While road-trippin with Queen Suebar and Little Chef we used Airbnb every day to find a cool place to stay for the night. It was kinda fun because if we wanted solitude or to be social we always found exactly the right place for our mood.
I confess to being a newbie with the whole Airbnb thing, although my bro seems to use them regularly when traveling away with his cycling team and raves about them, so it was high time to check it out. 5 nights and 2,000+ kilometers later I have to say, I’m a big fan.
Our absolute most favourite place was Raylene’s at Port Macquarie, crazy as it seems, we arrived as strangers and left as friends. We got to stay in her gorgeous home with our own beautifully appointed room with en-suite, access to an awesome outdoor lounge and dining area, a pool, a yoga hut and every travelers dream…. A laundry!
In true Aussie summer fashion, it was a stinkin’ hot day, we arrived a little over it, but before too long we were dining alfresco on a delicious homemade curry, a specialty and passion for our host; while being serenaded by Raylene’s amazingly talented son Cameron, who has been busking for years – what a voice!
Raylene is a hip-curry-creating–Thermomix-cookin’ entrepreneurial single momma and yogi, with such a positive attitude, it’s infectious; always one to be inspired by a positive mindset, these guys truly know how to make the best lemonade when life gives you lemons.
Instead of just dabbling in the kitchen with her own curry blends, Raylene has created the perfect recipe and calls her curries “Off The Rayles Curries” you can order some HERE, we ended up staying on for a few hours the next morning as she showed us how she created her little sachets of curry goodness to sell at the markets and online – now how could I resist that huh.
We wondered how Little Chef would go staying overnight as a guest in other people’s and animals homes, but, again he did us proud and soon made friends with Ruby and had no issues with drinking from her water bowl. Not long before we were due to leave the next morning Little Chef decided to get in on what seemed like a fun game with his new pooch pal Ruby, chasing the Bengal Cat Miso around, learning quickly that cats can be nefarious creatures who have great skills and wisdom but no sense of humour when it comes to two on one tag teams!
We reluctantly left with jars of delicious green icy smoothies that somehow she’d whipped up in her Thermomix in amongst the curry blend production line and left us feeling anything was possible. Everything about our stay-over at Rays place was terrific; she’s a natural host with a great passion and appreciation for just being real with a flair for decorating that screams “Welcome, come on in and make yourself at home!” So, if you’re looking for accommodation in Port Macquarie, we absolutely recomend you check out Raylene’s place.
Off the Rayles Beef Curry
- 1 packet of ‘Off the Rayles’ curry spice mix
3-4 tablespoon ghee or oil
1 kilogram round or topside steak, cut into 1cm cubes
1 large brown onion, halved, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the ghee or oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until brown. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until soft and brown. Add the Off the Rayles curry spice mix and cook for 1 minute or until aromatic.
- Add the beef, tomato and stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until beef is tender.
- Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and fresh coriander.
- Remove the whole spices from the dish and serve with rice, yoghurt and stolen mango chutney.
I’d love to know, have you stayed in an Airbnb? If yes, what’d you think? And if you could get your hands on some of the “Off the Rayles” curry mix, what would you make with it?