Out of the ashes: the Bream Creek Farmers Market – The Cook Book »
Produced with love from a small vibrant community in South East Tasmania
By Kerry Scambler
There are three compelling reasons to buy this book. The first is the eloquent and moving introductory words from local community leader Elizabeth Knox, and the second is that funds from book sales are reinvested back into the Bream Creek Market and the Dunalley Primary School Association.
This is more than a regional cookbook, brimming with local recipes, beautiful produce and images of happy locals, it’s also about a community’s resilience after a natural disaster.
Bream Creek is at the entrance to the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania’s South East. On the 4th January 2013 massive bushfires swept through Dunalley and its neighbouring smaller communities, including parts of Bream Creek. There were over eighty five properties destroyed, including homes, farms, businesses and the local Primary School. The community is still rebuilding.
The fire made global headlines with the publication of a moving photograph of a local woman protecting her grandchildren under a jetty in the adjacent sea canal. Thankfully – and due in no small part to the canal – there were no human deaths. But many were shattered.
Elizabeth Knox is President of the Dunalley School Parents' and Friends' Association, and her introductory page is entitled 'Knee Deep In It'. She starts by saying:
“For many, something shifted within us during the fires of 2013 which ensured that we took stock of what is important in our lives. For me, I realised that on the day I stood before the ruins of the school, I fell in love with my community all over again.
I recognised all that it brings to my family life, my involvement with the school life and the diversity and richness of the people I interact with on a daily basis. It is something that makes me whole. This was something I did not want to lose – belonging to a beautiful, diverse and inspiring community.”
The Market and the School
Elizabeth then goes on to explain the school’s partnership with the Bream Creek Farmers' Market and how much it enriches the lives of their children. Indeed they are the important part of a kitchen garden/food preparation enterprise and epitomise what local means.
She talks of market day preparations with visits to the bakery, butcher and other producers to stock up with supplies for the school’s market stall. How the children are the 'face of the enterprise', learning valuable life skills – engaging with the eager eaters, learning about fresh food preparation and that even that the washing up has to be done!
Elizabeth Knox says much more, and as much as I’d love to re-print her page in full, it’s a far better and deeper read from the book itself. It’s the full story, surrounded by the recipes, produce and people.
The book and the recipes
Mix the talents of a photographer, a teacher and a chef together, add an abundance of local produce, a big splash of smiles and you have the recipe for a winner in the Bream Creek Farmers Market – The Cook Book. Respectively the collaborators are Alice Bennett, Katharine Bourke and Eloise Emmett, and they should all be exceedingly proud of their publication.
The recipes are of course the third reason to buy, arranged by season and then by produce (eg from the sea/farm) or type of meal (eg start the day, something sweet, celebration etc). In between are general sections on local produce as well as a few features on local businesses who supported the book’s production.
Here’s a few to get your mouth watering:
- Granny Spaulding’s Christmas pudding
- Free range Berkshire baked ham with leatherwood honey glaze
- Baked eggs with smoked salmon, preserved lemon and crusty sourdough »
- Crayfish with savignon blanc, tarragon and dill sauce with spaghetti
- Finnish salmon soup with Honk mustard cream
- Cheeky arse soup
- Three Capes Whisky venison pie
- Wallaby pie with pepperberry sauce
A heart-warming, inspirational book with plenty of delicious recipes that I will be highly and widely recommending.
Hopefully too, inspiration for you to visit the Bream Creek Farmers' Market to drink in the atmosphere and countryside, chat to the locals and discover the healthy beating community heart of the Tasman Peninsula. And once a year in March, enjoy one of the best country shows in regional Australia, the Bream Creek Show. We love them both!
PS: A suggestion to the publishers for the inevitable reprint, and certainly not a criticism, is that the index doesn’t make looking for a recipe by main ingredient(s) easy. Recipes are simply listed by their title. But then, it's printed over two facing pages which makes it quite easy enough to skim through in the meantime!.
Bream Creek Farmers Market – The Cook Book (Hobart, 2013; hc, 207 pp) is self published. Available at select bookshops and online (A$40 plus postage). See link below.
Scroll down and try out some of their delicious recipes below.
- East Coast and Tasman Peninsula (TAS)
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