Slow Food Saddleback News

Special Event with Kiama Farmers Market – Save the Date

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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.

The Schoolhouse Gerringong – Cheese Awards!

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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.

Helen Attwater, Kirsten McHugh, Trisha Ashelford at Friday nights film.
Helen Attwater, Kirsten McHugh, Trisha Ashelford at Friday nights film.

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.


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.

Fundraiser Picnic at Jamberoo

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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.

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Revolve Centre – Shellharbour Recycling Centre

Hi folks.
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.

Best regards,

Mignon and Morgen


Slow Food Mildura National Conference

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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

Rayner and Gabriella, Des and Celia and Vick and Murray at the Murray River Salt beds for Stefano's picnic dinner
Rayner and Gabriella, Des and Celia and Vick and Murray at the Murray River Salt beds for Stefano’s picnic dinner
The local beer launched at the conference.
The local beer launched at the conference.
Welcome to Country by the Latje Latje,Barkindji and Kureinji nations.
Welcome to Country by the Latje Latje,Barkindji and Kureinji nations.
Celia and Vicki serving “The Pines Gelato” at Slow Food Saddleback’s stall at the Terra Madre Market.
Market talking circle topics.
The fabulous table settings at the Salt Dinner prepared by Stefano di Pieri
Tammi the Mistress Meatsmith from Jonai Farms Daylesford demonstrated her sausage making skills.
We couldn't resist this little folly. Sausages were cooked up for breakfast on the final day.
We couldn’t resist this little folly. Sausages were cooked up for breakfast on the final day.

Super Moon Event at Gerroa Beach

Date of the Event or Workshop: -


Astra taking a sneak peak

This wonderful event was dreamed up by Hellen Attwater and she did a fantastic job. Over 40 people braved the threatening weather for Slow Fish and Chips. She sourced local mullet and had it cooked at Gerringong Fish Shop.  It was delivered hot and scrumptious and was very well received on a blustery beach evening.  An assortment of salads and desserts were also served.



No matter how much howling we did we couldn’t get that MOON to peak through the cloud cover.

the gulls soon found us..
the gulls soon found us..However as we were driving home it suddenly emerged.

However as we were driving home it suddenly emerged. Even the best planned events can’t organise the moon to perform on request.

very shy super moon on this occasion
very shy super moon on this occasion

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)

Phyco Food Co. at Kiama Good Food Market

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

On Sunday October 9th, Vicki and Celia set up shop to promote this wonderful local Seaweed product.  There was lots of interest and we sold quite a lot of product on the day. This was a good follow on from the lunch we held earlier in the year with Pia Winberg at the Old Schoolhouse, Gerringong

Phyco Food Co. will be featured on ABC Landline in coming weeks and BBC have been filming new recipes too.  Pia recently won a gold medal at the Melbourne Good Food Awards for the Phukka (Dukka) seaweed blend product. Check out

Thank  you Tricia for providing us a table at your stall.

Setting up the stall.
Setting up the stall.

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,


AGM at Jamberoo Valley Farm

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

On Thursday October 8th a small group of members met for the first of hopefully more breakfast meetings.  The AGM was soon completed and the office bearers, Celia as Leader and Michael as Treasurer will remain for 2016/17. We have a couple of new committee members to welcome too.


Tess from Jamberoo Valley Farm provided a tasty morning tea, then gave us all a fascinating tour of the farm, pigs, chickens, ducks and fish as well as beautiful health herbs and vegetable flourish. She shared her plans for the future Agrarian Kitchen with us.

Celia and Tass
Celia and Tass

Thank You Tess for sharing your Slow Food way of life with and we look forward to sharing and supporting your ventures in the future.


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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Save these dates!!! details coming soon.

Date of the Event or Workshop: -

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 Sunny Soup Day in the Community Garden

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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, Maria and Joe talk about the garden's design
Gabriella, Maria and Joe talk about the garden’s design



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.!Umbria-II/coco/56d9411c0cf20d226f1e41f5