Food and community at Bream Creek
BREAM CREEK FARMERS MARKET: THE COOK BOOK
By Alice Bennett, Katharine Burke and Eloise Emmett ( Self- published, Hardcover $ 44.95)
THERE had been only one Bream Creek Farmers Market before fires tore through the Tasman and Forestier peninsulas last January and put all thoughts of a second on hold.
Since that one miss, the saucepans have clanged to herald the start of the market on the first Sunday of every month.
And by the time the first anniversary came around, the community that supports the market had put together and published a most attractive and useful cookbook.
Dunalley School Association Parents and Friends president Elizabeth Knox was a driving force in getting the razed school up and ready for the first day of term.
She appreciated the need to avoid dispersing children to other schools and says the farmers’ market has kept the school in touch with the wider community, as students and parents provide breakfast to the stallholders at each market.
The market is a “celebratory communal event”, she says, and the tone and content of the cookbook feels like a continuation of that celebration.
Those who pitched in to sponsor the book get to plug themselves. Sometimes their business is appropriately culinary – Little Quoin Farmhouse, Rannoch Farm ( quail), Marion Bay Organics – but there is also a real estate agent passing on a beetroot relish recipe and a wallaby pie with pepperberry sauce topped with a pastry broad arrow from Port Arthur Historic Site.
It works OK. Alice Bennett did the photography for the book and her pictures for the sponsored pages avoid the look of an advertorial.
Some recipes are contributed and many have been created by Eloise Emmett, formerly chef at the Mussel Boys.
Katharine Burke, who also grows organic vegies, wrote and found the props for the book.
Recipes range from the sophistication of crayfish in a sauvignon blanc, tarragon and dill sauce to homely comfort food such as zucchini bake ( from Frog Hollow Nursery).
Several nannas have handed on recipes for such standbys as raspberry jam, tomato chutney and Christmas pudding.
As well as recipes, there are tips on cooking, growing vegetables and even how to stop hens from eating their own eggs. As well as vegetables and fruit, the region has commercial producers of pork, goat, beef, quail, venison, mussels, scallops, octopus, crayfish, fin fish, abalone, salmon, oysters, olives, whisky, wine and cider. And all of them get a run in a book that has the feeling of a big community potluck spread.
Food is a great catalyst to communication and can strengthen the bonds within a community,” former Eaglehawk Neck resident Sally Wise writes in the introduction.
This book – along with the market that inspired it – has accomplished the same thing, in spades.