06 May Seasonal Update: Friday 6th May, 2016

Call Elizabeth on 0419505438 to enrol to join us for next week’s Cookery Class in one of Melbourne’s finest Cookery Schools.

Kitchen Confidence 101 : French Bistro

Wednesday 11th May 10am – 1pm – Meredith St, Elwood

Be tempted – This week’s class will get everybody chopping, dicing, sauteing and slicing!

Call Elizabeth on 0419 505 438 to join us in this small hands on class :$165 / person



Vegetable Soup with Potato, Leeks and Carrots

Pan Fried Steak served with Parsley Butter

Potato au Gratin

Simple Green Salad of Garden Leaves and Herbs

                        Cherry Clafouti

In season: May

Apples – look for heritage and unwaxed varieties; Cumquats – to prepare with brandy or to make Cumquat Marmalade;  Lemons and Limes for simple curds – Go to this week’s Recipe of Lemon Curd for Lemon Tarts for Mothers Day; Mandarins for lunch boxes and snacks off the kitchen bench; Nashi Pears, Oranges – look out this week for Navelinas from Kingfisher Citrus;  Olives to cure at home;  Passionfruit to mix in your yoghurt in the morning;  Pears and Persimmons for interesting cheese platters;  Rhubarb for the most delicious and easy to make compote.



Chestnuts – Visit last week’s post for Chestnut and Mushroom soup; new season Walnuts are essential for any cheese platter or assortment of seasonal fruits and nuts – see if you can get some that are still green and dry them yourself.



Asian greens for quick stir fries and breakfast smoothies, Beetroot – baked with carrots and Kohlrabi are a simple delicious meal or side dish; Broccoli of course and look out for beautiful baby Brussel Sprouts still attached to the stem; Cabbages for nourishing soups, Cauliflower and what must be almost the last of the eggplant for a gratin with chopped lamb;  Fennel – whole bulbs roasted and the fine fronds integrated into garden salads with a variety of Lettuces; Mushrooms – cooked to eat on toast in front of the tele or made into a delicious soup – with or without chestnuts – see last week’s Recipe post; Parsnips – try pureeing these; pumpkins for soups even the 8 year old can make;  Shallots, Silver Beet and Spinach, Swedes and Turnips, Celery and Leeks  to enrich casseroles, soups and nourishing dishes of lentils; Potatoes to eat a thousand ways but in next week’s class French Bistro 101 we make a Gratin of Potatoes – the simple, predictable no fuss way!


I cannot imagine not growing my own Bay, Parsley, Mint, Rosemary, and Thyme.  Chives and Oregano, Marjoram, Sage, Watercress and Witloff too.  I have never had sustained success with Coriander but it is in season now.

Next week’s class: French Bistro 101 we make a Parsley Butter to have with a panfried steak.

This weeks recipe is for those looking to spoil mother on Mothers Day – Sunday 8th May:  Lemon Curd and Lemon Curd Tartlets 

Accredited Farmers’ Markets


Wednesday May 4th: Weekly – University of Melbourne

Thursday May 5th: Weekly –  Goldsborough Lane (CBD) 4.30pm – 7.30pm

1st Saturday of the Month: Saturday May 7th

Carlton, Coburg, Echuca, Bannockburn, Kingston, Sunraysia, St Kilda, Wodonga, Woodend,

2nd Sunday of the Month: Sunday 8th May

BonBeach, Clunes, Ringwood, Eltham, Eynesbury, Flemington

For details visit: www.vicfarmersmarkets.org.au

In the Garden:

Is that really rain coming?

It has been so dry!  The gentle sunshine though is a gift for garden beds of herbs, flowers and vegetables.  My peas at last are taking off beautifully – I planted heritage varieties of Sweet Peas amongst the regular garden peas for shelling.  They are planted around the wire frames I had the tomatoes clambering up not so long ago.  These are perfect when you are short on wall space for light weight plants to climb over.

I never seem to have much luck with citrus.  I am delighted though to see new season Navelinas coming to farmers’ markets this weekend.

Lemons will be there too by now – the softer tasting Meyer Lemon is excellent for Lemon Curd.  I have posted Elizabeth David’s simple simple recipe for this in this week’s Recipe post.  An easy to make gift for Mother on Mother’s Day but also a filling for an elegant petite fours after Sunday lunch or a sweet treat for Afternoon Tea. 

Michel’s Fine Biscuit Co of Castlemaine have the perfect tiny sweet pastry tart cases to fill.  This takes all of the fuss out of these sweet treats.  Michel is usually at St Kilda Farmers’ Markets (1st Saturday of the month) and at GasWorks (3rd Saturday of the month).  Her produce is available at Leaf Store in Elwood though anyway.  Visit Michel on www.castlemainefinebiscuitco.com.au – You wont be disappointed!

What is New?

Upcoming Masterclass:

Two hour bread making masterclass with Greg Dee of Elwood Bread.  Keep the date: Saturday 14th August, 2016.  Everyone gets to take some mother home in a jar. Not to be missed!

Further information coming.

Gift Vouchers:
A cookery class in Melbourne’s leafy Elwood is the perfect wedding gift, also ideal for someone moving out of home.  Dont forget birthdays and Christmas too.  Ohh, and of course Mother’s Day.  Call Elizabeth on 0419505438 for a gift for someone you love.