11 November was perfect weather for our members pizza get together at Judith and David Ball’s home in Berry.
David had the fire going in the pizza oven from 11 am and Judith had prepared masses of dough that formed the base for special toppings, Judith was helped in the topping preparation by several of our members and the results were delicious. Fresh and healthy was the basis of the pizzas and some vegetable greens came from David’s spectacular vegetable garden.
Everyone made up their own pizzas and took them to the fire for cooking then Wow, what a way to eat.
Another wonderful evening and many thanks to the Balls for their generosity and hard work.
Slow Food Saddleback’s Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 14 October at 3pm in Gerringong. With a captive audience still finishing their cake and coffee following the Sauce Workshop, we quickly set to work on the important things.
A new Committee was elected and office bearers chosen. The financial statements showed a healthy bank balance that will be used this coming year to further some of our aims.
It was pleasing to have a large group with ideas and suggestions for planning for the future. Already new projects are emerging in the area that are important, and sit well the Slow Food ideas. Celia will do a follow up post on this site in the near future, detailing SFS plans for next year.
WATCH THIS SPACE!!
The new Committee is Celia Wade – Leader/Secretary
Michael Blythe – Treasurer/ Ticket Secretary
Judith Ball, Carolyn Evans, Helen Attwater, Liz Churcher, and Judith Flynn make up the rest of the Committee.
We would welcome any suggestions and ideas from members at any time, and thank everyone for all their enthusiasm and involvement over the past year.
The Farmed Table with Brendan Cato
On Friday and Saturday nights last weekend, 27 and 28 October a wonderful meal was prepared and served at the Gerringong Siding by Brendan and friends.
Several Slow Food Saddleback members attended, and were excited by the use of fresh local produce and foraged goodies.
Brendan’s idea is to use Farmed Table pop up to bring people together to enjoy a meal whilst showcasing foods from boutique producers, local farmers and artisans.
Following the meal all green waste is returned to the farmers to feed their animals.
The menu featured Mahbrook baby leek, and eggs from Foxground. This was supplemented by roast cauliflower and Pecora dairy cheese.
The main courses were yellowfin tuna with native finger limes and cured mullet roe, and chickens from Crooked River, with unwanted leaves and forgotten weeds!
Rhubarb and granita with lemon aspen completed a wonderful meal.
What a great night, and exciting ideas on food and its production was shared by all.
Much chopping, whizzing and cooking resulted in a very tasty and relaxed Workshop held in Gerringong Town Hall on Saturday 14 October.
Carolyn, Liz and Helen from the SFS Committee demonstrated and explained to the attendees the finer points of everything from harissa and chermoula to quick mayonnaise, horseradish cream and finally a bourbon vanilla salted caramel sauce.
Lunch followed, a real banquet of food to highlight the benefits of a special sauce addition!We all learned lots of new tricks and ways to make a real difference to simple dishes.
Michael, Beverley, Helen and Liz had “prepared some dishes earlier”, these were followed by cakes, a wonderful orange cake that was a perfect match for the bourbon sauce, and a flourless almond and coconut cake, and yoghurt cake with rose scented berries.
With lots of laughs and good general chatter we Slowfooders were well prepared for the following Annual General Meeting.
Last Sunday, 27 August, Celia Wade, Judith Ball, and Steve and Mary Anderson attended a wonderful Basic cheesemaking workshop held by the Valley Cheesemakers at the Kangaroo Valley Hall. We all collected at 8.30 am on a cold morning wearing aprons and hygienic caps, and bringing with us draining containers, wooden spoons and cooler bags to prepare to make and take home our product from the day.
The teachers including our member Jan Watson, were professional and very informative. Delicious morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea kept us going while we measured, tasted and cooked up our basic cheeses. Everything needed to produce our cheeses was provided, milk and starters, hoops and other equipment.
We achieved delicious results – feta, haloumi, chèvre and ricotta, with generous portions to take home. Tastings were also included – marscapone, sour cream, quark and labneh, and an assortment of more advanced cheeses made by our teachers as part of lunch.
A very professional and rewarding day that will lead to home production of these wonderful products using local milks, and a desire to attend more advanced classes in the future.
The National Slow Food Conference was held from 2-6 August in Maitland and surrounds, and was hosted by Slow Food Hunter Valley.
The theme was From the Land and its People, Good, Clean and Fair Food for all!
The prelude to the Conference included bus tours and lunch, Slow Wine, History and Tastings and Food Communities in the Hunter Valley
These visits were then followed by 3 full days of workshops, conversation and information.The last morning featured the global Slow Food perspective and governance reports and discussion from the National Management group.
Highlights of the program were the opening of the first official Earth Market in Australia in Central Maitland, followed by lunch in the Levee and catch ups with market stall holders and local farmers.
Another highlight was an evening talk by Bruce Pascoe, author of Dark Emu in which Bruce argued for a reconsideration of our understanding of the way Aboriginal people lived in colonial times.This was followed by a dinner at Tocal College featuring local Galloway beef (listed on the Ark of Taste)
The forum panels were exciting and thought provoking with passionate and dedicated speakers discussing producers and chefs networks, using the media for change and the Youth Network.
Highlights were the forum on Guerrilla Farmers – overcoming regulatory challenges to becoming a viable, small scale good, clean and fair farmer, and the discussions on Slow Meat, eat less meat of better quality.
The next day featured panels discussing and reporting on Slow Food networks and Biodiversity projects.
The Conference dinner was held at Maitland library and celebrated local seasonal produce and Slow wine.
Talks were given on organic wines and the challenges facing vigneron and wine makers to produce clean and fair wine, that also tastes good.
As usual the Conference reunited old Slow fooders from all over Australia and introduced new members to the principles and importance of the Slow Food movement.
I am working on a summary of the Conference and would be happy to pass this on to people at the end of the month, together with the reinforced management system for Slow Food in Australia and the way forward.
Celia Wade, Leader, Slow Food Saddleback
Members and friends of Slow Food Saddleback attended the Fermentation Workshop held jointly with Slow Food Shoalhaven on Saturday 22 July,in Berry.
The workshop was run by naturopath Marilyn O’Dowd and wonderful products were learned and created.
All attendees went away with new knowledge, recipes and the results of their labours.
We also were lucky enough to have a delicious soup lunch with sourdough breads and fermented drinks and teas.
Marilyn was a great source of information on the flora in the gut, how important good eating is and many little hints on helping to improve digestion and gut health.
Committee members from Slow Food Shoalhaven produced the lunch and did most of the organisation, so many thanks to Rosie Cupitt and her team.
The waiting list for this event suggests another workshop next year, so please let us know if you would be interested.
Celia Wade, Leader, Slow Food Saddleback
What a night was had by all 80 diners!
It was a great pleasure for Slow Food Saddleback to be a major part of the Mid Winter dinner held at the Siding in Gerrringong on 31 July to raise funds for the Kiama Markets.
A trailer for the generator needs to be built to supply power to all the stalls at the Markets and general running costs have to be met.
So what better way than a fabulous dinner in a pop up restaurant on a cold winter’s night.
John Evans, Sonia and the team from South on Albany served up a stunning menu of local produce.
The pork was perfectly cooked by Pam and Joel from Porkery Hill Free Range Pork, with Joel guarding the fire all day to ensure perfect cooking heat.
Peter from Pete Izzard Photography captured the night with fabulous photos, some featuring here.
So many thanks to all the producers, we are so lucky to have access to such wonderful food each week.
The helpers were amazing and special thanks to Tricia Ashford and Cathy Law from the Kiama Markets who were the driving force and inspiration.
A highlight of the night was the live auction with prizes that were experiential! A day on the farm at Pecora Dairy, oyster experience with Grant Clark on the Shoalhaven River, weeding with Emmy at Buena Vista Farm and a huge hamper of farm produce from the Market, lucky purchasers will have such a special follow up to the dinner, and the money was great too!
And by the way, Slow Food Saddleback purchased some great Siding Rum in the Auction that will feature at the Sauce Workshop to be held in October.
Celia Wade, Leader, Slow Food Saddleback
Those who shared our delicious seaweed inspired lunch at the Schoolhouse last year might be interested to watch Landline 4 June episode on ABC Iview. It features Dr Pia Winberg’s work at the Shoalhaven Campus of UOW.
A large group of like minded Slow Foodies and Friends enjoyed this showing of Fair Food the Documentary. This film highlights a growing movement of enthusiastic farmers, business people and communities trying to fix the food system in Australia. There is an alternative to supplying and/or shopping from the two major supermarkets now. This film was supported by overwhelming crowd funding support so we may see a sequel in a year or two.
After the film a light supper was shared, with a cup of locally grown tea by Kirsten McHugh and some delicious home made treats. It was wonderful to see so many new faces at a Slow Food Saddleback event. Thanks to Celia Wade, Liz Churcher and Michael Bligh for their hard work organising this event.
Slow Food Hunter Valley will host this years National Conference Save the date 2 – 6th August 2017
More information coming in March
Sunday 16 October
I was recently given the opportunity to observe the humane killing of a farm animal, as well as some chickens. During my rather long time on Planet Earth, this was not something I had ever experienced and I thought it was a good chance for me to fill in the gaps in my knowledge of such things.
The venue was a tranquil rural setting with green paddocks rolling away in the distance to a rain forest. Horses, cows and goats grazed in the paddocks and in the clear morning light, the countryside was serene.
The kindest method of slaughtering was explained by an experienced woman who has been handling animals since she was a young girl. She imparted her extensive knowledge with great sensitivity and was calm and practical before the procedure; the animal was not stressed at any time and neither were the onlookers.
The subsequent skinning and butchering was carried out efficiently to ensure the quality of the meat was not compromised and valuable knowledge about the different cuts was explained. A rooster and several chickens were also dispatched in a similarly humane fashion and none of the birds were stressed at any time. Overall, it was a fascinating way to learn about farm life and the respect shown to all the animals in the food chain was heartening to observe.
Jan Watson (Member of Slow Food Saddleback)
On Sunday 16th October, thirty Slow Food Saddleback members and friends were treated to an amazing day, hosted by Helen Attwater and Astra Temple.
Astra instructed the group on the humane dispatch of a goat and six cockerels on the day.
Helen prepared dishes from locally sourced produce, goat and cockerels that were prepared prepared a few days earlier.
The Stables provided protection from the strong northerly wind on the day.
A long table setting provided a relaxed, slow feast of fine food and friendship.
Helen must be congratulated it was a lot of hard work for her. Everyone was thrilled with the day.
A BIG THANK YOU HELEN AND ASTRA ………….WELL DONE !
The original school orchard was planted on National Tree Day in July 2015, sponsored by Slow Food Saddleback (SFS). The trees are thriving and at the celebration of a year on held 5 August Slow Food donated another tree, and joined the primary school community for the tree planting, followed by sampling of many things citrus!! Cakes, biscuits and marmalade topped the tasty list of goodies.
Carolyn Evans from SFS put together a citrus recipe collection that will be a great guide when all those trees are laden with nutritious fruit. Michael and Beverley Blythe presented the School’s Acting Principal Lisa Morris with a grow your own fruit and vegetable reference book for the library.
The partnership between SFS and the school is valuable and promotes Slow Food principles. The School Gardening Grubs will continue to work with us to promote good eating habits and community participation in food production.