Right now belly is presented by Sister Rasela most Mondays and Sister Ilias once a month. Yes Ilias is a boy, but he is confident enough in his masculinity and wonderful enough to be a sister, like all our male bellysisters.
Sister Tess is researching feijoas in Hamilton, New Zealand
Sister Michael is having dinner parties and practicing his many voices.
Currently on silent baking retreat, our baking Canadian, bellysister Deanna.
There have been many bellysisters through the ages, dedicated to good food for one and all.
SISTER TESS was there from the beginning, when Saint Rudiger showed 3 lost souls the way of the word and the microphone, the way of community radio. What shall we do said the 3 – we know everybody wants to listen to us, but what shall we talk about? Tess said – well I know a bit about food…
And immediately a bright light shone upon the 3 and their stomachs rumbled and they said : “Yes! We shall be the bellysisters and belly shall bring the voices of delicious ones from far and wide and from next door unto and all over the airwaves of the Northern Rivers of NSW, this rainbow land, this paradise of lush fields, resuscitated forests and dolphin-frisky seas. And all the delicious people who wish to share their delicious ways of cooking or growing or making delicious stuff, or delicious stories of their ancestral homelands and aunty’s special soup, verily they shall have a home. And we shall work long and hard in the belly lab, cooking up concoctions from the many products of this fair land, according to its seasons, which can be described as follows : hot and wet, hot and dry, slightly less hot and dry or wet as it decides from time to time with no real rhyme or reason. Yeah!”
And so it was that on International No Diet Day 2004, May 6th, bayfm99.9, the best community radio station in the southern hemisphere, gave the bellysisters a home on the fm dial. The 3 dreamers became the founding bellysisters. Sister T, who stayed with belly over the years, except for a 8 month oyster-eating sabbatical. Sister Carolyn the rock chick bellysister, who took off one fine day to a home amongst the gum trees in Nimbin, and is now following the Byron tradition of becoming a yoga teacher. Sister Steve who was run over on his scooter only 2 weeks before belly started, and developed many fabulous one-armed recipes. Other bellysisters joined in to bring deliciousness to the world over the years, as did some wonderful regular guests.
Hard at work in the belly lab with sister Tess for many years, we have had SISTER BERNADETTE of the many names, who started as a weathergirl and moved up all the way to co-presenter/saint.
Sister B spreads a balm of sanity over both sides of the radio panel : she soothes guests who are radio virgins (our favourites – we are very nice to virgins, really), and calmly fills the silence when a look of panic descends on Sister T (several times per show). A country girl and long time Byron resident of good Aussie Irish stock, she knows many traditional ways to soothe the belly, and invents delicious new ones for the belly lab. Sister B is one of those annoying people who loves to cook and eat and still looks like a starving greyhound. And she runs a fine veggie patch.
SISTER RASELA also presents a deliciously cranking Friday music show on bayfm called Chopsuey ~ which quite simply means “Assorted Pieces”. Stirred into the pot of 2 hour LOVE you might taste breaks, house, electro, 80′s and rock remixes, soul, funk with a pinch of this and a dash of that.
Sister Rasela is getting back in touch with her part Samoan heritage, which originally inspired her to become a qualified nutritionist. She charmed the bellysisters with her general wonderfulness before admitting to being a vegan – it’s too late now, she’s in.
Sister Rasela presented belly when Sister T was on prayer retreat or taking her belly on tour (about once a month), but now is the bellysister superior and very much keeps the food stories going on bayfm. You can hear her on belly most weeks, unless she is on the road.
Please get in touch with your bellysisters, by email or by ringing bayfm on 02 6680 7999. We are a broad and friendly cult, always looking for more delicious people to share stories and flavours.
Listen to belly on 99.9 fm when you are in Northern NSW, or on www.bayfm.org if you are a long long way away or behind a hill (or just don’t own a radio – this was one would be listener’s problem recently), every Monday 12 to 2pm
REGULAR GUEST BELLYSISTERS
Also known as Ms April, Miss May, Miss June…you get the idea. We have always talked a lot about lovely in season ingredients, especially fruit and vegetables, in our Fresh Report, after a little dance with the watermelon man. Alison has been coming on the first belly of each month to tell us everything that is in season (she visits every veggie patch and market in Australia, it’s a big job) and share some of her delicious ideas and recipes.
This is what she says about herself : Alison Drover is a food recipe writer, chef, consultant, event designer, and champion of food sustainability. Alison grows her own food, composts, has a worm farm and chickens. She loves farmers markets and roadside stalls.
The bellysisters think she also has great taste in aprons. And handbags.
THE LOVELY LILITH, BELLY ASTROGOURMET – is having a little holiday, but you can find lots of her writing on this site and we hope to drag her back into the belly kitchen soon.