A Deliciously Slow Sunday Lunch at 2 Macs Farms
Let me begin by saying that a day spent at 2 Macs Farms reminded me of how weekends should be spent – taking time out to immerse yourself in the simplistic joys of nature and feasting on glorious food with your loved ones. Being present. Embracing slow and healthy living. Sometimes, I’m perplexed as to why many of us don’t crave this in our lives more often, considering we spend such a large portion of our working week burning under fluorescent lights. With that in mind, it was so great seeing several families staying at the farm’s Beehive Cottage and Harvest House, kids having a go at the tree swings and giving their own nicknames to the chooks. No iPads were in sight, in fact, the kids couldn’t even sit still at the table as they were itching to go back outside!
2 Macs Farms (home to the ‘Macs’ Mary McCarthy and Bill McNamara) is located in Main Ridge, making it the perfect stopover for those visiting the Mornington Peninsula. Purchased more than six years ago, the farm still retains the original house built in 1947, but has since undergone a significant transformation now boasting a Farm Gate stocking raw honey from their own hives, garlic, tomato kasundi, chutney and more with ingredients harvested from their organic gardens, cooking classes in the Harvest Kitchen as well as onsite accommodation.
In addition to running cooking classes in the Harvest Kitchen, Mary McCarthy also hosts Slow Sunday Lunches, where over the course of just over four hours, she welcomes you into her world, cooking up an endless feast of comfort food using produce grown right on the farm from the quince that was beautifully roasted alongside the Berkshire pork, the eggplant in the moussaka to the red pine mushrooms that went in the baked parsnip gnocchi. Being so close to the action makes it even more special as your senses go completely bizerk as the smell of everything good in this world suddenly fills the air.
Speaking of all things good in this world, I’ve eaten Berkshire pork before and I tell you what, being known to be great foragers, they make for an incredibly succulent and tasty roast. I was told their berkys even loved eating avocados as I roamed their old stomping grounds and had the privilege to have first dibs at the crackling having spent most of the time in the kitchen with Mary. I watched in awe as she worked her magic as I kept warm by the wood-fire oven and exchanging ‘OMG this tastes amazing’ moments with Amanda, who lends a hand across the many facets of 2 Macs Farms.
When it came to the veggies, they were prepared in so many varied ways, I lost count – roasted pumpkin and sweet carrots, brussels sprouts quickly tossed in the pan and my personal in jar favourites; fermented beetroot and pickled veggies that I doused the pork with as if they were gravy (I’m talking lashings!) SO GOOD. I have a massive weakness for pickled anything (ala my recipe for Atchara) so much so I have a tendency to add it to almost every meal, especially BBQ meat. It must be the the distinctive sharpness, the colors that add to the overall presentation of a dish or the fact that I grew up eating it but whatever it is, I’m addicted ok!
More dishes come sizzling out of the oven – scalloped potatoes, Moussaka with eggplant (no bechamel!), gnocchi done two ways, roasted veggies and then everyone was called to the table as soup was being served up. Made with celeriac, leek and cauliflower it was pure velvet served alongside freshly baked bread that I smothered with butter until it was dripping.
Once all the mains made a landing on the table, Mary took the time to passionately introduce each dish down to all the condiments whilst we all watched on with our beady eyes discreetly picking up our drool. Of course, the majority of us made a dash for the crackling! Haha! In all the excitement (you know me…) I may or may not have filled my plate with too much…rookie mistake (see: the very last pic).
By the time I had finished eating what felt like half of everything, we definitely needed some time out to digest and let the tummy do its thing so we can fit in the all important desserts, so we went exploring. I hung out with the chooks, chatted with the other guests by the open fire, took a million photos as there were so many cool nooks that added their own charm to the premises like the old vintage pickup and a paddle boat set against a tree, tasted edible flowers and plants that I swear smelt like lemon balm, made a list of all the chutney and honey I wanted from the store, saw some magnificent views near the newly laid crop and then before we knew it, we were being called in for, ahuh, MORE FOOD! Life is so hard sometimes, for reals.
As soon as I walked back into the kitchen, my eyes fixated on the most exquisite looking pavlova I’ve ever seen with lashings of passion fruit, lush cream and melt all your troubles in this life away meringue. It was hard to choose a favourite as I have a massive sweet tooth and since I happily tied them all, it would probably be between the pav and the chocolate, banana and quinoa cake that was just, how do I put it – decadent and surprisingly not too sweet with more cacao coming though which meant for a sneaky second slice. I was wondering what Mary was going to make out of the baked rhubarb and out came a beautiful tart and also another favourite at the table, was the raspberry and passion fruit ice cream sending the kids into a frenzy and by kids I mean the adults. The kids were more civilised!
Whilst I desperately wanted to eat more, the food was rising from my stomach and was dangerously invading more upper body real estate that I or any other fellow human being was comfortable with. I’m I sure I speak for the other thirteen guests when I say that it was such a wonderful experience spending a day eating stunning food, meeting new friends and exploring the beautiful farm grounds. Thank you Mary and Bill for inviting us out to experience your world of DELICIOUSNESS and for the very informative tour around your home as well as to Amanda, for your awesomely energetic hospitality. Please don’t let me leave next time!
Note: I’m trialing a new format keeping the copy and images separate, letting them each ‘speak’ for themselves if that makes sense. Let me know what you think!
Food Rehab ate like cray courtesy of 2 Macs Farms.
#FOODGASM awaits below . . .
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by an open fire pit and trays of seriously tasty morsels (loved the carrot dip) and fresh homemade lemonade.
2 Macs Farms
Cnr of Browns Rd and Greens Rd Main Ridge VIC
(entry is approx. 50m down Greens Rd, on the right)
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