Are you one of those people that can eat and walk with food? I am to a certain extent and ice cream is one that always gets eaten while walking but for the most part I like standing still or sitting down and eating. I like concentrating of my food. Fixating on my food. Dissecting my food. Yes I often look deep in concentration when eating. So when Mr NQN and I made a quick trip to Katoomba and we see that the rain is falling on the tables outside and there is nowhere inside the bakery to eat we make a quick decision. Eat on the bench, outside. With everyone staring at us taking photos of the food.
Hours earlier, as we knew that we wouldn't make it there until late afternoon we rang ahead to reserve some of their famous potato bread. Hominy is an organic bakery and the potato sourdough is legendary. Legendary enough so that when I call and tell them that we're driving from Sydney and would they pleeeease reserve a loaf of each she answers that it isn't a problem, as if we weren't the first to do it. In fact when we get there we see that we aren't with several reserved wrapped bread loaves.
We're ravenous with hunger so we pick and pick and pick and then when she has rung up the total I add in an Easter bun for good measure. There are whole cakes for around $14-$15 as well as slices and pastries for around the $3.80-$4 mark. We go outside and unwrap our bounty. It's cold and busy and all I can think of are the hot pies we have in our hands.
Chunky beef pie $5.70
We unfurl our first packet given clues by the hot package and the meaty aroma. The chunky beef pie has a flaky pastry top and a shortcrust base and the pastry although not what I would call buttery is actually lovely and crispy. Perhaps they use another type of fat, I've had similar results with lard but I'm just guessing. The point is that the pastry is lovely and crunchy, the crunch mainly from the top. The filling is tender beef chunks with an aromatic star anise aroma to it. Mr NQN who doesn't particularly care for pies (too much pastry he grumbles) suddenly takes an interest in my pie and claims 50% of it. This 50/50 marriage rule certainly puts a crimp in my pastry lifestyle. Humph. I give him my last quarter of it.
Brown rice pie $5.70
"Shall I get another pie?" I ask him. "No" he answered. "Alright then, get one" he then adds after a moment's consideration. No matter I was on my way to get one of the vegetarian ones, a rather intriguing brown rice pie filled with carrot, mushroom with a soy and ginger sauce and that same lovely pastry. Now I've never seen a pie like this so I was interested to see what it was like. It's very unusual but good. It's too unusual for Mr NQN who thinks it's too unexpected for a pie filling but I actually really like that about it and the sweet carrot and ginger lifts the filling's flavour.
Mushroom pastie $3.30
The golden glazed mushroom pasties were filled with large chunks of freshly picked local mushrooms. Mr NQN likes this but I'd personally prefer some more filling and a warm pastry whereas these were baked earlier and didn't have the warmth to them that the pies did. And here I am shivering on a bench in the cold weather clutching to baked goods for warmth...
Custard tarts with paradise pears $5.20 for 2
Dessert time and we couldn't resist these adorable custard tarts with a whole tiny paradise pear in the centre. The pear is the perfect soft consistency and biting into one we get the crunchy flakey sensation of the pastry, the richness of the custard and the soft, yielding lusciousness of the pear. And all I can say is thankfully there were two of these or a riot may have ensued on the bench.
Pear & Ginger cake $3.85
Well it is pear season and pears seem to be featuring everywhere nowadays including on top of this dense ginger cake which is strong in ground ginger and treacle and topped with a succulent baked pear. Mr NQN is a big fan of this so I leave him to the pleasures of eating his favourite ginger.
Hot cross bun $2
The hot cross bun has a good amount of fruit and a light, fluffy texture with slightly more gravity to it being that it is a sourdough hot cross bun.
Potato bread $7
The bread, which we wait until we get home to try is fantastic. With a light crust and a lovely, dense chewy texture it is moreish and has the usually silent Mr NQN declaring that he is a "big fan of this bread". If you're curious to make a potato bread (non sourdough) there is a recipe here for potato and rosemary bread or an indulgent potato stuffed potato bread served with chicken soup here!
Brushing the crumbs off our clothes we go for a little vintage shopping where I pick up these gorgeous plates for $2 each around the corner at the Cat Protection store!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you mind walking and eating with food? Or do you make an effort to sit down and eat properly?
185 Katoomba Street, Katoomba, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 4782 9816