Monday, 26 June 2017

Macenmist Truffiere road signage

Macenmist road sign shhowing directions to truffiere
Road sign erected 2014
A few years ago after much toing and froing Council erected a road sign indicating the direction and existence of our truffle farm on Cappanana Road. This greatly assisted our visitors in finding the property.

It is now June 2017 and it appears that a road sign collector has taken a fancy to our blue sign as it is no longer on the post. In fact the bracket and the sign have both disappeared.

So yesterday I visited the Cooma Council office and spoke to a gentleman about the missing sign. He said he would pass the message on to the road division of the SnowyMonaro Council.

The next day I rang the Council office to make sure that they had the matter in hand and that the message was not just sitting on a desk in-tray. Reception transferred my call and the person on the end of the phone said that the message was received. I asked how long it would take to have the sign put back up only to find out that we are back to the toing and froing of 2014.

Our property sign went missing and there is only the road sign left
2017 road sign goes missing
We need to get a quote done first because they do not know how much it will cost, then we have to accept the quote, No doubt then we will need to wait for an account to be processed then the bill paid before the sign will be ordered let alone erected. Lets hope that it will be before the end of the truffle season in early September.
Oh yes .... it appears that the Council can use tamper-proof bolts so I asked them to do so. At which point I was informed that the result usually meant that the sign would be subjected to vandalism. Guess we just need to take the risk.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Westfield Truffle Market Day

Banner advertising truffle hunts at MacenmistToday was spent organising display material for the pop-up store in Belconnen on Saturday morning.
Recipe cards were printed, banners organised and truffle slicers boxed ready for sale, but most of all the truffle had to be found and prepared for sale on the day.
This month's festival market day is at Westfield Belconnen and next month if you missed the Belconnen event you will be able to enjoy another truffle market at Westfield Woden. At Woden if you are lucky you may be the winner of a Macenmist truffle hunt vouchers.
At 10am this year truffles supplied by Macenmist Black Truffles and Wines will be prepared by Chef  Darren Perryman from Pialligo Estate. He will be cooking a soft polenta topped with microplaned truffle. Pialligo Estate Winery will also be featuring and pairing their wine with the dish.
Then  2 hours later enjoy some Macenmist truffle made into ice cream by Alaine Chanter from Foodish cooking school. The accompaning wine will be from Mount Majura.
The day was a wonderful success and many shoppers were able to take advantage of the pop-up truffle stall to purchase fresh truffle.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Chefs needing fresh truffle

Some of the first truffle ever harvested from the Macenmist truffiere
The morning started with a heavy frost and when I was brave enough to venture out to check the thermometer it read -5°C. So it was back inside, light the fire and have a warming cuppa. Truffle hunting will have to wait a few hours until it warms up.

Its just after midday and the sun is shining brightly with just the right amount of warmth. So today both dogs will be given a go at finding the black gold. I just have to make sure that they do not damage them with their claws. Their treats have thawed so its outside with the dogs and camera to see what we can find. Tawdiffu will be first (as she works at mach 10) next at a more sedate pace will be Fahren.
After about 90 minutes we head back to the shed with a bag loaded full of truffle. Thanks to both dogs we now have enough truffle for tomorrows deliveries.
All that remains to be done is the cleaning and packaging. Of yes, and of course the delivery.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Truffle is getting better and better

Making sure no contaminants are traipsed into the truffiere by disinfecting footwear

Just after 10am everyone walks down to  the entrance to Macenmist truffiere. We are about to hunt for black gold. Everyone is rugged up against the cold and as the mist surrounds us we all walk through a foot bath before following Tawdiffu into the plantation to find truffle.
The season is now well underway and the truffle is ripening as the soil surrounding the trees gets colder and colder with every frost. The cold temperatures are making the truffle smell better and everyone seems to enjoy the pungent aroma.
We have had a really good start to the truffle season and with each hunt more ripe truffle is being unearthed.
Tawdiffu still works on lead as she is young and very fast to find truffle. This means that potentially if she was off leash she could damage the truffle with her nails. She is very enthusiastic and tends to dig very fast and deep if left to her own devises. So by necessity we walk close to her.
Nature being fickle, we never know if anything will be ripe or if we will even find truffle on any given day. Let's hope that today is a good day.
Truffle dog "Tawdiffu" finds truffle
Yes we are lucky, truffle has been found and as a reward the dog is given an assortment of treats. These treats are sourced from frozen meat left-overs and could be any type of meat treat.
Needless to say the dog is happy to show us all where to find the truffle in order to obtain a tasty morsel.

Once the truffle is found and unearthed it is passed around for everyone to inspect and smell. Those venturing out on the truffle hunt also get to dig for truffle.
As time progresses we find more truffle under a number of trees, but the weather is still slightly chilly so after a good haul, the consensus of opinion meant that it was back to the warm truffle shed to clean what had been harvested.
Before cleaning, the truffle is weighed and then re-weighed again when clean to demonstrate just how much soil needs to be cleaned off them before they are ready for market.
Once the truffle is cleaned and cataloged it time to sit down at the table and enjoy a 3 course truffle luncheon.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Black Truffle record broken

As a belated mother's day present William decided to take his mother on a truffle hunt. Donna who will be staying with William for a few weeks is from the tropical Brisbane climate so was pleased to rug up before venturing out to find truffle with myself and our truffle dog Fahren.
Right on the mark Fahren indicated a find and being a gentleman William let his mothers excavate the truffle first.
Yes we found something Donna unearthed one truffle weighing 26grams.
After cataloging the tree number we asked Fahren to move on to find more truffle. It was now Williams turn to excavate.

No pressure !

The current record held by the Chefs from the Hyatt in Canberra was recorded in 2016 at 26 truffles from a single hole.

William being competitive embraced the task.
and  — YES —  the record was broken in fine style.

William now holds the record of 50 truffles from one hole. His truffle weighed in at 490 grams.
We will be displaying a photograph of William in our Truffle shed together with details of his haul.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Truffle Festival's Launch

Yesterday the Chef Minister of the ACT opened this years truffle festival. Although Macenmist Black Truffles & Wines started hunts on the June long weekend it is now official truffle time. The Mecure Hotel in Canberra used our truffle for the dishes that they served and at the Blessing of the Truffle Dogs the chef will also be using our truffle.  Yes we are blessed with early truffle. Its colder in this region than in the other growing districts of New South Wales so our season starts earlier and ends later. We also have hunts with truffle lunches and all day events planned for this year. So why not come and join us by booking on our website

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Truffle Dog returns to good health

At long last Fahren has had her stitches out and no longer needs to wear the "Elizabethan collar" she is one happy dog and is now able to enjoy her work finding truffle and of course being amply rewarded. Thank you to the vet and staff for all their effort

Monday, 12 June 2017

Truffle Long Weekend

What an amazing way to end the long weekend. We had a visit from Iput Putri and Aaron Fishman from the East Bali Cashews company as they took in the food delights of Australia after attending a producers food festival in Sydney. Aaron would like Macenmist to investigate and produce a truffle cheese and truffle honey, both of which are some of his favourite truffle value-added  products. It was wonderful to spend a few hours with them at the end of the long weekend tasting good cheese, truffle, cashew kale not to mention the glass of wine or two. Many thanks to both of you for taking the time out to visit us and we hope to see you both again soon — hopefully you will be able to join us for one of our "all day" events where after lunch chef John will show you how to get the most from your truffle.

I would also like to share with you some of my weekend highlights.
The images will show you  how wonderful the truffle smells with people trying to guess the aroma that the truffle emits. Everyone reacts differently to its aromat — some love it — others are not too sure — unfortunately for them, there are some who do not enjoy it —  and then there are the children who are honest and will either tell that they hate or love the smell.
rather than judge an experience from my blog why not join us at one of Macenmist's events so that you can experience it first-hand.

This weekend we loved to see family enjoying themselves and here Mother, Father and Son enjoyed a day out this long weekend with Tawdiffu, one of our truffle dogs, who did not mind being photographed when they took an impromptu photo of the truffle that they had unearthed (with the dogs help of course).

After the hunt they partook in the cleaning and weighing of the harvested truffle.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Truffle Long Weekend

The truffle dogs just love the work that they do indicating where I can dig up fresh truffle. As a reward throughout the year I have been freezing various left over meats. For finding truffle the dogs now have a reward of: chicken, sausages, liver, beef steak, pork and tongue which they love. Some of it we have dried the rest is frozen. But both Fahren and Tawdiffu will sell their truffle find for a delicious treat. The dish above was found yesterday and Tawdiffu preferred the liver treats and was so anxious to get to them that she wanted to dig the truffle faster to ensure the treats were forthcoming. Hence one of the largest truffles that she found (around 300 grams) had a couple of claw marks in it.Now she is back on a leash so that her enthusiasm does not get the better of her.
This weekend is a long weekend in Australia and our public truffle hunt events commence on Saturday and continue each weekend till the close of the truffle season in early September. All of our events feature truffle tasting in some way. This years luncheon menu features as a first course:Tomato bisque with truffled coconut foam and rosemary croutons. While having your lunch you may also wish to have a glass of Macenmist's homemade gluhwein to accompany it. 
Then its onto the main course which has two truffle features:the first being the cous cous which is coated in truffled butter and the second treasure is the Perigueux sauce —which is to die for!!
Then when you think that you have no more room in your stomach you are offered dessert. YES — you managed to squeeze room because it looks truffle delicious and it tastes delicious as well. You are served "truffled cheesecake on chocolate blancmange with cubes of rhubarb gel and cream drizzle.
For the love of truffle and its flavour we endure adverse climatic conditions and venture out in snow, sleet, light rain and hopefully sunny days just to harvest these beauties. They may seem excessively expensive but if used correctly, your dollar goes a long way.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Truffle Dog Hunting update

Two truffle dogs keeping each other comforted. Its a week today that Fahren's stitches can be removed. This long weekend she will not be taking guests out hunting for truffle. Tawdiffu will be staring on all three days Later today when its time to go truffle hunting again I will remove Fahren's collar so that she can enjoy herself for a short while. Then the collar will have to go back on so that she does not remove the stitches prematurely.

Yesterday, just as the cold fog was clearing Tawdiffu and I went in search for truffle so that the alpine region would be able to serve truffle during the long weekend. She was quite the little harvester with two new trees producing truffle for the first time. One in the plantation planted in 2012 and the other in the main plantation planted in 2008. The smell of truffle wafts our kitchen currently as they are cleaned of dirt ready for dispatch.
As we now have truffle why not start cooking
with it so it was out with the butter to make a quick truffled shortbread.
These tiny mouthfuls go really well with a truffled chocolate ganache but true to form they did not last long enough for the ganache to be made. Warm shortbread with truffle YUM.   Tomorrow I will be learning how to cook black truffle and black garlic salsa.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Black Truffle harvest time

Tuber melanosporum (perigord black truffle)

Yesterday was domestic chores — no fun.
Today was far more exciting — black truffle harvesting with one of our Lagotto Romanolo truffle dogs. It was time to replenish our fresh truffle after the distiller from Catcher & Co took the truffle we had to make "Black Truffle Gin".  Now it will only be a matter of time before it can be tasted and a wonderful new cocktail created. Thinking caps are on to come up with a new and exciting name for this gin and of course the cocktail.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Truffle hunting and tree pruning

Just over half of the first truffiere planting has now been pruned. Its a really big undertaking specially out in the cold winter days. Lots more to do as today because Fahren, our oldest truffle dog, wanted my undivided attention I only managed to finish half a row. We are now both back inside and she is now curled up in my lounge chair in front of a warm fire.
Hazel and oak trees
It's while Fahren is asleep that Tawdiffu  (truffle dog number two) and I sneak out to do a quick truffle hunt. The dog quickly found a couple of ripe beauties and we also marked two trees for a later harvest. We have now left the the truffiere and as I put down the bag to close the gate Tawdiffu checks out the bags letting me know that there is more truffle to be found and not under a tree.
Hey mum there's more truffle in the bag I can smell it