School Holiday Program

Our delicious holiday program!

The holidays have been and gone and now it’s back to school for us all this week… I’m lucky to have had the pleasure of the company of some fabulous kids last week though, in our school holiday program in the Cottage at Bondi! We had full sessions on all the days and goodness me we made some great food!

All the children were great helpers, keen to accomplish all the tasks and procedures needed to get our dishes done – and even helped set the tables, stack the dishwashers, do the washing up and wipe the tables up as well as making morning tea AND lunch … an excellent job all ’round!

And we spent a little time in the garden, identifying and drawing the aromatic herbs that we harvested for our lunch… and potting some seedlings to take home for our watch and grow ‘Start A Veggie Patch’ project…

So here follows – over the next few days – the menus and recipes for the different sessions! Be inspired by these clever kids!

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A last minute school holiday idea – 2 places left!

We’ve got two places left for our school holiday program next week! One spot each day on Tuesday 2nd October and Wednesday 3rd October next week – jump to it if you haven’t arranged anything yet!

What could be better for your child than a day spent in the kitchen garden, learning all about spring vegetables, throwing dough, teamwork, cooking, eating, planting and chook care?!

Get in quick before somebody else does! Call me today on 0414 978 957

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Only 3 places available!






Two spots free on Tuesday 2nd October and one available on Wednesday 3rd – jump to it! Text your email address to 0414 978 957 & I’ll shoot you through a booking form right away…

I’m finalising the program’s menus in the next few days and I can’t wait to use all the beautiful spring produce that’s available: I’ve seen fat broad beans, juicy strawberries, crunchy beetroot, aromatic marjoram and so much more – yum yum – watch this space!






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STOP PRESS! school holiday program changes…

The broad beans are bursting!
The bees are buzzing!
The lemon blossom is blooming!
The strawberries are swelling!

This all means one thing: SPRING!!!

Here are the latest details on our Spring school holiday program:

I’ve got 4 spots available on Tuesday the 2nd October and one spot on Wednesday 3rd – so if you know any budding cook or gardener who’d like to join our merry band, let me know asap!
(The keen-bean morning session for little’uns on Friday is SOLD OUT!) xx

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October 2012 school holiday program

We have only two spaces left in the full-day sessions for kids aged 7 to 12!
One spot on Tuesday 2nd & one on Wednesday the 3rd October… the morning session for the little kids on Friday 5th October is FULL!

9.30am to 3pm @ $85 per child.

Give me a call on 0414 978 957 to book in for the Tuesday or Wednesday sessions and I’ll forward on the booking form – or you can download it here – or message me below to register for future programs.

Thanks! Melissa

Our Kitchen Garden

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Spring School Holiday Programs for 4 years and up!

Do you have a kid as-keen-as-a-bean in the garden and kitchen? Send them to us in the holidays to participate in a ‘Day in the Life’ of a Kitchen Garden School Program! We are offering a full-day program for 7 to 12 year-olds and also now a half-day mini-program for 4 to 6 year-olds!

Check out the School Holiday page on this site for more info… and take a look at my recent posts on this site with photos of the wonderful kids on our last school holiday program where we harvested, chooked, chopped, stirred, set and ate over the course of a full day… We’ve just announced some new dates so lock in a reservation for your Year 2 to Year 6 mini-Heston or Costa Georgiadis straight away!

And due to  overwhelming demand, I will be offering a half-day session on Friday for the little ones – so if you have a keen 4, 5 or 6 year-old wee wannabe cook who would like to feed the chooks, help me in the garden, and then cook up a storm for  morning tea and lunch – book them in ASAP!

Message me below if you have any questions!

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Lemongrass tisane

Fresh from the garden: lemongrass

Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Alice says, ‘A tisane is a fresh tea, an infusion of fragrant herbs, or flowers or spices, in boiling water. It is a soothing a refreshing finish to a meal, is complementary to most desserts, and offers a mild alternative to coffee. Tisane can be made from such flavourings as lemon verbena, mint, lemon thyme, lemon balm, hyssop, chamomile, citrus rind and ginger – alone and in combination. The one I make most is a combination of mint and lemon verbena. It is very beautiful made in a glass teapot so you can see the brilliant green leaves… I like to use small clear tea glasses, as they do in Morocco, so the lovely pale green colour is visible.’


  • Measuring jug
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Ladle
  • Tea cups or glasses

  • A lemongrass stalk with leaves
  • 2 litres of water

What to do:

  • Measure the water into the saucepan and heat on high to boil.
    • Holding the lemongrass carefully, rinse it and cut the stalk from the leaves.
    • Chop the stalk into 2cm lengths.
    • Fold the leaves into a small bunch, tying together to secure.
    • When the water in the saucepan is boiling, carefully drop in the bundle & the chopped stalk.
    • Turn the heat off and let the tisane steep for several minutes.
    • Ladle into cups or glasses to serve.

Notes: What is a tisane? Why do we have to be careful when handling lemongrass? What other combinations can you think of?

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Spinach, feta and pumpkin frittate

Fresh from the garden: eggs, spinach, pumpkin, marjoram, thyme

Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Gordon Ramsay ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The original recipe calls for sweet potato instead of pumpkin: I think either works well. Gordon also suggests cooking in one big pan over heat and then finishing under the grill, but we pour ours into muffin pans to oven-bake… we also add some of our lovely Bondi herbs for an aromatic twist.


  • Metal spoon
  • Chopping board & knives
  • Paper towel
  • Large frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large bowl
  • Tongs, whisk
  • Cupcake tins: 1 x 12-hole large or 1 x 24-hole mini

  • 300g pumpkin
  • A large handful of spinach
  • Small handful marjoram and thyme sprigs
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Flaked salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g sheep’s feta
  • 20g parmesan
  • 10 large eggs

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Wash the pumpkin & scrape out the seeds, reserving for the chooks.
  • Wash the spinach and shake dry. Cut off the stalks and chop the leaves into 1cm strips, to yield about 150g cut strips.
  • Wash the herbs and pat dry with paper towel. Strip the leaves from the stalks & reserve.
  • Carefully cut the peel from the pumpkin if needed, and then chop flesh evenly into 1cm cubes.
  • Heat the frying pan with the oil and toss in the pumpkin. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, for about 4 minutes over medium heat until the potatoes are just tender and lightly golden at the sides.
  • Meanwhile, cut the feta into small cubes and grate the parmesan.
  • Stir the spinach into the pumpkin and cook for 2 minutes until wilted.
  • Then add the cubed feta and gently stir to mix in.
  • In the large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the herbs, parmesan, a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper.
  • Divide the pumpkin mixture evenly into the cupcake holes, spoon the egg mixture over and bake in the oven: 15 minutes for the mini frittate and 20 minutes for the large.

Notes: Why is the name of this recipe frittate, ending in e? What other vegetables could you use in the recipe? What other animal’s milk makes feta?

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Rhubarb and mint muffins

Fresh from the garden: eggs, rhubarb, mint

Recipe source: Melissa


These are super-easy to whip up and delicious warm from the oven! You can substitute any berries and we love the herby addition of English or chocolate mint.


  • 12-hole muffin tin
  • Paper muffin cases
  • Bowls – large, medium
  • Colander
  • Chopping board and small knife
  • Measures – cup, ½ cup, 1/3 cup
  • Stand mixer & bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Skewer
  • Serving plates

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1 large or several small stalks of rhubarb
  • A sprig of mint



What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Line the muffin tin with the muffin cases.
  • Wash the rhubarb stalk, then drain it into the colander. Chop all the leaves off and discard into the compost. Peel off any stringy fibres and then cut into very thin slices to yield one cup.
  • Wash the mint and strip off the leaves, discarding the stem. Chop the leaves finely.
  • Measure out the flour and sugar into the bowl of the stand mixer and turn on for a minute to mix.
  • Whisk the eggs in the medium bowl and then add with the yoghurt and oil to the mixer and mix again until well combined.
  • Remove the bowl from the stand and using the spatula, gently fold through the sliced rhubarb and chopped mint.
  • Spoon into the muffin cases evenly.
  • Carefully slide into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
  • Divide among serving plates and eat!

Notes: Why is it so important to remove all the rhubarb leaves? Why do we strip off the fibres? Why should the skewer come out clean when the muffins are cooked?

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Our winter salad

Fresh from the garden: Salad leaves, rocket, edible flowers, lemon, parsley, marjoram, thyme, coriander, oregano

Recipe source: Melissa ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

This is a lovely salad to pair with heavily flavoured dishes and is easy and quick to assemble.


  • Bowls – 2 large
  • 2 salad spinners
  • Tea towel
  • Kitchen paper
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Measure – 1/3 cup
  • Citrus juicer
  • Mezzaluna, teaspoon
  • Serving bowls, little tongs



  • A large handful salad leaves
  • A few garnishing flowers

Herby vinaigrette dressing

  • 1 small garlic clove
    • Flaked salt & black pepper
    • 1 lemon
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • A small handful mixed herbs: parsley, marjoram, thyme, coriander, oregano

What to do:

  • Fill up the 2 big bowls with cold water & wash the salad leaves, gently dunking them a handful at a time into the water, then pulling out to see if any dirt is left behind. Repeat in fresh water until no dirt remains. Spin the leaves dry and then wipe the bowls dry.
  • Wash the flowers separately and drain on a piece of paper towel. Keep the flowers reserved, picking off the petals to use.
  • Wash and spin dry the herbs, and pick off the leaves.
  • Lay out the tea towel and line it with kitchen paper. Spread the salad leaves over the paper and roll the whole lot up like a log. Keep the rolled parcel of leaves in the fridge until needed.

To make the dressing:

  • Peel the garlic clove and put it in the mortar with a large pinch of salt. Pound to a paste.
  • Juice the lemon and add the juice to the mortar (without the pips) then stir the lot with the teaspoon and scrape it into a large bowl.
  • Stir in the olive oil and grind a little pepper, then whisk the dressing lightly. Add the herbs, chopping any large leaves in the mezzaluna if needed. Add to the dressing in the large bowl.

To assemble:

  • Unwrap the parcel of salad leaves & tip them into the bowl with the flower petals, herbs and the dressing. Gently turn the leaves in the dressing using your hands or tongs.
  • Transfer the salad to the serving bowls and serve immediately with little tongs.

Notes: What is the correct way to wash the leaves?Why do we completely dry the leaves before adding the dressing? What else could you add to the salad?

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