how to slam a tim tam

Sometimes life leaves you no other options.

Sometimes you just have to buy a packet of chocolate biscuits and dunk them… Sometimes these kind of things just need to be done.

Step One- Open your packet of Tim Tams.

Step Two- Nibble the opposite ends

Step Three- Dunk one of the nibbled corners into an appropriately dainty tea cup and suck.

Stop sucking when your dunking liquid of choice, goes up to the top. Inside the biscuit is now squishy and soft with the hot liquid going through it.  Quickly drop the whole biscuit into your mouth before losing it to a messy slop inside your cup.

Step Four- Smile contentedly.

Step Five- Repeat as necessary.


I gave a friend a sourdough lesson the other day. I think it went quite well. Actually I think it went really well.

Not because of my untold clear teaching techniques, (nope, not at all) but because she had enthusiasm, and later that night when her first made loaf came out of the oven, that enthusiasm was still there. Bundles of it.

It was impossible not to get caught up in her enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, for wanting to completely change around her families eating habits. Wanting to make things from scratch, away with packets, and also embracing the sourdough. Jumping all in as she had only made three loaves of bread before and then deciding that she wanted to give sourdough a crack.

It’s so wonderful to find like minded people who think along a similar way regarding food, you can stop being the odd one out for a while and that’s… lovely.

I think I had subconsciously started to tone things down a bit, even here on the blog. Did people really want to hear over and over that if you make something from scratch it tastes better. That it makes so much more sense to eat seasonally. To know where your food comes from, to get to know what was going in to your kids bodies and how to cook that food. Not Michelin starred restaurant style food but good honest, eat it everyday kind of cooking. When someone is so enthusiastic about wanting to learn, and wanting to pass that knowledge on to their own children, it’s inspiring.

Really inspiring.

It reminded me that it is really important, this food journey that a lot of people are beginning to take on and the more people that shout it from the roof tops, (not in a jam it down your throat kind of way), but in a hey, I made this, and that makes me so freakin’ happy I can’t tell you... well I think it’s worth it.

Food should be so much more than something that gets squashed together in a factory, popped in some plastic and a box, and then to be selected from a supermarket shelf. I understand convenience, and I understand lack of time, but good food shouldn’t have to mean hours and hours in a kitchen. Good food can be as simple as good core ingredients. Great core ingredients even. Back yard tomatoes, a little local goat cheese, a drizzle of awesome olive oil, a grind of black pepper and a chunk of crusty bread.

Simple. Tasty. Healthy.

The more people start to question where their food is coming from, finding out what it is exactly on their plates, and getting excited about cooking, the more things will change for the better.

If someone does this with bubbling enthusiasm, a skip in their step and love in their heart…well I think I want to be a part of that.

the weight of the steak

When I was researching what piggy options a city girl had, I discovered Feather and Bone, in Rozelle. A supplier of sustainably raised meat. I started getting their weekly emails filled with interesting meaty information and what’s on offer at the moment. From there, I went to one of their open days and got to see for myself at how it was all done, coming home with a weighty little number that had cook me up just right, written all over it.

I’ve written before about knowing where your meat is from and asking whether you would be prepared to do the killing yourself. Reading back on that post I realised that even in the last not quite 6 months our meat buying habits have changed since then. I’m fine with that, I like evolving. I now very rarely buy any meat from a super market or butcher. Instead, the meat intake has dropped even less, and the majority of it is now coming from farmers markets. If those markets are few and far between because I can’t get there or the meat isn’t available, then so is the meat eating. Why? Because I really want to know where it’s from. I want to know more of how it was raised before slaughter, who reared it and if possible, what their farming philosophies are like. I simply can’t get this if I’m buying from the supermarket.

Meat has been the topic of choice in this fair country of ours for the last few weeks. Ever since the ABC’s Four Corners program was shown about the live cattle export business to Indonesia, people have had things to say. A lot of things to say. The footage was graphic, confronting and got people into action to get things changed.

It might have changed Indonesia’s meat eating habits for a bit as the supply from Australia has almost stopped, but would it be enough for people to question their own meat eating habits here within Australia? Could that daily/weekly slab of meat become less? Could it become just a special occasion meal?

Back to the weighty number in my possession, and I had a little treat in store for Mr Chocolate. Special occasion, yes it was. After visiting the warehouse of Feather and Bone, I came home with a steak. Not just any steak but a Chianina steak, aged for 6 weeks, rib eye cut, weighing 673g and costing $45. There was, a small intake of breath, (you can’t fight history right) at the cost of it, but overall I was more than happy to hand over the cash for the hefty piece of meat. I knew where the beef was coming from, I knew how long and where it was aged and butchered, (Feather and Bone.) I also knew that this steak was going home to my loved one as part of a twice a year meal of steak, (the last one being at Aria.) It was also going to be enjoyed by him, (I hoped.)

Now on getting that steak home, I started to sweat a little. Not from the weight of the thing, but the pressure to cook it the right way. (To clarify, I don’t eat steak, which means I don’t cook steak.) This however, was a treat. It had to be cooked just right. I had quizzed Grant, (at Feather and Bone) when I purchased it and then also made a frantic phone call to my friend who proudly has Meat on her bookshelf. Plan put into action and I’m off.

Plates at the ready, the steak was brought back to room temperature, salted, seared, into the oven, and then rested for the same amount of time it had cooked for. The pressure was high, the weight of the steak was sitting firmly on my shoulders, and geez, it was a hefty one.

No cooked pictures, as that was the last thing I needed was to try and get a ‘good’ picture in the fading light and building anticipation of Mr Chocolate about to cut into his rib eye.

But how did it taste?

Let’s just say… if Mr Chocolate was about to leave the earth tomorrow and he could choose any meal to end it, this steak cooked by me (*nervous giggle*) is now top of the list.

I think that just might be a success.

Isola (producer)

Chianina Beef

6 week aged

Rib eye