Category: Radio & Podcast (page 1 of 3)

THE PANTRY – Vinegar, KIDS KITCHEN – Potatoes, FAMILY TABLE – Rostis & Radish pickles 16/06/2020


Vinegar dates back to the start of civilization itself – well maybe a little after but we are talking about 3000BC as traces were found in Egyptian urns and Babylonian scrolls record the use of vinegar around 5000BC. Known as poor mans wine who would have believed just how many choices we have in selecting this humble ingredient.

Through fermentation great tastes are created and take on the flavours and bring that extra taste and tang to so many dishes.

Vinegar varieties:

  • White Vinegar
  • Apple Cider
  • Wine Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Malt Vinegar
  • Cane Vinegar
  • Beer Vinegar – 1 vinegar I am not familiar with but will source and try
  • Coconut Vinegar
  • Raisin – another I am on the scout for

YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN and interesting how many flavours are created thru this process – worth the research

AND the uses are immeasureable

  • Meat tenderizer
  • Fish Poacher
  • Egg Saver
  • Buttermilk stand-in
  • Candy Smoother – prevents the texture of home made sweets becoming too grainy
  • Potato Whitener – when you pre-peel and notice they are darkening
  • Food preserver
  • Kitchen freshener
  • Add to a pie crust – easier to roll
  • Removes berry stains from your hands
  • Get the most of your mayonnaise jar by adding a few drops and swirling around



RECIPES on the website

Enjoy your cooking ūüėČ


Always happy to talk gardening with KOOKABURRA ORGANICS РGary shares lots of tips, sometimes the most fundamental can inspire us to try again. Its a cold and dry season so always remember the paddle pop moisture stick Рits cheap and trustworthy.  Of course you may have the more expensive variety but the paddle pop stick stays in the ground Рlift it out and you can easily view the moisture level from how the colour changes on the stick. Recycle wooden cutlery Рbring the wooden sticks home with the takeaway coffee cup and you have in that a mini garden.

Its harvest time for tomatoes, basil and zucchini so make the best of these goodies – store the dried basil flowers for the casserole or soup pot.

Broccoli is slow to¬† grow so don’t be discouraged – apparently once the first floweretts appear its non stop from there – I know as I am impatient when it comes to the garden harvest.

Start to prepare the spring beds if space allows – and remember to plant what you eat – what is compatible for your area and most importantly enjoy the garden.

Plant some flowers to make the bees and yourself happy ūüôā


1st invented in 1840 in Jersey City and that was a wheat based starch. Primarily used for starching laundry and industrial uses but that was all about to change with the introduction of trade cards. These cards were a collectors item for the households but also a means of advertising for the company. The cards then used not only for illustration but a means to spread the use for cornflour and ultimately cooking ideas.

Todays pantry staple cornflour – recipes for cornflour sponge, a quick batter and of course the most used as a thickener.

Go to RECIPE site for the details.



Flour was the pantry choice today and such a historic item. Hunting was the main source of food supply until around 16-17 thousand years ago when man changed the tools around and moved towards a more civilized method of food production and turned to agriculture.

Amazing to read just how innovative people from this time were and with such limited information and resource.  From using a simple stick to plant a grain to sowing the seeds as the ancient Egyptians by spreading the seed directly into the mud left by the annual floods and then driving the cattle over the area to trample and plant the seeds for them. Broadcasting the seed by hand was also used and a skilled man could plant out an acre of land in 90 minutes.  From using sickles to thrashers to stone grinders all the basic implements provided the necessary tools to harvest and extract the grains and make the flour.

After reading Dark Emu I was even more amazed how the history of grain and flour is sitting right on our doorstep and yet never entered into most easily sourced information. Bruce Pascoe shares a great history of our Indigenous Australians and brings to light how a grinding stone of an amazing age of around 36,000 years was recently discovered in New South Wales. This brings evidence of  seed collectors and seed grindering, which in part widens our understanding of how the Indigenous Australians farmed.

In 1845 Charles Sturt wrote in his journals about coming across a village of approximately 400 Indigenous Australians who treated them to roasted duck and some cake. Charles Sturt and Thomas Mitchell also documented in the 19th century of various examples of women cultivating yellow-flower daisy yams, people growing grain and men fishing in elaborate and ancient aquaculture systems.

What I found most amazing was kangaroo grass the most common used for flour and  is gluten free as well as providing a pro-biotic interaction with the gut.  Well worth the effort in finding this book and reading a little more about our local and ancient grains along with the history of farming and storage of foods.

Lets hope being the country that invented bread will sit alongside our other accolades ūüôā


Lots of recipe ideas in the Recipe section today – getting the children involved in creating some wonderful baked oven trays for dinner with the chance of a few leftovers for the lunchbox the next day, or maybe even the start of a soup or casserole for the next family dinner.


Mince is the fav of the day and a simple recipe for Cheats Beef Wellington using beef mince but lots of ideas to create a warm and tasty meal for the cold nights ahead.

Enjoy ūüôā

POST COVID -19 – interesting Trends 12/05/2020

You may well have noticed that most of the seedling, garden mix and garden boxes are all sold out. Social media is streaming with gardening groups, community pages and just wonderful resourceful information to follow and ask the questions.

Real Estate has seen a boom for the rural lifestyle change and the chat among young families is how they are spending more time together.

The organic food market has shown a increase in sales as the word ‘immunity’ has been thrown around since covid-19 and people are realizing that food does matter.

Paul Kelly’s song ‘From little things big things grow’ resonates with me when I think about the good changes.

There is so much talk about what has been cooked, what will be cooked and I am going to give it a try.

I am always excited when I hear this conversation and have always enjoyed the Two Old Duck cooking classes when we have new and enthusiastic cooks. They don’t have any preconceived ideas and soak the information in like big sponges. The delight at trying something new and achieving an end result that far exceeds the expectation.

I look forward to a positive outcome from Covid- 19 and hope the more simplistic trends stay with us and accelerate into a new lifestyle change for this busy world.

One thing that I have learnt throughout my cooking years is when you are busy stick to something that you know tastes great, is affordable and is stress free. Stress cooking is never fun, even though we love the cooking shows but that is competitive and thats another story.

Bring the family into the kitchen and bring the family around the kitchen table for meals.




We are always pleased to have GARY from KOOKABURRA ORGANICS join us each month for 3 years +

To share the secrets of gardening is a wonderful and generous gift to us all and in this time of ‘ a little shake up’ we could all use the wisdom.

Throughout the workshops and fb times I am sure Gary has heard all these questions before and isn’t it a perfect world when we can present to you a face book site to help with the isolation gardening questions – so scroll down for the details and enjoy the list of questions I chatted with Gary about.

I know I was so disappointed when my leek seedlings didn’t venture too far from the soil level – FORGOT¬† the hessian bag trick??!!!

Just a few of the regular questions and if you want to add remember for a direct line to our monthly chat with Gary

Kookaburra Organics has created a special Face Book site to counteract the endless list of questions below: (and they are mostly from me ūüôā ūüôĀ )

  • why aren’t¬† my vegies responding to all my garden love
  • when do I plant the seedlings
  • should I even consider seedlings
  • what is happening with this wind and how do I protect my crops
  • what is that foreign bug munching my greens
  • how can I use my kitchen waste on my garden
  • when can I expect produce
  • I feel like its not working
  • how do I gain the CONFIDENCE to garden
  • what is the best mixture to boost the compost bin
  • can I just add sugar cane mulch to the garden
  • when do I water
  • how much water
  • when do I fertilize
  • who do I buy my seedlings from
  • what area am I in – PROBABLY the most important of all
  • Is it worth it! – I just love is question – more below

GO TO the Face Book site:

Growing Food int he Special Period during Coronavirus Pandemic #stayhome


Is it worth it ?

The benefits¬† of fresh air and exercise over-rides the success in my opinion. Don’t you just love the wander, the pottering, the exercise and more. I think this is the biggest enjoyment of having a garden.¬†

To be able to pick a plant to place on your windowsill lifts the day.



  1. full MOON is coming this week – great for planting the root vegies
  2. this fluctuating weather is confusing for the plants
  3. cold nights – bugs gone
  4. time to get the winter crops in
  5. when watering
    1. South west SW cold and drying
    2. Eastern E moist air
  6. Pests love the weakest crops
  7. More foliage – dries out quicker
  8. Cold snap – water in the morning to the base of the plant NOT on foliage
  9. Plant root vegies in the Moon cycle directly to the soil
  10. Don’t fertilize root crops – you want the energy to go to the root bulb
  11. Plant potatoes away from other nightshades – eggplants and tomatoes
  12. If you do plant seedlings – remember to calculate 4 weeks back to determine the perfect planting time
  13. Use your coffee grinds (yes even the pods – open up and empty) to use as a slow release nitrogen which also deters slugs and snails

LOVE to have feed back and all the energy we put into our show is worth it when you respond.



So nice to be back into COMMUNITY KITCHEN mode

Missed the preparing and thinking about the show but at the same time caught up on some big tasks.

Back in the saddle, for want of a better phrase and today we are looking at the following:

  2. USING LEFTOVERS Рsomething I love  Рthere are so many options out there to create, save the waste and enjoy being FRUGAL
  3. KEEPING UP WITH THE FRESH FOODS –¬† the intake and the waste
  4. FEATURE RECIPE – FISH CAKES –¬† go the to recipes for the details

1. We have all felt that adrenaline in this harrowing time, worrying whether we have enough food for our family. Born into a family of food lovers I instinctively think of meals I can cook with limited ingredients and have asked the question many times – IF I HAD A CHOICE OF ONE INGREDIENT WHAT WOULD IT BE??

RICE FOR ME –¬† with a few added base ingredients – onions, garlic, ginger, chili, stock (fresh or powdered), frozen veg/or fresh, tinned beans and meat proteins YOU HAVE MEALS GALORE

Fried rice, stuffed capsicums, rolled cabbage leaves, risotto, congee, paella, nasi goreng, sushi, pilaf, salmon pie, creamy rice pud, rice salad, ++++++

But come back to the PANTRY – I have a small pantry but being an organized freak (apparently) I have a broad selection of spices, tinned goodies and a few cheat ingredients to make my food tasty and most importantly – the less processed the better for me.

I have the usual top ups, flours, sugars, icing sugar, cooking chocolate, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, vinegars, Worstershire sauce, cornflour, anchovies, vinegar, tinned tuna & salmon, pastas – macaroni, lasagna sheets, regular pasta, asian rice noodles, corn kernels and your family regulars

THEN I add

Tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, capers, peppers, tinned peppercorns, rice- brown basmati and regular basmati, Jasmine rice, vinegars – apple cidar, Japanese inspired,¬† ABC sauce, fish sauce,¬† capers, olives, oils, tinned sardines (the basis for a great fried sandwich) and the list goes on. I often suggest that you put 1 new ingredient in your shopping cart each week – try it and if you don’t use it gift it on to a family member.¬† You will be surprised how many new flavours will show up on the family table.

SPICES and herbs add that extra to any meal. Fresh herbs are so easily grown in a pot and spices store well. If you are not interested in mixing and blending your own there are so many options on the shelves that will deliver great flavours and inspiration. As simple as dusting off your roast pumpkin with ground cumin and coriander for a Middle Eastern flavour boost.  BE creative.

MENU planning before you go shopping really helps – even if its as simple as knowing that you will be having a mince based dish, a casserole, BBQ, as roast, as curry or a bake. These key points just get your head into planning space and I know it helps me to focus on my shopping needs.

LEFTOVERS are such a favorite of mine. Cooking that little extra not only takes time off the next cook but once again you get the creative drive going.

  • making meatballs, make extra mixture for a meatloaf
  • Casserole, make extra for a pie
  • double the steamed beans for a Nicoise salad
  • extra boiled potatoes for a potato salad or hash cake
  • triple the baked pumpkin for a soup or salad
  • extra steamed rice is an easy fried rice dinner or lunch
  • white sauce is so easy to keep and a great base for mornay, a pie, lasagne
  • double the pasta for mac cheese, pasta salad, pasta bake
  • mash potato for FISH CAKES (our showcase recipe this week ) potatoes croquettes, cottage pie
  • stale bread into croutons for panzanella salad, caesar salad or wonderful on top of soups with a little grated parmesan cheese


I really understand that sometimes its just easier to do it yourself BUT I thought I would share a few ideas to make life in the kitchen easier

  1. Let them Help
  2. Perfect time for them to help with the menu planning – they will own that food and eat with relish
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Introduce new ideas to the palette
  5. Get them to write the shopping list
  6. Make allowance for a treat or two
  7. Present your food on platters – this is wonderful on TACO or BURGER nights
  8. Learn the countries of the world with food – bring geography into the kitchen
  9. Always remember when the day has been long – a grilled sandwich or a boiled egg is good enough
  10. Remember to plan ahead – children get hungry earlier than us adults and late snacking kills the appetite

Bon Appetit


  • Statistically speaking more fruit is consumed if it is prepared
  • Great job for the children to get creative – skewered fruits are colourful and delicious
  • Make extra vegie sticks when preparing dinner – wonderful snack food
  • Stewed fruits are a great way to use fruit that has been left – turn it into crumbles, or sprinkle granola on top with yoghurt for a tasty snack or breakfast
  • Taking that extra time when you come home from shopping will put days on your fresh produce – fill the sink, wash and drain in a colander and store. This is a sure fire way to make the lettuce last, know the children can just grab and eat


COMMUNITY KITCHEN – Better Living Ideas – Recipes, Herbs and Gardening Ideas 24/03/2020

We thought Community Kitchen would offer some simple cooking ideas for the family. Who knows whether the children will be home from school and finding ways to incorporate learning into daily tasks can be challenging. Cooking with children brings so many easy lessons to the table – reading the recipes, following instructions, understanding the measurements, learning to cut and dice all adds not only some interest to the food but it always tastes better when you have made the effort yourself.

I have selected 2 items to cover a multitude of dishes – Chicken and Cabbage.

I poached chicken ( a decent size) gives the basis for the following ideas:

Soup Base, Risotto,  Salads, pies/pasties, pasta sauce

I cabbage:

Converts to slaw, Asian noodle salad, cabbage rolls, lasagna sheets, Japanese salad, steamed, Colcannon.

I know you can ad to the list but for now I offer these recipes on the web page.

For children i offer a simple biscuit recipe but with lots of suggestions to convert that one recipe into an array of combinations.

Dried apricot and white chocolate, jam drops, choc melts, cocoa and Spanish peanuts, peanut butter, grated lemon or orange rind, iced and decorated.

Fritters and pancakes using 1 + 1 + 1 – 1 cup of SR flour, 1 egg and 1 cup milk

This combo is for the youngest to handle – and start playing with the flavours.

Make individual stuffed apples in the muffin tins – they can peel the apples with the slinky is you are lucky enough to have one – and stuff them with dried fruits, brown sugar, nuts and butter for a dessert of deliciousness.

Get busy in the garden – and following up on Gary from Kookaburra Organics tips- PLANT WHAT YOU EAT

All of his info is on the web – 10/3/20 or visit his web site.

Collect your eggshell, coffee grinds, cardboard, newspapers, mushroom compost and sugar cane mulch to add to your garden beds.

Sarah from Basilea shared 5 high yield plants for the Autumn garden and visit Basilea website to catch up on the plants available and the information needed to plants in your beds.

Interesting to know just what wonderful yields these plant provided if treated with a little love and garden know how. Lemon Balm for a natural medicine, mushroom plants, perpetual spinach and hibiscus just to name a few.

Each week Community Kitchen will feature a vegetable and protein to make cooking those family meals just a little easier.


GARDENING with GARY – Step 2 in creating the garden with KOOKABURRA ORGANICS 10/03/2020

GROW WHAT YOU EAT – the message from Gary today as we often put plants in the garden but not on our plates.

Last month we created the garden and today is plant out time.

Gary suggests now is the time to plant, the rain has done its job, and even if the ground is water logged 2 days with a little sunshine and the water has found its way into the soil. Clay soil can be another matter with it acting like a giant sponge and it will take its time to sink in. Mushroom compost will hold the water so maybe let the rain settle before adding in this particular rainy time.

Winter vegies are ready to plant right now with bok choy, pak choy, broccoli, sugar loaf cabbage, asian greens and brazilian spinach just to name a few that are suitable for this area. The snow peas and red noodle beans are great to plant now but remember not to block the sun as winter is coming and any trellis plant will block the sun. The pineapple sage and tulsi basil will bring the bees and great for flavouring the family meals. If you have lots of flowers and seeds on the tulsi basil you can cut back by around 50 % and dry the seeds and flowers to use in your winter meals. Great to put in a paper bag and hang in the kitchen until its all dried and ready for storage.

Look for bottle gourd and loofa plants as they grow well in the wet and are not effected like the zucchini plants that tend to rot. If you pick the gourd and loofa when they are small, around 15 cm you would think you are eating zucchini.

Don’t water the seedlings in with all this rain about but a little diluted worm juice 1:10 will give them a real boost.

Potatoes can also go out soon, along with garlic on St Patrick’s Day – a good little reminder. Look for a reputable source for your garlic and Gary suggests you push the garlic into the ground and mulch and leave. Love that type of gardening!

If you are planting your beans and peas from the pod seed only, just push in the ground and leave – DON’T Water at this stage as there should be enough moisture in the ground.

If the heat hits, protect your plants with milk crates or the like to dapple the sun or use an upended black pot to give relief.

WATCH out for the bugs – the cabbage moth and cluster bugs are busy little buggers and before you realize they have taken over the plant. If they beat you – pull the whole plant out and feed to the chooks. Dipel is the spray to go for – its an organic spray and the box will fill you in on all the info you will need to treat your plants.

With colder nights, rainy days, hot muggy days the weather is confusing and this transfers to the plants- so don’t fret if the growth is slow.¬† Following the moons cycles we are in the slow stage until the next cycle so enjoy the garden and watch out for the bugs!!

Step 3 in April takes us to kitchen – we will be picking the produce so join us on the 2 nd Tuesday @ 10 am


NATIVE BEES with Giorgio Venturieri 3/03/2020

I was delighted to share Community Kitchen with Giorgio Venturieri  today. He is a passionate bee researcher and has recently returned from the Amazon  where he was contracted to study the native bee colonies within developing areas. With over 300 species identified these social bees and are known as stingless bees. They are active all year but only produce smaller quantities of honey. A European bee hive containing 60,000 bees will produce around 10 litres of honey whereas the native hive consisting of 3,000 bees will only produce around 7 litres.

Like European bees they will swarm but usually this indicates a mating pattern or a swarming attack can also mean the take over of another cavity to relocate the hive. They love a hollow log and Giorgio suggests that if we spend the time looking we will all come across a native hive.

I notice them on the flowers regulary and another suggestion from Giorgio is to encourage them by planting native flora.

They are a delight in the garden.

BUT from honey to sugar and couldn’t help but share the article from the Parents Voice regarding sugary drinks.

Not surprised to read just how much sugar is in a can of soft drink – but a little enlightened when it came to the varieties that were laden with sugar. I

guess we all think of Coke as being the ‘elephant in the room’ but reading from the list:

Solo   600ml = 17.3 teaspoons                                                          Rockstar Energy 500 ml = 16.8 teaspoons

Coke 600ml = 16 teaspooons                                                            V Energy                  500ml= 13.3 teaspoons

Sprite 600ml = 13 teaspoons

Fanta 600ml = 10.9 teaspoons

Interesting to see that the drinks come in all shapes, sizes and marketing plays but even Lipton Ice Tea and Vitamin Water had more than 5 teaspoons of sugar in a 500 ml drink.

Looks can be deceiving – AND WATER IS REFRESHING AND SUGAR FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AUTUMN  has arrived or Summer has supposed to have finished.

Thought I would share a few Autumn meals on the Recipe page just to entice the tastebuds.

Always a new kid on the block and looks like millet, sorghum and barley will hit the stage this season. Also noticed quite a few dishes with roasted grapes and the Hassleback  Apples look wonderful in a supermarket giveaway cook book and makes you think of those coolish nights, a light soup some crusty bread and a little pudding to warm the sole.

Didn’t think I would ever say it BUT ‘I am looking forward to winter ‘ ūüôā



Always a monthly Welcome guest on Community Kitchen – Sarah Heath brings such experience to the radio. Running a busy edible herb and flower farmlet from her property at Burpengary, Sarah not only supplies local restaurants and fruit shops with her product but has ventured out of the local Moreton Bay and spread her wings to eatery all over. Of course we had to mention the weather and Sarah suggested trimming and pruning those water logged herbs especially sage, thyme and rosemary. Seedlings may not survive the bigger rains so try and protect them the best you can. Broadcasting seed is a great suggestion for this time and I have noticed that my zinnia flowers have self sown into the garden. I didn’t realize that zinnias are an edible flower but Sarah did mention that the taste is an acquired one. And not forgetting it was International Coriander Day yesterday, another acquired taste, one that I love but some people go so far as to make it the ‘h’ word, but we think there is enough hate in the world so lets leave the poor coriander plant to those who enjoy.

Pancakes and more pancakes – our recipes for this week so venture to the RECIPE page to follow the shared recipes…………..

Fluffy Ricotta , Rick Steins buckwheat pancakes with mushrooms and eggs and a little batter picked up from a garage in France where you eat while waiting for your car to be serviced or filled which sounds like a great idea.

Also joining us today from North Lakes, Marney Perna brings Soroptimist International to the studio. This group is hosting a Complimentary High Tea to celebrate International Womens Day on Sunday  8th March @ North Lakes Sports Club from 3 Р6 pm. In true form Community Kitchen invited the group to chat about the Recipes from our Kitchen Table book to be launched on that day. It was a pleasure speaking with Marney and for those wanting to be involved with this group please email

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