The Autumn season brings a whole new set of additions to my ‘to do’ list - with the last of the Summer fruit waiting to be pickled and preserved, along with this season’s fruit ripening at a rate of knots, wine ready for bottling and the unruly garden needing attention after the heat has finally subsided. I certainly wouldn't want this to come across as a gripe though - this is my favourite kind of busyness! And the season’s rewards are obvious; pomegranates, pears, apples, fennel, figs, quinces, rhubarb, eggplant, olives - the list goes on, with every reason to love Autumn.
The Good Oil
As a cook and a grower, I reserve a particular passion for olives and their ambrosial oil. Of course this passion is equalled by the desire to seek out the very best oil I can get my tastebuds on and I have to say I’m quietly chuffed at our latest vintage. Our 2015 Extra Virgin Olive Oil served quite alone, is the dressing par excellence but I do enjoy this particular oil as a wonderful balance to the saltiness of a tapenade or salsa verde. It also makes achieving a silky emulsion for mayonnaise or aioli a far easier process in my books.
Creating new recipes is inspired by so many things - to connect with growing food on a deeper level, to nourish myself, to share occasions that will become special memories for me and my family and friends, for my passion in sharing a good food life, and for what has become my business on a day to day basis. Moving to the Valley and being surrounded by ever changing seasonal produce has always been my greatest inspiration, and that in turn has allowed me to learn my craft by trial and error and I’ve gone along from one idea to the next. That is the Barossa way of life to me; being inspired by and utilising what is at hand. And we have plenty to choose from here!
What's In Season
If we were to imagine we could all just wander out into our own vegetable gardens and orchards, here's what just-picked produce we would have to choose from in the months of Autumn…