Artichokes are in their prime at the moment. They are a member of the thistle family, and have been popular in the Mediterranean region since antiquity, but to many Australians they still seem very curious and foreign – partly because we’re not quite sure how to prepare and eat them. We’re more likely to buy their ‘hearts’ ready-pickled in brine or oil as an antipasto ingredient than cook them whole, which is a shame, because freshly cooked artichokes are a fun and highly sensorial food to eat – best eaten without cutlery and nibbled on rather than dined upon. Continue reading
The Cook has had a very fruitful month away from the blog-sphere getting lots of study done, and happily, indulging in some gastronomic delights along the way. While the mutton bird experiments were interesting (and a story for another time) a true highlight was a fundraising event held in the historic gold mining town of Hill End which was founded on the indomitable colonial cookery author, Hannah Maclurcan. We have a particular attachment to Hannah Maclurcan as one of her books remains in our collection at Rouse Hill House and Farm. It belonged to Nina Terry (nee Rouse) and the many pencil markings, food splodges and spatters tell us that Nina’s tastes were much in line with Hannah’s! Continue reading
Our gardens with fruit and vegetables are extensive; and produce abundantly. It is now spring, and the eye is delighted with a most beautiful variegated landscape; almonds, apricots, pear and apple trees are in full bloom; the native shrubs are also in flower, and the whole country gives a grateful perfume … Continue reading
This Sunday 11 October, Vaucluse House is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a house museum with a free community open day. It’s also the 15th birthday of our recreated Victorian kitchen garden – and it’s never looked better! Amid the spring abundance you’ll find heirloom tomatoes, tender sugar-snap peas and colonial favourites like white icicle radishes, sugar-loaf cabbages and salsify.
The centenary of Vaucluse House as a public museum – on Sunday 11th October – is fast approaching, so today I thought what better dining room to discuss than that of the Wentworths at their harbour-side ‘country house’. Continue reading