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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pastry and pizza in the outback

On the long weekend we ventured over the border into South Australia to visit some of my family on their property.  This was an opportunity for all of our children to play together and for the big people to chat, compare some gardening thoughts and cook together.

In the afternoon Annie, Kate and myself gathered around Sarah’s kitchen bench for a big pastie making session.  We all contributed our ingredients and set to work rolling, chopping, peeling, mixing and creating.    

Sarah made the comment that cooking together is an important part of some cultures so why shouldn't it be something we embrace?  As we went about our pastie business there was a feeling of understanding, quiet listening, laughter, deep thoughts and not so deep thoughts.  In the end we made around four dozen pasties which we divided amongst our families.  The test batch received a big tick of approval!



Within the shearer’s kitchen on the property happens to be an old wood oven dating back at least one hundred years to a time when all of the cooking took place in a wood oven.  The shearer’s cook now has access to modern gas ovens but the old oven remains in place, thankfully.  As the sun began to set we made our way towards the stone shearer’s quarters to prepare pizza for the wood oven.


Once again everyone contributed ingredients and with a flurry of rolling, chopping, flouring and shovelling multiple pizzas appeared.  Experienced pizza people handled the cooking and cutting with style as hot slices were passed around on big wooden boards .


The back of the wood oven.


After toasted marshmallows and conversation around the fire we rolled out our swags  within the thick stone walls of the shearer’s quarters and slept soundly.



This really was a memorable weekend.

Do you ever cook together as a family?

34 comments :

  1. What a glorious, delicious post Jane.
    It sounds like such a wonderful time.

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  2. My family & I would murder each other if we had to cook together - I kid you not. Is that Sarah as in "Hamish & Sarah" (I really like her dress by the way in the top photo). It seems like a GREAT weekend...what fun. Pasties are hard to find in Sydney...pity as I like them (and do you have a pizza dough recipe to share - may as well try my hand at that next).

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    1. Miss Piggy your identification is correct! We used my sourdough pizza bases on this occasion, is Miss Piggy ready for sourdough? Happy to share :)

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  3. It was such a fun weekend and a veritable moving feast. Your pizza dough wad delicious. I can't wait to do it again Jane.

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  4. this is my idea of heaven :) i love love love these precious times we are sometimes lucky enough to have....

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  5. Family, food, fun, doesn't get much better than that. A big tick for the sourdough pizza bases Jane, delicious. I look forward to our next gathering. Thinking caps on now for a good idea.

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    2. Thanks Annie, your pastry was equally impressive!

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  6. Glorious..until you got to the bit about sleeping in a swag. I need a bed! :) But it sounds like you had the best time ever, and you've inspired me yet again. I want pasties now! :)

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  7. Oh goodness, I had to read this after a night of teaching when I am starving! My family does cook together, but everyone is so bossy that it's too stressful :) Your group cooking looks delightful.

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  8. Very impressive blog (actually the first time I have ever visited a blog!!) I am not as techno as my sister or indeed you Jane.
    Looks just fantastic and bloody delicious! Those pasties are perfect.
    Not sure what you are meant to write on a blog...so over and out from me.
    When is the next family cook up? Maybe we could make it up there?
    Heather

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    1. Don't worry Heathe, viewing a blog is about at techno as i get!! Christmas is the next occasion so are you West bound? bit more Clarke in the kitchen wouldn't hurt?, right! Sarah B

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    2. We might need an outdoor kitchen...amongst the vegies etc! What fun x

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    3. Thanks for your kind thoughts Heather, it would be lovely to meet you at another family cook up!

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  9. Jane, beautiful as ever in your photography and description of our gathering. Good energy in the kichen certainly produced good pasties and pizza. Look forard to our next journey in the kitchen - could it be pasta, preserves??? i wonder.. Sarah B

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    1. Thanks Sarah, we have you to thank for making it all come together and hosting us in your kitchen!

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  10. Cousin from Darwin very much approves of the cook up. In fact, my fiance Adam, pizza extraordinaire was VERY impressed with the wood fired oven. Miss cousie Sare, Hammer and the kids. Perhaps we will visit with our bub next year to Kalabity!

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  11. I think there could be nothing better than a weekend of cooking like that. I am all inspired to do some big communal cooking. Your pasties look yummy as do the pizzas.

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  12. May we can do a bit of family cooking when i visit you soon!

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  13. What a lovely story (as always). I'm single, so rarely cook with ANYONE - i envy you this lovely community. maybe i need to start my own kind of cooking group. i think it would be so warm and wonderful.

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  14. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Love cooking with others especially my Mum
    I would be interested in the recipe for the banana slice - thanks Jane

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  15. I don't enjoy cooking much but I love to eat good food and I do like to read about other people cooking,
    which is why I really enjoy visiting you here!

    Thank you for your thoughtful words today, it was lovely of you.

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  16. Gorgeous post Jane!!! Those pasties look and sound to die for..

    Jodie :)

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  17. wow Jane! What a wonderful wood fired oven! Looks like a fabulous family weekend. I agree, those pasties look fabulous - I'm in the process of making some now!

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  18. Hi, I'm visiting for the first time (via Kates blog) I saw those yummy looking pasties and wanted to read more. What a great weekend! I have rarely cooked in a group like this,but will never forget an Easter weekend staying with Italian friends many years ago. I sat at the kitchen table and watched in awe, as four generations moved effortlessly around the kitchen together. Sometimes with need to be reminded that it is not only the sharing of a meal that can bring us together, but also the cooking:)

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