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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fire and Flour Day, 2013


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 Fire and Flour 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.  

52 comments :

  1. love the concept..love that you made it happen..love the swap table ..love love love it all..good on you for making it happen..wish i lived nearby..x

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    1. Thanks so much Jane, I wished you lived nearby too!

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  2. What a wonderful thing you have done for your small community......

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  3. Jane!!!! You did it.
    And it looks and sounds like you totally rocked it.
    Well done.
    I predict an enormous demand for your courses and I really hope that one day I'll make it to one.
    Fabulous stuff. xx

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, encouragement and prediction Kate! I think I could hold a day like this just for my blogging friends...if only we weren't all scattered so far and wide. x

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  4. Oh Jane, Flour & Fire Day looks beyond amazing and reading about it filled my heart with joy! This is the essence of life..good food and friends/community to share it with. The food looks rustic and delicious, just the way I like it. Congratulations, you should make it an annual winter event, it's good for everyone's soul. One of the things on my 'to do' list is a breadmaking course, definitely something I want to explore. xx Ohh and yes would love to be your tour guide if you ever make it to Melbourne!

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    1. Thank you Catherine, that is very kind of you! Truly, I have not visited Melbourne as an adult and would love a tour of the real stuff from a local! One day not too far away I hope :)

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  5. Oh Jane, how spectacular! I think you and your friends are very much a part of a food community and this just highlights that. I feel a bit "out of it" living in the city and I have to admit a tad jealous of this. Ok...a lot jealous!

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    1. If you lived closer you would have been at the top of the invite list my friend. Next winter maybe? :)

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  6. Oh wow what a wonderful idea. All I can think of is how much fun that looks to be a part of. I love the abundant table. You are so blessed.

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    1. Thank you, we are lucky indeed! It was fun :)

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  7. I love it all - from the bread and pasta to sharing at the swap table. That looks such a good fun day Jane. I'm full of admiration that you carried through the idea as it's easy to be enthusiastic about these things but never get round to doing it.
    When these courses take off and you're listed on the Tourist Trail, can I be your UK agent please?

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    1. Thank you Anne, I really do value your comments. I can barely believe I did it myself actually! Of course you can be my agent :)

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  8. Congratulations Jane and The Shady Baker team. A pleasure to launch this part of the journey with you which has been restless but ready to bring to the table. A huge achievement. Wonderful to taste, under your tuition, a shared meal. Thankyou.

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    1. Thank you Sarah for your support, encouragement and friendship. Days like this wouldn't happen without people like you x

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  9. Wow Jane I'm so impressed! Looks like you pulled off an amazing community get-together! I bet if you opened it up to the public it would be amazing! I'd be there for it in a heartbeat if I wasn't so far away!

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words!

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  10. Jane, love everything about your day. The sharing, the sense of community that you have created, the food....and also the fact that you have overcome the tyranny of distance. Congratulations!

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  11. what a beautiful, warming, wonderful event jane. hats off to you for following through with your idea and making it a reality. so many times we think 'wouldn't it be lovely if... ohh, it would never work' and we push aside our dreams.
    everyone's food looks delicious; i'm ever so jealous of that pot of tomato sauce and pasta, your lovely loaves, and those limoncello macarons! wow-wee!

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    1. Thanks e, it certainly feels good to have followed through with something I have been thinking about for a long time!

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    1. Thanks for calling in Kate, what a shame you couldn't join us. Next time we will arrange the day around your schedule :)

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  13. Well done Jane it was a wonderful day and all the hard work you put in (and not just on the day, there was a LOT of prep) was appreciated. Everything about the day was charming, delicious food, great company, chitter chatter, lovely garden tour. We feel very privileged to have been a part of it all. Can`t thank you enough :)

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    1. Thanks Paula, days like this wouldn't happen without enthusiastic people like you!

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  14. What a fabulous day Jane!! I would so love to sit in your outdoor kitchen all rugged up while fresh bread and pizza and those tarts from your post the other day (still thinking about those tarts!!) baked in the oven. Good friends, good food, and a luscious table swap - doesn't get much better than that. : ) x

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    1. Thanks Donna, it is a good spot for rugging up and eating :) x

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  15. Wow! What an event!!! Looks like you had an amazing day and looks so very delicious!

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    1. Thanks for calling in Phoebe, lovely to see you back in blog land :)

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  16. that sounds wonderful, good on you for organising it!

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  17. What a lovely day! I so so so wished I lived closer!
    Happy weekend!
    Sarah xxo

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    1. I wish you were closer too Sarah! Thanks for calling in :)

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  18. Jane I LOVE everything about this. Love it! I think I would jump to the moon in excitement either organising something like this or just being a part of it. Hooray for you and your awesome friends. I hope it becomes an annual event for a long time to come.

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    1. Thanks Brydie, I actually thought of you when I was organising the day and subsequently blogging about it. Do you know it has taken me years to find a little group of friends who are into this sort of thing, which I am now very grateful for. We will work hard on making it an annual event I think :)

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  19. Jane, that is so awesome! What a great idea - I'm sure it will grow even bigger and you'll be able to share it with even more people :)

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  20. Looks like a wonderful day and the swap table looked full of great things too. It's such a feel good activity and the photos looked amazing too. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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    1. Thanks for calling in Kathy, good to hear from you!

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  21. What a fabulous day, Jane! I love the idea of the swap table, and how glorious to be baking with good friends! That second photo is SO full of happiness and light! xx

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    1. Thank you Celia. It was a fun day!

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  22. What a wonderful looking day Jane! I'm so pleased that it was fun and inspiring for you. I'm sure you have in turn inspired and motivated all those in your community, what a gift you've given them.

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    1. Thank you Lucent. This little project certainly did create some motivation and enthusiasm, which can only be a good thing!

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  23. Jane this is a beautiful idea... I can only imagine how much fun and how delicious this would be!

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  24. What a gorgeous idea Jane, you are not only a very talented lady but a lovely one also. It looks like a wonderful day was had by all.

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    1. Thank you Kyrstie, you are very kind!

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  25. Oh you are so inspiring Jane! I've been thinking about the possibility of organising something similar on a regular basis in my area... now I've seen the wonderful photos from your Flour & Fire Day I'm even more keen! Love it! Nothing like food as an excuse to bring people together. :)

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    1. Thank you Amber! We/I have been dreaming and scheming about this for a long time, it felt great to actually do it! Thanks for calling in :)

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  26. Jane this looked like a wonderful day. Scheming is right up my ally and I have to thank Roy for supporting me to always follow my heart. I too look forward to growing a better food community around me, it takes time, I am winning one neighbour over at a time. Pencil me in for your next cooking class next year. I want to refine my own sourdough bread making skills. Well I can't seem to master pizza dough.

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    1. Thanks Lizzie, all these small things must add up to adding to our food community, right? I would love to hold a bloggers bread day...it is shame we are all spread so far and wide! :)

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