Life takes Time.

March 4th, 2015


December 31st, 2014

Just wanted to post a Happy New Year to you all post!

Don’t know who will read it as I haven’t actually been on here much of late – of late meaning the last two years!

2014 was an interesting year with many many lessons, challenges and some rewards. I’m not so sure how I feel about it at the moment nor am I too sure on how I feel about 2015 although when I think about it I feel positive about this new year, excited about the new challenges and new discoveries, ready for it – in fact I am going to go get it started!


oh and may you have a happy, prosperous 2015 full of love laughter and light

Wellington Has Things! And a little Paul.

June 18th, 2014

This very silly Wellington promo has a cute cameo from Paul at about 2:35.

“Australian TV personality Paul Mercurio is an added bonus. He makes a guest cameo role and a rep for Positively Wellington says it was pure luck getting the two together.

“The Australian High Commissioner alerted us to the fact Paul was in town looking at craft beers for his food show and we thought, how can we incorporate him too?”

Young Dancers Audition with Paul

June 2nd, 2014
2014-06-02 geelongadvert

TWEEN song and dance sensations were put through their paces on Sunday under the expert eye of Strictly Ballroom star Paul Mercurio.

About 150 children turned out for the Geelong audition of the film, Chickabees.

The film is based on the much-loved Margaret Clark children’s book of the same name.

Clark lives in Geelong.

Mercurio, who is also a judge on Dancing With the Stars, led the children through dance steps.

Mercurio will star in the film as well as choreograph the dancing.

To be filmed in Geelong, Chickabees tells the story of a group of 12-year-old dancers trying to be famous.

Mercurio said Geelong’s best young dancers, singers and actors were asked to learn and perform dance sequences as well as perform a song of their choice.

Chickabees is scheduled for release in Australian cinemas in Easter 2015.

Via The Geelong Advertiser

Ham – a timely subject and a vexing question…

December 22nd, 2013

At this time of year I am sure I am not the only person that goes out and buys a whole leg ham on the bone for the Xrissy table – I do a turkey in the weber also but more on that in another thread.

I picked up my ham today from my local butcher whose ham I will buy sliced every now and then and it is pretty good. I normally buy my Xmas ham from a small smoking company which unfortunately sold up around October this year – his hams were awesome!

So I got my ham home and just chanced to look on the label – I am a label reader – and found that my ham was in fact only 78% pork the other 22% was made up of water, salt, nitrites, acid regulator, sugar and other stuff etc etc In my label reading travels regarding ham I have found ham in the supermarket with as much as 95% pork and as low as 55% pork.

Now the thing is I like Kevin’s ham but I am not sure I want to be eating only 78% pork? My expectations on a gourmet ham would be that it be in the 90% pork range. Am I wrong; is the quality of a ham dependant on the amount of pork in the ham? Or is the quality all about the quality of the meat and the quality of the brine and smoking i.e. in the magic of Butchers like Kevin and how they ply their craft?

Obviously a ham with a higher pork content will be a drier ham, a more meatier texture, flavour and mouth feel – something I like in a whole leg ham. A ham with a lower pork content is going to be a little more wet, a softer texture and possibly a little more salty.

Where do you guys and girls sit in regards to your xmas ham? I know there are a couple of butchers lurking here what say you about pork content levels in ham?


November 7th, 2013

Why do people who don’t know you, never had anything to do with you, why do they take the time , why do they make the effort to post aggressive, spiteful, insulting messages to you.

Okay to me.

Thankfully it doesn’t happen often but I am completely perplexed and rather angry that someone I have never met or spoken to has sent me a couple of tweets which have been abusive, insulting and aggressive.


What do they get out of it? Is it a sense of power (hiding behind their handheld media device)

What annoys me is I am angry about it, I feel like it is unfair and I want to fix it. I have done nothing wrong and yet I feel the need to sort it out?

Strange! People are weird!

It is a strange idea that some one that doesn’t know you at all has decided to not like you. I guess that is just as strange as some one who doesn’t know deciding to like you although that scenario feels a lot nicer.

Water off a ducks back – working on that – I wanted to rant and rave get them to see the error of their ways to apologise for being rude and all that….instead I just blocked them, never to be heard of or thought of again!


Mussels with Fennel Leek and Dark Ale

October 21st, 2013

1 tablespoon of butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small red chilli – finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped

1 leek – sliced in half lengthways then sliced

1 fennel bulb cleaned peeled and sliced thin – approx 2/3 cup

1 kilo of large mussels

1 bottle of Dark Beer ale or lager – Dogbolter, German Dunkel, Red Hill Scotch ale, Mornington Brown Ale, Mountain Goat Stout you get the idea.

1 can of chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons of Fennel fronds – chopped reserved from the fennel bulb


Clean and scrub mussels making sure to remove beards. Or buy some Boston Bay Mussels from South Australia (also go by the name Spencer Gulf) they come pre packed, cleaned, scrubbed, de-bearded and alive!


Add 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil to a large pot over medium high heat. When butter has melted add half the garlic and the chilli and fry gently for several minutes then add the leeks and fennel, gently sweeting for about 5 minutes or until translucent then remove from pan and set aside. Add the rest of the olive oil to the same pot you cooked the fennel in and when hot add the rest of the chilli and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes then tip in the mussels and about a third of the bottle of beer put lid on and turn heat to high. Bring beer to a boil and boil/steam the mussels shaking the pot to get the liquid swirling around the mussels. When all the mussels have opened remove from the heat and pour the mussels into a colander that is sitting in a large mixing bowl so as to capture all of the cooking liquor. Put the pot back on the heat and add the fennel and leek mixture back into the pot, the canned tomatoes and another third of the bottle of beer stir and bring to the boil. Remove the colander with the mussels from the large mixing bowl and set aside. Strain the cooking liquor from the mussels through a fine sieve to remove any dirt, grit or bits of shell and then add the liquor back into the pot bring it to the boil and then turn it down a little so that it can simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the mussels back into the pot and stir through so they get the hot liquor into them, simmer for two minutes then add fennel fronds stirring through.


Serve in big bowls with fresh crusty bread and a spoon to slurp up the fantastic juice.


Serves 2

Ps don’t forget to finish the remaining third of beer!


Note: do not salt this soup as the mussels, if really fresh, will be full of sea water which will be quite salty but equally delicious.


Really Important note: If some mussels do not open get a knife pry them open and EAT them. It is a false hood that they should not be eaten!! They are perfectly safe and delicious. Before cooking if you notice a smelly mussel ditch it or a mussel that has a cracked or broken shell – it will be dead so ditch that one also. If you get good mussels that are alive then they are fine and safe to eat even if they do not open.

Fresh Idea? I think not!

October 15th, 2013

I only just heard Jamie Oliver is the new face of Woolworths! He is a good guy, talented, passionate, successful, a moral food crusader etc He is going to tell Australian how to eat healthier – all good things. He is going to help change the way you and I shop and eat – good for him and Woolies.


I am just a little tired, frustrated and annoyed that Australian companies keep using overseas celebrities to promote Australia???? Coles has signed Heston, target Gok, Big W has Eric Stonestreet, you got Jerri and Dawn and so on and so forth……the list will continue to get longer.


Yes I am envious too because I think – I know I could do a good job of it also. Don’t get me wrong I am not putting myself anywhere near the same step as Jamie or Heston or Curtis….but I have been championing Australian fresh food, produce and producers for the last 7 years.


I have also had extensive discussions with Woolworths to try and get support for my show Mercurio’s Menu so we could continue to tell the stories of the Australian fresh food growers, suppliers, producers, supporters and customers but to no avail. So it does irk me to know that Woolies will more than likely pay Jamie the equivalent (or more) of what I needed to shoot two more 13 part series of Mercuio’s Menu – and that is probably only for the first year and doesn’t include production costs for any of the adds they will shoot with him.


Oh well, that’s the biz! Good luck to them.

Recipe from the cooking demo I did yesterday and also today at the Feast and Family Field Day At Morning Star Estate.

October 6th, 2013
Mussels in Coconut and Beer
25g of unsalted butter
25 mils of olive oil
1 long green chili – thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic – chopped
1 Lebanese eggplants
2.5 cm piece of ginger – peeled
½ cup of peas 1 stick of lemon grass -
4 Kaffir lime leaves – remove middle stalk and thinly sliced
1 ½ kilo’s of fresh mussels
1 330mil bottle of Hoegaarden Wit Beer
1 27o mil can of coconut milk
1 tsp of fish sauce
1 bunch of fresh Coriander to finish
Clean and de-beard the mussels discarding any with broken shells, set the rest aside in a colander. Place a pot large enough to hold all the mussels on the stove over a medium high heat. Add in some olive oil and when hot add in some chopped garlic and chilli and cook stirring for a minute or so being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the mussels to pot and about ¼ cup of the beer, put lid on and turn heat to high. Bring beer to a boil and boil/steam the mussels shaking pot to get the liquid swirling around the mussels. When all the mussels have opened remove from the heat and put mussels into a colander making sure to reserve the cooking liquid.
On the stove melt the butter and oil in the same pot. When butter is foaming add the garlic and chili and stir. With the flat of your kitchen knife or palm of your hand smash the peeled ginger so that it is squashed and falls into chunks add this to the pan. Cut the green chilli in half lengthways and add to the pot. Peel away the tough outer layers of the Lemon grass stalk to reveal the pale lower section of the stem. Use a sharp knife to trim the base. Cut the stalk into 4 pieces and then smash the stem with the flat side of a knife to bruise and release the flavour add to the pot. Cut the Lebanese eggplant in half lengthways and then cut again lengthways so you end up with four pieces from each eggplant. Now chop them into pieces about 5 mm thick and add to pan along with the peas and the Kaffir lime leaves. Give it all a stir and cook until the eggplant has softened – about five minutes.
Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve to remove dirt and shell and then return to the pot then add the rest of the beer and the coconut milk and give it all a good stir, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer add the fish sauce stir through and allow to cook for ten minutes. Add the chopped coriander and the cooked mussels and stir so the soup gets into the mussels drenching them well in the sauce. Taste the sauce for seasoning – if the mussels are really fresh they may release a lot of fresh salty sea water into the sauce in which case you will not need to add any salt. Add some freshly cracked black pepper simmer for a couple more minutes.
Divide the mussels and sauce equally into to two large bowls and garnish with a little more freshly chopped coriander.
Serve with some toasted crusty sourdough.
Serves: 2 as a main 4 as an entrée.

Proud Dad – you bet!

July 15th, 2013

But it’s more than that have a listen!

Winter is an original written, composed and sung by Erin!