I didn’t hesitate I hadn’t been to Plough Creek and a weekend away was just what I needed for my soul, little did I realise just how much it was needed!
I arrived at Traralgon on the Thursday afternoon, I let Deb know I had arrived and Deb suggested I go to “Treehouse Living” while I waited for her to come and meet me, she was cooking Tez’s dinner and would be with me shortly. What a wonderful little store, I may have purchased some gifts to take back to Canberra.
Deb arrived, we organised what we would do for the afternoon and off I went, following Deb…..”Plough Creek here I come”. I arrived to a haze of smoke from the Morwell mine fire, something I knew would be there but didn’t quite realise how bad it would be. I unpacked my suitcase and was given a quick tour of Plough Creek Homestead and what my sleeping arrangements were for the weekend. “Wow this place is just beautiful”.
We parked in Morwell and Deb said “I am heading in to these shops to grab what I need for the classes, I recommend you go and check out the shoe store just there they have great specials” Deb knows my “problem” with shoes. How could I not? What girl can resist a good shoe sale? And I didn't disappoint, I walked out with three pairs of gorgeous shoes and at a very good price too.
Seeing the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes getting ready for a class is incredible, from ensuring the recipes are correct for the handouts, to setting up ready for students to arrive. It is hours of prep work that you just don’t get to see under normal circumstances.
First class was Vietnamese with Brad Warton, Brad has been a regular visitor to Plough Creek as guest chef but this was my first ever cooking class and I had no idea what to expect. Sitting back and getting to see what the chefs would normally be doing behind closed doors was an absolute privilege. To see this craft brought to life in front of me was a real eye opener. The idea behind the classes is to show the everyday person that anything is possible in the kitchen and no form of cooking is out of reach. This came across constantly in the class and Brad continually expressed the fact that if you have the right ingredients, prepped ahead of time then the cooking itself is a breeze. I learned to make Vietnamese rice paper rolls with master stock pork belly and dipping sauces, Vietnamese egg drop soup, Vietnamese rare roast beef salad with green papaya and lemongrass chicken and kaffir lime leaf with steamed jasmine rice. My first class was over and I could not wait for the next to start.
The class was conducted by Sean Jarrett a chef with a wealth of experience in Asian cooking. This was Sean's first experience in the Plough Creek kitchen. This class was titled “Asian influences” and showcased some of Sean’s favourite Asian dishes. I did get to sit in the background and watch the class unfold. Sean’s experience and knowledge certainly came across in the class and he was very open to questions which continued to flow throughout the class, at times Sean had to stop cooking to talk or there may have been some mishaps.
The welcoming feel of Plough Creek Homestead and the way the Deb and Tez make you “part of the family” really made my weekend one I will never ever forget. Oh I nearly forgot the welcome I received by Max and Connie (Deb and Tez’s Labrador babies) each morning and every time I walked out the door truly did make it feel like a “home away from home”.
So thank you Deb, Tez, Max and Connie for making my weekend unforgettable. And thanks to Brad and Sean for opening up my eyes to the delights of Asian cooking. Oh and thanks must go to Boston for the entertainment over the weekend.
Until next time.