Recipe Sharon MacIntyre, Words Vicki Ravlich Horan, Images Ashlee DeCaires
Sharon MacIntyre says she can remember coming to see River Ridge East Birth Centre before it opened. That was for her job interview nearly 20 years ago. Two decades on, Sharon is still content in her kitchen at River Ridge where she is the on-site cook, creating hearty, delicious and nourishing homecooked meals for the new parents staying with their newborn baby. Over the 20 years, that equates to more than 500,000 meals served to hungry mums and dads according to River Ridge’s CEO Vanessa Shirlow.
Vanessa says River Ridge’s resident chef is a real point of difference for the birth centre and is a key part of their ethos of providing extra care for women and their families at this special time. Anyone who has had a baby will remember just how hungry you can get in that first couple of weeks, and they pride themselves on delivering tasty, energy-giving and comforting food to support parents in the initial 48 hours, so they can just concentrate on bonding with, and learning about, their new baby, as well as getting some much-needed rest!
A keen baker and cook, Sharon is in her element at River Ridge. I hear the freshly baked scones for morning tea are a real treat along with the ever-popular lasagne and pot pies.
Making Sharon’s job even easier is the wonderful fresh organic produce delivered twice a week directly to her kitchen from Earth Stewards. The gorgeous micro greens make for a wonderful mini salad and garnish while adding an extra dash of nutrition to the plates. “I never really know what I am going to get,” says Sharon, “but it’s seasonal, super fresh, and I always find a way to use it all.”
Home cooked food is a wonderful way to show someone you care, so we asked Sharon to share a couple of her most requested recipes that you can make, either for your family or for someone who may be in need of a little love and attention.
Full of good fats, seeds and nuts these treats are a perfect pick me up for breast feeding mums. Although I hear the midwives at River Ridge are also partial to these tasty morsels too!
250g butter, melted
1 tin condensed milk
250g biscuit crumbs (Superwine biscuits)
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup cranberries
1 cup dates, diced
1 cup apricots, diced
1 cup walnuts
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup coconut
200g dark chocolate chunks
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Mix butter and condensed milk together and add it to the dry ingredients and combine well.
Press mixture into a paper lined baking tray and allow to set in fridge.
Alternatively, the mixture can be made into balls and rolled in coconut or dipped in chocolate.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer