Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
I can't help but smile to myself when Dylan's Maggie's Farm echos through my mind, while I muse myself with his lyrics and reflect on my 30 minutes of fame when I actually got to cook in Maggie's kitchen.
Hannah & Haydn; my 30 minutes of fun & learning in Maggie's kitchen.
I am sure many of you would have seen Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant cooking in her kitchen on the ABC1, TV program The Cook and the Chef, and would have been entertained and inspired to improve your culinary skills. Well, some of you may have seen Maggie's actual kitchen that featured in her TV program when you visited Maggie's Farm at Nuriootpa. Well, I was lucky enough to be selected from the audience while watching the Daily Cooking Demonstrations by Hannah, in the same kitchen.
I learnt some useful tips and practised some new skills, such as leaving the skins on the onion wedges with the core so they remain intact and are easier to serve; just remember not to eat the skins, which will be very bitter.
The carrots were sliced into strips leaving their skins on for roasting then drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a sprinkle of salt and rosemary leaves. After roasting in the oven for 20 minutes, they were deglazed with a generous splash of Verjuice.They were returned to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
The Swiss brown mushrooms were sliced and heated in heaps of unsalted butter, well what seemed heaps to me as Hannah kept encouraging me to add more butter; meanwhile I was so pleased I remembered to take my cholesterol tablet. I added a small splash of Extra Virgin Oil, coated them in more butter, sauteed them until caramelised and golden, added a good splash of Verjuice to deglaze and finished by adding thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
Relax in peace and comfort enjoying the surroundings.
We removed the onions and carrots from the oven and drizzled Verjuice over them, to add moisture and flavour. The tastings of the prepared vegetables went over very well with everyone.
I was quite fascinated with Verjuice, which was offered for tasting and could see why it would be make a delightful drink over ice, or for the more adventurous drinkers, it could be combined with either Gin or Vodka.
I found it a real joy to be part of Hannah's cooking demonstration, which was so well received by our audience with laughter at the continuous banter between the two of us as their cameras recorded the event. Hannah's culinary skills, sense of fun and professional standing seemed fitting some-how to my dubbing our demonstration the Hannah and Haydn Cooking Show. If you visit Maggie Beer's Farm, make sure you attend the Cooking Demonstrations held daily at 2pm.
Maggie's kitchen produces preservative-free gourmet goodies from her own orchard.
Afterwards Disey and I wandered about the various food displays in the relaxed atmosphere of Maggie's Farm Shop. We enjoyed tasting some of her goodies before deciding on the Duck & Orange Pate Picnic Basket which contained two small loaves of Wholemeal & Walnut bread, Duck & Orange Pate with bitter oranges in Verjuice glaze and Freekeh salad. It was delightful and went down so well with the recommended wine; Pheasant Farm 2012 Riverflat Late Picked Semillon Wine.
We particularly enjoyed the Duck & Orange Pate Picnic Basket with Freekeh Salad.
Looking around further we found some ideal gifts, a Maggie Beer Cooking Apron and an introductory pack containing Maggie's book, Cooking with Verjuice, and one bottle of Verjuice and Vino Cotto.
Being just the two of us, what we appreciated was not needing to book as there is no fixed time for lunch, since Maggie introduced a friendly all-day-eating routine. However, had we been part of a group it is recommended to phone in advance for the cooking demonstrations, as a special event will be arranged.
"we serve amazing fruit desserts from our own orchard in the Barossa.
What a fantastic experience Hadyn! I love Maggie Beer's Farm and have only been for lunch. Never stayed long enough for the cooking demonstration but then again, this is the first time I have heard of the demos. Until next time...