I am a freelance writer and diversional therapist, living in Brisbane's North West. I write for Weekend Notes, Must do Brisbane and Starts at Sixty. Visit my blogs at babybloomin.wordpress.com and brisbanetripster.wordpress.com.
Published February 19th 2015
The foodie experience continues even when you're home again
A bountiful escape in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
A recent two-day escape with a friend was never intended to be such a food-oriented trip, but I'm so glad that's how it turned out. We had booked into an introductory cheese-making workshop at Easy Cheesy in Cooran and decided to take advantage of this escape from the city, booking an overnight stay in Amamoor, in the beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
On the way to our accommodation, we made several stops. First was at Pomona, where we enjoyed lunch and a great coffee. From here, we decided to investigate Lake MacDonald, which proved to be a very worthwhile detour. Not only is the lake a beautiful spot, but it is also right next door to the amazing Noosa Botanical Gardens - a real surprise bonus.
After a relaxing stroll through the gardens, we headed to our accommodation for the night, where we sat outdoors and enjoyed a cool drink and a fruit and cheese platter we'd brought from home. The view from the front verandah of the CBR Equine Cottage at Amamoor was one of rolling hills, dappled sunlight, grazing cows and far away orchards.
A large mango tree repeatedly dropped ripe mangos on the ground nearby - another holiday bonus, as we were invited to help ourselves to these divine smelling jewels. For dinner, my friend had slow cooked lamb shanks and lentils, served with wild rice - what a delicious way to end our day.
The following morning, we headed off to Easy Cheesy in Cooran, where Master Cheesemaker Dawn Couchman passed on her knowledge and skills, teaching us how to make ricotta, mascarpone, lime cheese, yoghurt and whey lemonade. A thoroughly enjoyable morning was spent making cheese, and included a lovely break, where we enjoyed quiche, cream cheese, fruit, salad, lime cheese, whey lemonade, mascarpone with home made fruit cake, and more - all made by Dawn herself.
Not only did we leave Cooran with our eskies full of delicious handmade dairy products (made by us), Dawn's generosity also extended to sharing a couple of other items from her property. We each brought home large pods from a bunya pine, and a handful of starfruit, otherwise known as carambola.
Adding to our bounty, a quick stop at a roadside stall saw us pick up a bargain - a bag of beautiful fresh Sunshine Coast limes for $2. One last stop at Pomona for a coffee, and then we were homeward bound.
Lime cheese - perfect for a snack or great on pizza
However, the weekend food trail didn't end there. Not only had we cooked up a storm at our cottage, and again at the cheese-making workshop, once we were home, the cooking continued.
Mangos were puréed to accompany my handmade Easy Cheesy yoghurt; spinach and ricotta cannelloni was baked using my ricotta; the lime cheese was a key ingredient on a home made pizza; and the mascarpone was put to good use making Mangomisu - a delightful variation of Tiramisu.
Starfruit was sliced thinly and added to a crispy salad, as were the bunya nuts (once they had been peeled and baked). And those limes? They were squeezed and added to soda water and lemon myrtle syrup, for a refreshing drink on a hot day!
This was a lovely break away from the city, and was so much more than either of us had expected. Our stay in Amamoor was delightful, Dawn's cheese-making workshop was loads of fun, but the best thing was that this weekend kept on giving even once we were home, cooking up a storm!