It's a sea of red!

Written by Lisa Baggio — February 19, 2016


 "There are only two kinds of people, Italians and those who wish they were".

- Anonymous

~ Melbourne Tomato Festival 2016 ~

It's here! The Melbourne Tomato Festival has finally arrived! This Sunday, 21st February, 2016, the leafy green suburb of Eltham will be turned into a sea of red! Guy Grossi, his family and the Melbournese Movement pay homage to the humble tomato as a celebration and preservation of the Italian tradition of preserving tomatoes for their use throughout the year.

The Melbournese Movement defines our place, where Italian and Australian heritage come together and where food culture and traditions are ingrained as part of our identity. Rooted from generations before us, Italian culture is one that reflects its regions, produce and its people and their lifestyle. Melbournese is a movement, which preserves the strength, and pride of our Italian culture while evolving to create new traditions that respect our current home" (Melbournese Movement).

So today, you don't have to be born in Italy to be Italian or wish you were :) We can all be Italian for a day this Sunday at the Melbourne Tomato Festival and "National Italian Day", celebrating the humble tomato and all things Italian. There'll be Italian food and beverages, music, entertainment, guest speakers, farmers produce markets, celebrity chefs, a tomato growing competition, cooking demonstrations and hands on passata making workshops. 

The crew from Home Make It will be running back to back, hands on passata making workshops throughout the day, so be sure to get in early to book your spot. And please, come and say hello and introduce yourself to a member of the Home Make It team. We'd love to meet you! 

The Melbourne Tomato Festival will be held on Sunday 21st February, 2106 at Edendale Farm in Eltham between 10am - 4pm. Tickets available for pre-purchase only until sold out. You can purchase your tickets ONLINE. The inaugural Melbourne Tomato Festival was a sell out last year, so avoid disappointment and purchase your tickets now! Adults $25, Children 6-13 years $10 and Children 5 & under FREE.  

It's promising to be stunning weather this Sunday, so hop on your bike or catch a ride in on the train or bus. Parking is available, however will be limited. 

Photo: Justin McManus. Cade and Bonnie Butler teach their son Odin how to do it yourself. 

In the lead up to the Melbourne Tomato Festival, Journalist, Suzanne Carbone, The AGE wrote a fantastic article this week titled, "Hipsters squeeze out the Italians in the art of making passata at Melbourne Tomato Festival". Follow the link to read the full article.  

Photo: Justin McManus. Cade Butler and wife Bonnie fill bottles with homemade passata. 

The article features our very own Cade Butler and his lovely wife Bonnie Halliday.Their passion for homemade produce has been dubbed as "saavy DIY hipsters", and much to Cade's horror they are creating new traditions in their family making passata, salami and preserving olives. It's a family affair proving you don't have to be born in Italy to make Italian food and drinks!

The article also features the upcoming CERES Fair Food, community Crowdsaucing Day on 30th April, 2016 in neighborhoods all over Melbourne. Crowdsaucing Day is an opportunity for communities to come together to bottle locally grown and organic tomatoes to be used throughout the year. Crowdsaucing promotes sustainable food practices and fairly traded produce. Follow the link to CERES Fair Food if you want to sign-up for the Crowdsaucing Day or join their fair food movement.   


~  Craft Day Out - Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2016 ~

If you can't get along to the Melbourne Tomato Festival this Sunday you can join us at The Craft & Co on Sunday 6th March, 2016 for the  Craft Day Out where we will be running more passata making workshops throughout the day.

Image: The Craft & Co, 390 Smith Street, Collingwood

The Craft Day Out is a unique "foodie" event as part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. And what a day out it will be! If you have ever wanted to learn how to make artisan produce such as passata, salami, cheese, wine and beer. There will be a full day of interactive workshops, demonstrations and appreciation sessions with the masters of their trade including That's Amore Cheese, The Meat Room, Rob Dolan Wines, FB*PROPAK, Archie Rose Distilling Co. and of course, the crew from Home Make It

Photo: Anu Kumar

Enjoy a shared table feast lunch comprising of freshly made produce by The Craft & Co, Head Chef, Dom Marzano.  The Craft & Co is the newest kid on the block at 390 Smith Street, Melbourne. If you're into unique food and beverage experiences, then you'll love this venue and concept. All under the one roof, a brewery, distillery, deli, cafe`/restaurant, retail space, bottle shop, cheese and meat rooms. 

Don't miss out on this fabulous event, limited spots available so book your tickets via the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival program ONLINE now.


~  Cade's Brew News ~

Hi Brewers, I can't believe it's almost the end of February already, so much to tell and on the horizon!


I was like an excited kid at Christmas when we received some new and fresh hops from the Crosby Hop farm in the USA. We got in Cascade, Chinook, Columbus and a couple of experimental hop varieties: Idaho #7 and Idaho #6. So if you want some fresh big USA hops for your next recipe, you know where to go!   

Along with those we have an extensive range of Wyeast and Whitelabs pure pitch yeast. We even have a few sour beer inducing Lacto & Brett bugs in there too for those adventurous brewers out there.  

Starting at our Reservoir store soon, we will be expanding our equipment hire range to include an all grain brewing kit. The amazing SS Brewtech Mash Tun & 38L kettle, this will convert any extract tin brewer to the All Grain side of the force in a single afternoon.  

Home Make It are proud to team up with Melbourne's newest brew club, the Merri Mashers and fab new venue The Craft & Co to bring you the BREW FC Competition. This is a home brew comp with a difference, instead of brewer vs brewer this is club vs club! We are pitting Melbourne's best brew clubs against each other in a test of Stouts & Porters for a chance to win bragging rights and a chance to win a tap takeover at The Craft & Co. Let's get ready to ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuumble! 

Happy Brewing!! 


~ Food & Beverage Workshops ~

Our in store 2016 calendar for food & beverage workshops is action packed! Click on the link for all the course dates, venues and details. Our workshops are hands on, fun and interactive. To participate in one of our great courses, just book your spot  ONLINE or call our Clayton or Reservoir stores for assistance.

Our line up of Workshops include, but not limited to are; 


~ A new look and concept at our Clayton store ~

Our newly renovated Clayton store is almost ready to roll out all the new facilities that will be available to our customers. Only a few more weeks and we'll be ready! I don't want to give too much away, but I can give you a few clues.  Think coffee, panini, sit, play, learn, create... Without giving anything else away, I can also show you some recent pictures of the renovated store.  

~  Wholesale & Trade Division of Home Make It ~

Home Make It has recently expanded to include a Wholesale & Trade division which has been launched to help supply businesses nationwide with quality, unique food and beverage making equipment – be it for the consumer or the trade-user. Our broad product range has been developed to help supply every type of business, from home brew stores to breweries, from kitchenware or bar-ware to shops and restaurants. Follow the Wholesale link to learn more about it.  

~  Specials ~

Click the link below to check out this week's Specials.     

Check out our Gift Vouchers and Course Gift Vouchers also available instore or ONLINE

Remember, you can keep up to date with all the daily news from the team, recipes and events by following us on Twitter or Facebook

Enjoy the weekend and all this glorious weather! And if you are heading over to Edendale Farm on Sunday for the Melbourne Tomato Festival, be sure to come and say hello to the crew!   

Homage to the humble tomato...

Written by Lisa Baggio — February 5, 2016

 "You say tomato, we say passata!"

- Home Make It crew, 2015 


~ Melbourne Tomato Festival 2016 ~

It's that time of year again when Melbournian's pay homage to the humble tomato thanks to the passion and vision of Guy Grossi, his family and the Melbournese Movement. The iconic Melbourne Tomato Festival, now in its second year and growing in popularity and magnitude, is quickly becoming one of Melbourne's most popular culturally driven foodie festivals. 

The Melbourne Tomato Festival will be held on Sunday 21st February, 2106 at Edendale Farm in Eltham between 10am - 4pm.

The festival is a celebration of the humble tomato and the preservation of Italian food, traditions and customs and authentic cooking. The Melbourne Tomato Festival will play host to a gathering of local farmers selling their produce, celebrity chefs, guest speakers, agriculturalists, demonstrations, workshops, artisan food and wine, and entertainment. Be inspired by the man himself, Chef Guy Grossi in this cute little clip

Image: Guy Grossi and volunteers of the Melbourne Tomato Festival

Image: Passata making workshop in progress at the 2015 MTF

Image: Passata making workshop in progress at the 2015 MTF

The festival would not be complete without the hands on passata making workshops, and that's where the crew from Home Make It come in! We'll be running back to back passata making demonstrations all day long, so join in on all the fun and learn to make some authentic passata with us. 

Image: Melbourne Tomato Festival crowd enjoying the atmosphere

This is a ticketed event only, until sold out, so don't miss out! The event was a sell out last year, so avoid disappointment and purchase your tickets online now!  


~  Craft Day Out - Melbourne Food & Wine Festival ~

We are thrilled to be joining the collaborations of all collaborations at this years' Melbourne Food & Wine Festival for the Craft Day Out, it's happening at the newly established and unique artisan food and beverage venue, The Craft & Co at 390 Smith Street, Collingwood on Sunday 6th March, 2016.

The Craft & Co incorporates an onsite brewery, distillery, cured meats and cheese preparation rooms, training facility, retail and gift store, bottle shop, deli and cafe/restaurant. It's truly amazing to see all these things under the one roof, make sure you drop in to check it all out.


Image: The Craft & Co, 390 Smith Street, Collingwood

The Craft Day Out is a series of rotating appreciation and workshop sessions with some of Melbourne's best artisan producers including That's Amore CheeseArchie Rose Distilling Co.Rob Dolan Wines & Winestock, The Meat Room and FB*PROPAK.

Come along for a unique culinary experience in cheese making, winemaking, sausage making, distilling and passata making. Members of the Home Make It team will be again facilitating the hands-on passata workshops. You'll also enjoy a shared table feast lunch comprising of freshly made produce by Head Chef, Dom Marzano.

Don't miss out on this fabulous event, limited spots available so book your tickets via the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival program ONLINE now!


~  Food & Beverage Courses ~

Our instore 2016 calendar for food & beverage workshops is action packed! Click on the images below for all the course dates, venues and details. Our workshops are hands on, fun and interactive. To participate in one of our great courses, all you need to is book your spot  ONLINE or call our Clayton or Reservoir stores for assistance.



~  A new look and concept at our Clayton store ~

On behalf of the team, I would like to thank all our Clayton customers for their patience and support during our recent store closure over the Christmas period. Those who have returned to our store since its reopening last month will have noticed lots of changes already! But there's more to come, so watch this space! I would love to give away all the secrets of our new store, but you'll have to wait just a little bit longer. It'll be well worth it, I promise! 


~ The Makers: A story of Food, Family and Foreigners ~

If you're inspired to try your hand at passata making this season and looking for a good recipe, we have included two very different methods in our very first book titled The Makers: a story of food family and foreigners. Whether you're into the raw method or the cooked method, you'll be inspired by the stories of the Gangi, D'Aquino and the Merrett family passata days. These families are friends of Home Make It and share their recipes, processes, tips and stories.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did putting it all together! The Makers: a story of food family and foreigners makes a great addition to the kitchen library as well as the perfect gift for lovers of Italian foods and traditions. Copies available for purchase at our Reservoir and Clayton stores, ONLINE  and at The Craft & Co

Image: Donato & Lucia D'Aquino - Passata Makers.

Click the link below to check out this week's Specials.     

Check out our Gift Vouchers and Course Gift Vouchers also available instore or ONLINE

Remember, you can keep up to date with all the daily news from the team, recipes and events by following us on Twitter or Facebook

We look forward to seeing you at one of the many events and workshops coming up in February and March! 

Enjoy the weekend everyone.  

Preserving Springtime

Written by Lisa Baggio — October 8, 2015

"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." 

- Francois De La Rochefoucauld  


~ Preserving ideas ~

Springtime evokes the desire to preserve the sweet fruit and vegetables that have been in abundance such as strawberries, pineapple, melons, mandarins, rhubarb, blood oranges, beetroot, spinach and artichokes. Preserving our favourite foods means we can keep enjoying the goodness of these fruits and vegetables long after the harvest is over. Traditional preserving methods include canning and dehydrating. But the quickest and simplest way to preserve fruits and vegetables is freezing.  

I found this wonderful blog by The Kitchn, that features simple tips for preserving. One is as simple as freezing fresh herbs in olive oil. How good do these look! TIPS FROM THE KITCHN


If you're feeling inspired, check out The Kitchn's blog 10 Ways to Preserve Summer Fruits & Vegetables without Canning. There's some great tips on making pesto, fruit vinegar, freezing Summer fruits and roasting tomato sauce and garlic.

If you do want to try your hand at dehydrating your favourite fruits and vegetables, take a look at our range of dehydrators online and in store. The range includes the EZIDRI Classic Everyday, EZIDRI Snackmaker and the EZIDRI Ultra FD1000.


Vacuum sealers are also a great way to extend the lifespan of your preserved fruit and vegetables, especially when using the freezing or dehydrating method. Vacuum sealers preserve food 3-5 times longer than food stored in plastic bags or containers. Preserved fruit and vegetables once vacuum sealed and frozen will last for 2 to 3 years. Vacuum sealing your preserved foods also eliminates the unpleasant taste of 'freezer burn'. 

For the highest quality domestic Vacuum Sealing Machine, take a look at our Italian Made SICO Vacuum Sealing Machines. We have a large range that caters for every purpose and budget.  



~ Australian Cider Festival 2015 ~

Don't miss out on all the festivities at this year's Australian Cider Festival. It's all happening this Saturday 10th October from 12noon - 8pm at the beautiful Ormond Hall, The Village Melbourne. There will be numerous styles of ciders to sample, tasty cider and food pairings to relish, cider master classes to participate in, all whilst enjoying the live entertainment and more.

Visit our display stand at the festival this Saturday at 2pm as Home Make It teams up with cider judge and author Claude Jolicoeur during his tour in Australia. Come by to meet Claude and grab yourself a signed copy of his latest book The New Cider Makers Handbook, which is an invaluable and comprehensive resource for home cider makers.


To help celebrate the Cider Festival, we are squeezing in one more Cider Making Course for 2015 at our Clayton Store on Wednesday 18th November, 6-7.30pm. If you are keen on cider; then book in your spot online now to learn first hand about setting up your own backyard cider making equipment and be on your way to producing fresh homemade cider in time for Summer! More Cider Making Course dates for 2016 to be released soon.


~ Home Make It presents the Melbourne Salami Festa ~

Not long now until the Melbourne Salami Festa! Block out the entire weekend in your diary! Friday 16th October to Sunday 18th October, 2015. Check out the full program guide. It's going to be massive. And if you have entered your prized homemade salami into the competition, we wish you all the best! See you at the Festa :) 


~ Beer & Bangers Classes ~

Learn to make home brew and sausages from the experts! Join Steve Lamberto and Cade Butler from Home Make It with James Mele from The Meat Room and enjoy a fulfilled day making home brew and fresh sausages at these brilliant Brew & Bangers classes. These are full day classes and you will get to take home the freshly made home brew and sausages. There will be pizza from the wood fired oven for lunch, morning tea provided, unlimited tea/coffee and home brew tastings are included as well. All equipment and ingredients will be supplied.

Bookings are still available for the following class;

Duration: 9:00am to 4:00pm 
Location: 26 O'Gradys Rd, Kilmore East
Cost: $240.00 per person

Bookings and payment can be made by phoning Kathy on 0419 242 815 or emailing to reserve your spot today!


~ Cade's Home Brew News ~ 

Hi Brewers, 

This weather is making me thirsty! Fortunately, the same weather is also perfect for brewing and fermenting. So in honor of this we are taking 10% off our entire Grain range, Online and in-store

To follow on with your brew we have a great range of WyeastWhite Labs, Brew Cellar yeasts  and approximately 20 hop varieties all in our fridges, waiting for your recipe. 

Some nice fittings recently landed to help you along on your brew days. We have just got in some malt mills, high temperature pumps, high temperature silicon hose and matching 13mm barb fittings to connect all your brewing equipment. 

Happy Brewing  :) 


~ Food & Beverage Courses ~ 

Preserving Vegetable Courses - Pickled & Marinated Eggplants

We are thrilled to be releasing details and dates for the newest of our in store workshops! Join us for a hands-on workshop in Pickled & Marinated Eggplants with Dario from L'Arrosticino Stick on Grill at our Clayton store on 9th November, 2015 and Reservoir store on 10th November, 2015. Book ONLINE to secure your place.  

Sausage Making Courses

We have now released new dates for our Sausage Making Courses at both our Reservoir on 21st October, 2015 and Clayton store on the 28th October, 2015. James Mele will teach you everything you need to know to make fresh, tasty, healthy sausages all year round. Book ONLINE now to secure your place.   

Intro to All Grain Home Brewing Course

Join us for an introduction to  All Grain Home Brewing Course in October at both the Reservoir and Clayton stores. Learn all about equipment needed, grains, hops, yeast, how to mill, mash and all maturation/fermentation and bottling techniques to make your favourite styles of grain beers. Book ONLINE.



~ Eltham & District Winemakers Guild - 46th Eltham Wine Show ~

If you love a good drop of red or white wine, and have an interest in homemade wine, then don't miss Eltham and District Winemakers Guild's 46th Annual Eltham Wine Show. Due to the huge success, the show will again be held at the Veneto Club in Bulleen on Sunday 15th November, 2015 from 10.30am for the Wine Show Public Tasting, concluding at 2.30pm with the Awards Presentation at 12pm. Home Make It will also be there facilitating a Sausage Making Demonstration. If you are planning on entering your homemade wine into the competition, the closing date for entries is the 10th October, 2015. You can pick up an entry form from either our Reservoir or Clayton stores or you can enter ONLINE.

Click link below to check out this week's Specials.     

Check out our new look Gift Vouchers and Course Gift Vouchers also available in store or ONLINE

Don't forget, you can keep up to date with all the daily news from the team, recipes and events by following us on Twitter or Facebook

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend :)




Introducing...the HotmixPRO

Written by Lisa Baggio — February 13, 2015

Home Make It is delighted to be offering the Italian-made, HotmixPRO Professional Cooking Gastro; the kitchen appliance that does it all! Chop, cut, mix, knead, cook and more…at home or in the professional kitchen the HotmixPRO has so many unique features, that it out performs any other thermal mixer out there.

Watch it in action in this Youtube video. The temperature reaches 190°C which is suitable for the home cook and those who are time poor, but want to create healthy meals with ease. Also suitable for food businesses, professional chefs, production kitchens or molecular gastronomy.

To learn more and to see first hand what this amazing and time-saving appliance can do, come along to our free in-store demonstrations on;

We look forward to seeing you at the demonstrations, where you will also see how quick and easy it is to make pastry cream, hollandaise, zabaglione and more..

Hotmix Pro at Home Make It



~ Melbourne Tomato Festival ~

The inaugural Melbourne Tomato Festival WILL be a sell out! With less than three weeks to go, there are less than 400 tickets left, so if you are planning to join in the celebration, get ONLINE today and purchase your tickets. This is a ticketed event only!

Our Home Make It team will be running four fun-filled, hands on Passata Making Workshops throughout the day, so hopefully you'll be able to join us for one of them. If you're keen, be sure to get in early to secure to your spot.

For our passionate passata enthusiasts, come along to the Melbourne Tomato Festival Gala Dinner at Merchant Osteria Veneto on Friday 27th February, 2015. Enjoy a four course dinner, including canapés, wine and drinks. Be inspired by Guy Grossi and guest speaker, Teresa Oates, co-author of Mangia Mangia.

~ What's On ~

A hands on Master Class by the Italian masters in homemade sausages, cheese and wine, plus a shared table lunch at the stunning Mister Bianco Restaurant. Purchase your ticket ONLINE to participate in this special event.

Home Make It is joining forces with Romulus and Remus Restaurant and Salumi Australia for a traditional hands on workshop in The Art of Salumi making, followed with a feast of Italian food and specially selected wines from Distillery Works.

~ Food and Beverage Courses ~

Advanced Homemade Winemaking Course - Run over six nights from March - November covering all the stages of the winemaking process. Book now and take advantage of the pre vintage special price!

Homemade Cider Making Course - Learn the art of making homemade cider to enjoy with family and friends at a hands-on workshop.

Passata Making Course - We'll have you ready for this year's passata making season. A fun, hands on workshop with a shared pasta supper. 

Pizza Making Course - Learn the art of pizza making by Brunetti's Executive Savoury Chef, Michele Circhirillo. Workshop will conclude with a feast of delicious pizza. 

Salami and Cured Meats Courses - Learn the ancient art of meat processing and curing with this informative and interactive course, led by the cured meats and butchery expert James Mele.

Salami Making Courses Learn the art of homemade salami making with this hands on and informative course, led by the salami and butchery expert James Mele.

Sausage Making Courses - Learn the basics of sausage making. If you have ever thought about making fabulous homemade sausages then this is the workshop for you! 

 ~ Preserving Olives Recipe ~

We've had several requests lately for a recipe to preserve olives, so here is one of our favourites (given to Celeste Baggio by Lina Siciliano)



- 5 kg fresh olives (green or black)

- 5 litres of water

- 500 grams salt

- 4-5 lemons for acidity

- Garlic cloves (depending on your palate)

- Firm green chilli peppers to taste

- 2-3 tablespoons of oregano (more if desired)


Place olives in a large container and fill with fresh water until olives are well covered. Change water every day for 10-12 days.

Drain the olives and place them in airtight containers with lots of oregano, thick slices of lemon, garlic (to own personal taste), green hot chilli pepper (optional).

Continue to layer the olives and herbs until the container is almost full.

Boil the 5 litres of water with 500 grams of salt and let cool. Pour the cooled liquid over the olives so all is well covered. Seal the container.

It’s always been traditional to the Mediterraneans to coil some wild aniseed, so it will keep the olives under the brine and help with the flavour.

Keep the container sealed for 6-8 weeks for black olives and 8-10 weeks for green.

Tip #1 – If you forget or miss a day changing water, don’t worry, just continue the process for an extra day.

Tip #2 – If mould begins to form on the finished product, remove it and place 4-5 slices of lemon and more oregano on top of the olives.

Salt suggested 100 gram for 1 litre of water and 1 kilogram of olives for brine. (Recommends sea salt semi-fine.) 

More tips recommended by my Italian connections:

Pricking olives with a needle or sharp knife also will introduce the salt into the olives, giving them extra flavour.

Other recipes recommend fresh mint instead of oregano; for black olives only still use garlic and chilli pepper or bay leaves with oregano.


**This recipe has been used successfully over the many years and life of Home Make It. Recipe adapted by Celeste Baggio.

~ The Wine Season is coming ~

With the wine season just around the corner, grapes will be ripe for picking very soon. You've no doubt heard the saying "if you want to make good wine, you need to start with good grapes!" We can confirm it's true!  We'll be keeping you up to date over the next couple weeks with details of local wineries where we know you will get great quality grapes. Don't forget, we offer a complimentary service for juice/wine analysis at all the stages of the winemaking process. Bring along a sample in store for testing by one of the team. 


 ~ Home Brew News ~

Our newest member of the team, Cade Butler has been busy expanding our range of home brew equipment and supplies are our stores and ONLINE. Come in to our Reservoir or Clayton store to meet him, swap recipes or learn the art of grain brewing. Cade's a passionate home brewer and will be only too happy to share his knowledge and experience in all things home brewing. 

~ Tomatoes for Sale ~

Ripe, lush Roma tomatoes are now in abundance! We can highly recommend Tony and Maria's tomatoes at 22 Lawson Crescent, Thomastown. Call Maria to order your boxes on 9460 1209 or just drive up, load up and drive off. 

~ Eltham and District Winemakers Guild, Mead Workshop ~

Members of the Eltham and District Winemaker's Guild will be running a series of Home Make It, sponsored Mead Workshops in 2015. Learn the step by step process to making mead and take home your own batch. If you would like to learn the art of mead making, contact the Eltham and District Winemakers Guild for more information at

~ Weekly Specials ~

Click on the banner below to discover our weekly specials

~ Facebook and Twitter ~

It's a busy time of year for our team at Home Make It.  You can keep up to date with daily news, recipes and events by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

Now, we have probably missed the boat on this one, as it seems to have gone viral in the last few weeks around Melbourne, but we thought we would kick off your Friday evening with a giggle, by sharing a little YouTube clip titled, Nonna Tells Grandson, NO Tattoo.

Have a great weekend and happy passata days to all the families making passata this weekend :)





Passata time is family time...

Written by Lisa Baggio — February 20, 2014

Some of you may know Pina, our store manager from our Reservoir store. What you may not know is that she and her family members are tomato passata-making extraordinaires! I had the privilege of attending their 'Passata Day' last weekend, to experience first-hand their family's tradition of making sauce. You may recall in our last newsletter on our recent Passata Making Course (and Recipe), and my reference to Pina's passion for homemade food? Well now I understand where it comes from! Pina's family make their own sausages, salami, pizza, pasta, olives, preserves and biscotti. They do it because they are passionate about great tasting, natural, preservative/additive free food, and they are passionate about preserving these homemade food traditions.   

Pina's parents, Domenico and Giovanna Federico have been making homemade passata for as long as Pina can remember! A backyard food tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, from Pina's father's ancestors in Sulmona, Abruzzo, in Italy.

Pina's family put one weekend aside each year in February to make their homemade passata. She does not recall a year when they have not done this.

The Saturday afternoon is spent washing the tomatoes, sterilising the equipment and setting up the garage. 16 boxes of the tomatoes were delivered to the family home a couple of days before. They always purchase their farm grown tomatoes from Tony and Maria at 22 Lawson Crescent, Thomastown (0418 379 215).  

The family arrive at nonno and nonna's house early Sunday morning and get straight to work, starting cutting the tomatoes into quarters. Each tomato has been inspected and any bad tomato discarded. This job is initially shared by all family members. Pina's sons, Gianni (15 years) and Massimo (10 years) are now also old enough to cut the tomatoes which now helps speed up the process. Nonna is always keeping a close eye on quality control and efficiency of the process.

Once a couple of the crates have been filled with the cut tomatoes, the family members branch off into their assigned roles. Traditionally, Pina's brother Paul takes charge of putting the tomatoes through the machine. The family's passion for this slow food tradition is evident just by looking at their machine.  Pina's father Domenico has made modifications to our machine, literally attaching it to the kitchen sink. It is seriously awesome! The crate of quartered tomatoes is literally poured onto the kitchen sink and plunged through the sink hole into the machine where the pulp and skin are separated from the juice.  The juice runs down the shaft and straight into the bucket, ready for salting and bottling. 

This year the uncle is assisted by his nephews, Gianni and Massimo. The photo below captures beautifully the sign of the times, and a mix "old age" tradition V's "new age" technology, as Massimo thought he could actually plunge the tomatoes through the machine with one hand, holding onto his IPhone with the other :)

The pulp and skins are put through twice more, to ensure that the very last drop of the juice has been extracted. Juice is added to this process to minimise the strain on the motor, as the skins become drier.  

As with most patriarchal families, the nonno is charged with the most important of roles in this process, which is to add the right amount of salt to the tomatoes. Just enough to assist in the preserving process, but not too much to spoil the taste. I'm told it's better to under-salt than over-salt, as you can always add more to the sauce when cooking.  

On this day, Pina's eldest son Gianni is responsible for filling the bottles.  Again one of our non-spill bottle fillers has been skillfully attached to a construction disigned by Pina's father, to again add efficiency to the process. The nonno sits close by, inspecting the work of his grandson and making sure his is filling them to the correct level.

It's obvious though, that both the nonno and nonna are thoroughly enjoying their grandson's involvement and contribution to the process. It's not only the end result of fresh homemade passata that keeps this passata day alive, it's the preservation of a family tradition, passed down through the generations, with the hope that Paul, Pina and her children will carry this on well into the future.  

Once the bottles have been filled, the nonno then caps the bottles and gets them ready for the boiling process. Pina's family still use the beer bottles for their sauce, claiming that they have never lost a bottle through preserving them in this way.

Meanwhile, Pina and I continue to quarter the tomatoes with her mum, chatting away about anything and everything. This process and assembly line of designated jobs is continued until every last tomato is cut into quarters and taken through the various processes.   

As with all passata days, the highlight of the day is usually the special lunch that is prepared for the hungry workers. In Pina's family, this is traditionally done by the nonna. On this day, the family were spoilt with a homemade zucchini fritatta and fresh panini. Pina was quick to point out that the zucchini is homegrown, and the pancetta and salami in the panino is homemade! 

After lunch the filled bottles are then very carefully stacked into the old gallon drums. If stacked properly they can fit approximately 100 bottles into each drum.  Once the water comes to the boil, the bottles are slow boiled for approximately 2 hours and left to cool down overnight. To do this, they have four gallon drums boiling away on the gas burners.  

The process from start to finish is definitely a full day. The process then ending on Sunday at approximately 9pm following the big clean up. But the family are satisfied with their new years' supply of fresh homemade passata, totalling approximately 300 bottles!

The passata will now form the basis of many of the family's meals for the next twelve months. Some of these dishes including the sugo for their gaming meats,  ragu, marinara, minestrone, lasagna, bolognese or polpetti. 

If you would live to see more photos from Pina's family Passata Day, you can see them all on our Facebook Page.  



Pina's mum, Giovanni has very kindly shared one of her delicious family recipes.  Enjoy :)

Nonna Giovanna's "Classic Sugo" recipe.


1 x onion finely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves chopped

Olive oil

Lamb shoulder or chuck steak (diced in chunks)

2-4 bottles of passata

Parsley (roughly chopped)

Basil (roughly chopped)

Salt and Pepper



Saute' the onions and garlic in the olive oil.  

Add the diced chunks of lamb or chuck steak to the saute to brown the meat.  

Add the bottles of fresh homemade passata.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the basil and parsley.

Cook on simmer for approximately 2 hours.

Serve with your favorite style of pasta. Buon appetito!


There are many variations to Giovanna's recipe, which we will share with you over the next few weeks.  


Our Advanced Homemade Winemaking Courses will be commencing in March, 2014. If you would like to read more about our course, you can read our previous blog on our 2013 Advanced Homemade Winemaking Course.  

To help celebrate the Australian tomato season with you, we have included heaps of our passata/sauce making equipment and supplies in our Specials this week.  


Have a great week!

Passata Making Course (and Recipe)

Written by Lisa Baggio — February 13, 2014

Wow! What a fun night we had at our recent homemade Passata Making course at the Reservoir store. You couldn't have asked for a more authentic workshop to learn the craft of preserving tomato sauce, and we know that our participants walked away inspired and will be planning their own backyard 'passata days'. Our passata making course was instructed by our very own Pina and Celeste. Pina and her family have been having annual passata days for over 20 years now. Celeste inspired and entertained the class with her funny stories and mouth-watering recipes.   

At Home Make It, we have adopted Pina's method of preserving tomatoes and making passata, following the unrelenting protests that her families' method was the best! But we know that there are many different methods of making passata. You only have to ask any one of our customers and they'll tell you 'their method is the best'!  Pina is passionate about her families' backyard food traditions. Whether we are talking about salami, pasta or pizzelle, she'll also tell you that her families' method is the best ;)

The course commenced with a run down of the different methods for making passata and the importance of sterilising the bottles and equipment. We were then shown the different options for equipment that can be used and available, including the manual and electric machines.   


We pride ourselves on our workshops being 'hands on' and this passata course is no different. We put our participants to work straight away. Pina and Celeste had already sterilised all the bottles and equipment, and washed and dried the Roma tomatoes before we arrived, so our first job was to cut the tomatoes into quarters. We do this to cut out the flat stem, also to check that there are no rotten bits within the tomato, which could spoil the 'juice'.  


Between the 8 of us, we got through preparing the large box of tomatoes pretty quickly. Our FLB machine with electric motor and sauce attachment was set up and we put them through our machine using a plunger. This process separates the skin and the pulp from the tomato juice. We followed on by putting the skins and pulp through a second time to extract the juice further, adding some juice with the skins and pulp to look after the machine. If the skins are too dry, this can cause stress on the machine's motor.    


It was then time to bottle our tomato juice. We added a couple of fresh basil leaves to our already sterilised bottles. This is optional though. This job was made easier with our no spill bottle fillers which have been attached to our crates and buckets. We left a small space between the top of the bottle and the juice, to allow for the tomato juice to expand during the boiling process. We filled the bottles quickly and sealed them with a lid, careful to make sure the lid was on tight (but not over twisting, as this can also cause problems during the boiling process). You can largely avoid these problems however by using our lids.

All that was left to do then, was to carefully stack the bottles in our aluminum cooking pot, fill with water to the top and bring to the boil. It's useful to lay some cloth or toweling in the bottom of the pot and cover the top of the bottles to minimise the bottles rattling around during the boiling process. Once to the boil, the bottles or jars should be boiled for approximately two hours. This process sterilises the bottles and preserves the tomatoes. If stored in a cold dark area, these bottles will keep for years. 

Your passata is then ready for use, to be the basis for any of your favorite pasta sauces, pizza sauces, casseroles or risottos. How you cook it up is up to you! I personally like to add a little garlic, chill and onion. It's an awesome base for spaghetti pescatora, or just as nice for a simple spaghetti Napoli. There are no limits to what you can do!

We ended the evening with a delicious pasta dish cooked for us by Celeste. We sat down to a massive bowl of pasta made with Pina's passata sauce from last year and Celeste's sugo recipe, a bottle of wine and some yummy pastries. What a feast! And what a delightful end to a great evening!  

If you would like to see more photos from the evening, you can view them on our Facebook Page.  

If you are interested in attending one of our homemade passata making courses, call our Reservoir Store on 9460 2777 or Clayton Store on 9574 8222 to find out more or register your interest.  


Below is one of Celeste's recipes for making homemade fresh passata. Have fun!!



Tomato Passata/Sauce Recipe:
(Cooked Method - Ready to heat and serve)


-Roma Tomatoes
-Chopped Onions (Amount depends on the quantity of the tomatoes you want to prepare)
-Fresh Basil, Oregano, or Thyme and Rosemary
-Sugar (optional)
-Chilli (flakes or fresh and optional). Amount used will depend on palate.  
-Oil for sauteed method.  
-Pancetta, bacon or salami (Optional)

-Place the tomatoes in a food grade tub (50lts to 100lts).
-Pour boiling water over the tomatoes. This will soften the skin making the juicing of the tomatoes easier and quicker.
-Using a slotted strainer or spoon, steadily scoop the soften tomatoes into the machine's hopper to be processed. The skin and pulp will be separated from the juice. 
-Sauté the chopped onions, garlic, choice of herbs, pancetta and chilli in the oil until golden brown.  
-Pour the processed tomato sauce in this sofritto (sauteed herbs and vegetable).  
-Cook gently on low heat for at least 30 minutes. 
-Keep this on a gentle simmer. Keep covered, stirring gently every 10 to 15 minutes. Total cooking time of 1 & 1/2 hours.  
-For this part, some precautions should be taken for handling hot products.
-To sterilise the bottles, beer bottles or jars, place them in a hot 200 degrees oven for 15 minutes. Immediately place the jars on a tray whilst still hot.  
-Ladle the hot sauce into the jars allowing a space for expansion. Shake the jars so no air pockets will be present in the sauce.  
-Twist the cap on jars securely, but don't over twist.  
-Turn the jars upside down, let stand in this position for 10 to 15 minutes, turn upright, and leave to cool. This process creates a vacuum in the jars and is very important.
-Store in a cool, dark place. Ready to heat and serve! Enjoy!!
*This passata/sauce can also be added to a variety of dishes.  

Ever wondered how to make homemade jam? Here's a simple recipe...

Written by Celeste . — January 24, 2014

One of my favorite things about summer is the sweet taste of stone fruits. There is nothing more delicious than fresh apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries to help cool you down during those heatwaves. Whether we buy them at the local supermarket, fruit markets, grow them ourselves and or have friends or family willing to share their summer crop, they are one of life's best simplest pleasures!  

We were given some beautiful home-grown apricots by a great customer (Giuseppe) at our Reservoir Store a few weeks ago. In fact, too many to eat! Umm, what to do with them? So we decided to make some homemade Apricot Jam.  

Below is our neighbor Shirley's homemade jam recipe which has stood the test of time. The recipe is from 1972 and needed to be converted from imperial measure (pounds) to metric measure.  

Here it is!  

The Ingredients

2kg of Apricots

1kg of Sugar

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

1/2 packet (25gm) of Jam Setta *you can purchase in the spice section of your supermarket. I like to use Jam Setta because I find it helps to settle the jam and minimises the amount of sugar needed.   

I also like to use a little Brandy too, but this is optional - 2 tablespoons.  

Also optional are the blanched kernels. The kernels are the nuts inside the stone of the fruit.  The nut is crushed and blanched and included in the apricot mix.


The Process

Prepare and stone the apricots making sure they are clean.

Sprinkle half the sugar over the apricots and add the lemon juice. 

Leave to stand for a few hours or overnight in a cool place.  

Pour in the soaked apricots into a large cooking pot. (Cast iron or aluminium is preferable to stainless steel, as it will stick)


Bring them to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.

Add the Jam Setta with 100mls of warm water to dissolve.  

Gradually add the rest of the sugar.

Slow simmer for approximately 40 minutes. 

Add 2 tablespoons of the brandy. This is optional. I find that it brings all the flavors together.  

Add the blanched kernel. The kernel will give the jam a beautiful tart flavor and texture.  

You can test the jam to see if it is ready by placing a small plate in the freezer for 15-20 minutes and pouring 1 tablespoon of the jam in the center of the plate.  If it is ready, the jam should set quite quickly - if it still too runny, keep the jam on simmer for a little longer. It may need 10-15 minutes more depending on your result.


Rest the jam for 10 minutes.


Sterilising the Jars

Sterilise the jars in a hot oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes whilst you are resting the jam.

Wash and pat dry the lids.  

Ladle the jam into the jars and seal whilst hot. The jars will be very hot so take care with your handling of them.  

Invert sealed jars top to bottom (upside down) for at least 30 minutes to create a vacuum.


That's it! Your apricot jam is ready to be enjoyed.  


Here's a quick Plum Jam variation recipe for you to try;


2kg of red plums

1kg of sugar (raw or white)

4 lemons

1 stick of Cinnamon

4 or 5 cloves

3 glasses of water.

25gm of Jam Setta



Clean and cut the plums in half and remove the stone. 

In a large bowl, pour half the sugar over the fruit. 

Squeeze the juice of the lemons and add the water.  

Leave covered in a cool place for up to 12 hours or overnight.  

Strain the liquid and keep separately. (Edit: You can use this later to dilute the jam if it becomes too thick during the simmering stage, and in which case you'll also need to add more sugar proportionally. Depending on the season, you may not actually have much (or any) liquid to strain either.)

In a large cooking pot, (large enough for the fruit and liquid), place the fruit and gently bring to the boil.  

Once boiling, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and stir and regular intervals.  

Dissolve the Jam Setta with 100mls of warm water and add to the pot.  

Gradually add the rest of the sugar.

Slow simmer for approximately 40 minutes.  

Remove the bouquet garni (cinnamon and cloves).

Sterilise the jars in a hot oven at 180 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.  

Wash the lids and pat dry.  


Use the same process to test the jams, as included in the apricot jam recipe.  

Ladle the jam into the hot jars

Invert the sealed jam jars upside down for 30 minutes to create the vacuum.  



Watch this space...... We will be including some more preserving recipes in the coming weeks for strawberries and other popular seasonal fruits.  

Our Clayton and Reservoir Stores stock a great range of jars, lids and preserving accessories that are prefect for preserving jam and fruit. You can check out our range at our Online Store.   

We also have a few places available for our Summer Homemade Food and Beverage Courses at our Clayton and Reservoir stores. Our courses are hands on, social and lots of fun.


Cider Making Course

Passata/Sauce Making Course

Feta Cheese Making Course

Hard Cheese Making Course

Advanced Homemade Wine Making Course


You can also check out our SPECIALS by clicking on the link below (in our new mobile-friendly site!):  

Don't forget, you can also keep up to date with news from the Home Make It team by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  


Have a great weekend :)


The tomato season is coming! It's homemade passata time!

Written by Lisa Baggio — January 8, 2014

On behalf of the team, we would like to wish you a Happy New Year! May 2014 bring you good health and good times with family and friends. And of course, lots of homemade food and beverages :) 

2014 is going to be a busy year for Home Make It. We kick off the year in February/March with our beloved Passata Season. All over Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, weekends will be put aside by families and friends to turn their home garages or backyards into fresh tomato sauce making factories. We love it! We have seen a huge resurgence in interest of families and friends to preserve the Italian way of making homemade tomato sauce or "passata", as it is commonly known. But it's not just Italians that share this passion, the Greek community are also passionate about preserving and bottling fresh tomatoes for their traditional dishes and we are also seeing a steady growth interest in the tomato season from all different cultures.

Tomato Passata/Sauce Making Course 

Just as there is a diversity of cultures enjoying this backyard food tradition, so is there a diversity of methods employed to do it. You only need to ask two different Italians about their process for preserving tomatoes and you'll get two different methods. And each method, invariably the "superior and correct method".  


The tomato season is very special to me personally. It has become a family tradition of ours to put aside a weekend at the end of February to meet at my parents home, with my siblings and their children.  It's a time we all look forward to and it's a time to be together as a family, work together and yield the rewards together. At lunch time we sit down together to eat a delicious meal prepared for by mum and enjoy some special wines. We work hard, doing our designated jobs in the production of our bottled sauce, but in the background there is always music and laughter. And of course, no family day is complete without some healthy sibling squabbling. What makes the day so special is seeing all the children get involved in the process, and I know this is also one of the highlights for my parents.


Our Passata weekend starts on the Saturday. My brother picks up the boxes of tomatoes on the side of the road in Thomastown from a reputable farmer. The day is spent washing and drying the tomatoes, sterilising the bottles, setting up the garage and equipment, cleaning the crates and setting up the burners. We all go home tired and sore after this day, but excited about the day ahead when the real work begins.


We meet early Sunday morning and get straight to work. The first step is cutting the tomatoes into quarters, discarding any rotten sections. Crates are then filled with the quartered tomatoes. When enough have been cut up, it's time to start our assembly line. The tomatoes are put through the tomato machine which separates the skin and seeds from the pulp. Once the crate is filled with the tomato puree, the salt is added and the puree is ready to be bottled. You can do this the hard way, or you can do it the Home Make It way :) And that's with crates with no spill bottle fillers attached. It's child's play! It's then time to cap the bottles. Once the bottles have been capped they are then carefully placed in our reconditioned oil drums and slow boiled over our four ring gas burners for several hours. Ideally they will then cool over night in the drums before the crates are repacked with dozens and dozens of bottles of "liquid gold".


When the last of the tomato puree is bottled and ready to boil we finish the day with the clean up and a critique of the day. What worked well, what we can do differently and new goals for next year? Last year, each family took home 55 bottles of tomato sauce. This year we have raised the bar to 100 bottles each. Now that's a lot of tomatoes, roughly 30 boxes. But it's not just about making fresh homemade sauce, it's about creating lifelong memories for our children and preserving a slow food tradition from our ancestors, which will hopefully be continued by our children. 


We use our bottled tomatoes for all our traditional family dishes including pasta sauces, casseroles and pizzas. There's enough to use all year round and nothing beats the taste of natural homemade tomato sauce.



It was a privilege last year for Home Make It to be able to donate passata equipment to the Sydney Youth Food Movement's  "Passata Day". The Youth Food Movement is group of young people who share a passion for good food and are committed to a sustainable food future. Here's a fantastic video clip of one of their "Passata Days". We look forward to getting involved with the Youth Food Movement again this year.  

If you are new to making tomato sauce, you may enjoy coming along to one of our Tomato Passata/ Sauce Making Courses coming up in February at both our Clayton and Reservoir Stores. You can book directly online or contact our stores to secure your place.

We have also started taking bookings for other homemade food and beverage Summer Courses for 2014. These include our Advanced Homemade Winemaking Course, Cheese Making Courses, and Cider Making Course.  


Don't forget we have an Online Store for convenience and ease of shopping with the security of PayPal. Or call into our Reservoir or Clayton Store. We are open 9.00am til 5.00pm Monday to Friday, and 9.00am til 1.00pm on Saturdays. You can also follow up on Twitter or Facebook for daily updates.   

Click on the banner below to check out our SPECIALS - Theres a lot of passata/sauce making equipment on SALE!

Looking forward to sharing more news with you from the Home Make It team in 2014. Have a great weekend!

We're thinking outside the pickle jar...

Written by Lisa Baggio — September 26, 2013

We have moved away from our seasonal and traditional homemade food and beverages for this week's Newsletter, to focus on preserving jars and take a look at the latest food craze to hit Australia from the US. It seems we've gone mad for jars to serve up our favorite dishes and drinks in trendy bars and restaurants. The jar craze has also been embraced by those on the go that want to enjoy healthy, fast meals. There's no limit to what you can serve up in a jar whether it's breakfast, soups, salads, pastas or desserts.  

Check out the Pinterest page on Mason Jar Meals for some great food storing and serving ideas.  Here's just a sample of recipe ideas. Click to follow their links.  


Some handy tips we've picked up for using jars to store and serve salads are;
  • Put the dressing in first, to sit at the bottom of the jar.
  • Separate the leafy greens from the salad dressing.  Leafy greens should go in last. 
  • Put the more robust veggies in after the dressings, such as carrots and cucumbers.  They can sit in the dressing without spoiling.  
  • Fill the jars completely, to minimize the condensation liquid caused by space in the jars.  
  • You can store your salads freshly in salads in jars for several days.  
The Age: Good Food Month - Queenie's Food Tours 

Home Make It is teaming up with Master Chef contestant, Andrew Prior from Queenie's Food Tours for The Age, Good Food Month, for a special sausage-making lesson and specialist cooking class. To join Andrew on the Queenie's Food Tour with us on the 23rd November, 2013 book Online to secure your place.  
Food and Beverage Courses

Our Spring Food and Beverage Courses are now available and run from two convenient locations, Reservoir and Clayton. Visit our website to book directly Online. Our DIY homemade food and beverage courses are fun, hands on and affordable.     

The things we must do .......

You may recall earlier this year, our Business Development Manager, Frank Bovezza made the grueling sacrifice to travel to Italy in search of new, innovative and exciting products for our stores. You may also remember what a terrible time he had ;)


Anyway, Frank has kindly agreed to return to Italy in search of more new products for our stores and we look forward to sharing highlights from this trip with you via FacebookTwitter and our Newsletters.  Poor Frank, the things he must do....  


Don't forget that if you are into preserving and would like to participate in thePreserving Memories Project that will be exhibited at the Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival in May 2014, then please contact Anne Thoday on 0407 887 099.  

The trading hours for our Reservoir and Clayton stores are 9am until 5.00pm Monday to Friday and 9am until 1.00pm on Saturdays.

You can also shop anytime at our Online Store, with the security and ease of Paypal.  GiftCards are also available.  

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, specials, events and more.   

Enjoy the weekend :)

The time has arrived!

Written by Lisa Baggio — September 12, 2013

I hope you enjoyed watching the You Tube footage of the 2011 Darebin Backyard Harvest Festival. This is a wonderful initiative by the Darebin City Council to celebrate sustainable foods, and homegrown gardens.  

The Darebin Backyard Harvest Festival shares the knowledge, passion and skills of local families who generously invite you into their homegrown vegetable gardens. The 2013 Backyard Harvest Festival is coming up soon. There are open gardens, workshops and much more. Get behind this wonderful initiative and be inspired!
With Spring in the air, it's time to start thinking about planting your summer crops for your vegetable gardens  There is nothing more satisfying than  harvesting your own fresh vegetables that you have grown and nurtured from seedlings.There really is no comparison in taste and freshness. If you're not sure what you should be planting and when, you may enjoy this local Melbourne Blog on Spring Vegetable Gardens, called "Yummy Gardens".  Included in the blog is a really handy list and timetable of vegetables that are suitable to plant in Spring.
Free 10 Minute Consultations with Agricultural Sciences & Technology Expert
To get you started with this years crop, we are very excited to announce our new Home Make It initiative in our Reservoir Store! We have invited Francesco Varrasso from Spazi Verdi (Italian for "Green Space") to provide free 10 minute consultations on Saturday 21st September, 2013 between 10am and 1pm. So if you are looking to start up a Veggie Garden, want to improve your crop from last year or simply want to know more about when to plant, what to plant and best systems to use, then take advantage of this opportunity to gain free advice from Francesco our expert in Agricultural Sciences & Technology. Bookings are essential. Please book your free 10 minute consultation directly with Francesco on 0421 238 449 or email him on
Local project celebrating the local cultural heritage of preserving at home

Being passionate about home grown and homemade food, we are also only too happy to promote a local initiative that is currently underway that may be of real interest to you. This project shares our passion for preserving the food traditions from different cultures. We hope to see some of your stories exhibited at the 2014 Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival.  

"Hi, I’m Anne Thoday from Northcote. 
I’d like to invite you to be part of a creative project celebrating the local cultural heritage of making preserves at home in Darebin. As the focus of my studies at Melbourne University, I am interested in the powerful link between food and cultural memory. It’s astonishing how the smell or taste of something can remind us of the past.  
 I’m hoping that you, as someone who makes preserves, will invite me and my photographer (also a local) to your home so that we can have a conversation while we preserve together. It could take from two to four hours, depending on how long it takes to do the preserving. Our conversations will be recorded and photographs will be taken. These will form part of an exhibition to be launched during the Darebin Home Made Food and Wine Festival in May 2014. The exhibition aims to celebrate the extraordinary knowledge and skills of people in our community, especially older migrants who settled in Darebin in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It also aims to share knowledge and enhance understanding across generations and cultures. Keeping these time-honoured traditions alive is good for communities, and it may also help us ensure food supplies in the future.  All recorded conversations and photographs will be made available for participants to view before they are shown to the general public. If you would like to meet and discuss being involved in the project please contact me on:
Mobile: 0407 887 099         Email: "


It's arrived!  The 2014 Melbourne Salami Festa is here!  Have you purchased your ticket for the Festa on Sunday 15th September? Tickets are still available on-line.  You can also purchase General Entry tickets on the day with a gold coin donation. The official count of Entries for the best homemade salami competition is 63.  That's a lot of salami!

Which homemade salami will be crowned "Best Homemade Salami"? The Judges Choice has been made. Now it's up to you to cast your vote for the best homemade salami. Come along, taste some salami, cast your vote, enjoy the gourmet food and beverages, watch a salami making demonstration, and enjoy the live entertainment.  It's going to be a massive afternoon, celebrating one of our most favorite food traditions - the beloved "Salumi". Be sure to come past our exhibition to say hello or heckle Steve and Frank during the Salami Making Demonstration :)

Clayton Reservoir