Mar 142017

A map of Eltham’s restaurants

After spending January drinking my way round Eltham (coffee only!) for the Eltham cafes map, I have now spent February and March eating my way round Eltham in order to create an Eltham restaurants map. The map shows where all the 20 restaurants are, their contact details and their menus. Menus are available for every single restaurant (although some suffer from my poor photographic skills).

Note that, of the 20 restaurants, 4 specialise in Italian food, 2 Indian, 2 Thai, 1 Chinese and 1 Lebanese. 7 of the 20 are also cafes (i.e. they are open during the day), whilst 13 are open in the evening only. In passing, 12 of the 20 also do takeaway, but that will be the subject for a future newsletter.

News about Eltham cafes

Eltham now has 31 cafes rather than 30! Platform 3095 has just opened and is next to the railway station. They are currently only open during the day and only serving a limited amount of food but Jennifer and Jean Francois have plans to build a kitchen in the near future, at which time they will also open in the evening. They also plan to serve, or use, a variety of local food. Welcome Jennifer and Jean Francois!

Eltham Glasshouse has re-opened with a changed menu after renovations by its new management. Its new owner, Peter, also owns the Dunyazad Lebanese Restaurant in Balwyn North. Welcome Peter!

Eira has a new menu, which you can download.

All three changes above have been included in the Eltham cafes map.

Community Grocer comes to Mernda

The Community Grocer aims to improve access for people living on a low-income to fresh, affordable food. They do this by operating fruit and vegetable stalls in three locations:

  • Carlton: every Friday, from 9am-midday at the public housing estate, 510 Lygon Street.
  • Fawkner: every Wednesday, from 9am-12.30pm at the Community Hub, 79-83 Jukes Road.
  • Mernda: every Thursday, from 9am-midday at Mernda Central P-12 College, 70 Breadalbane Avenue.

Mernda is launching on Thursday, 16th March. As Annemaree Docking, Agribusiness Officer at Whittlesea Council, says: “All are welcome, so get behind this wonderful new initiative and grab yourself some fresh seasonal fruit and veg!”

Jane Edmanson visits FareShare at Abbotsford

FareShare cooks 5,000(!), free nutritious meals for Victorians for free every day. Watch this video from this week’s Gardening Australia, where Jane Edmanson visits them to see what they do and how they do it. It is both watchable and reasonably short (5 minutes).

Community gardens news

St Johns Riverside Community Garden, Heidelberg, officially opened on 4th March. More than 50 people turned up, including two Councillors.

The Eltham Living & Learning Centre has a communal veggie garden comprising several, large, raised beds. They meet every Thursday, 9.30-11am. Some of their longstanding gardeners are moving from the area and they are looking for new members. If interested, or for further information, phone either Trevor Roberts (0401 710997) or Karyn Kamminga (9433 3744).

The Northcote Library Food Garden is a communal food garden. Working bees take place on the second Sunday of the month at 10am, except long weekends (so 19th March, 9th April, 14th May, etc). They are looking for more members to share the satisfying experience of growing and sharing healthy organic food. If interested, or for further information, email them.

Mac’s tip of the week

When to pick a pear … well, about now actually. Pears are best picked before they are fully ripe. Picking about 2 weeks before full maturity is best, just when the skin color is starting to change and, if cut, the seeds are turning black. Here’s how to test: if the stem breaks off with the fruit when you lift them upwards to be horizontal, then they are ready. If kept at room temperature, they will then (like tomatoes) continue to ripen. If you press your thumb into the neck of the pear and it yields a little then your pear is ready to eat. Until next time, remember: dirty hands are good hands.

Fruits that ripens after being picked are called ‘climacteric’. Banana and tomato are the classic examples. Other climacteric fruits include apricot, avocado, custard apple, peach, pear and plum. Fruits that don’t ripen at all after being picked are called ‘non-climacteric’ and they include all citrus, cherry, grape, pineapple and strawberry. Full lists are included in the fruiting schedule on the website.

Click here to view all of Mac’s tips.

The Cider & Ale Trail

The Cider & Ale Trail comprises 11 breweries etc from roughly Wonga Park to roughly Healesville. Read this article by Zoe Powell as she travels the trail.

Do you like Helen Mirren’s films?

Winchester is a film currently being shot in Victoria. It stars Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke and is scheduled to be released in either late 2017 or 2018. But the current shooting on location has apparently only been made possible because our local bee man, Frankie, from Bee Rescue, has been hard at work removing a swarm of bees.

Do you want to be on the television?

Channel Nine rang up (yes, really!) to ask if any newsletter readers would like to be on their upcoming cooking show called Family Food Fight. They are looking for families who share a passion for cooking together as a family. The show will be all about celebrating multi cultural families who love to cook traditional cultural recipes that have been in their families for generations. Your ‘family’ must be made up of 4 people, but they can be any type of relations. Click here to register. To talk to someone, contact James Chadney (Associate Producer) by phone (02 8587 1364) or email.

Two chicken songs and some knee socks

Both Fay Loveland and PIP Magazine suggest that you watch this song by someone called Loren Kate about a chicken called Cloudy Jane.

Neither Fay nor PIP Magazine suggest that you watch this chicken yodelling by someone called Takeo Ischi.

Maybe these videos will inspire you to buy some of these chicken knee socks. Only $10 a pair.

Joke of the week

What did the apple say to the orange? Nothing, stupid … apples don’t talk!

New events

A taste of harmony – food demonstrations and community lunch

What: Learn to cook food celebrated throughout the world and enjoy a community lunch. Hosted by five local residents from different cultural backgrounds, this event will celebrate the stories, memories and new connections to people and the food they love. Bookings essential.
When: Thursday, 23rd March, 10am-2pm.
Where: Heidelberg West.
Cost: $5.
Enquiries / Bookings: by phone (8582 9501).
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Open Farm Day

What: Open Farm Day is your chance to visit working farms and meet local farmers. This year’s participating farms come from Nillumbik, Whittlesea and the Kinglake Ranges. The activities will include: farm tours; live demonstrations; farm animals; and product tastings. The farms participating in 2017 are: Apted Farm Services; Apteds Pear and Apple Orchard; Edendale Community Environment Farm; Giverny Estate; Kings of Kangaroo Ground; Northern Lodge Training Centre (Melbourne Polytechnic); Omaru Alpaca; Philip Lobley Wines; Shaws Road Winery and Cider; Sugarloaf Produce; Turners Bakehouse; Wedgetail Estate; Weeping Grevillea Nursery; Yan Yean Farm (Melbourne Polytechnic); Yarrambat Estate Vineyard; and Yarra Valley Custom Meats.
When: Sunday, 2nd April, 10am-4pm.
Where: various.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Nillumbik Council by phone (9433 3316) or email.
Bookings: just turn up.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Easter cupcake decorating (Brunswick)

What: Get creative with Easter cupcake decorating. During the session, you’ll be able to learn new techniques for icing and decorating cupcakes with a delightful Easter theme. Not suitable for children. All materials provided.
When: Wednesday, 5th April, 2-3pm.
Where: Brunswick Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Moreland City Libraries by phone (9389 8600) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Easter cupcake decorating (Coburg)

What: Get creative with Easter cupcake decorating. During the session, you’ll be able to learn new techniques for icing and decorating cupcakes with a delightful Easter theme. Not suitable for children. All materials provided.
When: Thursday, 6th April, 2-3pm.
Where: Brunswick Library.
Cost: free.
Enquiries: Moreland City Libraries by phone (9389 8600) or email.
Bookings: Eventbrite.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Mediterranean cooking with Angela

What: Angela will demonstrate how to make simple, healthy, seasonal dishes inspired by the Mediterranean diet. Angela is a passionate cook and teacher at her own cooking school, Angela’s Kitchen, in Northcote.
When: Saturday, 6th May, 10-11am.
Where: Montrose Library.
Cost: $5.
Enquiries: Montrose Library by phone (9800 6490).
Bookings: Eastern Regional Libraries’ website.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Italian cooking workshop (flavours of Naples)

What: A tasty three-course menu, including pasta, will be prepared in this hands-on workshop and enjoyed afterwards. Tutor Janice Mariani. Janice spent 30 years cooking for the locals and celebrities in a restaurant amidst the hills of Umbria, Italy. Bring an apron and a container to take home any leftovers.
When: Saturday, 6th May, 10-1pm.
Where: Living & Learning Nillumbik at Panton Hill.
Cost: $72.
Enquiries: Living & Learning Nillumbik by phone (9433 3744) or email.
Bookings: Living & Learning website.
Further information: LFC calender entry.

Summary of upcoming events

Over the next week
Over the next month

Click here for the complete calendar of upcoming events. Click here for help in how to view the calendar selectively (e.g. search for events in a given suburb).

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