Over in the meadow




I do like the word meadow, but it's the moniker of paddock that is the more typical Aussie vernacular. Today I took the peeps and the pup for an adventure in our neighbours' paddocks. It's so beautiful here, we're so very lucky to have this environment so close by.
We bring nothing with us except a camera. I love to sit and listen to the stories they make up. New names are adopted, a dried dam bed becomes a volcano, sticks become swords, a whole new world is created. They head off, making their way further and further away. Exploring rocks, sliding under fences, climbing fallen trees, heading over the hills and far away.
Part of me wants to hover closer by, to say don't go there, don't climb that tree, stay close. But I let them go and sit and watch. It's good for them to push boundaries, both mine and theirs. It's why we moved here, so they can get outside and explore. Over in the meadow.

Today

I had a browse in the local kitchen shop today. Although we are pretty well set for kitchen stuff I do like to see what's around, both silly and useful. Despite trying to stick to a minimal gadget rule in the kitchen, I have been meaning to buy an apple peelers for ages. Seems silly to live in the apple valley on the apple isle and not have one. On sale for less than twenty dollars today I snapped it up, grabbed a few kilos of pink ladies and Hugo and I got to work. Almost looking like a torture device, this baby peels, slices and cores, without electricity. And for a family who go through at least six kilos of apples a week, it's money well spent.

We filled the dehydrator pretty quickly and by tomorrow should have delish dried apple treats. Hugo loves to eat the skin and there are cores left over for the chooks. A big pot of apples is also cooking for a crumble tonight, filling the kitchen with the most delicious homely smell. It only took minutes to prepare them.

Life is pretty hectic at the moment, next week is school holidays and I can't wait. I think we're all a bit tired. We're going to stay in our pyjamas all day and hang out. But it was fun to have a little one on one time with Hugo playing with our new kitchen toy. A fun gadget well worth it I reckon. But I can not see the point in an avocado slicer.

Glimmer lantern glimmer

Based on the autumnal French tradition of Martinmas, last week we enjoyed a very special lantern walk of our own at Hugo's school. There was much excitement on the evening when we met at Hugo's class at dusk, which was beautifully decorated with glowing jack o' lanterns. The peeps hung their lanterns on pegs and went inside for songs and a puppet show by candlelight.


Afterwards we went back outside to light our lanterns and made an illuminating procession through the school with more jack o' lanterns lighting the way, down to a bonfire. In the gloaming we made a large circle of glimmering lanterns and sang songs around a beautiful bonfire.

Lantern walks are popular with young children who are keen to see the dark autumn evenings brightened. Hugo thought it was magical and it was a treat for me to celebrate a traditional festival in the appropriate season. As the days become shorter, it brings about a feeling of cherishing the light in preparation for the coming darkness of winter. A very magical and wondrous festival.

At my desk

Well at her desk. Elsa has been asking for a desk for some time and we've been scouring the second hand stores for some months to oblige. Finding a suitably sized one hasn't been as easy as I thought, so when I saw this one, whilst not exactly what I was looking for, it was the right size. I like the blue colour :: but not sure about the drawer knobs.

Elsa was insistent that I WAS NOT to style her desk Thank you. It is her desk and she would like to keep it how she chooses. She knows me too well. I can't argue with her, but admit that, um, I did tidy it up somewhat for this photo. Okay quite a lot. But it will be restored to its messy former glory before she gets home from school. Just don't tell her please. Okay?

PS I bought the vintage poster from here. They had a whole pile though it was a while ago. It's from the Ideal School Supply Store, Oak Lawns, Illinois. This poster is called Initial Consonant Blends Copyright 1960. It's cute isn't it?

Market report

Amy and Jo

Cardamom spiced chocolate filled with quince topped with a cream cheese vanilla bean frosting and cognac soaked raisin from Coco Chocolate.
Chocolate and hazelnut flourless cupcake with chocolate ganache in front of salted caramel pear with a hazelnut crumble topping.

Early Sunday morning the air was warm and still with the sky a glorious wash of pink. Arriving at the market at 7.30, I was grateful for the stillness so a pair of novices could wrangle a marquee for the first time without too much trouble. Even still, the wisecracking gourmet farmer yelled quips from across the aisle. The finished stall looked gorgeous, needing only a few minor tweaks, next week will be perfect.

As soon as the bell rang at 9am, our first customer said "I'll take $50 worth please" Wow! We sold out by 11.30. Not a bad effort. The response from the shoppers and stall holders alike was so positive. We're two very happy bakers. From crusty old farmers selling potatoes off the back of a truck, crusty sourdough, to a slick goats cheese stall, Tasmanian Farm Gate is a true produce driven market with a fantastic range.

When I first moved to Tasmania, I didn't know exactly what direction my career would take, but I knew I wanted to do something with food and perhaps sell it at a Farmers Market. It's only taken 5 years but I'm finally doing it. And that feels great.

Thank you so much for your kind words of support and encouragement. You are super nice!

Stamp of approval

Years ago I used to stamp wrists for living. Now I'm stamping cake boxes and brown paper bags with our very own stamp. I still have the touch.

I'm a little emotional to see our logo in the flesh. Having a stamp makes us official now. And we've banners and a marquee too. Yep it's all systems go at the cupcake factory as we get ready for our first stall at the weekly Tasmanian Farm Gate markets. We'll be there every Sunday. A proper job. Hooray!

Tomorrow I'll post some pics of our baking efforts :: we're working on salted caramel pears and cardamom spiced quinces for our fruity specials. Should be delicious.

Wish list

This Sunday, Mothers Day, is traditionally a day for sleeping in, breakfast in bed and a wee card lovingly handmade by the peeps. Not for me though, I'll be up at dawn and on the road at 6am. I'll tell you about that soon. But in the meantime, if anyone is wondering, here's what I'm dreaming of this Mothers' Day.
I love Megan's work and her new book looks gorgeous. I also love this song on her website. It's so cute. Anyone know it?
Have you seen Blue Caravan yet? It's a beautiful online store selling contemporary handmade,fair trade & ethical products by independent makers. I'm loving this ipod cover by Kazzki. Go check it out, there's loads of lovely things.

The mother ship. Really. I can't tell you enough how much I love these gumboots. I spotted them on Ali's website who actually has a pair. She's very lucky. These would be perfect to wear in the garden, walking the dog, tramping across frosty grass to watch soccer games. Yep, I can certainly justify a pair. And they'll be perfect for where I'll be spending this Sunday. And most Sundays for the unforeseeable future if things go well.

But honestly? I'm pretty right for stuff. Perhaps I'd prefer a week off from laundry, cooking and vacuuming. My MIL only ever wants a happy family for Mothers Day. I didn't understand the wisdom of this sentiment until I had my own children. Now I think it's perfect. Hanging out with your family doing fun stuff. And really, wish lists aside, it's all you could want as a mum isn't it?

But a pair of Ilse Jacobsen Hornbaeks would be very nice too!

Workshop


We have a lot of lego in the house now. Hugo has become a little obsessed. He plays with it for hours and likes to keep each set separated. I am not allowed to mix any set together. A storage challenge.

Our hallway has become the lego workshop. We can't play on the floor because of Mabel. Shoeboxes and noodle bowls currently store each set. Noodles are off the menu until I come up with a better system.

How do you store your lego?