Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A bush picnic and a birthday

Our eldest has just turned 6. 

Annabelle is:

Surprisingly courageous and tough at times. 
Rarely silent or still.
A natural and instinctive gardener.
Someone who finds good in almost everyone and everything.
A collector of old sheep ear tags and millions of bits of paper.
An animal lover.
An adventurous eater but always saves her favourite bits until the end.
Proud to have just learnt how to zest a lemon.

We are not really into birthday party extravaganzas.  On Sunday we met our neighbours in the shade near one of our dams.  We shared a cake covered in fresh flowers, some home made bread, hummus and a cheese platter.

The kids caught some yabbies, collected sticks for the fire and pretended to be lions and tigers.  The adults enjoyed the sunshine, easy conversation and a cold beer.

As with most good birthday parties there were a few tears towards the end.

Happy Birthday Annabelle, life would be empty without you x

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kitchen inspiration from my blog friends

Lately I have cooked a lot of recipes shared by fellow bloggers.  I find if a recipe has been tested in real kitchen and someone has made the effort to share it on their blog, it is normally a winner.  Today I am sharing some food, links and some good blog vibes.

Firstly, beetroot pasta made with my home grown beetroot.  I served this exactly as Katrina at The Other Crumb suggested with goats curd and candied walnuts.  It was delicious and felt so wholesome and earthy. 

With the leaves from the beetroot mentioned above I made this cheesy-green-garden-bread thanks to Kate at Foxs Lane .  As with the pasta, this felt wholesome and earthy and tasted amazing warm from the oven.  I also loved using the whole beetroot from top to tail with nothing wasted.

Sourdough pancakes anyone?  Thank you Mel at Crunchy Tiger for sharing this little piece of cooking wisdom.  Anyone who bakes sourdough knows there is a certain amount of waste every time you feed the starters.  The chooks at our place love excess starter but I am happy to have discovered another way to use those precious drops that I have worked so hard to establish.

I continue to be amazed at the generosity and good energy circulating in the blogging world.  On Saturday morning as I collected our mail I discovered the most wonderful surprise.  Two packets of vegetable seeds sent from my friend Jodie at Jelly Wares . Each contained a perfect hand written note and detailed planting information.  Thank you made my weekend. 

Do you cook from blogs?
Do you feel the good vibes?
Happy school holidays for those who are almost there!

** Apologies to anyone who tried to view this post yesterday and couldn't.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blossom and baby birds

Spring is in the air along with plenty of wind and a little dust at our place.  

We recently discovered a baby wedge-tailed eagle peeking out from the comfort of this enormous nest.  It sat quietly as we carefully investigated all the interesting bits and pieces that had fallen from the nest.

Little flowers picked by my children.

Baby roosters enjoying the sunshine.

Tiny tomatoes raised from seed finally emerging into the sunlight.  

My boy ripping snow peas straight off the vine with his teeth, cave man style.  Table manners are disregarded in the veggie garden I guess!

Treasure collected on a Sunday morning walk.

The tail end of our winter vegetables.

Pink blossom and afternoon sunlight outside my kitchen window.  

I hope you are enjoying spring.
Have you found any treasure?
Are you loving the blossom?  

Friday, September 7, 2012


Our main business event for the year is shearing.  I have tried to capture some of the action on camera.  For any sheep people reading this you will have seen it all before so you might want to look away now!

The process begins with skilled sheep dogs and fast men on motorbikes bringing the sheep in from their paddocks.

Woolly sheep waiting their turn in the yards.

The contract shearing team in full swing.

Grinding (sharpening) cutting blades for the day ahead.

A glimpse into the life of the shearer's cook.  This is not the place to find vegetarian, low fat or low carbohydrate meals.  The cook serves up plenty of meat, cakes, sandwiches, vegetables and desserts to keep the team fuelled up for the long days of physical work.

Some of the tools of the trade include shearing moccasins, cordial, clocks, cutting blades and singlets.

When the sheep are shorn they are walked back to their paddock.  With their wool off they normally have an extra spring in their step and with that, shearing is over for another year.

Do you have a main event at your place?
Happy Friday friends!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

In My Kitchen September 2012

Welcome to another little tour of my kitchen.  Thank you once again to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting this fun kitchen tour.

Firstly, home raised pork hocks freshly smoked in our smoke house.  These are destined for at least one batch of pea and ham soup before the weather gets too warm.

Bad tempered yabbies freshly caught from the dam.  These were actually used as blatant bribery on a kind man who is going to help us build our wood fired pizza oven.  More on this later!

As we prepare for our annual sheep shearing these well worn thermoses and the generous lunch box make a regular appearance in the kitchen.  Lunch and smoko supplies are replenished each night ready to sustain hungry workers for another day.

I recently purchased this Scullery Made Chocolate Marmalade tea from my friends at Fine and Sunny.  It contains black tea, cacao nibs, carob and orange zest.  With a subtle chocolate aroma it is a treat without being too sweet.

Another batch of sourdough fresh from my oven.  The cut loaf was an experiment containing a handful of chopped dried figs and walnuts.  Served with a little honey it made a delicious Sunday brunch.

A selection of fresh vegetables, nuts and home preserved chillies all purchased from road side stalls and a street market in Mildura.  I love buying food from the person who has grown it.  It just makes sense doesn’t it?

A bunch of goodness picked straight from my garden.  Happy days!

Have you bought any tasty ingredients this month?
What good things are happening in your kitchen?