Meander Valley Gazette

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Portobello mushroom & cucumber turnovers with hot salami

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Wai Lin Coultas  Giant savoury turnovers, brimming with delicious salami, veg and cheese for a shared lunch in a busy working week.

Photo by Wai Lin Coultas

Giant savoury turnovers, brimming with delicious salami, veg and cheese for a shared lunch in a busy working week.

By Wai Lin Coultas

SAVOURY MEATY turnovers are an American convenience food, so a combination with Italian calzone creates giant turnovers brimming with delicious salami, veg and cheese! Perfect and easy to whip up for a shared lunch in a busy working week.


2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 large cucumber, thinly sliced

60 g vintage Cheddar cheese, grated

60 g hot salami, sliced

3 sprigs fresh fennel fronds, chopped

40 g fresh dill, chopped

2 handfuls fresh baby spinach leaves

2 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 tsp Herbie’s Persian spice mix

1 tsp Original Smoke & Spice Tasmania

2 tbsp sour cream

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 1/2 tbsp Mount Direction Olives olive syrup

50g butter

1 egg, beaten


• Over medium heat fry mushrooms in melted butter till starting to soften.

• Add cucumbers, frying to cook through both veggies.

• Stir in fennel fronds till wilted. • Add spices, fish sauce, sour cream, vinegar and olive syrup. Set aside to cool slightly.

• For each turnover, place puff pastry sheet on baking paper, lightly folding one corner over the opposite corner to define triangular area for filling.

• Spoon half the mixture onto triangular area, leaving a 1cm border along its two edges.

• Brush the border with egg wash and sprinkle half the salami, cheese and dill over filling.

• Fold unfilled puff pastry half over filling to form turnover, press down on edges and then crimp with fork.

• With a knife, pierce top of turnover twice, brush pastry over with egg wash.

• Transfer both turnovers, still on baking paper, to baking tray and chill uncovered in fridge.

• While turnovers are chilling, pre-heat oven to fan forced 195°C.

• Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden.

• Serve hot on bed of spinach, garnished with parsley.

Serves 4

In the Garden with Nell Carr

Community, Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Photo supplied  White Kunzea, Kunzea ambigua

Photo supplied

White Kunzea, Kunzea ambigua

A STORY from Rebecca Morris in The Examiner of 21 June 2019, describes the commercial values of four Tasmanian native plants.

The most valuable appears to be the shrub Kunzea ambigua, (White Kunzea, pictured here). The oils from this exude a powerful fragrance which is used for aromatherapy. A cream made from its oils is useful for pain relief.

An example of this shrub may be seen in the native street bed at the Great Western Tiers Visitor Information Centre, Deloraine. It should be flowering by the time the Gazette is distributed.

In the article, the chief executive of Essential Oils of Tasmania (EOT), writes, ‘The health benefits of Tasmania’s native plants, particularly kunzea, have been understood by the traditional owners of this land for many thousands of years, so it’s exciting to … explore their potential’.

The berries from the Tasmanian native pepper, Tasmannia lanceolata, which grows along the lakes in the Highlands, can be used for food flavouring, and as an anti-oxidant.

Another aromatic plant from the Highland areas, the endemic Boronia citriodora, bears in its crushed leaves a powerful citrus scent.

The article also mentions a plant the author calls Southern Rosalina, which research reveals is the common swamp paperbark Melaleuca ericifolia, common in poorly drained areas in Northern Tasmania. In early summer, its scented white flowers resemble a layer of snow lying on the top of the foliage. The Flinders Island strain is apparently the best source of aromatic oils.

In the vegie garden

There are few vegetables which cannot be grown in October. Celery is a useful vegetable both raw in salads, or cooked in soup. The minute seeds are best started in punnets in seed raising mix, and planted out when they are 3cm in height. They take two to three weeks to germinate (keep them well watered), and three or four months to harvesting. They need liberal amounts of animal manure or compost, and regular watering during summer months.


In September’s issue of the Gazette, I said Acacia dealbata was Black Wattle. It is actually Silver Wattle.

Sublime Smibert

Arts & Artisans, Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Photo supplied  Tony Smibert working in his watercolour studio.

Photo supplied

Tony Smibert working in his watercolour studio.

By Wai Lin Coultas

DELORAINE-BASED TONY Smibert was among four artists highly commended by judges of the 2019 Hadley Art Prize, for his landscape Tao Sublime 5.

Presented by Hadley’s Orient Hotel and now in its third year, the prize celebrates contemporary landscape art. Indigenous artist Carbiene MacDonald Tjangala, of Papunya in the Northern Territory, was awarded the $100 000 Hadley Art Prize. Tony’s fellow Tasmanians Philip Wolfhagen and Faridah Cameron, along with Betty Pula Morton from the Northern Territory, were the other highly commended artists.

Announced in July, these five artists were chosen from the 30 finalists hung in the exhibition from approximately 600 entries Australia-wide.

Tony’s acrylic on canvas dwells upon ‘Tasmania’s precious pencil pines as a living connection to landscape and time before European arrival: dreaming their ancient dream’.

The judges were particularly taken with this ‘expressive, dreamlike work [that] portrayed the weather, the atmosphere and a very particular sense of place in an intriguing medium’.

Tony attributes his artistic style to a whole range of influences, combining holistic qualities of Taoism with a Turneresque sublime romanticism.

He began as a traditional water colourist. Time spent in Japan and his passion for Aikido influenced him to move into minimal works of art.

When he became increasingly fascinated with English water colour, his pursuit of JMW Turner’s techniques led him to discover the philosophy of Alexander Cozens, taking artists away from precise representations of the scene before them.

‘Responding to the sublime, I am referencing nature’s spirit rather than its appearance,’ Tony expands.

The European idea of the sublime resonates with what the Japanese call ten shi jin or ‘heaven, earth, man’ – our relationship to the cosmos, to the Tao and the idea that nature is deeply significant. Tony’s paintings allude to feelings of awe or terror that we might experience in nature.

The landscape in Tao Sublime 5 is imagined from Tony’s response to experience, and not of a particular spot in Tasmania at all.

‘A painting done this way creates itself. Starting with an empty canvas, I might have a sense of place in mind, and then, very quickly, it appears,’ Tony explains. ‘What seemed important to me late last year when I painted it, is now even more so given how many pencil pines were damaged by fires over summer.’

Many of Tony’s works are painted with very few brush strokes. He uses watercolour techniques to paint an acrylic wash on a larger scale, drawing inspiration from abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock.

Tony has exhibited across Australia and overseas. He is a Visiting Artist Researcher at the Tate Gallery and author of a number of well-known books on watercolour. His latest book, Turner’s Apprentice will be published in early 2020.

Tony Smibert Studio Gallery is at 179 Mole Creek Road in Deloraine. Visitors are always welcome. Just call 03 6362 2474 or email tony@smibert. com.

Pottery Hub launched

Arts & Artisans, Community, Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Mike Moores  Pottery Hub coordinator Trish Richers (left) and Brenda Griechen in front of the Pottery Hub kiln, discussing Brenda’s pottery echidna.

Photo by Mike Moores

Pottery Hub coordinator Trish Richers (left) and Brenda Griechen in front of the Pottery Hub kiln, discussing Brenda’s pottery echidna.

By Wendy Laing

SATURDAY 24 August was the official launch of the Deloraine Pottery Hub, held at Deloraine Creative Studios. Sonja Grodski, the President of DCS, welcomed 30 guests to the launch.

Sally Darke, Chairperson of the Tasmanian Community Fund congratulated the Deloraine Pottery Hub on their launch. ‘It is a pleasure’, she said, ‘to see the kiln we have funded set up and being used by the community in this large open space.’

Sonja also spoke of the work that Trish Richers, the Pottery Hub coordinator, has achieved with kiln firings, organising beginner classes and arranging for professional and amateur potters to use the Hub. ‘Through her efforts,’ Sonja said, ‘Trish has produced a relaxed atmosphere where people using the space feel most welcome.’

A toast was then given to the success of the Deloraine Pottery Hub.

The Meander Valley Council was thanked for their generous support supplying shelving, benches and cupboards.

For more information please call into the Deloraine Creative Studios and chat to Trish Richers in the Pottery Hub area, contact her on 0407 930 342 or email

Chilean Meatball Stew

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Charquicán – traditionally made from llama or beef jerky, now pays homage to the modern Chilean use of minced beef and fried eggs.  Photo by Wai Lin Coultas

Charquicán – traditionally made from llama or beef jerky, now pays homage to the modern Chilean use of minced beef and fried eggs.

Photo by Wai Lin Coultas

By Wai Lin Coultas

A POPULAR dish in the Andean region, Charquicán was food for soldiers in the High Andes while warring against the Spanish Crown.

Though traditionally made from llama or beef jerky with potatoes, pumpkin, corn and peas, this hearty recipe pays homage to the modern Chilean use of minced beef and fried eggs.

fried eggs. It draws generously from Australia’s fresh winter produce, served piping hot and perfect for dipping with corn chips.


1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

745g grey pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and diced 1.5 cm

300g Nicola potatoes, peeled and diced 1.5 cm

250g orange beetroot, peeled and diced 1.5 cm

380g swede, peeled and diced 1.5 cm 4 Roma tomatoes, diced 1.5 cm

80g baby spinach leaves

15g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 3/4 cup boiling water and chopped, soaking liquid retained

1 x 500g can Campbell’s Hearty Beef and Vegetable Soup

5 tbsp sherry vinegar

3 1/2 tbsp Maggi Hot Chilli Sauce

1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika plus extra for sprinkling

2/3 x 420g can corn kernels, brine strained and set aside

4–6 eggs extra virgin olive oil salt]

For meatballs

260g minced beef

50g streaky bacon, julienned

1 small onion, peeled and finely diced

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced

60g fine bread crumbs

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tbsp milk

2 eggs, beaten


For meatballs Sauté bacon in hot oil until slightly crispy. Add onion and garlic, then sauté till softened and slightly browned.

Mix sauté with rest of ingredients, season with salt.

Ingredients, season with salt. Roll out 40 bite size meatballs and refrigerate for 1 hour, covered.

Bake on baking paper in fan-forced oven, pre-heated to 170°C, for 20 minutes.

For meatball stew

In a large casserole, sauté onion, garlic and porcini in hot oil until softened.

Add spices and chilli sauce then sauté until fragrant.

Stir in soup, porcini liquid and vinegar, season with salt and bring to boil, covered.

Add swede to pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.

ionally. Add potatoes, beetroot and pumpkin to pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Roughly mash the vegetables to thicken stew before adding corn, tomatoes and 1/3 to 1/2 cup corn brine. Season if needed.

Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes with occasional stirring, before adding meatballs to warm through and spinach to slightly wilt.

Meanwhile, fry eggs in hot oil till just set, sunny side up.

Serve stew topped with a fried egg, sparingly garnished with paprika and salt, and corn chips on the side. Serves 4 to 6.

In the Garden with Nell Carr

Community, Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Hebe x Waikiki  Photo supplied

Hebe x Waikiki

Photo supplied

SHRUBS THAT flower in winter are doubly welcome. They brighten a gloomy garden scene. The white Tea Tree-like flowers of the South African Eriocephalus africanus, (White Woolly Head), have by now developed their fluffy seed heads.

Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape), in addition to its small racemes of yellow flowers, has leaves which turn bronze-red at this time of year.

One well-grown specimen of this shrub can be seen at the Great Western Tiers Visitor Information Centre in Deloraine.


There are approximately 150 species of Hebe, evergreen shrubs mainly from NZ, a country which can boast 90 endemic species. The one pictured here, Hebe x Waikiki, with M. aquifolium beside it, has attractive bronze-tipped foliage in addition to its mauve spikes of flowers. This one has been flowering for many weeks.

In the vegie garden

I was surprised to hear Leon Compton hailing with delight the sound of heavy rain on his roof (ABC Breakfast Radio 26/7), while those of us in the north of the state are looking for some sunshine.

By the beginning of the final week in July, this area has had 151mm of rain (129mm average). So best to keep off the vegetable beds until some dry weather, as tramping on heavy very wet soil will do it no good.

Silver beet and cabbage seed could be sown in seed boxes to be planted later, but peas, parsnips and turnips, which do not transplant well, should be delayed for a while.

Cleaning your brewing gear

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann

WITHOUT ANY doubt, the main reason more people don’t brew at home, or stop after a couple of batches, is the arduous task of cleaning and sanitising, especially when it comes to bottles.

Which is why kegging is rapidly gaining massive popularity!

For cleaning, I have used a number of products and methods over the years and wish I had come across the ones I now use a lot sooner.

The first rule to remember is: you can’t sanitise your gear until it’s clean.

The best everyday cleaner I’ve come across is sodium percarbonate.

Soak your fermenter in this overnight and it will do the hard part for you. It is a fantastic cleaner for removing yeast, tannins and protein build-up.

Sodium percarbonate uses active oxygen to penetrate carbon or protein soils and has a high kill rate on a wide range of micro-organisms making it an effective sanitiser as well as cleaner.

I even use a teaspoon in half a sink to wash my favourite beer glasses, as dirty glasses won’t hold or keep pushing up a nice frothy head.

It is also non-rinse but I like to rinse it out with my sanitiser of choice, a phosphoric-based product called Starsan, which is a 100% food grade non-rinse sanitiser.

To say a little goes a long way is an understatement. 1.5ml per litre is all you need. The best part is, it can be reused. It only needs a contact time of 30 seconds, therefore it is perfect to make up a solution in a spray bottle.

This phosphoric acid blend provides a unique microorganism killing system, unaffected by organic soils and delivering a high foaming formulation with optimum coverage and penetration.

Please note the foam is okay! Pour your wort directly onto the foam, as this is a foaming non-rinse formulation. The formula can be metabolised by the yeast and will act as a nutrient that will actually assist yeast growth.

Follow this procedure and it will not impart any off-odours or flavours.

Unlike other harsh chemical sanitisers, Starsan is non-staining, stainless steel safe, and stable over a wide range of temperatures.

Starsan is an American product but it can be found in Aussie home brew shops under the name Stellarsan, with the same active ingredient and a lot cheaper as well.

You can find these two products in most good homebrew shops or online. I use a number of other products when needed, but rely on these two the most. Both can be used without gloves.

If stuck, use an oxy cleaner from a supermarket such as Napisan. This has about 30% sodium percarbonate as an active ingredient, but it needs to be rinsed well. The same goes for bleach if you’re stuck and need a sanitiser for brew day. Bleach needs to be rinsed well and is not safe on your hands.

A few tips

To save a little time and effort on bottling day, have your fresh ingredients ready to go. As soon as you clean and sanitise your fermenter, pitch a fresh brew straight away.

A bottlebrush can be cut off beneath the handle and placed in a cordless drill.

Keep your spray bottle of Starsan on the kitchen bench where it’s handy at all times.

Dissolve your sodium percarbonate in hot water to start activation. Starsan can be mixed cold as well as warm.

After you’ve cleaned your favourite beer glasses with sodium percarbonate, chuck your dishcloth in the solution for half an hour and watch as it becomes clean. Until next time, good brewing!

Lamb Osso Bucco

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Lamb Osso Bucco delivers wintry comfort food with lamb shoulder chops – Oz’s abundant alternative to ‘bones with holes’!  Photo by Wai Lin Coultas

Lamb Osso Bucco delivers wintry comfort food with lamb shoulder chops – Oz’s abundant alternative to ‘bones with holes’!

Photo by Wai Lin Coultas

By Wai Lin Coultas

A LOMBARD specialty, osso bucco traditionally braises veal shanks with white wine, broth, cinnamon and bay leaves, while modern recipes include tomatoes, celery, carrots and onions. Marrying the broth’s essence with a French love for flavouring casseroles with a bouquet garni, this recipe delivers wintry comfort food with lamb shoulder chops – Oz’s abundant alternative to ‘bones with holes’!

Slow cooked deliciousness – without gremolata but still perfect for rainy leisure weekends.


4 lamb shoulder chops (700g total)

2–4 tbsp plain flour

6 tbsp plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 brown onions, peeled and quartered

2 carrots, sliced

2 sticks celery, sliced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1 cup white wine

1 cup seasoned beef stock

1 x 400g can diced tomatoes

180g streaky bacon, thinly sliced

12 pitted Kalamata olives, thinly sliced

1 cup frozen peas

300g Nicola potatoes, cut to 1.5 cm sticks

2g fresh thyme

3g fresh oregano

1 head lettuce heart, halved and outer leaves spread apart

iodised salt

cracked black pepper

Bouquet garni

4g fresh oregano

6g fresh thyme

10 cloves

4 bay leaves

1 sprig fresh dill

1 sprig fresh flat leaf parsley


Coat lamb chops with flour seasoned with pepper and salt.

Brown chops in a casserole pot, with 6 tbsp oil heated over a high flame. Set aside.

In same pot, occasionally stir bacon until browned and crispy. Add carrots, onions, celery and garlic and stir until softened. Set aside.

Add wine to pot, cover and bring to boil. Scrape caramelised bits off the bottom.

Add tomatoes, stock, olives and bouquet garni, cover and bring to boil.

Return lamb, bacon and vegetables to the pot.

Bring to boil then simmer, covered, for 4 hours or until lamb is very tender and gravy has thickened.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 220°C and roast potatoes for 40–45 minutes in 2 tbsp oil seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme.

When ready to serve, cover lamb with foil to keep warm.

Stir peas into piping hot gravy before seasoning with salt and pepper and removing bouquet garni.

Serve lamb and gravy with roast potatoes and lettuce heart, garnished with fresh oregano.

Serves 2

In the garden with Nell Carr

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Rock roses and Scabious in the Commonwealth Bank garden on Emu Bay Road.  Photo supplied

Rock roses and Scabious in the Commonwealth Bank garden on Emu Bay Road.

Photo supplied

ROCK ROSES (Helianthemum) such as the one pictured in the Deloraine Commonwealth Bank garden in October, are both frost and drought resistant.

From Europe and North America, they are a valuable addition to a raised bed or rock garden, where they should have full sun.

They can be dug up and divided now while they are dormant.

The blue-flowered plant behind is a Scabious (Scabiosa caucasica), which enjoys similar conditions to the Helianthemum, except that in this position the foliage has developed a persistent mould – perhaps because there is insufficient air circulation.

In the food garden

Raspberry canes can be lifted and divided now, to just three or four canes. Cut them back, trim the roots and replant in well manured rows.

Rhubarb should be lifted every few years, before it gets large and clumpy.

Chop off a lot of the woody yellow root material and replant in a bed which has been enriched with well rotted cow manure.

Mulled Wine Jelly, Poached Pears and Minty Yoghurt

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Mulled wine, served jelly-cold with nippy poached pears and minty Greek yoghurt.  Photo by Wai Lin Coultas

Mulled wine, served jelly-cold with nippy poached pears and minty Greek yoghurt.

Photo by Wai Lin Coultas

By Wai Lin Coultas

TRADITIONALLY DRUNK during winter, mulled wine is especially popular over Christmas in Europe. But with chilly months only mid-year in Australia, this belly-warming drink is wickedly served jelly-cold and heightened by equally nippy poached pears and minty Greek yoghurt delectably lashed with a distinct Tasmanian identity – aromatic leatherwood honey! Perfect for special occasions or second rounds of yuletide joy.


4 small ripe pears, peeled

5–6 sheets gelatin leaves

24 tsp Greek yoghurt

6 sprigs fresh mint tips

6 large fresh mint leaves

leatherwood honey

Mulled wine

2 cups red wine

1/2 cup orange juice

1 lemon, juiced

7 strips of peeled zest

1 cup castor sugar

2 tbsp apricot jam

3 star anise

10 cloves

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp vanilla essence


Place all mulled wine ingredients in a saucepan to boil after sugar has dissolved.

Add pears, return to boil then simmer for 30 mins. Turn pears over and simmer another 30 mins to evenly redden their flesh.Strain wine into a second saucepan.

Core and dice 2 poached pears to evenly add to 6 champagne flutes. Cover and refrigerate remaining 2 pears.

Soak gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 to 7 minutes before squeezing out excess water.

Return mulled wine over gentle flame and stir in squeezed gelatin leaves till completely dissolved.

Pour wine evenly over pears in flutes, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours till jelly sets.

Just before serving, finely chop mint leaves and stir into yoghurt. Core and dice refrigerated pears.

For each flute, spoon 1/6 yoghurt over jelly. Drizzle with honey and then heap 1/6 diced pears over, garnishing with a sprig of mint tip.

Serves 6

In the garden with Nell Carr

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
The hardy  Spiraea x bumalda .  Photo supplied

The hardy Spiraea x bumalda.

Photo supplied


June is a good time for planting spring flowering shrubs. Spiraeas are a numerous and hardy shrub to 2 metres in height. They are native to America, Europe, and China and Japan.

Although the books say they are drought-tender, the specimen pictured, Spiraea x bumalda has never been watered since it began to develop its shrubby shape.

This was grown from a cutting from a very old garden, and is one of the few of the species with rose red flowers.

The Northern hemisphere common name of ‘May’, is hardly appropriate, but indicates the time of year when it puts forth its great mass of tiny, mostly white blossoms.


If there is a warm, north facing spot in the garden, ‘Gladdies’ can be planted now for a good show in September. Barry Humphries, in his guise as Edna Everage, devalued the Gladioli, but the new cultivars with petals of variegated colours and frilled edges should still have a place in the garden. Experts recommend a dusting of fungicide before planting.


Cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage seedlings may be planted in well-manured soil in June. To ensure fast growing, apply a monthly side dressing of nitrogen, or a feed of water soluble fertiliser. Sugar loaf cabbage is great for stir-fries, or, now that salads are an acceptable winter accompaniment for grilled meats, makes great coleslaw.

A quick word about hops

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann

HOPS ARE one of the four main beer ingredients, the others being malt, water and yeast. Without hops, our beer would just taste like sugary lolly water.

As a home brewer, the important thing to consider is what we want from hops with a particular batch. All hops have different alpha and beta acids that determine the flavour profile and IBU (International Bitterness Units).

Online calculators and software make life easier for an all grain brewer to work out hopping rates for a batch and how bitter and flavourful that beer will become when ready to consume.

You can work out which hop flavours you want – fruity, dank, woody, earthy, grassy, spicy, herbal, resinous or floral. Citrus-style hops are popular at the moment in pale ales, etc.

There are three main ways to utilise hops.

1 A long boil (60–90 minutes) will give you mainly bitterness.

2 A short boil (5–10 minutes) or a hot steep will provide flavour and aroma.

3 Dry hopping will mainly provide you with aroma.

All three methods can provide you with what is known as perceived bitterness.

I think it is best to also try and match the hop variety with the particular style of beer. For example, lagers and pilsners require noble hops.

With brewing, there are no set rules, and varieties and styles are changing constantly.

For kit and kilo brewers, adding hops can make a beer completely different and a lot better than the intended style of that particular kit. I recommend taking baby steps, as you don’t want the batch to be overly bitter.

You can purchase little bags of ‘finishing hops’ from a brew store so you can steep them or dry hop them, but this is more expensive. I would recommend getting a 50g bag so that you will have enough for a short steep or boil and a small dry hop charge.

There are two methods of boiling and steeping for a kit.

The first way is to boil up a small amount of light dried malt and chuck the hops in Kamikaze style and boil for a few minutes.

Or just throw them in, take the pot immediately off the boil and let them steep for 20 minutes. Pour the mixture into your fermenter through a strainer.

The second way is much easier, as all you need is a coffee plunger. Put your hops in the device as you would coffee and steep for 20 minutes or so. Plunge and then pour in your fermenter with the rest of the ingredients

For a dry hop, if you haven’t got a dedicated hop sock, you can use a soft mesh cleaning cloth (pulled straight from the packet). Add your dry hop charge to your fermenter, usually after vigorous fermentation has ceased. I like to put mine in around four days before bottling. Any longer and there is a risk of the beer tasting grassy. 1 or 2 grams per litre will be sufficient.

Recipe of the month

It’s lager brewing time at the moment and the best kit I’ve used is Morgan’s Mountain Blue.

1kg light dried malt for fermentables

lager yeast – either Fermentis 34/70 or similar

12g Saaz hops, steeped for 20 minutes in a coffee plunger

Add all ingredients and ferment between 8–12°C for two weeks. Package and serve as usual. You can also ‘lager’ the bottles for another 4 weeks at about 5°C. This is not necessary. It will taste just like store-bought lager, only better!

Vanilla risotto with mint and spiced apples

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Vanilla risotto - perfect for breakfast when family and special friends have stayed the night   Photo |   Wai Lin Coultas

Vanilla risotto - perfect for breakfast when family and special friends have stayed the night

Photo | Wai Lin Coultas

April 2019 | Wai Lin Coultas

THIS SWEET, creamy and wickedly aromatic risotto does away with the actual vanilla bean by generously splashing natural organic vanilla essence and double cream into full cream milk. Just off the hot stove, pair it with a minty and spicy chilled apple stew, garnished with some lusciously tart fresh berries – perfect for breakfast when family and special friends have stayed the night.

Ingredients: risotto

3/4 cup Arborio rice

2 1/2 tbs butter

2 1/4 plus 1/4 extra cups full cream milk

1/4 cup double cream

3–4 tbs caster sugar

8–12 tsp natural organic vanilla essence

Ingredients: spiced apple

2 sprigs apple mint

400 g Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced

2 1/2 tbs raw sugar

2 1/2 star anise, broken into bits

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

8 pinches ground nutmeg

1/3 tsp ground cardamom

1 2/3 tbs brandy

6 blue berries

8 raspberries

mint sprigs and leaves

Method: spiced apples

To make spiced apples, bring all ingredients in saucepan to a boil before simmering covered for 15 minutes till apples are tender; turning them over every 5 minutes.

Puree contents of saucepan before refrigerating, covered, overnight.

Method: vanilla risotto

To make vanilla risotto, warm 2 1/4 cups milk in a saucepan.

Over medium heat, melt butter in 3rd saucepan before adding rice; stir until rice is well coated in butter.

Adding 1 ladle of warm milk at a time, stir rice until it has absorbed enough milk to become almost al dente.

Stir in 1/4 cup milk, double cream, sugar and vanilla essence to taste.

Stir 8 coarsely chopped mint leaves through chilled pureed spiced apples.

To plate individual serves, divide the hot vanilla risotto over half the mint and spiced apple puree, topping with half the blueberries and a mint sprig tip. Garnish each plate with half the raspberries and 3 mint leaves.

Serves 2

In the Garden with Nell Carr

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Salvia Gregii ‘Hot Lips’.  Photo by Peter Ashton

Salvia Gregii ‘Hot Lips’.

Photo by Peter Ashton

THERE CAN be few garden plants which can boast more varieties than the sages, or Salvias. A search on line reveals countless species, and each one has a host of cultivars, in colours of red, white, or blue. Salvia gregii seems to be amongst the most prolific in this department with varieties having a colour range from white to palest mauve, blue, purple and red.

There is one yellow flowered variety, S.  aurea, from South Africa. The one pictured, S. gregii ‘Hot Lips’ in the street garden at the Deloraine Commonwealth Bank, is a mixture of both white and red. These seem to do well in Deloraine, as there are some flourishing in the gardens of Grenoch in East Barrack Street. The crushed leaves of most sages have deliciously spicy scents.

The red flowered S.  legans (Pineapple Sage), as the common name indicates, smells of pineapples. Most sages are frost and drought resistant – except for S.  uliginosa, the American Bog Sage. S.   officinalis, both the green and the purple-leaved culinary sages, bear attractive spikes of blue flowers. A check with Meander Valley nurseries reveals that there is a good variety of Salvias available for sale.

In the vegie garden Those who did not hear the frost warnings would have been shocked to find tomatoes, beans, and zucchinis suffering from an unusually early frost on March 13. Since then, very hot weather has returned.

By the end of third week in March, only 3.4mm of rain has been recorded, and no useful rain has fallen this year. Broad beans may be sown in April, but make sure the bed is well watered before sowing. Onion seeds and spring onion seedlings can be planted over the next three months.

In the Garden with Nell Carr

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
African Marigold is thought to be a twitch suppressant.

African Marigold is thought to be a twitch suppressant.

March 2019 | Nell Carr

PERENNIAL PLANTS have replaced the formerly popular bedding annuals in recent times, but annuals can still have their places in the ornamental garden, particularly when weeds like twitch grass are a problem. The bed can be completely cleaned out to make room for the next crop of annuals.

The frost and drought resistant African Marigold, Tagetes erecta (pictured), is an outstanding example - in fact, it is originally from Mexico. It is generally thought to be a twitch suppressant, but some additional research reveals that the essential oils have anti bacterial and anti microbial properties.

Additionally, seeds saved germinate freely if sown in seed raising mix in punnets, and planted in the garden bed, or large display vessels when they reach 5 or 6cms. in height. Regularly dead headed, they will bloom on through late summer and into March. Leave a couple of heads until they dry out and collect the seed for sewing next  Spring. All summer flowering perennials and shrubs should be dead - headed now to preserve their vigour.

In the Vegie Garden

Leeks, which revel in the coldest weather, are an essential ingredient for hearty winter soups. Sow seeds in seed raising mix, or buy punnets of seedlings, and plant in a  bed well prepared with organic matter with a mixed fertiliser added. 

Make holes 20cms apart with a rake handle and drop seedlings in the bottom, just covering the roots. Regular watering will slowly fill the hole with soil as the leeks grow.

Israeli-style chicken & rice

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
The bright colours of this indian style rice salad work well with the skewers of charry spiced chicken.   Photo | Mike Moores

The bright colours of this indian style rice salad work well with the skewers of charry spiced chicken.

Photo | Mike Moores

March 2019 | Wai Lin Coultas

THINK BARBECUE chicken and Israel’s street food comes vividly to mind; as do the equally delicious Indian tandoori. Marrying both’s best yields skewers of charry spiced chicken invitingly lifted by generous squeezes of caramelised lemon.

With a cold rice salad winsomely wedding Kosher ingredients with South India’s… ah, perfect for anticipating first hints of autumn.


600 g boneless chicken thighs, equally diced into 24 cubes

1 medium red capsicum, deseeded & sliced into squares

1 medium onion, peeled, vertically sliced into 6 & layers separated

1 lemon, vertically sliced into 6 wedges

Extra virgin olive oil

Iodised salt

For marinade

5 cloves garlic, peeled & minced

2 tbsp ground cumin

1½ tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp paprika

1 lemon, zested & juiced

2½ tsp maple flavoured syrup

Crack black pepper

For rice salad

6 handfuls of long grain white rice, cooked in seasoned beef stock & cooled

1 lemon, zested & juiced

½ tsp ground turmeric

120g baked cashews, dry toasted

80 g sultanas

40g fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped

Dried chilli flakes


1. Mix marinade’s ingredients, 2 tbsp oil and salt together to toss with chicken cubes for refrigerating covered overnight; soaking 9 wood skewers in water for as long.

2. When ready to skewer, toss onion and capsicum slices in oil and salt; wrapping soaked skewers’ blunt ends with aluminium foil.

3. Onto each of 6 skewers, thread 4 marinated chicken cubes, interspersed with slices of 2 oiled onion and 2 oiled capsicum; piercing skewer’s sharp end into a lemon wedge.

4. Thread remaining oiled veg slices onto 3 other skewers.

5. Barbecue skewers on hot plate till meat is cooked through; charring them over open flame to liking before removing foil.

6. For rice salad, mix lemon zest and juice with turmeric to stir 3 tbsp mixture through rice to yellow them; mixing in cashews, sultanas and coriander after, and sparingly, to taste, toss in chilli flakes.

Serves 2 to 3

The names of endearment

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann

March 2019 | Mike Moores

MY NEIGHBOUR across the road refers to his wife as ‘dearly beloved’. This contrasts sharply with ‘ayatollah’ as a former colleague used to call his wife (what she called him is I’m afraid not printable!) After musing on this difference I wondered what other endearments might be used for our nearest and dearest, so I compiled a small list of names for him and for her, supplied by colleagues and friends.

For Him: Dead Leg, The fountain of all wisdom, himself, snotty clogs, Hitler, dear one. For Her: Bossy Boots, minister for war and finance, she who must be obeyed, the clerk of works, dear heart, my little flower.

If you feel so disposed the Gazette would love to hear from you with your pet name for your spouse. You may of course remain anonymous, however the Gazette cannot guarantee your safety!

In the garden with Nell Carr

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann

February 2019 | Nell Carr

TEMPERATURES FOR the first weeks of this year could well compare with those of the mainland states.

So far, rainfall has been negligible and many of the drought tender perennials are wilting in the heat.

Two ornamentals which have survived are the Agapanthus and the spectacular two-metre-high Cardoon, Cynara cardunculus, or the ornamental Globe Artichoke (pictured).

Both can be invasive and so flowering heads should be removed as soon as they begin to fade. In fact, it would not be too much of a loss if the flowers of the Cardoon were removed quite early, as its principle attractiveness lies in its huge silver grey deeply cut leaves. If left to seed, the thistle-down from this plant will invade neighbouring gardens.


One vegetable which does need liberal water is the delectable dwarf green bean, which is now beginning to bear. These should be harvested while slim and tender. Those pods surplus to immediate requirements freeze very well. Top and tail them, blanch them in boiling water, cool them in icy water, pat them dry, and freeze them in butter boxes.

Ornamental Globe Artichoke

Ornamental Globe Artichoke

Tex-Mex Sausage Tacos

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann

February 2019 | Wai Lin Coultas

A CULINARY creation of the Tejano people living in Texas, Tex-Mex fuses Mexican cuisine with American ingredients including yellow cheese, beef or pork, beans, peppers, spices and the hard shell taco.

Marrying US ingredients with an Australian love for sausages and local fresh produce bursting forth in warm sunny February and with Tasmania’s abundance of delicious gin, this recipe births refreshingly light tacos – the perfect summer fare assembled from delectable ingredients filling wicker baskets at our favourite picnic destinations.


1¾ medium carrot, grated 60g snow peas, thinly sliced diagonally 100g mini truss tomatoes, diced 10g fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 8g fresh dill, chopped 60g gherkins, thinly sliced 12 Old El Paso’s original corn taco hard shells, warmed

For the sausage sauce

250 ml boiling water 20g dried porcini mushrooms 4 cloves garlic, peeled & minced ½ medium onion, peeled & diced 1 x 462g packet Boks Pork Sausages with Peppercorns, thinly sliced after removing skins 1 cube beef stock, crumbled 5 tsp honey 4½ tbsp. tomato ketchup 2 tbsp tomato paste 1½ tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar 2 tsp dried oregano 2 tsp dried marjoram 2 tsp cassia powder pinch cayenne pepper Canola oil, Salt

For the dressing

2 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce 2½ tsp gin 1½ tsp white vinegar


1. To make sausage sauce, first soak porcini mushrooms in water for 15 minutes before chopping them up; setting aside porcini infused water.

2. In saucepan of heated canola oil, stir fry onions till tender and beginning to brown before adding garlic to stir fry till fragrant.

3. Add sausages; stir frying till all pink pork has turned white before adding porcini, mushroom infused water and beef stock cube.

4. Next add tomato ketchup, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs and spices; stir frying till sauce thickens; seasoning with salt.

5. Meanwhile making dressing by mixing mayonnaise, chilli sauce, gin and white vinegar.

6. To fill a tacos shell, first spoon in 2½ tbsp cooled sausage sauce before adding 1/12 of gherkins over and topping that with first 1/12 of carrots, then 1/12 of snow peas and finally 1/12 of tomatoes; drizzling over 1 tbsp dressing before garnishing with 1/12 of fresh parsley and dill.

Serves 4.

US ingredients married with an Australian love for sausages.   Photo | Wai Lin Coultas

US ingredients married with an Australian love for sausages.

Photo | Wai Lin Coultas

The hot colours of high summer

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
The metre high Coreopsis grandiflora; common name ‘Tickseed’

The metre high Coreopsis grandiflora; common name ‘Tickseed’

January 2019 | In the garden with Nell Carr

GARDEN WRITERS are spoiled for choice for subjects at this time of year with so many perennials in their full summer regalia. The metre high yellow Coreopsis grandiflora (Tickseed) is amongst the most conspicuous of the smaller perennials.

There are smaller varieties, such as the pink C.rosea, but this has shown to be more temperamental, and has not survived for very long. C.grandiflora self seeds readily, filling a bed with masses of colour in December and January. Alternatively, in winter, plants which have grown too clumpy may be divided after cutting back, and spread around. The picture was taken at the end of December.

In the vegie garden Tomatoes are the most prolifically grown vegetables in our state. One local retailer said they had 20,000 plants for sale - no doubt some gardeners bought a second supply to replace those killed by the early November frosts.

When the first fruit begin to develop, a tablespoon of mixed fertiliser spread around the roots, and watered in every five or six weeks will give them a boost - avoid watering the foliage. A thick mulch of straw will keep the soil moist and keep the weeds down.