FOOD: Spring milk ricotta and pikelets.
Even milk has seasonality. Developments in agriculture that have seen variation diminish can be seen in both a positive and negative light. However, the difference in a milk from a spring pasture should be celebrated. I have the good fortune of knowing hobby farmers with goats and I find this milk, in particular, to be richer and sweeter at this time of year.
Spring also brings so much more than milk. The bees are just starting to build up honey stores again after the lean winter so, once spring is well under way, some can be harvested. Honey, like milk, is almost a snapshot of the season. This time of year is so evocative, as new flowers awaken on plants that have lain dormant during the cold weather. White kunzea is a shrub endemic to Australasia but rarely used in our kitchens. I find it has similar applications to rosemary or thyme, so adding this to honey or marinating it into oil works well.
Ricotta is a very, very simple thing to make but there are tricks and much observation required in order to perfect the knack. Heating the milk too quickly, for instance, can result in the ricotta being too grainy and
• somewhat chalky, so be wary of falling into this trap.