Ever since I arrived in Australia I’ve been cooking with one spice / spice blend or another that came from Herbie’s Spices.
After moving to the Sunshine Coast a few years ago I began going to Friday cooking demonstrations at the How to Cook store in Cotton Tree. It gives me a chance to chat with other food lovers (mostly women) because working alone can leave you with heaps of unsaid words. My friend Iris Windsor who owns the store and does most of the demonstrations often uses Herbie’s Spices in her demonstrations and we’ve never been disappointed.
We gathered at the Spoon Deli in Fortitude Valley and Liz Hemphill walked up to me and said, “Hello, I know we’ve met before, let me think where.” That’s a bit tricky because I was pretty sure I’d never met her. We were both right. When I was on the food bloggers vs traditional media panel at the Noosa Food and Wine Festival this year, Ian and Liz were in the audience.
I’d been invited to the lunch by PR whiz Brooke Simmons, owner of Pursuit Communications in Sydney. I was really pleased to be invited but I don’t often pop up in ordinary conversation amongst PR executives. I’m a long way from the movers and shakers in Melbourne or Sydney. I couldn’t help myself and leaned over and whispered to Brooke, “So… why was I invited?” (I live on the Sunshine Coast about an hour north of Brisbane.)
“It’s funny, Maureen, my mother reads your blog and she told me I MUST invite you.” It’s wonderful how things work out sometimes.
Meeting the owners of Herbie’s Spices was great fun. Both Ian and Liz know everything about spices and they instantly made us all feel like old friends. Even with all their success, they man the Herbie’s Spices shop in Rozelle (Sydney) every Saturday if they’re not traveling so they can keep up with what their customers need or want. They’ve travelled the world searching out new products for food lovers like us.
Ian’s family was in the spice business when he was growing up and his school nickname was Herbie and that’s where the business name comes from. Liz knows spices because she and Ian have been together for 40 years or more.
I can’t remember how the conversation began about taking about taking children to restaurants and Liz said that when her children were nearing their teenage years, the grandparents were babysitting and the kids asked to go to this restaurant called McDonald’s. The children were mortified when grandma asked for knives, forks and the McDonald’s wine list. You know when you can listen to stories like this, it’s an enjoyable meal.
Then the food began to arrive. All the items on the menu were prepared by Spoon Deli using Herbie’s Spices. To get our appetites going we started with olive sourdough which we dipped into herbed olive oil and rosella vinegar and then into Herbie’s Za’ataar. I knew better but I couldn’t leave it alone.
On the menu were pumpkin & Herbie’s Dukkah sandwiches, egg, lettuce & Herbie’s Curry Mix sandwiches, Moroccan sausage rolls infused with Herbie’s Portuguese Seasoning with roast vegetable cous cous and finally muffins made with Herbie’s Spice dust & freshly whipped cream. It was a perfect lunch and the folks at Spoon Deli never let our glasses go empty and there was never a time that the table wasn’t heaped with food.
My photo card died so this group photo was taken by someone else and offered to me to post here.
There were several food bloggers at the event and Ian and Liz wanted us all to go away knowing more about spices than we knew when we arrived. That was certainly the case where I was concerned. As a thank you gift for coming, each of us received complimentary spice or spice blend packets of Herbie’s Spices and a lovely Curry Essentials Spice Box.
Do you like spices? Herbie’s Spices has offered one of my readers a Curry Essentials Spice Box, assorted spice and spice blend packets, and a Spice Dictionary. The contest is open to anyone on Earth so don’t be shy about leaving me a comment before the 13th of July to tell me what your favorite spice or spice blend is in order to enter the contest.
Herbie’s Spices are available everywhere in Australia and they’re even sold in California at Williamson Wines at the shop or by mail order to anywhere in the states. You won’t be disappointed – the spices are fresh, well packaged and they are what they say they are and nothing more. I use Herbie’s spices nearly every day because they help me to produce meals that are full of flavour. Ian and Liz Hemphill take such pride in producing a quality product. You can see it in every word they speak about spices.
Liz told a story about two friends who are chefs chef being invited to their place in the country for “a sleepover” and one called and asked if a friend from France could join them. Liz said sure and who should turn up but a lovely woman who turned out to be the former personal chef of French President Mitterrand. She served this lamb roast to them and I can see why.
It was simple to prepare, no stress cooking, fork tender and delicious to eat. John’s dad has arrived for another visit and he ate this roast until I was sure he was going to pop. It’s the first time he’s not asked for dessert – he didn’t have room.
- 1 lamb shoulder
- 1 packet Super Ras el Hanout spices
- 1 large onion
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F
- Rub lamb with the spices using a lot if you like a lot of spice or a little if you want the roast lightly done.
- Slice onion and place in a lightly oiled baking pan.
- Place rubbed roast over the onions and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 100C/212F and cook uncovered for 8 hours (or even longer) until the meat falls off the bones.
- Pull apart using two forks.
I was invited to lunch with Ian and Liz Hemphill and other bloggers and they provided this prize but did not pay for my comments. Those are all mine. If you’re a spice lover, please “like” Herbie’s Spices on Facebook and follow Ian @Herbiesspices on Twitter.