Thursday, 26 May 2011

Garden to Table Cooking - Preserving

Gummi's workshop fun!


 Last weekend I went to a free community workshop held by the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living. It was designed for reducing food wastage by using your home grown fruits and veggies by preserving them in recipes. The workshop was taught by a chef (I didn't catch his name but he teaches the Thai cooking classes at Macarthur Community college!) and he went through four different recipes as well as giving tips on sterilising jars.

We were taught how to make strawberry jam, mint jelly, lemon curd and tomato concasse (which is good as pasta sauce and in casseroles), in previous workshops he taught tomato relish but figured that with winter coming on, we might prefer a sauce based recipe.

 It was a nice cool day and pleasant to sit watching him cook in the afternoon light, we were also able to get up when we wanted to watch the stove at the back and sampled the mint jelly and tomato concasse. As a lovely surprise, at the end of the workshop, we were given raffle tickets and given a free jar to take home, I picked up a freshly-made jar of the tangy lemon curd and my sister chose the tomato relish, which he had prepared before the workshop.

I found the mint jelly to be quite sweet, which would probably suit a pork roast anyway and the tomato concasse really tasty, it's quite easy to make, you just have to make the effort to get all the tomato based ingredients!

  • Skinning tomatoes
  1. Boil water
  2. Cut out the eye of ther tomato
  3. Place a cross at the bottom of the tomato
  4. Place the tomato in the boiling water for approx. 2 mins till the skin slight peels
  5. Drain the water and the skin should easily peel
  • Sterilising jars
 - Jars should stay in the oven till ready for filling - they will stay warm to the touch in the ovens
 - When boiling jars, place a plate or metal rack at the bottom of the pot, this is also a good idea for cooking ravioli or tortellini
 - To dry lids quickly,use a hair dryer NOT a tea towel

Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
1 Mount Annan Drive
Mount Annan NSW 2567
Phone (02) 4647 9828

Workshops and other great information can be found on their website or in local newspapers.


Monday, 16 May 2011

High Tea @ Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria, QVB

Elegant Italian-inspired High Tea located in the heart of Sydney CBD, Bacco is a recent development bringing back Sydney-siders for MOREEEE! 

Penguin: Having tried the oh so very delicious strawberry tart, and the cheesecake tart from the Bacco Cafe at Chifley, I was ecstatic when I found out that Bacco was opening up at QVB and serving High-Tea as part of the SIFF sugar hit October good food month. I quickly grabbed Gummi Bear and a couple other work mates to join me in my very first high-tea!

Gummi: For my first High Tea experience we headed to Bacco, although they aren't the first restaurant which comes to mind when thinking of High Tea (for example, QVB's The Tea Room), it was still a delightful experience as the waiter headed to our tables with our tea and three scrumptious looking tiers of sandwiches, pastries and cakes.

I'm a big scone fan and the scones with jam and cream didn't disappoint. I also quite liked the triple layer cheesecake and light fruit tart.

We had the Bacco Tradizionale High Tea for $33 which came with a choice of tea from their menu, for the same price they have the Bacco Cioccolato High tea served with their own signature hot chocolate. High Tea menu

All plated up

The savouries 


The sweets


 Macaron Mayhem

Life of a scone

Location: Shop 24-27, Level 2 QVB, 455 George St, Sydney (also located in Chifley Plaza)

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