Tassievore eat local challenge – feast day 1

A few weeks ago Sustainable Living Tasmania launched the Living Local Feast challenge. Having been a keen participant in Tassievore Eat Local Challenge in 2014, which culminated in an actual dinner party, I toyed with signing up again this year. Lil Sis strongly encouraged me asked me if I was going to do it and, motivated by the chance to win a Tassievore gift pack if I was one of the first 20 to register, I decided to give it another go.

As in 2014, my challenge is to “invite your nearest and dearest around to your house for a meal cooked with mostly Tasmanian produce”. It struck me that it might be more difficult to do this than it had been in March 2014 because we are moving into winter and there might not be as much locally grown vegetables around.

I was very excited when Lissa from Sustainable Living Tasmania emailed to tell me I was one of the lucky 20 to win a Tassievore gift pack.

20170512 Tassievore Feast Pack IG

Now I had no excuses!

I contacted my family and arranged a date when everyone was free, and started menu planning. Being somewhat conservative, despite my motto of colouring outside the lines, I ended up with a menu not too far departed from my 2014 menu. But there’s enough new stuff to keep me on my toes.

Today was devoted to sourcing my local produce so that I don’t have to rely on our weekly grocery shop tomorrow for Tassie-grown vegetables.

I started my day at Huon Valley Meats in Goulburn Street, where I picked up my main course and some condiments.

20170602 Tassievore 02 Huon Valley Meats

My next stop was Eumarrah in Barrack Street, which I had sussed out earlier in the week and knew they would have most of the vegetables and some of the dairy I needed. I only had a minor panic when I couldn’t see the Tasmanian pumpkins, which are a key ingredient in two of my dishes. But I found them eventually, once I turned around and looked in the corner. *huge sigh of relief*

I had a great time carrying seven kilos of meat and vegetables into work. (I actually didn’t enjoy this. Who would have thought.)

At lunchtime, I went to Salamanca Fresh to pick up most of the rest of the ingredients I needed. All I have left now are a couple of minor things that, if I don’t get them, I can work around.

I ended up with an impressive haul for the day.

20170602 Tassievore 07 Today's haul IG

Today’s tasks were:

1. To start off some sourdough bread – the challenge here being to use Tasmanian flour rather than the (not Tasmanian) flour that was recommended on the course I recently attended.

20170602 Tassievore 01 Sourdough Starter IG

The dough is now proving so that I can bake it some time tomorrow morning.

2. Make crackers using the recipe from Tassievore. It wasn’t until I re-read the recipe I realised butter wasn’t part of it.

20170602 Tassievore 08 Crackers

Also I am not 100% sure that South Cape is Tasmanian, but the address on the label said Burnie, and I couldn’t find any Ashgrove or Elgaar parmesan, so it’s the best I can do. I think 2 teaspoons of cheese is OK.

Here’s how the crackers turned out.

20170602 Tassievore 09 Crackers

3. Make beef stock.

Here we have beef bones from my lovely friends at Two Metre Tall roasted in the oven for a couple of hours and transferred to the slow cooker, where they will simmer overnight and give me a beautiful rich beef stock tomorrow.

So my dough is proving, my stock is cooking, and I have a lot of things to do tomorrow before my guests arrive.

I’ll be Instagramming my preparation until things get crazy busy, and using the hashtag #tassivorefeast there (@straightlinesgirl) and on Twitter (@straitlinesgirl) if you want to follow the fun.

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Channeling – Day 2 (11 July 2015)

After our yummy dinner the night before, we all slept in this morning. The cottage was so very dark and quiet.

Breafast was included with our deal. We could choose from cereal, fresh home made bread with jam, and eggs, as well as plunger coffee. Slabs set to work making coffee and breakfast while Juniordwarf and I read our books. I could get used to this.

The advantage of a weekend break is that we could spend a whole day in the area without having to rush home or rush through everything we wanted to do so we didn’t miss anything.

After breakfast we headed south, and our first stop was Grandvewe Cheeses in Birchs Bay.

Grandvewe Cheesery

Grandvewe Cheesery

It’s the only sheep milk cheesery in Tasmania and I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. We arrived at the wrong time of year to see the sheep milking demonstrations as the ewes are still pregnant, and due to lamb in a few weeks. This means we get to go back later in the year!

We were able to taste some of the cheeses, and I surprised myself by really liking the Sapphire Blue, as I’m not a blue cheese fan. Perhaps I could be converted.

Sheep. Grandvewe Cheeses

Sheep. Grandvewe Cheeses

We decided to come back later in the day to get some cheese to take home rather than drive round with cheese in the car.

Not too far away we found the Art Farm Birchs Bay Sculpture Trail,  It’s an annual sculpture trail set in the bushland at Five Bob Farm, running from April to July. There were 34 sculptures on display as part of the exhibit, plus several sculptures that are permanently located on the trail.

Sculpture Trail Entrance

Sculpture Trail Entrance

There was a great variety of sculptures along the trail using media as diverse as sandstone, steel, wood, and many recycled objects. Some of the works reminded me of Juniordwarf’s class trip to the Art from Trash exhibition.

Lizards!

Lizards!

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

One of particular interest was the series called Spiralling Down, by Jen Newton, which was a series of four pods that you could sit in to “experience the space and contrast natural materials with man-made ones”. One pod was made of plastic trash that would never break down, one from natural things like pelts, bones, hemp and flax that would eventually decompose, one from old blankets for warmth and protection and the final, moving, one from barbed wire in recognition of Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers sent to detention camps.

Spiralling Down

Spiralling Down

It took us about an hour and a half to walk around the trail, and it was a nice way to spend the morning. We hadn’t realised it, but today was the winter bonfire night at the Art Farm, where the awards were presented and everyone was getting ready for that while we were there. We already had plans so we didn’t go, but it looked like it would have been a fun night.

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

We continued south through Flowerpot, Middleton and Gordon, and stopped at Nine Pin Point for a photo opportunity. We decided to keep going and do a lap instead of turning around and going back to Woodbridge.

Nine Pin Point

Nine Pin Point

We followed the Channel Highway around until we got to the turn off to Woodbridge and took the very scenic, windy road back. We had lunch at Peppermint Bay, which had also been on the to-do list.

Lunch at Peppermint Bay

Lunch at Peppermint Bay

Juniordwarf saw sardines on the menu and had to have them. He’d never had sardines before. He’s recently become interested in obsessed with the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which is based in a town which gets stuck with an oversupply of sardines when the sardine demand plummets. So he’s been fascinated by sardines.

He was so very excited to be having sardines! It was almost like it was Christmas. I wish I’d filmed his reaction. He was absolutely over the moon. His favourite word to describe something he likes is “delicious”. “I love them!” he said. It was one of those priceless moments where he was completely overjoyed about something that I’d take for granted. A moment to remember for the pure joy and exhilaration.

I might have had a similar reaction* to the Moo Brew Stout that was on tap. Apparently it’s a seasonal stout known as ‘The Velvet Sledgehammer’. The staff member taking our order warned me that it was 8.5% alcohol. Hey, I’m not driving, it’s cool. It was very very good.

Peppermint Bay

Peppermint Bay

We had intended to go back to Grandvewe, but we’d seen the turn off to Hartzview Vineyard on our way back to Woodbridge, so we decided a wine tasting was in order. Hartzview is set in a beautiful spot with a tantalising glimpse of the very recognisable Hartz peak (which we had also got lovely views of on our morning drive). I think I’d like to go there one day.

Hartzview Vineyard

Hartzview Vineyard

Wine tasted and purchased, we made a quick stop at the local gemstone store in Woodbridge and then headed back to the cottage. Juniordwarf and I went for a walk up the road. We spotted some herons on the way, which is where the vineyard got its name, as well as a couple of other interesting things that caught our eye. (The herons didn’t like having their photo taken and wouldn’t stay still.)

Single early cherry blossom

Single early cherry blossom

The things you see along the side of the road

The things you see along the side of the road

The evening’s entertainment began with the game of Cluedo, in which I made up for the disappointment of my defeat in Qwirkle last night. Juniordwarf and I played a couple of games of Snap and I was victorious again. I tried to help him refine his technique to put him in a better position. Slabs also taught him to play Patience and a sneaky little card trick.

Gerry brought us our dinner at about 7 pm. Tonight it was pork in a fig sauce with mash, purple cabbage and carrots, with apple/berry crumble for dessert. It was really good, and I’m going to try and find a similar recipe for the pork dish so I can make it myself.

Dinner Day 2

Dinner Day 2

I’d told Juniordwarf I didn’t want to go home. I really didn’t. Everything was so peaceful and relaxing, I think I could stay for a week and potter around reading, writing, walking and taking photos. And not cooking for myself. Wouldn’t that be great?

* That is probably an exaggeration. Probably.