Upper Crust Pastry Workshop – August

There is a lot of work required to run a workshop, especially a pastry workshop, but  it’s always great fun and sometimes I also learn things about cooking too.

Five pastry students visited my kitchen recently and we stuck to the same format, making three different types of pastry.     I demonstrate how to make the particular pastry and then mine is made into a pie or tart while the other students make their pastry for taking home and for cooking later.

lots of greens required for Spanakopitta

The workshop had my usual Spinach and Fetta Pie (Spanakopitta) and you need lots and lots of green leaves to fill the baking dish.

The participants need to concentrate when they are making pastry to ensure they use all the right ingredients and mix everything correctly.  Here we all are heads down and working away.

Making a mix

After the spanakopitta, we made pastry for the Redcurrant flan and then we had a break to have coffee and check out some cooking books.  Then it was back to work and we finished with Jean’s Apple Pie.

The finished flan

Jean’s Apple Pie ready for the oven

Favourite Cookbooks


Lunch was a wonderful feast and we found time to talk in between the eating.  We started with the Spanakopitta and then had the Redcurrant flan for first dessert.


All of us still found a little more space to fit in a piece of Jean’s apple pie with yoghurt. Thanks to the pastry students for actively participating.

The Redcurrant flan

Contact me to find out when the next Upper Crust Pastry workshop will be held.


Upper Crust Pastry workshop – July

The demand for conducting Sourdough Bread workshops has been really strong recently but I do love making pastry and was very pleased to be able to conduct another Pastry workshop.

Six pastry students visited recently and we stuck to the same format, making three different types of pastry.     I demonstrate how to make the particular pastry and then mine is made into a pie or tart while the other students make their pastry for taking home and for cooking later.

Having fun with new recipes

It was a fun day and I think that everyone learned some new things about making pastry.  Of course, it is really nice when the recipes come out just as yummy as they usually do but sometimes you take a risk and change something and the results can be a surprise.

Turning out the upside down tart

The upside down tart is quite spectacular and its so easy to make.

spinach and fetta pie

The spinach and fetta pie was the main course for lunch.  The students and the parking attendant gave the pie the thumbs-up.

Lunch is always better when you have plenty of time to enjoy good food and good company.  So it was when we had the blackberry pie and yoghurt.  Thanks to all the participants for making this a really enjoyable day and for the lovely comments about how they are progressing with their pastry recipes.

Contact me to find out when the next Upper Crust Pastry workshop will be held.

Blackberry pie with yoghurt – yum!!

The world of warm winter breads

The first in a series of seasonal bread making experiences, from around the world

Saturday July 21st  at 4 Winns Road Cygnet

From 10am – 2pm we will make 4 traditional breads, culminating in a lunch, sampling not only the breads, but the foods that accompany them.

We will sample Chinese savoury pancake bread, rolled paper thin and served with an assortment of delicious fillings…. Texan corn bread with red beans…. German rye sourdough with sauerkraut, wurst and pickles…. and fresh baked, rustic, wholemeal rolls, made from grinding the grain through to removing hot from the oven and eating with Australian cheeses.

Come and participate or just enjoy the experience and the meal

Cost is $60 (12 people max.)   Includes recipe booklet.

For further information:  Contact Kate


6295 0658

To reserve your place:  go to this link. Once the session is full, I will schedule another, so please leave your email address in the comments box at the bottom of the link page and I will add you to my workshops list.

Four Leaf 85% Light Flour

Four Leaf 85% Light Flour 5 kg

This is the product we use for all of our breadmaking and pastry cooking and in all of the Sourdough Bread Workshops and Pastry Workshops.  This is a very versatile flour and we use it for biscuits, pizza base, gravy,  scones in fact; we use this flour for EVERYTHING.

When you use Four Leaf 85% Light Flour you get the goodness of wholemeal flour but not the heaviness, because 15% of the bran has been removed.

From the Four Leaf Milling website:

85% Light Flour
Also known as Bran Reduced Wholewheat Flour, Atta Flour, &/or Unbleached Flour
Four Leaf Light Flour is derived from Four Leaf 100% Wholewheat Flour by removing approx 15% of the bran. This makes a finer textured dough and is suitable for lighter cakes, pastries, bread, pasta, biscuits, batters etc.

Nutritional Information per 100g
Energy 1560Kj
Protein 16.20g
Fat total 2.20g
-saturated <1.00g
-total 76.30g
-sugars 8.40g
Sodium 1.60mg

Available in 20kg, 10kg, 5kg and 1kg.

Available from The Garden Shed and Pantry or The Cygnet Market

Its my pastry and I’ll cry if I want to….

….but luckily I didn’t need to.

image Four keen pastry students fronted up in my kitchen on Saturday and we got down to work, making 3 different types of pastry. Mine was then made into a pie or tart which we baked and then, later, sat around and ate….. well, someone has to do it…. and what an excuse to eat spinach and fetta pie, apple pie and peach tart all in one day!


The characters that gather in my kitchen for these workshops are what make life in Cygnet such a joy of the unexpected and such fun…. they would make a great TV show… and I have someone coming to stay later this week who might just be the person for the job…. more on that next week.

Here’s me, enjoying myself immensely while the big Scotsman is no doubt saying something almost unintelligible, but very funny. image


Sometimes I was rather pleased that the result was as superb as I knew it could be…. but there were moments when it could have been otherwise…. like when I turned out the upside down peach tart, having only ever made it once before!

image Of course we had a short break for coffee in the garden… before heading back inside to finish the apple pie.image



The proof of the pudding….



Thanks to the photographer for providing me with so many photos …. again!

Workshops in my Kitchen

I am a passionate food gardener with an equal passion for producing food for passionate eaters. So, I have started running workshops to impart some skills I have developed over the years. I am a pretty rough and ready cook who goes out into the veg garden to get inspiration and the basics for dinner. Then I come inside, pick up a couple of cookbooks, or maybe go straight to my collection of printed-out recipes, sit at my kitchen table and see what happens in my head and taste buds.

My collection of cookery books fairly much covers the globe but I am much the best at Mediterranean flavours….. encompassing all the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea. My favourite flavours are Moroccan, Lebanese and Greek. I adore lemon, cumin, olives, cinnamon,yoghurt, fish, chicken and lamb and of course all the vegetables grown in these climates, such as fennel, artichokes, beans, capsicums and eggplant.

I was lucky enough to come across someone who taught me how to make sourdough bread, soon after I arrived here last year. It is a simple method and good for the home cook who does not want to spend too much time on the details. Although it does not resemble any of the breads made in the countries whose food I most love, the flavour and texture are wonderful and I love it with soup or for breakfast with Karl’s honey or a particular berry jam given to me by a friend here…. or with lashing of butter and vegemite.

image image

So, my first workshops have been about sourdough. They are remarkably successful and set people off on the road to baking for themselves some of the breads they have come to enjoy from the various bakers around southern Tasmania, who, I must say, are truly excellent and I do not claim to know anywhere near what they do. Many bakeries here use organic flour, often not grown in Australia, but in my workshops we use Four Leaf organic, Australian flours, from South Australia. These I also sell in bulk, along with all the Four Leaf organic, Australian grains, in The Garden Shed and Pantry.

The first of the next two workshops is going to be ‘Pastry Making’. For some reason I seem to be good at pastry and sooooo enjoy making it. Never the less, I am impatient and have developed simple ways of making several excellent pastries. We are going to make 3, in the workshop, each suitable for certain things. When I buy tarts or fruit pies at a cafe or bakery, rarely is the pastry as good as mine, except in France where they exceed anything I make!


‘Cooking from the Garden with Me’ is next. It is for people who want to experience making quick, simple, healthy, imaginative meals straight from the garden. We will gather what is available on the day, from my garden – vegetables, herbs and fruit – and add a few basics from my cupboards. We will think through a few ideas and get straight into cooking. Finally we will sit and enjoy the best, freshest, tastiest dinners in Cygnet.

I want to do this monthly, throughout the year so we follow the seasons. This is my forte and my passion and will take some time to impart to people used to shopping in a supermarket.

To enquire further about dates, costs and details, please send me an email and I will add you to my list and be back in touch in a day or two.