Celebrating the Barossa

We had a wonderful Easter this year in South Australia visiting my husband's Dad and his wife and also had the opportunity to visit during the Barossa Vintage Wine Festival which was FABULOUS!!  I do love a good drop of red and especially something big and bold like a Shiraz so the Barossa is definitely the place to go and enjoy the vines and a glass or two of the new harvest.  We had a great Family Day at Seppeltsfield Winery filled with ice cream, rides, magic shows, grape treading and the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt and it was a good thing we got there early because as we left we saw just how far everyone had to park to be able to join in the fun!
The Amazing Magician

A chance to meet the rabbit

The festival warming up to a gorgeous day

Enjoying Tanunda Milkshakes

Also Tanunda ice cream

The Easter Egg hunt comes to an end
 We then headed over to Maggie Beer's Pheasant Farm and Shop for lunch which l can tell you was packed to the rafters inside and out!!  We had a wonderful lunch there sitting outside soaking up the rays and then walked it off visiting all the pheasants, quails and peacocks as well as the ducks and turtles.  I just love Maggie's home preserves and yes she has inspired the cook in me to making my own fruit pastes which of course l whipped up just a jar or two or three when l got back home!
Maggie Beer's Deck

The kids playing with the peacock

The kids fascinated by the chook that only stands on one leg!

We also had the privilege of dining at our favourite winery Hentley Farm which l would have to say produce the most BEOOUTIFUL reds l have ever tasted and yet they are a small enough winery so you still feel special and like one of the Family.  We discovered this winery by mistake many years ago when we thought we would just pop in for a map and had the owner who had only just opened come running down the hill in his work t shirt and jeans to greet us and take us through the Hentley Farm range.  Of course this was our first trip to the Barossa so we only bought a couple of bottles as we didn't want to put all our eggs in one basket but little did we know that Hentley Farm would become our favourite winery of all time!  Our meal was amazing and the head chef produced dishes that inspired notions of Vue Monde and Heston Blumenthal that encompassed the umami fifth taste and were created around Hentley's sensational wines.  The winery has come a long way in a very short time and it has been a wonderful journey watching it grow and manifest into something l believe will become a Barossa icon just like the Maggie Beer Shop!

So we had a wonderful Easter break and a holiday well earned after Audrey's Party which l am still trying to clean up after!!!  So thanks to Grandpa and Grandma for having us stay it was a great trip and the kids had a wonderful time and thanks to the Hentley Farm Team for making the Barossa a favourite destination and one we enjoying returning to every year!

Here is my secret recipe for fruit paste which will now not be so secret!!!  All you need is a food processor, sugar, fruit and a bit of imagination!!

You need equal amounts of sugar and fruit so l normally use 750g of fruit puree (use food processor to pulp all fruit including skin just take out large stones or cores) and then 750g of sugar, then the juice of 1 lemon and 1/3 cup of water or other liquid such as verjuice, balsamic vinegar depends on what combination you want to make.  Your imagination is limitless!!  Then mix these together and pop on the stove and bring to the boil and bring back down to a slow simmer and stir occasionally for 3 hrs when it becomes jam like in consistency.  To test if ready pop a teaspoon amount on a saucer and pop in fridge and if it is firm to the touch and paste like then it is ready if not then keep simmering!  Once ready pour into bottles and give as gifts or store in cupboard until required for that special cheese platter or you can also use for glazes on meats.

Balsamic Fig Paste
Plum and Verjuice Paste
Testing the fig paste
All labeled and bottled to give as gifts

So hope you all get in the kitchen and embrace a bit of Maggie Beer and start paste making!  Enjoy!

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