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Friday, June 26, 2015

Frost, fire and family

Last Sunday we woke up to a heavy frost and despite cold fingers I just had to try and capture these ice crystals in a photo.
  

If there is one thing that cannot be rushed it is bread, particularly in this weather.  


Pieces of home raised lamb.  Neck and shank meat, destined for a slow cook in the wood oven.


Sparkly candles almost upstaged by a gentle winter sunset.


A hearty meal, a solid brew, a fire and family to share it all with. 


I think a solstice dinner is destined to become a new family tradition. It is a perfect excuse for reflecting on winter and teaching our children about the changing seasons and patterns of life. 

Happy Friday friends, stay warm x

Friday, June 19, 2015

Winter rhythm

As the years roll by winter is slowly becoming my favourite season.  The light is gentle, the days are shorter and it is easy to find an excuse to cook or light a fire, or both.  Bread proves more steadily, butter can be left on the bench, the snakes disappear, I get to revisit my favourite winter woollies and trips to the woodpile provide solitude, exercise and thinking time. 

For me, winter is so much easier to manage than our brutal, hot summers.  Right now I am savouring the crisp mornings, the sparkly light and the dark evenings when everyone is usually inside the house earlier than normal. 

This week the stormy skies delivered 44mm of welcome rain. 


Golden light shining through a spontaneous sculpture in the vegetable garden.


Fresh, churned up water lapping at the banks of our house dam.  A happy site after staring into a big, dry pit for many months. 


In contrast to the red and brown shades outside the garden, inside the garden I have a rampant green manure crop.  It is so lush and healthy I am starting to think that I will need plenty of muscle to get it chopped down and dug into the soil before tomato season is upon us.  


The winter solstice occurs on Sunday.  I am planning to stoke up the wood oven and load it up with bread, lamb shanks and perhaps a wintery pudding.  I might even find some candles and certainly a bottle or two of stout.   The seasons roll on.

Will you celebrate the solstice or will it pass by quietly? 

Stay warm friends x

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lately

Experimenting:
With quince leather or as they are more commercially known, Roll Ups.  These are quite chewy with just enough sweetness to make them an appealing snack.  They have stored successfully in a sealed container for several weeks now which is one way of prolonging quince season.  


Dispatching:
Killing animals on our property to eat is hardly a novelty.  It is as natural as growing vegetables or baking.  However, normally my husband is in charge of the actual dispatching.  Sometimes I help with preparations, the clean up or stacking the freezer.  Recently I decided some elderly chooks needing dealing with and took matters into my own hands.  The actual process wasn’t particularly memorable or spectacular but it did give me a deeper appreciation for respectful, efficient home butchering.


Dunking:
These almond and fennel biscuits are somewhere between almond bread and biscotti without the need to make a log, do any slicing or risk a broken tooth, as can sometimes happen with biscotti. 


Toasting:
Sourdough focaccia in the open air while the sun begins to set. 


Mustering:
Feral goats, thousands of them to be precise. 


Appreciating:
Homemade and home grown food gifts, citrus and marmalade from Mum and sauce from an aunty. 


Op-shopping:
Old children’s books and a matching Johnson cup, saucer and plate from our local Salvation Army shop. 


Reading:
Way too many restaurant reviews on Broadsheet.  Reading about the latest restaurants, cafes and food vans always feels like an inspiring escape to the city. This weekend I am also reading Gourmet Traveller magazine.  For $9.95 the June issue feels like a wintery slice of fine hotels, exotic destinations and classic cold weather food.  There is also a glorious, vibrant feature on my city, Adelaide.  If you love Adelaide, you will love this too. 

It feels good to be back on this little blog after a fast paced few weeks. 

How are you faring out there?

Are you dunking or toasting or reading?

Mustering goats perhaps? 

Happy Sunday friends x