No review of what’s growing on the South Coast would be complete without including Bush Tucker. I had the great fortune to taste a slice of Lemon Myrtle cheesecake at the Boolarng Nangamai Aboriginal Art Studio the other week (did you make that Kelli?), and it was really delicious. On the strength of that, Tom and I enjoyed a Bush Tucker walk in the Booderee National Park over Easter, to try and learn about other edible native treats.
Jamahl at Booderee National Park
Jamahl was a wonderful host, and shared the secrets of Sarsaparilla leaves (Smilax glyciphylla – not to be confused with Smilax regelii, which is Jamaican sarsaparilla). Used as a tea, it is claimed to have medicinal properties, including relief of colds and flu, and recently the treatment of Jamahl’s uncle’s type 2 diabetes.
Cutty grass berries
The tiny red seeds of this cutty grass which we found along the Telegraph Creek Track can be collected and mixed with water to form a ‘dough’ which makes a great damper apparently. Of course, this has to be cooked traditionally in the coals of a fire – and he suggested it was delicious served dripping with golden syrup…what isn’t?!
A mountain devil flower
We learnt how to suck the honey from a mountain devil flower (Lambertia formosa), and make tea with banksia flowers. And if all that didn’t make us feel Aussie enough, we returned to our tent to find a visiting kangaroo come in search of some perhaps, not-so-native tucker!
Friday night, everyone home and everyone really hungry NOW. The favourite local feast is Berry Sourdough Bakery pizza bases, Merry Maiden red onions and basil, Highland Organics parmesan, Kangaroo Valley Olives, fried haloumi, Emery’s Plateau bullshorn capsicum and a generous smear of my marinated cherry tomatoes (a la garlic, oregano and olive oil – all local and organic of course…are we sick of hearing that yet?). But check out the anti-oxidant rich colours, and the absolutely delicious flovours. After roasting on the stone, these babies lasted about 10 minutes…
The beautiful Aunty B taught me this chicken dish, which is the best way to do justice to one of Fiona and Adam’s free range chooks from Buena Vista Farm. Herbs from the garden, onion and bacon (optional) sauteed and forming a cushion in the cast iron pot, on which is laid the browned chook, surrounded by Emery’s Plateau’s bio-dynamic dutch cream potatoes. Pumpkin, beetroot and sweet potato do just as well in the position with the lid on in a 160C oven for about an hour and a half. Served with steamed greens, NOTHING is ever leftover!
Romantic family dining...
I know Easter’s still weeks away, but stuck inside last Friday, Hattie, Tom and I needed something to do. Blowing, dipping and decorating kept us busy almost all day, and we are so proud of our efforts…
Hours of entertainment, and weeks of enjoyment.
A very good Friday.
My old plastic scone cutter broke, but that didn’t stop us enjoying a batch of mouth watering scones, made with South Coast Dairy cream – yum! An old metal heart shaped cutter just made them even more fun.
And thanks to our wonderful friends for sharing their garden abundance, and stove-top labours – Andrew found them ‘finger licken’ good!
Andrew Feasting on local jams