I've been writing this food blog for over a year now, and it's time for a break. I'm well into my run of winter colds; the school holidays are approaching; and in my limited time away from the kids I need to stop writing about food for a while and instead read books, go on blustery walks, and maybe stick my nose into op shops and sniff out a few pretty plates: in short, dig in some manure, lie fallow, and rest for a month or two.
But all is not lost! The nature of seasonal eating is that it is, indeed, seasonal, and the year has come round. I have been making lots of my favourite dishes from the blog, and you can go back to them. I've been cooking my way through the pantheon of soups – pumpkin, beet, root vegetable, lentil and celeriac; I've stewed up a heap of pulses and greens; I've been making our all time staple, green pie; and, of course, we've eaten lots of potatoes!
Cold weather and hot pudding go hand in hand, so I've dug out the bottled plums and made crumbles and, for Sunday breakfasts, clafouti with plums in place of the blueberries. Our canned apples are almost finished, having been used in apple dappy and vegan apple cake, usually less a tablespoon which found its way into cabbage and apple salad or cabbage with chestnuts and apples.
So go back to 2010 and check out May, June, July and August: they'll be just as seasonal now as they were then. Remember, too, that you can always search a particular ingredient: click on 'ingredient search' in the sidebar, and it will come up with a list of produce. Click on an item, and you will get a list of all recipes that use that ingredient.
If you like to read about food, you may want to check out my lists of favourite food books on the side of the blog. One declaration: I love libraries and local bookstores and encourage you to use them too. However, if you already buy books online and you click through to fishpond from a book listed on my blog, I'll get a little cut. I currently earn enough via click throughs to buy about a book each month; I won't get rich, but if you like what you read here, it's a nice way you can support my blog!
When I started the blog, I chose not to have pictures; I'm no photographer and I don't need pictures when I read a recipe. But a few friends told me that they can't imagine what they're aiming for without an image, so I've slowly learned to photograph our dinner – some times more successfully than others – and my kids have learned to wait just one minute while I get another angle. I'm going back and adding photos to older recipes, and I may do a bit more of that in the next month or so.
In the meantime, though, while I rest and we all cook and eat, may you shop thoughtfully, cook joyfully, and share abundantly.
And when you sit down to your meal, perhaps pause for a moment, as I do, and take the time to feel a little gratitude: for the good earth which grew the food; for the water which made the land fertile and washed the produce clean; for the farmers who rarely get the chance to rest; for the labour of love which prepared your meal; and for those you are privileged to feed.
Take a moment to remember, too, those who are hungry. For a world in which everyone knows the pleasure of a full belly, let us work, hope and pray.