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