Spring has Sprung!

Spring has sprung
The grass has riz
I wonder where the birdies is….

 

I can still hear my late father reciting this little ditty as he walked through the kitchen door, many, many years ago – Oh how I loved his ability to recite poetry, ditties or sing a tune about a topic being discussed…

With the arrival of spring the birdies are back in our garden… The king parrot, such beautiful bird, and if you didn’t know it, you would be looking around for a squeaky swing, which is the sound she makes the entire time she’s here. Continue reading

A Surprising Turn of Events…

Not long after we returned from our lengthy visit to France, I was asked to consider locating a commercial kitchen in order to cook for a local business. We thought about it, discussed the idea, and the search began. We needed a public hall with a commercial kitchen available for hire on a daily basis. It took a little while, but finally we located one just 20 minutes from our home. The next stage in the process was training. I enrolled in an appropriate course and this was done on line. Then there were council applications to be submitted and meetings/inspections held, along with a plethora of other issues to deal with, and then of course the testing of recipes and menu planning …

This week we finished our fifth cook. It has been a crazy and hectic journey, but we are now becoming far more efficient and time savvy. We are very proudly using locally produced ingredients and it is around these ingredients that our recipes are created. At this point, the beef, eggs, cheese, olive oil, and the majority of our veg are produced very close to home – within a 25 kilometer radius, and our milk is also local, but from a little further away. How lucky are we to be able to source such beautiful ingredients so very close to home.

For me, our packaging needed to be environmentally friendly, and with some advice we ended up with a beautiful product, in fact the bases are fully home compostable and the lids can be placed in your recycle bin. On top of this, I think it looks amazing.

So what are we cooking… We are preparing pre-packaged meals in single and family size, such as

Lamb Kofta in a Rich Vegetable Sauce with Handmade Gnocchi,

Italian Style Meatballs with a side of Handmade Gnocchi in Three Maffra Cheese Sauce, Meatballs with veg - 2or for the less adventurous, we also do the meatballs with a side of veg, and then there’s IMG_7978-rHandmade Gnocchi with Chard and Olives in a Creamy Tomato Sauce, finished with a sprinkling of Pine Nuts. Other menu items such as

salads, meatballs and Chilli Con Carne are available in single serve, family serve and large batch size. All food is gluten free and there are vegetarian, vegan and other specialty options available.

During this time a lot of things have been neglected, including my blog – I look forward to getting back in touch with everyone and telling stories about my food, my garden and other activities, and of course sharing new recipes. Naturally we have had to eat during this time of madness, and as such, had to fall back on old favourites such as Braised Chicken with White Wine and Tomatoes, Chicken & Rhubarb Curry, Roasted Honey, Soy & Lime Rack of Lamb. In fact my mum’s chocolate sponge (AKA Nana’s Chocolate Cream Cake) recipe also made an appearance!

With the weather on the change, the days getting longer, and with definite signs of spring, it is always a joy to head out to the vegie patch to enjoy some fresh air, work with the soil and plan what is to be planted out next.

Enjoying breakfast in the sunshine

Just in case you are wondering, our small fledgling business goes by the same name as this blog “SBA’s Kitchen”!  Our team is very small – just myself, ably assisted by my amazing and very supportive husband, Gary, and our food is available from

The Pickle Pot here in Maffra

& Myrtlebank Roaming Farms Farmgate Stall.

Until next time…

Bon appétit! & happy gardening.

 

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Home Sweet Home

I’m back…

After a lengthy holiday in France, we have now returned to our home and the Australian winter!  Short days and frosty mornings which means cold, but sunny days (at the moment) and very cold nights!

Naturally after such a long absence, the garden is calling for our attention, so if the sun is shining we are immediately drawn outside to enjoy the warm rays. But the place to be in the morning is the kitchen, where the sun’s rays shine through the window over the sink, providing a wonderful cosy atmosphere. I was absolutely delighted one morning this week, when I was drawn to a familiar twitter outside our kitchen – I know the voice of a very small and busy bird, the wren – we have always called them fairy wrens, and the male, if you are lucky enough to see one, is superbly dressed in the prettiest of blue.  However, I was enjoying their antics so much, I have no photos to share… In the two years we have been here this is only the second time I have seen them, with the last time just before we departed for our holiday – I await my next sighting.

In the evening, the open fire, glowing beautifully and providing the coziness needed, is the place to be as the dark crawls in, dragging along the chill and dampness with it. Something that is always a treat at this time of year is mulled wineMulled Wine - Feature ImageWith the wonderful aroma of the festive season, this drink always provides warmth and comfort with each sip. Continue reading

The Bard’s Banquet

I write this post from the opposite side of the world – my favourite place to visit – France.

Last year I was asked if I would head up the catering for the banquet at the 2018 Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Victoria. After talking to Gary about it, and asking my sister, Sonya if she would join me, I agreed. This was a voluntary role, and we would be catering for up to 120 people, including the volunteers and musicians. There would be four courses, but the meat would be managed by someone else. Continue reading

Glass Art

I was recently involved in a small catering job at the arts café, community hub and garden for the community where I volunteer. My role was simple, sandwich fillings, jams, pickles, shopping, homemade weed pies (including the gluten free pastry) etc. Then there was the making of the sandwiches, plating of all the food, with the help of my fellow volunteer, Shirley, who had made the slices and scones for the event.

While the food was being served, I opted to stay in the kitchen and clean up.  Of course, cleaning up means doing the dishes, and with only a half sized dishwasher on site, I opted to hand wash everything. As I mentioned above, this is also an arts café and one of the very talented artists, Peter Alan Cummings, wandered in for a chat. Seeing me doing the dishes, he asked for a tea towel and proceeded to dry the dishes as I washed. Peter and I often take time to chat in the café or garden at Segue, and on this occasion, the conversation turned to French artist Émile Gallé (8 May 1846 – 23 September 1904). Continue reading

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