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Hartsyard's Blog


By November 9, 2012 2 Comments

The other day in the land of social media, people were getting rather excited/uptight about the dietary habits of Chef Pete Evans.

Now I can’t tell you much about anything on his menu, except that I am faintly familiar with liquorice tea. Not that I’ve tried it, but one of our regulars suggested I do. Apparently it is very good for stressed adrenals, which Eliza (also a fully qualified naturopath) suspected I was suffering from.

Now it’s a fair bet that my adrenals were stressed…for a while there my toenails felt stressed. Opening a restaurant and owning a small human is stressful stuff, so I cracked a bottle of wine, opened a packet of liquorice all-sorts and went to work on my adrenals.

I wish Gregory would work on his adrenals. I guarantee they’re more stressed than mine.

‘If I bought you a multi-vitamin would you take it?’ I ask him one morning while he sits slumped over the first of what might be 10 coffees for the day.


No debate. No discussion. No vitamins.

‘Your diet is terrible,’ I continue in a bossy-come-concerned tone of voice that I’ve pretty much perfected over the past four and a half years of marriage. ‘When was the last time you had a piece of fruit?’

‘I ate some of those banana candies left over from Halloween last night,’ he replies and stirs another sugar into his coffee.

This is what I’m dealing with people. The man runs on caffeine all day and then generally succumbs to what he calls a ‘fat kid attack’ sometime after service, usually between 1 and 2am.

This ‘fat kid attack’ may manifest itself in a kebab from the shop up the road. Or it might appear as a sandwich of white bread, toasted on the grill with lashings of butter, a couple of eggs fried hard, bacon, baked beans cooked in the bacon fat and thick slices of melted cheese. (Our cousin named that one the ‘drunk man’s dinner’, perfect for a post-party feed) Or the fat-kid attack could be pizza. Not as good as New York Gregory tells me, but it can’t be that bad. Look how much he orders.

And yes, feel free to comment on the outrageous moustache. I do. Frequently.

Gregory is a shocking over-order-er. Something to do with fasting for most of the day would be my guess. At restaurants he orders most of the menu often just to see how dishes are plated, (which I understand, that’s a professional curiosity) and on Mondays (which is generally take-out night) he sustains the local chinese restaurant for a week with his requests.

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6 dishes for 2 adults. 3 take-away chinese dishes per person. And people wonder why the portion sizes at Hartsyard are the size they are…

He’s not bad on a camping trip though. In fact, might I suggest that along with your billy for tea and your damper recipe, you also pack a fully qualified professional chef on your next trip out bush.

A couple of years ago, ‘the kids’ (my 3 brothers, cousin, sis-in-law,Gregory and I) found ourselves camping in the wilds of Norway. While our fancy campervan neighbours tucked into food in a tube, (it’s not their fault they eat that way, the lack of sunlight in the winter must addle their brains) we feasted on mussels plucked fresh from the fjord that Gregory cooked over the fire in a beer and garlic broth.

I mean really, apart from a masseuse, who else but a professional chef would you want to shack up with?

I apologise but I’m going to have to excuse myself and beat a hasty retreat to the washing line because the hail has hit and if I don’t get the napkins off the line in time, tonight’s guests are going to have to wipe hot sauce on their pants instead.

Oh the pressure! No wonder my adrenals are stressed.

Somebody please, pass the liquorice.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Tanya says:

    Naomi, did the liquorice help? Have to admit my first thought on reading this post was…which local Chinese restaurant?! Is the one further down Enmore Road that does Northern Chinese cuisine dumplings? I also suffer from over-ordering syndrome and I don’t have the Greg’s plating excuse. It’s just sheer greed alright I’m trying to cut down (or wear looser clothes).

    • Hartsyard says:

      Liqourice all-sorts always help Tanya. You should come out to dinner some time with us – you could have an order-off with Gregory. Dunno which place he goes to, to be honest, I stay home with Q and have myself a glass of wine while i wait! thanks for reading, nix