Feeding the hungry hordes of visitors

Darren RobertsonStory & photo by Susanna Freymark

Friends and family from everywhere but here want to visit. When they arrive in dribs and drabs it isn’t too bad but the unexpected arrival of hordes of hungry guests can have you groaning in the kitchen, wondering how to feed them all.

Byron Bay’s Three Blue Ducks’ chef Darren Robertson:

‘I make sure I’m stocked up on krout, pickles, mustards and a decent smoked ham. I glaze the ham on Christmas Eve with apple cider, spices and honey, and so long as it’s big enough, it will keep us going throughout the festive season. It’s perfect for those unexpected parties. Throw together a couple of salads, a decent loaf of rye bread, and you’re laughing.’

Sounds easy for a professional chef but what about the rest of us?

Myocum’s Heather Stevenson has a trick that is more about assembling than cooking. She calls this approach Splatters.

‘Everything comes out of the fridge, creatively displayed on a mismatched collection of plates and bowls. Fresh loaf of bread and a whole lot of wine. Always a winner.’ Heather says.

Goonengerry’s Janet Walker makes oven-roasted wedges and they are a crowd-pleaser, especially when she uses sweet potato.

Jen Djula from Rosebank says a barbecue is the simple solution to cater for lots of guests.

‘Always the barbecue. Marinate meat in Zest wet spices – they’re yum,’ she says.

Peta Marks has several meals ready to go if guests turn up en masse at her Eureka home. ‘I have have penne with freshly cooked bacon sliced into thin pieces, halved boiled eggs, avo, baby tomatoes, chili oil, parsley, sometimes Danish feta if there is any lurking in the fridge,’ she says.

Diane Hart from Mullumbimby makes singing pasta to feed her family and anyone else who drops in. ‘The family called it this because I always sing when I’m cooking it. It only takes 15 minutes.’

My personal favourite is pancakes. There are always flour and water and eggs in the cupboard. Pikelets piled high with any fruit in season is delicious.

If they’re still hungry send someone to the Seafood Co-op at Bruns for fish and chips.

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