Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Melbourne Food Bloggers’ ‘Mad Hatter’ Spring Picnic

I am off sick and incredibly grumpy today from having a very painful gout attack overnight (a condition relatively rare in my demographic, I know. So lucky me… I guess) and since I can’t really take any medication for it, I have decided on a more natural approach: focus on the lovelier things in life such as the Melbourne Food Bloggers’ Mad Hatter Spring Picnic that took place on Saturday. The power of the mind and all that.

Emma‘s uber awesome teapot cake and chocolate truffles)

It was a lovely, sunny Saturday at Studley Park in Kew and a few of the Melbourne food bloggers gathered together with a few dishes to celebrate the brilliant, sunny atmosphere. There were lots of cupcakes, my, there were lots of cupcakes and a few lovely dishes on offer. Unfortunately, I was a bit out of it on the day (as I often am these days) so I sincerely regret not having the chance to get to talk to more people and taking enough photos! But let’s concentrate on the positives now, seriously, edible teapot! How cool is that!?!

April‘s fig conserve cupcakes)

April, with her usual graceful, fabulous self, breezed in with her famous cupcakes. This time a fig cupcake in blue motif. A definite win. There were some prizes given out thanks to a few sponsors and she won the blue prize!

(Josh’s scones, served with homemade mandarin jam and lemon butter)

Josh made some scones that morning, they arrived lovely and still warm. They were awesome eaten with the homemade lemon butter and mandarin jam (that I bought from the maternity hospital’s fund raising sale – I tell you these old ladies do awesome homemade jams and preserves. Bless these hospital volunteers). Don’t you love my mother-in-law’s old biscuit tin? So retro. She’s not getting it back.

(My sweet favourite: Sandra‘s scrumptious raspberry brownie)

Unbeknownst to me until the very last minute when I consulted the ‘where-are-we-meeting-up’ email, the event was sponsored and there were some prizes being given out for dishes. So there were happy faces all around with some nifty foodie prices being given out. So an awesome day was made even more awesome.

(my quail son-in-law eggs)

So my contribution to the picnic were the son-in-law eggs, made with quail eggs this time. The egg whites turned out a bit rubbery due my n00bness at frying quail eggs. And because I ran out of dried chillies, I fried up some fresh chillies as garnish. Don’t do that. Seriously. They explode. It’s not like I didn’t know that whole fresh chillies will explode when fried. I did. I just… forgot.

(My brand new KitcheAid Artisan Mixer courtesy of Nuffnang Australia

So after a few explosions of quail eggs and chillies (and some minor burns) later the kitchen was covered in oil splash. But guess what? It was worth it! Theverylovelyjudges liked them and decided to give me a price of a brand new KitchenAid mixer for it! I was sooo incredibly chuffed and surprised, I had this grin on my face for the rest of the day. Josh was like, ‘you did not see that coming, did you?’ I honestly didn’t think I deserved it with all the other great foods around. But wow! I now have a KitchenAid. Yes, I will now bake more. Friends, families and colleagues, be prepared to be fattened up! Well, maybe not because you know, my baking isn’t exactly up to scratch. You should have seen my last attempt at blueberry and pear crumble. Oh dear. But here is my promise to try to improve anyway.

(My favourite savoury dish: Emanuela‘s stuffed truss tomatoes and roast potatoes)

But enough about me and the awesome KitchenAid. These were the stuffed trussed tomatoes that I kept going back for seconds because they were oh-so-good.

Vee‘s very impressive roast leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic)

Vee had turned up with a leg of lamb that she roasted that morning. Impressive. This dish was very popular too.

(Clockwise from top left: Debra‘s red velvet cupcakes, Sandra‘s raspberry brownie, ?’s strawberry? cupcakes, lemon friands and chocolate brownies)

Other dishes that I fawned over but didn’t manage to get a picture was Billy‘s Vietnamese chicken salad (goi ga), complete with jellyfish. Loves it. And another lovely someone’s gazpacho (if you know whose, please let me know because I want the recipe!) Worth mentioning because it was too cool was Kat‘s ceviche (not me, the cooler Kat), which I wasn’t allowed to eat due it being raw fish (boo to Josh).

Because we were one of the last ones to leave, I went home with a lot of the lovely baked goodies including Michelle‘s fig and cocoa cakes, lemon friands (not sure whose but they were definitely very very good), a whole lot of coconut cookies (recipe please!!!), chocolate chip cookies (which I discovered that once bunged into a toaster the next day would taste just like they’d just come out of the oven. And there is a tip from me to you.) I apologise if I didn’t quite catch who made what.

The day was indeed lovely. I missed seeing a few faces that I was looking forward to catching up with but I met a whole lot of new people and I look forward to meeting up with them again in the near future. Thank you all for the congratulations you sent me. I feel incredibly honoured (gush gush).

Okay, so I did a really crap job at writing this up. This is why I tend to not write about events because I’m just not good at it. Everyone should go and read other people’s blogs for a much better coverage (I will continue to update this list):

  • Not Quite the Mad Hatter (Michelle)
  • Not Too Mad Tea Party @ Studley Park, Kew (Michelle)
  • Bloggers in Cupcake Wonderland (Heidi)
  • Food Bloggers’ Melbourne ‘Mad Hatter’ Spring Picnic (Kenny)

Oh and guess what? The Sydney folks had the same picnic. But get this: they had blue sangria! And better hats. I suppose they have to win at something since, you know, their city isn’t as great.

And I am stoked to say that another Thai dish won the other KitchenAid.

Can you hear the glee in my writing?

Oh hey, now the gout feels much better.

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