This week I held a one-on-one cooking class for a wonderful new friend, and fellow volunteer from the Garden for the Community at Stratford, Maggie. She wanted to learn how to make my gluten free Weed Pies – I continue to be fascinated how popular these pies are. I did a blog on them last year and whenever I serve them up they are a hit – they have been served at lunches, morning teas, even the opening of the local Stratford Shakespeare Festival a couple of months ago! Continue reading
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.
We continue our work in the garden, and the roses at the front entrance are stunning.
Until next time…
It’s been a busy week, particularly for Gary, my husband, as we clear the area that is to become the vegie patch!
When we arrived here, there was a quince tree and a miniature lemon tree, and then six weeks later we found another lemon tree that was hidden between an overgrown hedge and the fence. But there was no vegie patch!
I am very excited that we are now working on the area that I will now refer to as the “Corner Patch”! Just before we went to Melbourne last week, Gary got the chainsaw out and took down four trees. Two flowering pears and two bays. Now for me, I’d much rather have pear trees that give fruit, and who needs two overgrown bay trees. One can only use so many bay leaves, and a tree in a pot is easier to control and provides more than enough leaves for the kitchen. The trees hid what had become a dumping area for anything rubbish and a lot of work was needed to clear it out, in fact it took FIVE trailer loads to the tip to get rid of everything, plus we have stored what wood we could from the trees to dry for the open fire next year.
It is a standing joke among those we know that last year, in anticipation of the move, I bought 40 or so fruit trees, bare rooted, and we potted them into oversized pots to get them ready for their new home. So they are also about to be planted out, in the new area. A lot of them will be espaliered so that they will become features of the garden.
While all this work has been going on, there has not been a great deal happening in the kitchen. But we have enjoyed a lovely light Truffle Omelette, a quick and easy, as well as delightfully delicious evening meal. There was also a smoked potato soup with truffle shavings, cream and a little truffle oil, and a duck salad where I got to try my recently cured, air-dried duck breast, or as some like to call it duck prosciutto, and some of my confit duck leg. It was delicious.
Hopefully back into the kitchen this weekend, as I have some more duck ideas and some other recipes that I want to trial.
Until next time…