The art in eating artichokes

Fresh globe artichokes Photo © Jacqui Newling for Sydney Living Museums

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

Hannah’s long lunch

Hannah's Long Lunch at Hill end Ranch Photo © Di Greenhaw

A recent fundraising event at the historic gold mining town of Hill End in regional New South Wales celebrated colonial hotelier and cookbook author, Hannah Maclurcan. We have a particular attachment to ‘Mrs Maclurcan’ as one of her books remains in the Rouse family’s cookbook collection at Rouse Hill Estate.

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Spring harvest festival – this weekend

Jacqui Newling, ‘the Cook’, and Scott Hill, ‘the Curator’, in the kitchen at Elizabeth Farm. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

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

A kitchen garden in spring

A bee in the borage in the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House. Photo Helen Curran © Sydney Living Museums

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.

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