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Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Cook and the Chef

4th June – Thursday

The days are starting to run into each other, especially the weather. Guess what? Today was foggy, cold and dreary. It will be nice to get to some clear skies and dry ground.

Our final day in the Barossa Valley started with a drive to Truro (we had to go past Wolf Blass!!!), a little town not far away. Snowtown is also in the vicinity – what makes this area famous for murders? Anyway, Truro would be smaller than Forth and we didn’t stop here, just continued on to Kapunda, reportedly the most haunted town in Australia. No self respecting ghosts were to be seen on the streets at 11.00am. Kapunda is also famous as the first commercial mine in Australia, with copper being mined from the 1840’s until the last 19th Century. The workings from the major copper mine are still very apparent and the Big Miner (a Cornish miner) has been erected on the outskirts of the town.

After taking a suitable number of photos in the difficult grey, overcast murk (also very chilly), we continued to Gawler. This was a much larger town, but again, retained many of its stone heritage buildings. Very much the commercial/shopping hub of the district.

We then followed the signs to the Whispering Wall, which turned out to be the dam face of the Gawler Dam. The curved structure of the wall allows sounds from one side of the dam to be heard very clearly at the other side. The curve causes the sound waves to bounce around somehow and sound as if they are being broadcast from the cement wall beside which one stands. It was rather amusing to watch people talking to the cement wall, thinking there was a hidden microphone behind the sign!

Then the best part of the day – lunch at Maggie Beer’s Farmhouse Shop. Picnic baskets of pates or breads are available, so we chose the Dukkah bread basket, which included both white and yummy walnut breads, Dukkah, olive oil and olives. This was followed up with crème caramel and passionfruit icecream. All Maggie’s products are available to sample – and purchase, of course. We were also lucky to catch a cooking demonstration by one of Maggie’s staff, who explained how to use verjuice, Maggie’s signature product. Fried mushrooms and baked pumpkin were very quickly cooked up for everyone present to sample. The demonstration was conducted in the kitchen that Maggie uses on her television series; her next filming day will be next Tuesday, so we missed out by a few days. Her shop is on the family pheasant farm, overlooking a dam with the olive grove in the background. Very pleasant.

Tomorrow we are off to Clare.


Anonymous said...

Where's the cat? Detoxing?

Dave said...

You look very professional! You should have got a picture of Dad in the black chefs outfit too!

shan.deng said...

How exciting. Love cook and the chef, would love to have seen the kitchen. Grey and lots of rain here too so you are not missing anything. But off to Bruny today so it's all good.