There won’t be the usual celebratory racket around the dining table at West Coolup’s Salisbury Grange farm this year but the heart of the Kitchen Warehouse empire will keep beating, just as it always has for the past 50 years.
The farm, where more than 20 members of Kitchen Warehouse’s Macaulay family normally gather to celebrate special occasions, will be much quieter this year, thanks to COVID-19.
But the show must go on for the business’ founders Marilyn and John Macaulay and even though this year’s table will only be set for four, there will be no corners cut.
Marilyn, whose father bought the farm back in the 1940s, has spent hours pondering how the table will look.
Hospitality runs in her veins, with her family running the original Kings Park tea rooms and then later opening up the Kings Park restaurant.
Creating a beautiful table for Easter has become a tradition and all the family look forward to what she will create.
This year, she’s fleeced beautiful blooms, veggies and other produce from the property to create a breathtaking centrepiece, guaranteed to delight with its carrot base and surprising inclusions of Brussells sprouts and tomatoes.
Her soft green colour scheme is punctuated with spurts of soft pink, creating a retro vibe.
Plates are each topped with a packet of carrot seeds – the occupant of the place can take them home to plant or donate them to the farm where they will no doubt yield a spectacular bounty, ready to be shared amongst family and friends.
Marilyn, John and their children and grandchildren all have an emotional connection with the farm that runs deep.
Salisbury Grange is a peaceful place, perfect for quiet reflection, practising gratitude and it’s also the home to John’s beloved cattle farm.
It is also a place where memories have been made.
Milestone birthdays, weddings, reunions and countless get-togethers have all been hosted at the property.
John says he remembers when Marilyn’s father, affectionately known as Papa Love, first bought the block.
He says it left much to be desired, but it wasn’t long until it was cleared and things have been on the up since then. Bringing more joy and connectivity with every year that goes by.
“I feel very lucky that I have a place like this to come to,” says Kitchen Warehouse’s chief executive Peter Macaulay, who will be spending Easter at the farm with his parents and wife.
Marilyn says true to the family’s Easter tradition, there will be plenty of food on Sunday.
A gorgeous rosemary and garlic studded roast lamb, duck fat potatoes, a tray of delicious roast veggies, creamy broccoli mornay, crispy roast pork belly and a special Easter cake will be lovingly prepared.
“We usually cook a really nice piece of boned pork. Nothing is different, it is going to be the same this year, hopefully, it will be delicious,” she says.
Pete says the pork will be roasted in the pizza oven. He says over the years, he has found the best way to ensure crispy crackling is to make sure the skin is completely dry. He covers his in salt and lets it sit in the fridge overnight.
He pricks the skin and slides it into the hot pizza oven.
Apart from Marilyn’s beautiful roast lamb and veggies, she also prepares a gorgeous carrot cake topped with spiced cream cheese and caramel sauce.
It’s thoughtfully decorated with carrot top foliage, chocolate bunnies, baby carrots and a sprinkling of tiny candy eggs.
COVID-19 might be sending shock waves around the world, but the Macaulays are determined to make sure the memories keep stacking up at Salisbury Grange.
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