Friday, 31 August 2012


So yesterday afternoon, inspired by the gorgeous blog Hugo & Elsa I attempted Welsh Cakes for after school tea. It's true, as promised, they were deadset easy to make. My problems arose when I was sidetracked with homework and accidentally burnt the bottoms of the first batch in the frying pan. A thick black smoke pervaded the entire house. Happily, the next lot worked. Initially I didn't follow the recipe and left off sprinkling them with sugar. Mistake. With a scant dusting of sugar they were elevated into the realms of warm doughnut territory yet were even better as they were studded with dried fruit and lemon peel. They were delicious. Make them.

Then, smelling distinctly of burnt Welsh Cakes, I left my house at 5.15pm, yes in the middle of feeding frenzy mayhem, and went out. My husband came home early and cooked the children's dinner. I went to town to Fullers Bookshop's launch of The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book:

There was wine and food and adult conversation......about food. And a rendition by Maria Lurighi of Barbara Streisand's 'People who need people' with the words changed to be about people who write cookbooks.

This is the book that you want if you want to be able to make everything from scratch, cultured butter, feta cheese, cured bacon and sausages etc. I know what I'm going to be making on the weekend......clotted cream. Or do you think it really should be something that you reserve for only eating in Cornwall, when you are tucking into a Cornish Cream Tea?  Might try anyway.

Let's face it, these three know what they are talking about as Matthew Evans and Ross O'Meara make incredibly good bacon which they sell at their shop A Common Ground and various markets around the Hobart traps and Nick Haddow makes the amazing Bruny Island Cheese. If you don't trust me about the cheese, we sent a selection of it to friends in France (yes, I'm serious) and even they were impressed.

Reading this book has caused me again to want to become self our garden in the middle of town. Once upon a time, when I had less children, I was self sufficient in eggs, lemons and lettuce. I wanted a cow. My husband said no. The chooks that we had rescued from a battery farm were given away when we went to France and haven't been replaced. I look after four children, one husband, two decrepit beagles and approximately a thousand worms yet I long for more chickens.....and a cow.

I took a turn around my garden. I'm still self sufficient in lemons:

And cumquats:

And fingers crossed, this year in quinces, too. Surprisingly, after a long winter of neglect, my vegetable patch isn't looking too bad:

Over winter it has been colonised by self seeded coriander and this strange greeny, purple lettuce like plant which has a crunchy, peppery taste:

I think it too self seeded after a punnet of asian greens bolted to seed. Does anyone out there happen know what it is? Of course, the silver beet that I planted is doing nothing, and I couldn't find any trace of the rhubarb. Never mind, as I was somewhat consoled to discover that I have quite a good crop of potatoes coming on:

In amongst the weeds. I also discovered the first artichokes of the season:

Which I usually pick as flowers:

Although I see in my new book that I could turn them into preserved artichokes and keep them in a jar in my pantry. I'm tempted.


PS So tonight I will be venturing out and about in the beaded Ventilo.....unless I get a last minute swing towards one of the other choices. Thanks so much to Heidi for pointing out the perils of wearing the see through top to a school do! Heaven forbid.


  1. Making all those things sounds like lots of fun- if only I had the time!

  2. Preserved artichokes are delicious!!! Although they do make very pretty flowers. I long to be self sufficient as well and am currently putting the hard word on husband for some chickens. Have a lovely time at the party tonight and definitely wear the Ventilo!!! x

  3. Growing up my parents had an amazing vegetable garden...they still do...and I have always wanted to try to replicate it.
    Of course time is an issue but I am determined to at some point at least try to have a nice veggie patch.
    I have a long way to go the moment my "garden" consist of one lemon tree and some twigs that are supposed to be basil.

    Good luck with the cow!

  4. You can grow artichokes! That is reason enough to move to Hobart. I love my chookens. Has ruined cafe breakfasts now I enjoy beautiful eggs at home.

  5. I love Bruny Island cheese.

    Cows are not as much fun as they look. Plus you need a really good fence... And the neighbours may get a bit cross ;)

    The reticulation for my garden is going in as I type this. So far I have lots of string lines, orange sprayed lines and a few trenches. It can only get better from here.

    Take care.

    (Hope you rocked the parents cocktail party in the little beaded number.)

  6. Oh Romy, I would have joined you most gladly, had it now been my birthday. We must attend the next foodie book launch there together, okay?! J x


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