Monday, May 24, 2010

Nothing can put a damper on this!!

I've dreams of doing the 'Grey nomad' thing and in a few years time when the kids are through school, of closing up the house and taking off with OH in a Pajero with tent and camp ovens to travel round this huge country. There are so many places where I'd just love to sit and connect with the land that I won't bore you with the list.

Anyway, every now and then, when school activities, sport etc allows we pack up the car and go and find a beautiful place to camp for a couple of nights. Now for me the fun is cooking over a camp fire and I have been know to produce a roast chicken from the camp ovens followed by treacle sponge and custard! However, it was Easter time and so cold that there was no time to take photos. The dinner was served with the instructions to eat it quickly before it got cold. So much for my dreams of letting the whole campsite know what a great earth mother I was, feeding my family with a Sunday roast over nothing more than a camp fire! *sigh*!

A couple of weekends ago we took off to Wombeyan Caves to camp. It's a beautiful place which has an easy way to get to it or a more difficult way over a rough road. The caves are well worth the visit but for me the challenge was to make damper. I've never done this before and thought that I needed to find a good recipe before taking off as a grey nomad. This is my first effort!

Here's the working kitchen with the camp oven lined with foil.

The recipe was a very basic one using:

3 cups of self raising flour
a pinch of salt
80g butter
3/4 cup of water

All I did was to rub the butter into the flour and salt until it looked like breadcrumbs and then add the water bringing it together with a knife and then kneading it until smooth. I then shaped it into a round and put it into the camp oven before scoring the top.
Then the lid was put on and the oven put into the fire. As I was baking I had hot coals underneath and on the lid. After about 20 minutes and much anticipation the lid was lifted and this was the result!

It wasn't bad for a first try but I thought that it was a bit bland although the melted butter and honey improved it no end! Next time I'll be trying a different recipe in my quest to find the best damper recipe.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I must try harder!

That is to tend to my little blog!

The problem with living is that it can get in the way of other things. In my time away from my blog I've retrained and built a new career. Hopefully now I will be able to return to some of the things I used to do as a (mature) student!

So let me introduce you to my 'girls'. Rather, they're my OH's girls but I get to use the eggs. he has had the yearning to have his own chooks for a while now and has constructed a hen house and run that would be the envy of the chicken world!

We are now the proud custodians of 2 Isa Brown hens - one is a bit camera shy! and 3 guinea fowl. The hens are very affectionate and come up for a stroke of their feathers. The guinea fowl are a bit more standoffish and keep their distance. One of the girls is laying and I'm hopeful that the other will strat soon. I think it's so lovely that we now have a supply of really fresh eggs that have come from very happy hens and everyone in the house has fallen in love all over again with the very simple but delicious boiled egg and soldiers!

R.I.P. Rosie

I want to mark the passing of a great foodie blogger, Rosie. Rosie was a founder of the Sweet and Simple Bakes blog which encouraged us to bake for fun. It didn't matter if we were beginner bakers or experienced, we were just encouraged to get in the kitchen and bake. The fun was then sharing and comparing what we had done with the same recipe. I loved looking at how different our results. Rosie always would visit my blog and leave a very encouraging message. She is someone who will be missed by many people worldwide.
May you rest in peace Rosie......and thank you.