Sunday, May 27, 2012

Good things at home this week

I have been playing with my camera and trying hard to use the manual setting rather than the fully automatic setting.  The back of our horse shed was used for photography practise. 

We had guests for lunch and I cooked up a storm, including these lamb chops crusted with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds and pistachios. 

There were home made sausage rolls for the kids.

Our guests arrived with a bunch of amazing flowers, home made preserved lemons, an okra pod full of seed and some inspiring reading material on loan.  Very gracious guests indeed!

The kids and I got out and about on Sunday morning and helped my farming husband put these curious cows into the yards.

 What good things have been happening at your place this week?


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Autumn in the vegetable garden

The weather is beautiful at our place at the moment.  The evenings and mornings are cool but most afternoons have been perfectly sunny.  This is great for soul as well as for the vegetable garden.

I have fruit on my young L’Inconnue pear tree.  This is an old French heirloom variety, a late harvesting winter pear.  After nurturing this tree for almost a year I am very excited to see this tiny fruit appear.

These little figs are steadily growing on my young Prestons Prolific fig tree.  My trusty Digger’s Club catalogue informs me that the crop at this time of year is known as the ‘breba’ crop.

Baby beetroot leaves looking so pretty.

Beautiful rhubarb stems just waiting for a piping hot winter crumble.

My garlic crop is looking fairly healthy so far.  I am eagerly anticipating the harvest later in the year.

Romanesco broccoli which I planted early (rather impatiently!) but it seems to be happy and healthy. 

A tangle of basil and capsicums at the front of the photo, holding on bravely as the weather cools off.

Snow peas in the afternoon sunshine.

Crunchy carrots and beans.

What is happening in your garden at the moment?
Are you harvesting, planting, planning or cooking with your produce?

Have a lovely Sunday friends.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Old teapots and treasure

I recently sent a group email to some of my aunties, friends and my mother in-law asking if anyone had any ‘one serve’ teapots stashed in their cupboards.  I needed them to serve tea at a recent market stall I held.

This fairly simple request opened up some wonderful conversations, brought back a few memories and even involved one of my aunties hitting the op-shop trail in QLD.

My mother in-law arrived with a whole box of pots that had belonged to each of my husband’s grandmothers.  One still had a beautiful hand made tea cosy sitting on it.  My op-shopping aunty sent me a bag of interesting little pots and milk jugs after having some fun with her friends while she searched for my treasure.

I also bought a handful of little teapots at a local op-shop for an absolute bargain.  This sort of shopping is truly fun and rewarding.

The pots with sentimental value did not make it to the market but the less sentimental pots and jugs were used to serve tea.  I look forward to taking them on further market adventures and can’t help but admire my new collection.

What struck me most about this little exercise was not so much the actual teapots but the fun, conversations and good energy it created.  It made me want to give these special ladies another ‘mission’ just to see what else we can find.

What could we go hunting for next?

Happy Mother’s Day, I hope someone makes you a pot of tea or a coffee today.

For more fun vintage finds link up with Sophie at Her Library Adventures.  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sunny Friday

Yesterday I had a quiet day at home with my little man, George.  Between school, farm and family commitments these days are becoming increasingly rare.

After an early morning rush of cleaning and washing we enjoyed the sunshine and the peace and quiet.

We had a few creative moments in the garden displaying some collected treasure.

We enjoyed hearty home made pumpkin soup for lunch.

George had an afternoon sleep which doesn’t happen very often these days.

We shared a little pot of tea with plenty of extra cold water added for George.

We made pizza for dinner.

I notice a difference in George without his beautiful big sister.  He gets a chance to speak for himself and make up his own little games.

Do you ever get a chance to spend time alone with your children, without their brothers or sisters?  
Do you notice a difference in them?

Happy Saturday friends.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sunday at the market

On Sunday I brought my little food business briefly out of hibernation and held a stall at a newly established market in Broken Hill. 

After a lot of baking, label making and packing I finally set up my stall under a big, old Peppercorn tree on the lawn in beautiful Sturt Park.

On my table was a mixture of hand made sweet treats, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables and of course, sourdough bread.  The bread baskets were bare within the first hour of trading.   My latest baking experiment is a sticky, spicy sourdough fruit bun and I had baked these just a few hours before the market.  These were my most popular item and sold like hot cakes!  It was a thrill to share the joy of handmade bread with the community.

Some people enjoyed little pots of my Chai tea as they soaked up the market atmosphere and some local music.

It was fun to be involved in a new community event and to see both familiar and new faces out and about enjoy their Sunday.  I hope to make further appearances and in the meantime I will be fine tuning a few ideas and looking for some new foodie inspiration.

Do you support your local markets?
What do you think makes a great market?
Are you on the market scene?


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In My Kitchen May 2012

Welcome to another little tour of my kitchen.

Way back at Easter time we sampled a couple of bottles of Chocolate Stout from the Mildura Brewery.  Not surprisingly it tasted very much like chocolate and was quite thick in texture.  I imagined it would be best enjoyed beside a fire on a lazy Saturday afternoon in the depths of winter.  In reality we drank ours in a rather tired and grubby state as we unpacked from our Easter camping trip.  It was still very enjoyable.

A stack of warm pita bread fresh from the oven.  I use a recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s incredible book The Bread Bible and it is always soft and delicious.  We usually enjoy it as homemade yiros teamed with roast lamb, salad and thick tzatziki.  

This delicate and slightly wonky cup and saucer is the sixth piece in my little Mud  collection.   It was a birthday gift from my husband last month and I treasure it already.  Originally I planned to just use it on the weekends but I have used it almost everyday since I received it.

A beautiful bag of organic rolled oats just opened and ready to be made into muesli.  There is just so much goodness in this 8kg bag. 

I am picking beautiful crunchy beans from my garden as well as delicious Chinese cabbage. 

Lastly a batch of no nonsense biscuits baked for my hungry farming family.  With the weather getting cooler there seems to be a constant demand for smoko and snacks to send out to the paddock.  This recipe is one of the simplest and easiest biscuit recipes I have ever used.  It came from Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel and I added pecan nuts to the basic recipe.

What is in your kitchen this month?  Please share and join in the fun at  Celia’s beautiful blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.