Every Thursday night I rush home from work, open a bottle of red and begin cooking. Not just the usual slap together of whatever may be in the fridge but something different and exciting. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to cook every night of the week but Thursday is cooking night for me. After all, there is a lot to celebrate. I am only one day away from Friday, the weekend is approaching and Gourmet Farmer is on SBS!
I have long been a fan of Thursday nights on SBS. Three jam-packed hours of cooking and travel on the one night is a magnificent spectacle of on-air scheduling. The perfection of combining travel with cooking is simply genius as far as I am concerned.
You see, I am one of those people who make my way into the city every day in a lemming like state, only to sit at a desk and pay my taxes. My days of travelling the world seem like a lifetime ago and the reality at the moment is that my primary escape is SBS Thursday nights. Watching Matthew Evans traipse around his Fat Pig Farm in Tasmania with his family and friends brings a smile to my face as I imagine myself in his place, making cheeses, curing hams and exchanging produce with my neighbours. While this seems lovely, I think it is more his background and how he got to where he is now that appeals to me most.
Matthew Evans used to be a revered food critic in Sydney. He made a living of going to restaurants, eating and drinking wine and then writing a review that could either make or indeed break someone’s dream. The premise of Gourmet Farmer is the fact that he has given up this comfortable lifestyle and job to have a crack at living entirely self-sufficiently. He is not a farmer and has little to no idea about running a farm. A few episodes into season one, it dawned on me…This could be me!
The gruesome reality of killing the little piglets that you have raised since birth or chopping the heads off the chickens that your son chases around the yard doesn’t appeal to me greatly but there is always someone who would be willing to take these duties on. Perhaps I could exchange their services for a few jars of homemade chilli relish or a box of Chinese vegetables.
The thought of spending my days preparing food that I will eat that night or sell at a local market appeals to me greatly. There is something satisfying about reaping (or more to the point, eating) the reward of your hard day’s work. If I had the chance, I would swap my life of I.T. failures and project meetings for a simpler life in a coastal country town growing my own produce, living the quiet life with only my loved ones around to enjoy this solitary life with.
While most dreams take time to come to fruition, it is important to think about your ultimate plan A, even though you may be living your plan B, C or J. For me, right now, visits to my in-law’s farm and SBS on Thursday nights will have to do. These bills and mortgage aren’t going to pay themselves.