It wouldn’t be a farmers market without the farmers. Thanks for coming!

On the 4th Saturday of every month, Bathurst hosts a farmers market in the
grounds of our historic showground.

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I take my hat off to the producers who turn up each month, especially in the depths of winter because the showground is so so so so cold!

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The pavilions were built in the late 1800s

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and while the architecture is superb

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I don’t think they had any notion about passive solar design

back in 1896.

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It is the perfect setting for the markets though

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How can anyone resist these

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or these?

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It’s lovely to turn up and see what’s on offer each month.

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I so admire the fact that people take such pride in what they do

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and that they are rewarded for their efforts.

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I love running into my beautiful colourful friends

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and talking to people who care about the world we live in and the food we eat

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It’s also the perfect excuse to put on your pinkest shoes and wear that pussy cat bag you’ve been itching to wear…

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and to buy the best damned olive oil this side of Liguria.

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Everything is so fresh

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and enticing

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and made with love.

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Until today I’d never really looked closely at the old paintings that decorate the interior walls in the showground pavilions. Does anyone know anything of their history?

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I particularly like the one of the apple pickers behind our new friend Con up top.

I think it might actually snow this weekend. I have nothing to back that up except we’ve just braved the sideline of the rugby field to watch Darcy play and scuttled home to get warm. It’s a snuggle-down-in-front-of-the-heater kind of weekend me thinks. Stay cosy x

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Thanks to all the producers who kindly let me take photos this morning (some of which were duds I’m sorry), including Con & Rose, Stoney Creek Wildflowers, Linda’s Chilli Relish, Ploughman’s Hill Olive Oil (love your work!), Castlereagh Seed Savers, Saltbird Flavoured Salt, Cabonne Country Honey, our local vignerons and Milnes of Mudgee. I wish I could include everyone who makes the effort to come to Bathurst every month but on behalf of the community – thank you.

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… a tale of a little lemon tree and has my husband been taking the piss?

It’s been a little while between posts but the last week has been full on.

Between school holidays, son being sick, moving daughter in Sydney, getting her on a plane to India, a busy week of work and now husband in a heap with son’s lurgy, there’s not been a lot of time for anything, let alone creativity.

Added to that, we’re in the depths of a cold Bathurst winter and if you offered me a destination there and now – I’d probably jump at it. Especially if it’s warm and sunny and there are no sick sons or husbands.

But listen, I need your advice…

About a little lemon tree.

Have you ever seen The World’s Fastest Indian? Anthony Hopkins plays New Zullunder Bert Munro who drives his neighbours insane with a variety of misdemeanours including taking a daily pee on his lemon tree – in full view of their kitchen window.

Well I suspect my husband has been taking a leaf out of Bert’s book.

I don’t know whether he’s just taking the piss (explanation here for overseas friends)

but here is my dilemma.

I am now faced with a bumper crop of eight lemons.

Beautiful … yellow … ever so juicy lemons.

Perhaps the juiciest lemons we’ve ever grown.

Just the sort of lemons that would go ever so nicely in an icy gin and tonic.

By God they’re really yellow aren’t they.

I’m at an impasse.

There is only one thing for it.  I shall put on my best hostess voice and …
“Perhaps … I … can ….offer you one?”

…in which she scuttles out from under her rock to discover a gorgeous new eatery in Bathurst

I swear, sometimes I think I work in a cave and live under a rock.

Had a call today to join some friends for lunch at The Wholefood Kitchen.

“The what?”

“The Wholefood Kitchen. It’s been open 3 months.”

Reaaallly?” said the tapped in, switched on, destination: here&now girl.

So I arrive and here are the girls sitting in old school floral armchairs sipping their chai in front of a fire (not a wood burning one).

Niiiiiiiiice.

At this point I would really love to show you the pretty, old school, mixed up plates that our delicious food was served upon but I was so busy tucking in to what was on those pretty, old school, mixed up plates, I forgot.

… but this kind of sums up the whole ethos that Nykki and Leah are trying to instill
in their little cafe.

Home grown …

Home made … with lots of love.

Healthy… and inspiring. And very delicious.

Now here’s the other thing. The girls are sourcing as much of their produce as they can from (nearly) right next door. And I did know about this. I’ve got the blog post to prove it.

The Bathurst Wholefood Co-op is really going from strength to strength.

We’re very lucky to have so many people in Bathurst volunteering their time
to help make it a success.

… and without sounding corny there is a real sense of love in both these shops.

It makes shopping joyful instead of soul-less supermarketing.

So my friends, you have no excuses now. You too, can be part of the wholefood
experience happening in the arcade next to (hand over mouth mumbling) Coles.

The Bathurst Wholefood Kitchen is open Thursday and Fridays from 9-3 and Saturdays from 9-2. The Co-op is open the same days, similar times and they’ve just added Wednesday openings too. Their Facebook page is not a bad way to keep in touch with what’s happening.

I have to get out more. This is embarassing.

Bathurst and a gentle tale of two cycling tragics

Steve and I are not part of the Bathurst lycra brigade. I’ll say that up front. But today we decided to don our helmets and go for a bike ride. Get away from the computer, get out of the house, get out of town.  A little journey into the countryside…

And where else would two eager cyclists go but to our local distillery!

So we pedalled and we walked … and we pedalled … and we walked … and we walked and laughed and pedalled some more … and after 5 kilometres of huffing and puffing we arrived weak and weary and ready for a shot (or 5) of fortification.

Now I don’t know whether it was from watching the rather dishy Ewan McGregor in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen during the week but there was something rather lovely
about being greeted by fellow Scot and resident distiller Ian Glen.

It might have been the first wee nip of finger lime infused vodka or the second wee nip
of dry gin infused with five Australian native botanicals (finger lime, lemon myrtle, river mint, wattle seed and iron bark)…but let’s just say we had a lovely warm glow.

As did everything around us.

Of course it could have been the recent rush of oxygen too.

And when I say wee nips, I do mean wee. I wouldn’t like you to think that Ian was plying us with alcohol but we did enjoy the wild lime limoncello, and the apple schnapps and the grappa, oh and the choca-mocha cream liqueur.

The lovely thing about all Ian and Bev’s products is that they’re sourced from local suppliers and I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s taken me four years to visit this extraordinary addition to our town.

And I’m even more embarrassed by the astonishing lack of fitness we displayed today, especially on the long journey home, all five kilometres of it.

Even the sheep were embarrassed 🙂

Stone Pine Distillery is literally five minutes drive from the centre of Bathurst – considerably longer if you are unfit and on a bike.

 

 

Another confession … I’m in love with my hairdresser’s doors

but I’ll come to that in a moment. I just want to linger here a moment

Please don’t make me leave. It’s cold outside.

Let me stay a moment longer. We can pretend we’re in Paris …

… walking alleyways we’ve never walked before

… arm in arm … exploring a city we’ve never seen before …

… pretending we have our own little attic apartment …

… that overlooks a big factory

… but nearby …

wait for it …

… is a romantic little bistro where we rendezvous in the rain

because Bathurst Paris, just wouldn’t be Bathurst Paris if you didn’t have a good rendezvous in the rain

A little corner where there’s a fire and it’s warm and everyone knows our name.

A little corner where there’s always room for one more. I don’t mean that in a menage et trois kind of way ha ha .. you know what I mean 🙂

Have a snuggly weekend my lovelies. xx

Thanks Wavelength for letting me drool over your doors and The Hub for always making us, and everyone else, feel so welcome.

Is it wrong to have two butchers? The confession.

Because I do. I’ve got two favourite butchers in Bathurst so I need to play this one ve-ry carefully. The last thing I want to do is upset one. Both my butchers are old school butchers, you know the ones who have little corner shops that have been there for ever. They’re a dwindling breed and I’d be devastated if my guys closed up shop.

So I drive out of my way to support them. And this is why. I needed some lamb shanks…and as Butch is my lamb and beef guy as opposed to Jim who’s m’ pork and osso bucco man, I head to Butch’s. And this is why I love Butch. Because I come home with this…

and this…

And as I’m standing at my bench, making my soup, looking at all this beautiful luscious redness beside me I’m thinking… I have to share this. So this is for you xx

Can I also point out that neither Butch nor Jim look anything like the “Personal Butcher” above. If anyone has one of those I could be tempted to defect. Nah…I’m just messing with you boys.

Butch: South Bathurst Butcher, Cnr Rocket & Havannah Streets, Bathurst
Jim: Little Acres, Cnr Lambert & Stewart Streets, Bathurst.

Figs. The ancients had it right.

Considered takeaway. Decided against it. See the whole blog thing’s working already!

Just a word on the Bathurst Food Co-op which has opened recently on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the little arcade next to Coles. Really impressed yesterday morning with the range of produce on offer. Very fresh. Very affordable. Just wish we’d bought more figs. And try the Country Valley yoghurt…gold medal winner at the Royal Easter Show. V Delish!