TASTY PRODUCTS: Dale Chapman at Yandina Markets.
TASTY PRODUCTS: Dale Chapman at Yandina Markets. Contributed

Preserve your weekend, bush jam workshop is coming

AUSTRALIAN cooking doesn't just mean the art of sizzling the perfect sausage, at least not in the eyes of Aunty Dale Chapman, a Kooma and Yuwaalaraay woman from Dirranbandi.

Ms Chapman, the chef of bush food caterers First Food Co, creates dishes like lemon myrtle crocodile steak with mango, chicken and lemon myrtle green curry and wild boar sausage with chickpea mash.

Later this month, Ms Chapman will be bringing her unique knowledge to Eidsvold for a pair of workshops, making jam and chutney using bush foods and spices, and creating a traditional Aboriginal dance belt using emu feathers.

"It's about infusing natural Australian ingredients into already existing recipes,” Ms Chapman said.

She lists bunya nuts, Davidson's plums, lemon and anise myrtles, and lilly pilly as native ingredients "localised to the community” which can be incorporated into these recipes.

She said these plants are increasingly found in dedicated bush food gardens, in school environments or on council land.

This workshop is on Saturday, March 23, in Eidsvold Community Hall from 9.30am-3pm with light lunch and refreshments provided.

Cost is $5 per person and you should bring four empty 200g jars for your creations.

The dance belt workshop, meanwhile, is in two parts.

Firstly, Ms Chapman will teach "traditional methods of clumping feathers”, substituting sinew for twine.

For "homework”, attendees will make 32-35 "clumps” and return a fortnight later to finish their belts.

Ms Chapman said she learnt these lessons on the banks of the Balonne River as a youngster and it was important to transfer the skills to the next generation.

"It is a living tradition, a living culture,” she said.

This workshop will be on Sunday, March 24, in Eidsvold RSL Hall from 9am-noon and returns Saturday, April 6, at the same time.

Cost is $5 per person and this workshop is provided for women only.

RSVP to Zona Hussey-Smith by March 18 on 0427340710 or emailing zona@steppingblack.com.au.

The workshops are provided under the SAFE - Strong Aboriginal Families in Eidsvold program delivered by Stepping Black Indigenous Corporation.

"We are working with the community to gain new skills and share stories and knowledge,” Ms Hussey-Smith said.

"It's about restrengthening the community by providing an avenue to access artists and creative industries.”


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