I was in my element! It finally happened, I bought my house about 7years ago and always dreamt of hosting a luncheon at mine with local foods and old techniques.
On Sunday the 10th of April, we had 22 guests come to our house to enjoy a 5-course meal. Paddy (my son) , his GF Hannah and Isy my niece, were the front-of-house team. My friend Kylie came earlier that morning to drop some items off and I’m glad she stayed as I don’t know how I was thinking of plating up 110 dishes (insert face plant) So a massive shout out to my amazing friend Kylie.
We had 1 table of 6, 1 table of 1, 2 tables of 2, 1 table of 3, and 2 tables of 4. All of the tables were placed around my veranda, driveway, and backyard. Customers had to venture to pass the chooks to the outdoors. The tables consisted of second-hand tablecloths with cloth napkins, odd cutlery from over the years, and bread and butter plates that I have picked up from the op shops over the years. Flowers in old jars that were picked from neighbours gardens and my own.
When customers arrived, Paddy turned on his charm and seated guests at their table and then collected platters that were made of Saltbush focaccia, bush dukkah, fresh figs, and freshly picked capsicums from the garden with Meredith goats cheese, oregano, and lemon zest.
The first course was Saltbush arancini with a spicy tomato chutney and Saltbush flakes. The tomato chutney was made about a month ago when Lagom farm dropped off some need to be used. The Saltbush was picked from my garden and complemented in a delicious risotto. I dried the Saltbush flakes in the oven and they were served on retro bread and butter plates.
The next dish was the Zucchini soufflé, I was very optimistic about making these and I had good faith. However, my oven had other plans. Due to the gas oven being over 40 years old and only having a single line of heat down the bottom at the back, with two trays of soufflés in there, it was too much and the heat wasn’t distributing evenly. We got there, they were served with parmesan grilled sliced zucchini and toasted sourdough from Lagom farm.
The fourth course was moussaka- The eggplants were harvested from my garden and next door's garden. I used delicious potatoes from Lagom farm, partially boiled and salted, and house-made lasagne sheets. Now, one large gastro tray full of goodness took forever to heat up, I was putting my oven to the test. This gave me time to go out and mingle with the customers and talk about the product and how the menu was designed. The Moussaka was served with patatas fritas and panko eggplant chips.
After the course, I took the customers on a garden tour and talked about setting up the garden, what was planted and what was coming up.
Now the chicken. The chicken was stuffed with capsicum, ricotta, and sundried tomato filling, served on potato pave and freshly harvested carrots, beans, and silverbeet. To top off the chicken I created a basil sauce dressing as basil is abundant in my garden.
To finish off with the last course was an alternate drop of a chocolate Wattleseed delice cake with Lilly pilly ice cream or the fig frangipane. The Lilly Pilly's were harvested from trees near the school and the figs were harvested from the garden at the Dimboola Imaginarium.
There was such positive feedback from the 22 people that attended and all asked to be put on the next one. With winter arriving around the corner and getting back into teacher mode, the next one probably won't be until the end of June.
Until then I have a lot of planting and planning to do.
Keep calm and plant food 😊