Hello Friends,

I am very pleased to have been invited to provide recipes for the Yarra Ranges Tourism, visitdandenongranges.com.au, weekly blog.

After living in the Dandenong Ranges for close to 20 years, I feel I can almost call myself a "local"! My late husband and I were part of the Yarra Ranges Regional Food Group and spent many Sundays at Yering Station Farmers' Market, where we sold a range of my pickles, chutneys, jams, jellies, vinegars - and became friends with our regulars.

After about 25 years as a food writer, stylist and consultant my involvement in studio work was replaced by becoming a visiting lecturer in Food & Living Skills, working with VCAL students at Morrison House,Mt Evelyn, which I loved.  Now, in a move away from food, I have produced and presented a weekly program on radio 3MDR (97.1 FM, streaming on www.3mdr.com) for about 8 years.  The Good Life goes live to air every Monday between 3.00 - 5.00 P.M.

Because we are so fortunate with our range of regional foods and also because of the accessibility of so many farmers' markets, I will offer, whenever possible, recipes including local seasonal ingredients.

Based on a friend's delight - and bewilderment! - at her harvest  of 22 pumpkins (with more ripening!) I thought we might start with a recipe I picked up years ago from a leading Melbourne chef. Of course we are also able to find locally grown walnuts at some farmers' markets.


Serves 4


1 small white onion peeled, OR 4 spring onions
60gr. butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
350gr pumpkin, peeled and cubed
60gr walnuts, chopped
1 TB tomato puree
700ml rich chicken or vegetable stock
Generous pinch each of nutmeg and cayenne
300ml light cream
2 TB whipped cream
Little salt (if desired)
30gr toasted chopped walnuts (to garnish)
Chopped chives


Chop onion or spring onions  Melt about 30gr butter in a shallow saucepan.

Add onions and cook gently  over low heat.  (Do not allow to colour.)

Add garlic, pumpkin, chopped walnuts and tomato puree.

Sweat ingredient so for about 2 minutes, add stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer over medium heat until pumpkin is soft.

Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. (May be passed through a sieve for a really  velvety finish.) Pour into a saucepan and season with pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat, add cream and remainder of butter, constantly whisking.  Adjust seasoning, adding a little salt if necessary.

Serve in heated bowls, topped with a swirl of whipped cream, chopped walnuts and chives.

Download & Print Recipe

Ann Creber (The Good Life on 3MDR)



Image from www.tastespotting.com