August 2, 2016
Julie Sullivan – food guru

Discover the joy of home cooking in the cooler months.

In my garden
Lemons, oranges and herbs are growing well. My vegetable garden is still recovering from an extended hot summer, so I am fertilising and resting beds until spring.

Seasonal produce
Citrus fruits and apples are the best! A bowl of freshly stewed apples make a great snack or simple dessert. Cauliflower, onions, cabbage, silverbeet, broad beans and artichokes are great value at this time of the year.

Winter at Vermont
As the temperature drops, life goes on but the days are shorter and more time is spent indoors and in front of the fire.

My friends and I enjoy kayaking on the river regularly, even during winter. Some mornings the fog is so thick that we can’t see the riverbank! It can get very cold and rainy but we have our thermals, thermos and snacks to warm us up. Not to mention a hearty meal at home afterwards.

It’s great to see the local soccer fields and netball courts full of kids participating in winter sports. I’ve always thought there is a great extended social network around the sporting families.

My teaching career
I have been lucky to be able to combine my passion for cooking and sewing in my career as Hawkesbury High School’s head teacher for home economics until my retirement in 2012. I love teaching skills, especially seeing the enjoyment and sense of achievement when one has been mastered. I have fond memories of my teaching days but those that give the greatest pleasure are knowing students have gone on to great careers based on the skills and knowledge taught to them. My past students have become sports nutritionists, executive chefs, fashion and costume designers, interior decorators and upholsterers.

Slow-cooked Peachy Pork

(serves 4) Pork is often an overlooked meat for the slow cooker, so why not try my peachy pork recipe?

800g-1kg diced shoulder pork (ask your butcher
for a cut that is suitable for slow cooking)
4 tbsp plain flour
11/3 cups apple cider
1 green apple, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 cloves or 1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp each ground pepper and salt
1 cup peach nectar
2 whole cloves or ½ tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp chilli sauce
1 cup peach slices
1 lemon
4 sprigs fresh coriander

Place diced pork and flour into a plastic bag and shake.
Add all ingredients to your slow cooker except the peach slices, lemon and coriander.
Cook for 6-8 hours on the lowest setting.
Add the peach slices 20 minutes before cooking finishes.
Serve with creamy potato mash and steamed vegetables.
Garnish with a lemon wedge and coriander sprig.
Or serve with potato bake and a tossed green salad.

Expect more at Vermont

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