Thursday 7th May, 2015
Last weekend, a group of friends and I drove to the little town of Don Valley for a night away.
My friend Nick, his parents Kerry and Gary own a gorgeous 7 ache picturesque property. Housed with chickens, ducks, alpacas and a delightful vegie garden. Not only do they have a beautiful home, but they are amazing and friendly and for the second time now, have opened up their home to us and invited us in like we are family.
I admire Kerry and she is a huge inspiration. Being there a second time now, all we talk about is food and cooking (what else would I want to talk about!) Kerry grounds her own garam masala, loves making fresh basil pesto, oh and last time, not only did she slow cook lamb shanks served with a roast vegetable and rocket salad, she made homemade cherry pies from scratch – YUMM! And plenty more…
Here’s a little sneak peak into their property. I absolutely LOVE it here, it is scenic and just peaceful.
Now for the fun part. This is a case of ‘you had to be there’ but I have to write this as the thought still makes me laugh out loud, literally, ha ha I can’t stop.
So the story goes a little like this…
After having devoured a delicious meal, a few card games and relaxing in front of the fire, we all went for a midnight walk up the hills to look at the A M A Z I N G view of the Yarra Valley ranges, and laugh at old stories from high school. On the way up, Joseph and Bryan double dared themselves to taste test a little dry crusty cow poop (they loved it- no joke). But on our way down, two beautiful horses trotted up to us to say hello. And of course, Bryan gets a great, I mean, a really GREAT idea…
Gripping the main of the tallest stallion, he asks ‘Can someone give me a leg up? I reckon I could get on this horse!’ (smart idea hey!) suuurre, NOT!!
After I tried to convince him that it probably wasn’t a good idea (however the others were encouraging him), Nick goes and helps him up. I can already foretell the future, I mean, I’m sure you can too – it’s pretty funny (only cause he’s still alive). It was literally a few seconds, and before you know it, with a kicking buck Bryan is flung up into the air and smacked right back down on the ground. It was pretty bad but…
Our first reaction? Laugh.
I mean it was pretty hilarious (if only we recorded it) but then we could see he wasn’t moving. It was time to stop laughing but Alyce couldn’t even catch her breath, it was that funny.
Bryan was good, just couldn’t breathe or walk – but he’s OK…now. A hot bath, chamomile tea and a good nights sleep fixed everything. Knowing him, he’d do it again so don’t feel bad – laugh away! :)
But before all of that, the most important moment of the weekend – Saturday night dinner.
We thought it would be a great idea to all bring something for dinner and to sit and share with Kerry, Gary and also Nick’s brother Evan. So we came up with a menu and sat at the table like one big happy family :)
I love sharing meals with family and friends. Enjoying scrumptious homemade food, sharing laughs and stories. Some of the best conversations and memories are made around the table.
“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…
the people who give you their food, give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez
ON THE MENU: Indian spiced Cauliflower soup, garlic bread, dips and crackers, potato salad, gourmet quinoa salad, garden salad, jerk chicken, bbq’d corn and spanikopita pie – you wish you were there don’t you…drool, it was amazing!!
Oh and Kangaroo steaks. Yep…. KANGAROO steaks Thomas kindly contributed, it was the hit of the night…
JOKES- it was gross.
AND dessert… a p p l e c r u m b l e. It was SO GOOD.
A P P L E C R U M B L E
You could use any stewed fruit, this crumble is super yummy and easy. I was happy with my apple crumble. I used the crumble recipe from Annabel Langbein and just stewed apples with butter, sugar, ground cloves and ground cinnamon. Serve with ice cream or cream. Yuuummm!
65 g almond meal
150 g brown sugar
150 g rolled oats
50 g almonds, chopped or flaked
125 g butter, softened
1 tsp mixed spice
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set a side.
8-9 large granny smith apples, peeled and core removed, sliced
30-40 g butter
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a big pinch of ground clove
Preheat oven to 160°. Put all ingredients into a pot and cook on a low heat for around 10 minutes, until the apples are softened.
Transfer the apples to a baking dish and top with the crumble and bake for 30-40 minutes until the apples are bubbly and the crumble is golden. Enjoy!
Until our next trip to Don Valley….Happy Cooking!