On the job
This has been a big week for TMix+: the team has been on location in the cooking school at Badger’s Creek, a fine winery in the Yarra Valley, putting together the recipes and photos for the next issue. This is fun to be part of—at least for me, as an observer and taster, and occasional gorger—as Lesley Russell and Yolaine Corbin show, once again, that cooking is about organisation, common sense, and gentle respect for the best ingredients and method.
Putting it all to posterity was Mike Emmett of RedFishBlueFish Photography (yes, he’s a Dr Seuss fan) and Bec Smith, with assistance from our apprentice, young Charlie Smith.
A well organised photo shoot achieves more than just photos: it also provides us with that last test of the recipes; it’s rare that a recipe is not tweaked, adding a little of this or that, or reducing the other thing. Multiple tasters of new recipes provide the balance that all cooking requires. It’s go-go-go from the first bounce (or whisk); on a good day, we’ll add 14-15 photos to the archive.
The next issue is a bit of a mix, headlined by a wonderful essay by Michael Shmith, on the life of one of England’s great homes, Harewood House, in Yorkshire, the home of his mother, the Dowager of the estate. Shmith traces the history of the great kitchen of the home, providing an insight into a true life Downtown Abbey.
Some of the recipes attached to Shmith’s essay include Eccles Cakes, Mince Tarts, St Clement’s pie (richer than rich), Christmas fruit cake, brown bread ice cream, Cornish pasties, Welsh rarebit, ginger bread, crumpets and more.
We also put together an array of summer foods, and snacks with celebrations in mind—including the renowned Peter Rowland’s chicken sandwich, a mainstay of cocktail parties for generations, and lots of skewered meats, and Rita Erlich tracks the story of celebratory foods across many cultures and beliefs.
Our newest team member, Jemma Gray, she of the thehealthyjourney.com.au has sent us on a guilt trip with a sugarless set of recipes: a summer drink, a pudding, and a snack.
The summer edition will be on sale from mid-November.
A Sneak Preview
The search for the perfect muffin is one of my constants—not to make myself, that’s easy, and made easier with the Thermomix, but for that moment when the need hits, generally after a very early start to the day when breakfast has been a quick cup of coffee while dashing out the door.
The search is generally fruitless, with so many cafes preferring to buy in muffins that are tall and fat and flavourless, which is perhaps why Seinfeld’s Kramer looked to start up a business based on only the crunchy tops—a pursuit that came to nothing, the essence of the series—classic Kramer.
Those cafes that make their own, using the best fruit (or savoury) additions, while keeping the muffins short and squat (this is a case of [small] size does matter), can also be marked up in other areas: this effort and respect shows they care about the detail.
We also prefer to have the fruit as a major player in the mix, rather than a bit player, as the photo below shows. In a sneak preview of the summer edition for newsletter subscribers, we’ve included Lesley Russell’s blueberry muffin recipe.
Lesley points out that, although we’ve used blueberries in this dish, pretty much anything goes; mixes of spice and berries and poached apples or pears are classics.
Another Sneak Preview
We photographed around 60 recipes during the four days in the rain-soaked Yarra Valley.
Pictured below are four of our favourites:
Our Cookbook Is Coming Soon
Subscribers will have been collecting recipes from TMix+ since we launched in November last year, but with Christmas approaching we thought it best to offer a replay, in a convenient volume: Great Recipes For The Thermomix (RRP $34.95) includes 100 of the recipes from issues 1, 2 and 3.
Great Recipes for the Thermomix will be in bookstores from the first week in October, but pre-orders will gain a 20 per cent discount on the cover price (plus $5 postage and handling), and will receive books before the book goes to the shops.
The book, of 212 pages, is broken up into ten sections: Soups, Starters, Mains, Pasta & Polenta, Breads, Sweets, Cakes & Buns & Scones, Biscuits, Preserves, and Odds & Ends.
You can place your order here