Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Breaking up

I had one last class at The Studio last night.  12 weeks flew by quicker than I thought!  I've had so much fun learning with Steve, and got to muck around with lots of equipment.  Studio work is fun!!!  We used smaller apertures for some super sharp photos.  As much as I love a shallow depth of field, this is different and I have so many ideas I want to try now.

Steve is running another class in a few week's time.  If you'll like to find out more about it here or you can email him here: steve.lovegrove@me.com.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Geilston Bay & Shag Bay fieldtrip

What can I say?  I'm really shit at landscape photography.  None of them really gave a sense of the place and really could have been taken anywhere.  And as for the architecture photographs... It's even worse, so no photos :(

I need to get out there and shoot more!

Friday, 6 July 2012


Using the most sophistocated method of writing names down on pieces of paper and drawing them out of a bucket hat, we have a winner!


Try #1: Bruce (of Old Bank B&B) you're the lucky winner!  I'll post the ticket down to you soon.

Try #2: Sadie from wonderful Fat Pig Farm!  You're the lucky winner!  I'll post the ticket down to you soon :)

Try #3!  (Those people down in the Huon are pretty busy!).  Sarah Bayne is the winner of one ticket to the F4T dinner :).  Phew, that was a little harder than I thought!

Thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word.  Even if you have missed out, there are still tickets available for the night.

More about the Stroke Foundation's Food 4 Thought dinner here: http://strokefoundation.com.au/event/food-for-thought-hobart/  Would be lovely to see you there :)

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Cooking with Fire at the Agrarian Kitchen

Do you like a roaring bonfire?   I do.  Lots.  During the day, we worked with three different fires: hearth/fireplace cooking; the Alan Scott woodfire oven; and the bonfire in the garden.  One thing that I hadn't appreciated about cooking with fire, is that there's an extra dimension to it, literally.  You can cook over flames, coals, under ashes...  It's amazingly versatile.

As Rodney said, if we were going to have roast chicken, we might as well have something great.  Doesn't the bird look beautiful?  It was only dispatched days ago, and hung to dry out the skin.  The chicken was strung up on a string and placed in front of the fire, and was kept turning throughout the class.  All that delicious dripping didn't go to waste either -- a pan of jeruselam artichoke was set underneath, roasting over coals.  The finished roast was juicy, flavoursome and firm, a reflection on the great life it had.  It was one very special roast chicken.

From then on we moved outdoors and started cooking using the bonfire.  One of the most memorable dish was the roast lamb.  A whole middle section was cut, butterflied, hooked onto a few stakes and set next to the bonfire.  It took most of the day to cook, and it was so good.  I stole a stray piece of crispy skin while it was being served.  Salty, lemony and fatty.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

While that was cooking, we huddled around the fire.  At times, the heat was so intense, it felt like we were going to go home without our eyebrows. We had some delicious spiced cider (also cooked on a fire) that kept us warm.  Who doesn't like a tipple next to a bonfire?

Our side dishes included a traditional polenta was cooked over coals, made with the very last dried corn from the garden, harvested a few months ago.  It took forever and a lot of dedicated stirring by everyone.  The polenta was creamy, thick and taste of sweet corn.  I'm blown away, again, by now the simplest things can taste so good. 

For morning tea, we've had some crumpets, freshly made an cooked over the fire.  The texture was amazing!  Toasted to perfection on the outside; morishly soft in the middle.  These were the best crumpets I've ever had.  It really was :)  We ate them hot with lashings of butter and some of the beautiful jam made by Rodney.  The  morello cherry is my new favourite jam...

I've always loved food cooked under coals.  It remind me of barbeques we had as kids,.  Hot coals in a pit and barbeque forks skewered with all manner of things.  We'll wrap up sweet potatoes in foil and stick it under the dying embers.  So sweet, they were like desserts. 

We didn't have any sweet potatoes, but we did bury some pumpkin and fantastic onions under the ash, skins and all.  How simple is that?

The onions were amazing and had a gorgeous sweet smokey smell as we took them out.  We used it as toppings for woodfire pizzas that were cooked in the amazing (and the last of) Alan Scott oven.  The pumpkins had such a striking look when it was removed from the ash -- bright orange against the gray.  We had them with toasted almonds and tahini yoghurt sauce.  It's a different take on roast pumpkins that I really enjoyed.

Last, but not least, we cooked a great Robins Island wagyu rump that was hung for 28 days.  It was marinated with tamarind, cumin and a host of other spices and grilled.  It's not your ordinary BBQ...

After cooking all day long, it was time to sit down for lunch.  We tucked into our feast with gusto.  Forks were abandoned in favour for fingers.  It was a wonderful -- and fitting -- way to eat. 

Our very late lunch was topped off with a couple of desserts: pancakes de leche panqueque with stuffed roasted apples.  It was served with marscapone made by Rodney just days before.  The baked apple and pancake was a dream to eat.  They were so good together!  With a full belly and a long day, I was ready for a grandma nap.

Thank you again Rodney & Severine for yet another great class.  You've made standing outside in the cold so enjoyable, and delicious! :)