Oh my how we LOVE the Tweed. It has everything. The coast, the river, the hinterland and oh my the food, the glorious food.
The Tweed region is a foodie hub. It is a natural food bowl with a fresh and diverse of locally-grown produce. It is famous for its paddock to plate style dining.
We have tried a wide range of places on the coast so this post is about our coastal eats. In the future as we eat our way through the Tweed Valley we will add a Tweed Valley specific post.
Here is our top 5 Tweed coastal eats.
Choux Box, Kingscliff: breakfast and brunch are to die for and the coffee is one of the best we have ever had…..anywhere. Oh and the staff are fabulous and friendly.
Chinderah Tavern: fantastic pub fare, affordable prices and great view over the Tweed River and out to Mt. Warning. Excellent lunch specials, nice for dinner or a few afternoon drinks.
Tango Gelato, Kingscliff: for a sweet treat after dinner or a after a a big swim at the beach. Delicious gelato with so many flavours. You cannot go past a scoop of coffee or my favourite a lemon sorbet. Or for those health nuts like us try a Acai Bowl in the am.
Tweed River Seafoods, Chinderah: fresh seafood and good old fish and chips. Quite reasonable. Plus location, location, location. The shop is right across the road from a park right on the Tweed River with views out to Mt. Warning. Perfection.
Kingscliff Meat Gallery: This is for the caravanners like us. Or even the holiday-makers visiting the area that have the facilities to cook for ourselves. A wide range of fresh and delicious cuts of meat at good butchery prices. We enjoyed various cuts of tender steak and enjoyed a few varieties of rissoles and cracked pepper and Worcestershire sausages yum.
Have you been somewhere in the Tweed you think we should try? Let us know by e-mailing us or commenting below.
If you’d asked me a year ago if I’d ever live and work in a stock-camp I would have laughed in your face. Stopped. Smiled. And then laughed some more. But as I type this post today I have done just that. Lived and worked in a stock-camp. And lived to tell the tale
It wasn’t all beer and skittles that is for sure. It was tough. It was extremely tough to start with and as time went on I adapted. In the end I was enjoying it and at the end of the day what an experience.
We were down there for around three weeks. No contact with the outside world. Showering with dam water heated in a donkey by heat of the fire. Cooking over an open camp fire in camp ovens. Days were filled with hard work and nights with a few relaxing beverages around the fire.
Now to be honest the cook (me) doesn’t get let out of the kitchen very much. Chained to the sink and all that jazz. Time in a the stock-camp changed all that. I got a get-out-of-jail-free card. Up early to cook breakfast and to bed late after cooking tea. But it was all worth it to be let out with the boys and work in the yards with the cattle and head out mustering.
I learnt a hell of a lot. Not just about cattle but also about myself! One really important thing I learnt is that I love living out here.
One boy, a father of two with a crazy resume that lists stilt walking and fire twirling as two of his previous occupations. It is now Michael’s self-employed day job at Dracula’s pays the bills. Another boy, a bachelor with 2 plates and over 20 screws holding him together after a critical motorbike accident. Nick’s injury even prevented him from attending his famous, uncle Ian Turpie’s funeral and from continuing his five year career at BCF. Together both boys have been mates since high school now almost thirty residing in the land of sun and surf on QLD’s Gold Coast. No one could possibly guess what they do for fun.
Camp oven cooking is an art and these boy’s are modern-day Picasso’s. Exposed to camp oven cooking at a mate’s 21st, out on a small banana farm hidden in the mountains of NSW. The parents of the birthday boy catered to all sixty guests with camp oven roasts. It was this night after a great feed, some beer and one hell of a view over the ocean planted the seed for bigger things to come.
At the next opportunity, Mick Viller and Nick Turpie purchased their very own camp oven. With camp oven and mates in tow they headed to Mumma Mick’s place out near Millmerran, QLD. The fire burned all weekend long and the boys cooked breakfast, lunch and tea camp oven style. As luck would have it Millmerran is the home of the famous Camp Oven Festival held annually in October. This small coincidence was the next piece in the puzzle.
After a few brews they decided to enter the camp oven cooking competition. As with all competition they thought best to practice first. Late one night fooling around on YouTube looking for ideas, tips and how to’s the boys had a light bulb moment. Why don’t we do this exact thing? Film ourselves camp oven cooking, with hints, tips and recipes and post online. To start off they used an iphone to video. The quality wasn’t too crash hot. But from little things big things grow and grow things did. These early videos led to cooking demonstrations at camping shows and a strong online, social media presence lead to the naming of “The Cast Iron Boys
”. Now armed with an Olympus Digital SLR camera to film themselves and a DVD/ book package the sky is the limit.
The Cast Iron Boys have a committed social media following which in this day and age is necessary for success. They now have sponsors including Southern Metal Spinners, Oztrail and Tentworld with many more wanting to jump on board. Their demonstration calendar is filling up quickly and you are sure to see them at a camping show near you in the near future.
We have now been calling Tobermorey home for five weeks. Time has flown and we haven’t really stopped for air until this weekend. The time has come where we are moving next door (over a 100km away) to Tarlton Downs for a few weeks. It is sad to leave Tobermorey behind especially now that I am becoming fast friends with Donkey and Bambi (my baby poddy).
Variety is the spice of life so a change is always welcomed by us and our gypsy lifestyle. As I write this we are enjoying a nice weekend break in Alice Springs. There is no real purpose to our stay and that is always the most rewarding. We have spent most of our stay so far doing sweet nothing at all and catching up on much-needed sleep. The plan is to restock on a few bits and pieces and just chill out and relax and head back to work refreshed. It is funny I am already missing the day-to-day back at Tobermorey and I’m sure Tarlton will be just as good if not better. I’m actually missing being in the kitchen and am looking forward to trying out some new recipes and cooking inventions when we get back to it. One thing I will miss is my dear scurry maid, (Mrs Boss), Gretchen she has been a god-send to me and has helped me out of many a kitchen nightmare. She has gone home for a few weeks so will hopefully be back by the time we are back to Tobermorey. Ms Margie will hopefully returning soon I miss her like crazy. Shaun and I are so lucky to have such amazing and down to earth bosses. People are what make the experience and we hit the jackpot there as we work with some of the best.
On a side note we found the best bookshop ever today! What a little treasure. http://www.redkangaroobooks.com/ It held the widest ever selection of Australian Literature I have ever seen. I could have stayed in there all day. Make sure you check it out next time you’re in Alice.
The other day some of the worker’s headed to Linda Downs (owned by the same people) to muster. They were gone overnight leaving a few of us behind to enjoy the peace and quiet. It made dinner time a breeze with less mouths to feed which for me meant less time in the kitchen. When they came back from Linda they had a new addition to add to the Tobermorey family.
It is yet to be officially named but there is all kinds of crazy names being thrown around. Names like Linda, Jenny, Donkey, Donkett, Georgina, May and god knows what else. I have been calling it Donkey for lack of a better name. Even though it is female I’m sure it won’t mind for now.
Other than our new arrival we are settling in really well and are so glad we made the decision to come here and give it a go. It is starting to feel like home and everyone is really easy to get along with. I find most of my day doesn’t even feel like work and the early mornings aren’t bothering me that much. I am not normally a morning person so for me that is a big thing.
I thought to finish off today’s post I would list some of the food I have serving for the masses here on the station to tease your taste buds. I am open to ideas and suggestions so feel free to comment with your feedback.
(I need all the help I can get)
Upside Down Pineapple Cake
Coconut Ice Cake
Golden Syrup Cake
Apple Crumble Cake
Plain Tea Cake
Choc Chip Biccies
Braised Steak & Veges
Gravied Sausages with Mash
Bacon & Egg Pie (for breakfast)
Tonight I am making Shepard’s Pie and a Golden Syrup Pudding for Desert. I better get into the kitchen and get cooking.
I love home-made jam. This one is simple – roughly for every two kilo’s of plums, mix three cups of castor sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. For this batch I made several bottles with a chunkier version for Shaun and a few of bottles of smooth conserve.
One of my favourite Sunday dinners is Lamb Shanks of any style. Moroccan style though takes them to a whole new level. Delicious!
And it’s so simple and easy while camping.
Brown the Shanks in a fry pan and transfer to slow cooker, camp oven or crock pot. In the fry pan fry off some squashed garlic, chopped onion and then add canned tomatoes, Moroccan mixed spice and beef stock and transfer mixture to lamb shanks.Place on coals if using camp oven or in the oven if using the crock pot. Cook for 1 and then add drained chickpeas. After a further 1/2 an hour add some spinach leaves.
When the meat falls away from the bone it is ready to serve. You can serve with either mashed potato, polenta or cous cous (pictured) I served this one with a spiced cous cous with currants and coriander. Simply prepare the cous cous in chicken stock, drain and stir though Moroccan spice, chilli powder, fresh coriander and currants.