Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Favourite Things To Do In The Spring

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Welcome again to the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge, a year-long challenge set by the good folk at Long and Short Reviews that anyone can participate in
. Check out the site to see who else is playing along.

This week’s topic needs a bit of adjustment because it’s autumn here and spring for us is a whole winter away.

Favourite Things To Do In The Spring Autumn!

Where to start? Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year because the days are usually mild which makes it great for doing things I adore, like golfing and lunching and generally being out and about and soaking up those warm rays before the winter cold arrives. Activities that are a tad curtailed thanks to the world health crisis.

But there is one thing I love to do in autumn that hasn’t been affected (much) and that’s cooking. So many opportunities!

Autumn is fig time, one of my favourite fruits. Which means I can make fig, prosciutto and mozzarella salad or simple desserts like honey roasted figs Bake With Anna Olson by Anna Olsonor fig and hazelnut tart. And mandarins come into season too. They’re lovely to eat on their own or they’re great in this mandarin, pistachio and chickpea cake. Yes, chickpeas! It’s delicious, I promise.

Apples come into season too giving the perfect excuse to make crumble, tarte tatin and other goodies. I’ve been binge watching excellent television series “Bake with Anna Olson” and recently bought the companion cookbook and now have lots of new apple things and more to try. Rah!

Autumn is also the start of the Australian Rules Football season. The Hein house becomes veeeery noisy on Sydney Swans Sydney Swans on tellygame days. I love my boys and like to dress up in my fan gear and cheer loudly. I know they can’t hear or see me through the telly but that’s not the point. It’s the vibes. And I do my best to send plenty of good ones their way. Although last season my vibes must have been duds because we were a bit disappointing. That’s okay. I’ll just try harder this year. Assuming the competition continues. It’s uncertain at the moment. (It’s now on hold.)

I also like to cook footy food to enjoy with the game. Things like celebrity chef (and my crush as discussed here) Home made samosas and bhajisRick Stein’s delicious Cornish pasties or my own made up little beef pie recipe. Or spicy satays, barbecued ribs, hot and sticky chicken wings, and Indian inspired feasts with homemade samosas and vegetable bhajis (pictured left with raita). And Jim makes a mean barbecued steak sandwich, dripping with onions, egg and bacon. All completely bad for you but pffft. Who cares? It’s footy season!

March brings us St Patrick’s Day too. A perfect excuse to stock the fridge with cans of Guinness and Kilkenny, along with the occasional bottle of Australian sparkling shiraz – a lovely autumnal drink. The beers also remind us that it’s time to break out our favourite beef in beer recipe. Delia Smith’s, from her Winter Collection, is awesome.

Casseroles need homemade, slow-rise bread. I came across a recipe for a A slice of cheesy mustard breadno-knead version years ago and have been using it ever since. But if I’m in a hurry I make do with this soda bread recipe, which I shared on my now archived blog series Friday Feast. Or, with more time, I make this focaccia, although I’m very keen to try Anna Olson’s focaccia recipe to see how it compares. If it’s like any of her other stuff, it’ll compare very well. Total new-born Anna fangirl, that’s me.

Hooly-dooly, I nearly forgot to mention Easter! The traffic tends to be diabolical around here then, with everyone heading up the north coast, so we usually stay put and stuff ourselves with seafood, footy and multiple rounds of golf. Chocolate too, although not too much – I can’t remember the Secret France by Rick Steinlast time we bought Easter eggs – and hot-crossed buns. I’ve been making this recipe for years but this Easter I’m going to put Anna’s to the test. I can’t go around buying new cookbooks and not use them, can I?

Speaking of which, I have Rick Stein’s new Secret France cookbook to play with too. Squeee!

So that’s me and my autumn loves. It’s handy that the weather tends to be excellent for golf because if I cook all the things I’m hoping to, I’m going to need all those walky miles, swings and more to wear them off. Golf also gets me outdoors and I don’t know about you, but this self-isolation is starting to send me a bit kooky.

What are your favourite things to do in autumn?


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20 thoughts on “Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Favourite Things To Do In The Spring

  1. AvatarJudy Thomas

    You are officially making me hungry this morning… I so have to try the prosciutto and mozzarella salad… we have a huge fig tree in our backyard. And I have the definite feeling I will be stalking your page for recipes.. I love to cook!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      YAY!! Cooking is the best fun, isn’t it, Judy? I love the creativity of it. And the eating. of course. I’m very jealous of your fig tree. SUCH a wonderful fruit.

  2. AvatarMary Morgan

    You should have heard me sigh after reading your post, Cathryn, lol! Autumn is my favorite of all the seasons! It’s a time where I love to cook and bake more! And don’t get me started on my collection of cookbooks either. I believe I’ve added a couple more to my “wish” list today. Absolutely enjoyed reading your blog. 🙂 Happy Autumn!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Thank you so much, Mary! I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed the post. I love sharing recipes and comparing cooking notes, and totally with you on autumn being a wonderful tome too cook and bake. It’s perfect pastry making weather. It gets so hot here in the summer pastry never seems to turn out right.
      Oh, and check out this recipe using new season apples. It’s a beauty. I’m making it tonight for our dessert.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oh, I love how you’ve described fall, Tena! I don’t get that visual change where we live – its too warm and not a lot of deciduous trees. I had it where I grew up, in the far south of Australia and still miss it. I would love to see fall in North America though. I’ve watched documentaries about the forests etc and it looks spectacular.

  3. AvatarFiona McGier

    I was wondering if anyone was going to be checking in from where it’s autumn, not spring. In fall, we go apple-picking at our favorite orchard and I mass-produce pies, which I freeze un-baked, so when anyone gets a taste for a pie, or if someone I know needs cheering up, I can pull one out and bake it up. I also like to make baked apples, which are much simpler than a pie, but definitely enhanced by vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. Yum!

    I put up my corned beef and colcannon recipes on my website, Me faither was from Glesga (Glasgow), but his maither was from Northern Ireland. He’d never seen corned beef until he came to the US. I read that Irish immigrants were used to beef briskets, but couldn’t find them here, so they turned to the local Jewish delis, which had corned beef. So that makes the “tradition” a typical American thing, with a blending of the best from more than one culture. That’s how I like it!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Your autumn apple cooking fest sounds fabulous, Fiona!! We’re big fans of apple pie and apple strudel in our house. My Jim is such and apple dessert fiend he’d want to move in.
      I love colcannon and we do corned beef regularly so I look forward to checking yours out. Thanks!
      Oh, and you might like this apple recipe from one of Australia’s leading chefs. It’s a favourite of ours. I’m making it tonight in fact.

  4. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    All that lovely food, yummo! The only thing I’m cooking at the moment are vegetables and meat for our lunches and dinners, haven’t made cakes, muffins or desserts since I got sick last February but I have discovered Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy ice cream, cookie dough and peanut butter and cookies are my fave, so good.
    Gosh, favourite things to do in the autumn – as the first 6 weeks are still lovely and warm I continue my early morning walks which I do either in Wollongong walking from the lighthouse on Flagstaff Hill to North Beach which is called The Blue Mile and is gorgeous with spectacular views or the Berkeley loop on one side you have Lake Illawarra on the other is Hooka Creek, following the path you’ll find carved seats with words written in aboriginal language and a bridge and jetty with carved timber railings designed by 24 students from Illawarra Sports High School, the jetty acts as a link between the bridge and the water pavilion – which they call a place of healing (sadly not much walking at the moment except in the backyard). Another favourite thing is going for long drives though that is more towards the end of autumn when it’s much cooler.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      It’s been too long since I’ve been down Wooloongong way, Sue. I really must remedy that because those walks sounds gorgeous and I’d love to see how much it’s changed.
      Sadly, that won’t happen for a while. Oh well. Next year!


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