Station Isolation

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How is everyone coping? To state the obvious, the world just feels a bit surreal doesn’t it?

It has been almost three weeks since myself and our children have been in actual isolation. I am very grateful that Terry has been able to take care of our essential travelling and supplies.

Schooling from home isn’t completely new to us. Our children completed their first few years of primary school through School of the Air, so in some ways history is repeating. I am missing the structure and routine of our usual schooling arrangements but I am also glad that when the enthusiasm starts to vanish we can all escape to the paddock, horses, motorbikes and fresh air.

I have been picking tiny apples, they are blemished but still so lovely.

With the outside world shut down it’s the small things that I miss. Like seeing friends in town for coffee, supporting my local shops and driving the ‘good car’ which is normally reserved for town trips. I look forward to these simple pleasures, whenever they might return.

Beautiful rain has fallen over almost our entire property. This rain means we can move forward, make decisions and look at our world with a completely fresh perspective. Launching a canoe past our house is something that happens rarely, so the rush to get paddling is real.

Of course there has been bread. Thank you to Penny Olive Sourdough for helping me out with my flour issues. As usual, the online and real life bread community is very strong and continues to amaze me.

Something I have loved since the world went into lock down has been the return of many bloggers who I haven’t seen in a while. It is an actual relief to see my old blogging friends check in.

Other good things in the virus chaos:

The Queen’s address . I know that not everyone shares my dedication to the monarchy but it is hard not to admire The Queen’s calm and dignified manner.

I have been listening to podcasts as a break from the news, and let’s face it sometimes my students! The House of Style is a new favourite . The Blueprint lock down kitchen episode featuring some very interesting food people is also worth a listen.

With Easter approaching, Instagram and all of the cooking pages are flooded with hot cross buns. So, just to add to the mix, here is a recipe that works for me. Not sourdough this time, recipe below.

Cute dark Easter bunny with thanks to Spencer Cocoa .

Take care, friends x

Shady Hot Cross Buns
INGREDIENTS
  • 65 g butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 7 g dry yeast 1 sachet
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 65 g warm water
  • 500 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 110 g dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • 1/4 cup mixed peel
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place butter, milk and honey in a small saucepan. Warm through over low heat until the butter is melted. Set aside until lukewarm.

  2. Place the yeast, ½ tbsp sugar and water in a small bowl. Leave for 5 minutes or until frothy.

  3. Place flour, salt, spice, sugar, pecans, fruit and peel in a large bowl. Combine. Stir in the milk and yeast mixtures. Stir to make rough dough, turn dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Return to the bowl.

  4. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to prove for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. This time may vary depending on the temperature.

  5. Line a square cake tin or baking dish with oven proof baking paper. Set aside.

  6. Turn dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. The dough should be soft and pliable. Using a dough divider or blunt knife, divide the dough into pieces, each weighing approximately 70g. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Place balls, sitting snuggly together, seam side down into the cake tin or baking dish.

  7. Leave to prove for 1 hour or until the buns have doubled in size.

  8. Preheat oven to 220°C. Place fruit buns in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through and golden.

  9. For the crosses: combine 75 g self-raising flour, 2 tbsp caster sugar, 1 tsp cooking oil (such as sunflower oil) and 1/3 cup milk in a bowl to form a thick paste. Pipe crosses onto the buns prior to baking.

  10. Buns can be glazed immediately after baking. Using a pastry brush glaze with 1/3 cup of warmed honey.

  11. Serve warm or at room temperature or split and toasted.

10 Comments

  1. Reply

    Kate

    April 8, 2020

    I was just thinking about posting about what I am missing most, and asking others too. I will on Facebook and see what comes back, but it’s simple things I am missing too, and certainly the luxury of sitting in a cafe with my diary, a book and a cup of coffee. It’s a routine I’ve had since the kids were little, to be able to take an hour and disappear into the day’s papers with a coffee, scribe in my diary or read a chapter or two of my current bedside reading. I’ve all the time in the world to do just that at home too, but it’s just not the same as heading to the local cafe.

    • Reply

      Jane S

      April 9, 2020

      I agree Kate, it is a tiny escape isn’t it? x

  2. Reply

    kate

    April 8, 2020

    How wonderful all that rain must have been for you.
    I’m missing my yoga classes and the coffee catchup after class. I don’t have any contact details for most of my class mates so can only hope they are all well.
    Cheers Kate

    • Reply

      Jane S

      April 9, 2020

      Take care Kate, thanks for calling in.

  3. Reply

    Anne

    April 8, 2020

    I’m so pleased you’ve got some rain Jane – it must make so much difference to your life. I’m still struggling to find flour as we can’t even buy it from the local mill. I guess it’s all going to the bakeries to cope with all the extra bread they’re making because people aren’t going out for fancy meals. Enjoy your hot cross buns. They look delicious. Anne x

    • Reply

      Jane S

      April 9, 2020

      It appears that the flour shortage is universal Anne. In Australia it seems everyone has turned their house into a bakery! Lovely to hear from you x

  4. Reply

    Reannon

    April 8, 2020

    Oh Jane, it’s so lovely to dip into your farm life for a moment.

    I was overjoyed to see Michelle’s post pop up in my feed today. Which blogs are you happy to see again? I’m always on the look out for new ones to read.

    Every year I bake hot cross buns & every year I am disappointed that they are not soft & fluffy. This year I’m trying a sourdough version & hoping they will be the ONE! Wish me luck!

    X

    • Reply

      Jane S

      April 9, 2020

      THANK YOU for directing me back to Michelle’s blog! This slipped past me…onto it now! Overjoyed indeed. Love the title.

      I am happily re-engaging with Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, A Coastal Plot, Life in Mud Splattered Boots and Almost Italian.

      Good luck with the bun baking! Take care x

  5. Reply

    Liz

    April 20, 2020

    Hi Jane, lovely to read your news and see photos from your part of Australia, especially in these very strange times. Flour is in short supply, but I’ve managed to find some. I’m mainly having trouble getting yeast. I do have a few sachets, but it’s a little out of date. Thank you for mentioning A Coastal Plot. I haven’t seen that blog before. Am always on the lookout for good ones. Amanda at Lamb’s Ears and Honey is still sharing wonderful recipes too. All the best, stay well. xx

    • Reply

      Jane S

      May 9, 2020

      Thank you for reminding me to re-visit Amanda’s blog Liz. I hope you are well! The flour supplies seem to be slowly returning to our local supermarkets. x

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