Tuesday, 18 March 2008

KING ISLAND

Recently I wrote about King Island Dairy's smoked cheddar cheese on EcoMomical but I thought I would expand on why I buy it, here. The man at the Say Cheese stall in the central market told me that this is the only cheese they have, and they have hundreds of magnificent Australian cheeses, that is naturally smoked - ie actually smoked at all and not impregnated with a smoke flavour. You really can taste the difference and this is one of my family's favourite cheeses but it must be served at room temperature. That is a relative thing because rooms have been pretty hot over the last 15 days of temperatures averaging well over the old 100F mark. This beautiful cheese, from the pristine King Island, (top left of this map) between Tasmania and the mainland of Australia, is also available at Coles, of all places, along with the cream and yughurt. Its full name is Stokes Bay Smoked Cheddar, under the King Island label. The King Island Pure Cream is ......indescribably good - just the right thickness to scoop decadent amounts out with a spoon but thin enough to slip off the spoon onto the plate with ease, and it is nearly 50% fat. And the flavour and texture....mmm....perfect. If you are going to have cream just once, this is the one. You will never buy cheap cream again.

This is leading up to the interesting (well I think it is) fact that husband Roger is currently sailing a beautiful huon pine sailing boat from Hobart (Tasmania) to Adelaide (South Australia) with 5 other blokes and, this minute, they are just weighing anchor and leaving King Island. We are so lucky in Australia to be surrounded by the cleanest oceans in the world and the Southern Ocean is the best of the best. Here is part of the email Roger sent me (they have hired a satellite phone with limited internet connection, for the trip).... (the photos are from the King
Island Dairy website. )

It is just after 5pm on Monday and we are tied up along side the fishermans wharf on Grassy Harbour on King Island. We arrived here early this afternoon after finally getting some wind and having a great sail for the last couple of hours. We were in the lee of King Island by the time the wind came up and so the wind was offshore and the sea flat so the conditions were perfect. We are probably going to hang on a mooring in the little harbour here for the night. Geoff reckons he won't be getting much sleep tonight as he will be busy hunting and gathering. He is really excited about being closer into shore and assures us he will have lots of squid and whiting shortly. He also reckons he can hear crayfish under the wharf and so is busy setting stocking traps for them. (Seriously ... he reckons you can hear them when you are under water). The stocking trap is an old stocking (actually a new one) with a bit of fish in it. Apparently the crayfish get tangled up in the stocking trying to get the bait.

It is now almost 10pm and we have just come back from the town of Grassy which is a few km up the road from the harbour. We had dinner at the Grassy Club. I had Venison broth followed by BBQ octopus with Greek salad, plum tart and a selection of King Island cheeses. It was all lovely and I am sure the tart was exactly the same one as the one you cook -- the one with the plums placed on the top!Before going up to town we filled up with water and fuel and are all ready to head off again first thing in the morning.

This is a really small place. There are only a couple of houses some sheds and a few fishing and local sailing boats down here at the harbour and not many more up in the "town". There is a little supermarket and the "club". It is quite amazing there is such a good restaurant here as I don't know who would really go there.I think the main development and (food) shops etc, are all on the other (Northern) side of the Island. So we will have to make sure we call there when we come down here on our boat.

It was really hot when we arrived. As soon as we came into land the temperature went up by about 15 degrees! It was 38 deg here today which is absolutely unheard of. Apparently it is normally in the mid twenties here this time of year. We have all been swimming off the boat while filling up with water and fuel. The water is so clean here. While we were at the wharf some local came down for a swim and a young boy got a couple of huge abalone just in the bay right here. There are so few people here it is still very unspoilt.

King Island is quite low and sandy and the coastal scenery is nowhere near as spectacular as where we have just been (the south and west coasts of Tasmania) . We haven't heard how the temperature is back home in Adelaide but suspect it is still hot from looking at the pressure chart, When is this hot weather ever going to end?Hopefully we will have some good winds tomorrow for a while at least but it sounds like it is going to be pretty calm again soon.

...Its 5:30 am and there is a good southerly blowing so we are all up and getting ready to head off to Port Fairey while there is some wind. I am just about to log in to get the latest weather forecast and charts and so I can send this email. We can hear the penguins making a racket over on the breakwater and there are thousands of mutton bird burrows everywhere you go here on land. Its nice and cool this morning with the wind blowing in straight off the Southern Ocean.

The cool change has arrived in Adelaide!! The wind is blowing 20 knots from the SOUTH and it is 22 C with a forecast max of.....wait for it.....29 C and there will be clouds - remember them?! Those of us still alive will be able to breathe again and our heads will clear and we will be able to go into what is left of our gardens. Maybe one day it will rain but lets just jump with joy that, at least for now, it is cool.

4 comments:

Maggie said...

Sounds like Roger and his mates are having a great time. I love Tasmania, if only the loggers had not cut down so much of its ancient forests.

Greg W said...

Excellent, I'm happy to hear that nature is finally sending some relief your way.

You have some beautiful countryside there.

I have always admired the wildness of Australia. There isn't much 'wild' here in the states anymore, except some of the inhabitants:)

Anonymous said...

Nice post Kate,
what a great adventure for Rodger!
I meant to congratulate you both on the great article about your Kangaroo Island trip that appeared in The C.Y.C.mag.
It's nice to read the blogs and imagine we're all along for the ride, Glenys
p.s. I have to press anonymous
as I don't know what I'm doing re: sending this!

Pattie said...

Kate: What a beautiful, poetic, picturesque post. I love the visual of the boy catching what must be his family's dinner.