Pizzas were delicious and fun!

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

11 November was perfect weather for our members pizza get together at Judith and David Ball’s home in Berry.

sharing good food and conversation as the sun went down
sharing good food and conversation as the sun went down on Saturday evening,
pizza on the paddle waiting for oven space
pizza on the paddle waiting for oven space


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.

the perfect fire for the perfect pizza
the perfect fire for the perfect pizza
two experts, off the board onto the paddle.
two experts, off the board onto the paddle.

Another wonderful evening and many thanks to the Balls for their generosity and hard work.


Annual General Meeting

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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.


serious conversation and exciting plans
serious conversation and exciting plans

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

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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.

Trish from Kiama Markets and Celia from SFS enjoy a drink of Brendan's hand made wine.
Trish from Kiama Markets and Celia from SFS enjoy a drink of Brendan’s hand made wine.

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.


What a meal!
What a meal!

A Saucy Experience

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

Carolyn making salsa verde
Carolyn making salsa verde
garlic and chilli delicious!
garlic and chilli delicious!
Liz and the quick mayonnaise
Liz and the quick mayonnaise

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.

caramel bourbon sauce
caramel bourbon sauce

With lots of laughs and good general chatter we Slowfooders were well prepared for the following Annual General Meeting.

Bring and Share Spring Lunch at Foxground

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

Helen Attwater and Nick Hartgerink enjoying the sun on their faces.
Helen Attwater and Nick Hartgerink enjoying the sun on their faces.
A keen group of Slow Fooders enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Helen Attwater's Foxground farm  It was a spectacular day after weeks of strong winds throughout the district.  These lunches are very popular and require you just to prepare a dish to share that includes some local produce. Some like to describe the preparation of the dish after lunch and we were quite keen to get some of the recipes together for all to share.
A keen group of Slow Fooders enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Helen Attwater’s Foxground farm It was a spectacular day after weeks of strong winds throughout the district. These lunches are very popular and require you just to prepare a dish to share that includes some local produce. Some like to describe the preparation of the dish after lunch and we were quite keen to get some of the recipes together for all to share.

Valley Cheesemakers joined by Slow Food Saddleback members

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

Happy Saddlebackers creating fetta
Happy Saddlebackers creating fetta
Judith, Mary and Steve
Judith, Mary and Steve

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.

Celia at the haloumi pan
Celia at the haloumi pan

National Slow Food Conference

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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

Fermentation Workshop

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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

Mid Winter Dinner for Kiama Markets

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!

The fabulous cooking team
A happy Des after being given an oyster experience by Celia
A happy Des after being given an oyster experience by Celia
The waitress team, served the large tables of happy diners
A great night had by all.

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

Venus Shell System on Landline 4 June

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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.

Fair Food the Documentary

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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.

Letter from Jan Watson – humane killing of a farm animal workshop

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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)

Foxground Rooster and Goat Feast

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

On Sunday 16th October, thirty Slow Food Saddleback members and friends were treated to an amazing day, hosted by Helen Attwater and Astra Temple.

The fabulous lunch menu,
A happy dispatcher -Gianna

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.




Helen explaining the dishes she created for lunch.

Long table lunch at the stables
Michael Bligh with his dish of silver beet, beetroot with orange segments and walnuts,


Citrus festival at Gerringong Public School

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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.

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