Sunday, January 30, 2011


We love hunting for our food here, whether it be rabbits, wild cherry plums and rose hips or the many tasty and wonderful variety of mushrooms that can be found in and around the local forest. It makes us feel connected to the earth and full of gratitude for what mother nature provides.
I can't wait til it is mushroom season again. Different varieties appear at different times of the year and we always go on our "Shroom hunting" adventures with my Dad who knows the secret locations where they grow and has taken the time to do lots of research on what can be found in this area and also what is edible.
Here are some pictures of some mushrooming trips we made last year

This one already had a bite taken out of it.
Probably a deer a sheep.


I love the patterns on this one

Can't eat these ones!

The next 3 photos are of "Sticky Buns" You can eat them
but they don't really taste all that good.

These little beauties are called Morels. They kind of look like coral i think and are spongy to the touch. Not at all like other mushrooms. They are my favourite though not only for there looks but in America they are known as "The other steak" and it's true! Fried up until they're soft with a little bit of salt and pepper and garlic if you like and they taste just like steak YUMMY!

There are a few different types of Morels and also "false" morels which are poisonous. As with ANY mushroom please do DO NOT eat them unless you are absolutely sure what it is. There are lots of good field guides on mushrooms/fungi to help you to identify them.

This is the morel T shirt that I bought my Dad for Christmas. I love the little gnome with the mushroom hat, very cool

Even on the days when we don't find any mushies (which is not all that often)it's just great to be out in the forest in the fresh air having an adventure! :)
Happy shrooming and Happy Weekend friends


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Still Here

Just letting you know that I'm still around :)
Working on a couple of different posts at the moment but not quite finished yet.
Just thought I would say hello and share one of my favourite photos.

Callum and I when he was just over 5 months old, before his first swimming lesson.
Happy Australia Day Everybodeee :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Day of Plenty

Yesterday we collected many garden delights :)
First to check the herbs and spices that had been drying in the sun room for a couple of days

Coriander is definately one of my most favourite spices. I don't like the leaves (or the herb part of the plant)much, as i find their flavour overpowering but grow this beautiful plant just for its aromatic seeds.
Yesterday Darren and I had fun experimenting in the kitchen together, a rare treat and something we both love to do. We toasted some coriander seeds lightly in a dry pan over the gas stove then ground them up in the motar and pestle and added a little bit of rock salt.

The taste was unbelievable, earthy and aromatic and i know this is weird to say but it was an absolute taste sensation, kind of a combination of a barbecue chicken, fresh "green" wood, nuts and popcorn. You will have to try it yourself!!!


I can't believe how fast some of the herbs grow. Even tough most of them get used almost on a daily basis, sometimes they just need a good prune if they are getting out of hand (eg mint, oregano)or to put off the flowering stage (sage).

*Remember to show your herbs some herbs some love after a good harvesting by giving them a good fertilize and water and they will burst back to life with new growth before you know it and turn from this:

Into this:

This time it was the oregano that needed a prune as it was taking over the herb bed and about to go to flower. We use LOTS of oregano here so always good to have some dried on hand too. We ended up with quite a big bowl so enough to last for quite a while, three to six months for us or probably over a year for most people.

I dried the oregano on the stems layed on newspaper in the sun room but not in direct sunlight *We have very hot and dry Summers here and today is no exception with the temperature hovering just under 40'C (or just over 100'F)so these beautiful leaves would go all crispy and brown and lose all their goodness and aroma.
They take around two days to dry and then its easy to run your fingers down the stem to remove the leaves.
I give them a slight scrunch in the bowl but i don't crush or cut them very fine, i love the rustic look.

I know some people like to hang their herbs inside in bunches to dry slowly then they just use them as they need them but this is a dusty old farmhouse this time of year so this way works best for us.

We let one of the flame lettuces go to seed a few weeks ago and now it is kindly providing us with lots of little seeds ready to plant out for more yummy lettuces to grow :)

Once it had cooled down a little bit and the garden was in shade (around 8:00pm)it was time to venture out into the garden to see what else we could harvest
First was the gift that keeps on giving- zucchinis

Next was the other gift that keeps on giving- cucumbers. These guys grow so fast they seem to appear overnight! We grow two varieties.
The Sweet and Striped

and the Lebanese Mini Muncher

These little guys hide too so look closely! lol. they are perfect by themselves as a snack or if you get heaps make them into gherkins.

Unfortunatly the tomatoes were not ripe yet

But there was a crispmint lettuce ready for the picking!

I love our garden
Happy Sunday xo