Friday, March 20, 2015

City lanes or dusty paddocks

Running a busy family farming business often means that the kids and I take over the responsibility of checking water tanks and animals when the farming men are working elsewhere.  Normally I take the camera on these excursions because if I don’t, I regret it. Taking a few photos also adds a fun dimension to what can be a fairly routine job.  

There is no shortage of red dust, animals and open horizons.

I also love it when I get the opportunity to take photos of completely different scenery.   Recently we travelled to Mildura for a big family wedding. 

As we wandered away from breakfast at one of our favourite cafes we took a detour down a nearby lane.  While dodging the early morning delivery trucks and forklifts we admired some graffiti we hadn't noticed before.  I am not sure if this art is legal in this particular location but our walk quickly turned into a spontaneous photo shoot.  

The kids were not totally focused but that added to the fun.  We look and feel quite different in our town clothes and the colours and contrasts in these shots just make me feel happy. 

There was some sad news in parts of the blogging community yesterday and also some sad news closer to home.  Friends, remember to be grateful for all of those little moments.  

I hope you have some nice light in your world today.  


Friday, March 13, 2015

Flour power

Bread has been missing from my blog because until last weekend, I hadn't baked bread for over a month.  When it comes to bread we don’t eat homemade one hundred percent of the time, usually it complements a variety of store bought bread.  But, I find having a stash of wholesome, homemade bread in the freezer very comforting. 

Life has speed up lately and feeding my sourdough starters regularly is all I have managed to do.

Last weekend I was determined to get back into the swing of it.  Out came the starters, flour, water, salt, banettons, cooling racks and the slashing knife.  On Sunday morning the wood oven flickered back into action as I started mixing, proving and shaping six white loaves.   

From the first step of refreshing the starters through to fueling the fire, I find the whole process very soothing.  

Later in the afternoon I made the decision that the oven was hot enough and I raked the fire and coals out into a blackened steel bucket.  This step can still be rather daunting.  Judging the retained heat is very much guided by instinct rather than an exact formula.   The moment of truth arrived when the ash was mopped off the oven floor, the loaves slashed and swiftly placed into the depths of the oven with the heavy metal door slammed behind them.

Taking the loaves from the oven can be joyous or occasionally heartbreaking, depending on so many variables.  On this occasion it was joyous. 

Do you sometimes feel the power of flour and bread?

I know some of you do x

Friday, March 6, 2015

In My Kitchen, March 2015

Hello friends, welcome to my kitchen once again.  Can it really be autumn?

There are still some tunes pumping out of my kitchen when the time is right.  Lately there has been a little Roland Tings, 1200 Techniques and once again, Eric Church.  Eric's music always makes me feel a little sentimental, but a kitchen can’t function on music and sentimental thoughts alone! 

One tiny pear held by an eight year old hand that is quickly growing.  This year we picked three pears from our young tree, I look forward to more next year.

My final harvest of tomatoes.  When I picked this lot I hoped they would ripen and some of them did.  Some of them just turned brown and attracted bugs.

This lot went into the wood oven overnight after we had cooked a lamb roast.  They dried beautifully and I have frozen them for future use, probably on pizza. 

Rolled oats are one of my favourite ingredients.  Some go into muesli to get my day off to a tasty and satisfying start.  Some go into biscuits for morning tea and school day snacks.  I also used home-grown/home dried apricots in both the muesli and the biscuits.  I think I have said it before but dried fruit and rolled oats cancel out all other less ingredients, surely.

Old stuff tends to just find me.  This little collection was amongst a whole box of other treasure I recently acquired.  I think each piece could tell a few stories about outback storerooms and no nonsense food.   The Bunnykins baby bowl is very heavy and extremely well worn.  

What is happening in your kitchen this month?
Are you collecting or baking or listening to tunes? 

Once again I am linking up with my friend Celia from Fig Jame and Lime Cordial.