Picnic to share

Here we are at the beginning of February, and your Committee misses you all and the great times we have together. Covid is still with us but all the double vacs and boosters will hopefully keep us safe. So come to Bonaira Garden on Friday 25 February at 5:00pm where we will do the ever popular picnic to share (but we will still use serving tongs!)

We have a wet weather plan, we have learnt from all the rain and we will have tables to put the food on, and picnic shelters to keep off the sun.

You will need to bring a biggish plate of food to share, your own picnic things and picnic seats for oldies who don’t want to sit on rugs! There will be no barbecues, so all cold food.

The cost will be $10 a head, the Try Booking list meets all required record keeping rules, if still Covid required.

Date: Friday 25 February
Time: 5:00PM
Venue: Bonaira Garden, Kiama
(enter via the AFL carpark in Girrawheen Avenue – we will be visible under the picnic shelters)
Cost: $10
Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/BXDMY

A really good day

Kiama turned on its best for the Slow Food start-of-the-year picnic in Bonaira Native Garden on Sunday.

The garden looked a picture thanks to Council doing a full mow of the grassed areas on Friday. Picnic tables were set up under one of the large trees and a gentle breeze was welcome on this clear sunny day. Apart from a couple of locals wandering down to Kendall’s beach we had the reserve to ourselves and were able to enjoy the peace and quiet of this little known green space in the heart of Kiama.

As always, everyone had made an effort to contribute something a bit special to the three course bring-and-share picnic but Libby’s gluten-free tart, created almost entirely from home grown eggs and vegetables, won the unofficial Best Slow Food Dish award. You’ll find a couple of recipes from the day in our recipe section.

Those who hadn’t previously discovered Bonaira were quite delighted with the venue and were keen to take a walk through the garden before heading home.

Great location, great food and great company. All in all a really good day.

Exploring truffles

Last Saturday (28 July) was sunny if cold in the Southern Highlands, but the company was good and the truffle event was very exciting. Slow Food Saddleback members and friends gathered at Samantha and John’s home and trufferie to meet the dogs and search the tree lines for that elusive and delicious treat.

The property has a warm and friendly shed where we started with truffle cheese and tea and coffee, donned white papery shoe covers to protect the soil around the trees and listened to an introduction on truffle farming and Samantha and John’s move into the industry. Then it was off with Peri (the Jack Russell) and handler to look for the truffles. We stayed behind Peri who quickly went down the tree line stopping when she smelt the unmistakable truffle smell. She then scratched the soil and sat down waiting for the handler to dig. The tools required are a dessert spoon and a good truffle nose! Success came quickly and it was exciting to see the truffle emerge from the ground.

Then onward down the line. More truffles were discovered, we all got to handle and smell them and the soil they were in. Interestingly, the truffles are hardy and tough. They get scrubbed with a nail brush and are then ready to be used within their three week shelf life.

Back to the shed for  quiche, potato and leek soup with truffle grated on top, and a guessing competition to win a golf ball sized truffle to take home. Carolyn Evans was our very deserving winner – she had organised the day on our behalf – and guessed the weight within one gram.

Truffles were then purchased from the back of John’s prized ute and we all left in a very good mood for home or other areas nearby. We purchased two and have already enjoyed some on pasta with family in Melbourne. We are also taking one to the Mornington Peninsula for more delicious food.

A great outing and a true Slow Food enterprise. Congratulations to Samantha and John on their good, clean and fair production. They are now supplying local restaurants and food businesses during the three month production period and over the next year plan to plant more trees and hope for more success. An outing recommended to all.

Celia Wade
Slow Food Saddleback

Trufferie contact details:
Samantha Appel
Robertson Truffles
151 McEvilly Road ROBERTSON 2577
+61 401 570 146

Sustainable food solution seeking your support

Many Slow Fooders are already familiar with the groundbreaking work of Dr Pia Winberg and are regular users of Phettucine, Sea Cs, PhycoMuesli and PhycoHealth’s other seaweed products. This Illawarra/Shoalhaven-based business is currently seeking support to grow to the next level. The science is solid, seaweed based-food products are being made and it’s time to improve and upscale the operation. This, of course, requires some funding.

Dr Pia Winberg

Now there is the opportunity through Indiegogo.com to either invest in PhycoHealth or to pre-purchase food and health products to support this fabulous and innovative local producer of healthy, sustainable food and other seaweed-based products.

By contributing you will be helping PhycoHealth to secure a matched government grant to commission a new seaweed refinery and to introduce new technology for a smart seaweed production system. Your contribution will also allow the business to scale up manufacturing, meet manufacture costs such as packaging, and take on more staff. There are also partner product perks. Most importantly you will be helping to achieve the impact of delivering ‘a more nutritious, smaller food footprint and unique marine biomolecules to the world, only using clean seawater, sun and recycled nutrients’.

For more information copy and paste the following web address into your browser:

farm visit a very special day!

A group of Slow Food Saddleback supporters enjoyed a wonderful morning on Buena Vista Farm on 8 May. Our hosts Fiona and Adam Walmsley showed us all the animal practices and garden growth that makes this farm such a special supplier of wholesome food and fermented goodies.

Adam explains the workings of the farm
Fiona shows off some of the final product

After a wander around the farm, seeing the pigs, cattle and goats it was off to the Market Garden where Emmy King described her growing methods, introduced us to her tools and compost practices and worm farming successes. Lots of hard work and soil enhancement appears to be the secret to success. A visit to the chickens followed, and all on a sunny day. Luckily since then the area has had some much needed rain.

And then to a country morning tea, homemade scones and cakes, homegrown coffee and cheeses, honey and other treats.

So special to see an ethically inspired animal production unit, and gardens to inspire the soul!

Garden guru Emmy with some of her tools

Our thanks go to all the people who make Buena Vista so special.

The thriving veggie garden

New home for Flame Tree Co-op

Thirroul’s Flame Tree Co-op officially opened their new store on Saturday 3 March.
Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign late last year which raised over $80 000 the co-op was able to celebrate eight years of trading by moving to much larger premises just across the road from the old store.

A smoking ceremony was a feature of the opening of the new co-op store.

The not-for-profit organisation has some 600 active members and the store is operated primarily by volunteers. It is now open six days a week and boasts a larger shopfront, some off-street parking, a dedicated cool room and an expanded range of products ranging from apples to flour and toilet paper to miso. Although it isn’t always possible, the co-op aims to supply local, sustainable, organic and unpackaged goods.

You’ll find Flame Tree at the southern end of the village (355 Lawrence Hargrave Drive) and more information is available from the website http://www.flametree.coop or on FaceBook. Opening hours are 9am to 6pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9am to 7pm on Thursdays and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays.

Some interesting activities coming up very soon!

2018 South Coast Industry Dinner

WHAT: Fifth Annual South Coast Industry Dinner, featuring a 3 course meal and drinks package comprised of locally grown and sourced produce.
WHEN: Friday 16 March, 6pm – 11.30pm
WHERE: The Pavilion, 2 Bong Bong St Kiama
COST: $60 per person

Presented by South East Local Land Services and Kiama Council, with support from Agsafe, and featuring renowned food presenter and entertainer Lyndey Milan as special guest speaker, the dinner will bring together industry the community and government to celebrate and promote all that the South Coast has to offer.

Call Amanda Britton on 0427 102 793



A 12 week healthy cooking program for solo seniors to get into the kitchen, and out into the Community.

Learn new cooking skills, share a meal together and have fun.

Where: Kiama Anglican Church

When: Wednesday 21 March, 10am to 1pm

$5 per person per week, ingredients provided, bookings essential.

Contact Kiama Council, council@kiama.nsw.gov.au or 4232 0444



Goulburn Mulwaree Library presents Ben O’Donoghue Janelle Bloom Hazel Edwards John Newton Suzanne Salem Jane Lawson Phillip Stamatellis Elias Hallaj

Author Talks & Workshops Cooking Demonstrations Kids Activities International Food Markets Plus more!

Saturday 24 March

For further details go to the Goulburn Reader Writer Festival facebook page or phone Goulburn Mulwaree Library 02 4823 4435. The Reader Writer Festival will be held at the Goulburn Mulwaree Library, Civic Centre, 184-194 Bourke Street Goulburn.




-Mushroom foraging @ Belanglo State Forest in April
Please register interest for this, it will involve driving down early one Saturday/Sunday morning and meeting @ Belanglo, followed by a morning strolling around the forest searching for various mushrooms. Then will be eating them in the forest around a fire with some chilled red wine… Dates will be determined on the weather and projected mushroom “forecast”.



Bush BarBQ

The first event on the Slow Food Saddleback 2018 calendar on Sunday 11 February was an outstanding success with over $1200 being raised to support slow food initiatives in the local area.

A relaxed and convivial group of around 45 Slow Food members and friends shared a simple BBQ lunch (with a few gourmet touches) in Des and Celia’s front paddock. Thanks to Des’s hard work the paddock, already boasting a stunning view, had been transformed into a delightful picnic area complete with tables and chairs, classy dunnies and a half dozen individual fireplaces.

Farmer Des directing the BBQs

Although the fundraiser was organised as BYO food and drinks there was plenty of sharing of pre-mains, salads and sweets. In keeping with Slow Food philosophy much of the produce was either home grown or locally sourced.

A freshly-caught snapper made a delicious sashimi shared entree and Liz took her baked ricotta and goats cheese dish to a new level by making her own ricotta.  See recipe below. Those with a sweet tooth were treated to a great selection of home-baked goodies.

Still, chops and sausages on the grill won the day and Fountain tomato sauce happily shared the table  with more exotic home creations.

After a successful picnic last summer, this event was back by popular demand and is set to become an annual season opener.


450g fresh ricotta
70g  soft goats cheese or curd
20g finely grated parmesan
lemon zest
chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice
tiny tomatoes

Drain ricotta overnight then blend in food processor with goats cheese and parmesan until smooth and creamy…if a little dry add some whey.
Spoon mixture into an oiled 11cm x 4.5cm springform tin and top with thyme leaves, lemon zest, a good pinch of chilli flakes and pour over some olive oil.
Place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes, checking after 10 minutes. Remove when golden on top. Cheese will have risen  but will collapse a little when removed from oven. Whilst still hot top with a little lemon juice and olive oil. Leave to cool in tin. Serve with oven-roasted tiny tomatoes scattered over the top.

Recipe can be doubled and baked in a 17cm x 7cm springform tin.

Pizzas were delicious and fun!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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