Station Isolation

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Life can change quickly. Last time I called in we were under regional COVID restrictions but life felt reasonably normal. We were making plans and moving forward. 24 hours later we found ourselves in a lockdown, with both our schools shut and here we are, still in lockdown, still home-schooling and watching the daily numbers rise.

Of course we are privileged to have plenty of space around us and our farming business can continue, mostly uninterrupted. Home schooling is challenging, I love having everyone at home but they miss the motivation and momentum of school. I know many families and students are in this tricky situation, Australia wide.

For us, a paddock dinner is the perfect way to reset and escape the news cycle. We recently packed up some sausages, bread and a rather lonely avocado (for greens!) and headed west to light a fire. The weather and light were both perfect and a great reminder of just how fortunate we are.

Here are a few things that have caught my eye lately. If you need a break from home schooling and the constant news you might like to distract yourself for a few minutes too.

I cannot knit but I cannot stop staring at this incredible knitted version of Sandringham House and the surrounding Estate, where The Queen often spends her Christmases and winters. This really takes craft projects to the next level!

Lately I have been researching cakes tins, cake tin sizes and conversions while working on a special Christmas project. This led me to Paleo Pantry where almost everything you could ever need to know about cake tins is explained. When it comes to baking, the correct tools for the job really make a difference and proper baking equipment makes me happy.

For said project I purchased two beautiful cake tins from Cecil and Co. They are deep, sturdy and made in Australia and I feel they are a great investment.

Don’t we all love ceramics? Especially one off, locally made pieces like these from Broken Hill artist Just Off Centre. Kathy’s work is often displayed at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery.

I have been a bit quiet on the podcasts and reading lately, my brain just hasn’t been able to absorb much extra information. 

Perhaps banana bread in these times is completely overdone and people are sick of it. But I am actually not, I love it and continue to make it. Years ago I used to bake this recipe for a local café so it is very well tested. The addition of dark chocolate chips makes it slightly indulgent.

I tend to slice the whole thing up and store the slices individually, well wrapped in the freezer, this is handy for portion control and or whenever you need something sweet. Great for these home schooling days!

Happy Friday friends x

Choc Chip Banana Bread
INGREDIENTS
  • 125 g neutral tasting oil such as grapeseed oil
  • 250 g castor sugar
  • 3-4 aged bananas, medium sized, peeled and mashed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 175 g dark chocolate chips
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

  2. Line a large loaf tin (approx 28x13x7cm) with baking paper. Set aside.

  3. In a deep bowl mix the oil, sugar, banana, eggs and chocolate.

  4. Sift in the flour and the baking powder. Mix to combine.

  5. Cook for 50-60 minutes or until the top of the loaf is golden and an inserted skewers comes out clean.

  6. Allow to cool in the tin until it feels firm enough to remove from the tin easily. Remove loaf from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

August 13, 2021

14 Comments

  1. Reply

    Kate B

    August 27, 2021

    I keep having to remind myself to enjoy the company of my home-schooling friends as, under normal circumstances they would be spending far less time in my company due to their age and own developing plans. Nothing about this predicament is easy.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe Jane. I have eaten many a slice of your banana bread in the past and it’s lovely xx

    • Reply

      Jane S

      August 27, 2021

      Exactly Kate, I am finding it quite difficult at times although I actually do love having the kids home. What an odd situation we find ourselves in. I miss those times when we could sit down in our beautiful local cafes x

  2. Reply

    Reannon

    August 27, 2021

    Like you, every time we’ve had a period of lockdown I’ve been grateful to have both indoor & outdoor space. I think it makes such a huge difference having space to retreat to or space to escape in to. And like you, I rarely get sick of banana bread/cake (I’m never really sure the difference between the two). In fact, I might make one this weekend.
    Take care Jane xx

    • Reply

      Jane S

      August 27, 2021

      Thanks Reannon, I think you and I are quite similar in that we both enjoy most cakes and loaves and baked things! x

  3. Reply

    Liliana Dieguez

    August 27, 2021

    💜💜 from Kinglake Victoria 😊

    • Reply

      Jane S

      August 29, 2021

      Thank you!

  4. Reply

    Anne

    August 27, 2021

    Thanks for the banana bread recipe Jane, I think I will make some this weekend. And thank you also for the link to Cecil and Co. I am definitely going to look at their cake tins. Although we are not home-schooling here life is very different. Take care and I hope restrictions are lifted for you soon xx

    • Reply

      Jane S

      August 29, 2021

      Hello Anne, lovely to hear from you. I think you will like those tins…they make me feel like I am a real baker in a bakery! x

  5. Reply

    Anne

    August 28, 2021

    I think the hardest part of all this is that we can’t plan ahead, though on the plus side, perhaps it makes us live more in the present and take every opportunity that comes along. Luckily we’re fairly unrestricted in everyday life at the moment though things are by no means normal.
    I have some black bananas that have been lurking in the freezer for some time so now I have good reason to get them out and make something delicious. Like you, I slice and freeze – in an emergency a frozen slice of cake tastes surprisingly good. Anne x

    • Reply

      Jane S

      August 29, 2021

      Absolutely Anne, I agree. My family ridicule my frozen banana stash but they are actually perfect for this loaf! I am all for frozen baked goods, it also prevents it from all disappearing at once, especially when our children are home! x

  6. Reply

    Jo@JoSimplyWill

    August 29, 2021

    I’m also very grateful for the space around me during lockdowns Jane. We are on 5 acres surrounded by much larger farming properties. Queensland has had a dream run so far, and our July/early August lockdown only went for a week. I do some on-line sessional work for a university, we grow a few veggies, and like you I bake sourdough. I’m very aware of my privilege in being able to craft a bespoke lockdown as needed, with very little impact on my lifestyle.
    Your photography is truly beautiful Jane!

    • Reply

      Jane S

      August 29, 2021

      Thank you for calling in Jo. Sourdough is wonderfully grounding in uncertain times isn’t it? Have a great week!

  7. Reply

    Kate

    August 30, 2021

    We have our one solo-parent of two little ones off to have a COVID swab after being notified she’s a close contact of the Bourke supermarket. It was bound to happen. There’s only the two stores for groceries in town, so it was a likely scenario. So, we are making plans around what the likely scenarios are from here.

    I can’t stress enough that we all need to plan for a vaccination as early as we can access it, and think about all the scenarios of you, people in your household and people you care for being isolated or, worse, sick.

    If you are one to prepare and plan for other disasters, this is one to plan for too.

    https://www.redcross.org.au/get-help/emergencies/looking-after-yourself/how-to-prepare-for-coronavirus

    • Reply

      Jane S

      August 30, 2021

      Thanks Kate, I hope your family member is ok in Bourke. Yes, myself and my husband have been fully vaccinated for a few weeks now, thanks to the efficient work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. We are now waiting on the availability of vaccines for our children. Take care.

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