Friday, October 28, 2016

Biscuits, bread and broccoli

When my children are older and have ventured out into the big wide world I hope they always remember the aroma of freshly baked biscuits from our house.  I cook bread, cakes and the occasional slice but biscuits are top of my baking list.  I find they store and freeze easily, travel well, they don’t need cutting and they are perfectly acceptable without sticky icing or filling. 

Lately I have been experimenting with a recipe based on basic Anzac biscuits from this cookbook.  Firstly I tried the addition of dark chocolate.  The warm golden syrup gently melted the chocolate during the mixing process and the results were an immediate hit with our young biscuit connoisseurs. 

Secondly, I baked a batch of traditional Anzac biscuits for a school P&C function. I prefer my biscuits on the crunchy side so I left these in the oven until they were thoroughly golden.  

Given my obsession with baking there are times when I think that perhaps our sugar and butter consumption is a little on the high side.  I omitted the sugar completely from this batch and added a handful of chopped, dried apricots and sunflower seeds.

In this case the young biscuit testing crew sniffed out the lack of sugar immediately, declaring the dark chocolate variety much tastier.  The sugar free biscuits were flakier but I enjoyed their oaty texture with the occasional chunk of apricot, just to keep my sweet tooth happy.

When it comes to sourdough, my children both prefer individual rolls rather than slices of bread.  I intentionally removed these rolls from the oven before they became too brown because soft white rolls are perfect for small hands and easy lunches.  

In other news, I have broccoli that has self sown growing strongly in completely random places in my garden.  Sometimes broccoli is more attractive to my children served with a little bowl of soy sauce.  I am not sure if it is the salt, the dipping or the tiny bowls but soy sauce always seems to be a winner.

I don’t adjust all of my cooking just to suit the younger members of the house but it is funny how cooking evolves as our lives move into different stages. 

Wishing you fresh biscuits and pretty light this weekend, friends x

**If you are interested in this biscuit recipe I am happy to email it to you. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Projects, schemes and momentum

Isn’t it funny how projects and schemes come along?  Years ago I started this blog and I took a few photos, cooked some bread, grew some vegetables and in between all of that I continued to be a mum, wife and distance education supervisor.  Not too much has changed except our farming business has expanded and our children are growing at a rapid rate.

It has always been my grand plan to fully embrace cooking and workshops on a small commercial basis once our children were older.  When that time will actually come, who knows?

As time has rolled on other little projects have slowly appeared.  Suddenly I find myself trying to source panettone and baking gingerbread walls and roofs in October for a Christmas photo shoot

Recently Ellie, from The Darling Design Co helped me to overhaul my blog.  In the meantime Ellie has been creating a blog and publication of her own, featuring real people and real stories from the far west region of NSW.  Ellie kindly invited me to write a blog post for Far West Living and I have included some of my favourite places in our region.

Sometimes I help out with some  styling, photos and social media bits and pieces for our school cook book which is fun, gives me more photography practice and supports our school fundraising in a very small way.

I still bake bread and take photos and take care of my family but I jump at all of these extra opportunities.  As a mum living on a sheep station I don’t have a career of my own, as such.  I am perfectly happy with this arrangement.  But, a little independence is healthy for all of us. 

It is motivating to connect with other young women who have a passion for life on the land and it is a pleasure to contribute to their ventures.

Some days I question where all of this is leading me on a personal level, but I do know that whenever I say yes to projects, momentum is created.  You just never know what might be around the corner.

The photo of my husband with our horses has nothing to do with my personal projects, but it does remind me of why we live where we live: the good bits, the tricky bits and all of the bits in between.

Do you have any projects on the horizon?

Are you searching the internet desperately for pre-Christmas panettone? Perhaps that’s just me.

Happy Friday, friends x

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Wool, water and wildflowers

Muddy roads, wet sheep and rained in shearers can cause some logistical challenges when is comes to the annual job of shearing our sheep.  Last month shearing was interrupted several times by rain but we got there in the end thanks to flexible staff and a good dose of patience and persistence by everyone involved.  

With paddocks full of green grass there has never been a better time to enjoy home grown, home slaughtered lamb. 

Looking around our property we now have full dams, a running creek and abundant wildflowers.  Such a dramatic contrast to what our landscape can look like at this time of the year.

On an afternoon walk we spotted this well camouflaged echidna looking for some dry ground.

About 40kms away the Menindee Lakes are bursting back into life with water flowing and wildflowers swaying in the surrounding sand hills.

In the vegetable garden there is asparagus, flowers, weeds and some spring vegetables slowly establishing themselves. 

School holidays mean that right now we have a bit more time to appreciate our surrounds, cook, garden, read and spend time with our horses.  Thank goodness for the holidays.

Are you into podcasts?  Or maybe just looking for some beautiful links and ideas? If so be sure to visit My Open Kitchen.  There is so much goodness here that I don't even know where to start.

Happy Sunday, friends x