Sunday, April 11, 2010

This is where I've been....

This past month has been a blur for me. The start of a new day job, which I'm really enjoying, for one, took up a substantial amount of physical and mental energy. Any down time that I have has been spent testing numerous recipes, doing research, taking and editing photos, and following up on paperwork and applications.

Finally I am able to unveil what has been taking up the majority of my time as of late. The fruits of my labour, the silver lining in my cloud when things are rough, my pride and my joy.

Those of you familiar to this blog knows that I take a lot of care in testing and developing my recipes. Sometimes all it took was an visual image in my mind to turn it into reality. Such was the espresso, fig and pomegranate cake. Other times, it took a lot of tries and a lot of frustration to reach a point where I am satisfied.


Late Summer Products
(I actually brought them out a month ago, so pardon the slightly out-of-seasonality)


Espresso, Fig and Pomegranate Cake with Butterscotch Sauce


Plum and Quark Cake
(Schulz Organic quark gave this cake a delectable tender and creamy crumb)


Is developing a cake recipe really that challenging? After all, there's a multitude of recipes anywhere you care to look which will readily give up its secrets at the flip of a page or the click of a button.

My cakes are an expression and an extension of myself. I know what I want them to taste like before the batter was made, before the ingredients were weighed. Some were just right the first try. Others required more tweaking, and a stubborn few ended up being axed from my repertoire.

I'm currently working on getting myself a spot at one of the Melbourne Farmers Markets, but I'm at that stage where all I can do is really cross my fingers. Amidst all, I find it imperative for my sanity that I take the time to read. I am attempting to re-educate myself, to strengthen my knowledge about eating and buying sustainably produced food, and the reason for it.

I may have mentioned that Barbara Kingsolver's 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle' is one of my favourite books. Ever. Kingsolver's genius lies in her ability to deliver information in engaging and often humorous ways that is always easy to understand. From there, I have branched out to Pollan's 'The Omnivore's Dilemma', a book which many, including both Barbara Kingsolver and Matthew Evans (see next paragraph), have made references to.

My most recent (and favourite) purchase was Matthew Evans' 'The Real Food Companion'. This book is truly a joy to read; something that I wish I had written myself, because, before the publication of said book, I had wished on numerous occasions that someone would write a book that focuses on produce and ingredients as well as the ways to prepare them. Preferably someone who understands Australian produce, and who champions seasonality. And in this book, I got exactly what I had been longing for: a book that explains produce with more than just a passing interest.


Fall/Winter Products
(or part of it, as I'm still testing recipes)


Brown Sugar and Apple CrumblePie


Pear and Milk Chocolate CrumblePie


Vanilla Bean and Maple Persimmon Cake


Honey and Almond Cake
(reminiscent of honey bears/graham crackers, but gluten-free!)


Quince and Rosewater CrumblePie

All that is the reason why I am doing this. Why I am adamant about changing my range with the change of seasons, and why I have to keep testing recipes using new season produce that I find on my weekly jaunts to the farmers' markets. It is not out of pretense that I categorise my produce into ' S/S' and 'F/W', but out of respect for the seasons and what they literally bring to the plate. What started as an interest has bloomed into a full blown love affair with baking and eating seasonally; at present I look forward to each week as new varieties of heirloom apples, pears, quinces, and fresh nuts and citrus go on their way to mark the start of colder weather.

With any luck at all, I may soon be on my way to sharing them with you.

35 comments:

Chocolate Freckles said...

Beautiful Pictures!!! loved them!!

grace said...

i spy with my little eye OODLES of tasty treats. excellent photographs of some amazing goodies. :)

Grace said...

All of these look absolutely wonderful Christy. You have been very busy. I am so excited for the spring and summer harvest. I did so much canning and freezing last year and have a little left over but I am sure to run out quite soon. All the best!

Rowaida said...

Love your post Christy can't wait for the recipes. Ingredients looks great, Love the pomegranate on the cake. Thanks

Y said...

I love every piece from your collection. How annoying that you're all the way in Melbourne!

tytty said...

good luck.

whoever else that has been the guinea pig tester for your creations is one lucky duck.

i've always been interested in the technical aspect of recipes. like why baking soda and not baking powder? and why a teaspoon and not a half? you probably know better. i find joepastry.com helpful.

Ash said...

Look at all the lovely treats!!!
Lovely photo's!

Mallory Elise said...

wow Christy those look great. i would by anything formed in a baby loaf pan :) so what job are you doing during he day?

Shaheen said...

I love each and every thing you've photographed. I've never tried pomegranate with cake. We usually just eat it just the way it is or extract the juice.

Rosalind治男Garney火吟 said...

Virtue is a jewel of great price.......................................................

pity said...

i wish you the best! i wouldnt really know which one to choose, all of them look soooo delicious, nice shots too! cheers from london

RexTemples20144 said...

以簡單的行為愉悅他人的心靈,勝過千人低頭禱告。........................................

聖妃聖妃 said...

Well done!........................................

Totchie said...

I really find myself preparing cake in some of your words... there are many recipe but most of the time I know how I want my cake or dish taste like before beginning the recipe... and then instead of strictly following a recipe I follow what I trust could be good
The basis of all recipes are the same : it is the extension of ourselves that we put inside which rendered them different.

I love your pictures.

Mallory Elise said...

so xanthan gum in my brazilian grocery stores is not gonna happen. i knew it wouldn't so that's why i said i have to do alternatives. WHICH last night i bought a pizza stone and added eggs and gelatin to the dough, and....PERFECT! funny thing is i didn't have any plain gelatin, so i used some lemon lime flavored (ewww) but you obviously couldn't tell. i can't believe it worked! now i'm trying to figure out how to make it lighter, fluffier. so more experiments. i think i'll try baking powder next....this is the 4th experiment and it's getting better each time :) brazil is a a manufacturer of xanthan gum, but not for food. it's used for petrol....anyways...

life is extremely good despite the job i'm doing now (writing stupid stupid things) but i'm learning portuguese, and we're having a lot of fun finishing the house one weekend at a time--this last weekend i bought a desk finally and framed some large prints and bought wine gasses! finally no more wine in a jam jar :P and last thursday our couch came after ordering it 6 weeks ago! we have so much fun together, we're one of those annoying couples that seem to be constantly happy :) hehe. how can i not be!!

let me know how the Portland plans are coming :)

simauma said...

Hello!! My name is SIMAUMA. I write blog about the food.Please look.And I am glad if I link to your blog. (URL)http://food-collection-simauma.blogspot.com/

俊冠樺宇 said...

唯有穿鞋的人,才知道鞋的哪一處擠腳......................................................

Mary said...

This is my first visit to your blog. It won't be my last. I love the food you prepare and your photos of it are wonderful. I hope the new job continues to go well for you. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

camelia said...

Hello,


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
enjoy your recipes.

Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site"

Best regards,

Vincent
petitchef.com

Glennie9654 said...

All roads lead to Rome. 堅持自己所選!

Judith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
懿綺 said...

Efforts to fight fuel!........................................................

裕以 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
淑芬 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
桂竹桂竹 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
彥安彥安 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
佩GailBohanan1蓉 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GlenS_Mielke12嘉偉17 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
asda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Allison Jones said...

Seasonality is the way to go - the moment it becomes a habit instead of a conscious effort is absolutely amazing - it's like syncing with the world in the best possible way. Come back soon! I'm missing your posts!

江婷 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sheryl said...

Christy, it was great to finally meet you in person. Those apple crumble pies are to die for!! Absolutely scrumptious and the Persimmon cakes were so moist..as were the carrot cakes. Keep up the fantastic work, I'm sure your market days will keep getting busier and more popular each time! All the best xx

? said...

They look gorgeous; loved the way you compose them.

One Pair Two Pear said...

I adore adore and adore your photographs! Its so inspiring to see a fellow aussie with such a beautiful blog.

Many thanks for inspiring me today!

Katie

Paula said...

Such beautiful photos