Here we are with some fabulous warm weather, but more cold is forecast? Don’t pack those winter jackets away just yet… Regardless of hot or cold, the pots have been bubbling away in the cottage this last fortnight, while we’ve been exploring our native Bush Tucker foods menu in celebrating NAIDOC week.
We’ve had some wonderful discussions in both our Kitchen and Garden classes about what Bush Tucker is, where you find ingredients and how you might prepare them to make them palatable and importantly, non-toxic! And also whether we are being culturally sensitive to mix native ingredients into our own recipes… Our answer has been that we think we are being respectful in a number of ways: by acknowledging that the indigenous Australians have been using these foods for tens of thousands of years; by foraging considerately (for example, taking less than a third of what we find growing in one spot in the wild); and by adding to the diverse and rich culture of Modern Australian food that we have in Sydney. A massive thanks to Allison who got out of bed early quite a few times in the last two weeks to hunt down, under cover of darkness, secret local spots to poach ingredients from (and out of the hands of hipster chefs!).
To the recipes! A (Javanese) Soup of barilla bower spinach and sweetcorn, with fresh turmeric to ward away colds and to dye all fingers, chopping boards and white shirts a golden yellow! We have also been perfecting the art of Omelettes with sautéed mushrooms and karkalla (or pigface, much more fun to say!). And we’ve realised how pigface grows EVERYWHERE in Bondi! And for a truly multicultural dish, we’ve topped our dough for Pizza bianca with Warrigal greens, kale and dolcelatte (gorgonzola) for a wonderful take on the classic – and converted a few children to the wonders of blue cheese too! And thanks to Paul, we’ve had a huge branch of lemon myrtle leaves to use: flavouring stock for Broccolini and lemon myrtle risotto; blending with sugar to infuse the sherbet-like flavour of Lemon myrtle shortbread; and also to simply make Lemon myrtle tea. Wonderful!
Whatever shall we do in the next weeks to top this menu?! You’ll have to come along and see!