Fresh food ready to share

AgLife - - News - BY SARAH SCULLY

Ap­s­ley’s Cindy Cross’s pas­sion for and tal­ent with fresh pro­duce will be on dis­play at this year’s field days.

Mrs Cross, who owns and op­er­ates Am­ber Ridge Farm Shop Nurs­ery and Café, will host a cook­ing demon­stra­tion in the au­di­to­rium on Tues­day.

“I did a talk at the Wim­mera field days through a ‘women in agri­cul­ture’ lunch hosted by the Com­mon­wealth Bank a few years ago, but this is my first time cook­ing there,” Mrs Cross said.

“I’ve done lots of cook­ing demon­stra­tions, mostly Mount Gam­bier way and at the Lucin­dale field days. I’m look­ing for­ward to it.”

Mrs Cross’s demon­stra­tion will have a ‘grow it, eat it’ theme.

She said she would aim to show­case how to use the best re­gional pro­duce and how the best pro­duce can come from our ‘own back yards’.

“I al­ways take a big box of fruit and veg­eta­bles I’ve picked that day that I have with me on stage,” she said.

“That way it’s easy to tell peo­ple about them.

“Be­cause I like to grow heir­loom veg­eta­bles I have a lot of dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties. Take toma­toes for ex­am­ple, they’re not just red. I have green ones, yel­low ones, stripy ones and lit­tle jelly­bean ones.

“When I’m cook­ing I like to talk about how it all works. It’s not just about eat­ing food, but how you grow the prod­ucts to make it and how easy it is.”

Mrs Cross said her demon­stra­tions were usu­ally im­promptu.

“Some­times I’ll walk around the mar­ket first and grab some of the in­gre­di­ents avail­able and make some- thing from them,” she said. “That’s al­ways ex­cit­ing be­cause you never know what you’re go­ing to get – it keeps you on your toes.

“I also like to grab some­one from the crowd to be my sous chef. I like to in­ter­act with the crowd.

“If there’s a char­ac­ter or two in the au­di­ence I like to have a bit of fun with them. “I en­joy a bit of ban­ter.” Mrs Cross’s demon­stra­tion will be the first of two at the field days.

War­rackn­abeal Creek­side Ho­tel own­ers Kevin and Sally Ge­bert will treat pa­trons to a ‘Creek­side Sig­na­ture Sausages’ ses­sion on Thurs­day.

Mrs Ge­bert said it would be the cou­ple’s first cook­ing demon­stra­tion. “We’re re­ally ex­cited,” she said. “We’re go­ing to be show­cas­ing our hand-made gourmet sausages.

“We do a lot of low and slow bar­be­cue cook­ing and the sausages are some­thing we’ve de­vel­oped through­out the past three to four months. They’re go­ing re­ally well.”

The Creek­side Ho­tel started an Amer­i­can low and slow bar­be­cue bat­tle a cou­ple of years ago, at­tract­ing teams from across Aus­tralia.

The bat­tles draw a large crowd of Wim­mera res­i­dents keen to see the teams in ac­tion and taste the re­sults.

“Low and slow bar­be­cue cook­ing is re­ally tak­ing off,” Mrs Ge­bert said. “We’re lucky we got in on it early. It’s been very pop­u­lar.

“It’s be­cause of the work we’ve done with the com­pe­ti­tion we’ve been given the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop our own sausages and rubs and things to en­hance the bar­be­cue and take it to the next level.”

The Am­ber Ridge and Creek­side Ho­tel demon­stra­tions will be at 12.30pm in the field days au­di­to­rium.

GROWN WITH LOVE:

Am­ber Ridge owner Cindy Cross will host a cook­ing demon­stra­tion at the field days us­ing pro­duce grown on her Ap­s­ley property. Pic­ture: SARAH SCULLY

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