Food and com­mu­nity at Bream Creek

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - ELAINE REEVES

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.

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