Wishing you a very happy Christmas day from The Cook and the Curator!
T’is the week before Christmas – and egads! I’d better get on with the festive fare. It’s not too late to make a pudding, for the family table or as a gift for friends, or home made treats that follow long-standing Christmas traditions. Continue reading
‘The inhabitants of a beer-drinking or spirit drinking country will never possess the vivacity of those who live in a wine producing land’ Phillip Muskett, 1893
Visiting Orange during Wine Week encouraged me to reflect further on colonial wine culture. The Australian wine industry started with the first fleet, which arrived with grape vine cuttings in 1788.
At Elizabeth Bay and Vaucluse Houses we are often asked about some large elaborate boxes seen in the dining rooms: introducing the esky of the 19th century – the ‘cellaret’. Continue reading
How can one refuse an invitation to a wine festival? Colonial gastronomy headed west to picturesque Orange, New South Wales, to support their Villages of the heart: telling rural stories project. Renowned as central New South Wales’ food bowl, the Orange district also boasts a vibrant ‘cold climate’ boutique wine industry.
“½ cup of milk, 2 cups of sugar, 25 grams copha, 3/4 cup of coconut. How hard can it be to make coconut ice?” For the past few months a dedicated team of passionate and curious volunteer cooks have been testing out manuscript recipes from our families’ collections. One of the team, Paula Southcombe, reflects on one of the more challenging recipes: Continue reading
We’re all aware of food fads and trends, especially these days on our quest for anything new, different or with newly identified health attributes (hello kale!). But sometimes food trends are the result of changing technologies, enabling a particular dish or cooking technique to be widely accessed rather than be reserved for restaurants with commercial equipment, trained chefs or a fleet of kitchen hands (or servants as the case may have been in centuries past). Continue reading
“Nothing is worse than stale eggs” states Isabella Beeton,
“… stale, or even preserved eggs, are things to be run from, not after.”
I can imagine having to run after chickens but not eggs, but needless to say, fresh is always best. Continue reading
When I was a child my dad would confuse me by asking “do you say the yolk of an egg is white or are white?” But it is their yin-yang, rich-light; oily-dry duality that makes eggs such a versatile food. While the sun shines in the yolk it is the whites that bring light to many a dish, including omlets, meringues and snows. Continue reading
From conserving a 19th century interior to chasing runaway cattle and blowing eggs for display, the life of a house museum curator is an unpredictable one! Continue reading