Lorne: Part 3

Now that H. has covered the bits of our time in Lorne that fall under the category of, ‘normal stuff that people do’… I’ll kickstart the more obscure.

Our host, Luke, is a fantastic chef. He uses his skills to feed the masses that flock to Lorne in January, and those that occupy the small coastal town throughout the year. Both Hatti and I were lucky enough to gain an array of cooking / baking tips from him during our stay. The below wasn’t one of them, this was a personal experiment. Can you bake bread on a wood fired BBQ.

Attempt no.1.

Essentially yes, but attempt no.1 possibly developed too much of a bark. A term used by Texan BBQ masters to comment on the caramelisation of the fat on a slow cooked brisket. Yes, the crust was the bread equivalent, but once you got through the char… the dough was acceptably cooked.

The bread was my contribution to a family BBQ. Here Dave and I can be seen surveying the fire pit.
Attempt no.2, introducing a cast iron plate below the bread tin to deflect some of the more brutal heat.
We’ll call this attempt, ‘passable’.
As Hatti noted, our home for January was in an incredible setting. Perfect for, some would argue, a Saab movie.

Needless to say we adore our car. The above is the first in a series about the car titled, ‘Le Saab’… working title.

Keychain accessory gifted to me by Luke, now I have hot sauce with me all the time!

Editors note: Our Saab is a little dusty, thanks to 10km of gravel road that was between us and tarred civilisation.

Although we didn’t mention it at the time, our principle lens took a bit of a tumble in Tokyo. Although the fix was possibly quite simple, we didn’t have the tools to investigate the fault… until now! After removing a few screws, the issue became clear, and without much effort the lens was back in action.

The lens in question.
Back to 50mm glory!

On to chilli! One of Luke’s staples is a homemade chilli condiment. I was first introduced back in 2015, and I’ve been hooked ever since! It was an honour to produce a batch under Luke’s instruction.

The glorious condiment in jarred form!
Closeup of the chilli!
The raw batch of chilli is good, but it benefits from ageing. We experimented with sun ageing.
After success with the sun ageing, we set up a glazed chamber to contain the fresh batch.
Mint break.

One of my favourite top tips from Luke was speeding up food prep with a grater, see example below. It works on most root veg, mushrooms, ginger, garlic etc. A favourite lunch was a dish shaped pita laden with grated mushroom, courgette, cheese, a couple eggs (not grated!) and a scattering of pepper corns.

Possibly the thing I described above.
If you look closely in the pita photograph there is an interesting knife, the Paddy Harrington.

Above is a paper template of the knife for future recreation. Paddy was an early European land owner in the Wye River region (close to Lorne) who took to making and selling knives in his later years. The knives were often made from old cross cut saw blades.

Paddy’s knife pictured beside the modern Victorinox chef knife.

Next on the list of unusual. Peaches. Well stone fruit in general… there was a lot of it available in January and living with a chef we learned to make good use of its plenty.

Gary’s & Annette’s peach tree!

First on the list was to stew the fruit, or bake it, with a smattering of cinnamon if desired! The stewed fruit works perfectly as a breakfast paired with yogurt and a topped with granola!

Baking a batch of peaches & apricots.

Next, tarts. Luke is somewhat of a legend in Lorne / Melbourne baking circles. One of his specialities at the moment is a peach tart set in frangipane. Hatti was lucky enough to learn the ways. Below is one of her first formation.

The raw tart, before baking.
Post baking. Now all that is left is to serve!
Pairs well with tea, some claim.
A variation on the classic. Blood plum substituted in. Yoghurt on the side!
Foliage, probably.

Brian. I’d describe Brian as like Frank. A driven creative, who has flourished in his field. Brian was a craftsman, specialising in woodwork, and luckily for me he lived next door! Inspired by Paddy Harrington’s knife, and tasked to make a new handle for a damaged pairing knife, I popped round to see Brian’s work… and ask if I could use his workshop!

A glimpse of a portion of Brian’s workshop. Organised chaos. Enough wood to build the (biblical) Ark.

Project 1 was to convert a old rusted file into a knife. Originating from Sheffield, the steel was well suited for its future as a cutting implement.

The grinding setup. Keeping the blade cool with water while removing material to maintain its temper.
The (almost) finished products.
The pairing knife’s handle.
The file knife in profile. Grinding the file on a wheel gave the blade a hollow (concave) shape.
Corrugation, station.

Now for the less obscure, briefly. We went to the tennis. More specifically, the Australian Open in Melbourne. Less specifically, balls were hit with rackets.

Fortunately we only had to walk to the top one.
The entrance to the AO, nice logo, the greenish hue you can see are tennis balls!
The day we attended was timetabled for doubles matches, this one had a slow start…
…BOOM. There we go.
One of our favourite matches of the day was the Legends match. Well humoured fun!
After a tiring day of watching tennis, Syd was there to meet us off the train!

Before beetling back to Lorne the next morning, we poached up a couple of eggs and served them on a bed of smashed avocado! Delish.

Good morning.

Back to obscure. I came across an old tweed jacket in the local charity shop. The jacket was priced at $5AUD, £2.50 worth parting with in my opinion… as I had an experiment in mind. In involved beetroot and a large pan.

The start of the process; naturally dyeing a garment with beetroot juice.

Much like the Saab and the chilli, we took footage of the proceedings. I am yet to edit it together, but, ‘watch this space’!

Finally, there was a 21st birthday in the family, so… more cake. Hatti helped Luke out making a Sachertorte and embellishing it was a ‘good’ amount of icing, sugar ball bearings and piped green goo (probably edible).

Many hours of work in.
A test assembly of the masterpiece!

Soon after the cake making, possibly, came our final day in Lorne. It was sad to be leaving the place that we had settle in for January. A lovely spot with fantastic people.

We can’t thank Luke enough for letting us stay with him, and Gary & Annette for hosting us on our trips through to Geelong! Luke kindly arranged a last super with some of the friends we had made in our time there. Thank you all, and to all goodnight (ambiguous).

The Last Super.

Lorne its been special. We’ll be forever grateful.


3 Responses to “Lorne: Part 3”

  1. Thought I’d check in we you guys to wish you a happy Valentine’s day 💕 ! So many amazing adventures, glad your looking after each other and making all these memories. I’m very intrigued about the tweed jacket. I look forward for finding out more haha.
    Miss you guys loads!

  2. Yummy looking bread on second attempt ❤️ Scrummy looking peach tart and birthday cake too ❤️
    What a lovely place you got to stay in.
    So many warm and lovely people. It must have been very hard to leave. ❤️

  3. James – your great grandpa was a baker and he would, I’m sure, be pretty impressed with your BBQ’d bread making!

    Fab tea-cosy! Almost volcanic !

    Wonderful photos of your time spent in Lorne with good friends and relies:) x

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