I had a quite interesting weekend. It wasn’t the usual sort. From the sublime to the ridiculous. I actually got out and about and saw different things. Quite illuminating.
Saturday – Harvest and Cook.
Right up my alley. Mr.B had booked me into a free community workshop organised by City of Stonnington and presented by the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. I emphasise that, amazingly, this was FREE. An outstanding initiative by a local council. I had a fantastically rewarding time in the kitchen and garden of a local primary school, where for three hours we toured the fabulous productive garden learning all sorts of valuable tips on growing your own produce. And they had chooks!
After harvesting wonderful fresh veggies and herbs we discovered the secrets of making pesto, passata, and pasta, in a hands-on, actually making it ourselves in the kitchen kind of way; learning the way to make proper food without pre-packaging from the supermarket. I’ve never made fresh pasta before as Miss E. has coeliac disease and home-made gluten-free pasta is a bit of an impossible task, so I’ve never really given it a thought. It was actually quite gratifying stretching out the pasta dough and seeing the fettuccine actually being made by my own hands. About 20 or so of us then sat down to a healthy, tasty lunch we had just made ourselves. We all got to take home a jar of freshly made passata too as an extra bonus!
A thoroughly satisfying Saturday morning, and one I can highly recommend if you live in or near Melbourne. It gave me the inspiration I needed to get my garden back into shape, and I spent the afternoon ripping out spent tomatoes and having a good tidy up in preparation for winter planting. Some people came from miles away, and it was a sold-out event, so if you see the winter workshop advertised some time in June, book it immediately to avoid disappointment.
Sunday – Port of Melbourne Boat Tour.
Not up my alley at all. Mr. B had booked us onto another free community thing – a boat tour of the Port of Melbourne. This time I wasn’t really interested, but going along as a side-kick. The blurb A boat tour of Australia’s busiest container terminal, where you can see massive ships and cranes up close did not make me feel the slightest bit keener. Not really my thing. I was going along to be helpful, to record video footage so Mr.B could concentrate on taking photos. Melbourne turned on a beautiful sunny day, and the tour was more interesting than I expected. We did indeed get up close to massive ships, and the commentary was excellent. Far from the crowd of boat geeks and engineering types I had expected, the passengers were mainly families and regular looking people taking advantage of an offer to see something you don’t usually see on the weekend. Note to self: Be more open-minded.
Afterwards Mr.B and I took a stroll down the disused docks and ended up right under the Bolte Bridge. Mr.B loves this place and often rides his bike down here on weekends. It is strangely beautiful in a derelict kind of way, and more or less deserted, apart from a few people fishing. They see the beauty and tranquil emptiness of the place. One guy described how breathtaking it is at night, looking up from underneath the majestic structure with the lights flooding up and seagulls swirling overhead, caught in the beams. It’s peaceful here, and you get views that you don’t usually see when you’re busily whipping along the freeway. A reminder to slow down and look around every now and then.
Have you got anything interesting planned for next weekend?