Kate McKay is one of those cooks with a natural instinct for flavour and putting food together. She's the lady behind jam and relish range Lynwood Preserves and is also my oldest friend.
Alice, Tom and I are just back from a few days over at Collector (about three hours from Sydney, towards Canberra) with Kate and her family. Lynwood Preserves was founded 18 years ago by Kate's mother Robbie Howard (above), also an artist and wonderful cook. If ever you stopped at (the now closed) Lynwood Cafe on the way to or from Canberra from Sydney, you might have met Robbie and been lucky enough to try some of her beautiful cooking. She now writes a regular recipe column for the Canberra Times newspaper and many of these can be found here on the Lynwood website.
Kate took over the business a few years ago and produces some of the best jams and relishes going. She's constantly developing new flavours and recently added a quince jelly to the range. My favourite is the apricot and vanilla jam which is particularly good on crumpets - something we discovered on Monday after a session in the kitchen. We used a recipe by Gourmet Traveller magazine, but because we didn't have a crumpet ring, thinned the batter a little with some water and made them more like yeasted drop scones. Kate's girls Lucie and Sophie and my two polished off a big plate-full with jelly while we had ours with butter, jam and lots of tea.