Where the Snowy meets the Strait… and Stuffing.

Hello Victoria!  We spent our first few days in Victoria at a little spot called Genoa.  It rained cats and dogs while we were there, but it didn’t stop us visiting this tiny town’s pub for a few drinks and to watch a bit of the Ashes.  You know you’re in Victoria when the pub has an aeroplane crafted out of VB cans hanging from the ceiling.  This town has a historic bridge, a pub, and a great RV rest stop.  That’s pretty much it, but what more could one need?

From there we travelled to the Corringle Slips - where the Snowy River meets the Bass Strait in the most spectacular way.  On the drive in we spotted an echidna who had just finished crossing the road.  Having never seen one ‘in the wild’ before, I scrambled out of the car as fast as I could to get a shot and meet her.  She was less impressed with my enthusiasm and quickly curled into a ball.  I hope I didn’t scare her.  We set up camp and then went to discover the beach.

From the camp, you have to climb over incredibly steep sand dunes to get to the beach.  It was a quick surge of exercise to get to the top.  On the beach side of the sand dunes there were some really beautiful plants and wildflowers.  They are so exposed to the elements on the dunes.  The cold, salty and sandy winds must cut through these plants.  Yet, they seem to flourish.

The water was fierce with waves.  Before caravanning, I guess I had only ever really visited patrolled or ‘safe’ beaches.  I don’t think I’d ever really seen how ferociously the water can meet the sand.  My first encounter would have been at Black Rocks Campground, Ten Mile Beach.  At first I found these sorts of waters intimidating.  Not that I’d swim.  But even just watching from the safety of the sand, the water looms over you like an unsettled spirit, slapping you in the face with wet and sharp wind.  Adrian, however, always found them exhilarating and enthralling.  He scampers along, with the water up to his knees, on any beach we meet with a puppy-like over-excitement.   Whereas I gingerly hug the shore line, hoping not be caught by the water for fear of stingers.  Having now experienced many more of these unconstrained beaches, I am starting to become more comfortable with them.  I found something soothing and enchanting about this particular swollen water.  It dances like no one is watching.  There is no doubt that it’s beating its own drum with the sound of each wave hitting the sand.  So, here, I dance too.  After all, there really isn’t anyone else watching.  We have the whole spectacular beach to ourselves.  I even let my feet get wet.

The next day, we explored further, taking the route from this side of the Marlo Estuary over the dunes to the Snowy River.  We then followed the Snowy River to its inlet and walked back via the beach.  This walk took about 1.5 hours and the dunes, again, were steep.  It was a crystal clear day and the water was the most brilliant blue.  At the meeting of these two bodies of water, there is a forest of drift wood growing on the beach.  I found it most peculiar.  There is also an array of beautiful tiger stripped shells.  I don’t know what kind they are but they are really pretty.

Whilst staying at Corringle, we had a serendipitous meeting with the Junior Nomads, Wayne and Susie, and with a grouse lone-camper named Brett.  Brett had a fabulous fire going, I had a chicken roasting on the Weber and so the stage was set for a great little impromptu happy hour rolling into a camping dinner party.  We bonded over love for freshly ground nutmeg on broccoli and roast chicken stuffing.

The next morning, Wayne and Susie popped by to say goodbye before they continued on their journey north to Tathra.  I’m fairly sure I recall Wayne saying that he was really lucky to have Susie cooking for him in his life, and that he’d love to treat her by cooking for her more often.  :)
Well, in case you’re wanting to make her some roast chook stuffing, Wayne – the recipe went a little something like this:

Pour enough breadcrumbs to fit inside the bird into a bowl (somewhere around a cup or two).  If you are out of bread crumbs, you can make your own with stale bread, or just use couscous (cook and cool it first).

Add a tablespoon of Lemon Pepper, a chopped up bunch of parsley, salt, pepper, a crushed clove of garlic, juice of half a lemon and an egg.

Mix together.  If it is too dry and not coming together, then add a bit of another egg until it does (lightly beat an egg to the side and add a bit extra at a time until the mixture looks and feels like wet sand).

Stuff your chicken!  Give your bird some love, by massaging it with olive oil, salt and pepper.  If you’re feeling indulgent, then massage herby butter in-between the skin and breast.  Remember, if you are stuffing a bird for roasting, the stuffing will add to the weight of the bird and this needs accounting for in cooking times.  Roast the chook at 200˚C for 20 minutes for every 500g of weight.  If you like crispy skin, then turn it up to 220˚C for the last 15 minutes.  Stick the tip of a knife into the thickest part (the thigh) and when it’s done, juices will run clear.

Alternatively, if you’re a bit squeamish about whole chickens, or are just baking chicken thighs or breasts to save on time, mould a fat log out of the stuffing and bake it for 20-40 mins, depending how crispy you like it, alongside your chicken bits.  It won’t taste quite as good as if it bakes inside the chicken, but it’s still pretty delicious.

Stuffing is a great way to make a meal stretch to more people.  But really, I only make stuffing because Adrian won’t let me roast a chook without it.  He sulks.  Even through roast chicken is one of his favourite meals.  If it isn’t stuffed, I may as well not bother, because I don’t get any wifey-brownie-points for making an unstuffed roast chicken… go figure!

You can use up stuffing leftovers just like you would the left over chicken – chop it up and put it on sandwiches, or mix into pasta sauces.

The Corringle Slips was a really beautiful spot.

Corringle-Slips18

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Comments

  1. dieter herrling says:

    Well, Heike
    here is your dad enjoying your travel diary.
    But I think the fresh air must confuse your memory.
    A few years ago, when the entire family traveled around Tasmania, we saw an Echidna being helped by a motorcyclist from the road leaving the Bay of Fire.
    Thought, I just get that in.
    But as I said it was some time ago.
    Looking forward to your next notes covering Melbourne and the Bass Straight crossing.

    lots of love
    from your Dad :):):)

  2. Hi Heike!

    I am so flattered that you are following my blog. I am very envious of your photography skills! You write so beautifully, too. I’m looking forward to following your adventures around Oz, and hearing about how you go with the caravan kitchen. I’m still coming to grips with mine, but I’ve always been a bit of a one-pot, three-ingredient cook so it’s mostly a matter of getting used to my burners having only two settings: off, and if-you-don’t-watch-it-it’ll-burn!

    Cheers
    Terri

    • Thanks Terri! The story about your tyre falling off scared the bejebers out of me and so now I’m hooked on your story :)
      Don’t worry about your burner too much. I remember experiencing a moment of absolute divine clarity once, when watching a TV cooking show (maybe Jamie Oliver) and he said something along the lines of “you are in control, if it’s getting too hot, don’t just stare at it and freak out, pick up the pan and move it off the heat”. It sounds stupidly obvious, but I don’t think I realised that truly until it was said at me! This was back when I had an electric stove top and you just couldn’t turn it down quickly at all. I LOVE that we have uber-responsive gas now! But now, I’m in the habit that if I’m chopping something up or multi-tasking when something is on the stove, I just pull the pot away from the heat and then put it back when I’m ready to give it attention again. It’s just like hitting the pause button.
      I agree: one-pot, three-ingredient cooking is the best :)
      Happy travels,
      H

  3. dieter herrling says:

    Why go over seas when we have such beautiful places to visit at our back door step! Australia is a great place, so many people take for granted. We are blessed to live here. Love Mum. xx :)

  4. Hi Heike, I was going to remind you of the Tassie echidna but Dad beat me to it!! :) Enjoying the travel diary, keep it up. Stunning scenery. Also, would love to see some more photos of you both in the landscape/individually. Will you be posting a caravan christmas cooking spectacular? Or will find a hotel for Christmas lunch? Safe travels, Love Hx

    • Noted! We’re starting to take more pics together. I must learn to put the tripod in the car so we can get timer shots together in places. So often there is no one around to ask to take a shot of us!
      Given the fabulous produce in Tassie, I’ll definitely be cooking this Christmas. I think Seafood will be the order of the day (or month!). But it is still cook enough for a fire at night, so I’d love to do a rotisserie ham or something – YUM!
      Thanks for the comment.
      xoxo Heike

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