A Taste of Slow Festival; the Refectory

A belated report on the A Taste of Slow Festival at the Abbotsford Convent a few weekends ago, now that I have found the cord for downloading photos from my camera. The last few photos of the bakery are from the first, temporary, opening for the Festival. The festival attracted 16,000 people, triple the numbers at last year’s festival. I paid a flying visit, which was no doubt completely the wrong thing to do, but the place was pretty much in gridlock as pointed out by today’s Epicure. That aside, it was good to see the Convent buzzing with crowds, the great majority of whom no doubt were having their first introduction to the hidden treasure of the Convent. Continue reading “A Taste of Slow Festival; the Refectory”

Abbotsford to get Lasagna Lesson

I do like lasagna, a feature of a palindrome of some quality (“Go hang a salami; I’m a lasagna hog”), and the ultimate comfort food. Is it the quintessence of Italian cuisine though? Wikipedia says the recipe was published in England’s first cookbook and eaten in the English court of the 1300s and may have originated there. Now we are to be taught how to cook it as part of the Slow Food Movement’s A Taste of Slow Festival at the Abbotsford Convent on Saturday week (9 September). The Age’s Epicure’s hymn to lasagna, by the person leading the demonstration, is here. Thanks to Nicolas of Bobigny France for the photo.

Clifton Hill gets the Domain treatment

The Age‘s Domain section’s featured suburb today is Clifton Hill. Like its neighbour Abbotsford, it is a small suburb. Amazingly enough, in the year to mid-August 2006, 10 people shelled out more than $700,000 to buy houses there, including 2 $1 million homes on the Esplanade. They recommend Flowers of Sorrento:

“Spensley Street, a friendly, well-stocked, family-run grocery with an interesting Italian influence, also has consistently fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs, a small meat section and flowers.”

and Marshal Meats:

“27 Ramsden Street has extraordinary variety for a butcher hidden away from passing trade. A specialty of the house is lamb smoked on the premises. Crays and other seafood are sold along with fresh meat and some deli meals.”

and Cafe Quince, 43 Spensley St, described as:

“a true neighbourhood meeting place with boards advertising babysitting and lost cats, a box of toys to keep the kids amused and plenty of magazines. At weekends the casual room is filled to bursting with chatty groups tucking into full English breakfasts or variations on the theme. New owners will continue to serve breakfast and lunch seven days a week, the cafe is licensed and the coffee is very good.”