I'm at the beach on a family holiday. The weather is exceptional, the crowds have gone back to the city and, finally, we didn't have to try to cram a cot and a pram in the boot of the car as part of our travel kit.
This morning when we made camp on the sand with buckets and spades and towels and umbrellas, I declared loudly this is paradise.
"Mum this is not paradise," said Tom. "You have to get on a plane to get to paradise".
I would normally be right there with Tommy. Thinking that the best life was somewhere fabulous overeas. In the south of France, in the Italian mountains. At a Cordon Bleu cooking school. Somewhere you need to fly to. Or even on the beach at Noosa. But after the Daily Plenty workshop I put on with a group on insanely talented people at Moorabinda Station last week, just around the corner from where I live, I am starting to think that paradise is in the quiet valley where I wake up almost every morning.
The workshop was incredible. I am going to let the photos do the talking for me... if I continued to write it would just be a stream of gushing beautifuls and incredibles and wonderfuls. Basically, it exceeded everything I had ever thought it would be, which was a lot. A huge thank you to the team who put it on: Photographers Luisa Brimble and Lean Timms, stylist Caitlin Melling. To the chef Sarah Glover and to Megan Trousdale and Hannah McCowatt for helping out in the kitchen and everywhere else and to Julia and Philip Harpham for hosting us on their farm. To the Ramsay, Magner, Caldwell and the Harms families for being so generous. And of course, huge thanks to the attendees who came to the Dumaresq Valley. I adored meeting every single one of you - you are such an inspiring group of people and we made magic happen together, I'll never forget it.
We've already started planning our next workshop, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy these photos of the inaugural one. I've also included Sarah Glover's menu (which was out-of-this-world good) and a source list at the bottom of the post.
Menu for the Daily Plenty Workshop, created and cooked by Sarah Glover
DAY ONE: An afternoon tea of lavender and eucalyptus shortbread, salted chocolate and pecan cookies served with tumeric and bush lemon cordial and tea and coffee.
Dinner in the woolshed, under a canopy of gum leaves and fairy lights: Pasta with a wallaby ragu and saltbush focaccia and for dessert turkey egg pavlovas with wattle blossom, whipped cream and dehydrated pineapple.
DAY TWO: Breakfast at Kim Ramsay's farm where she milked her cow for us : Steel cut oat bircher with buckwheat and pecan granola served with raw milk and fruit. Fresh scones with strawberry and blood orange jam. And the Ramsay kids made fresh orange juice with oranges from their tree.
A lunch picnic in the riverbed: Beef rib pie, wallaby and proscuitto meatloaf with bush tomato relish, locally grown vegetable crudités with quark, a fresh radicchio salad with Sarah's olive oil and a plum and sage upside down cake with marscapone.
Dinner by the campfire: Lamb asado with quinoa tabbouleh, fresh tzatki and roti bread warmed on the fire. Koko Black chocolate for dessert
DAY THREE: Breakfast in the paddock: Freshly baked cinnabuns with candied orange and wattle blossom and a blush orange icing, breakfast salad with nasturtiums and florals served with Megan's cardamom coffee.
Lunch on the verandah: Nettle grain risotto (pear barley and split pea) with nettle sauce, broad beans, saltbush and dried olives.
Dinner in the dining room: Beef hanger with fennel and potato sauce and balsamic dripping. And for dessert a salted caramel pumpkin and pecan pie.
DAY FOUR: Sunrise breakfast in the paddock: Braised green eggs (a trio of turkey, guinea fowl and chicken eggs) with radishes, wood fired toast and fresh fruit salad.
Beef from Erin and Karl at Australian Grassfed Meats
Fruit and Veg from Sam at Sam's Fruit Shop near Stanthorpe
Eggs, bush lemons and other bits and pieces from Jenny and Paul Magner's veggie patch
Lamb and fresh milk from local farmers Kim and Will Ramsay
Saltbush from Mr and Mrs Moore across the river
Kombucha and kefir from Cindy at A Cultured Life
Chapman Hill Olive Oil from Sarah
Herbs, radishes and stinging nettles from my place
Pecans from Stahmann farms just out of Moree
Chocolate from Koko Black
Organic wines from Cake Wines
Flour from Woods Organic Flour in Inverell
FLOWERS AND FOLIAGE
Foraged paulownia, pink and white spring blossoms, banksia roses, wisteria, mulberry branches, jasmine, hellebores, grapevine cuttings (for the wreaths) and thanks to Sonya, flannel flowers, paper daisies and king proteas.
ON THE TABLE
Enamel plates, bowls, mugs and jugs from Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores
White ceramic dinner plates and bowls from Batch Ceramics
Ceramic tumblers and platters from Clay Canoe
Table linens from In the Sac, Hale Mercantile, Ici et La and Sheridan
Bondi Wash hand soaps and bench spray
Natural linen crossover apron from Fog Linen via Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores
Blue linen crossover apron from Clear Skies Creative
Linen dress from Manteau Noir
Linen tops from Elizabeth Suzann
Sarah Glover's entire wardrobe, ranging from overalls to ballgowns. It was so gorgeous it needs its own blogpost. I particularly loved her black RM Williams boots.