A Happier New Year

2020 was a disaster of a year -
no thanks to a pandemic which has left the world reeling. The suffering, deaths, misery and misfortune in its wake is beyond comprehension and tragic. However for those who were fortunate to escape being affected it has given us time to reflect, rethink priorities and readjust, appreciate and remember, evaluate and improve the way we live. Our hearts go out to those families who suffered illness, deaths, anxiety and separation and are still trying to cope. Hopefully the international roll out of vaccines will gradually improve conditions and allow us to go back to a better life and world we want.
My hearfelt wish is for A Happier New Year to all.
During the past year of isolation, one of the few positives was it gave us all time to appreciate things we took for granted.
We began to appreciate nature, birdsong and fresh air. We had time for each other and time to grow ourselves as well as produce. Simpler pleasures and what I loved was time for baking, pickling and slow cooking. I appreciated seasonal produce and with less harsh weather conditions the produce was better than usual.
There was and still is an abundance of quality seafood, fruit and vegetables so it is a joy to spend a little more time in the kitchen and also more time to try out, experiment or remember forgotten favourites.
This summer the apricots have been better than usual. I love stone fruit but they can be hit or miss. Perhaps weather conditions helped this year as the apricots I am buying are plentiful and sweeter. I loved illustrating them as the vibrant colours and pleasure of biting into them was a visual and taste sensation. I bought a bag of firm apricots allowing them to slowly ripen on the bench top deciding what to do with them and before they disappeared completely decided to pickle them briefly and stuff them with cheese and walnuts – simple and delicious, a lovely summer picnic treat or starter.
Check out the recipe and get them while they are still available.
Enjoy!

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