Posts Tagged With: Bondi Public School

March 22nd 2012

Well hello there! Harmony Day in the Cottage kicked off this week with a recipe for Harmony Carrots – our freshly dug carrots roasted with a little honey, olive oil and thyme… we’ve also been harvesting parsley, basil, mint, cucumber and tomato for the Quinoa Tabbouleh; still pounding basil for our warm salad of Roasted Pumpkin with Pesto & Goats’ Cheese; flexing our muscles for the Pizza with Radicchio & Thyme; and squishing into long, thin worms the Rosemary & Thyme Grissini to dip into Roasted Eggplant Relish… so as you can see we’ve been working the students – and volunteers as well!

Last week saw the children rolling pasta too and we have here some lovely shots of the classes – truly awe-inspiring work from our dedicated cooks… it really amazes me that time and time again the children put up fabulous dishes that are delicious and creative and also find time to pack away and help clear! I can’t believe sometimes that we manage to achieve what we do in the time that we have… Also illustrated here are the empty bowls of Radicchio, Gorgonzola & Pine Mushroom salad that got gobbled up in no time – truly grown up flavours?

And we’ve had even more new volunteers come to support us – I can’t stress enough how valued you all are & how the program benefits so much from your presence… thank you! And to all those considering coming along… yes, it can be daunting and chaotic at times (!), but is so much fun, AND you get to eat together at the end! And I’ve not yet had a group NOT put a delicious bowl or plate of something fab up yet.

And with that, hope to see you soon… Melissa

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March 7th 2012

Autumn – bang! And it’s here – the definite chilly mornings & nights, and crazy weather patterns of rain, rain, floods and more rain… and all the banging and thudding going on in the street outside makes me glad to be huddled inside the cottage with the ovens on, throwing pizza dough!

We’ve had such a great response from the wonderful volunteers so far this term – both connected to the school and also from the wider community – and so we’ve been able to make loads of delicious dishes with the children, and in smaller manageable groups. They love being with their mum, dad, gran, auntie, next door neighbour, best friend’s mum etc in the class, and amazingly, even cheeky behaviour suddenly seems to stop! And the mums themselves have been shocked to find that their allergic-to-vegetables child is wolfing down the autumn salad and the eggplant dip!

With loads of requests from the students to pair the pesto with some pasta I felt compelled to dust the pasta machines off & we’ve been rolling, rolling, rolling this week in one group, whilst another pounds the pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and basil for the pesto; we’ve been baking the little Lebanese eggplants and parsley to make a spicy & garlicky dip and then using our knife skills to create beautiful and neat crudités with which to dip; the potatoes that we pulled up at the beginning of the term have been put to use on our crispy potato & rosemary pizza with landcress and wild rocket; and our now Autumn salad has been garnished with the last of the cucumbers, crunchy dwarf beans and the addition of brilliant-yoked (boiled) eggs the chooks are providing now that they are laying! They must be very happy in their new palace… Alas for them though the children eat pretty much everything on their plates!

So thank you to all the lovely students, let’s hope the rest of the year is as dynamic and inspiring! And thanks too for all the superb volunteers who are giving up their time to make our Kitchen Garden classes such a success in 2012! I look forward to seeing you all soon,

Yum! Melissa

PS I’ll have the coffee on in the cottage by 9.30 (at the latest…!) on Saturday if you’re dropping in to help with the garden working bee… and might even rustle up some banana cake too 😉

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February 23rd 2012

First kitchen news of the year and it’s already week 5, ooh la la!

Talking of which, we celebrated le jour de crepes on Tuesday here in the cottage with 5/6P & flipped up a revolution with spinach & goats’ cheese pancakes with ratatouille and pikelets with lemongrass syrup and vanilla mascarpone – served up with our ever-morphing salad, now with green beans, bush tomatoes, nasturtiums & tarragon vinaigrette…

I’m also continuing  my introductory talks with the children, recapping on safety issues and expectations of being in the kitchen and what I can promise for the year… those classes have been heavy on discussion (with plenty of arms raise for comment!) but we’ve managed to fit in some fun cooking at the end too – pounding loads of basil to make pesto; rolling out rosemary flatbreads to cook off in the pan; infusing vegetable oil with garden herbs to pop corn in (and exploding out like a never-ending  volcano in Ms Hamblin’s class 3E!); squeezing garlic & juicing lemons to wilt with spinach… lots of great cooking noises & ending in delicious dishes that we’ve all loved!

And I must say huge congratulations to all the students in classes 3E & 3H for gaining their Knife Licences! Each student demonstrated how to pick up & hold a big Santoku knife & show how to do the ‘Bear Paw’ (raaaahhhhh) and then pick and up and hold a small Paring knife and slice gently through a (very squashy) bush tomato without all the seeds oozing out. They all passed with flying colours with each student being awarded their own named licence – and will able to experience even more with each recipe from now on.

So all in all, lovely work these last weeks, and with the dappled sun shining through the trees and the birds singing their song, and the beautiful new deck and landscaping looking like they’ve always been here, life down here in the cottage is good! A big thanks to all the huge amounts of volunteers that have turned out to support the kitchen & garden classes so far in 2012 – we are so impressed and hope that you enjoy your time here!

Bon appétit! And don’t forget to check out the recipes on bondikitchengarden.com

Melissa

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December 7th 2011

Orange pomander studded with cloves

Orange pomander studded with cloves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’re on the home stretch now so trying to wind down the garden for the long summer break ahead, and use up all the lovely produce we’ve got now… alas the poor garden doesn’t know if it’s Arthur or Martha at the moment so we’re still pulling up leeks from the spring, and the summer basil and tomatoes are coming on…

So, finishing on a soup note (of course!) with carrot & leek – this has gone down so well this week that there has rarely been any left over for me! The children are gobbling it all! We’ve also been playing around with the pizzas and this week have tried out a base of wholewheat organic stoneground Demeter Farm Mill flour and a change of baking tray… all for the better too, especially with the last of our own March-picked olives. Check out our kitchen garden blog for these recipes and more!

We’ve also been baking up some lovely festive shortbread too – and one of our groups has been continuing the merry atmosphere by creating wonderfully perfumed & beribboned orange pomanders (cloves, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg) as decoration, for each student to take home… let’s hope that the pomanders get a chance to dry out in this humid & rainy Sydney weather and don’t go mouldy… hmmm.

We’ve had a great time cooking this year, and I have had an excellent time, getting to know the names to all the faces, all the way down the hill in the Cottage…! Thanks to everyone who has made me feel so welcome and part of the Bondi Public School family, it’s been a blast – and I’m very much looking forward to getting back into it in 2012 (after a huge break ha ha!).

Thanks also to the huge support we get from Wholefoods House: every week I take my shopping list  down to the store in Woollahra & they fill up my shopping trolley – thanks to them we’ve able to supplement our fantastic garden produce with quality organic pantry staples and the like.

And to our brilliant volunteers: you know who you are! I send you thanks with all my heart & see you on the 14th

Have happy & safe holidays and eat great food! See you next year,

Melissa

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