What can I say? I love sweets, in all shapes and sizes! You only live once, so why not indulge once in a while? Or, in my case, most of the time...
Ok lovelies, this one will be short and sweet. I will be away for three weeks traipsing around Berlin, Italy and London with hubs. So i’m taking a quick moment to send you all my love and best wishes! If you’re in Australia, I hope that you enjoy the Winter break and come back to work relaxed and refreshed. If you have any recommendations for places to eat while i’m in Europe, please comment below. I would love to try out your ideas! Make sure that you follow me on instagram @bakerbowie to see what i’m up to!
What are you up to this holidays my lovelies?
As we hurtle headlong into the final weeks of Term 2, i’m going to use this Friday Favourite to slow things down and share with you the lovely day I spent with hubs, picking pecans and generally relaxing.
Up in Kurrajong past Windsor, the land is different. Everything is greener and you can, wait for it,
feel the serenity!
But in all seriousness, there is something quite lovely about this part of the world. We always seem to go to the family farm in Kurrajong during Autumn, as the air is turning crisp. This is the best time to harvest pecans as many will have naturally dropped from the tree and all you have to do is wander through the orchard with a basket, collecting the nuts. Its quiet, its peaceful, its such a lovely break from the bustle and business of the city and reporting season (teachers, am I right?). In fact, a trip to the farm is so refreshing that I have been known to frolic among the trees…
There’s not much else at the farm other than the pecan trees so I guess i’m using the term ‘farm’ pretty loosely. The orchard is lined with trees that have been pretty much left to their own devices after planting. Pappi drives around on the tractor a bit to flatten the grass and i’m pretty sure he does some basic maintenance like burning dead wood etc. The trees closer to the creek are much bigger and yield more nuts than those on the other side of the orchard. The pecans also seem a little fatter and the shells are much easier to crack from these nuts. There are no pesticides or chemicals used here so I think that unwittingly its all organic!
The nuts grow in little green pods which, when they are almost ripe, split and turn brown. This allows the pecan to drop to the ground when it is fully ripe. You can pick the pecans out of the pods when they are still on the tree but you will have to leave them in a dish for a month or so to properly ripen before you eat them.
This is a sneaky little sucker that is trying to hide from me. You can see the green pod that houses the nut inside. I’m not quite sure why the pecan has so many layers protecting the nut.
They are tricky tricky tricky!
But they are definitely worth the hassle.
So now I have a bunch of pecans that i’m using for a whole raft of new and delicious recipes. There is more to come about this lovely trip to the pecan farm but i’ll save that for next week. For the moment, I hope that you all enjoy your weekend! And if you have any recommendations for what I should be baking with this bounty, please comment below.
They say it takes at least six months to feel really at home in a new place. There is definitely an immediate adjusting period when you wake up and have idea where you are and no idea where anything is, but I think that hubs and I settled pretty quickly into our marital home. While there is a room (or two) still full of boxes left to unpack, we got the important rooms i.e. bedroom, kitchen and living room pretty much set up within a couple of months, despite having to buy or thrift pretty much all our furniture. One of the things that I think makes it difficult to settle into a new home is that ‘not-really-lived-in-yet’ atmosphere that comes with unfamiliarity. There might not be anything huge that you can do to counter this but I do have one little tip which is…
My mum is an avid gardener. I think that not only her thumbs, but all her fingers are green. I never thought i’d inherited that gene from her until hubs and I moved into our home and I saw the potential of our lovely large balcony. While it faces west which, in Australia is not ideal due to the super harsh afternoon sun, I felt compelled to fill this space with green. I vowed that this year, I was going to learn how to garden. So this will be a little series of posts that document my growing balcony garden with triumphs and the (hopefully not too many) failures.
Step 1 was to go to bunnings and buy a bunch of tiny terracotta pots to fill with seedlings of Violas, Lettuce and a large pot for a Mint bush. You might remember my utter joy at planting this mint from my post about mojitos from the end of summer. I also bought a big bag of potting mix, some cute pink gardening gloves and a cheap plastic trowel.
Every month I see Tara from Vegetaraian posting about the things that she has loved. She posts such interesting ideas that it always leaves me thinking about the things that i’ve loved in my kitchen (and life!) and thinking that I should really stop being so selfish and share them all with you!
So, this month i’m loving
Hubs and I bought this sweet little colander from Villeroy and Boch at Peters of Kensington when we first moved into our apartment in February. This one is a little bit late but I love it every damn month and use it all the time. Particularly now that its winter and we are steaming and boiling all the veggies for dinner. Not to mention all the pasta we make that needs to be drained in this little baby. I thought it would be super exxy because of the label but it was only $24 and then it was on sale further! Run, don’t walk people.
P.S. I know that my hand looks like it belongs to a child. Oh well.
#2 Spelt flour from Whispering Pines Organics
Up until recently I didn’t really care that there were other types of flour other than the normal plain and self raising. Then I read this post by Heidi from Apples Under My Bed and, suddenly, it was something I HAD to try. So I played around with the recipe a little and came up with this Spelt Quince Cake which is perfect to warm your belly from the winter chill. This flour does something special to make a springy crumb and adds a lovely nutty flavour to the cake. Ive been using it in everything now to just see what magic it can impart on all my usual recipes. I’ll keep you posted!
Between work and uni and life in general, hubs and I really struggle sometimes with finding nutritious meals that don’t take too much time to cook and don’t sacrifice flavour for speed. Luckily my fabulous mother in law and hubs’s nana keep stocking our freezer with delicious pasta bakes and lasagnas! Hooray! We just pop them in the oven for half an hour and its all easy peasy. Thank god. These dinners have been a real life saver and i’m certain that they taste so good because they’re made with so much love. And cheese.
These little beauties came fresh from the farm. There is a post coming about the lovely day that I spent with hubs and his family picking pecans and eating damper. They are a real pain in the butt to shell but the taste is so much better than the ones that you buy in a packet from the supermarket. Now all I need to do is figure out how I can shell them without tearing all my fingernails off in the process because they’re so damn tasty and so damn nice in everything i’ve baked with them so far. Again, stay tuned!
So my lovelies, what are you loving this month?
So lovelies, its International Burger Day! Of course. Because I had a super full day that went from 7am until 7pm and couldn’t get my butt to a decent burger joint, I thought i’d tell you about a delicious burger place I found during the last school holidays.
Five Points Burgers yo!