A few weeks ago, I was asked to be the guest chef at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days.
This was an exciting gig for me.
Not just because I’m an extroverted showpony, who loves nothing more than getting on stage and hamming it up, while fry-panning it up.
And, not just because the guest chefs preceeding me are well known food legends who I’ve watched on telly for years, hence truthfully, my mind was constantly boggling something like this…
They want little ol’ me… After they’ve had them… OMG, OMG.
(Throat clear) Ahem… (cough, cough)…
Fast Ed and Janelle Bloom… (Shameless name dropping: Complete).
Oh Em Gee, That. Is. All.
Oh no, dear friends. Above all else, this was truly a real treat for me, because I feel like the Wimmera is home.
My second home, my home away from home.
And, it sort-of is. Sort-of.
You see, my husband is a Wimmera lad. He’s from Horsham, so I by default, am from Horsham… Sort-of… OK, not really.
But, they can claim me. I’m cool with that…
Yes, I was super excited about cooking in front of family and friends. And, meeting new friends. I was excited about cooking my food, my way.
I’m a home cook. I’m not a qualified chef.
OK, we are all aware, I did attend the World’s most insane cooking bootcamp for 6 straight, arduous months.
And, I’m here to tell you, that no matter what you may believe, there isn’t a competition around that’s tougher or more competitive than MKR.
No, it’s not scripted you damn fools, like we’d actually remember our lines while we are gazing into Manu and Pete’s dreamy eyes… Or in my case, stammering like a stalker at Karen Martini.
Note to everyone: I do adore a tough competition though peeps. In actual fact, the only person I know who’s more competitive than me, is my sister Dyani. I will never play Monopoly (or the card game, Grass) against that woman… EVER.
But, despite all I learnt during the competiton, and despite the fact I’m now 1000 times better at the stove than when I entered the My Kitchen Rules arena, my heart will always lie with homestyle fare.
It’s just, me.
It’s what I’m all about.
Maggie F and Maggie B. These are my home-gurls. The women I worship. The ones I want to be.
Sugar art, edible dirts and emulsified, elixir froths…? Ahhhhh, No. I’m not a foamy, domey, fancy-pants cook.
Unless of course, you’re paying me to be one. Don’t forget, I cater too. (Insert: Wide gleaming smile and shameless self promotion).
Nope kids, I’m just your average thirty-something Nanna. I’m kitchen Old School. There’s no room for a Thermomix on my bench. No seriously, there isn’t, my kitchen is devastatingly small.
I’m a humble, wholesome, hearty cook. Pies, Pastries and homemade Sausage Rolls. Spaghetti guitars and Fowlers preserving jars. From scratch, seasonal and secondary cuts.
For gods sake, I even make Lemon Barley cordial and marmalade. Like, howwww Granny can you get…?
So, imagine my delight when the audience were scrambling for my recipe cards.
Imagine my delight when I returned backstage to an eerie silence, because everyone was too busy stuffing their faces with my food. Can’t talk, eating.
Imagine my delight when the amazing ladies in the prep. team were going home and cooking my recipes for their families. Not next week, but that very night.
I felt joy. I felt triumphant.
I came, and I did, what I set out to do.
I won them all over with my food… Again! (Insert: Additional shameless self promotion… #MKRChampion)
So, in honour of my Festive Feasting at the field days, I’m sharing with you a recipe that I shared with all of my Horsham homies.
My Beef Kofta Wraps with Radish & Mint Salad.
Really, you can’t get more homely than this. No self-respecting backyard veggie patch is radish-less and no upright Kelvinator chest freezer is beef mince-less…
But, this nifty little traveller, will transport you to far Mediterranean shores, without leaving your doily clad dining room.
And yes, I know it seems like a mission to make your own bread, and you may feel compelled to buy Mission breads instead….
But trust me, once you give these doozies a fair crack of the pin, you’ll never use store bought flat bread again!
Until next week… xxx