Autumn

A season for change

An autumn update from this little jam maker including:

  • A trashy confession
  • Surplus tips
  • Some extra Zin opening dates
  • News of Zin House from July
  • Introducing The Pavilion 

 

I hate waste. Not a vague distaste for it but a full, bordering on obsessional, inability to throw things out. I’m out and proud about our virtually zero waste kitchen but I’m embarrassed to admit that I have gradually filled all our sheds with things that ‘will be really useful one day’.

I even have boxes and boxes of clothes whose beautiful no longer worn fabrics are destined to be transformed into scarves or cushion covers one day in the never never.

If I applied the current trend of holding an item to see if it brought me joy before deciding to keep or discard I would still find a reason everything would be useful and bring me joy in some altered form.

So I’m trying to use the little ‘spare’ time I currently have to deal with the head space my hoarding habit is taking up in addition to every piece of spare physical space.

But I keep getting distracted by the need not to waste anything the garden is producing.

Unlike the boxes of still can’t discard clothes, the cool-room collection wont wait. I’m working through a queue of stone fruits, figs, pears, tomatoes, zucchinis and cucumbers while daily an encroaching ripening of quinces, crab apples, persimmons and olives threaten my attention.

Bottling, jamming, freezing, pickling and drying have been my summer food hoarders tools.

When the sheer volume is overwhelming I give myself a daily schedule to make it seem achievable. When all else fails I cook with a syrup of sugar or vinegar and place in 20kg buckets in the cool room until I can face it.

Ironically all this work now will be an incredible free ride on big winter prep days. Pickled summer vegetables, punchy tomato sauces, fig and peach pastes, jams and pickles of all sorts will provide a touch of magic when we reopen Zin in the heart of winter.

Maybe I can deal with the sheds then…

Roast fruit sauce

Sprinkling a tray full of cut fruit with honey or sugar and roasting it is my top tip to keep up. Pop the fruit and all its gooey juices into the freezer for when life is not so sunny and bountiful. Instant pie or crumble filling, ice-cream topper or muffin mix.

Roast tomato sauce

One minute you’re sick of finding things to do with fresh tomatoes, the next you’re back guiltily buying supermarket pasta sauces. This helps the lag time between the two.

The quantities are totally flexible – just follow the basic principles.

In a large roasting dish combine:

5kg roughly chopped ripe tomatoes 

1 kg sliced onions

1 whole head of garlic cloves ( I don’t even peel them)

a large handful of fresh herbs (especially thyme & oregano)

250mls good quality olive oil

Salt & coarse black pepper

Cook uncovered in a slow oven for about an hour or until the tomatoes have broken down and everything is looking delicious and saucy. Freeze what you cant use this week.

Extra days of living in Zin

Many of you have been joining us for Twilight Tapas on Friday nights at Lowe and last Saturday of the month pop up dinners at Zin. So many of you in fact that we will run Tapas throughout April as well. 

We’re also open on the following dates with our feasting menu (includes wine and is $150)

Saturday March 30, dinner

Saturday April 6, dinner

Saturday April 20, lunch

Sunday April 21, lunch

Saturday April 27, dinner

Saturday May 11 Ninja @ Tinja (bookings via Lowe Wines)

Saturday May 25, dinner

Saturday June 8, dinner

Sunday June 9, dinner

Saturday June 29, dinner.

There will be considerable changes when we reopen in July, but more about that later in the month at which stage we will also reopen for July onward bookings.

Introducing The Pavilion

Sam Payne has drawn a couple of ‘artists impressions’ of our new project. The Pavilion is a marquee that will sit between Lowe & Zin House and provide a wide range of uses in addition to the obvious one of utilising our views, food and wine for weddings. More updates to come soon.

Music for the cook, the winemaker and the guests too.

 

The Zin House aims to create simple, beautiful experiences.

Food and wine are just one part of this.

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So adding music to this mix is perfectly natural.

Some of our loveliest times have been those we’ve shared with guests and music makers.

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Leo Sayer created life long memories and proof that age can improve us; NYE will ensure 1969 deservedly always lives; Seven Sopranos made opera fans of all and brought many to tears with the beauty and melodies that bounced off the house walls and ceilings; Classic Album nights ensure toe tapping camaraderie of crammed tables with friends old and new.

It is on these occasions that food and wine plays second fiddle – tasty and plentiful but never the star. Maybe that is another reason I enjoy these events.

Here are two new acts to Zin – I urge you to join us if you can for fun, music and of course good food and wine.

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Duelling Pianos – On the lawn at The Zin House
Friday 22nd of April

The Duelling Pianos concept is a hit format out of New Orleans.
From Lady Gaga to Gershwin, these two eclectic piano players are as much at ease with the honky tonk of Elton John, AC/DC played on the piano, or the swinging class of Frank Sinatra.
Listeners request the songs – they bring them to life.
The spontaneity guarantees memorable moments, with audience participation and camaraderie along the way.

Tickets are $75 and include a three course sit down dinner
Time: Doors open at 6.00pm and first course is served at 6.30
Booking by phone 63721660

Enquiries to eat@zinhouse.com.au or call us on 6372 1660

Mitch_Grainger_2016Blues with Mitch Grainger
Sunday 1st May 2016

US-based Mitch Grainger returns to Australia in 2016, on tour to follow up his award winning album ‘The Blues’. A master of the blues harp, singer and guitarist, Grainger cut his teeth with Harry Vanda, Alex Lloyd, Bondi Cigars and Papa Lips before re-locating stateside, where he plays harp on sessions from LA to Nashville. In this hi-tech world Mitch Grainger is now collaborating with artists from Hollywood to Botswana, while teaching people from all walks of life around the globe how to play their first ever note on the blues harp, though his wildly successful youtube channel.

Click here to listen to some music samples

Tickets are $75, including a three course sit down dinner.
Doors open at 5.30pm with the first course served at 6.00pm.
There are 40 seats only, tickets can be purchased by calling 02 6372 1660.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday’s Garden

Monday is menu day, the day when we plan what will be on the weekends menu. This is never final as every trip to the garden reveals another opportunity and the days menu is not printed until just before service.

J chokes

Sean and I hold our planning meeting in the garden. So decisions are made by the three of us.

We had a vague idea before hitting the outdoor office that we would combine confit garlic and poached egg in a dressing for my new favourite thing – Carlo Colaiacomo’s Wagyu prosciutto.

But horseradish pushes the garlic sideways this week, along with the addition of French radish discovered in a corner when the last tomatoes came out.

The rocket is growing like groundcover (now that, is a micro-herb) so we’ll add to the ever favoured sorrel and dress the lot with limes which are still mid-season.

The red onions are way off but we decide to use the tips this week and see how they go in the salad.

Jerusalem artichokes seem to be a bottomless pit so they will go with the slow cooked lamb this week alongside a salad of pink grapefruit and pomegranate.

The artichokes can be oven roasted just like potato or make a decadent mash as follows.

Just another day at the office.

Jerusalem Artichoke Mash

Thouroughly wash as many as you wish to cook.

Roughly chop them and then saute in a heavy bottomed pan with a good amount of butter, approx 100grams per kilo.

Add enough cream to almost cover and cook slowly until very mushy. season with good salt and white pepper. Puree in a processor or drum sieve.

Serve with any meat, fish or add stock to use as a soup.