THE MIDNIGHT OILS

The latest news from the Ballarat Food Network

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BALLARAT FOODIE SUNDAYS

SS June 26 Insta

People of Ballarat did you know that there’s a great place you can go to any time of the year seven days a week to enjoy a quiet moment or catch up with friends to enjoy great coffee and the most delicious food?

I’m talking about Saltbush Kitchen at M.A.D.E. Brigid Corcoran the creative dynamo behind Saltbush Kitchen has cultivated a truly unique offering of native bush flavoured food that is so good it’s attracting a lot of attention in Ballarat. Saltbush Kitchen is conveniently set in between the lush parkland of the Eureka gardens and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (aka M.A.D.E). It’s a tranquil spot with lots of natural light and space for the kids to with the playground and park all in viewing distance.

A growing number of Ballarat locals are discovering the good things going on at this unique cafe. Brigid is passionate about supporting quality local produce. She always has been. That’s why Saltbush Sundays is now a thing. Every Sunday you can come along and enjoy all the usual tasty menu offerings for breakfast, lunch, the freshly made cakes on offer or a local platter with a glass of wine. You can also pick up some local fresh produce farm gate style, including Basilio Sourdough, Yendon gourmet tomatoes, Ballarat mushrooms, Buninyong bush greens and Spring Creek Organics. If you place your order before 8pm on the previous Friday you can also pick up Country Style Smallgoods bacon, ham, sausages and salamis.

This Sunday 26 June Luke from Amherst Winery and Sebastian from Country Style Smallgoods will be offering tastings of wine and bbq cooked sausages and bacon between 11am and 2pm.

 

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MYSTERY MEAT LUNCH

Ryan Pearce FedUniRyan Pearce from Federation University's Commercial Cookery School.

The second year apprentice students at Federation University have been churning out some incredible local pork products from Western Plains Pork. Seven pigs became fourteen halves, then primal and sub primal cuts. Pigs head terrine, and finally some very tasty sausages. “We have utilised all parts of these great local pigs.” says Ryan Pearce. “Including the bones and trotters for stock and even the skin went into the sausage. We double mince the skin and we made these sausages with all the best techniques.”

Actually this sausage making activity is extra curricular and Ryan together with 4 students chose to stay late and partake in this clandestine sausage making class.

MYSTERY LUNCH Prospects

Lucky us though, as a result of this sausage making endeavour foodies will be able to book a table at Prospects Restaurant at Federation University’s SMB Campus on July the 8th 12pm -1:30pm (bookings call 53278017) as a part of The Mystery Meat Lunch. I can’t tell you the rest of the menu its still a secret. You can check out the events at Prospects Restaurant on the Federation University website.

SUZI What did the local chefs make?

RYAN Classic English pork sausages and Southern American bbq style with  paprika, cayenne, mace and molasses.

SUZI What did you pop this great pork sausage mix into Ryan?

RYAN Natural intestines castings

SUZI Which rule the sausage world!

For now the sausages are air drying in the cool room and I must say they look amazing. I wish that opportunities to partake in local produce breakdowns and secret lunches had been part of the curriculum all those years ago when I was an apprentice at William Angliss Institute in Melbourne.

I do remember having the opportunity to go to the abattoir and I also remember taking a sickie that day, but hey at the time I was a 21 year old vegetarian with a peace love and mung beans attitude and purple Doc Martens. I’ll definitely be making up for all those meat free years on July 8. Nowadays I only practice #meatfreemonday and #farinaceousfriday.

Book a table and support the future of food in our region and these talented cooking students. Remember every time you say no to a parma you are giving a young chef the opportunity to learn to cook something amazing!

feduni

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THE JIG IS UP

ballaratfood jigisup

Dear lovers of local produce,

We wish to tell you all that the Jiggety Jig market will not continue in it’s current form. We have had a lot of good times over the last 12 months .

We have had some spectacular events and some low key ones. We have had the pleasure of showcasing a lot of the best produce being grown and produced in the region for a year. We have gained a following of locals who know the benefits of Ballarat’s fresh local produce. With sadness we will not be able to offer you the goods you have come to expect on the third Saturday of the month.

Jiggety-Jig relies on people coming to buy what our producers make. Producers spend their day at the market after they spend a week preparing. If they are unable to sell enough produce to the people of Ballarat they have to go elsewhere to sell it. That’s the reality. 

So to all our loyal Jiggers and producers we wish to say “Watch this space”. We are currently re-jigging the format of our fresh market food hub. You will not find us at the Showgrounds every third Saturday as of June 2016 but you will soon find us again rest assured. We will be back in a format that this regional town can support. As a community we owe it to the producers to show that we do care where our food comes from.

We are “morphing the jig” and we will be back. We hope to be in a position to announce the new jig adventures to you all soon.

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FAIR PRICES FOR FAIR FOOD

Ballaratfood Dairy Cow

We need to talk about what we eat. How it’s produced, where and why. We bang on about it all the time “Support local food.” Why do we do this? Our health and livelihoods depend on it.

In the past few weeks the future of our dairy farmers have been cast in doubt as they face drastic cuts in milk payments. A variety of factors impacting current market conditions have been quoted as reasons why the previous milk prices are now deemed unacceptable. It will force many farmers out of the industry. 

There’s not a lot you can buy with $2 today, but you can buy 2 litres of milk for $2 at a couple of major supermarket chains. Dairy farmers are telling us it costs more than that to produce it. Seems reasonable to me, it’s a lot of product for $2. 

I’d rather pay more for my milk than see our dairy farmers go out of business. Supermarkets have decided to use milk as a loss leader in order to obtain market share from their competitors. Supermarket executives might not deem where and how milk is produced as a matter of concern but I do. So I’d rather pay a bit more for my milk. 

When you think about all the processed food products for sale in a standard supermarket, hundreds if not thousands of them, few retail for under $2. If you think you can’t afford to pay more for milk perhaps have a look at what else is in your basket, maybe you could sacrifice a pack of biscuits to support a dairy farmer.

We have been receiving messages from people asking how they can support local dairy farmers and what could they do to help the dairy farmer's current plight. A few things actually.

Rachel Peterkin from Inglenook Dairy sums it up perfectly. We just need people to support local! Not just their milk purchases for home but also support local cafes, eateries, suppliers and markets that are passionate about local produce and care about what they serve their customers and the local food trail.

For anyone interested in trying the delicious Inglenook Dairy milk and cream and supporting a great local dairy producer we will be taking orders from now until 11am Saturday 21st May. You can pick up your Inglenook orders from the Jiggety-Jig Farmers Market this Saturday between 10am and 1pm. You can text your order through on  0407 054 224 or leave your order in the comments below.

ballaratfood milk prices may 2016

You can also sign the petition Barnaby Joyce: dairy farmers like my family are being destroyed - please step in urgently, on change.org, by Chloe Scott. Currently the petition has over 120,000 signatures.

If you have more ideas about how we can support our local producers, feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below. Its an important discussion we need to have and sharing our ideas helps us to make informed choices about our health and well being.  

Recent Comments
Jodie Kaine
Hi Kristie. You certainly can your order is confirmed. See you tomorrow at the Jiggety-Jig.
Friday, 20 May 2016 14:53
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BALLARAT FOOD JIGGETY-JIGGERS PART ONE

tomarkettomarket

This month we celebrated Taste Ballarat 2016 at the Rural Lifestyle Expo at the Ballarat Showgrounds. It was a day some of the finest producers of the region came together to show the quality produce this region has to offer. For the winners of the Artisan Pantry and Paddock to Plate 2016 awards check out this blogpost.

As Suzi and I strolled through the Taste Ballarat Marquee we were thrilled to see so many regular Jiggety-Jig Farmers Market stall holders. We were chuffed. We created the Jiggety-Jig to offer the freshest, highest quality local food produced in our region to the people of Ballarat every third Saturday of the month. It was the only weekend of the month that producers were unable to sell their fresh produce to the town.

This Saturday is our 11th Jiggety-Jig Farmers Market. We have a band of regular stallholders who faithfully come to the Showgrounds to provide their tasty awesomeness to a loyal base of locals who appreciate the effort it takes to deliver truly good fresh food as an alternative to the industrial supermarket food options.

Thank you to everyone who has come along to buy some excellent food and for anyone who is yet to check out the Jiggety-Jig here’s a few of our regular producers who are making food that you need to eat.

Ballaratfood Pauline Basilio
Pauline Basilio and her lovely daughter.

BASILIO SOURDOUGH
Basilio Sourdough is a traditional sourdough bakery based in Ballarat run by master bread maker Georgio Basilio and his wife Pauline. Georgio, winner of 2016 Ballarat Food Artisan Pantry award uses traditional time intensive techniques to create REAL sourdough in a variety of loaves including high tin, ciabatta, wholemeal, wholegrain, batard, olive bread and fruit loaf. Baked fresh and delivered to the Jiggety-Jig still warm, you would be well advised to buy a couple of loaves as it will keep well all week.

Ballaratfood Nat and Jono Brooklands Freerange
Nat & Jono from Brooklands Freerange Farm

BROOKLANDS FREERANGE FARM
Nat and Jono from Brooklands Free Range Farm are two beautiful and busy people from Balampied. You may know Nat from her other fabulous business from Rub A Dub natural skin care products, you will see her at quality markets in our region. Jono and Nats run an ethical and sustainable free range farm in Blampied raising rare breed Berkshire pigs, British White cattle and Finn Sheep. Their ethical meat range attracts a regular loyal base which includes a lot of Ballarat chefs who come to Jiggety for Brooklands beef, pork and lamb.

Ballaratfood Sebastian Jurcan
Sebastian Jurcan from Country Style Smallgoods

COUNTRY STYLE SMALLGOODS
Sebastian Jurcan from Country Style Smallgoods. Sebastian developed his unique charcuterie skills at Istra and in recent times has established his own business in Bald Hills where he creates the best sausages, salamis, ham and bacon in the region. Once you have tried his sausages you will struggle to go back to supermarket sausages again.

Ballaratfood Daniel Tarna Valley
Daniel Armeni from Tarna Valley Farm

TARNA VALLEY FARM
This year’s Nature’s Cargo Paddock to Plate award winner for a business under two years, here’s Daniel pictured receiving his award. Mandy and Daniel Armeni from Tarna Valley Farm in Cape Clear raise rare breed pigs in a free range natural environment. These guys are producing some of the best quality pork in the region. Those in the know use Tarna Valley Pork including Country Style Smallgoods and Catfish Thai.

Ballarat Food The Preservers Pot
Mel and John Davey from the preservers Pot.

THE PRESERVERS POT
Mel and John Davey from The Preservers Pot are producing the best fruit based products in Ballarat. Based in Smythesdale the Preserver’s Pot create a delectable range of seasonal artisan preserves, jams, syrups and sauces, handmade and preservative free. If you are looking for something special to add to your Basilio bread or to accompany a special platter or meat dishes Mel and John will have something seasonal made from local vegetables and fruit forages including wild blackberry syrup, melon and pineapple jam and fig jam.

Ballaratfood Yendon Tomatoes
John Elford from Yendon Tomatoes.

YENDON GOURMET TOMATOES
John Elford from Yendon Gourmet Tomatoes has been growing tomatoes for 15 years in Yendon, just a few minutes east of Ballarat. His range includes tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, capsicum, basil and strawberries. John took out this year’s 2016 Nature’s Cargo Paddock to Plate award for a business over 2 years. He has perfected his produce using hydroponic techniques and the flavour of his tomatoes have to be tasted to be believed. Yendon tomatoes are the freshest you can buy in Ballarat.

These are a handful of some of the regular Jigetty-Jiggers - more to come.

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