Friday, 19 September 2014

A Very Foodie Birthday

This week I sailed into my 32nd year of life. After 30 years of life it seems the years and the birthdays become a little superfluous, no longer trying to hold onto the youth of my twenties but appreciating I ain’t that old yet.

Superfluous as they may be a birthday none the less is a great excuse to do totally as you please for one day of your life and as a Foodie that means to eat, drink and be merry.

With my birthday falling on a Monday this year, truly the crappiest day of the week especially coupled with a full work day followed by an entire evening creating a wedding cake for a client, I decided to officially move my birthday to the prior Saturday (being my birthday I totally have the power to move it to whenever I please).

The lure of marinated mushrooms and poached eggs at the local Bungendore institution, The Woodworks Cafe, was strong so we began our day there amongst the touristy hoards who come from Canberra to brunch. A cafe that sells $50 000 hand crafted dining tables in it's gallery somehow seems normal once you have spent a few years living here but I am pretty sure it is quite unique. We then spent the morning shopping in our little village buying gifts for myself and my niece who’s first birthday was to follow mine in 5 days. Living in a small country town has surprisingly grown on me, especially in light of my teenage years spent battling my parents on our semi-rural lifestyle just on the outskirts of Goulburn.

Lunch was taken at the Grandma’s Little Bakery with my parents, a cafe name so un-befitting to the stunning hillside location amongst Olive Groves in a modern glass walled building serving traditional home-style Italian food. The view outstripped the food and the stunning Spring day set it all off.

From the olive grove we headed to the Fyshwick Markets in search of fancy pants cheese and goodies to gorge on over the course of the evening. We did take a little detour on the way where I purchased seven, yes I said seven cookbooks all for the low price of $60. What a deal!

The many Deli’s at the markets sell a dizzying array of imported cheeses and meats and kindly allow you to taste test to help narrow down your choices. We settled on a selection of cheeses that when combined had a stench powerful enough to make you wonder if your feet were rotting and a price tag to make you wonder if you had just been robbed.

Birthday Foodie Feast

Here is the over indulgent cheese and meats selection we sampled, the stinkiest cheese of all was $99 per kilo, it seems pungent comes with a price tag:

Tarago River Shadows of Blue

A mild and sweet blue cheese from the Gippsland region of Australia, highly enjoyed this cheese not as sharp as many blues just nice and creamy.

Epoisse Perrirre

A washed rind cheese from the Burgundy region of France. This cheese almost had a liquid consistently, extremely pungent and quite a strong almost alcoholic taste. I enjoyed this in small quantities but probably not for the cheese novice.


An Italian washed rind cheese with a pungent smell but surprisingly milder flavour. Fruity overtones made this one a winner and paired well with quince paste.

Chevre D Argental

This mould ripened goats cheese was silky smooth and delicious and paired well with the quince

Sartori Pastoral

More a lover of soft cheeses I was surprised that this hard cheese was one of my favourites from our selection. A mix of cow's and goat's milk it had the consistency of a cross between parmesan and cheddar and had nutty, smoky overtones. Yum.

Truffle Salami

This salami was giving of a very strong truffle scent and was surprised it smelt far more like truffle than it tastes, delicious none the less.

Prosciutto San Daniele

Melt in your mouth tender prosciutto that was less salty and much more tasty than the supermarket variety of prosciutto. 

We followed up our cheese and movie night on Sunday with brunch with the in-laws at Poachers Pantry. Hidden in the countryside and specialising in smoked meats Poachers Pantry is a Canberra foodie’s paradise. The breakfast menu was extensive and I went for the Kedgeree made with smoked trout, Martin had the Huevos Rancheros with smoked lamb, topped with salsa and guacamole and the kids went for the DIY injectable doughnuts that came with a syringe filled with Dulce De Leche, genius. Spring totally outdid itself with the most stunning day which was such a delight after a long, cold winter.

Our afternoon was spent in the sunshine with more family trying to polish off the rest of our stinky cheese (which we didn’t succeed in) and getting some pork ribs on the kettle BBQ for some slow cooked Texas style Barbeque for dinner.

I will write a whole separate blog post about the Texas BBQ as the ribs were so scrumptious, you know you are onto a good thing when the neighbourhood dogs sniff out your cooking and sit by the BBQ looking at it longingly with big sad eyes.

Slow cooked wood smoked BBQ ribs

A birthday is always a good time to reflect, it is amazing where life can take you in a year. I have had three great adventures this past year. Getting married in the Cook Islands, a travel familiarisation to New York, Chicago and San Francisco as well as starting up this blog.

Writing, photographing and sharing through the blog is a wonderful creative outlet and I am enjoying it immensely and is a great opportunity for myself and my husband to work on something together, he is a talented cook, loves cookbooks and a fantastic photographer so this blog is a creative union. Being a new blog I have few readers as yet, but it will grow and I look forward to continuing its development over the course of the next year.

I have some ideas of more I would like to achieve over the next 12 months in regards to this blog, adventure travel and my general outlook on life which I need to put some more thought into, you only live once so let’s see if by my 33rd birthday I can really make the most of it cause in the end that’s what it’s all about. That ticking clock called time is always at your heels and I don’t want to let it catch me without knowing I have done the best with the time I was given.

Thanks to all who helped make my birthday so fantastic this year and every other year and an extra special thanks to my husband Martin who indulged my every whim over the course of the weekend.
Originally posted on Friday, 19 September 2014 by


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