Friday, August 23, 2013

Swapping food with strangers

Alone and broken down on an outback road at 10pm in the middle of winter is not a good situation to be in.  This week Terry stopped in his truck to help an elderly man who was in that exact predicament. 

As a sign of his appreciation the man gave Terry a bottle of beer, a pumpkin and a bowl of this dark, sticky honey and honeycomb all of which he had in his car.  Terry still had some of his just warm takeaway dinner in the truck which he gave to the man, sensing just how cold it was out there on the road.  The kindness of strangers is alive and well. 

Have you been kind to a stranger this week?  Or experienced an act of kindness?
Have a lovely weekend friends. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

A scarf, spring seeds and stuff

The days at our place have been sunny, warm and full  of activity.

I hope winter makes at least one more appearance.  My generous friend Jodie sent me this lovely scarf and it would be nice to wear it before the cold days completely disappear. Jodie won the hand knitted garment category at her local show with this masterpiece which makes me appreciate it even more.

These four Johnson cups and saucers were brand new and still in their box waiting for me recently at the op-shop.  I can’t decide whether to use them for tea drinking or for making little succulent collections. 

Have you seen Vantastic written by the clever and creative Kate Ulman?  I love old caravans so I knew I would love this book the minute Kate starting telling us about it on her blog.  Even if you are not into caravans within these colourful pages are plenty of practical holiday tips, craft activities, recipes, ideas for family life and of course beautiful photos.  I know you will love it! 

Free form sourdough pear pancakes cooked on the open fire. 

Spring seeds sown carefully into little pots.  There is so much hope and anticipation within these little trays.

Fresh vegetables from the garden.

Rocket and kale seed collected from the vegetable garden.

Ever since hosting Flour and Fire Day day my passion for baking bread has been reignited, not that it had ever really gone away.  There are some amazing bread videos out there but this video is particularly beautiful.  Bread baking friends, this is for you. 

What is happening at your place?

Are you op-shopping, reading, knitting or baking?

Wishing you a happy weekend x

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fire and Flour Day, 2013

I love our life in the outback.  It has so many good points and provides my family with an incredible amount of freedom.

However, occasionally I think about living in a place where growing, producing and sharing food are all strong elements in the community.  We have visited the Barossa and Sunraysia regions and I always admire their food producers, markets, vineyards and orchards.  These visits have always made me think about how I could create a little food community closer to home.  

After a lot of talking and procrastinating and planning last Sunday we launched our inaugural Fire and Flour Day.  A keen group of friends assembled around our wood oven and we mixed and kneaded sourdough bread, made pizza and fresh pasta, ate lunch, watched the fire, shaped the dough and finally shut the oven door and waited for the bread magic to happen. 

In between bread duties we toured the vegetable garden, the olive trees and of course the mandatory viewing of farm machinery, dogs and ponies.  

A swap table gave everyone a chance to share and fill a cardboard box on their way out the gate.  My friend Sarah made the comment that our little wooden table was abundant and she was right.  In the sunshine we swapped plants, fresh herbs, garlic, seeds that had been lovingly collected or sourced, citrus, relish and some very special homemade Limoncello macarons. 

As the day came to an end and the bakers had all gone home I felt slightly overwhelmed with gratitude for good friends and sharing food.  Or maybe it was fatigue and the celebratory cold beer kicking in!  When I first started making bread I could not have imagined the different paths and adventures it would take me on, not to mention the joy of sharing it with other people.

We are thinking about turning Flour and Fire Day into an annual winter event and making it accessible to the wider community.  Stay tuned.

Special thanks to Terry for always believing in my schemes and for effortlessly keeping the wood oven at just the right temperature all day long.  Thanks to the kids for getting excited about my schemes and tackling it all with enthusiasm.

Thanks to Paula and Sarah for sharing your photos with me for this post.  

Are you baking or learning or sharing in your community?

I hope you are having a great week.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

In My Kitchen, August 2013

Welcome to another tour of my kitchen.  It is cold outside and there has never been a better time to be cooking!

A special birthday celebration seemed like the perfect time to test these quince and rosewater tarts.  Not only did they look quite pretty but they were a delicious way to end our meal.  Who can resist a tiny tart?  

As many of you know, farm work can be monotonous at times.  Particularly on a dark morning when the earth is covered in frost. One way of breaking the monotony and lifting spirits is with a warm smoko.   Although they are basic, bacon and egg sandwiches are always a popular choice.

Homemade sausage rolls come in at a close second in the smoko department.

When fellow blogger and baker City Hippy Farm Girl  recently posted a recipe for beer, cheese and onion bread it immediately appealed to me.  I used feta cheese and a bottle of stout in my version.  The rolls were dense and chewy with the little pieces of onion providing a hint of sweetness.

Golden beetroot pulled straight from the earth, heading for my kitchen.

Broccoli, kale, coriander and wongbok picked straight from the garden.  I have a lot of green things growing at the moment.

Are you growing or baking or harvesting at the moment?
Do you still stop for smoko at your place?

Please join in the fun and visit Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  So many people are generously sharing their kitchens with us!