Saturday, July 5, 2014

Flour and Fire Day, 2014

Last Sunday morning I crept out of bed at 3.30am and again at 5.30am to refuel our wood oven and to check on my bread that had been proving all night.  In the darkness, at the wood pile I felt the lightest mist on my face and I knew that the day ahead was full of possibilities and goodness.

Our second Flour and Fire Day was different to the first.   This year we had one more year of cooking in the wood oven behind us.  Our children were all one year older, making them more independent and freer to roam and explore.  The returning bakers had a year of baking experience behind them which meant we could really trade knowledge on proving, shaping, slashing, equipment and all things sourdough. 





Our friend Paula kindly volunteered to give us a hands-on haloumi and ricotta making demonstration.  Cheese making complimented the bread making perfectly.  Similarly to bread making, cheese making is often a process of hurry-up-and-wait, as Paula so rightly described it.  When we weren't attending to our loaves we were attending to the cheese which gave our day rhythm and purpose. 



The food for the day was assembled from mostly home raised, home baked and home grown produce.  We squashed pieces of freshly sizzled hand made haloumi straight from the fire between chunks of warm sourdough baguettes, real food at its best.  


At the end of the day, as the sun set behind the wood oven the drinks and stories flowed.

This day filled me with a sense of community spirit, generosity and sharing.  It has also proved to me that it is possible to make things happen, even if it is on a small scale.

If you can, gather some like-minded friends and family and make food.  Talk, listen and share.  Let the children join in, or play in the dirt or both!  Perhaps the world would be a better place if more people could do this. 


Thank you to the families who attended our day.  It wouldn't have happened without your enthusiasm and contributions.  Thank you Paula for your professional cheese making and for so generously sharing your delicious haloumi with everyone.  Thank you also to Terry for fuelling the fire, helping with the photos and always believing in my schemes.  

What we ate, for anyone who is interested.

Morning tea: sausage rolls, vegetable and chickpea non-sausage rolls, quince and almond tart, cheese and crackers

Lunch: slow cooked camp oven lamb shanks, fresh pasta, pesto, salad, baguettes, fire sizzled haloumi

Afternoon grazing: scones with jam and cream, cheese and crackers, affogato served with pistachio biscotti, chocolates, warm ricotta drizzled with olive oil

40 comments:

  1. What an awesome day and I think you're so right re the getting together making food and kids playing in the dirt and bread and cheese would be yum esp haloumi but the rest of that menu sounds devine

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just love this idea, coming together to enjoy food, the process of making it and socialising. Looks like fun.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is brilliant Jane!!
    Your photos and words are so great I can practically smell all that bread from here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kate, I know your family are involved in days like these. They are fun aren't they? x

      Delete
  4. It is amazing what people from other nations eat for breakfast etc compared to us Americans. I get so tired of our breakfast foods. I need to just make some changes from the egg and toast or yogurt smoothies.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a fantastic event! I am just entering the world of bread baking, though I'm still at the yeast level - no sourdoughs for me yet. Just made some awesome sandwich rolls today! I also made queso blanco this week, which is similar to haloumi in that it does not melt. http://lifewiththecrew.typepad.com/my-blog/2014/07/cheese-made-by-me-june-queso-blanco.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Katie, your cheese sounds very interesting, I haven't heard of it before. I bet your rolls were delicious! I always appreciate your comments.

      Delete
  6. It looks and sounds like the perfect day, Jane! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Naomi, it was a lot of fun x

      Delete
  7. A beautiful day, Jane, a real credit to you... just perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh wow... I just wish I was there. So much to learn about and enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would be very welcome to join us Kim, thanks for calling in.

      Delete
  9. It sounds like a wonderful and inspirational day Jane and the food sounds delicious. I wonder what you'll include next time now you've expanded the repertoire with cheesemaking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anne, I am not sure...depending on what else we include we might have to think of a new name for the day!

      Delete
  10. how fabulous jane..and what a lot of work..but the reward must have been huge in terms of nurturing community and a sense of belonging..the food you made sounds stunning too..by the way in what issue of country style is your farm featured..august? i looked at july's edition and i didn't see you in it..i don't want to miss it..x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jane. Yes, it was a lot of work but I am finding in life the more I put in the more I get back, mostly! I am not sure what CS issue we will be in, we haven't been told yet. I will keep you posted, apparently these things take time x

      Delete
  11. This looks like so much fun Jane! I'm so glad you share your Flour & Fire day here since we can't all be a part of it! I know what you mean about a sense of community - I go to our local Seed Savers group, which meets every 2nd month. We do a little bit of seed packing, but I don't think it really has all that much to do with saving seeds. All the people who go are so inspiring to be around, it's just such a full, happy day and I always come home feeling so good. We need more groups/days like this in the world I think.

    Happy Sunday!
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah. Your seed saving group sounds great...like you said it is less about the activity and more about the connections. But, the activity gives us all a place to start and some common ground. I agree, we need more days like this. Happy Sunday to you too x

      Delete
  12. home made haloumi?! oh my wow! especially with the home made sourdough. what a wonderful vent you have created. I hope it long continues to grow and to feed bellies and spirits :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you e, I am hoping we can continue this day too. Happy Sunday to you :)

      Delete
  13. Looks like the perfect day to me Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kylie, bread making is not for everyone but I have managed to gather a few bread friends over the years and we had fun x

      Delete
  14. WOW- Im so jealous….what a great day! Your photos leave me totally salivating and I can smell the freshly baked baguettes and that haloumi looks, well, sensational. Great effort and cant wait to see what another 12 months brings for your next Flour & Fire Day!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Kylie for your generous words. Who knows what the next 12 months will bring?

      Delete
  15. This looks like the perfect day Jane - so much fun, food and friendship. I wish I lived closer (like 1300kms closer) so I could crash the next week and eat all that lovely bread and haloumi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mel, I would love to have a day like this just for my blogging friends...Broken Hill is a rather expensive and out of the way place to get to for most city folk. You would be very welcome :)

      Delete
  16. sigh...love it Jane. I've been looking forward to seeing how your day turned out. Perfect in every single way it looks. You must have been feeling pretty proud at the end of the day- I can only imagine a lot of adults went home with happy bellies and contented hearts. While the kids would have had similar contented bellies and having exhausted themselves...(as always tends to happen when adults are happily side tracked and they are freeee to wander.)
    Love every part of it. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brydie, your comments mean a lot to me as I know you are a big believer in days like this. As I said to Mel above, I would love to have a day like this for my blogging/bread making friends. It is a shame our part of the world is rather expensive and out of the way to access from the major cities. The thought is at the back of my mind though x

      Delete
  17. This is what sustainability is all about! Building community and drawing strength, happiness and resources from within! I love this, it's what makes all the hardwork worth it. How can anyone waste when they know how much time went into the growing of grain and the care for cattle? That bread and cheese would have tasted so fresh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joanna (I hope that is you!) I appreciate your comments and understanding.

      Delete
  18. The best of days, love. How simply wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us.. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Celia for believing in my schemes! x

      Delete
  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your blog makes me want to move to WA, absolutely gorgeous pics and beautiful stories, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Deb...but I am in Western NSW, not far from Broken Hill!

      Delete
  21. Wow this sounds like a beautiful day! the smell of bread cooking, an open fire and friends. What more can you ask for?

    ReplyDelete

Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane