Sunday sunrise @ Freshie and a trip to The Little Hand Stirred Jam shop, Berrima

May 16, 2010 at 10:20 am 2 comments

The alarm went off at 5:39 this morning  –  between then and now, we’ve been back over to Freshie for a beautiful sunrise and photography mission, before heading down to stock up on chutney, jam, honey, mustards, and more at The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop in Berrima.  We’re exhausted, but excited – Mr L is excited because he’s got some fresh photos to review, and I’m excited because I finally made it to The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop – after all these years of their products coming to me!

Sunrise @ Freshwater Beach

Don’t let me give you the impression that I am up for sunrise all that often.  In my younger days, if I was up, it was because I’d not yet been down.  The times where I’ve been up for sunrise following a sensible sleep could probably be tallied on one hand, but I was keen to go this morning as we’d spent time doing a reconnaisance mission yesterday at Freshie.  I didn’t even need a “snooze” this morning after the alarm went off!

The last time we’d been for sunrise at Freshwater was when Mr L asked me to marry him. 🙂 Somehow, he had tricked me into thinking that watching the sun come up was my idea.  I was too tired to question why it sounded as though there was something heavy rolling around in the boot of our car the whole way out to the beach.  When the cat was out of the bag, I realised my mind wasn’t playing tricks.  Ice was the culprit!  Mr L (my then fiance 🙂 – of course I said yes!) had packed it in the boot with a bottle of bubbly the night before and the water / ice combo sloshed with every corner we travelled around. 

Memories of that happy morning came flooding back when the sun rose up and over the horizon at Freshwater Beach today.  This time, we chose not to wake up friends and family with exciting news, instead we watched in awe as the first pink, then burnt orange sun rays danced over the water and lit up the landscape around us for another gorgeous Sydney day. 

A couple of the photos that I took on my little red Canon are below – I’ll include Mr L’s (far more professional) shots tomorrow night when he’s prepared to hand them over.

Sun rises over Freshwater beach, Sydney

Sun rises over Freshwater beach, Sydney

Sun rays blaze through the cloud cover over Freshwater beach, Sydney

Sun rays blaze through the cloud cover over Freshwater beach, Sydney

While you’re up….

We finished up and decided we’d take the opportunity to visit Berrima.  You may know that Indian Wedding Chutney has been a staple in my family home as I’ve grown up.  I can’t remember when Nanna G and Pa started visiting the Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop, but our whole family has been enjoying their chutneys and mustards for years.  Some time ago, my brother – G Bro also started visiting the shop and has brought back spoils at least once to keep us all going.  After all these years, I’d never made the time to stop in, so this was to be a chance for me to make up for lost time.

In fact, it was pretty simple getting to Berrima from Sydney.  We headed through the Eastern Distributor, then down the M5 and were virtually there.  It only took about 1.5 hours to drive there and we were standing outside the shop before 10 am.  The air was crisp, but the sun was shining – we stretched our legs and headed for the shop with anticipation.

The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop, Berrima - Southern Highlands, NSW

The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop, Berrima - Southern Highlands, NSW

The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop, Berrima

We stepped inside The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop to find a a kind of wonderland for people like me who love sauces, spices, toppings, chutneys, condiments and all sorts of other treats.  Jars and jars of goodness lined the walls.  Tables were filled with bottles and packets.  Sweet stuff, savoury stuff, hot stuff, and everything in between was available.  We also found an ice creamery and espresso bar in the shop – if I didn’t know it before, I now knew that this was my kind of place!

Jars and jars of bottled goodness at The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop, Berrima

Jars and jars of bottled goodness at The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop, Berrima

Mmmm.. ice cream toppings

Mmmm.. ice cream toppings

Amber-coloured honeys sit pretty on the shelf

Amber-coloured honeys sit pretty on the shelf

Coffees, cordials and cook books

Coffees, cordials and cook books

Pastes, fudge, chocolates, jus and other gourmet provisions

Pastes, fudge, chocolates, jus and other gourmet provisions

Pasta (including gluten free options), sauces and a selection of Herbies products

Pasta (including gluten free options), sauces and a selection of Herbies products

Serendipity ice cream on sale at the ice creamery and espresso bar

Serendipity ice cream on sale at the ice creamery and espresso bar

When we entered the shop there were two different sized shopping baskets on offer.  Unfortunately for Mr L, I chose the large one – and proceeded to promptly fill it up.

Meeting Margaret and paying up

The business cards near the register identified that Margaret and David Cloonan own The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop.  After chatting with the lady behind the register for a short time, we realise it’s none other than Margaret herself!  We explain that my family has been visiting for years and confess our love of wedding chutney.  We learn that The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop has recently started making the chutney themselves – previously it was bought from another producer and bottled for the Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop.  She notes just how many jars of the stuff we have and insists we try a sample of their own chutney – it wouldn’t do for us to get it home and be disappointed!  Fortunately, we like what we taste and check through our several other items.

I would have loved to spend more time chatting with Margaret, but there were other shoppers waiting and we didn’t want to take up more of her time.  We ended up buying 14 bottled items and somehow got away with all of it for $105!  Not only am I excited, I’m also a touch gobsmacked.  I’ve bought similar quantities in other stores without much change from $200.

Thoughtfully, Margaret packed our goods into a sturdy box and satisfied, we headed off to explore the rest of Berrima (then Mittagong and Bowral) before heading home.

Our goodies - all 14 of them!

Our goodies - all 14 of them!

Getting home

I could hardly wait to get home and get all the goodies out of their box.  We did spend some time exploring more of the Southern Highlands before doing that, but I won’t spend too much time tonight telling you about that – as this has been a long post already.  I will tell you though that there are several places we’d like to return to in Berrima – including a hatted restaurant called Eschallot.  Mr L almost talked me into going there for lunch today, but we decided we’d be better off staying for a night and having dinner. 

We were also impressed with the focus on good food in Berrima.  Virtually every shop we walked into had some sort of fare on offer.  There were also some beautiful galleries with hand blown glass, jewellery and clothing made from the wool of Alpacas.

A selection of shots from Berrima's shops

A selection of shots from Berrima's shops

Spoils

Without further ado, let’s see the spoils! 

First up – two types of Indian chutney – one, the original wedding chutney and the other, it’s successor, now simply called “Indian Chutney”.

Indian Wedding Chutney and Indian Chutney

Indian Wedding Chutney and Indian Chutney

Next: Harissa, Hot Herb Mustard, Corn and Pepper Relish and Pumpkin Chutney.

Harissa, mustard, relish and chutney

Harissa, mustard, relish and chutney

Finally, Passionfruit topping, honey and macadamia nuts, strawberry and grand marnier jam and creamed honey.

Sweet spreads and topping

Sweet spreads and topping

(I know that doesn’t total 14 – we bought a lot of the Indian Chutney!)

What now?

Well – I’ve got some goodies to distribute.  I also have the vision of including dollops of products from The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop in upcoming meals.  Stay tuned – you might just hear about it! 🙂

The low down

The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop is open 7 days and has the largest variety of high quality country-made produce in the Southern Highlands.  If you know what you want, you can also order it over the phone and they’ll deliver it to your address of choice.

Contact details:

Address: 9 Old Hume Highway, Berrima  NSW  2577
Phone:  +61 2 4877 1404
Fax: +61 24877 1086
Email: cloonans@bigpond.net.au

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday: 9 am – 5 pm
Satuday + Sunday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

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Entry filed under: australia, Beach, Condiments, Gluten free, Snacks, Southern highlands, Swimming. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Breakfast @ The Kitchen Door, Freshwater The talked up lunch @ Satang Thai, Haymarket + more pics from Mr L

2 Comments Add your own

  • […] alarm went off at 5:39 this morning  –  between then and now, we’ve been back over to Fres australia « WordPress.com Tag Feed GD Star Ratingloading…GD Star […]

    Reply
  • […] I promised to include some of Mr L’s awesome Freshie sunrise photos tonight.  I’ve also added a few from our trip down to Berrima.  They’re random, but hopefully you don’t mind too much! Panorama from North Head to Curl Curl Looking out to sea from the rocks @ Freshy Our low maintenance seagull mate, hanging on his rock The sun starts to peak through the clouds Sun's up at Freshy for another beautiful Sunday Berrima trees in autumnal glory Macro view of a bee busily pollonating lavender. Looks like your lens is pretty good, husband! […]

    Reply

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