A Foodie Down Under, First Course

It has been a long time since my last blog.  Originally I set out to do weekly blogs with a goal of more frequently when events and interesting things came up.  Well, life had other ideas and with the illness and death of my mother in law our lives got thrown into a blender for awhile. This is the first in a series of blogs about our journey to Australia this past month.  Somewhat personal and somewhat foodie.   Food, the tastes, smells and experiences are very comforting and that is just what we needed to get through.

So here we go…..

When I married an Aussie I never really thought about the reality of the distance to the other half of our family. Twenty plus years ago it seemed adventurous and gave us an exotic place to visit. Well reality is it’s really far and extraordinarily expensive. This week I make my second trip to Australia this time to say goodbye to my mother in law. The last minute flight proves to be more expensive than expected so we’re faced with a decision to stay a bit longer so we can dodge the $8200 flight cost.

The trip begins as a whirlwind of last minute booking and organizing finances for this unexpected trip. Starting a new business together and losing a parent is pushing us way beyond our comfort zone. Life has been turned upside down but sometimes that means the creation of something wonderful is underway, so we brace ourselves and figure out how to get through the tough stuff.

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We arrive at the airport to find that Canadians need a visitor’s visa to Australia no matter who they married! Thank goodness we are able to process it quickly on the spot at the airport.  Some drama at security where my necklace and underwire bra cause a little interference. We have a bit of a chuckle and we’re ready to go.

A quick flight to Los Angeles and it’s time to join Qantas for the next 17 hours. The friendly and attentive staff make the long flight a little easier. This is certainly a contrast from hubby’s earlier flight home a few weeks ago where due to a slight plane accident, he got stuck in LA for a night in a hotel. That meant missing his connectors that were taking him for a weekend to visit his brother in Queensland, before he continued on to Melbourne to see his parents.  So another extra night, this time at a hotel in Brisbane meant him spending just a few hours visiting and then off to the airport again the next day for two more flights. Two flights to Australia for him in less than a month he looks exhausted but we’re ready for our next flight leg.

Onboard I am excited to find tvs in the seat on Qantas and after a little channel surfing I am now in love with Lyndey Milan who takes me on a visual food journey in her show Taste of Australia. Lyndey has me feeling joy that I can likely take a side trip to the Yarra Valley  where they make cheese near the town of Yering.  Yarra Valley Dairy, has a cheese maker  who has  learned to make cheese in France.  He believes in the history of cheese, quality of milk but above all respect for the cheese. Respect for cheese…now this I get! Persian Feta, Saffy and White Savourine these are some of Yarra Valley Dairy’s creations.  I hope I can make this side trip to taste what looks absolutely scrumptious. Cheese is without a doubt one of the perfect comfort foods. After watching this episode I realize that I must order that online cheese kit when I get home and give this cheese making thing a try.  I mean how hard can it be right?

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Persian Feta
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Saffy
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White Savourine

 

The next episode I watch takes me to Albury, which is home to our niece. It looks like this is a town with an amazing farmers market which has happy organic pigs that were raised and well loved according to the Lyndey and her guests. A quick Google search turns up the Hume Murray Farmer’s Market that Lyndey actually visited on this episode but it also mentions a new market too Murray River Farmer’s Market.  Honey from a beekeeper who moves his hives around to create different flavours in his honey. Licorice ice cream from Gundowring Fine Foods with a tag line Artisanal and Amazing, local shiraz from Wilksch Estate Vineyards, Rosalyn Vale South at the farmers market . Wine at the farmer’s market, how civilized. So happy that we will be allowing this opportunity at our markets in Ontario and therefore Niagara soon.

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Later in the episode, Lyndey introduces me to bush tucker…hmmm maybe I need to give this a try, although I  might have trouble finding a 200 year old rock to use for my mortar and pestle.  Back to reality with the hum of the plan engines and I remember the somber reason for our journey. Thanks Lyndey for taking me away for a couple of hours and making me feel hopeful and a bit hungry.  My thoughts turn to “I wonder what Qantas will be serving for dinner?” No question that I am truly a foodie at heart.

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