Category Archives: Plonk and Tucker

And here’s to you, High Tea Bakery!

Another friend of the DUCW has been featured recently in the Winnipeg Free Press – Sunday May 17 edition, pages A10-11.

Many of you have enjoyed the treats and eats at High Tea Bakery on Portage, which is part Australian owned and has hosted many of us for afternoon tea.

You can see more at this link – you will have to locate the issue in Editions on the right margin – but here are a few snippets to tempt your taste buds. BTW, the Bakery is open for take out, if you’ve got a hankering for lamingtons.

When life gives you lemons, make lemon tarts. Or lemon squares. Or lemon cranberry scones.

Belinda Bigold is the owner of High Tea Bakery, a St. James institution well known for its British-style goodies. On March 17, Bigold, who founded the business in 2003 along with her mother Carol Bigold, sat down with her management team to crunch numbers.

Forced to immediately lay off three-quarters of her staff, Bigold told the remaining employees the bakery would honour any orders still on the books for that week. Then she posted a message on Instagram and Facebook reading, “Closed for now, not forever.” Practically overnight, longtime regulars of the bakery began reaching out to Bigold on social media, wondering how they were going to “survive” the days and weeks ahead without their usual fix of imperial cookies, gingersnaps or snickerdoodles.

Reading some of the comments was really humbling. It was so sweet people took the time to write and let us know how much our shop means to them,” says Bigold who, based on demand, began offering curbside pickup two days a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, near the end of March for people who placed orders online ahead of time. “At first I was thinking the last thing people would need during a pandemic is a cookie. As it turned out, lots of people were looking for a bit of normalcy in their lives, and wanted that special treat that makes Saturday still feel like Saturday.

Continue reading

Here’s to you, Miss Browns!

Photo: Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press

It’s always great to see members of our Australian and New Zealand community featured in the local media, especially right now when we don’t get to connect as often as we might like.

Thanks to President Peter Munn for letting us know about an article by Eva Wasney in the Winnipeg Free Press this week about Jenny and Steve Tyrrell of Miss Browns.

As many of you know, Miss Browns is one of our favourite places for an excellent meal, and members of the DUCW have been there many times for many different reasons. We particularly enjoy going there for brunch and lunch on Australia Day or just because.

Although they are currently closed due to COVID-19, they are clearly not sitting on their laurels, and instead cooking up a storm at home – with two of their best critics, Liv and Billie, to sample each and every one of their creations.

We look forward to supporting Jenny and Steve and all at Miss Browns when the tide turns, and in the meanwhile, enjoy this snippet from the article:

The couple met in a hostel in Bath, England, where Steve was “working for beer and food and accommodation.” They struck up a year-long email relationship and reunited in Vancouver before moving to Australia, Steve’s birth country.

They bonded over a shared passion for food and spent their downtime watching cooking shows about famous chefs, such as Anthony Bourdain and Matty Matheson. Neither is classically trained, but Steve helped Jenny develop her cooking skills by sharing knowledge he developed working in kitchens around Australia, including at the Sydney Opera House.

Their love affair with sandwiches and smoked meats started at Steve’s family-owned vineyard, where they would cater lunches for club members and weekend visitors.

While the couple’s return to Winnipeg — where Jenny was born — was prompted by the sudden death of a family member, the move created an opportunity to fulfill a longtime dream and open their own lunch spot.

As lovely as Australia is, it’s very competitive,” Jenny said. “We really quickly realized that if we were going to open a place, we needed the support.”

Support of family and customers has allowed them to expand their vision to include a catering operation and a second location in the Hargrave St. Market, which opened last December.

The coronavirus pandemic ground the business to a halt in March, but the unexpected pause has created more opportunity for home cooking and quality time with their young daughters and two dogs.

Vegemite in Stonewall

Charlie Powell and I are happy to confirm that you can now stock up on Vegemite from the Family Foods store in Stonewall.

Thanks to Glenda for letting us know when the Vegemite was back on the shelves.

Judging by the interest from members in getting their hands on a jar, or two, perhaps make a trip to Stonewall in the next little while. Of course, you can always phone the store first – (204) 467-5553 – to make sure they still have some in stock.

We are always on the lookout for – and often asked about – places that stock Vegemite, but other than Stonewall, there are no other places right now that we know of.

According to London Drugs, “We are sorry to inform you that the Kraft Vegemite has been pulled by CFIA, and we are not allowed to sell it in Canada, due to the ingredients listed in the product.”

This has been an ongoing comment for many years, in both Canada and the US, and when I periodically check with both the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), I am told there is no problem bringing Vegemite into either country. Earlier this year, CFIA confirmed by email that the product has not in fact been pulled by them or anyone else.

However, the rumour persists, so, I am going to try again to get a definitive answer and will keep you posted when I get a response.

In the meantime, get yourselves – or get someone on your behalf – to Stonewall and stock up while the jars are on the shelves.

Enjoy!