IN A PICKLE: Learning the Art of Preserving with Alex Elliott-Howery

Our intrepid boss Fiona took a trip up the road to check out an Avid Reader/Wandering Cooks evening of food, pickling and good times. This is what she found…

On a recent Friday evening, I joined with Wandering Cooks to host an event with cookbook author Alex Elliott-Howery from the Cornersmith Café in Marrickville, Sydney. To say Cornersmith is a café is an understatement. It’s also a picklery, training school and neighbourhood food exchange. Living in the heart of multicultural Marrickville Alex took inspiration by the produce grown in the backyards and taught herself the fine art of preserving. (Alex did confess that trying to make her own Vegemite was a step too far!) This philosophy forms the backbone of the café and the cookbook.

Wandering Cooks 2

Let’s get ready to pickle!

But back to our Friday evening event. Wandering Cooks set the stage with beautiful bowls of fresh produce and flowers from the veggie patch. Platters of locally made bread and cheeses were served to compliment the preserves and pickles. Alex entertained and charmed us with her humour and passion for pickling and preserving. Weaving her story of young mother to ‘foodpreneur’ she also included tips such using good quality wine vinegar and that bulk supermarket vinegar is best kept to clean toilets. Use good quality salt for pickling fresh produce. Manky vegetables at the bottom of the fridge were best used for chutneys.

Alex from Cornersmith (at left) and Angela from Wandering Cooks (at right) got on like a pickled house on fire!

Alex from Cornersmith (at left) and Angela from Wandering Cooks (at right) began a friendship that will be preserved long after the night is over!

If you are wondering what Wandering Cooks is please check out their website. Located just a couple of blocks from Avid at 1 Fish Lane, it’s a hub for foodies, makers, food artisans and those who love to learn and eat!

I was very inspired by hearing Alex and by reading her cookbook. So far I have made the bread and butter pickles and by using the last of the season’s strawberries I’ve made strawberry, rhubarb and rose water jam. Dinner one night was the leek, apple and goat’s cheese frittata. So much delicious seasonal goodness.

Wandering Cooks 3

A good day’s work from a cookbook that will definitely be used again and again!

And yes, that large container of cheap supermarket vinegar has moved from my pantry to the laundry.

*Don’t forget that if you don’t want to miss out on our wonderful and varied events program, you can check them out on our website or subscribe on our Facebook page!