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.
The latest Slow Food Saddleback event highlighted Unfashionable Fish, aligning us with Slow Food International’s recent emphasis on Slow Fish.
45 members and guests enjoyed the cocktail party at the Schoolhouse, Gerringong. We are very fortunate to have Kirsten McHugh and Jack Timbs from the Schoolhouse the founding members of Slow Food Saddleback to provide the inspiration for this evening.
A wonderful selection of very interesting local fishy titbits served throughout the night included smoked bonito tartlets, savoury mullet balls with a dipping sauce, tempura garfish, a savoury bake with slimy mackerel, delicious mirror dory with roast potato wrapped in lettuce – a clever take on fish and chips and lastly a tuna belly salad. later we were surprised with a cool panacotta made from Kirsten’s yoghurt served with finger limes. All together a very unusual and deliciously different menu.
Our guest speakers, Steve, Education Officer with NSW Fisheries and Bob a local fisherman, gave us a more scientific view on why we should choose these lesser known fish varieties as well as discussing problems with marine ecosystems and the importance of their survival.
We would like to thank our speakers and Kirsten and Jack for their hard work in making the eventing such a fascinating and pleasant evening for all.
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.
Breakfast and Annual General Meeting Tuesday 20 Sept, 9am. Details coming soon.
Helen Attwater will be hosting an interesting lunch at Eagleview Farm Foxground. Sunday October 16th. Invitation on its way soon!
Slow Food Saddleback Membership – You will be able to renew your membership through Slow Food Saddleback from now on – Details coming.
A lovely day for twenty Slow Food Saddleback members and friends to wander around Kiama’s Community Garden on the 30th July.
Joe, Maria and Julie proudly lead us through the garden and answered all our questions. They are a very busy group and would welcome any support members and friends can offer.
Gabriella’s Pumpkin, Julie’s Artichoke and Maria’s Broccoli/blue cheese soups, all prepared from garden produce were enjoyed with flatbread cooked in the pizza oven by Rayner. We donated $220 toward the commercial kitchen project for the garden.
Rayner has sent me a link to his favourite recipe of the moment. it is very good reading. http://www.georgeandgianna.com/#!Umbria-II/coco/56d9411c0cf20d226f1e41f5
Keep Saturday 30th July FREEEEEE.
Slow Food Saddleback will join forces for a day in Kiama’s Community Garden. We will enjoy hearty soups made fresh from the garden and hopefully some freshly baked bread from the pizza oven.
This event supports the Community Garden’s fundraising for a toilet at the garden. We will be asking for donations on the day.