The generosity of autumn flowed right into our kitchen when we returned after Easter break. Kurt showed me some pictures of himself at the top of a ladder amongst the golden fruit and foliage of his neighbours Quince tree. He then backed up the photo evidence by producing two large bags of quince. I promptly saw his hand and produced my own two bags of gifted Quince, meaning between us we had at least 10kg of these perfumed beauties!
On top of the Quince I had also collected a good supply if Walnuts and Chestnuts thanks to my friend Ella who took me on a foraging mission through Wanaka Station Park. We rugged up the kids (having 3 little girls between us) and spent the early morning crunching our way through the golden park collecting the fruits of the last nights breeze and adding them to our loot bag.
Then came the car trip home, which as with any trip to Central Otago would not be complete without a stop and a stretch at one of the many orchard stalls along the picturesque route. On this occasion I walked out with a huge box of tomatoes, a bag of chillis and some late season apricots – most of which were devoured by two very happy little girls in the back seat on the final leg.
I’m looking forward to next week as the whole team will be back for the first time in what seems like forever. Lauren and Adam have both been away in Europe, Sara in the USA and Jess has been on leave enjoying some time with her beautiful wee girl Tilly.
So what do we have in store for you this month our lovely readers? Sara brings you tales of her travels in the USA backed up with recipes for some of her favourite eats from her trip. Kurt and I have managed to transform those Quinces from gold to ruby in a beautiful spiced stew, a fruit compote and a little tipple which is quietly infusing in a secret hidey place in the office. The bag of loot has been emptied and we get down to the art of cooking and peeling chestnuts before pairing them with chicken and mushrooms to create a delicious autumnal meal. The tomatoes and chillies are preserved to see our tastebuds through winter and I reveal the results of my yoghurt making experiment teaching you how to make delicious thick and creamy yoghurt for a steal.