Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Holiday goodness

Just like an Easter egg that has been sitting in the sun for too long, our school holidays are quickly melting away.  That was a bit lame but please stay with me! 

I kicked my Easter chocolate purchasing off by ordering some of the good stuff from Spencer Cocoa.  What is not to love about chocolate that is made ethically with real ingredients right here in NSW.

We have been picking and poaching quinces.

Some of them found their way into a simple butter cake and some have been enjoyed with honey yoghurt. 

Easter weather is close to perfect in our part of the world and in the afternoons I find myself constantly admiring the sparkly light on our verandah.  

On Easter Saturday we visited family for a special celebration.   Part of the lavish dinner was a whole spit roasted pig.  This animal was raised, slaughter and cooked by my cousins who well and truly know their way around large pieces of meat. 

In the garden we have been planting garlic, making pea trellises and enjoying the milder sunshine. 

Easter really is a lovely time of the year. 

How is life at your place?  I hope you are enjoying the sunshine too.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Candles and welcome rain

I celebrated a birthday this week, complete with the yummiest little cake assembled by my family. 

Small, thoughtful birthday gifts are the best.  Wooden stamps, a piece of muslin cloth for cooking and a precious card designed by this talented artist

Thyme potted up in an old canister that I have had packed away for years. 

75mm of rain has fallen on our property since the end of March and suddenly both our paddocks and our outlook feels healthier and happier. 

My dependable little lime tree.  Very soon I am going to try to this Lemon Crème Bar recipe from the Lunch Lady using limes instead of lemons.

The school holidays are almost upon us.  One little Easter hat parade to contend with and we will be home for two weeks of digging in the vegetable garden, lighting our wood oven and enjoying some chocolate here and there.

Can you almost feel the school holidays?

Are you enjoying autumn?

Have a lovely weekend friends.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

In My Kitchen, April 2014

Autumn is finally here.   The light is gentler, the mornings are cooler and the weather is perfect for cooking.  This month I have used every available opportunity for baking.
This sourdough focaccia is always a winner and cooking it in the wood oven gives it plenty of colour.  It can be very dangerous to wander away for too long when the oven is hot!

As some of you know, sourdough is my usual bread of choice and I don’t often cook yeasted bread.  However, after a recent croissant baking venture I had some leftover fresh yeast in the fridge.  Not wanting to waste the yeast I baked this soft white sandwich loaf from The Bread Bible.  Naturally, the kids declared this to be some of my best ever bread.  It was deliciously soft and moreish and with butter in the actual dough it smelt and tasted a little like brioche. 

A tray of home raised, home killed chicken with garlic and herbs from the garden and a splash of our own olive oil.  Although we have always killed our own red meat, ten years ago I would not have dreamed we would get to this point with home produced chicken, olive oil and herbs.  

Round zucchinis, not home-grown but purchased from a local grower in Mildura.  As I completed my transaction the friendly stallholder enthusiastically shared her favourite way to cook these and asked me which colour I would prefer.  Seriously, is there any better way to shop?

Zucchini, barberry and hazelnut loaf loosely based on this recipe.  This was just one of those things I had to try and it was tasty, especially lightly toasted with a generous swipe of real butter.

Cucumbers are rampant in my garden at the moment.  After a very lean summer vegetable season I finally feel like the garden is almost productive again.  Tzatziki or Greek salad anyone?

What is cooking in your kitchen?
Do you have a favourite way to eat cucumbers?

Thank you to Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting this fun kitchen tour.