but this year has just worn me out. I can’t begin to tell you how overwhelming the last couple of months have been.
I’m actually glad to be sitting her doing this right now. It’s a very relaxing time for me – connecting with friends and just writing words for pleasure (as opposed to work or study)
I am still in my new job and the challenges have been many. I won’t bore you with the details but I am also happy to say that the rewards are as great as the tricky bits. I am experiencing insight into a culture I may have not had a chance to participate in and it’s a privilege. I have been able to combine some of my new insight and observations into the gastronomy studies too and I think that’s important.
The catering I do at the college may be for people using the conference rooms for seminars etc, or it may be community groups having a barbie or a launch. There are external catering jobs for awards and performance evenings and of course, with Christmas coming along everything speeds up a bit. I have found it relatively easy to incorporate indigenous ingredients into recipes: the result is a new hybridised cuisine I guess, and there is quite a good range of suppliers for things like smoked emu, kangaroo pastrami, bush tomato chutney, quandongs (native peaches) things like that. Many indigenous products are at their best when used as flavouring agents – many are very strong and assertive, pepperberry and bush tomato come to mind here, and this is where it’s been interesting to make substitutions for what I would normally use.
I thought you might like these photos. The first one is of a couple of products the college sells in its shop: organic,untreated bush honey and a macadaemia nut mueslie. Both are lovely, packaging lokks great too.
The second photo is from a function the other week. I was preparing the most gorgeous South Australian oysters on the half shell. We lined the platters the crushed ice and reconstituted large sheets of dried seaweed to use with the ice as the garnish. The oysters were served as they came with jut a little bit of Japanese seaweed salad on few for a colour and flavour contrast.
I am also making an effort to practice sustainable and ethically correct shopping for products. Of course the ideal is products that benefit the indigenous communities that produce them and go on to offer additional benefits in the way of cultural awareness both inside of and within the communities.
Outback Pride for example – this Aboriginal managed and operated company encourages the communities who produce the (cultivated) foods to come to the gardens and help themselves for their own use. It may be Warrigal greens or quandongs, whatever is growing. Fairtrade practice means everyone gets a fair price for whatever is sold too.
Have I bored you yet? Maybe you’re wishing I’d stayed away from blogging LOL.