One of our favourite parts about travelling to Sydney every couple of weeks is meeting new stallholders at the markets we attend there. Last Saturday Tim and I went along to the first market of 2014 (for Mandagery Creek Venison at least – we always take January off). And as soon as the stand was set up but before things got busy, I did a little scout around to say hi to a few friends and see what was new in the market round.
First discovery of the day was Kettle Town. This small Sydney based company run by Lily and Vincent (above), blends beautiful, subtle flavours into an impressive range of teas that all sound, smell and taste wonderful. As I write I’m sipping on a big jar of iced summer rose tea and it’s amazing – subtle, creamy and perfect with the last half-slice of Nadine Ingram’s lemon love drizzle cake that I squirreled away from Tim and the kids to enjoy in peace today! You can find Kettle Town teas at Pyrmont Growers Market on the first Saturday of the month plus a number of other markets around Sydney (see their Facebook page for details) and via their online Etsy store.
Since they joined Pyrmont Markets late last year, Tim and I have developed a fully fledged love for everything baked by Nadine Ingram and her team at Flour and Stone. The lemon drizzle cake is deservedly famous among market goers and regulars at Nadine’s Woolloomooloo bakery, but it’s the panna cotta lamington that has really put this clever clever baker on the map.
Another recent addition to our Pyrmont market troupe is the Luk Beautifood Bar. These guys make the most beautiful edible lipstick (yes really – and you feel like a delicious goddess when wearing them) and at the markets set up arguably the best-dressed stall selling beauty bars (full of activated seeds, nuts, grains and goodness) and a range of smoothies and juices promising and delivering to make you feel and look great. I’ve also just spent a very happy half an hour browsing through the Luk Beautifood blog and have bookmarked some great new recipes.
Tim and I returned late Saturday night, exhausted and hot after the busy day. And while Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest, I got to hang out with the kids while poor Tim spent the whole day feeding, checking water troughs and doing general farm stuff – all in 35 degree heat (about as hot as it ever gets here in Orange). So we were pretty pleased when dusk rolled around, a cool breeze picked up and we could sit down to the below meal. It was almost entirely sourced from the market; featuring a packet of venison steaks we had left over, quickly pan-fried mushrooms from my old school friend Lisa’s father Dr Noel Arrold’s Mittagong farm, a micro salad from Darling Mills and an iced tumbler of Kettle Town Mintilla tea (a black tea with vanilla notes and loads of fresh pepperment). A good end to a busy, hot weekend. Recipe follows…
BBQ’d venison steaks with mushrooms, pearl barley and garlic
I know I’m biased but honestly these venison steaks cut like butter – so tender and really delicious with this lemony, garlic-y pearl barley dish. Serves 4.
1 x packet Mandagery Creek Venison steaks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups pearl barley
1 clove garlic, peeled and bruised
3 cups stock (chicken or vegetable is good)
For the dressing; 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, juice of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 extra clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2/3 cups of mixed salad leaves
Remove the venison from packaging, rub with the olive oil, thyme and seasoning and place in the fridge until needed (remove about 30 minutes before cooking so it comes to room temperature).
For the mushrooms; melt the butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Saute the mushrooms and garlic until softened. Toss through the barley, add the pine nuts and half of the dressing.