Monday 26 September 2011

Taste of Melbourne 2011

Well after a rather crappy couple of months I finally made it out of the house this past weekend.  Me? Manage to get out of the house?  I know I can't quite believe it either.  But somehow between more loo breaks than I can count and a little lie down on the bathroom tiles, I managed to brush my hair, frock up and head out of the house with Mr Grumpy.

I was lucky enough to win a double pass to this years Taste of Melbourne, thanks to a fabulous local food blogger Jeroxie.  Who couldn't love a blogger who has a recipe for Ox cheek stew, a fav from my childood? A fool with the tastebuds of a rock that's who.  Not only are there recipes for ox, but goat and rabbit.  Be still my heart.  Mind you trying to get my local butcher to source me goat or rabbit is proving a bit of a mission impossible.  Seems strange given that as a child growing up in the country, rabbit, ox, duck and the like were all common place.  I still have fond memories of my Nanna's braised rabbit, complete with errant buckshot.  Mind you, I figure given the price my butcher quoted me for a single rabbit, they probably come buckshot free, and coated in diamonds.

And yes, I can see the irony in winning tickets to a food festival given my recent, and continuing, gastric adventures.  But I've always been a bit of a foodie and love trying and cooking new foods.  And there was no way I was letting my recalcitrant gut, get in the way of free samples!  Even having  fructose mal-absorption and lactose intolerance, I still found a tonne of yummy foods.  And what I couldn't sample Mr Grumpy was willing to sample on my behalf.

I even managed to swallow my pride and hire a wheelchair.  Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time will know how much this pains me.  I would rather listen to Snookie and The Situation debate the political situation in Libya, whilst having someone slowly pull bandaides off my hairy legs (hey, don't judge me and my hirsute ways.  It's been Winter here in Australia, the time when razors and wax strips go into hibernation. It's eco-friendly insulation), than use a wheelchair.   Unfortunately, my current level of decreptitude didn't give me much a choice, and I sucked it up so I could get out of these ever shrinking four walls and head into the city.  Mr Grumpy even agreed to push me around.  I did see my life flash before me at one point where Mr Grumpy's eagerness to push me around nearly ended up with me face planting.  For those in Melbourne, you should know that the Melbourne Museum has free hire of wheelchairs and a reciprocal agreement with the Royal Exhibition Building, where Taste of Melbourne was held.  You can't book them, as they are on a first come, first served basis, but there are plenty and the staff at the cloakroom are lovely.

So much to see, and sample.
Proof that I sucked it up and grabbed a wheelchair, and yes that is a lovely row of handmade chocolates.  
I may have purchased one, or two or twelve.
Hello my pretties.
Proof that I was meant to come to Taste of Melbourne.
For my salt loving brethren here is a pyramid of bliss, curtosy of Murray River Salt.  
Further proof that I was meant to go to this festival.
One of the beautiful domes at the Royal Exhibition Building.  
Every time I go I am amazed at how gorgeous it is.
Mmmmmmm Macaroons.
The best Gluten-free Brownie I have ever had.  If heaven had a taste, this would be it.
Tea anyone?   
Love this building.
Mr Grumpy, sampling on my behalf.  Thanks Honey for taking one for the team.
Now this is how one should eat chocolate.

Finally had the chance to taste elderflower.  It's something I've always wanted to taste but didn't think was available here in Australia.  Maybe it's too many years of watching UK programs like River Cottage and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's hedge brews, but elderflower has been on my "to try" list for some time.  It tasted like a cider with a hint of something floral, strange but quite nice.  The elderberry was by far my favourite.  Thick and dark like treacle, with a taste similar to blood plums.  I now have bottles of both waiting for me to find the perfect dessert to go with them.

I am still in recovery mode from the day, who knew it could be so exhausting being wheeled around.

Big thanks to Jeroxie and Taste of Melbourne for making it possible.

Oh and proof I was inspired and actually using all my purchases, well except all the chocolates and macaroons which are long gone.
Roasted tomatoes (tomatoes, fresh oregano from my garden, salt, pepper, minced garlic, chilli flakes, splash of olive oil).  Topped with Yarra Valley Dairy's Cardi goats cheese (their Persian Fetta is also delicious), a swirl of Biogrape Red Wine Jus, and Myrtlevale Olives, cold pressed corregiola olive oil.  All on a slice of my homemade spelt and kamut sourdough.  Yummo.

Mmmmm.  May have to whip up some more as my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Michelle :)

And to celebrate finally getting out of the house, I give you classic Australian rockers Boom Crash Opera.


  1. Yay!!! Thanks for taking pictures to capture this! Haven't managed to make it out of the house much myself lately so this was treat! Glad you had a successful outing. :)

  2. Dude, this sounds like the ultimate day out. Delicious new dishes to try and um.....MACAROONS AND CHOCOLATE? I think SO! Sorry you had to allow yourself the wheelchair but hell, you got to sample things better that way without worrying so yay. Now if only I could get a wheelchair for say a wine tasting. :) Would save me staggering home.

    Sorry for making light of the chair thing, I didn't mean to be an asshole! I hope you're feeling ok and I'm jealous of your ability to wear red and look fantastic because as a pale red head I look insane in it. :(

    OK now I'm hungry...thanks a lot.

  3. I ate a cold, stale, deep-fried oreo for breakfast. I'm a foodie, too, right?!?

  4. Awww! You got a beautiful and yummy day out. You definitely deserve to win those tickets.

  5. Awesome pics Michelle! I feel like I'm right there with you. I'm glad you had a good time : )


  6. I am jealous I would have loved 'that day out'. Proud of you for the hiring of the chair, very proud. It all looks so utterly scrummy. Cannot believe you had never tasted elderflower! My parents used to make elderflower champagne, now that is divine, freely available to pick all around these parts. I remember as a child the wonderful intoxication of various home made wines but elderflower champagne was a favourite. Apparently consumption of alchohol was fine for children if it was homemade! Oh those were the days. Now I like elderflower cordial, with soda water. Not too much as its so sweet but combined with ginger its good too. Cider with a hint of elderflower is pretty good.... can you tell I like elderflower. So pleased you had a day out you deserve it so I am not jealous anymore. Thank you for the photos. I could practically smell the aroma...... mmmmmmmm.

  7. Defy Gravity - it was so worth going despite the fact I am still exhausted. I think we were there about 3hrs, which is huge at the moment.

    Veg - you could never be an asshole in my world. Besides I have the whole red thing going on, na na na na na na.

  8. Elly Lou - dude I'm Australian, "cold, stale, deep-fried oreo for breakfast" sounds exotic. I declare you a foodie,because I have that power you know.

    Penny - thanks again for the tickets it was a great day out. Wishing you happiness and success with your move to Sydney.

  9. Katrina - you'll have to come down for the next one. It was brilliant.

    Achelois - thanks babe. It was really a case of not being able to go if I didn't hire the chair so I did have to suck it up. I am so jealous of your elderflower accessibility, you just don't see it here. I like the sound of the champagne and hadn't thought of adding the ginger, will now have to go off and experiment. :)


All who are lovely enough to comment should be showered with cup cakes, glitter and macarons. I promise to use my spoon bending mind powers to try and get that happening for all who are lovely enough to share their words. Those who go the extra step to share posts should really get a free unicorn. Or at least the gift of finding the shortest and quickest line at the supermarket on a regular basis. xx

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