Tag Archives: tomatoes

less food waste & more delicious salami

   salumi_4 Today on belly, sister T & sister D spend the first hour with the aptly named Aime Green, who travels the country helping
festivals to manage their waste and focus on sustainability.  And we'll be talking compost, yei! 

Then we are off on a belly safari to Billinudgel, to the Salumi Australia factory, to learn how artisan smallgoods (salumi in Italian) are made, and how they differ from the home made and the big fast factory methods.










To contact Aime Green:



To find out more about Salumi Australia, especially where they will be next


And the website, which should have lots of recipes after Easter, they promised



Meantime, here are a couple from the bellysisters




piggy roots


small onions, whole, peeled
medium or small potatoes, whole, peeled or unpeeled
mixed roots such as parsnips, carrots, beetroot, cleaned, left whole or halved or quartered lengthways
(opt) whole chillies and halved and seeded capsicum
fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs
smoky pancetta
good olive oil

This is a way to simply dress up veg to accompany roast meats, or makes a very good meal on its own.  And if you eat the potatoes on the first night you can mix the rest through cooked rice and reheat in the oven the following night.  So you can feel at one with our peasant ancestors, who could make a little bit of 'his majesty the pig' go a very long way.

pre-heat oven to 180-200 degrees C
oil base of a wide oven dish, add veg and herbs, salt, pepper, light drizzle of olive oil
cut pancetta into 1 cm thick slices, then 1cm wide strips (similar to French lardons)
add to veg – the only slight trick to this dish is to have the pancetta on top and not stir the veg until the strips have rendered their fat into the veg and gone crispy, so the roots absorb (and cook in) the fat and smokyness.  You don't need a lot of pancetta to make a big difference to the flavour.  I used about 3kg of veg to 2 thick slices of pancetta.
The capsicum adds a moist element, but it's not essential, and the chillies are good left whole so they don't burn and can be left to the chilli lovers only.



translated by sister T from Slow Food Ed 2001 – "Ricette di Osterie d'Italia" – Italian tavern/bistro dishes
recipe from ristorante La Conca, right in the town of Amatrice



This recipe from the  mountains of central Italy  is as famous within Italy as Ligurian pesto is around the world.  Even by Italian standards it gives rise to more growling about "the one and only proper recipe" than most – often because guanciale, cured pig jowl, is supposed to be the one and only piggy bit to use.  But if you can't find guanciale, use a good pancetta.

For 4 people

500 g bucatini pasta
1 kg peeled tomatoes
400 g guanciale
1/2 glass (say 100/150 mL) dry white wine
aged pecorino cheese (not Parmesan)
extra virgin olive oil
chilli powder, salt

Cut any hard bits off the guanciale and cut into small dice.  Brown in a cast iron pan with a little olive oil and chilli powder.  Add the wine, then squashed peeled tomatoes, salt, cook 15 minutes.
Meantime cook bucatini in plenty of salted water.  Drain well.
Add to tomato sauce pan and stir with pecorino until well combined.
Serve on hot plates.

Obviously a pretty simple recipe that relies on good ingredients – but you are allowed to use tinned tomatoes I think.  Absolutely no garlic or onions according to Mrs Perilli from La Conca.




If you would like to listen to the audio of Sister T's belly safari at the Salumi Australia HQ in Billinudgel, please just click on the audio files below, or check out the great pics by the belly photographer, Madam Zaza.  You can almost smell the salami!  Actually one of the most interesting things is that the aging room, which was simply loaded with all sorts of good things (roughly 10 tons of cured meat), smelled more of pleasant moulds, like a cheese room.  I was constantly reminded of the similarity of techniques and natural processes between cured meats and cheeses and winemaking – the magic of fermentation, and the temperature and hygiene control that skilled producers can use to work with nature, rather than bombing our food with chemicals designed to counteract hurried and potentially harmful industrial processes.  Though I still have strong doubts about pig fat actually being mostly unsaturated (as Michael says in our interview), I love his idea that animals don't make bad fats, factories make bad fats.  If you know who first came up with that one, please let the bellysisters know.


Salumi safari Part 1salumi_2


Salumi safari Part 2 – drying room


Salumi safari – Part 3 – aging room


Salumi safari Part 4





Research out of Duke-NUS Graduate Medical school in Singapore published in the Journal of Hepatology has discovered a link between consumption of coffee and prolonging the lives of those with cirrhosis of the liver.‭   ‬The study found that people living with cirrhosis of the liver caused by non-viral hepatitis were less likely to die if they consumed at least one cup of coffee daily.‭  ‬The research also indicated that the more coffee the patients drank,‭ ‬the better their chances for survival were.‭  ‬The results are not connected solely to caffeine,‭ ‬and tea and caffeinated soft drinks did not have the same benefit.‭  ‬The researchers believe the results are due to coffee lowering the level of enzymes in the blood that cause cell breakdown and inflammation of the liver.‭  ‬It is believed that coffee reduces oxidative stress‭ (‬stress on the body caused by cumulative damage of free radicals over time‭)‬.

Local company  Madura Tea Estates is the official sponsor of Cancer Council’s Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea .  Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is a national fundraising event, mostly help in the month of May, that invites Australians to host or attend a morning tea and raise funds for cancer research, prevention, early detection and patient support programs. Over the last two decades, $110 million has been raised for the Cancer Council.   Stephen Bright of Madura Tea Estates says : ‘We have made it simple for the host by creating special host kits on our website.’  The company is also going for the Worlds Biggest Tea Bag title.  The record currently is 150kg. As host kits and specialty marked packs in store are purchased more tea is added to the tea bag. The Worlds Biggest Tea Bag will be on show at the next public event  at the Byron Lighthouse on May 20th.  ‘We currently have 79kg in the tea bag’ We hope to have well over 100kg at our Byron Bay event’ said Mr Bright.  Host packs are available online at www.maduratea.com.au


The international Union for Conservation of Nature‭ (‬IUCN‭) ‬reported in‭ ‬2010‭ ‬that sturgeon had become the most critically endangered group of animals in the world due to humans desire for caviar.‭  ‬When this report was released,‭ ‬85%‭ ‬of the species was at risk of extinction.‭  ‬It is the usual practice that pregnant sturgeon are killed before their eggs are harvested.‭  ‬As the fish do not reproduce annually,‭ ‬it can take many years for the population to recover from a decline.‭  ‬To continue to fulfil the worlds demand and yet preserve the life of sturgeon,‭ ‬some sturgeon farmers have been using alternative‭ “‬no kill‭” ‬methods of roe collection.‭  ‬Vivace a small farm in Loxstedt Germany has perfected the technique of‭ “‬massage‭” ‬to extract the eggs.‭ ‬The massage method involves first observing a sturgeons eggs by ultrasound,‭ ‬and if ready a signalling protein Is given to the fish several days before the egg harvest,‭ ‬to induce labour,‭ ‬and the roe can then be pumped out of the fish with a gentle massage.‭ ‬There are many benefits to this process,‭ ‬including sustainability and financial viability as the same sturgeon can be‭ “‬massaged‭” ‬several times throughout their lifetime,‭ ‬not just live for‭ ‬7‭ ‬or‭ ‬8‭ ‬years to mature and be killed.

Cheeses Loves You Cheesemaking Classes
Debra Allard from Cheeses Loves You has announced her latest cheese making classes at Burringbar Hall.
Friday, 2^nd May – Drunken Goat, Washed Rind Reblochon, Persian Feta.
Saturday, 3^rd May – Colby, Camembert, Goat Chevre, Cow Cream Cheese/Quark.
email Debra for more information – cheeseslovesyou@bigpond.com

Popular local caterers Open Table are running cooking workshops through May

Middle Eastern Workshop  Sunday May 25th.   Raw Food- Sunday 4th May
Moroccan Cooking- Sunday 11th May
 Gourmet Wholefood- Saturday 17th May: look for Open Table on facebook for more details

And finally, an interesting new publication to check out if you like to think about food issues.
The Graduate Journal of Food Studies is a US based online publication, that publishes food research stories from graduate students of food issues around the world.  The first issue includes the social history of the "trophy kitchen", food and agriculture propaganda in North Korea, a Detroit food justice group, and lots of great photos and drawings for those of us who like to look at the pictures – www.graduatefoodjournal.com


MUSIC – For info and videos of tracks we played today go to – http://bayfm.org/programs/belly-/

or at least check out the gorgeous Fabio KoRyu Calabro' on Youtube, singing about everything from veg to salami to managing to fool his cat – all in Italian, just helped out by his uke


SALUMI AUSTRALIA VISUAL TOUR – All images on this post copyright Isabelle Delmotte – id(at)idbytes(dot)net

Thank you very much Michael for a very interesting experience, I only wish internet scratch and sniff technology was available.










































Hommous love affair & March flavours

Today on belly Amir Zikhron from Baraka Foods took us on a journey around the hommous restaurants of Israel, and encouraged us to be a lot more adventurous with how we eat hommous.  Sister T and Sister D explored some great fruit and veg in season in March, as we enjoy a beautiful start to autumn with plenty of ripe tomatoes, eggplant, and other fruit and fruity vegetables.  Sister T and bayfm listener Melissa make the best ever dragonfruit granita.  Kale is everywhere, from Hollywood to Paris to New Brighton.  And Karin Ochsner shares her enthusiasm for Co-op Kulcha, the food coop on the Byron Arts and Industry Estate that is already 11 months old.




coop kulcha 1


To find out a whole lot about Kulcha Jam and Co-op Kulcha, check out http://www.kulchajam.org/

Or listen to this interview, recorded last week at the end of another day at co-op Kulcha, with Sister T and Karin

The coop is going well, but they need more volunteers, especially if you are available on a Thursday.  And it sounds like a great place to pick up new skills and meet interesting people, not just a way to lower your food bills.


coop kulcha part 1


coop kulcha part 2


[recipe by Tess Corino aka Sister Tess]

We invented this granita walking around the New Brighton Farmers Market on a hot morning in late February.  It turned out even better than we hoped.  Make sure you taste it before you freeze it, and maybe as it starts to freeze, to make sure you have a good balance of sweet/sour/spicy.  White dragonfruit can be a bit bland but this combination brings it to life, or at least it provides a very decorative background to the other flavours.

1/2 cup sugar
2 large white dragonfruit
fresh (as in just off the vine) peppercorns to taste
juice of 2-4 limes to taste

Make a sugar syrup by melting the sugar (or less if your fruit is sweet or you just want a less sweet granita) in one cup of water over medium heat.  Cool.

Peel and mash the dragonfruit by hand, with a fork or maybe a potato masher, so as to retain the black seeds.  This will give you a beautiful white granita speckled with white just like the original fruit.

Grind the peppercorns well with a mortar and pestle.  In season (just finishing) you can find fresh pepper at some of our farmers markets, or try frozen or fresh in Asian food stores.  They keep well frozen at home too.

Mix together, don't add all of the syrup and of the lime juice at once in case you need to adjust for taste.  If you aren't sure of the amount of pepper, you can always add a little on top of each serving, or serve it separately.

Pour into a wide, metal or ceramic container that fits flat in your freezer.  Mix and later scrape with a fork as it freezes until it is a uniform grainy (granita) consistency.
Cover, keep frozen.  Use within a day or two as a light dessert or refreshing snack on a hot day.




The Conversation is a website that promises "academic rigour, journalistic flair".  Check out an article by Professor John Mathews of Macquarie Uni, called "Tomatoes watered by the sea".  As any gardener would know, salt water isn't very good for most plants.  But in South Australia a company is experimenting an integrated system for growing vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers in greenhouses, powered by the sun and sea water.  A solar plant desalinates the water and provides electricity for heating and cooling.  Integrating all the elements means that the whole system is much more efficient.  It is a possible solution for providing fresh vegetables in remote, coastal but arid areas of the world.  Both the use of greenhouses and the dry and  distant locations mean that minimal pesticides can be used.  See theconversation.com


And on modern trends…This has probably been happening here for a long time, but I've never seen it.  My friend Paul's niece Casey works in a Sydney cafe, and is seeing many young  Asian clients who order by calling up images their friends have
taken on Instagram and such social media sites of go-to dishes and pointing to them without looking at the menu.


Northern Rivers Food is looking for a volunteer Marketing, Communications and Events Intern at Northern Rivers Food  1-2 days per week for three months.
The successful applicant will gain valuable exposure to many of the Northern Rivers Food networks.  Email info@northernriversfood.org.au
Northern Rivers Foods, in its regular newsletter, also notes that the Telstra Business awards are now open for nomination, so if you have a favourite food business in the area, why not nominate them and give them a chance at lots of publicity and prizes.  And bring attention to our whole area.  Meantime congratulations to macadamia producer Brookfarm for winning Silver at Royal Melbourne Fine Foods Awards for their Toasted Muesli.  And to our own bellysister Ilias the Greek who, quote "set the Canberra foodies on fire with a series of  cooking demonstrations as part of the recent Canberra Food and Wine Expo".

The Harvest Festival, planned for this autumn to showcase and celebrate some of our wonderful food producers, has been cancelled for this year as the organisers, being food producers themselves, just have too much on to co-ordinate all the satellite events.  So the inaugural Harvest Festival, a week of farm tours, lunches, dinners and more, will happen in Autumn next year.  If you are interested in participating, check out the article by Michael Dlask of Salumi Australia on the December 2 belly post.






Rosie, World Skills comp & Aries nibbles

On air on Byron Bay’s bayfm 99.9 on March 25, 2013


Today we have so many wonderful guests that I have cancelled most of my belly bits, so you can listen to…fabulous local Rosie Lee, who dressed up as a flying pig for one cause & is now covered in bees for another. World Skills regional winning local chefs Nadia de Jong & Joseph O’Grady . The fabulous belly astrogourmet, Lilith, with tipples & nibbles for Aries. And 2 wonderful gentlemen bellysisters, Ilias & Robert, in the belly kitchen. Ilias is learning to make delicious radio for you, & Robert has just come back from Womadelaide with some of his favourite music to share with us.





150g self raising flour

150g cornflour

250 g butter, room temp

1 vanilla bean seeds scraped

4 tbsp icing sugar sifted



60 g butter, room temp

150g icing sugar

1/2 passionfuit


Preheat oven to 160 C

Sift flour and cornflour

Cream butter, vanilla seeds and sugar in electic mixer till light and fluffy

Add flours and mix thoroughly

Place small spoonfuls on buttered tray or use piping bag with 1 cm star nozzle for swirl pattern

Bake 15 to 20 mins till golden, place on wire rack et WOILA !



cream butter, icing sugar and passionfruit till creamy

Small amount on one biscuit and top with another.


Store in airtight container




Cream 1/2 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon butter, add 2 tablespoons flour, the juice and rind of one lemon, 1 cup of milk and the beaten yolk of one egg.

Stiffly beat the egg white, fold into mixture and pour into a greased pie-dish. Place in a dish containing water and bake till browned in a moderate oven. A light cake mixture rises to the top, with a lemon curd sauce beneath.


All time fave recipe my mum used to make. Copied from her ancient old cookbook, the Woman’s Mirror Cookery Book.

My son loves it too !!




CSG  ISSUES – for lots of links and information go to the facebook page: CSGFreeByronBay

Or just look for the tent at local markets – it’s very yellow.



Today we have two upcoming local apprentice chefs Joe O Grady and Nadia de Jong who recently won the World Skills regional cooking competition and competed for the nationals placing 6th and 8th amongst strong fully qualified chefs!

They’ve studied at Wollongbar TAFE under the guidance of David Forster and Mary Allen and have blossomed into their roles as chefs in Fleurs Ballina and Harvest Newrybar.

Keep an eye out for these young talented chefs in the future

Opa!    ilias the GREEK


ASTRONIBBLES AND ASTRONIBBLES FOR ARIES – by Lilith the belly astrogourmet


Aloha Tess, today we¹re talking what kind of appetizer plate to bring to an Aries birthday celebration, and since we¹re both Aries today¹s program is all about guess who – yes, us.

Like all fire signs we like hot food, and are particularly partial to red food. But whatever you decide to birthday us with, think food with attitude: as in feisty flavors, spices, chili, Indian, Thai, and abandon bland.  Also  being Show Don¹t Tell people, despite how often you say you love us, we¹d really like to see that demonstrated by your going to a hell of a lot of trouble concocting celebration snackies to tweak our tastebuds and ignite our appetites..

Being the first sign of the zodiac Aries love the first course better than anything and would be happily satisfied with a selection of starters. Being creatures of extremes, we like both totally raw food or else food to which serious heat has been applied. So I’m putting my hand up for Individual Aries-red Roast Tomato and Bocconcini Tarts with rocket pesto, which makes tasty use of autumn produce. Because Aries are such individuals and this is a segment on finger food, we¹d like to put you to the time and trouble of making these tarts personalized, bite size and served up on a heart shaped betel leaf ­ because despite our fiery tempers we are all heart. Where to find? Betel leaves are dead easy to grow or available from the farmers markets. They’re actually a bit chewy raw, so if you think that mightn’t appeal to your particular Aries, Vietnamese sources suggest wilting them with a light grilliing, which also releases their peppery fragrance.

We¹ll cater to our raw natures in the drinkies department Tess with your personal favorite, suitable for both the alcohol-loving and alco-shunning Aries, the Virgin Mary ­ or its vastly more popular deflowered version, the Bloody Mary. The Virgin Mary, suitable for teetotallers and designated drivers simply omits vodka from the recipe, and is apparently also known in Australia as the Bloody Shame.

According to Wikipedia The Bloody Mary has been called “the world’s most complex cocktail” and barman Fernand Petiot who claimed to have invented it in 1921, described its construction thus: Cover the bottom of the shaker with four large dashes of salt, two dashes black pepper, two dashes cayenne pepper and a layer of Worcestershire sauce; then add a dash of lemon juice, cracked ice, two ounces of vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice, shake, strain, and pour. Note no Tabasco in his original recipe.

I loved reading about the creative variations of this drink, ie. The Bloody Maria using Tequila instead of vodka, the Bloody Fairy with absinthe, Bloody Murder featuring wasabi sauce and the Bloody Hog made with Bacon Vodka  -­ who knew such a thing existed ­ all there in the wonderful world of google. My favorite has to be the Flaming, Frozen Bloody Mary, which is a frozen Bloody Mary topped with overproof rum and ignited in a ceramic mug to avoid shattered glass.  [please don’t try this at home]. I won’t even mention the version garnished with a sausage, or the desperate marooned people forced to use pasta sauce.

We here in the Bay can just get creative with chili or citron vodka, a little fresh horseradish, so some oysters. So Bottoms Up and happy birthdays, Aries.





110g plain flour

Pinch of icing sugar

60g cold butter

1 egg yolk

250g cherry tomatoes

1 tub of baby bocconcini, drained

extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup fresh basil pesto

Fresh basil leaves, to garnish



 Preheat oven to 190°C.

Sift flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt into a food processor, add butter and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and 1-2 tablespoons of cold water. Process until mixture forms a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes

 Bring pastry to room temperature, roll out on a lightly floured surface and use it to line indvidual tart pans with removable bases. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Line the pastry-lined pan with aluminium foil and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake for 10 minutes.

 Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes in the oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 Remove tarts from oven, remove foil and weights. Return to oven with the tomatoes on a separate baking tray for 5 minutes or until pastry is golden and tomatoes have softened slightly. Spread a little pesto over base of each tart and fill with bocconcini and tomatoes. Place in oven for 5 minutes to warm through. Serve with remaining pesto and basil leaves.




Greek cookbook : Tess Mallos

Lansdowne Press – Last print 1976


Eggs – Michel Roux

Quadrille publishing – Last print 2007


THE MUSIC today was very tasty I thought, thank you so much Sister Robert for the Womad tracks, and Rosie and Lilith for sharing some favourites too. Go here (bayfm page) for the full list and lots of videos


Love and chocolate bunnies,


Sister Tess


facebook page: CSGFreeByronBay

bees, honey, mead, tomatoes, & more beezzz

On air on Byron Bay’s bayfm 99.9 community radio on 10 December, 2012

Today on belly we  talked about our precious bees.  Leah Roland from the Bangalow Cooking School  shared some honey stories & honey recipes, but in the first hour of belly we  focused mostly on the essential role they play in pollination.  Without them our tables would be pretty empty.  Some say the world as we know it will end shortly after the last bee disappears.  But this is not a gloomy belly, there are many people getting together to help the bees. We  met a wonderful panel of farmers and beekeepers, found out how we can get involved, & learned lots more about our Australian native bees.  Kat came from the new group Mullumbimbees,  Eric Smith and James Creagh from Federal, to talk about natural beekeeping of the European honey bee.  Eric is a very new beekeeper.  He has found that bees like very calm people, and he enjoys their company.  Actually all the guests, and Sister Cath who has several native hives, seem to love watching the bees. Frank Adcock, farmer,  native bee specialist & neighbour of Sister Cath’s came from Federal.  It was good to see them share knowledge, & the love of bees, together as well as with listeners.  We finished the show with a walk around Heather and Hugh Armstrong’s tomato farm at Cooper Shoot, where they also have the help of little blue banded native bees.  Frank says they are solitary bees, but Hugh and Heather like the work even just a few of these little creatures do.   All the more reason to have plenty of native and other flowers around our homes, and feed all the different types of bees.





There is loads of information about beekeeping both in books and the internet, but not all may work for you.  Malcolm Sanfordn& Richard Bonney in ‘Storey’s guide to keeping honey bees’, start by saying:

“Like the bees in their colony working together to survive, no individual human can succeed alone when it comes to caring for this social insect”.

So we are very lucky that the Northern Rivers is positively buzzing with beekeeping mutual help groups.  They have newsletters, workshops, order hive materials as a group, get together to make hives, and of course share lots of information.


James Creagh as the beekeeping prophet

James recommends you try to see the Queen Of the Sun – Documentary about the plight of bees with some positive approaches.


Planned screening in Mullum in February 2013.  Date to be announced.

Queen of the Sun is also available as a book from your local library.

T Siegel and J Betz (ed)   www.clairviewbooks.com


General info about bees –  http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/livestock/honey-bees/management/responsibilities/backyard


Contacts for Mullumbimbees Natural Beekeeping group –  mullumbees@gmail.com


Workshop “Introduction to Natural Beekeeping ” –  January 2013 Booking mullumbees@gmail.com


General Info about “Natural Beekeeping” –  http://naturalbeekeeping.com.au/naturalbeekeeping.html

Nimbin Natural Beekeepers – jamescreagh@hotmail.com

Meet 1st Sunday of each month

Nimbin Natural Beekeepers - hive making work bee


Australian native bees


native bee box entrance

If you are in the Lismore/Casino area, our guest Frank Adcock is not only a farmer and native beekeeper, but a teacher.

Caring for Native Bees –  Tutor Frank Adcock

The course introduces you to Australian native beekeeping and gives you the knowledge and confidence to care for your bees. You will be studying the stingless social species trigona carbonaria, a true blue Australian bee which is native to our area. These little creatures are amazing to watch as they work, they don’t sting so the honey can be harvested safely, and they are great pollinators of local fruit and nut trees. If you think you might like to give a hive a home, come along to this


when & where

Lismore Saturday 9 February,2013 and Saturday 11 May, 2013

Casino Saturday 23 February, 2013.


There are lots of photos and information about native bees on this website:



native bee box in 8 year old macadamia trees

Even for those of us who don’t intend to formally set up a native bee colony, it’s a good idea to get to know them, so we don’t mistakenly kill them thinking they are wasps.  I had a chat to Kerry  & Lorraine from Monty’s Strawberries at the farmers market.  They decided to get some native bees this year, after seeing very few honeybees in their area.  They are very happy with them, not only because the strawberries had a great season, but because their grandkids can play among the bees with no danger of getting stung. We are lucky to have several stingless bees in Eastern Australia, including the commercially used variety trigona carbonaria.  Frank told us that in Brisbane, native bees are colonising water meters, not an ideal spot.  But if we put a specially designed box or two in the garden for them, they will set up there in preference to odd little locations around human houses.







James Creagh and Peter Stace (who is from Jiggi near Lismore), are putting together a list of plants that bees love.  The more food is available for bees, the more honey there will be for all of us, but more importantly, the more healthy productive plants, both in home gardens and local farms.

This list is a work in progress, feel free to contribute.



Alyssum, Balsam, Aster, Catmint, Cornflower, Convolvulus,

Cornflower, Cosmos, Crocus, French Marigold, Mallow, Nasturtium, Poppy,

Sunflower, Zinnia, Nasturtium , Sunflower



Fuchsia, Geranium, Hebe (Veronica), Hollyhock, Kniphophia

(Red Hot Poker), Lavender, Marjoram, Salvias, Rosemary, Thyme, Veronica, Citrus



Banksia, Bottlebrush, Calistamons, Eucalypts, Wattles,Flame Tree

Eucalypts – Most honey produced in Australia is produced from the nectar of Eucalyptus trees.



Lemon Balm, Basil, Hyssop, Lavender, Marjoram, Mint family

(Labiatae), Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savoury, Thyme, Oregano – have large numbers

of bee attracting flowers, Borage.





Mix 1 part cappings with 4 parts water.

If using honey use 1 part honey to 6 parts water.

Allow to stand overnight covered with cotton cloth.

Drain off wax next day.

Optional add juiced fruit in season e.g. Mulberries, plum, jaboticaba,ginger etc.

Allow to stand for a few days checking each day for taste. Depending on the temperature it will begin to ferment in a few days. Stir each day you check and when tasting good bottle up. The longer it ferments the more alcohol content in the mead.




“Melomakarona” which happens to be a Greek Christmas Cookie




1 cup olive oil

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice and the zest of 1 orange

1/2 cup brown or white sugar

4 ½ – 5 cups self-raising flour

1 cup of walnuts coarsely ground

1 teaspoon

¼ teaspoon of ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 cup of honey

1 cinnamon stick

½ cup chopped walnuts, extra


1. Preheat oven to 180C (or 160C for fan-forced).

2. Make syrup ahead of time so it can be cool. For the syrup, combine sugar, honey, cinnamon & water. Bring to boil for 5 mins.

3. Mix the oil, orange juice, zest, sugar, nuts, spices and flour until smooth. The dough should be soft and not sticky you may need extra flour

4. Shape biscuits into elongated egg shape (approx 30-40gram each) Place on a lined baking trays lined with baking paper. Be sure not to over crowd as the biscuit will double in size in the baking process.

5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Remove hot biscuit and place a few at a time in the cooled syrup. Allow the biscuit to drink up a little of the syrup.

Remove and place onto a cooling rack. Sprinkle top with ground up walnuts whilst still wet.

Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

Makes about 60 biscuits that keep well for a week great with a long black! Or a macchiato


Recipe by Leah Roland Bangalow Cooking School




Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish bellysisters.  Hanukkah the Jewish festival of lights is on right now.  It is the time to light candles, sing, give gifts, & eat food fried in oil, especially olive oil, including fried potato pancakes and jam doughnuts.  Also eating cheese products is popular. Now that’s a good way to celebrate.

If you like to eat & drink with artists check out the open evening this Thursday on the Byron arts & industry estate arts trail.  Lots of galleries will be open & will have nibbles,& drinks, at some places you can take food to share & enjoy the art,entertainment, film screeenings, & company. Check out local papers or www.facebook.com/byronartstrail

Francisco Smoje’s last pop up dinner of the year will be in Federal this Saturday 15 December at 7pm.  Lots of lovely ripe tomatoes on the menu. BYO, $55 a head, vegetarian optios will be available, bookings essential.  More info & to book:

0416057705      www.facebook.com/FranciscosTable






berry tomatoes

Heather & Hugh in the tomato jungle


A big thank you to Heather and Hugh Armstrong of Coopers Shoot Tomatoes for the tour of their farm and their advice on growing good tomatoes in our veggy patches.

You will find more audio from the visit in last week’s belly post.

If you only have a few minutes, listen to their top tips from 14 years of tomato growing, and their favourite ways to cook tomatoes, in this audio clip:

audio – tomato growing and cooking tips


If you have a bit more time, join Hugh, Heather and Sister T on a tour of the farm.  This is a longer interview of the tour than the one I played on belly, but for copyright reasons it doesn’t have the safari music samples.  I hope you enjoy your visit, it starts with a discussion of some of the animals that help out on the farm, from cows to bees.

audio – Sister Tess on belly tomato safari at Coopers Shoot Tomatoes



ox heart tomatoes














Arthur Askey – the bee song


Itzak Perlman performing Rimsky-Korsakov’s flight of the bumblebee


Jez Mead – beard of bees


Slim Harpo – I’m a king bee


Taj Mahal – Queen bee


Francois Couperin, a little mead flavoured medieval magic – tracks from Concert Royal No4 in E minor, performed by Le Rondeau de Paris


Van Morrison – Tupelo honey


Minipop – my little bee


The Rolling Stones – dead flowers – sorry it was short Hugh, we talk too much!



Love and chocolate flowers (that’s to attract the bees that make nutella), sister T


belly 15 february 2010 – great food markets and cooking with aquarians

TOPICS : the new Mullumbimbi farmers market, great food markets around the world, ‘cooking with the stars’, cooking styles and famous cooks of each star sign –  today aquarius


Judy McDonald, world-wide marketologist and head wrangler at the North Byron Farmers Market

Lilith, belly astrogourmet and hula queen


* Hong Kong island food market
* Barcelona, both the large central market and smaller local ones
* in Paris, place Monge and boulevard Richard Lenoir/Bastille (this is a big favourite of both Sister T and Judy’s)
* in London, sister T likes the Borough market, Judy has checked out many more and recommends  :
Brick Lane
Ridley Road [last of on the original London barrow markets [Dalston]..very
Stoke Newington Organic Market
Angel Islington Farmers Market -more inner London trendy
* there are so many more great markets around the world, we’d love to hear about your favourites, and what do you think about getting some covered market structures here?

GUEST RECIPE: an Aquarian-friendly suggestion from Lilith

– see more about Aquarians in the kitchen in the Cooking with the Stars section

“Obviously classic recipes are a yawn for Aquarians so keeping in mind their
love of the esoteric and obscure I’ve chosen a retro recipe from the Vogue
Autumn Collection of 1987 as a suitable surprise for an Aquarian birthday.”


Ingredients for Icecream:

4 medium tomatoes chopped
grated rind of 2 lemons, juice 1 lemon
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk, dash vanilla
300 mL thickened cream

Ingredients for Sauce:
6 tomatoes chopped, peeled, seeded
grated rind + juice of half lemon,
grated rind + juice of half orange
half cup sugar
generous Graham Kerr size slosh of Cointreau
sweet basil leaves to garnish

Method for Icecream:  Cook tomatoes till the consistency of thin jam and let
cool.  Puree the cooled mix, pass through a sieve, discard solids, add lemon
rind and juice, set aside.  Beat egg yolks and sugar together, add milk and
vanilla, cook over low heat till mix coats back of a spoon, let cool.  Then
combine the 2 mixtures together, add cream and freeze.

Method for Sauce:   Cook all ingredients except Cointreau to a thin jam.
Puree in blender, pass through sieve, discard solids, add Cointreau to
remainder and chill.

Serve a little sauce on each chilled dessert plate with tomato icecream in
the centre garnished with a sweet basil leaf.


this week in honour of the year of the tiger, a Chinese proverb from about.com:
“Enjoy yourself.  It’s later than you think.”

Look out for a book about the markets of Paris, with lots of recipes and an introduction by one of our featured Aquarians, the great chef Paul Bocuse (yes it is all connected, grasshopper)

Nicolle Aimee Meyer and Amanda Pilar Smith: Paris in  a Basket, Konemann 2000

“Above all, do not forget to give  a word of encouragement to the vendors when you find quality products.  They value your opinion and it helps them to keep their stand and forge ahead in their continuing fight against industrialized products.”  Paul Bocuse


belly@belly.net.au  – please get in touch

mullummarket@gmail.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it     , or 0413 610 222 if you would like to be a stallholder or volunteer at the new Mullum farmers market

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/parismarkets.php – a great list of the Paris markets from a highly regarded blog

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2008/nov/28/paris-markets-shopping-trips-france?page=all – article about a few of the markets including Richard Lenoir

http://gohongkong.about.com/od/photosofhongkong/ig/Hong-Kong-Food-Market/ –

some pics of Hong Kong markets, but to get the flavour read:


– lots of London markets in this article, learn even more from the comments of other Londoners

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/travel/travel_to_eat/slow_food_and_markets_in_barcelona.shtml – I want to go back!

http://www.grahamkerr.com/gk.php – a wonderful Aquarian – this is his site, lots of recipes

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=61716293699 – blue curacao caviar – you can’t get more Aquarian than this

http://www.alifewortheating.com/france/paul-bocuse/ – a blog entry that takes you through a meal at Paul Bocuse’s in technicolour, dish by dish – so when you get there you can keep the camera in your bag