We've been away for a week visiting our friends Stef and Adrian and their three children in Bermagui, otherwise known as Bermi, which is on the southern New South Wales coast.
We were blessed each day with hours of stunning winter sun.
Our two families always enjoy our time together because there is that rare magic where all the children lose themselves in games together for hours and the parents are all on the same page about many things and can happily debate about the things we're not.
I sometimes liken becoming and being a parent to that of a backpacker, you don't want to read the wrong guide book and just because we're parents or from the same country doesn't mean we're going to be friends! So when it all lines up it always feels like a bonus that I'm grateful for.
We took beach walks, drank coffee at the fabulous mister jones, ate the world's best sourdough made by Honor big call I know but you have to eat it to believe it (Mamacino my grain free effort is not going so well) and then there was the gelati made by a super lovely husband and wife team who live in Bermi for 10 months of the year with their gorgeous 3 children turning out beautiful gelati made with organic fruit that locals drop in, and then for the other 2 months of the year they head to Italy for time with extended family. I tried the rhubarb gelati, yes rhubarb, it was tangy and sweet and everything I hoped it would be.
One of the things that Stef and I connect with each other about is wholefood! I possibly enjoy cooking more than Stef does but the irony is she is so very good at it, she has a talent for making beautiful sourdough that Honor taught her to make and there is always a jar of kefir on Stef's kitchen bench that she turns into delicious smoothies. Adrian is a natural beekeeper so we are lucky to eat toasted sourdough with honey from his beehives. While we were there Adrian appeared in the Foxtel TV show River Cottage Australia, being interviewed about beekeeping and the Kenyan top bar beehives that he builds and favours over other hives. He also runs workshops in Bermagui and Melbourne that you can read about here.
On our first night there the Dads took the four boys to the beach to fish from the sand, they returned home with four fat, shiny Australian salmon. I'm told that there is some fish snobbery amongst fisherman and there are those who say that Australian salmon is not good eating, I disagree! The fish that arrived home just after the sun went down was of course spectacularly fresh and that in itself is a huge part in how amazing or not fish is to eat.
Adrian filleted two of the fish and then cut them into pieces, rolled the pieces in flour and cooked them in hot oil until golden. The children gobbled them up with home made chips. Meanwhile the other two were baked whole in the oven and eaten with salad and home made tartare sauce.
The next day the Dads and the oldest boys went to the nearby farm, that Adrian and Stef are part owners in, to bring home the following night's dinner: pork. It wasn't the first time the boys had gone to the farm and seen an animal killed to be eaten. Even as a meat eater I find the thought of it quite barbaric on some levels and question sometimes why I'm not vegetarian.
In these times where food travels so many kilometres before we eat it and is farmed so intensively, be that meat or fruit and vegetables, it is like gold to me to have the opportunity to eat food that I know exactly where it comes from, how it was reared or grown and to know the farmer. It is something that over the years as a society we have moved further away from but thankfully there is a resurgence back to finding out about where the food we eat comes from and to eat local, seasonal food.
The 'hunting' party arrived home with the pork that was to go on the spit and a group of local friends were invited to help eat the 25kg of meat
Stef's Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale, leaves stripped from the stem and torn into pieces about 3cm long.
1 - 1.5 tablespoons olive oil (depending on how bigger pile of kale leaves you have)
Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Rub the olive oil into the leaves and sprinkle with sea salt
Cover a baking tray with baking paper and lay the kale in a single layer on the tray
Place in the oven and cook until crisp around 10-12 minutes, when you begin to smell them cooking that is a good time to check how they're going.
Stef did say it took her a few goes to get the ratio of oil to leaves right, they were either too dry or too soggy. Have a go, try different seasonings too. They're yum and a great way to get little people eating green food.
For more photos of our Bermi adventure you'll have to click on over and take a peek on Instagram @wholefoodmama and that's because I took so many photos on my phone instead of my camera and then I very cleverly put my phone on top of the car on the way home and drove off with it still on the roof!!! Smash, crash, oh no.
Oh and a shout out to Genevieve at Candelo Bulk Wholefoods in Bega, great to meet you! For anyone passing through Bega looking to stock up on a fantastic range of wholefoods this is your place. They even sell honor sourdough.
Happy school holidays everyone x