Slow Food Saddleback News
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.
Date: Sunday 27 August at 8.45 am until 4pm
Venue: Kangaroo Valley Hall, Osborne Park
Cost: expected to be $165, includes lunch and recipes and samples.
This workshop will cover the basics of cheese making and will include Chèvre, Fetta, Haloumi and Ricotta varieties.
If you would like to come to this book soon as there are only 3 places left.
To Book please EFT to Slow Food Saddleback BSB 062562 (CBA Kiama) Account 10257049 identify yourself as the transferer, Confirm your booking by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and SFS will confirm your booking by email after payment. Phone Michael on 0428422682 to reserve your place.
Slow Food Saddleback is joining with the Kiama Farmers Market to help raise much needed funds to keep the market running smoothly.
A special dinner featuring all produce from market stallholders will be held on Monday July 31 at The Siding in Gerringong. Details of the PopUP restaurant will follow very soon, but watch local social media for tickets, (we will not be doing the ticketing) so save the date.
More details will be emailed to members and subscribers soon.
Date: Saturday 22 July, 10.30am
Place: Uniting Church Hall, 69 Albert St Berry
Cost: $30 Slow Food Members or $40 non members
Learn how to make fermented foods and find out how these foods provide friendly micro-organisms for good gut flora, and why that is so important for you to improve digestion and eliminate toxins. It is also a great way to extend the useful life of your garden harvest.
This workshop will cover making kimchi, sauerkraut, cultured butter, pickling vegetables, growing a sourdough “mother” some fizzy drinks and a bit more besides.
There will be a variety of functional foods to taste and lunch will be provided. You will be able to take some things home with you so bring along 3×750 ml jars, 3x350ml jars, a sharp knife (for slicing cabbage), cutting board, apron and notebook.
To reserve your place: Email Celia at email@example.com with your bank details or phone 0438447326.
Places are limited so book quickly. Bookings close 17July
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.
Kirsten McHugh of the Schoolhouse, Gerringong (founding member of Slow Food Saddleback) and continued supporter of our events has earned Gold Medal for her Goat Curd Cheese, Silver for Crescenza, a northern Italian style soft, creamy cheese and Bronze for her fabulous Halloumi at the Royal Easter Show. Congratulations Kirsten!
Kirsten’s products will be available at the Kiama Farmers Market from Wednesday April 5th.
Wins for local milk, local cheeses, and a local cheesemaker
Former Saddleback founder/convivium leader Kirsten McHugh of the Schoolhouse, Gerringong, has won a gold, a silver and a bronze medal at the RAS Sydney Royal Show Cheese & Dairy awards for three cheeses from her range. Her Golden Goat cheese won Gold in the mould-ripened goat cheese class, her Italian styled soft cheese Crescenza won silver in the fresh, unflavoured cheese class and her haloumi a bronze in the haloumi class. These awards follow previous successes in the Dairy Industry Association Australia annual awards for her haloumi in 2014 (Silver) and 2015 (Silver). Kirsten, the founder and producer of Foxground Handmade Teas, has been making cows’ milk cheeses since 2013, sourced from local Gerringong milk. Since that time she has been producing an expanding range of those cows’ milk cheeses- haloumi, Mountain cheese, blue, crescenza, camembert, quark and greek-style yoghurt. Her haloumi in particular enjoys strong support in the region and in Sydney, as does her crescenza. The haloumi is especially popular – grilled and eaten without or with accompaniments such as melon, pickled cucumber or chilli jam. The crescenza is a soft, creamy cheese (nothing like Philadelphia), based on a cheese of the same name which is a part of the hallowed food culture of northern Italy. Its fresh, milky flavour can be combined with so many others, and it is a delicious aid in baking or grilling.
Kirsten extended her range in 2016, sourcing local goat milk to produce a fresh goat curd, fresh chevre rounds, a goat milk version of the crescenza, and the Golden Goat cheese for which she has now won recognition.
In this cheese-making journey, Kirsten was the first artisan cheesemaker in our immediate region. While she attended some cheesemaking courses in Australia and New Zealand, her range of cheeses is a product of her application (over many hours), her palate as well as her motivation to contribute to the food branding of our region. She does not attribute any of her spirit, or success, to her background as a lawyer!
The Schoolhouse Goat Curd is on the menu at South on Albany in Berry, and the Schoolhouse Golden Goat cheese is on the menu at the hatted Caveau in Wollongong. It is also sold at the Emporium in Berry, with others of her range. All of her cheeses are available at the Schoolhouse in Gerringong. She sells at regional and Sydney markets, including the Kiama Farmers’ Market.
It’s exciting that award-winning cheeses are being made in Saddleback territory, showcasing beautiful local milk. Saddleback is pleased to congratulate her, and to applaud her as a Slow Food archetype producer and promoter of our region and what it can, and does, offer.
Watch this space for to another smart event at The Schoolhouse coming soon.
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 Saddleback hosted a fundraising picnic at Celia and Des’s farm in Jamberoo on Sunday 19 Feb.
Small BBQs were lit in fire places and people had delicious picnics under the trees.
The book exchange house that we are donating to the Kiama Community Garden had it’s first paint job. It will be installed the first week in March and you can swap a cookbook or gardening book when the garden is open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
The event raised money for Slow Food international as part of their appeal to help protect biodiversity around the world.
A relaxed and delicious day was had by all.
Morgs, Anita Larkin and I were invited to help create a fixing and creating space within the newly improved REVOLVE centre at Dunmore/Shellharbour tip.
We have been dreaming, scheming, installing and painting .. and the resulting creating corner has been dubbed the Tinkerage. There are plans for workshops and fixing bees to be held there in the near future. Its similar to the Men’s Shed concept, but women are welcome too.
No pressure at all to come to the launch, the timing is a bit odd at 1-2pm this coming Monday,( and they’re asking for rsvps probably so they know how many sandwiches to make?) but it’s a pretty great place I thought you would like to know about. Think massive open-air garage sale/op-shop, with tools, building materials, fishing rods and other wotnots.
Pass this on to anyone who loves good junk and reducing wastage.
Mignon and Morgen
Slow Food Hunter Valley will host this years National Conference Save the date 2 – 6th August 2017
More information coming in March
Just a little update on Slow Food Saddleback’s representation at the National Conference in Mildura. Refer to the New Letter sent last week for details .firstname.lastname@example.org