As the Autumn season draws to a close it’s hard to believe we’re almost June already. The next few months will fly by and once the silly season hits, it will be over once again. I have this weird sensation over the last few months, that we are hurtling. Time won’t sit still. I feel like I’m in a shopping trolley that’s crashing down a steep hill. The flat nowhere in sight. I want some stillness. Being in Thailand and Laos over the last 4 weeks has been a good mix of stop and go. It’s been hot. Real hot. Not long now until we come home to the emergence of winter.
This Autumn as been great. Auckland has had many warm, sunny days. Easter for example was all promise of torrential rain, but turned out to be beautiful blue skies all long weekend. Autumn fashion is hawt. I like tailored stuff more than showing skin. Tailored coats and cute jackets. Smart hats and sexy boots. Dresses, tights and colourful scarves.
This Autumn, I wrote a list of 10 foodie-related things to do. This is my 4th seasonal to do list which means that the tomorrow’s list is my 2nd winter to do list and I would have come full circle. These are some of things that I’ve always wanted to do. A mini-food-bucket list if you will. This Autumn, my list consisted of:
I made bacon. I bought a piece of free range pork belly, cured it and smoked it. Yes! Really! I am sure I can improve on it, but making your own bacon is easier than you would think and very satisfying.
Read about my bacon making adventure here.
Experience a degustation
Maybe the epitome of foodie dining. I love the concept of handing over my freedom of choice to the chef. Summer for us is all BBQs and winter is too much hibernation for degustation. I figured that a special occasion in Autumn would be just perfect.
Read about our special occasion degustation here.
Cook a big pot of chili
A big pot of chili sounds so comforting and warming. Cheap, filling and an easy crowd pleaser, I simmered a big pot of chili on the stove and we enjoyed it over many meals with spagetti, nachos and cornbread.
Check out my post with recipe and photos here.
Cornbread makes me think of the hearty food from the southern states of America. I think of the movie The Green Mile and how cornbread was presented as a heartwarming thank you present. We don’t eat cornbread here in New Zealand but they talk about it so much in the movies that I’ve always wanted to try it.
My prediction that cornbread was more cake than bread was right when I made this thing that I’d never eaten before. I dislike trying recipes for food I’ve never eaten before because it’s hard to know if you’ve done it justice. I think I did ok.
You can read about it here.
Make Cornish Pasties
After trying both venison and beef versions of Sarah’s Cornish Pasties at Splore Festival at the start of the year, I dreamed of making my own crescent shaped pies. I first made a traditional Cornish Pasty with beef, lamb and swede which you can read about here, but this was outshined by my second attempt using puff pastry. In my second attempt I went buck wild and filled the pasties with beef, lamb, bacon and smoked cheddar. It was incredible. You can read about here.
Do something with eggplant
As a child, I hated eggplant. They were bitter and spongey and the stuff of evil. I tried cooking with eggplant once this Autumn. It wasn’t the greatest.
It looked innocent enough and I’m pretty sure that an eggplant lover would enjoy what I cooked. Unfortunately, we just aren’t those people.
You can read about it here.
Make Tom Yum
This spicy soup is one of my favourite Thai dishes. I had the chance to cook this while at a cooking school in Thailand. It was delicious and easier than expected. One of the best Tom Yum Gai I have ever tasted.
Read about it here.
Make a chowder
There simply isn’t enough chowder in my life. Pass the cream please.
I made a salmon and mussel chowder as they are two seafoods that are great quality and great value here in New Zealand. You can expect to pay a bomb for seafood, but there are cheaper alternatives to explore.
Read about my chowder making adventure and recipes for salmon head stock and salmon and mussel chowder here.
Make a feijoa preserve
This autumn, we had a good bounty of feijoa. Feijoa are a guava that have a short, intense season here in Auckland. The fruit that Tofu the rabbit didn’t eat, were shared amoung friends, family and workmates. I also made a couple of jars of feijoa curd.
Read about it here.
Try a new fruit
I’ve been to many countries in South East Asia and I’ve tried many exotic fruits. During a trip to Thailand and Laos, I thought it was time to find and try a fruit I had never tried before.
After seeing a pregnant local eating tamarind pods in Chiang Mai, we got to try some on a farm in Pai.
Read about the fruit feast here.
So there you have it. The first time I have completed my seasonal bucket list. I am proud as punch of myself.
What are you looking forward to eating this season? Have you got any exciting plans for edible adventures?
For my new readers, the aim of these to lists is to tend to a growing edge. Your growing edge is the part of you that is still learning, trying new things and experimenting. It’s the area of your life that you are improving and working on. It’s often too easy to keep cooking your favourite tried and true dishes over and over again. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I feel like there’s so many delicious things to eat and and so little time that I need to push forward to get anywhere. Not only will you learn new things, but the unfamiliar or things that you shrink away from can become familiar to you with practice. It’s the initial leap that is the hardest.
I first started writing a seasonal to do list in winter of 2011.