Cookbook five generation in the making

Lychee Duck Curry.

After the enduring heartbreak of the worst drought in Australian history, relief was on it’s way in the form of rain, but the storm turned to hail destroying 4 million avocados along with hopes and dreams.

When things seemed that they could not get any worse, bushfires struck and the real fight to save their farm in Northern NSW began – it’s a story repeated across Australia – a story that has seen farmers diversify to survive and led her to write a cookbook filled with recipes and the stories of five generations of a farming family.

Julia Foyster grew up in Germany. Twelve years ago she decided to backpack through Australia with a friend. She joined ‘Willing Workers on Organic Farms’ and worked and lived with farming families in exchange for board and accommodation.

She harvested coffee beans, picked, packed and sliced mangoes, worked on a horse riding farm, and eventually ended up on her now husband’s farm picking and packing avocados, mangoes and limes.

A decade later they are married with two kids. In the first few years, Julia drove tractors, helped run the packing facility, helped to establish new orchards and investigated new crops to grow.

“It wasn’t until my first of many floods that I realised the severe emotional toll on my new family,” she said.

“Witnessing the destruction of our watermelon crop revealed what it truly meant to be married to an Australian farmer.

“No one really talked about the financial loss or the emotional strain. Everyone just threw themselves into working even harder to make up for the loss. We replaced our watermelon crop hoping that we would still be able to grow another but just before we could harvest, another flood hit.I realised it wasn’t enough for me to stand by and watch things unfold. I had to do my part to help my family financially and the idea for Tweed Real Food was born.”

Julia started Tweed Real Food, taking her connection between the land, who we are and what we eat into her passion for real food and created all natural flavours for Australians.

“My vision was to contribute to the joy families experience when sharing healthy, home-cooked meals around their dinner table. While creating an additional income stream to subsidise the ongoing losses.”

Julia experimented with flavours for seasonings and balsamic vinegars, inspired by the fresh produce the family grows on their farm.

Throughout the first year of Tweed Real Food being in business, the farms suffered their biggest disasters yet, well into the drought a severe hailstorm struck, followed by devastating bushfires.

“For two months we lived in a constant state of fear. Fire changed direction away from one farm only to move towards another,” she said.

“When the fires reached the farm, the bushfire app suddenly updated, showing the fires had ripped not only through our orchard but the entire area. I was sure at the time that my family hadn’t survived.”

Tweed Real Food has received over 3000 5 star reviews from a very loyal customer base.

The recipe book ‘There is a story behind every meal’ featuring 65 delicious recipes, intertwined with untold farm stories and beautiful imagery, encapsulates the journey of overcoming hardship, providing heart-wrenching insight to the reality of farming in Australia.

Story and Recipe Book There is a story behind every meal

SMASHED AVO TOAST

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 2 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 slices of sourdough bread

2 ripe avocados, stone removed, sliced diagonally

1 tbsp soft butter

100g crumbly feta cheese

2 tbsp Avo Smash Dukkah

2 handfuls of fresh greens of your choice

INSTRUCTIONS

Lightly toast sourdough slices and spread with butter.

Top with avocado slices and crumbled feta.

Sprinkle Avo Smash Dukkah and garnish with favourite fresh greens.

SMOKEY CUE PORK RIBS

Serves: 2 – 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1.5 hours

INGREDIENTS

2 racks pork ribs

3 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp Smokey Cue Rub

1 cup apple cider or beer

¼ cup Bourbon Maple Splash Balsamic Vinegar

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

METHOD

Preheat oven to 160°C and line oven proof dish with baking paper.

Mix sugar and 2 tbsp of Smokey Cue Rub in a bowl. Rub the mixture over the fleshy surface of the ribs.

Place the ribs in the prepared baking dish. Pour apple cider or beer into the dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for approx 1-1.5 hours.

In the meantime, combine remaining tbsp of Smokey Cue Rub, Bourbon Maple Splash and apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Once the ribs are cooked and the meat is tender, remove from the oven.

Increase the temperature of the oven to 200°C.

Brush half of the sauce over ribs and return the ribs to the oven, uncovered, to cook for 5 minutes.

Brush ribs again with remaining sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Allow the ribs to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with coleslaw.

LYCHEE DUCK CURRY

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp coconut oil

4 duck breasts

1 cup of lychees, fresh with seeds removed or tinned

1 cup of pineapple cubes, fresh or tinned

½ punnet of cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved

1 cup peas, fresh or frozen

2 handfuls of fresh green beans, rinsed with ends removed

1 cup fresh rinsed basil

2 tbsp Durban Earth Curry Rub

1 x 400ml tin of coconut cream

Juice of one lime

1 cup jasmine rice

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook jasmine rice according to instructions on packet, whilst the rice is cooking make the curry.

In a frypan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil and cook duck breast skin side down for 3 minutes on each side. Set aside and cover to rest.

In a saucepan or cast-iron pot, heat remaining tbsp of coconut oil add Durban Earth Curry Rub, cooking until fragrant, approx. 60 seconds. Add coconut cream and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine the curry rub.

Add tomatoes, peas, beans and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the lychees and pineapple, simmer for a further 3 minutes and squeeze in lime juice.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the duck breasts.

Serve rice into each bowl, ladle the vegetable curry on top, place the sliced duck breast portion into each bowl and pour a little juice on top. Garnish generously with basil.

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