“Christmas in July” at the farm

We had a great workshop yesterday at Beelarong Community farm when I have my allotment. We celebrated “Christmas In July”.

It was run by Craig Arnett who is a qualified chef and a volunteer at the farm where he gives special care to our fruit trees and the food forrest. He was assisted by Judith, she has an allotment at the farm, does volunteer work in the community garden as well as being on the committee.

I snapped away.

Judith set up the Christmas theme with the tree and table decorations. She gathered the flowers for the table centre from around the farm.

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Craig set up the kitchen with the Primus stove set up on the table (you can see the blue lid) and the farm’s barbecue which you can see on the right. It has a wok burner on the side as he would be needing that for the cooking of Asian Greens.

And he gave me a smile.

Fortunately he is a better chef than I am a photographer (I meant to focus on Craig, not the garlic!)

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The menu was Twice Cooked Pork with Crushed Potato and Asian Greens followed by ‘Christmas Trees’ as a dessert, a delicious confection of light as air pastry, whipped cream and strawberries.

It was a hands-on workshop and here are a few shots taken as we prepared the food under Craig’s instruction.

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We were each given a whole boiled potato to ‘crush’. This exposed the inside of the potato and gave us a larger outside area to crisp up. They were then placed in a baking tray, given a generous drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper ready for roasting in the cob oven.

The twice cooked pork had already been boiled the night before. We placed it in a roasting tin, covered with a delicious marmalade sauce, ready to be finished off with a roasting in the cob oven.

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Folk lined up ready to put the pork and potatoes in the cob oven

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Craig explains the workings of the cob oven

While meat and potatoes were cooking we took a walk around the farm to gather Bok Choi for the Asian Greens. These were stir fried with garlic and ginger in the wok. The meal was then plated up and drizzled with the special marmalade sauce, we sat down together, and it was absolutely delicious.

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We watched Craig prepare this Christmas Tree, complete with snow.

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Then it was our turn. Here is mine. The sugar syrup got sort of mixed up with the ‘snow’ and my ‘branches’ had a mind of their own. But you know what – tasted fabulous!

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To top it up, we were entertained with Christmas songs.

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It was a fun morning. So thank you to Craig and Judith, and to John who got up early to light the fire in the cob oven.

This workshop was part of the Brisbane City Council’s GOLD (Growing Older and Living Dangerously) program. If you live around the Brisbane area it’s worth checking out their website.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

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