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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.  

37 comments :

  1. Wishing you all such a wonderful year, I hope it's fun and creative and prolific and delicious.
    And as for those rockmelon, you have no idea how much they make me wish for a longer growing season. xxx

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    1. Sending you a virtual slice of rockmelon Kate xx

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  2. You have so lovely blog! So beautiful pictures!

    Love from Finland :)

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    1. Thank you, all the way from Finland :)

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  3. It all looks delicious Jane! I love iced coffee just as you describe it. Sometimes I add a drop of vanilla extract too which I can highly recommend. x

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  4. Beautiful, peaceful photos and words Jane! Yum to the figs, yum to the focaccia - yum to it all!
    I've been making doughnuts lately too. I made two batches in one week and they were a lovely afternoon treat. There happened to be a storm building on both afternoons I made them so it was extra hot but that didn't spoil the enjoyment at all. My mum sent me a link to a sourdough doughnut recipe the other day so I think I'll have to try them....is three batches of doughnuts in the space of a fortnight too much do you think? :-)

    Happy new week and best wishes for your little one going into school. Very different from homeschooling for sure, but I'm sure it is the best decision for you and her :-)

    Sarah xx

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    1. I would be very interested in those sourdough doughnuts Sarah, I wonder if you would be willing to share the link? I thought I was crazy cooking in the heat, pleased to hear I am not the only one :)

      Thank you for your thoughts on schooling and your supportive comments as always x

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    2. Sure Jane, here is the recipe link: http://nourishingjoy.com/sourdough-oliebollen-dutch-new-years-doughnuts/
      I haven't tried them yet, let me know if you do! xx

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  5. Those donuts look so impressive Jane! I would eat them regardless of the outside temperature! x

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  6. Your doughnuts look very professional Jane. Lucky you to have all those figs. I adore figs but like you have trouble growing them. We moved our tree three years ago to what we thought would be a better position but it doesn't appear to have recovered from the move yet.
    Moving to mainstream school will presumably make a big difference to your life as well as your daughter's.
    PS Have you changed your privacy settings? I just had to verify this comment by selecting all the pictures of cars from a grid.

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    1. Thank you Anne. Everyone tells me figs are easy to grow but this has not been my experience! Sorry about the cars...I haven't changed anything but I will look at it.

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  7. Such delicious food. Fresh and simple. Your so busy keeping all those hungry mouths full. So lucky to get those fresh figs. I like homeschooling for little ones and local schools for the big kids.

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    1. Thank you Zena, I appreciate you calling in.

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  8. How wonderful to be picking tomatoes, melons and courgettes. We're in the depths of winter, so no harvesting for us. I have spent the past week cooking for a surprise party for my husband, though, the highlight of which was a spectacular Bitter Orange Tart from Nigella Lawson's new book. Very simple and completely delicious. I hope the change to your schooling plans go smoothly. My three moved schools when we relocated here and adapted remarkably well. They always surprise me by how resilient they are. Wishing you a good week Jane. Sam x

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    1. Thank you Sam. I loved ready about your husband's 50th celebrations and that tart sounds fabulous. I appreciate your reassuring words on schooling too x

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  9. I have an own personal butcher too, but I've never worked out how to cook the lamb ribs. Can you share a recipe, or direct me to where to find one? I hate to waste the meat. Love your blog, words and pictures.

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    1. Hi Cathy. We cook them a few ways. Ideally, they are best cooked over an open fire or coals on some sort of a rack or grill. This way the fat goes a little bit crispy and ribs don't become too greasy. Otherwise, in the oven on a rack so they turn crispy but aren't sitting in too much fat. We don't tend to marinate them but a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper helps!

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    2. Thanks Jane. I'm onto it, I'll be putting in a request to my partner for ribs next butchering day!

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  10. I really want to make donuts soon but going to wait until the weather cools down a bit :)

    I also have a quick question about sourdough starters, I want to keep one going this year... do you keep yours in the fridge or on the bench during summer? I know my apartment turns into a sauna doing the Aussie summer days.

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    1. Hello Dani. I keep my starters in the fridge when they are not in use. When I want to bake, I take them back to room temperature and refresh/feed them. Once the baking business is taken care of the starters go back into the fridge until next time.

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  11. There is not one thing I wouldn't enjoy and those clever donuts! Happy food.

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  12. All your baking looks delicious Jane.
    I hope you have luck with the fig growing. We were lucky to have an established tree already here which produced an ok crop this season. It has got a bit of scale on it though which we hope to get on top of when it cools down.
    We'll have to catch up soon. x

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    1. Looking forward to a catch up Zara x

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  13. Do I spy one of your dogs and husband in Country Style this month? I put two and two together... I love all of your baking. I am gluten free and am envious of your sourdough!

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    1. Yes Carla, that is my husband, Terry and our dog Frank. Thanks for calling in!

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  14. Oh! I love figs - and I'd love to grow my own as well, I've never tried ... maybe one day! I had a hankering for an egg and bacon pie recently - yours look delicious, as do those donuts :)

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  15. Your productivity always amazes me Jane! SO impressive and drool worthy. Those figs look mighty fine. I have a couple of trees here but the fruit is yet to ripen up. Soon I hope!

    rachel xo

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    1. So good to have you back in blog land Rachel x

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  16. I was slow on the uptake for figs, but I get it now, I so get it. Sourdough, peanut butter, sliced fresh figs and cheese has been happening lately, and I'm rather happy about it.

    And I'm with you for the cold coffee. No sugar, no cream, no icecream, just ice and milk please. LOTS of ice.

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    1. I am slow to enjoy figs too Brydie. Oh...your snack sounds amazing! x

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  17. it's wonderful to see your luscious produce - figs and melons! yum. and you need a bit of unhealthy every now and then... the donuts do look good!
    and I already miss the 'unstructured' days of my holidays. when are the next ones?

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    1. Thank you , I agree e, when are the next ones? x

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