Cooking Connections at Yarraville Community Centre, part of the Care To Share Project
CTS missed the first, Vietnamese outing of the Care To Share Project’s Cooking Connections program, but was very happy to make the weekend pairing as host.
Thanks to the Care To Share crew for granting me the opportunity (see link below for more information).
Thanks, too, to the punters – many from the west but more than a few from all over Melbourne.
But most of all, warm thanks to the families and individuals who shared their cooking and food with us.
There will be photos and comments about the food in this post, but really they’re only part of the story …
First up on the Saturday were Jamshid from Afghanistan, Sara from Iran and the family of Ebi, Roya and Maryam, also from Iran.
All these folks are on bridging visas.
Maryam did a fine job of splitting the dates and inserting walnuts in them for the Persian sweet rangenak.
But in the digital age, some things are universal with young folks.
The guests lost no time in leaving their chosen seats to talk to the asylum-seeking cooks.
Jamshid was busy making korme koftas, chicken biryani and Afghan pulao.
Along with a stack of finely chopped greens – spinach, coriander, dill – dried limes went into the ghormeh sabzi prepared by Roya and Ebi.
Jamshid’s lamb meatballs and Afghan pulao were fab …
The ghormeh sabzi – with its greens, potato, lamb and red beans – was piquantly amazing.
Everyone thought so!
The walnut-stuffed dates were drizzled with pan-roasted flour mixed with oil and, finally, coconut for a suave “grown-up” post-meal sweet treat.
On the Sunday, it was time for Rosa, her mum Nigest and niece Betty to present their Ethiopian cuisine.
The guests were split about 50/50 between those who had tried Ethiopian food and injera and those who had not.
The dishes cooked were lamb dishes key wat and tibs, and the cabbage, potato and carrot of key wat.
Having long admired and respected the fresh zing with which our African cooks imbue their salads-on-the-side, I was tickled to discover how one family at least does it – marinating sliced green chillies in lemon juice and using it as a dressing.
Once again, the guests lost no time in getting up close and personal with the cooks and the dishes they were cooking.