an annual pilgrimage for many, but for me it was my first time at the Pumpkin Festival (I know, what the heck took me so long!?). For more information and a view of a GIANT pumpkin, visit the web site.
Pepper is a universal spice which was once more highly prized in trade than any other. The pungent berries have been used throughout history as a culinary ingredient, healing substance and digestive stimulant, and also as an aphrodisiac! In cooking, peppercorns are used in kitchens around the globe to enhance savoury and sweet dishes alike.
'The words of kindness are more healing to a drooping heart than balm or honey.'
There are times when life's curved balls come at you like a tennis ball machine that 's totally lost control. I'm in the midst of some difficult moments my friends, so it's time to step back and find peace and solace in silence. I will be back very soon!