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Issue 5


From John King 




Being fond of Asian food, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that our Tall Spike-Rush (Eleocharis dulcis) is more commonly known in Asia as the Water Chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis). Having stumbled across this knowledge, promptly obtained some plants and planted out a small plot in a swampy area on my block of land. If the cows don't squash them, I shall have some lovely future harvests. On thinking of the possibilities for the use of the Spike-rush tubers, I remembered a desert I had adapted years ago. I dived into my recipe archives in the spare room and found the original recipe. Then came the fun part: translating Bei Jing Li Tzu Tan Kao ( Peking Duck) into my version of Strine - but first, a confession, I didn't get a chance to harvest wild Water Chestnuts, so I used store bought ones. The wild raspberries I did harvest .


  • 2 cups wild raspberries

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 cup apple juice

  • 1 tablespoon potato flour


Put berries, sugar and most of the apple juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for about 2 min and add potato flour that has been mixed with the reserved apple juice. Cook until thick and place on individual serving plates and chill.

Spike-rush tubers

  • 3 cups peeled and sliced Water Chestnuts

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of a herb or spice, I used some Strawberry paperbark leaves


Simmer Water Chestnuts and other ingredients till soft. Puree mixture in blender and place in a mixing bowl and chill. Just before serving, whip two egg whites to stiff peaks, combine with puree and 100 mils of thickened cream . Pile up like a small mountain on top of Raspberry jelly. Sprinkle the top of the mountain with crushed Macadamia nuts that have been browned by dry frying in a cast iron fry pan.

Podocarpus Jelly with Wattle Flower Custard

Illawarra plum, Brown pine plum - Podocarpus elatus

Preserved fruit:

  • 4 cups sugar

  • 4 cups fruit

  • 150 ml water

Place sugar, fruit and water in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Boil for five minutes, put fruit in sterile jars, cover with syrup and seal jars. Keep for use in jams, cakes, or cheese cake toppings. Use left over syrup to make jelly.


Place 1 cup water and 1 cup syrup in a saucepan with 1 teaspoon of Agar Agar powder (vegetable gelatine from health food shop). Bring to the boil and place in bowl. Cool thoroughly in fridge. Gives a rich dark purple red jelly.


  • 100 grams or more of Wattle flowers

  • 1 litre milk

  • 100 Grams sugar

  • 9 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon potato flour (stops crust forming)

Wash Wattle flowers in milk, strain milk through old pantyhose (preferably clean ones). Whip sugar, eggs and potato flour together. Combine with milk and whip again. Place custard in a double boiler and cook till thick. Allow to cool slightly and pour on top of jelly. Place in fridge till cool, serve cold.

Free Seeds with Book Order

Purchase a book through the Bushfoods Bookshop and get a free packet (approx. 25gm) of Warrigal green (tetragonia tetragonoides) seeds.

If you haven't already got the catalogue, send 2 x 45c stamps to:

Bushfoods Bookshop

41 Coral St

Maleny QLD 4552


One of the best journals around for those who love Australian natives (edible or not!).

"Australian Plants" is published by the Society for Growing Australian Plants

Further information is available from:


RMB 2447, Dickson Rd, Dooralong

NSW 2259


Most available through the Bushfood Mail Order Bookshop


Postharvest Handling and Packaging of Fresh Herbs; Loprestri, J. and Thomkins, B., RIRDC Research Paper 97/5. 44pp. $15 + $4 P&P. Highly recommended - review to come Issue 6.

A Commercial Herb Industry for NSW - an Infant Enterprise; Fraser, S abd Whish, PM. RIRDC Research Paper 97/18. 134PP. $15 + $4 P&P. Once again, highly recommended - review to come in Issue 6. Order details on page 7.

Aromatic Plants, Wrigley, JW and Fagg, M, Australian Native Plant Library. 130pp. $16.99.

Agribusiness and Processed Food Developments in SE Asia; Instate Pty Ltd for RIRDC (Res. Paper 93/1). $25. Order details on page 7.

Field Distillation for Herbaceous Oils, Second Edition, Denny, E.F.K., Denny McKenzie & Ass, 270pp, $108.

Essential Oil Isolates from the Australian Flora, Kassak, EV, Southwell, LA, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, 1977

Net Sites (many of these may now be broken)

Plant Breeders Rights: www.affa.gov.au/content/pbr_database/search.cfm

Southern Game Meat: www.sgm.com.au/

Rural Industries Research & Development Corp: http://www.dpie.gov.au/rirdc

Landcare Aus: www.landcareaustralia.com.au/

Australian Plants online: farrer.riv.csu.edu.au/ASGAP/apoline.html

SGAP Bibliographies - hhtp://

Aust Nat Botanic Garden - www.anbg.gov.au/

Links to other sites: http://www.iinet.net.au/agriweb/

ANCA - useful plants - http://www.anca.gov.au/plants/manageme/

Next issue - 

* The temperate zones

* Muntaries

* More on Bunyas

* Profile - Jenny Allen

* Bushfoods and pop stars and more...

Back Issues:

Copies of Issue 1- 4 are still available.

Contact me  - sammy@ausbushfoods.com

Index: 5
From the Editor...
Peak National Body
Research & Development News
The Desert Raisin (Akadjura) - Solanum centrale
Purely Pepper (Tamannia spp) 
Three Bucket Garden
Black fella, white fella
The Good oil on Kurrajongs
CSIRO report - Acacia
Christmas in the bush
Bushfires and bushtucker
Northern Exposure
The bee that 'fishes' for pollen
Fruiting times (N NSW)
Common names
From the papers


Get up-to-date info at Bushfoods magazine online