Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Buffalo and cream

OUTBACK's nomadic chef Adrian Millman finds a striking contrast between a family's two farming ventures - in Victoria and the Top End - and prepares meals using ingredients from both.

BuffaloThere are no Flossies, Bessies or Daisies among the Friesian and Jersey dairy cows meandering toward Trish and Bruce White's huge dairy outside Foster in Victoria's Gippsland.

They're more likely to have monikers like William the Conqueror, Downing Street, FM Gippsland, Emergency Ward or Foster Postcode. Farm worker Butch Ireland jokes that when you're milking up to 1500 cows in a session, you have to keep the mind occupied.

"So we play cryptic cows," he chuckles. Every cow is numbered for herd testing purposes and thus for Butch and his fellow milkers, 1066 becomes William the Conqueror, 10 is Downing Street, 911 is Emergency Ward, and so on.

The cattle on the White's other property - as far from the rolling clovered hills of Foster as can be imagined - don't have names, either.

But as they mature under new foreign ownership, they could well be answering to Ali or Mahomet. Trish and Bruce and their three sons - Don, John and Peter - have taken farm diversity to a remarkable level by combining resources to run their 2100 acre dairy farm overlooking scenic Wilson's Promontory as well as the 250sq. km. Mt Keppler Station on the Adelaide River, south of Darwin.

Both operations embrace ground-breaking production techniques and are testament to the harsh realistic advice delivered to farmers 20 years ago - "get big or get out".

Adrian's recipe: Classic Cream Sponge

Classic Cream SpongeIngredients:
2 cups self-raising flour
6 hen or 12 bantam eggs
1 cup castor sugar
Splash of hot water


Sift flour
Separate eggs
Whisk whites with sugar to form sloppy meringue
Add yolks and fold in flour
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 190 deg C.
Let cool then slice sponge, fill with cream and spread with jam Story end

Full story Issue 11, June - July 2000

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