Late last Saturday night, Ben and I enthusiastically packed our overnight bags and journeyed down to Red Hill. We wanted to be able to wake up Sunday morning and spend the whole day with family. I feel so lucky to be able to, at the drop of a hat, escape the hustle and bustle and head down to a place that feels so far removed and untouched. To me, home means being surrounded by tall, luscious trees, humble apple and cherry orchids, and picturesque rolling hills with rows and rows of vineyards. When I inhale that unique, crisp Red Hill air, with familiar and refreshing notes of pine and fresh rain, I know I am home.
Even after a quick visit, my batteries are recharged and I can head back to my little apartment, which is noticeably devoid of any backyard or balcony, and embrace all the fabulous aspects of city life. However after a couple of weeks in this environment, I begin to feel drained, longing for those rolling hills and lush, natural beauty. So, I jump into my car and make the hour-long trip to this stunning little corner of the world. I inhale and again, I am energised…
As it was Father’s Day on Sunday, we had grand plans for a lovely, long family lunch. Jamie Oliver’s Overnight Slow-Roasted Pork was on the menu (recipe link ), from his book, Cook with Jamie. Oooooh this dish is divine. We usually cook this at Christmas, however Mum had the brilliant idea of bringing out this much loved recipe a bit earlier. She sourced some lovely, local, organic pork.
Mum set her alarm and popped the pork into the oven at 2am. 30 minutes later she woke again to change the temperature, as per the recipe instructions. True dedication! At 6am, however, Mother Nature had a bit of a tantrum, resulting in a power outage (which lasted for 36 hours!). Luckily mum heard Mother Nature’s wailing, and woke up to remove the pork from the oven to their covered BBQ. No harm done.
This stormy curve-ball did, however, leave us unable to bake the cake which we had planned for dessert. We came up with a sunny substitute, which honestly was favourably refreshing and light, after a fairly heavy meal.
Oh my, I have been carried away reflecting on our glorious lunch and forgot to mention our delicious start to this splendid Sunday. At Dad’s request, we had porridge for breakfast. It may seem like an odd request for a special, weekend breakfast – plain old oats. However, you may recall my previous proclamation of my love for oats, which explained that I think oats are anything but boring. Nevertheless, I do know how to jazz them up for those special occasions. My favourite such porridge recipe is Bill Granger’s Banana Maple Porridge with Buttered Apples. It is from his book, Sydney Food, and it is good. Really good. It is quite sweet, but I do so love to make wholesome food ever so slightly indulgent every now and then.
Presents were given…
We attempted to soak up all that Red Hill goodness. We explored the garden, picking herbs and teasing our senses as we went.
And a little later on…Lunch. Starting with a refreshing cocktail, of course. Dad made us a ‘Suez Canal’, made with Strega and San Pellegrino Pomelo.
Then came the pork…
Normally I’m not a huge fan of this meat, other than mince pork in Asian cooking. However this recipe offers you to-die-for, melt-in-your-mouth, heaven on earth, succulent pieces of pure pork delight. I do not exaggerate. Try it yourself and revel in the genius that is Mr Oliver.
We finished with a modest serve of vanilla ice-cream and berries in these adorable little cups. Perfection.
A quick tip: I love Peter’s Light French Vanilla Ice-Cream. It is a really delicious, creamy, rich, reduced fat option.
We had a lovely day, filled with incredible food, fantastic conversation, lots of jokes, fun, love and warmth – despite the distinctly chilly weather 😉 It was a really nice way to spend Father’s Day, and show Dad how much we love him. He is such a kind, funny, smart, goofy oddball 🙂 Conversation is never boring with him, and I love his passion for food and the process of cooking. I love you, Dad.