The Shady Baker

Monday, February 1, 2016

Summer grazing

January may not be an obvious month to do a lot of cooking.  Everyone is still full from Christmas festivities and a hot oven isn’t particularly appealing when the outside temperatures start to soar.  But, I just can’t help myself.  Free from our normal school schedule I have had time to do plenty of cooking this month as well as harvesting from the vegetable garden.

Sourdough focaccia is always a winner especially with the young bread eaters in the house.  It is soft and fluffy with just enough salt and oil to make it completely addictive. 

Iced coffee is my summer morning drink of choice.  Please, no cream or ice-cream just coffee, a dash of milk and plenty of ice.  At the moment we are trialling a cold brew coffee concentrate from Serious Deliria.  This is milder than I expected it to be but tasty.  On a hot morning it also it saves me from firing up the coffee machine.

Individual egg and bacon pies are a great way to use up excess fresh eggs from my chooks.  I have made these for an easy picnic dinner and also for morning tea when substantial food for farming men has been needed. 

Sometimes I see a recipe that I just have to try, enter homemade donuts.  These were in no way healthy or nutritious and not really summer food either.  But, they were delicious with our morning coffee.  

Tomatoes, zucchinis and a rockmelon all picked and eaten on the same day.

Rockmelon picked straight from the garden and filled with natural yoghurt makes such a simple, summery snack.  The kids call these rockmelon bowls.

Fresh figs gifted from a friend.  I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed these and I have made a mental note to have another attempt at growing my own figs.  Some people make it look so easy, whereas I have had several failed attempts in the past.  

Whenever my own personal butcher slaughters a sheep I get a big bag of ribs for the freezer.  I tend to cook them more in the colder weather but lately I have cooked them in our outdoor kitchen and they are a tasty, meaty treat topped with plenty of salt and pepper. 

What are you eating at the moment?  Are you baking or harvesting? 

For those of you getting ready to go back to school, good luck.  We are about to make major changes to our schooling program with our eldest switching from distance education to a main stream primary school.  It all feels very new and a little bit scary but the time has come to embrace the change.

Farewell to the long, unstructured days of January, you will be missed.  

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