Resilience is the best quality a person can have and it comes through your choices as to how you deal with circumstances in your life. If you pick yourself up and keep going or fall to the ground and drag yourself indefinitely.
STREAT Trainee Channi tells us about a typical week at STREAT starting from when she wakes up in the morning to when she goes to sleep...
My morning begins by getting in my work clothes - jeans, red STREAT t-shirt, black hat and runners. Then I make sure that I have a healthy breakfast. I make my way to the Growier 527 bus stop, and take the bus to the Growier train station. I catch the train to Jewell station then I walk to the tram stop to get the 19 tram to Melbourne University where our STREAT cart is located.
Throughout the day I make coffee and sandwiches to sell to all of the students at Melbourne Uni. I’ve also had to learn our new seasonal menu and I make all of the sandwiches that we sell on the carts - Middle Eastern lemon marinated eggplant, with minted labneh and za'atar, Mexican style chicken mole with crema espesa and fresh coriander, Jamaican jerk pork with sweet pickled red cabbage and Malaysian beef rendang with crispy fried shallots.
At the end of the day when everything is done at the cart and its all packed away, I head home to my pet. When I get home I take my dog for a walk or just take them to a park and just play with them. Then I help my dad out with the dinner. After tea I watch some TV before going to bed. The next day I do it all over again, but I may not be at the cart, instead I may be at the STREAT Head Office, William Angliss or the Prep Kitchen.
So many houses. So many on the street. I have never slept on the streets, but from the age of 15 I have never had my own house. I can't imagine what it would be like to sleep on the streets for weeks, maybe only a day or two.
Hi! I’m Susie, one of the trainees here at STREAT. Have you ever had a recipe that you’ve attempted to cook but for some reason it just hasn’t worked? Well me too, and I’d like to help by sharing one of my very own recipe disasters. I made chocolate éclairs the other day as part of my hospitality training and it was a disaster!
The hardest part of making chocolate éclairs is the choux pastry. It’s really tricky and if it’s not made correctly the éclairs won’t turn out properly. Here’s the recipe that I used.
5g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
190g plain flour
Boil the water with the butter, salt and sugar.
Add the flour all at once and return to the heat to ‘burn off’ the mixture, until it forms a layer at the bottom of the pan, the mixture should form a ball when it’s stirred.
Cool the mixture to 30C to prevent the eggs scrambling when you add them. Once it’s cool enough add the eggs 1 at a time.
The paste doesn’t need to rest, pipe the desired shape and bake at 210C in the centre of the oven. I followed this recipe to the letter, well at least I thought I had…
I did have to add a little extra flour as the mixture was runny and wasn’t piping bag consistency, but the real problem that I had was that the oven temperature was set to 180C instead of 210C. So the Choux pastry that I cooked looked more like flat pancakes rather than nice puffed up pastry!
I also made a crème patisserie (which means pastry cream) for the éclairs. This mix has to be measured out very carefully. If it’s not, then the crème patisserie will either be too sweet or really stiff.
2mls vanilla essence
4 egg yolks
40g corn flour
Heat 400ml of milk with the vanilla essence.
Cream the eggs and sugar together until they become light in colour.
Mix the remainder of the milk with the corn flour, using your fingers as this will remove any lumps.
Add the egg mixture to the milk and whisk thoroughly, then add the cornflour mix.
Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, the mix should start to thicken up immediately, and once it’s at the thickness that you want it, add the butter.
Place the crème patisserie in a bowl and cover with cling wrap (the cling wrap should be sitting on top of your mixture with no air bubbles), this is to prevent a skin forming on the top and place in the fridge until needed.
I’m proud to say that this chocolate éclair recipe was the one that I’ve had the most trouble with, but in saying that it was also fun to make.
I hope that by sharing my recipe disaster I have helped anyone who has had trouble trying to make chocolate éclairs, and for those who might not have had a go at making them, give them a go – you might enjoy it!
I’d love to hear about your own recipe disasters, so if you have any let us know, and I’ll see if I can help you work out what went wrong!
Cheers, and I’m really looking forward to helping you out with your recipes.
I would like to thank everyone at STREAT for everything they’ve done for me. They have helped me through so much. Now I don’t have to be afraid of Nada anymore! Thank you Craig, Vanessa, Bec, Kate, Kim, Nada & everyone else who is part of STREAT for this wonderful experience!
I have always had a passion for cooking, but I didn’t know where to start. From my earliest memories every Christmas my aunt would get me to help her to cook all of the yummy treats that we used to have like mince tarts and short bread cookies.
I left high school when I was 16. I didn’t like being there, and I thought that I could be doing better things with my time rather than being stuck in a classroom. So I disengaged myself from my family and from anyone else that I thought was going to try and tell me to go back to school and complete my high school education. I instead spent a lot of my time hanging around with my friends, doing nothing in particular.
All the while, I still had my strong passion for cooking. I successfully applied to TAFE to try to complete a hospitality course. I thought that I was in the right frame of mind to try this, but I was wrong, and I ended up dropping out of the course. A few months later I went back to TAFE and tried again. But again, I couldn’t complete the course and I left.
A few months after I left my TAFE course I was at Frontyard. I was doing an art class called Evolution and I kept saying that I could do a better job at supplying the lunches. This was because in my opinion and the opinion of everyone else who was there, that the muffins weren’t cooked properly and I kept banging on about it! So the worker who had gotten me into the Evolution course, then referred me to a place called STREAT.
A couple of weeks later I had my first interviews and I was put through to the next round. Once the second interview was complete I was then told I had been accepted into the program. I was so excited!
So that’s how I came to be in the STREAT program and I’ve enjoyed every minute that I’ve been here, particularly in the kitchen and on the carts as well. So far it’s been a lot of fun, but it’s also been a lot of hard work, and this time around I’m not going anywhere!
I left school about half way through year 10, for many reasons, but the main reason was I started questioning myself as to why I was putting myself through something I hated so much. Half of me was thinking if I don’t stick it out and complete year 12 then I will be no one, who can never get a job or go anywhere with my life. The other half of me just wanted to leave more than anything. I have always liked cooking but it wasn’t really until I left school that I actually considered it as a career. Then after not doing anything for about 5-6 months, reality hit that if I don’t like school, then I better find something else I enjoy doing. After long, long conversations and thinking sessions with myself, I decided why not try cooking, something I love to do, as a career pathway. I then applied for Certificate 3 in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at V.U., but decided that a $3000, 3 year program might not be the way to go until I was completely sure that was what I wanted to do. Then... I found STREAT.
Every day is a brand new day and a fresh start. Every day I get really excited when I wake up. I look forward to what I will be doing that day and I will be learning and gaining from it.
My life has changed from not wanting to really go anywhere or do anything, to being out there and looking forward to going to work and being out all the time instead of staying home. Life was very tough where I came from and how I grew up but in saying that, it never stopped me from getting help and making friends.
When I say my life has changed from not wanting to go anywhere or do anything, I mean I didn’t like school so I was mainly at home and had no motivation to go out because I was always bullied.
When I say life was very tough where I came from and how I grew up, let me explain a bit about my cultural background.