Welcome to Jacican

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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.


Jacican is in a small country town called Mirboo North, in South Gippsland, about 2 hours drive East of Melbourne. We have a variety of shops and other small businesses you would expect to find in a town this size - butcher, baker and most likely a candlestick maker.

There is a small independent supermarket, where a chef can get most of the things she needs when getting in the car is out of the question. It's half-an-hour's drive to a major supermarket, greengrocer or wholesaler, making it at least an hour's round trip if there is something that you really, really really need. This is leading to me needing to plant a more diverse range of food plants, so I have what I need in the garden. If I can't grow it and I need a quality product, I have to turn to the internet and have the specialty goods to be delivered straight to my door.

The list for the garden so far is ...

Lemongrass, kaffir lime, turmeric, curry plant, Indian bay, mint - Vietnamese & common, more thyme & lemon thyme, yacon, some rhubarb and maybe a pistachio tree.

Each month I focus a meal on a theme or an ingredient - last month it was Wild Game, this month it was curry, next month its fun food for Dad's. And I'm a stickler for using the correct herb and spice to re-create a dish.

This is how I found myself needing to turn to Herbie's Spice for a direct to the mail-box order. I can order on Monday and the spices are in the mail-box by Thursday, giving me enough time for a weekend meal.

Open since 1997, Herbie is the nickname of Ian Hemphill, one of Australia's foremost herb and spice experts. His business, Herbie's, run with his wife Liz and daughter Kate, is based in Rozelle has one of the best ranges of herbs and spice you can find anywhere. So when I'm sitting in the studio trying to think of what I need to find for the next food adventure, it is one place I turn to find everything that I need. Pictured is my order from the Curry in a un-Hurry dinner.

A selection of Herbies spices at Jacican

If I order on Monday I know I'll have what I need here in Mirboo North on Thursday and since Thursday is prep day here, that is ideal. Although it would be nice if I could order some things in larger quantities.

source: http://www.herbies.com.au/about-us/

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