Rainbows: Biccies of Esperance

Gill and Mandy are mates of mine. We share a love of food and wine, not to mention we are farmers’ wives.

These two women haven’t let distance from town stop them opening a catering business – they prepare the most delicious food and are passionate about educating people to the benefits of home cooked food.

Gill is not only a wonderful cook, but a keen gardener and reader. She helped me calve out the story of Amanda, in Blue Skies. She is actively involved in running their farm, mothering her three girls aged ten and down and involved in basically anything that is happening in the community!

Mandy is also a gardener and reader, ‘farm wench’ (that’s what she calls herself!) and mum to two young boys. She’s the treasurer to the basketball committee and this is why, these two girls are Rainbows!

Mandy and Gill:

Wow what a week we have had!

Gill and I have been flat out all week working on ways to wow the tastebuds of 130 or so women at this year’s annual SEPWA ladies day. Think we nailed it…there was no food left! Is this good or bad? Did we thrill everyone enough for them to go back for seconds or was there just not enough food? Let’s hope it was the former!

We supplied morning tea, which consisted of gourmet lamb sausage rolls, gluten free almond cake a very decadent chocolate and caramel slice, all homemade and many home grown ingredients used, and a cheese tasting table that had every one wanting more and the one bottle of red wine that was on the table, purely for display, nearly getting corked!

You see this is what Gill and I do. We cater. We bake. We create. We love food and all that goes with it. Ask either of us in any one month how many foodie magazines we have bought and it would be embarrassing to think of how much money we have spent on them. Then there is the endless hours on the phone comparing recipes and “oh did you see that lamb dish on page 84 of this month’s Good Food mag?” only to have our hubbies wander through the kitchen or office and glare in the general direction of the phone and reminding us that yes we have children and they too need to eat…oops.

So you can see we have a passion. A passion for food. A passion for educating our friends, family and anyone who might listen on the benefits of a home cooked meal with food prepared from our own gardens.
We started this craze in 2007, though it was probably before that, but official we supplied our first baked item for Coffee Cat in August of that year. Amazed at what people thought of our food, business took off and grew and grew. So now we were not only stay at home Mums with young children & hands on farmer’s wives, we now ran a business. Crazy you may be saying quietly in your head, believe me we did too. But imagine how it felt for us being able to supply honest, homemade food, with no artificial flavours or colours and no preservatives either!! What a blast.

People love homemade food and wholesome food also and this is where Gill and I felt right at home. We once served curried eggs at a function and spent the whole time thinking how uncool it may be, only to discover the platter returned to the kitchen empty!

If we could all make one small change to the way we eat. What we eat. And where we obtain our food from, imagine the impact this may have on our wonderful planet! We could make that carbon footprint maybe only a size 8 instead of a whopping size 11. Ask yourself next time you go to Woolworths, Coles or where ever you like to shop, do we need to buy oranges for the USA? That orange has travelled thousands of kilometres to get to your table! How can that still be fresh? How much sweeter an orange grown in Australia would taste and how much prouder we could feel knowing that we have supported a local industry and done our bit to help in the war against global warming. Or one step better, plant an orange tree…get your kids to plant a fruit tree. How lovely for them to take a home grown piece of fruit to school.

So my final word to you is turn off the TV, set the dinner table, don’t answer the phone and enjoy a home cooked meal together with your family. Chat, laugh and most of all enjoy.

Bon appetite!

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