Last time I called in to this space I was talking about my apricot jam recipe. Now my apricot tree is completely bare and it is cold out there in the garden. As always, I am wishing I had made more jam back in the warmer months. And more passata. Next summer.
My friend Amanda from Home Farm Cabin recently gave me some gentle encouragement to revisit my blog. And then my friend Reannon recently revived her blog, The Back Fence and I enjoyed reading her thoughts and commenting so I thought I would follow her lead.
How are you? Are you coping in these unpredictable COVID times? We are lucky not to be in actual lockdown but we are keeping a low profile as we continue to hear of cases getting closer to us. Mask wearing has become common place in Broken Hill which is something I would never have imagined we would see in our lifetime.
As farmers we are lucky to be able to carry on with our work without too much interruption. I am able to carry on with my work for Graziher using email, Dropbox and Telstra carrier pigeon. Have you seen the winter issue I wonder? I contributed a recipe for my favourite quince cake and I am so happy to see my story sit beside so many other warm, wintery stories and photos.
While we can’t plan holidays or much else I have found myself focusing on things closer to home. Like delicious fresh citrus. At the moment I feel lucky to have mandarins, lemons, limes, oranges and blood oranges on my bench. Winter just feels better with citrus.
If we did have the option of a holiday at the moment Tasmania would be high on my list. Whenever I see this beautiful house, Cliff Top on Park, pop up on Instagram I plan a virtual beach escape in my head.
Artwork is something I haven’t really purchased a lot of in the past. There always seems to be more practical things to pay for and I need to feel a real connection before taking that financial plunge. I have been admiring the gorgeous work of Roslyn Mary for a little while and I may have made a purchase. As Ros and I communicated and organised things we had some great email chats and even found some common local connections. That really is the best part of supporting artists, makers and creative friends.
Thankfully, we have not had to go back to home learning with our children but I have recently completed an online Editing Basics course with Chantel Renae Photography. I feel as if I could spend the rest of my life fine tuning my photography but this course has given me more confidence with my editing. It has also prompted me to start shooting RAW images and now I am wishing I had made the switch sooner. If you want to fine tune or get started with photography Chantel is very generous with her vast knowledge.
Podcasts continue to keep me motivated and moving and these are some of my favourites at the moment:
Life on the Land for stories about adventurous, interesting women with a strong connection to the land.
Company for conversations with ambitious women from the country, city and all over the world.
Pod Save The Queen for a weekly update on all Royal news, if like me, you are that way inclined.
Bludging on the Blindside for Roy and HG’s unique way of looking at the world through sport.
Blueprint for Living for design, architecture, food, travel and fashion.
I will leave you with an easy orange cake recipe, perfect for lockdown baking. It is inspired by my old CWA cookbook.
If you are still reading, thank you for calling in. Take care x
- 125 g butter
- 220 g castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 225 g self-raising flour
- grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper. Set aside.
Melt the butter.
Place the sugar, eggs, milk, orange juice, sifted flour and zest in a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter.
Using an electric mixer or by hand, mix well for several minutes until smooth and combined.
Scrape mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
Remove from the oven when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Ice with orange icing or top with orange syrup or candied peel. I simply dusted my cake generously with icing sugar and added some fresh mandarin segments.