Monday, June 16

Knifemaker, Beekeeper & Baker

This is directed by my very clever uncle, Roger Scholes!

An inspired knifemaker, beekeeper and baker pass on their passions to their young apprentices
In the valley beneath Sleeping Beauty mountain, the people of the community have rediscovered the benefits of a small town economy. Families trade with one another, swapping foods they grow and things they make. Their lives are rich and varied. They value what they know and want to pass their passions on. The Passionate Apprentices, a three part documentary series, portrays ways of life that are about stepping more lightly on the planet.
I have extra fondness for the story as my cousin Linden is one of the apprentice knifemakers, as is his and his brother Jon's friend, Merlin. John the Knifemaker is another great guy with a lot of talent for knifes, as well as smoked salmon and other tasty treats. My family has a little collection of his knives - Mum and Hamish one with a sweet smelling Huon Pine handle and I have the squared "multicultural knife". My favourite though is the one that Linden made me in his own back yard forge, by himself, for me, for my 21st!

Thursday, June 5

He and Me at Fee and Me.

Tim and I before heading out for dinner.

Last weekend Tim and I zoomed up to Launceston on Friday for a bits'n'pieces weekend - we saw a bit of his family, I went to a 70th birthday of a family friend, we had family lunch with my family, I met his grandparents... and we went out for a fantastic dinner on Saturday night. This week was our 'one year anniversary' so the final plan was to combine a special evening with the weekend up north.

There are a lot of foody shots to come, and lots of them aren't actually that great because it was such a nice place that I didnt want to use the flash everytime I got food and distract everyone. The format is that you choose to have 3, 4 or 5 dishes from the menu which is arranged into brackets by weight and the more you get, the better value it is! You can choose all from the same brackets or skip around if you like, but we did the little to big thing to be traditional. All of the meals are roughly entree size, but despite that, after 4, I didn't want to spoil the nice feeling by squeezing in dessert and neither did Tim, so we missed the sweet treats.

First off we had some pre-dinner drinks. This was just about the hardest decision on the evenintg, since between us, we didn't know what lots of them were! At long last, and after the waiter asked us several times, we got him to describe Campari and several others and we made a decision. Tim was sold by the 'if you've never had Campari, you should have some, probably with orange juice first; it's a revelation', while I had the 'Frangelico Sour' (=Frangelico, Lemon Juice, Egg white, sugar syrap) which is not bad for the palette because it is sour rather than sweet. Both were tasty, and not too sweet!

Then the food! First I had (and I quote from the menu which I photographed as a record!): 'Tomato Trilogy': semi-dried tomato and Parmesan "trifle"; watermelon, tomato, goats cheese and balsamic salad; cream cheese filled cherry tomato, gazpacho sorbet.
Tim had:
Smoked salmon and sour cream terrine, confit lemon zest, beetroot relish, lemond dressing.
Our first two dishes!

Dish Two: [mine and then Tim's choice]
Pan fried trevalla, soba noodles, bok choy, shitake mushrooms, Asian consomme.

Ocean trout, Kaitafi pastry, coriander, chilli and parsley salad, almond cauliflower sauce, capsicum coulis.

Dish three:

Huon Valley Honeybrown mushroom caps, Seymour Gold potoatoes filled with mushroom ragout, thyme infused cream sauce. [Possibly my favourite of the evening]

Pan-fried lambs brains, baby silverbeet, brown butter and capers, crisp wafers [Tim was brave! I tried it and was surprised at how tasty it was, although most people don't have to disect and eat brains within a week!]

And finally dish four:
Twice cooked pork belly, wild rocket, ginger and pickled sultana salad, smashed peas, smoked ham reduction
[I chose this at the recommendation of Hamish, also very good - even the smashed peas were delicious]

Hare pie, Parmesan chice souffle topping, creamed potato puree. [I'm guessing this may have been the most 'gourmet' pie Tim has ever had!]

And the delicious dessert options of cheese platters, citrus selections, star anise poaches pear, fresh figs in rosewater and so-on were not to be squeezed in that time. They sound good though. All in all, it was an excellent meal, outstanding service, and of course, gorgeous company!! A good way to celebrate.

Sunday lunch was the other main weekend event - a significant amount of the family together, just lacking Hilary's husband Martin and my cousin Olivia to make the full set I think. This was specially nice since Nanna and Papa along with Katherine and Andrew are heading to Tanzania shortly for a 5 week trip - which for my grandparents, will be their final trip back to a place they spent many years working, and for the others will be a chance to see again some of where they grew up and what it is like now. We'd a lovely lunch which Vanessa had contributed to significantly (fantastic lamb shanks!), and a chance to chat and play with the various family members. Lochie had us younger ones involved in pillow/sword fights, playing with the train set and other appopriate activites:

Lunch with everyone (Tim was taking the photo - he was there too)

All of us!

Then there was the final drive home, broken up by a coffee stop at Zeps in Cambell Town - where I finally managed to get Tim with his car, in daylight. Just!

Last but not least - one of my favourite parts of the Midlands Highway as we zoomed past in the late afternoon light.