I love our life in the outback. It has so many good points and provides my family with an incredible amount of freedom.
However, occasionally I think about living in a place where growing, producing and sharing food are all strong elements in the community. We have visited the Barossa and Sunraysia regions and I always admire their food producers, markets, vineyards and orchards. These visits have always made me think about how I could create a little food community closer to home.
After a lot of talking and procrastinating and planning last Sunday we launched our inaugural Flour and Fire Day. A keen group of friends assembled around our wood oven and we mixed and kneaded sourdough bread, made pizza and fresh pasta, ate lunch, watched the fire, shaped the dough and finally shut the oven door and waited for the bread magic to happen.
In between bread duties we toured the vegetable garden, the olive trees and of course the mandatory viewing of farm machinery, dogs and ponies.
A swap table gave everyone a chance to share and fill a cardboard box on their way out the gate. My friend Sarah made the comment that our little wooden table was abundant and she was right. In the sunshine we swapped plants, fresh herbs, garlic, seeds that had been lovingly collected or sourced, citrus, relish and some very special homemade Limoncello macarons.
As the day came to an end and the bakers had all gone home I felt slightly overwhelmed with gratitude for good friends and sharing food. Or maybe it was fatigue and the celebratory cold beer kicking in! When I first started making bread I could not have imagined the different paths and adventures it would take me on, not to mention the joy of sharing it with other people.
We are thinking about turning Flour and Fire Day into an annual winter event and making it accessible to the wider community. Stay tuned.
Special thanks to Terry for always believing in my schemes and for effortlessly keeping the wood oven at just the right temperature all day long. Thanks to the kids for getting excited about my schemes and tackling it all with enthusiasm.
Thanks to Paula and Sarah for sharing your photos with me for this post.
Are you baking or learning or sharing in your community?
I hope you are having a great week.