Summer Vibes

 

FLASHBACK to Leeton Rice Festival in 2008. I did end up sitting on the back of the car like the Rice Princesses when being driven in the street parade

Welcome,
It’s so lovely to hear from so many of you that you are reading this newsletter despite the slower time of year for many of us. I’m taking things easier, back in the full swing of exercise with time for coffee after, trying to have a swim most days and generally not working so hard and enjoying some fabulous theatre and musicals. It’s lovely though our weather is crazy from incredibly hot and humid to very wet. There are parts of Australia suffering flooding and it seems that nature doesn’t let up for anyone. 

I am proud to have been an Australia Day Ambassador every year since 2003. I always ask to go to regional NSW as nowhere do I feel more connected with my country or its land, and importantly what it produces, than in a regional area, and the smaller the better. And I learn about the region. I understand this date is controversial, but changing the date will not change history. Rather we need to change how we observe the day and discuss what happened, acknowledging past wrongs and showing respect and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders survival, resilience and 65,000 years’ enduring culture. It can be a day of healing and connecting.

This year I have a packed programme in Leeton (hence the flashback photos from last time I was there). I’m looking forward to seeing their Museum and Art Gallery including a new survival day mural and tour of the region. On Australia Day itself, I begin with breakfast at Murrami Town Hall from 7.15am and then the official ceremony us from 9am in Mountford Park with local Citizen of the Year and other awards and a citizenship ceremony which always makes my spine tingle. Followed by a bush tucker lunch. If you are in the area please come and say hello.

LAST MINUTE OPPORTUNITY FOR MY PUGLIA TOUR 11 – 18 MAY 2024
Unexpectedly we have a slight extension of time for this until next Monday 22 January – so if you’ve been thinking about this have a look? Or contact me. It is the perfect combination of culinary travel, cultural experiences, behind-the-scenes visits to characters and producers, free time and bonhomie. We have revised the tour a little, adding an extra day and night to include a Salsa di Pomodoro Day ( the making of traditional tomato sauce with a local Nonna) and a half a day on a gullet-style tall ship, with high masts, wooden deck at Polignano a Mare. More below.

I’ll try to get a short newsletter out next week before I fly to Narrandera for Leeton on Thursday. As ever, keep up to date with me on Facebook and Instagram.  Please always feel free to email me with your requests or comments. 

Keep cooking and you’ll keep smiling– Lyndey x

 

My first cooking dem at the Leeton Rice Festival 2008 – paella. I used the same pan which I took from Sydney to make risotto the next day!

Recipes of the week

BAKED ‘SOUTHERN FRIED’ CHICKEN WITH RAINBOW SLAW & BLACKENED CORN
Baking this in the oven tastes just as good and so much easier
GET MY RECIPE HERE
SLABLOVA WITH STRAWBERRY CURD
Great do-ahead recipe to feed a crowd using in season berries
GET MY RECIPE HERE

Fun with Wine

 

What wine to match this salad? Try viognier

Are you eating main course salads now? Do you wonder what wine to choose to accompany it? Watch this video for an idea.
If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine, subscribe to my YouTube channel 
HERE or follow me on Instagram.

Food to Eat when Watching TV

Are you glued to the TV watching cricket or tennis? Or, because it is an easier time of year watching movies, or binge watching series?

Here are some easy ideas to have ready to snack on while you watch. 

Pasta Shells with Tomato, Basil & Tapenade
Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto
Roast Duck Rice Paper Rolls
Tomato Tarts with Fetta and Tapenade
Asian-Style Roast Pork Salad
Potted Prawns
Chinese Chicken Wonton Cups
Baked Huevos Rancheros
Tomato, Zucchini & Blue Cheese Tarts
Adelaide Hills Spanish Tapas 
Chicken with Apple in Prosciutto
Smoked Salmon and Nori Rolls

for something sweet 
Apple & Blackberry Crumble Muffins

and here’s something refreshing to drink 

Kaffir Lime Gin Fizz

All About Peaches & Nectarines

Peaches (L) and Nectarines (R) both come as white or yellow fruit

PEACHES AND NECTARINES
Sweet, juicy and fragrant, peaches are one of the most beautiful fruit around at this time of year. Around the size of a tennis ball, they are covered with a velvety down, and most commonly have a red-blushed yellow skin and golden yellow flesh, apart from white peaches, which have a pink-blushed cream skin and pinky white flesh. There are also donut peaches which are flat and disc-shaped.
Peaches and nectarines are both stone fruit and are similar in taste and texture – they can even grow on the same tree. Nectarines are actually a variety of peach native to China. The main difference is that nectarines have a smooth skin and slightly more acidity. Both come in either clingstone or freestone varieties – the name indicates how easily the stone is freed from the flesh.

Good for you
A source of vitamin C, which contributes to the normal functioning of the body’s immune system. A source of dietary fibre (especially if eaten with the skin on) which contributes to the normal function of the intestine. Peaches and nectarines have a low GI (42 and 43) which means their natural sugars are broken down slowly for absorption into the bloodstream.Peaches and nectarines  with yellow flesh have some beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A. Nectarines also are a source of potassium that may help balance the sodium from salt.
Nectarines are also high in vitamin B and are lower in calories than peaches.

Buying and storing
Choose peaches and nectarines that have a fragrant aroma as this means they’ll have a well-developed flavour. Select firm and plump fruit which is yellow around the stem, and avoid fruit that’s green as it means it has been picked too early and while it will soften at room temperature, the flavour will not develop any more.  Store at room temperature or if perfectly ripe, place  in the fridge in a perforated bag, where they’ll keep for a couple of days.

Preparation
Always wash peaches and nectarines before eating or cooking. You can also rub off the fuzzy bloom on the peaches if preferred. To remove the stone, use a small knife to cut around the seam of the fruit. Twist to separate the fruit and I use a melon baller or use the small knife to gently cut around the stone and remove.To peel, drop  into boiling water for around 15 or more seconds then plunge immediately into cold water. The skin should then come away easily.
If you are not going to eat cut peaches straight away, brush the cut sides with lemon juice or acidulated water to prevent them going brown.

Eat raw as they are, slice to add to fruit salads, pavlovas and trifles, bake in a tart, poach or roast. See recipes below.

Peach & Nectarine Recipes

Poached Peaches

Poached Peaches
Peaches with Strawberry Sauce
Summer Fruit & Ginger Beer Ice Blocks
Summer Fresh Fruit Salad
Summer Fruit Frangipane Tart
Little Festive Summer Stonefruit & Ricotta Cakes
Nectarine & Macadamia Tart
Easy Fruit Sorbets
Summer Fruit Galette

Things to Attend, Read About or Cook

– TO ATTEND –
Sydney Friday 8 March 12 NOON – 4PM

I am delighted to be helping celebrate Women in Australian Wine for International Women’s Day with a lunch at Sala Diningwhere Executive Chef Danny Russo is curating a menu focussed on regional Italian flavours. Female winemakers are being confirmed but Wendy Laureti fromSaddlers Creek Winesis one with wines to serve and story to tell. She was a member of the vineyard wine club, loved the wines so much she bought the vineyard! More to come.
Live entertainment Top Shelf Live
Sala Dining – Jones Bay Wharf – end of the wharf

26-32 Pirrama Road , Pyrmont NSW 2009
Bookings here with early bird 10% discount until 31 January.

– TO COOK – 
What are your favourite recipes? I’d be so interested to know. I tend to cook according to what’s in season or what’s in my fridge and what I feel like. I was surprised to see how many classics featured inGourmet Traveller’s Most Popular Recipes of 2023.
Compare this withGood Food’s 50 Most Popular Recipes of 2023where chicken and curries dominated, and budget-friendly, quick and easy recipes.
Good Food also shared their 25 Most Popular Cakes & Bakes of 2023.

Moroccan Culinary Tour



Mint tea, a welcome and a ritual in Morocco

Join my next culinary tour to Morocco from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024 organised with Carol Prior from By Prior Arrangement who has 40 years experience and peerless contacts there.

Taking in the best Morocco has to offer, this authentic gastronomic experience will see you visiting ancient palaces and medinas and enjoying exclusive dining experiences.

We will travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and then onto intoxicating Marrakech, the red city. On the way, we will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. Together, we will discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in humble local eateries and upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads.

Inclusions:

  • Personal hosting by me
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person
  • Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
  • 4×4 pick up & drop off ton the day trip to a desert camp with optional camel riding.
  • Bottled mineral water and hand sanitiser in the vehicle daily
  • English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
  • Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
  • 2 cooking classes
  • Local tourist taxes
  • Porterage
  • Restaurant tips
  • Drivers and guides gratuities
  • Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees

Testimonial: 
“Such a wonderful way to experience Morocco!
Lyndey is an exceptional tour host and our guides and drivers were first class.
It was a memorable tour filled with unique experiences.”
Debra and Neil September/October 2022

Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
More information HERE, full itinerary HERE or email me or travel@bypriorarrangement.com with any questions.

L:flatbread in the souk and R: optional mule riding in the Atlas Mountains

Puglia Culinary Adventure – May 2024



A very special lunch in the Li Velli Winery, Puglia

Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata
Spend an unforgettable week with me learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and undiscovered region of Southern Italy. Puglia is the sun-drenched heel of the boot that spans two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Basilicata is its neighbour to the West. Both agricultural regions are abundant with healthy soil, over 50 million olive trees and a tradition of wine growing that has seen a fabulous dynamism in the last ten years. This area produces some of the most exciting food and wines on the planet. With award-winning Southern Visions Travel.

Trip Highlights 

  • An in-depth visit to the UNESCO site of Matera, with free time to explore and shop
  • Bakery visit in Altamura at a DOP bakery
  • Visit to the Trullo Capital, UNESCO Heritage Site, Alberobello
  • A hands-on cooking class with a Nonna and me 
  • Insider’s look at burrata cheese making from cow to table 
  • Salsa di Pomodoro tomato experience
  • Olive grove tour and oil tasting at an ancient olive oil estate
  • Private lunch at Li Veli Winery
  • Visits to Lecce and Ostuni (the White City)
  • A half day on the water from Polignano a Mare followed by a seafood lunch
  • Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces.

Testimonial
“I was lucky enough to join Lyndey on her Puglia tour of 2022.  I thoroughly enjoyed my gastronomic tour through southern Italy.  We had knowledgeable, delightful guides who took us to the most  interesting and charming places at only locals would know.  We not only sampled the delicious produce of the regions we visited, but a door was opened to the history of the places we visited that was fascinating.  I certainly would recommend a tour with Lyndey, so much fun!”

Di, October 2022

Cost $7439 per person (twin share).
Full itinerary and enquiries here or email me.

L: traditional bread making and R: UNESCO site Matera – we stay in this incredible town