Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cooking for Blokes @ Wyening Mission Farm

What do you do when you're a wheat farmer and there's no rain? Cook, I guess.

I was commissioned to head North to wheatbelt country on Sunday and cover a cooking class for blokes. Hosted by the very able team of Ruth & John Young at the historic Wyening Mission Farm, it was such a massive hit last year with the local farmers that the Youngs decided to make it an annual event. Cook extraordinaire & radio jock Ann Meyer ran the day beautifully and brought butcher Joe Princi along with her to handle all the blokey meaty bits of the class. Getting a room full of farmers gazing at their Blunnies geed up over smoked quail is a big ask, but after a few bevvies and remonstrations from Ann they were out of their seats and huddled over the serving counters faster than you could say brisket, musing over the finer points of de-boning rabbit.

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with their food knowledge. When one bloke lumbered up to the front to explain how to make gremolata, my jaw about hit the sandstone-clad floor. More than a few not only knew what couscous was, but had cooked it as well. But for me, the highlight of the day had to be the sausage-making. The guys got right in there, first mincing, then stuffing and finally twisting their pork-and-fennel sausage creations. Naturally, along with sausage-making comes much guffawing, ribbing and general hilarity (the booze was really kicking in by this stage), and I was awed at what many could get done with only one hand, the other one being pretty much glued to a stubby for the duration of the day.

By the end of the class, it was all chalked up as another big success. Ann was an absolute trouper, handling her team, the lads and the rustic conditions - the class was moved into the heritage barn due to poor weather - with aplomb, and somehow managing to turn out massive amounts of delicious food along the way. There was brisket with potato, lemon & saffron couscous, smoked quail with chocolate dipping sauce, rabbit and goat. And, of course, lots and lots of Joe's excellent sausages.


Cynthia said...

Sounds like a great experience.

daphne said...

it sure is better than not knowing what sausages consist of!

Jennifer Susanto-Lee said...

Cynthia - it was! Though it was blimmin' cold..

Daphne - true! I was assured that this sausage mince was 100% prime beef from Princi Butchers. Tres yum.

Christie @ fig&cherry said...

Wow, I'm also impressed with the guys who knew how to make gremolata! I mean it's not hard, but still, the knowledge is there.

Lemon and saffron couscous is a lovely combination... Never tried making my own sausages, sounds great!

Jen said...

Christie - I was impressed with the gremolata guy too, esp as for the life of me I couldn't recall what it was myself..!