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 or 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 game 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) Rick 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 no-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 last 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?