This Beetroot Zucchini and Carrot Salad with Runny Eggs makes for a great warm weather lunch or dinner dish, drizzled with a macadamia oil and fish sauce dressing. Fried eggs, or falafel for a vegetarian version (with soy instead of fish sauce) would go well in this too.
Last weekend we headed up to Brisbane for a special weekend do: three generations of boys were off to do some canoeing and camping near the Maroon Dam! The plan for the girls was to unwind over some home-grown food and meet Aunty K’s new puppy, Mala, and her four chickens. After picking some fresh eggs from the chookhouse and a quick kitchen garden lesson for the little girl, we sent the men off to do their “secret mens’ business” in the bush.
Luck had it that, as we were driving through a small town of Peak Crossing to get to Boonah, I spotted a Car Boot Antique Sale sign and was keen to investigate things further. Since we needed to pick up some bits and pieces from town for our foodie weekend, we got back in the car and headed to see what goodies were on offer at the market as well.
After paying a $2 entry fee (for adults, kids’ entry was free), we were in! Now that’s what I call a cool market. The Peak Crossing Market offers a wide range of wares: vintage toys, old tools, homemade jams and preserves, furniture, collectables and, this I was most excited about, lots and lots of old kitchenwares!
We wandered about, picked up a few things for the girl’s scrapboook and what I refer to as the buy of the century: $1 for this lot of three old pie tins, a brass tray and three silver-plated forks. I mean, I’ve seen those trays on eBay for £17! Yes, pounds. I also managed to snap up this lot of old chemist’s flasks and three vintage locally-made lemonade bottles. As we traveled light, Derek – the stallholder, a friendly old chap, offered to wrap all of them up and send them to me by post. He even included a couple of mini flasks as a thanks for me being so trusting, how is that for great service!
Carrying as much as our overnight bags would allow, we headed back to Boonah, where K took us to her favourite coffee-bookshop, The Story Tree (74 High Street, Boonah). Now, for a small town that place is as good as I’ve seen here in the big smoke. Owners Matt and Rachel have thought of every little detail.
The shop stocks all of the great cookbooks you’d normally expect to find in a quality bookstore, it has a fantastic play area for the kids at the back and plenty of quirky vintage-inspired space for the adults to unwind with their cuppa. There are lounges, and tables, and even tree-stump seats. There are books to be read and magazines to be flicked through. There is even a room reserved for promoting other small businesses in the area with The Vintage Project currently showcasing their gorgeous recycled wares. It is rustic, fun and very cosy. A must-see when in Boonah for sure!
The next morning as we were enjoying those freshly-laid eggs for breakfast I began to wonder if I could take some of them home to Sydney, too… I gave up on that idea pretty quickly, but it inspired me to pick up some fresh organic eggs on our arrival and make this raw garden salad to go with them. It’s really quick and tasty and reminds me of the time we had last weekend – in fact, I found the recipe while flicking through the Australian Good Taste magazine at The Story Tree.
Boiled eggs are also a perfect food to take camping as are the other ingredients in this salad, aside from my take on the dressing perhaps which can be easily swapped out for a simple vinaigrette. Now, the next item on my agenda, I think, is to reinvigorate our own veggie garden…
So, tell me, what or whom have you been inspired by recently?