Chill Fest begins

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Tell me a bit about this festival?

Chill Fest is a wellness & yoga festival designed to leave festival-goers feeling better than when they came in. With great local yoga and meditation facilitators, you can enjoy a taster of what the Hills has to offer. Yoga rave, market stalls, meditation, kids dance workshops, good food and a selection of classes, Chill Fest is your one-stop shop to try something new and feeling incredible.

Is this the first chill fest?

Yes, Flan (Mike Flannery) & I (Krystal Bassett) work in events for different companies but we decided to use our experience and skills to organise our own festival.

Tell me a bit about your background and why you decided to create this festival.

I spent many years in Manchester, UK putting on late night events and performing in various bands and Flan (also a from the UK) works for a production company here in Victoria, touring with various artists around the country.

Now settled in Olinda, we are moving away from the party lifestyle and enjoying the luxury of many more early nights! (Flan may argue this! He still enjoys a few beers!)

After feeling the benefits of my journey into meditation and yoga, I felt inspired to put on a festival where people can know that their mind, body and soul will be energised and nourished. Rather than feeling terrible the next day.

Mike-and-Krystal

What drove you to host this festival in the hills?

After meeting so many passionate Hills folk at various events or in cafes, I wanted to bring everyone together and to meet more like-minded locals. We would love to really be a part of the Hills community and encourage others to spend more time with each other – in this day and age there are too many people cooped up in their homes – we would love anyone, any age, to come along and make friends.

What is unique about this event?

We are completely self funded, this allows Chill Fest to be free of advertising and to stick to our ethics. You wont find a disposable coffee cup at our barista cart Pookie May (there are mugs) and you had better BYO water bottle too. Plus, there is amazing veggie food from Babji’s Kitchen and Jerry’s Vegiburgers.

We hope that Chill Fest has a feel of acceptance and is an approachable way to try less commercial practices like sound healing and Raja yoga. Everyone is welcome and can ask for support with any practices that they are unsure about.

Why do you think these sorts of ideas are becoming more important to people now (and in the future)?

I really feel that we are all becoming more conscious and if people take steps to be mindful & respect themselves (body, mind and soul), then they are more able to be compassionate to others, bringing us together in these turbulent times and making the world a better place to live.

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

We have been in Olinda for 3 years and although we have spent time with our community on art and musical events, this is really our first time engaging as a couple. We would love to help the community in many other ways throughout the years.

 

Where can people find more information and buy tickets?

Chill Fest is this Saturday 28th October 11am-10pm.
For more info and to buy tickets go to www.chillfest.co
or you can turn up with your yoga mat and pay on the door.
$35 standard, $20 concessions (with ID), under 12yrs Free.

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Fun at the Lake Park Cottage

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Belgrave Lake Park Cottage Playgroup sits within the site of the old Belgrave Auto Park. In 1946 the reservoir, as it was then, was a place to cool off with a swim on hot summer days. Today it is the home of our community playgroup which has been volunteer led since 1981, when a group of local families restored the old caretaker’s cottage as a place to meet and share their parenting journey. In October the playgroup is hosting a Gallery and Garden Party celebrating more than 30 years that the Cottage has been a volunteer operated playspace for the families of our local community.

Encapsulating History Week and Children’s Week celebrations on 21st October,  the Cottage will be a place to share stories and memories of the role playgroup has played over three generations.

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Shaun King 1981-82 original Playgroup member. Photo by Sharon King.

As part of our day event, we are excited to be opening our new Indigenous Sensory Garden playspace along with our gallery area, which will be a display of historical photos of our local surrounds. We have been proudly funded for our garden and gallery project by Yarra Ranges Council grants for the community. We have planned a day full of fantastic activities as a part of Children’s Week calendar, presented in partnership with the Victorian Government.

The day itself marks the official opening of the Indigenous themed Sensory Garden by Mayor Councillor Cliff and we will be holding a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony conducted by Elders from the Wurundjeri Tribe. We are thrilled to be hosting this ceremony as acknowledgement of respect for the Wurundjeri people as traditional custodians of the land.

Other activities on the day include creating a timecapsule for families to contribute to which will be buried on the day. Hands-on mosaic making will take place in our garden. The garden will include a collection of native animal sculptures and we will be getting families involved in our animal bingo throughout the day. Bring a picnic and enjoy our storytime sessions or roll up your sleeves for some carer-led colouring and craft activities in our messy-space art room.

This Children’s Week event is presented by Belgrave Lake Park Cottage Playgroup in Partnership with the Victorian Government and proudly funded by Yarra Ranges Council.

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When: 21st October, 2017
Where: 29 Park Drive, Belgrave
Enquiries: contact Emma 0434 019 346

www.belgravelakeparkcottage.com.au

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Our schedule for a fun-packed day of activities for all the family

10am freeplay in our Indigenous Sensory garden
10.30 Indigenous themed kid’s storytime
11am Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony from Wurundjeri Tribe Elders and official opening of our event by Mayor Councillor Noel Cliff
11.30 Mosaic making begins
1pm We invite you to picnic and chat with us
1.30pm Kid’s garden storytime
3pm Timecapsule burial
All day we will have animal bingo in the garden, crafts and colouring activities, viewing of historical photos of the cottage over the years

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We have been approaching local historical societies and libraries for historical photographs of the lake and area surrounding the cottage but we have yet to find any photos of the cottage itself from yesteryear. We would love any locals who may have attended the playgroup in the past to come to our event and share their stories and a picnic with us on the day.

Email any historical photos to us at belgrave.playgroup@gmail.com

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Belgrave Survival Day – Celebrating 10 years

smoking-ceremonySmoking ceremony photo by D.Clarke.

On Thursday the 26th January, 2017, Belgrave Survival Day will celebrate its 10th consecutive year. Once again celebrating Indigenous culture and the survival of Australia’s First Nations people through 228 years of white settlement. This year’s festival will focus on the theme of ‘Knowing your local history, and as always is a free family friendly event.

This year the theme focuses on understanding your local history. If there is one action a person can do to show solidarity and start to bridge the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people it is to get to know your local history. This year award winning author Bruce Pascoe will be a special guest speaker sharing stories from our local history. Author and historian Jim Poulter will also have a stall with books outlining Victoria’s indigenous history.

The Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony will be led by Wurundjeri elder and educator, Uncle Bill Nicholson, followed by traditional dances performed by ‘The Djirri Djirri’ dance mob where the audience will be invited to join in. Aunty Dot Peters will also grace us with her presence and share some of her wisdom.

Djirri Djirri Dance Group courtesy of their facebook pageThe Djirri Djirri dance mob.

The line up includes Benny Walker, who will be on the stage again as the lead act with his band. His love songs and epic tales are mixed with passion for the land, the people. His summer vibes and deep grooves are elements that reach the soul.

Benny Walker and BandBenny and the band.

The day will also welcome back The Deans, who will bring classic sounds and grooves with velvet smooth vocals, sweet harmonies, soaring heartbreak guitar, deep Mo-town bass grooves and hip-shaking rhythms. They are sure to get you moving.

Benny and The Deans will be supported by Gunditjmara singer songwriter Jayden Lillyst. Jayden tells stories of his people through a dose of country rock mixed with soul and blues.

The fabulous voices of the Mullum Mullum Choir and the vibes of the Hip Hop Crew will also feature. Then be calmed as you participate in a Digeridoo Mediation with Gnarnayarrahe Waitiarie (Uncle Joey).

There will be plenty of activities to keep the kids (and adults) busy with fun music and dance, art and craft opportunities, the children’s playground and more.

Soak up the atmosphere on a picnic rug in front of the stage or stroll around the market and information stalls. Catering for all food requirements with a variety of food trucks including traditional bush tucker. This event is alcohol-free.

Due to parking limitations around the park the Survival Day organisers strongly encourage people to catch public transport, carpool or park at Belgrave Train Station where you can get the shuttle bus provided, or take a quick 5 minute walk to Borthwick Park.

The event will be simulcasts on 3MDR 97.1 FM.

To find out more go to Belgrave Survival Day facebook or events page

When: 26th January 2017
Time: 12 noon – 4.30pm
Where: Borthwick Park (next to Belgrave Pool) Benson St, Belgrave.
Melways reference 75/F11

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The Belgrave Survival Day event is organised by a committee of volunteers. They invite new volunteers to help with preparations for the festival, to assist on the day, or join the committee to keep the event happening in the future.

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A brief History of time with cake by Cameron Semmens.

Space… the poetic frontier

A brief History of time with cake by Cameron Semmens.

Post by Adriana Alvarez

Malcolm de Chazal said “Space is the widest open of all mouths.”
“Then let’s shove some cake in it!” says Cameron Semmens.

Cameron Semmens, our resident poet who gave us the chance to write our own poems a few issues back, has got a new book out. It’s poetical, gastronomical and astronomical! It’s a space-themed collection of new poems and classic cake recipes. “I hope you will experience it as a marvel of entertaining tastiness for mind and mouth!” says Cameron.

If you like baking cakes, or space, or poetry – or perhaps all three, then this book could be for you!

“A Brief History of Time with Cake”
– Poems about Space (inner and outer)

  – Recipes for Cake (yummy and scrummy)

Includes recipes like for you to bake at home:
– The Zero Gravi-teacake
– The Baked Moon Cheesecake
– The Anti-gravitational Mousse
– or even, a Pavnova!

Or  you could simply feast upon the poems, including:
– The Asteroid Theory for The Extinction of Despair
– Poem 9 from Outer Space
– and The 23rd Jedi.

Cameron will be launching his book at Grunge Café, Belgrave.
“Cake Expectations, a poetry night” is on Monday December 12th at 7pm. Free entry. 

On the night you can sign up to the open mic – preferably with a poem on the theme of space, or cake. You can perform your own or read a classic. If you’ve heard Cameron at hillsceneLIVE you’ll know that it’s a great experience. Cameron’s performance is fun and entertaining and his quirky poems are amusing and delicious. Come along and listen, laugh… and, if you’re brave enough, even share your own poem on space, or cake!

The usual great quality Grunge cake and coffee will also be available for sale and you’ll be able to buy “A Brief History of Time with Cake” at the special launch price of $15.

Cameron Semmens performing

If you want to get a copy but can’t make it to the launch you can order it online at www.webcameron.com or you could pick up a copy at The Belgrave Book Barn or Grunge Café.

Cake Expectations “A Brief History of Time with Cake” book launch
Monday December 12 at 7.00pm
Grunge Cafe – 1696 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave

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oxjam up close

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Post by Gareth Hart.

What happens when you place event organisers, a venue, musicians and social conscience in the same space? OXJAM at the Skylark Room. that’s what.

According to the OXJAM website, the program “is a month-long party against poverty where hundreds of music lovers from all over the country create and throw their own gigs and parties, all in aid of Oxfam’s vision of a just world without poverty. OXJAM is one unforgettable month of DIY gigs and parties across Australia, all in support of Oxfam’s life-changing work around the world”

It is a nation-wide demonstration of how two things I believe deeply in, can blend into one: live performance and humanitarian values.

OXJAM is an exciting project that showcases how a venue-based model of artistic support can have a social conscience and contribute in a very real way, to an enriched, more connected and integrated future. From the Skylark table, 20% of ticket sales are being donated to OXJAM, with the added bonus of happy hour drink specials to support the cause between 7pm-8pm.

So why are the event organisers running this? According to the Skylark room, “We are so pumped for this gig on Friday night! It feels amazing to be doing something to actively help kids have access to the basic rights and services that we take for granted everyday”. The enthusiasm with which this new venue is supporting and advocating social justice through creative endeavours is amazing.

Spare Tyre politics

Spare Tyre Politics

On the night, Spare Tyre Politics, Khristian Mizzi & Pia Nesvara share their musical love for a great room & a great cause. 3 great acts for only $10! $2 from every ticket sale will go to Oxfam. So, this Friday, get along to the Skylark Room, 351 Glenfern Road, Upwey, and enjoy an incredible night of music, great local beverages and receive a huge amount of good creative karma by supporting a worthwhile cause.

The team are attempting to raise $500 through the night, which would be an exciting achievement. If you can’t make it to the gig, you can support the cause by giving online at: www.oxjam.org.au/theskylarkroom

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Belgrave Lantern Parade photo by John Weeks

Lantern Parade turns 10

Post by Justine Walsh.

Belgrave Lantern Parade has become a very well known and celebrated event on the local calendar, with up to 10,000 people from the Dandenongs and beyond attending. This year the parade, held on Saturday the 18th of June, will be celebrating the festival’s 10th year!

It is shaping up to be more spectacular than ever. There will be dancing, singing, drumming, musical & even circus performances! With a beautiful post-parade Village space for community to gather for delicious food, hot drinks and entertainment – complete with fire pits & lantern tipis – there will be plenty for everyone to see, hear & engage with!

Belgrave Lantern Parade photo by John Weeks

2016’s parade is a very exciting one – the Lantern Parade team have been busy ensuring that the program is jam-packed and has something for everyone.
Before the parade – from 4pm onward – the main street will be alive with activity. With the road closing at 5pm and parade beginning at 5:45pm, the cold winter night won’t deter thousands of people from congregating and watching the playful & spectacular beauty of the parade, or walking along with their beautiful lanterns!

At 6pm, The Village (in Hayes Carpark) will open, and will run until 9pm for people to continue to enjoy themselves & celebrate. There will be delicious local food, hot chocolate, face painting, fire pits to warm your hands, singalongs with local musicians to join in, performances by local poets & storytellers, beautiful glowing decorations and giant lit-up lantern tipis decorated by local school children and artists! With spaces for young & old to play, sit back and relax, sing, listen and get cosy inside a lantern tipi, there will be ample opportunity to bask in the gentle afterglow of the parade and experience the sensory delights of celebrating our community in the depths of winter.

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Lantern making workshops have been running for the past couple of months and many beautiful handmade works have been crafted specially for the event. Ranging from gorgeous decorated pyramids to stunning detailed creatures, the parade will be quite a sight to behold! The Belgrave Lantern Artists have of course been working on many wonderful large structures to make this year’s parade move & feel even better than ever!

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There is only one more workshop left, on the morning of the festival itself, for those of you who would like to learn how to make your own lantern to bring – at the Belgrave Library (please call the Library on 9800 6489 to book in, limited places available). Check out the website & facebook page for further details!

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We are always looking for more volunteers to help out on the day – contact us at celebrate@belgravelanterns.org.au for info and to get on board!

Keep an eye out for parade program flyers about in local stores & online to make sure you catch the performances you want to see on the night.

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Contact Justine at justine@entwinearts.com.au

Belgrave Carnival 2014

Belgrave Carnival

Belgrave Carnival 2014

We covered this Carnival in last years Autumn issue for it’s premier event. It’s almost that time of year again… when the hills come together for the annual Belgrave Easter Carnival! So you can support the Good Friday appeal without having to head out of the hills.

This wonderful family event is held on Good Friday, April 3rd 2015, from 10-3pm at St Thomas More Primary School, Belgrave. It brings local businesses together in support of a fun day out for local and visiting families. At the same time, it also raises much-needed funds for children’s medical care at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

Carnival Head Coordinator, Bek Milikins of local children’s store Hugs for Kids says, “If ever there was a time to ride a donkey in support of our children’s hospital, it’s at Easter!”

“Join us this year for a fantastic family carnival – with something for little kids, big kids, parents and grandparents. Best of all, it’s happening right here in your local hills community,” Bek adds.

This year, the Carnival will feature:

  • Exciting rides, including a jumping castle for littlies
  • An animal farm and reptile petting zoo
  • Face painting
  • Delicious local food

There will also be a great range of prizes on offer in the Spinning wheel and Raffle… And of course, the inaugural Easter Egg Hunt!

At least 70% of all ticket sales will be donated to the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Good Friday Appeal. This is made possible by the incredible generosity of local businesses. Many of them are covering the costs of the day themselves, volunteering their time, and paying for the rides and food as their donation.

To find out more go to the Belgrave Carnival facebook page. Bring the whole family for a great day out and help to support a worthy cause.

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Cokatoo card stamp

Christmas Cheer

Hillscene Christmas card

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

I’ve been making my own Christmas cards since my twenties. It’s always a bit of a last minute rush despite always promising myself that next year I’ll do it earlier. They’re not always handmade, sometimes they have been my designs or illustrations which I get printed onto cards but the intention of doing something unique and personal is still there.

Some have been more successful than others and in the last few years I’ve been trying to get the kids involved without much success. They help for the first few but then I’m left to finish the rest off on my own which is OK, maybe they’ll grow into it. Eventually they get sent off probably not making it in time for Christmas but they are always sent before Christmas, anyway isn’t it the thought that counts?

This years effort has got an Australiana feel. It’s a bit cheesy but it’s Christmas and it’s a good time to spread some fun and cheer. So here’s my Christmas greeting to you all.

Hope you have a wonderful festive season and your New Year begins with some cheer.

Cokatoo card stamp Cokatoo card print Hillscene Christmas card production

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2014 CORANDERRK FESTIVAL

Coranderrk Festival 2014

Post by Kathryn.

Eighteen months ago sisters Jacqui Wandin and Brooke Collins, descendants of Coranderrk, had a dream. They dreamed of finding a way for everyone, indigenous and non-indigenous, to share with them the beauty and history of Coranderrk Station. With their father, Allan Wandin, they expanded that dream to celebrate the strength and resilience of the original Coranderrk community.

Their dream evolved into the 2013 Festival which commemorated the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the station.  The festival would be built around the celebration of pride and cultural identity.  Even though the people had been forcibly dispersed, 75 years later their spirits remain strong in the hearts of their descendants. A gap in Victorian history had closed when 200 acres of the original 4,850 acres were returned to indigenous ownership.

Barak and other elders wanted a place where Kulin people could feel safe. Imagine the impact of being dispossessed over and over again. Allan, Jacqui and Brooke showed the world that Barak’s dream lives on. For them now, in the 21st century, Coranderrk means having a place where you can feel connected to country and be proud of who you are, a place where both triumphs and tragedies can be commemorated and celebrated.

What a great day the 2013 Festival was! Pride and cultural identity were celebrated.  Descendants, their families and friends were united and reunited and for some it was their first visit to Coranderrk. Families were brought together; extended families were united and reunited. People were able to connect with their history in ways that brought the past to life. It was wonderful a day for all festival-goers – a day of music, stories, laughter and tears.

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The 2014 Coranderrk Festival will once again give tribute to the dignity and resilience of Victoria’s indigenous people. A warm invitation is extended to everyone, indigenous and non-indigenous, to join descendants of the Coranderrk community in a family day of music, culture and dance, shared photos and stories in the Yarn tent, art and traditional crafts such as basket weaving, ochre-making, children’s activities, food and market stalls.

The music line-up includes singer, musician and artist June Mills from Darwin, Coloured Stone, The Shane Howard Trio, Telecom Joe, Alesa Lajana. The dance program will include The Djirri Djirri Dance Group who are the only Wurundjeri women and girls’ dance group open to all Aboriginal women.  Also dancing will be the Dardee Balagamdail Aboriginal Dance Group, a united group of Aboriginal men and youth who celebrate their strong cultural heritage through the expression of interactive dance.

Everyone is invited to the festival, to contribute to the continuing Coranderrk journey as plans for property restoration and rejuvenation proceed.

Brooke and Jacqui want us all to know that ‘Everyone, indigenous and non-indigenous, is very welcome to attend events at Coranderrk unless otherwise specified.’

They say: ‘Our history is a shared history, let’s celebrate it together!

PS. Mark the 15th in your diaries. It’s gonna be big!’
www.coranderrk.com
Facebook – 2014 Coranderrk Festival

Photos by Barbara Oehring

Making Christmas

Because at the hillscene we just love celebrating the creative spirit and making things, we’ve included some great inspiration for making your own Christmas cheer. Whether it be with craft activities or food you can always add your own touch to Christmas and continue a great tradition or start a new one.

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Christmas Wreaths

by Adriana Alvarez

I’m always looking for things to make and do with my kids so I thought these simple, yet beautiful paper wreaths would be a great activity you can make with your kids (or for yourself!). All you need are some beautiful papers cut in a square, and some quick drying glue. I used a hot glue gun which means it sticks very quickly and makes it a lot easier but be careful to supervise this if you are doing the activity with young kids. I’ve used two different papers for each wreath but you could use the same paper to get a more uniform effect.

Start by folding  a thin strip along one edge of the paper about 2cm wide. Then fold in a concertina fold back into the paper. Repeat folding in 2cm wide concertina folds until you have folded all the paper and you have one long thin strip. Fold the strip in half and glue the two edges of the paper together, you may have to hold it together for a few minutes until it sticks (a few seconds if you’re using a hot glue gun). You should have a fan when you open it up.

Do the same with the other bit of paper. When you have the two fans opened up you can glue the two flat edges together and there you have a wreath. You can make as many as you like with different coloured and sized papers, if you want to be more creative you could get the kids to paint or colour some paper to use first. Now just put a small hole at the top and tie some ribbon through it.

Hang it on your door or they look great hanging on a window as well.

Christmas Cocktail

by Amy Middleton

When contemplating my Christmas menu for this year, I felt a little disorientated by Melbourne’s shifting weather patterns. To me the warm weather represents BBQ’s and bubbles, the cold weather ignites a yearning for roast turkey and mulled wine.  The recent climatic corruptions have inspired me to prepare for each and every atmospheric deviation that might present itself this December. I present to you… the ‘Whatever the Weather’ cocktail.

One cup of Dark Rum… yes, a full cup!
90 ml Lemon Juice… freshly squeezed is best!
120 ml Thyme Syrup
360 ml Apple Cider
120 ml Club Soda
8 dashes of Bitters

To make thyme syrup combine two cups of sugar, one and a half cups of sugar and eight thyme springs in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.  When all the sugar has fully dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and place the syrup in the fridge to cool.

Place all the contents in a large pitcher. If the sun is shining serve chilled, in a mason jar with a fancy straw and add a few fresh thyme leaves. If the weather is a little gloomy, warm the contents in saucepan and serve in a mug with a wheel of apple… and a stick of cinnamon if you feel so inclined.

Hurrah!

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Chutney Swap!

by Zac Exner

My friendships revolve around a general love of food! We tend to Interact around food, talk about food, share ideas about food and generally eat too much food…..

So this year I was wondering what to do with my friends to celebrate Christmas, and I thought hey, instead of a Secret Santa why don’t we all make a food item to share amongst the group, and I couldn’t think of anything better than my favourite condiment Chutney!

We organised a group to all make a big pot of their favourite Chutney, Kasundi, Pickle or Savoury Jam to share with the group! We all had a couple of weeks to decide and create our jars of gold before we all gathered around my coffee table with a loaf of bread, crackers and delved into our collection, which included Mango Chutney, Chilli Jam, Tomato Kasundi and an array of others.

Everyone that participated thought ‘Hey – this is a lot easier than I thought!’ and now we have many different jars or delicious goodies all for the price of a few spices, some raw ingredients and a couple hours in the kitchen!

So get out there, pick a few recipes and swap with your mates!

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The editorial team at the Hillscene would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Christmas! We hope you celebrate it in your own special way with the people you love.