Wave your appreciation for volunteers – and what an appropriate time in the world it is to honour them
I hope wherever you are you are safe and well. Different places are relaxing strict isolation rules but it remains to be seen if COVID-19 cases will still decline. Personally, I am nervous that there is an increasing disregard for social distancing. Why is it that joggers, people on bikes and those on mobile phones think they are immune? Do you too, find you are the one walking out on the road to keep a safe distance?
I am ultra cautious as my partner is still in hospital and I am spending all my days there until I get him into bed for the evening. Thank you for those personal messages. He is improving but with intravenous antibiotics won’t be home for a week, though we can have home release during the day. It is an exhausting time, but I wouldn’t want him to have it any other way.
It’s National Volunteer Week and if ever there was a time to acknowledge them, it’s now. Thinking those who assist with bushfires, drought, floods, the SES who handle so much, day in, day out (big shout out to my niece who has been with them over 20 years!). Then, of course, the many medicos and support organisations, health support and research charities, the community services like Meals on Wheels and others who feed, house and support our most vulnerable. There are too many to mention – and what a blessing that is. In Australia we have a proud tradition of volunteering. Councilors like me at The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW are all volunteers and I remember the feeling of pride with the magnificent volunteering during the 200 Sydney Olympic Games. It really contributed to it being “the best Olympic Games ever” as announced at the end. It is a two way street and very rewarding when you do volunteer. I am very proud of Tasting Success, the female chef mentoring programme I co-founded in 2007 and the more recent work of Women in Hospitality, a Not-For-Profit organisation that supports and fosters career development of women in the hospitality industry, along with my other cancer charity work and the like.
However, there are so many unsung heroes who volunteer in quiet ways and let’s thank them. The many people in small communities whom I meet when I am an Australia Day Ambassador (as a volunteer) who are nominated for Community Service Awards. Those who go and visit the elderly in nursing homes (now sadly on hold) or people like my neighbours who go and play ukelele and sing for them every week. But also those who do things for their families, friends, neighbours and strangers. Our society depends on you. And also to my friends and family who are supporting me with shopping, meals and even ironing, when I am so occupied at the hospital. Thank you!
Recipe of the Week
Pink Lady Apple and Coconut Cake
Apples are right in season and we are spoiled for choice: Pink Lady, Jazz, Kanzi, Royal Gala, Delicious and Granny Smith abound. Pink Lady are my absolute favourite so, given the current baking craze, here is an easy but oh-so-delicious pink lady apple and coconut cake I cooked in the glorious Snowy Mountains when filming my Taste of Australia TV series.
DanDan Mazesoba by Michelle Widjaja of Restaurant IIKO Mazesoba
I was in Japan this time last year, hosting a tour with Mary Rossi Travel. So I thought I would share a Japanese recipe for readers anywhere who might like to try it at home. This comes from Restaurant IIKO Mazesoba, which aside from takeaway and home delivery, also sells take home packs of pre-prepared ingredients like sauces etc for you to cook at home. They, and other small businesses have been able to pivot this way due to the assistance of an ordering and delivery solution provided by Kounta.
However, they are based in Sydney and I only like to share recipes for all, so here it is, but please be aware I haven’t had a chance to test this recipe personally – but perhaps you might like to and let me know how you go?
DanDan Mazesoba Mazesoba or ‘mixed noodles’ is a Japanese noodle dish that shed its broth and comes with an umami soy based sauce.
Spicy pork mince for topping
150g pork mince
30g/1 tablespoon of Chilli Bean Sauce (Toban-djan) – Lee Kum Kee or similar brand
30g/1 tablespoon of Spicy Chilli bean sauce (Spicy Toban-djan) – Lee Kum Kee or similar brand
40g water Salt & pepper to taste
Stir-fry in the pan until brown, add pastes, water and salt & pepper to taste.
Signature Sauce at home Soy Sauce: 50ml
Boil everything and stir until combined.
Sous vide at 63°C for one hour. This can be replaced with a poached egg or pasteurised raw egg yolk.
Chopped shallots/green onion
Kizaminori/shredded nori (available at Asian grocers)
Seasoned Bamboo Shoots (available at Asian grocers)
Roasted Sesame seeds
Chilli oil – 1 tablespoon or add to taste
Rice Wine Vinegar – 1 tablespoon or add to taste
1. Put sauce in the base of the bowl.
2. Boil noodles according to package instructions and put on top of sauce.
3. Garnish the bowl with toppings
My Shows on TV
Herbie and me in our 1961 Holden Convertible “Edna”
Rib-Eye of Beef with an Irish Whiskey Sauce from my TV Series ‘Taste Of Ireland’
As the weather makes a turn for cooler temperatures I’m sharing more of the recipes you want to turn to in Autumn and Winter to warm you through and through.
This week I will be sharing my recipe for Rib-Eye of Beef with an Irish Whiskey Sauce, you can watch the accompanying video from my TV series here. I’m also sharing my ever-so-indulgent chocolate slice, you don’t want to miss that one! May 29th is Biscuit Day so I will be celebrating with a recipe I know you will all love.
To get the recipes, and much more, makes sure you check out my Facebook and Instagram pages.
This week I’m looking forward to supporting some more of my local businesses who have recently reopened and will share some of my favourites. Will you also be getting out a bit more and maybe even booking a table at your favourite cafe?
Travel with me in 2021?
In UNESCO World Heritage Alberobello with a happy group
MY HOSTED TOURS RETURN IN 2021
While I sadly had to postpone my wonderful culinary tours this year, we now have dates for next year. Many more details to come, but I wanted to give you, my subscribers the first heads up. The brochures and final costs have not yet been finalised, and although it is too soon to be thinking about travelling overseas again, here are the dates: Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata: 10-16 October 2021
This will be similar tothe one planned this year. Morocco culinary tour approx 13 – 24 May – some information here.
Results of World’s Biggest Virtual BBQ
Sadly Cure Cancer didn’t break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDSTM , however, we had almost 700 photos of people barbequing uploaded from all around the world including the UK, USA, Canada, Singapore, Philippines and the UAE. Within Australia itself we had entrants from every state and territory. Our Facebook event page had a reach of 483,000 people We really enjoyed seeing individuals come together in one barbecue community to support the record attempt and cancer research.There was a really high level of engagement on the day through their BBQs Galore partner, ambassadors like me and social media channels. Thank you for your support in this promotion, you helped to make this possible.