Monthly Archives: October 2016

A visit to the farmgate

Last Saturday night I noticed an email which had just arrived from Wuk Wuk Beef – the market they were to attend had been cancelled! The good news was that they were going to sell from the farmgate the next day.   We quickly decided that we just had to go and see where our beautiful beef come from, so the next morning we hopped into the car and headed off. I also wanted to stop off at the little farmer’s market in Stratford, but with the weather the way it was, we didn’t know if they would be there. But alas they were – some people are so stoic! So loaded my basket with lots of fresh veg before we continued on to Wuk Wuk.

When we arrived we were greeted by Peter and we had discussions about the different cuts he had available, smoking beef, how beautiful and peaceful the area was – no wonder the beef tastes so good, the cattle are raised in idyllic surrounds. I asked Peter for a challenge! My challenge is to prepare a 2.7 brisket in my smoker, but that will be a later post. When we left we had the brisket, a girello and some beautiful scotch fillet.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the girello, but it came to me early on Monday morning, bresaola! Bresaola is cured and air dried beef, typically using girello, so I hit the net and found a few methods, recipes etc. Eventually deciding on that of a fellow blogger and got to work. I’ll let you know if it works, it should be ready by Christmas!

Sunday night I noticed a post on Facebook from Healthy Fermenting, advising that unless more people started to buy the Gippsland Jersey milk, they wouldn’t be able to continue supplying it. While I still had some in the fridge, I popped in on Tuesday to pick up some more, there was only one left, hopefully sales are improving and the new supply was due to arrive the following day. I decided it was time to make some cheese.

Gordon kindly provided me with a new recipe for Fromage Blanc, and I also made some Lemon Cheese, which is really only cheese made with the aide of lemon juice and is very much like ricotta, and it’s delicious.The Lemon Cheese was used in the Frittata we had for dinner last night.

Now back to the basket of goodies I picked up at the Stratford Farmer’s Market. At the far end of the table bunches of beetroot caught my eye, and even though I still had some in the fridge at home, I just couldn’t resist bringing some more home with me. I think the thing that attracted me most here, was the freshness, and the leaves, they just needed to be used to. So this week most of our meals have starred beetroot. We had beetroot carpaccio with goats cheese, then Braised Beetroot Leaves which paired beautifully with barbequed Pork, Onion and Sage Sausages (from Coltish Pork of course) and mash, then last night we had Beetroot Top, Leek and Fresh Cheese Frittata, oh and I also pickled and preserved a few bottles of beetroot for the store.

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We continue our work in the garden, and the roses at the front entrance are stunning.

Until next time…

Bon appétit!

Links:

 

Wuk Wuk Beef

Cotlish Pork

Healthy Fermenting

Braised Beetroot Leaves

Beetroot Top Leek and Fresh Cheese Frittata

Lemon Cheese

The Entrance

Welcome visitors in the garden

Again, we have been busy in the garden…

The pool garden renovation is now complete and it looks wonderful, thanks to a lot of hard work put in by Gary, and the help of local tradies Johnno and Nic.

Finished!

I just helped by making lunches.

Lunches for the workers

All bar the fencing had been completed when some more wonderful friends arrived from Melbourne for a weekend break. It was so good to see my dear friend Beth again – it had been about seven months since we had seen each other. She and her husband, Steve, arrived late Friday afternoon, after battling the traffic to get out of town and we soon settled in for a lot of talking and a bit of eating. I had our dinner all but prepared when they arrived. A shoulder of lamb from Forge Creek Lamb was slowly cooking on the stove top with the veg prepared as well, including a favourite of Cauliflower Cheese, this time done with goat’s milk, and goat’s cheese, as well as a little parmesan. Dessert was a favourite, crème brulee.

Saturday morning after a lesson of poaching eggs in water, we all went to a farmer’s market in nearby Sale, stopping off on the way to buy some more beautiful fresh eggs for Beth to take home. The wind was quite strong and some of the stallholders weren’t prepared – we all hopped in and helped one dismantle her gazebo before it ended up the other side of town! But from then it was a nice, but blustery, stroll along, checking out what was on offer and for me, to collect my orders from Coltish Pork and Wuk Wuk Beef. Don’t you just love buying from the local farmers. Poor Gary was seen doing a few trips back and forth to the car with our meat and some lovely fresh vegetables!

Using some of the market purchases during the week

Back home we decide to have a BBQ lunch – albeit quite late. Which meant that a variety of sausages picked up at the market were now bound for the hotplate. Fortunately with the Natural Pork sausages being onion and garlic free, everyone could enjoy a sausage. We did, however, also add some of our home smoked hot and cold salmon to the table, along with a nice fresh citrusy salad and a gluten free pull-apart that I made up quickly.

We all enjoyed sitting out on the terrace, chatting, and after a lovely relaxing afternoon and weren’t sure that we’d be able to manage dinner! We did… So just a simple meal of Scotch Fillet (from the farmer’s market) with some mash and green beans, and for dessert… Chocolate Fondant with homemade Raspberry Sorbet!

Chcolate Fondant - Recipe Feature Image

Now whoever tells you that Chocolate Fondant is difficult to make is wrong!!! I have a book that I absolutely love,dsc05899-r “Lunch in Paris” by Elizabeth Band. Elizabeth is an American Journalist based in France and she writes the story of how she went out to lunch with a Frenchman, fell in love and ended up living in Paris. I love this book so much, that I have two copies! Earlier this year when my mother was visiting I wanted to make Chocolate Fondant for her birthday dinner, but horror, we could not find either copy of the book anywhere! Both my husband and I scoured the piles of books (at that stage we didn’t have our bookcases) but to no avail. So there was no Chocolate Fondant, just Nana’s Chocolate Cream Cake for the occasion. Not long after both copies came home – I had leant one copy to each of my sisters!

Anyway I digress!

During one of our wanders around the garden, Beth commented on the wasp/bee like insects that were thick and very active around the roses and the Kaffir Lime, I made the comment that maybe they liked aphids, as there were very few to be seen, which is unusual. So after they left I did a little research and discovered that they were Hover Flies, and guess what, they love aphids – I quickly declared these little insects to be welcome guests in our garden.

Moving on, this week Gary and I have erected our garden shed, mainly Gary, I should say. Although I was seen up a ladder on more than one occasion! I love our little shed, it fits perfectly with our house and garden, and it will be right down in the corner patch for quick and easy access.

As we were carrying the shed panels down to the Corner Patch, I was pointing out new flowers in the garden and Gary commented that he loved that even though we were in the middle of doing something, I could still take the time to look around and find things! I must say I am easily distracted in the garden, which is what happened as I was heading back to the house for something and noticed a large number of orange butterflies on the white hebes (a little research and I discovered these to be “Wanderer” Butterflies and apparently they are not so common in this area) – more welcome visitors in the garden. I just had to sit on the lawn and try to get a photograph – I failed as you can see.

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When I was not needed I worked at moving more dirt and setting out two more little beds, which will soon be home to rhubarb and asparagus, as well as being home to my treasured strawberry pots.

Finally, as a treat one night this week I made a delicious meal using another cut of Forge Creek Lamb Sumac and Garlic Lamb with Roasted Tomatoes and Yoghurt Sauce. I so love it when a recipe idea comes together so nicely.

Sumac and Garlic Lamb - Recipe Feature Image

Until next time…

Bon appétit!

Links:

Pool Garden

Chocolate Fondant

Sorbet

Sumac and Garlic Lamb with Roasted Tomatoes and Yoghurt Sauce

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A Lot of Gardening and a Little Bit of Citrus

With the weather on the improve, the garden has been the place to be of late. While the garden on the terrace has been totally revamped,

Gary has been working around the pool, removing the existing planting and totally renovating the surrounds. He has removed a trailer load of nandina, rectified the irrigation system, barrowed in pebbles, sunk plinths and has urns ready for the planting. He has also erected our old canter-lever umbrella, and employed some local tradespeople to extend the paving – it looks amazing – but you’ll have to wait to see how it looks…

I have spent a little time in the corner patch, where we now have a raspberry bed, all planted, and with trellis erected.

But one must be patient, it will be a year or two before we see any real results from this little patch. I’ve also been leveling the ground and stockpiling soil in readiness for the creation of all the new beds.

In the kitchen, well, inspiration has come from our garden, to a degree. Our little patio mandarin had 12 fruit, so we could either eat them as is, or make some marmalade which would reward us for a longer period of time. We opted for Mandarine Marmalade which also has a little Cointreau added just at the end.

Then there are lemons, so this morning when I was making a batch of gluten free Friands, I ducked out and pulled one off the tree to liven the mix for the raspberries and almond ones.

Another recipe that has been brewing for a couple of weeks, is Blood Orange Vinegar, a recipe that I found in the wonderful book “A year on the Farm” by Sally Wise. This vinegar is not only beautiful to look at, it really livens up a salad. We have a blood orange tree ready to be planted, so hopefully in a few year’s time, we will be making it with our own oranges.

Finally, given that it is now asparagus season, and I had picked up some beautiful thick spears from our local farmer’s market, I made an Asparagus, Cheese and Shallot Tart to have for our dinner.

It was so good to come in from the garden and quickly put a salad together to serve alongside – for Gary, I topped his off with some of our home smoked salmon.

There is lots to do in the garden still, the shed is to be erected on the new concrete slab, more leveling of the ground, and the building of the new beds, meantime the seeds have been planted and are showing their colour as incentive for me to get to work.

So until next time…

Bon appétit!

Links:

Mandarine Marmalade

Friands

Blood Orange Vinegar

Asparagus, Cheese and Shallot Tart

The Terrace

Reunions

You may have seen that we recently attended our little grandson’s second birthday, which was a wonderful day. The party was hosted by Cooper’s parents, Chris and Cin, at Cin’s parents’, Mike and Chris, home. While we were there, Mike showed, and told us about some smallgoods he had been making at classes in Melbourne, and was very generous, giving us a pack, with four salamis in it, as we left.

I couldn’t wait to taste them – they were delicious, so started to think of ways I could use them in my cooking. I have made three dishes, one was just a Braised Cabbage with Shallot and Salami, then a Antipasto Tart to share with my sisters and cousin, and finally, for me was a great combination – a dish of Homemade Pumpkin Ravioli with Scallops with Salami and Pea Puree.

It is always so rewarding to share your own produce with family and friends. It is also so exciting to receive wonderful homemade produce to play with in the kitchen as well, isn’t it?

Unfortunately my sisters, cousin and I had to travel to our hometown of Navarre to attend the funeral of an elderly friend and neighbour. However, it did give us the opportunity to visit our lovely mum who hasn’t been so well of late. We also had some “girl” time together, sharing meals around the family table, as well as a lot of reminiscing and catching up. Jan had cooked lamb with lots of veg, including silverbeet from the garden, for our dinner, Sonnie had brought along a garlic pide which they used to mop up the sauce from the Green Beans Braised in Tomato that I had added to the table, and for dessert I had made a Cherry Clafoutis.  The next morning, again, Jan had things all organized with some beautiful local produce, so we had bacon and poached eggs.

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It is a little sad that funerals also become reunions of sorts. A gathering of people with a common link – a special person who brings them all together for one last time as they bid their cherished family member or friend good bye. While a sad occasion, it is also time to renew old aquaintances, try to work out who that person is that looks so familiar, but you just can’t put a name to the face. Time to reminisce and catch up on old times and new.

Finally we said our good-byes and began the long drive home. My sister, Sonya and I had a mission, we needed manure for our garden. The weather was very wet, the rivers, creeks and gutters were all running quite high, but very early on in the trip we managed to load 5 large bags of sheep manure and 4 of horse manure into the back of Sonnie’s wagon (unfortunately there was not enough room for any more). You can imagine that aroma was not exactly roses in the car for the rest of the journey – sorry, Sandra…  At Sonnies, we transferred my share of the manure to my car, together with the asparagus, rhubarb and the rest of my belongings, and I continued the journey back to Maffra. Six hours after we left Navarre, I arrived home to an open fire and a glass of wine, thank you to my wonderful husband.

(Unfortunately there is an issue with my site with regard to iPad viewing, we are currently working on this and hope to have it resolved very soon.)

Until next time

Bon appétit!

Links:

Braised Cabbage with Shallot and Salami

Antipasto Tart

Cherry Clafoutis

Green Beans Braised in Tomato

Blind Baking

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