The bush fires seemed to be burning out of control across the length and breadth of a hot dry windy summer in our country. I found I could not watch the heartbreaking daily news updates with further news of families losing their homes, pets and animals. Donations from all over the world came in millions of dollars for wildlife rescue and firefighters. One felt one had to do something to help. Donate to a charity! Which one? Will the money actually get to where it is meant to go and not be gobbled up in administration charges or something more sinister. Donating clean but well used towels to animal welfare didn’t cut it. That was when I came up with the idea of a silent auction with our first Tuesdaynightcookbookclub of the year.
Make a donation or something with a food orientation product I suggested. We had wine, cookbooks, a sour dough starter, home made limencello, art products, chocolates and mixing bowls. Invitations were issued to friends of the group and we had a lovely evening raising $500 as well as enjoying our finger food and dessert. This will go towards the CWA however and to drought affected areas.
First up some of the finger food. A tart with gruyera, silverbeet and onion tart with the best pastry ever (read butter and sour cream), san choy bau with marinated tofu, zucchini bread with pickles and marinated feta, avocado with crabmeat and lime, polenta with a eggplant, basil and tomato and of couse sausage rolls.
Dessert included a fig, pistachio and yoghourt cake, some old style individual pavlova with lemon curd, cream and fresh rasberries. A ginger biscuit. And again some home school rum balls and a marshmallow slice…both with the secret ingredient of wheatbix.
If you are wanting a gift to friends overseas about Australian ‘ real ‘ food or even a gift to yourself I really recommend this book (Farmer Recipes and Stories from the Land) please consider this. The recipes are wonderful and homely and the articles about people on the land and the photographs are stunning. And proceeds go towards the CWA (Country Women’s Association) and sent towards the farming families suffering from drought.
Another recipe from this book were the Corn and Zucchini fritters which I didn’t make for our dinner but made for a family birthday a week later. Since I have posted it on Instagram friends from everywhere have requested the recipe. So good! I added some tomato, cucumber, pickled red onion and avocado with feta (not shown)
Next month February and perhaps out hottest month with no foreseeable rain, our attention will be vegetarian salads and of course dessert from any of the three Hetty McKinnon recipe books ‘ Neighbourhood, ‘ ‘Family,’ and a recently revised ‘Community.’ Formerly from Surry Hills in Sydney (my home town) she delivered salads from her bicycle locally. She now lives in Brooklyn NYC with her husband and three children and still making great salads.