Lets have a Bundy Christmas

For the first time, our home has made its very own Gingerbread Christmas House as part of our festive season. The kids were delighted to see the end result and i must add, this is certainly not something we typically get into (as you can see by our very creative design).

We found this semi-prefab kit at a local store and were delighted to discover that it actually came from Maryborough, a not too distant region and included literally everything- the ginger bread, the frosting, the deco’s and all the way down to the Aussie surfboard leaning up against the beach shack. All so very Aussie!!

We hope your Christmas is a merry one and a time full of culinary discoveries & treasures!!

Hong Kong Food Fiesta

Wowsers. If you’ve never been to Hong Kong before or Asia in general, then you will find it hard to believe how stong the passion is for food within this Culture.

It was amazing to see the variety of food on offer at the Hong Kong Food Fiesta and even more exciting to be able to showcase some of the Bundaberg Regions premier processed food products.

The cooking demonstration showcased Farm Fresh Fine Foods range of Charworks Vegetables & their new Macadamia Pesto along with Macadamias Australia Macadamia Chips & Macadamia Oil on the newly developed Hong Kong Hydroponic Salad greens.

What a an absolute blast to provide so many samples of this very tasty and quick to make “Bundaberg Salad”.

Hong Kong Culinary Judge

It is with great pleasure that i share this journey with you all as this recent experience as a culinary judge was one that reminded me of my apprenticeship days.

As a student we were often subjected to judging panels as a way of improving & honing our skills, though the intimidation was never easy for those involved.

This judging panel however was less formal in nature, though there was still a 1st, 2nd & 3rd place outcome for the 8 groups involved.

Wishing all of these groups the best of luck in their food journeys, wherever that may take you.

Moooovvvvveeeee Over- Here comes Baffle Dairy!!

It’s easy to think about quality Milk products when you live in Australia and you have access to a cross selection of flavours, grades, brands & sizes.

Well, when i recently attended a number of supermarkets in Hong Kong, i was surprised to only see 1 Australian Milk company displaying their wares.

In the Bundaberg Region, we have one of Australia’s best possible milk brands on our very door step- Baffle Dairy and how brilliant would it be to be able to say “That comes from my home town!!”.

Bundaberg Brewed Drinks were sitting on the shelves in the soft drink aisle, so im looking forward to one day walking into an international grocery store and seeing Baffle Dairy with pride of place amongst the dairy section. Keep up the good work Baffle Dairy!!

Are Hydroponics the way of the future?

Could you see yourself being sustainable and growing your own vegetables?

With so many consumers concerned about the chemical use on our fruit & vegetables these days, let me ask you- Are you growing your own?

While the picture included here is of a commercial test program being trialled overseas, i can see that smaller scales of these hydropnic systems will indeed become trendy quicker then we believe.

As the grower of your own produce, you can not only control the growing process, but you can control seasonality of your produce, the types of goods you consume and to some degree- the speed of eating these tasty treats.

Thinking about food is more than just about your next meal. Think Innovation!!

Bundaberg- Australia’s Food Bowl

Having recently discovered that Hong Kong imports approx 98% of its total food consumption, it made me think about how fortunate we are in Australia and having a seemingly abundant flow of fresh produce.

What many consumers in Australia dont realise is just how much produce comes from the Bundaberg Region and in what quantities.

Goods like Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Capsicums, Macadamias, Snow Peas, Chillies, Herbs etc.

The Bundaberg Region has always been known for its fertile soils, temperate weather and good water security and we can now be proud to be known as growing over 50 different commodities throughout any given year.

This is an exciting opportunity for not only consumers, but for the innovation of a food processing plant to be set up in the region.

What?? Thats right. Why is it that with so much food grown in the region, that we havent considered setting up a processing plant for all of the second grade produce, the “ugly” produce and all of the stock that typically wont be accepted by the mainstream markets.

As consumers, lets demand Australian Processed foods as we are happy with our fresh, yet we dont think twice about eating imported tinned fruits.

My challenge to you is to read the back of all of the labels in your pantry and work out exactly how much imported food you could be switching out with Australian processed goods.

Money for Jam

Now I know this is an old school saying, but why is it such a foreign concept in our city? I’m referring to the Bundaberg Regional Councils recent introduction of the new fee base around just that- cooking foods from home and selling them at the markets Etc.

I did have to laugh tho as the day that the Newsmail ran the paper was the very same day I had been making guess what?- Mulberry Jam.

The concept that probably frustrates me the most is this time old process of putting time and energy into preserving foods has been around for centuries and in many lands had been considered a way of bartering for products out of season or when cash was tight. The Newsmail focused on 1 particular man or situation that highlights that Jam makers aren’t going to get rich making 25 jars of jam a month, yet why are we imposing a fee on a hobby of love?

Whilst I’m a realist and appreciate food safety and the likes, when do we actually take a minute to realise that “red tape madness” is going to kill our culinary tourism or at the very least, the observation from our passing tourists that we are surrounded by food and yet we don’t seem passionate about it?

More than happy to hear balanced view points on both sides!

The Caffeine Bug

I must admit, coffee has always been an integral part of my life,though never really wanted to admit just how much. With a recent purchase of a Nespresso “pod” machine, I have a new found love for coffee- though I think it’s more to do with how many Flavours there are available in those little pouches of punch.

Whilst only weeks old and the novelty wearing off, I still need my morning starter of a long black and for the first time in my life will actually admit to now enjoying a decaf before going to bed.

If you actually spend a few minutes to think how far the coffee world has come in just 10 years, you would realize that instant coffee is probably struggling to keep its place on the super market shelves and is being overtaken by innovation and the expansion of what I’m sure is a saturated market place of choice and machine styles.

I do however still find it amazing that you can buy a coffee machine with virtually any budget and coffee Flavours to suit.

Would love to hear your recent coffee adventures!